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Re: [ham_instructor] Re: Questions about Tecnicians Pool
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Knowing the basic formulas is best.
When I was working a helicopter lost all its belly antennas due to a flock of geese. Because they were PL259 bases and I knew the formulas I was able to make tempory ones out of 14 gauge house wire, some PL 259 connectors and silicone calking. Kept the machine flying and saved the company an engineer's trip.
Forbes VE6FMP
[Nontext portions of this message have been removed] 0 Attachment
Fellow instructors,
As we gear up to make a new study guides, presentations and practice tests based on the future Technicians question pool I would like your opinion on the two questions below.
T9A11 (C)
What is the approximate length, in inches, of a quarterwavelength vertical antenna for 146 MHz?
A. 112 inches
B. 50 inches
C. 19 inches
D. 12 inches
~~
T9A12 (C)
What is the approximate length, in inches, of a 6meter 1/2 wavelength wire dipole antenna?
A. 6 inches
B. 50 inches
C. 112 inches
D. 236 inches
~~
Are these questions practical for use in the field?
In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer in inches?
In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer in feet and inches?
In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer in feet and decimals of a foot?
73,
N5IUT 0 Attachment
Paul,
Interesting question; I like the questions for vhf & up to resolve to
inches why? A meter is approximately 39;
2 meters (146MHz) is 78 or a ¼ wavelength is half of 39 or 19.5 19 is
close enough. Almost solvable by inspection.
The second question half of 6 meters is 3 meters x 40 is 120 & subtract 3
its 117 inches. 112 is close enough.
When the distractors are so far away from the desired answer, approximations
work fine.
HTH & 73 de KT0T
Bob Schwartz
Instructor and VE
Bloomington, MN
_____
From: ham_instructor@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ham_instructor@yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of Paul Guido
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 10:35 PM
To: ham_instructor@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ham_instructor] Questions about Tecnicians Pool
Fellow instructors,
As we gear up to make a new study guides, presentations and practice tests
based on the future Technicians question pool I would like your opinion on
the two questions below.
T9A11 (C)
What is the approximate length, in inches, of a quarterwavelength vertical
antenna for 146 MHz?
A. 112 inches
B. 50 inches
C. 19 inches
D. 12 inches
~~
T9A12 (C)
What is the approximate length, in inches, of a 6meter 1/2 wavelength wire
dipole antenna?
A. 6 inches
B. 50 inches
C. 112 inches
D. 236 inches
~~
Are these questions practical for use in the field?
In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer in
inches?
In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer in
feet and inches?
In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer in
feet and decimals of a foot?
73,
N5IUT
[Nontext portions of this message have been removed] 0 Attachment
In the field, and in a tech class  I like to keep it simple. 234/f,
period. Even for dipoles (it's not a 1/2 wave, it's two 1/4 waves base to
base is the way I explain it). Only one number to remember.
The math comes out 1.6 feet, which in the field I would convert in my head
to 1' 6" plus 1/10 of a foot. Since 1/12 of a foot is one inch, and 1/10 is
slightly bigger than 1/12, its 18" plus a little over an inch. And then I'd
cut it 1' 71/4" and trim after checking the SWR, or maybe 1' 71/2" if I
wasn't sure about ground effects.
Then again, I have a math degree, so converting decimal feet to inches
doesn't scare me.
73,
Jay
AD5PE
Original Message
From: ham_instructor@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ham_instructor@yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of Paul Guido
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 22:35
To: ham_instructor@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ham_instructor] Questions about Tecnicians Pool
Fellow instructors,
As we gear up to make a new study guides, presentations and practice tests
based on the future Technicians question pool I would like your opinion on
the two questions below.
T9A11 (C)
What is the approximate length, in inches, of a quarterwavelength vertical
antenna for 146 MHz?
A. 112 inches
B. 50 inches
C. 19 inches
D. 12 inches
~~
T9A12 (C)
What is the approximate length, in inches, of a 6meter 1/2 wavelength wire
dipole antenna?
A. 6 inches
B. 50 inches
C. 112 inches
D. 236 inches
~~
Are these questions practical for use in the field?
In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer in
inches?
In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer in
feet and inches?
In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer in
feet and decimals of a foot?
73,
N5IUT

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18:09:00 0 Attachment
I would certainly use them. One of the problems that I am seeing in
newly licensed Hams is that they are not conversant in theory or
practical matters of the hobby. These two questions are discussions
held in our classroom and that the students exercise.
73 Les
At 08:35 PM 5/28/2009, you wrote:
>Fellow instructors,
[Nontext portions of this message have been removed]
>
>As we gear up to make a new study guides, presentations and practice
>tests based on the future Technicians question pool I would like
>your opinion on the two questions below.
>
>T9A11 (C)
>What is the approximate length, in inches, of a quarterwavelength
>vertical antenna for 146 MHz?
>
>A. 112 inches
>B. 50 inches
>C. 19 inches
>D. 12 inches
>~~
>
>T9A12 (C)
>What is the approximate length, in inches, of a 6meter 1/2
>wavelength wire dipole antenna?
>A. 6 inches
>B. 50 inches
>C. 112 inches
>D. 236 inches
>~~
>
>Are these questions practical for use in the field?
>
>In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the
>answer in inches?
>
>In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the
>answer in feet and inches?
>
>In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the
>answer in feet and decimals of a foot?
>
>73,
>
>N5IUT
>
>
>
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG  www.avg.com
>Version: 8.5.339 / Virus Database: 270.12.44/2140  Release Date:
>05/28/09 18:09:00
 0 Attachment
Hi Paul,
I feel these questions would be practical for use in the field.
In the field, I would use the traditional equations: 234/f and 468/f
and then multiply the answer (in decimal feet) times 12 to get
inches. That's the way I would present it in class. Creating more
equations that students have to remember can be confusing. The ideal
way would be to know the true equations and derive the result using
velocity factor and unit conversions; however, let's be realistic 
we're not in engineering or technician (professional) school.
73, Frank KR1ZAN
Garland, TX
On May 28, 2009, at 11:35 PM, Paul Guido wrote:
>
>
> Fellow instructors,
>
> As we gear up to make a new study guides, presentations and practice
> tests based on the future Technicians question pool I would like
> your opinion on the two questions below.
>
> T9A11 (C)
> What is the approximate length, in inches, of a quarterwavelength
> vertical antenna for 146 MHz?
>
> A. 112 inches
> B. 50 inches
> C. 19 inches
> D. 12 inches
> ~~
>
> T9A12 (C)
> What is the approximate length, in inches, of a 6meter 1/2
> wavelength wire dipole antenna?
> A. 6 inches
> B. 50 inches
> C. 112 inches
> D. 236 inches
> ~~
>
> Are these questions practical for use in the field?
>
> In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the
> answer in inches?
>
> In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the
> answer in feet and inches?
>
> In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the
> answer in feet and decimals of a foot?
>
> 73,
>
> N5IUT
>
>
> 0 Attachment
Paul,
I agree with others, these questions are fine as they stand.
Inches, imho, are appropriate for VHF/UHF. My tape measure is
in inches and 1/2", 1/4", 1/8" ... not tenths.
We set aside the books and study guides for a few minutes.
I haul out the "Antenna Fixin's" box with a roll of
wire, some metal coat hangers, PL259s, SO239s, roll of coax,
insulators, rope, and assorted tools. Oh yeah, and an MFJ
Antennalyzer.
My last class made a quarter wave ground plane. First time they
checked it, they got 1.4:1 at 145.0 MHz. They were quite proud
of themselves. One person measured the wire, another soldered the
vertical to the SO239, and another bolted the radials onto
the 4 tabs. They had fun doing it and felt like they accomlished
something.
I give them an extra handout to practice quarter wave and half
wave calculations, with the several related question pool entries
appended to the end. They can work through these and come back
with any additional questions. I have them practice frequency
and wavelength also.
We try to do something "handson" each week, or a demo like IRLP
or satellite, where they can take the mike and talk to a station.
ANYWAY...
I'd vote to keep the antenna length questions as they stand. Even
add a couple more.
FWIW...
73,
Bob WA8YCD
Morgantown WV
Monongalia County
FM09am 0 Attachment
Paul,
I must take exception with your thinking as most of the others have done
thus far. When I teach this part I tell them that two meters is exactly
that, two meters or 76 inches. One meter of course is the 39 inches which
is half wave. then half of that is just over 19 inches which is also a
quarter wave. Just over a foot and a half is the quarter wave vertical for
two meters and that's been understood quite well thus far in my classes.
There is every reason that we who teach classes should go over the questions
in the particular pools and offer our suggestions on how to make them more
applicable for the specific class. In the General pool is a question about
what mode of voice is used above 20 meters. Of course Upper Side Band is
the correct answer, but the question should be 20 meters and above, not just
above 20 meters. Just a slight difference, but it's enough to make this
known to the committee.
Keep the questions for the group coming Paul, it keeps us on our toes.
Vy 73,
~K3DIO Bob
[Nontext portions of this message have been removed] 0 Attachment
 In ham_instructor@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Guido" <radioteacher@...> wrote:>
Yes, those questions are fine.
> Fellow instructors,
>
> As we gear up to make a new study guides, presentations and practice tests based on the future Technicians question pool I would like your opinion on the two questions below.
>
> T9A11 (C)
> What is the approximate length, in inches, of a quarterwavelength vertical antenna for 146 MHz?
>
> A. 112 inches
> B. 50 inches
> C. 19 inches
> D. 12 inches
> ~~
>
> T9A12 (C)
> What is the approximate length, in inches, of a 6meter 1/2 wavelength wire dipole antenna?
> A. 6 inches
> B. 50 inches
> C. 112 inches
> D. 236 inches
> ~~
>
> Are these questions practical for use in the field?
>
> In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer in inches?
>
> In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer in feet and inches?
>
> In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer in feet and decimals of a foot?
>
> 73,
>
> N5IUT
>
Overall, I'd prefer to see word problems that demonstrate an understanding of the formulas rather than questions with simple numbers for answers. The numbers are just too easy to memorize without understanding anything. But, the 19" antenna for 2 meters is something pretty fundamental, so I'd like to see that one here. 0 Attachment
I want to thank everyone for their input on these questions. I was thinking
for proposing new questions that have answers in feet and decimals of a
foot. After reading your responses� I am changing my mind about them.
The thing I need to do is to take a new approach in teaching these questions
in the HamElmer study guide if they remain in the new Pool. By just
producing a classroom study and or self study guide I do not get to interact
with my students until after the book is read.
Are there any other questions that you would like to change in the current
question pool? I see that Bob K3DIO would like to change the USB for 20
meters and up question. This is the time to speak up and let NCVEC.org know
what you want changed. Remember they prefer that you propose new questions.
You can find a feedback form at http://www.ncvec.org/feedback.php
73
Paul Guido
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Paul,
I like the idea of bringing in a meter stick and doing the stuff in
Meters... it is the 2 meter band and the 6 meter band... (m and cm work so
nicely)...
Most of the antenna google searches turned up J poles in Feet with 1/10ths
of Feet....
Brian
K9BKW
On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 11:35 PM, Paul Guido <radioteacher@...> wrote:
>
>
> Fellow instructors,
>
> As we gear up to make a new study guides, presentations and practice tests
> based on the future Technicians question pool I would like your opinion on
> the two questions below.
>
> T9A11 (C)
> What is the approximate length, in inches, of a quarterwavelength vertical
> antenna for 146 MHz?
>
> A. 112 inches
> B. 50 inches
> C. 19 inches
> D. 12 inches
> ~~
>
> T9A12 (C)
> What is the approximate length, in inches, of a 6meter 1/2 wavelength wire
> dipole antenna?
> A. 6 inches
> B. 50 inches
> C. 112 inches
> D. 236 inches
> ~~
>
> Are these questions practical for use in the field?
>
> In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer
> in inches?
>
> In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer
> in feet and inches?
>
> In the field, would you use the equation(s) that would provide the answer
> in feet and decimals of a foot?
>
> 73,
>
> N5IUT
>
>
>
[Nontext portions of this message have been removed] 0 Attachment
PAUL GUIDO N5IUT,
An answer to your question. Yes it is needed, I can tell you
that after Hurricane Andrew we operated out of Homestead,
there were no antennas left to be used.
There was a ham that brought his equipment but no base antenna.
I quickly stated that he should make a 2 meter vertical antenna out
of solid home wire (there was a lot of that lying around) and coax.
He asked how, I said that the vert element should be 19" for 146 MHz.
or 19.5" for 145 MHz. and four ground plane radials 21" long at a slight
downward angle. He then asked how did I know this. I stated it was on the
license exam. We also covered it in ARES classes on emergency
communications. Then someone stated that he needed a SO239
chassis connector, I stated no just some coax with a connector on
one end and some coax seal to protect the solder point where the 5
wires came together.
We built it and used it for a week, until a heavy wind and rain storm
took it down. It was just an emergency antenna, and was never made
to last. So to have these questions on the test, I think is a good thing
to remember.
Robert Broderick WE4B 0 Attachment
Robert,
In asking the original question of this thread I was trying to leave out any
bias I have for the questions in the pool. I really think we need to have
these type of questions in the pool but my preference is to have the answers
in feet and decimals of a foot not inches.
With the help of an technique from instructor from Austin (Jeff Schmidt,
N5MNW) I can now teach the 234 and 468 equations in a way that is easy to
remember. It is a great mnemonic.
Any home repair store has rulers and tapes marked for engineers in feet and
decimals of a foot. I even have one that is in feet and inches on the white
side of the tape and feet and decimal on the orange side of the tape.
I do not know why these questions have to be taught in inches, learned in
inches and practiced in inches.
As an instructor of students of all ages, I do not believe I can teach them
how to think in a short ham class. I really want to teach them a tool that
they can remember and use in the field without a handbook.
I was going to propose to the NCVEC that the answers feet and decimal format
but most of the responses here would like to keep these questions as they
are.
Basically, I was wondering if the format of the answer to these questions
were annoying to everyone or just me. I found out that for the most part it
is just me and I am OK with that.
As an instructor I feel the need to "Question the Question Pool" at this
time in the life cycle of a question pool. I also wonder, "How can I make
the Question Pool better?"
73
Paul Guido, N5IUT
[Nontext portions of this message have been removed] 0 Attachment
Paul Guido, N5IUT,
When we instruct in the US, we do not teach in the metric system. We have the formulas
for antennas in feet and inches ( 468/ f (MHz.) = length in feet ). I remember the two
meter one as 19 inches. Easy! Yes, if you have a meter stick lying around, measure 2
meters and you have a 1/4 wave length radiator. Just remember there are a lot more 12
inch rulers lying around then their are meter sticks to find a 2 meter radiator during an
emergency, or building an antenna from scratch.
Paul make your suggestions be known not just here, on this group. The QPC is accepting
input for questions to be included in the July 1, 2010  June 30, 2014 Technician Question
Pool. Input submissions to the QPC can be made by filling in the form
at: http://www.ncvec.org/feedback.php
The QPC is currently working on the Technician Element 2 Question pool that will become
effective July 1, 2010. The draft syllabus for the 2010 pool can be reviewed on 2010 Draft
Syllabus here: http://www.ncvec.org/page.php?id=355
So stand up for your question, draft a new one. Make sure your new test questions has
clarity, accuracy, and completeness, and then forward the results to make the possible
change to the VEC question pool.
I've been a Volunteer Examiners for over 12 years, and I've seen this before. I've told the
amateur radio operator to make it better. Many of them did add to the pool. Some of us
found errors in the exams ( ARRL VE's remember the stickers that were sent out to cover
the mistakes in printing ).
You do have a good question, and maybe we should ask the question in feet and meters.
But that would mean that the license manuals would need a rewrite. They have to be
rewritten anyway, so it might work.
Paul there is another group I belong to that this thread should be moved to instead of here.
It's US Volunteer Examiner Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/usve/
This Ham Radio Instructor's Group is for instructing amateur radio classes.
This group is for the exchange of teaching ideas and techniques, materials, files, etc. not
really the question pool development.
Hope that helps you Paul, 73
Robert Broderick WE4B 0 Attachment
 In ham_instructor@yahoogroups.com, Paul Guido <radioteacher@...> wrote:>
This is not an exam input but is practical knowledge.
> Robert,
>
> In asking the original question of this thread I was trying to leave out any
> bias I have for the questions in the pool. I really think we need
Here is a little trick that one of my former workmates used to do and it would be good for ARES operators.
He measured a 1/4 wave antenna from the tip of his middle finger up his arm for VHF and his hand spread for UHF.
Quick easy and no ruler required, just freckles and birth marks.
Forbes VE6FMP 0 Attachment
> This is not an exam input but is practical knowledge.
Forbes VE6FMP,
>
> Here is a little trick that one of my former workmates used to do and it would be good for ARES operators.
>
> He measured a 1/4 wave antenna from the tip of his middle finger up his arm for VHF and his hand spread for UHF.
>
> Quick easy and no ruler required, just freckles and birth marks.
>
> Forbes VE6FMP
>
That's a good one, but what if it's a woman? A lot shorter!
Another trick is a CB antenna! Yes I said a CB antenna!
I worked as the repair tech at the local Amateur Radio Store for 25 years.
In that time we had these guys that have air boats for use in the
Everglades Swamp. Well they did not want 2 antennas, one for CB and
one for two meters or Marine. The K40 White Lighting antenna gave good
output and SWR for 2 meters! Of course it worked for CB and they mounted a
switch under the seat near the microphone to select the radios.
This antenna was very short fiberglasswound antenna (maybe 30 "), and
was white with a red tip.
We always kept them in stock for just these guys, and they kept returning
every 5 or 6 years to replace it, and they sent other to buy it.
Whenever I see one at a hamfest, I grab it. It's easy to spot being whit with a
red tip. Something to think about in an emergency.
Robert WE4B 0 Attachment
On Jun 2, 2009, at 12:16 PM, Robert WE4B wrote:> Something to think about in an emergency.
Another thing along these lines to think about in an emergency:
>
Perfection is not required. During Katrina, the job of our group was
to provide communications for Red Cross feeding vehicles, which are
equipped with a Red Cross radio but the range was not sufficient for
the area that they needed to cover. These vehicles are almost
completely fiberglass, which makes using a mag mount all but
impossible. But they've got a perfectly good antenna already
mounted. The fact that it's nowhere near resonant at our desired 2
meter frequency didn't really matter. There was a very effective
repeater system where we were that didn't need a huge signal to access
it; we simply disconnected the coax from the Red Cross radio and
connected it to a 2meter mobile rig. I'm sure that the transmitter
was displeased and responded by reducing its output into the high SWR,
but the resulting output was more than enough to hit the repeaters.
If you're trying to work reallife knowledge into your classes, it's
great to teach people the "exact right way" but it's also good that
they realize how today's radios react when things are not exactly
perfect.
73, Steve KB9X 0 Attachment
"we simply disconnected the coax from the Red Cross radio and
connected it to a 2meter mobile rig. I'm sure that the transmitter
was displeased and responded by reducing its output into the high SWR,
but the resulting output was more than enough to hit the repeaters."
Might be good to put an
"MFJ921 Dual Band VHF tuner covers 2 Meters/220 MHz."
http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ921
or the like in the old tool bag for just such emergencies. You then get full power
and a happy radio
73
Jeff
WB4WXD
[Nontext portions of this message have been removed] 0 Attachment
On Jun 3, 2009, at 9:41 AM, Jeff wrote:
> "we simply disconnected the coax from the Red Cross radio and
And exactly the same end result. So I have to ask . . . why? The
> connected it to a 2meter mobile rig. I'm sure that the transmitter
> was displeased and responded by reducing its output into the high SWR,
> but the resulting output was more than enough to hit the repeaters."
>
> Might be good to put an
> "MFJ921 Dual Band VHF tuner covers 2 Meters/220 MHz."
> http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ921
>
> or the like in the old tool bag for just such emergencies. You then
> get full power
> and a happy radio
>
whole point of what I said was that you don't need to do The Right
Thing if a simple solution works. I'm not suggesting using a 6meter
whip on 2 meters long term, but this was not long term. Today's
radios are designed for exactly this kind of scenario; let's take
advantage of that when it's appropriate.
Or, to put it in different words, what's appropriate for long term use
at someone's carefully constructed permanent station may not be
appropriate during a disaster operation. Flexibility is an important
part of the amateur radio repertoire.
73, Steve KB9X 0 Attachment
>
Good points all around but
> And exactly the same end result. So I have to ask . . . why? The
> whole point of what I said was that you don't need to do The Right
> Thing if a simple solution works. I'm not suggesting using a 6meter
> whip on 2 meters long term, but this was not long term. Today's
> radios are designed for exactly this kind of scenario; let's take
> advantage of that when it's appropriate.
>
> Or, to put it in different words, what's appropriate for long term use
> at someone's carefully constructed permanent station may not be
> appropriate during a disaster operation. Flexibility is an important
> part of the amateur radio repertoire.
>
> 73, Steve KB9X
>
I respectfully disagree that you get the same result. As a radio technician for over 20 years, I have an inherent problem with assuming that any radio with necessarily fold back and protect itself. I have replaced many finals which have failed due to bad antennas. I agree that "short term" use may not damage the radio but in a disaster, "short term" can stretch into 24 hour a day use for a couple of weeks....I've seen it.
So while I do agree that your point of when all else fails, get the job done, I think if we have the time to prepare, we should consider all the possibilities we can. This includes less than optimum antennas. If I'm using one of my personal radios to benefit others, then I will try to protect it as best I can. I'm sure we can agree to disagree.
Vy 73
Jeff WB4WXD
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