While we are busily ushering in the new year, I took a bit of time to reflect on the blog on my site. What I found while going through the website statistics are the top 10 articles that people are viewing on this blog. I put quite a bit of information out here, so it’s interesting to see what actually ‘sticks.’ So, why don’t we take a bit of time and go through the KB9VBR antenna Way Back Machine to see what was the most popular article in the last year.

#10: Slim Jim vs J-Pole Antennas

Dennis helping prototype the KB9VBR Slim Jim Antenna

Dennis, W9PBB (right) with a Slim Jim Prototype

I introduced the 2 meter Slim Jim antenna this past year as an alternative to the standard J-Pole. I still love the J-Poles, but I’ve had quite a few requests for a copper slim jim antenna. After designing and working with one, I can see why. This article compares the features between the two most popular antennas on this site.

#9: Do J-Pole antennas need to be grounded

Great question, and one I get all the time. Short answer: no they don’t need to be grounded. But read the article to find out why you would want to ground your J-Pole.

#8: How does antenna height affect VHF communication

VHF/UHF propagation is primarily line of site. The plain facts are: the higher you get your antenna in the air, the better it will perform. But there are also diminishing returns, read more to find out.

#7: Does my J-Pole antenna need a choke balun

Another popular question. The thing about baluns is that they never hurt, and usually will help; especially if you are mounting the antenna in a tricky space. Find out why in this article.

#6: Unboxing the Kenwood TM-281 2 meter transceiver

Kenwood TM-281 2 meter transceiver KB9BVBR j-pole antennaI received a Kenwood TM-281 last year. It’s a great 2 meter mobile radio and even after writing this article, I continue to use it as a backup rig in my shack. You can read my first impressions in this article.

#5: External antenna for Wouxun handheld radios

Wouxun HT handheld radioThis year the market was flooded by the inexpensive Chinese handhelds. I can’t believe that you can now get a true dual band portable radio for under $100. But upon closer examination, these rigs have a non-standard antenna connector, so you need a special adapter if you want to use an external antenna. Read more to find out what adapter works.

#4: Best amateur radio VHF/UHF antenna

What’s the best VHF/UHF antenna? The one that meets your needs and fits your budget. Of course my J-Poles fit that bill on both parts.

#3: Connecting an external antenna to an HT

Many new hams start out with a handheld radio first. Is this a good thing? It is if you have good, working antenna. Find out what you need to connect your trusty HT to an external antenna.

#2: Mounting ham radio antennas in the attic

More and more hams are living in neighborhoods that have restrictive rules or covenants on outdoor antennas. Is putting an antenna in your attic a good solution? Read more to find out.

#1: Lightning protection for antennas

lightning protection for antennasTops in posts for this site actually has to do with lightning protection. If you live in tornado alley or any other parts of the country that have lots of thunderstorms, you need to take this information seriously. This article has my tips and resources to protect you and your equipment.

It’s been a great year for antenna sales, and reading these articles again, I can see why. My website has become a popular resource for ham radio and public safety communications information. So, what will 2013 bring? I’m sure more great articles. If there is a topic you’d like to see covered, drop me a line on my contact form, or feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this article. I get most of my ideas from popular questions that I receive from customers and readers of this site.

Have a great 2013 and I hope to hear you on the air.