After getting things like long wire antennas canopies, and radio stations for the onset of Summer Field Day 2022, I set up my canopy, folding table, and tools for any and all that would show up for the “Great Foxhunt Yagi Build”.
Here is the background on how I was the subject matter expert on these antennas an sold the Board the idea that we should have an educational function at Field Day for bonus points. Apparently, I did such an excellent job with my Foxhunt Tape Measure Yagi presentation at the May TARC meeting, I was able to talk myself into volunteering to host the build during Field Day. In preparation for the presentation, and to become the subject matter expert, I studied several sets of downloaded procedures and videos that were available for free on the internet. Using this huge amount of knowledge gained, I built exactly one tape measure yagi. Testing with my analyzer, it worked fine with an SWR just under 2 across the 2-meter band. My second attempt was to adjust the first antenna to be perfect and I was successful, it was perfectly bad. My third and last try was to repair what I changed and now I have a working tape measure yagi.
One person showed up and opened up a bag-o-parts and said he was there to build the yagi. HE had actually prepared for this and had read the published instructions and parts list. We are all set.
Since the whole point of this was to educate those involved as well as to prepare a workable antenna for the purpose of DF or Foxhunting, I, along with Steve, acted as guides as the builder followed the written instructions. We provided guidance on tool use and techniques, why certain steps were done in the designated order, and many of the unwritten items such as cleaning the work surfaces prior to soldering, why we use of flux, and why the measurements in the instructions were critical. The builder absorbed everything presented to him, gaining experience on proper soldering techniques (no previous experience), taking, and verifying measurements before making cuts, as well as general safety rules and precautions.
About an hour later, the builder completed his antenna. I hooked it up to my analyzer and it came in at just under and SR of 2.5 across the band. After a couple of adjustments, SWR ended up just above 2. Not bad for the first build. And just to test the directionality and transmissibility of the yagi, the builder connected it to his HT, selected the Wallace School repeater, pointed the antenna in that direction, and keyed up for a radio check. He came across the repeater network perfectly, as verified by my own HT. He then selected the Yorktown repeater, point the antenna, and did another radio check. This attempt also provided a learning experience. It took a couple of seconds for all of the repeaters to key up, cutting off some of his transmission because he did not wait before speaking. Once he waited for a few seconds, he was able to make contact with the linked system though the Yorktown repeater, and actually received a reply from a ham who was monitoring the repeater. A little on-line check revealed that we were just over 26 miles away from the Yorktown. Not bad for the first time build on a 5-watt HT.