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Author Topic: Radio choices  (Read 8103 times)
KM6NFF
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Posts: 116




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« Reply #60 on: October 11, 2017, 01:04:22 PM »

I'm looking at the Comet CHA-250B verticle. Reviews look good and it doesn't stand out like a sore thumb. I'll try to mount it as far from my house, which by the way isn't all that far away. I haven't bought it yet but just an idea.
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KB1SNJ
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Posts: 116




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« Reply #61 on: October 11, 2017, 01:29:29 PM »

Here are the Comet CHA250B reviews. The downsides (besides the obvious limitations of a no radial 23ft vertical) seem to be that it bends easily in the wind and heats up and goes wonky with not that much power.

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/5175
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K6BRN
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Posts: 452




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« Reply #62 on: October 11, 2017, 01:38:49 PM »

Bob:

Please go back and read my previous reply.

I have the CHA-250B and the EFHW-8010, connected to an antenna switch with my TA-33-MW 3-element Yagi beam.  I had the CHA-250B before the EFHW-8010 and used it to fill band coverage gaps the TA-33-MW did not handle.

I still use the EFHW-8010 a LOT, even on bands the TA-33-MW covers, too.  Because it works very well and does not need to be rotated when a rare contact pops up (my horizontal "V" layout is approximately omni-directional).  The CHA-250B switch position is not used very much any more as it has zero advantage over the EFHW-8010.  And to work best, the CHA-250B needs to be up 30+ feet.  The wire EFHW-8010 is not too fussy about mounting height, is easier to put up and does not pick up as much man-made noise as the CHA-250B.

I really liked the CHA-250B until I found the wire EFHW-4010 and -8010.  In comparison, the CHA-250B is a dog.

Brian - K6BRN
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KM6NFF
Member

Posts: 116




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« Reply #63 on: October 11, 2017, 03:27:27 PM »

Bob:

Please go back and read my previous reply.

I have the CHA-250B and the EFHW-8010, connected to an antenna switch with my TA-33-MW 3-element Yagi beam.  I had the CHA-250B before the EFHW-8010 and used it to fill band coverage gaps the TA-33-MW did not handle.

I still use the EFHW-8010 a LOT, even on bands the TA-33-MW covers, too.  Because it works very well and does not need to be rotated when a rare contact pops up (my horizontal "V" layout is approximately omni-directional).  The CHA-250B switch position is not used very much any more as it has zero advantage over the EFHW-8010.  And to work best, the CHA-250B needs to be up 30+ feet.  The wire EFHW-8010 is not too fussy about mounting height, is easier to put up and does not pick up as much man-made noise as the CHA-250B.

I really liked the CHA-250B until I found the wire EFHW-4010 and -8010.  In comparison, the CHA-250B is a dog.

Brian - K6BRN


My biggest problem in having this type of setup is one It's a fairly new home with no trees or other high places to hang it,but the biggest problem is my wife is not having any part of this hanging wires in our already small yard. So I'm trying to get to a happy medium here.
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KB1SNJ
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Posts: 116




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« Reply #64 on: October 11, 2017, 03:40:08 PM »

Gosh I am tempted to try an EHFW8010 myself now!   Bob, the wire is very stealthy, and apparently can be strung up in all kinds of shapes without disturbing the resonance points. Reviews are 5.0 on about 60 reviews.

I wonder what makes it tick?  Can the same thing be made DIY I wonder?


My biggest problem in having this type of setup is one It's a fairly new home with no trees or other high places to hang it,but the biggest problem is my wife is not having any part of this hanging wires in our already small yard. So I'm trying to get to a happy medium here.
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KM6NFF
Member

Posts: 116




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« Reply #65 on: October 11, 2017, 04:04:58 PM »

Gosh I am tempted to try an EHFW8010 myself now!   Bob, the wire is very stealthy, and apparently can be strung up in all kinds of shapes without disturbing the resonance points. Reviews are 5.0 on about 60 reviews.

I wonder what makes it tick?  Can the same thing be made DIY I wonder?


My biggest problem in having this type of setup is one It's a fairly new home with no trees or other high places to hang it,but the biggest problem is my wife is not having any part of this hanging wires in our already small yard. So I'm trying to get to a happy medium here.

If it were only that easy. She wants no part of it. Happy wife Happy life,right? lol
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K6BRN
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Posts: 452




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« Reply #66 on: October 11, 2017, 05:37:49 PM »

Bob:

Excellent!  This hobby is all about experimenting and learning.  But if you are willing to put up an antenna about that size, the Comet H-422 usually beats both the EFHW-4010 and CHA-250B.  It's a V-shaped, rigid rotatable dipole that needs to be installed at about the same height as the CHA-250B for good results.

Brian - K6BRN
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KB1SNJ
Member

Posts: 116




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« Reply #67 on: October 11, 2017, 05:49:57 PM »

The H-422 doesnt do 80m. And the reviews average 4.0.  I just ordered a EFHW-8010 due to this thread. I wont be able to erect it in a straight line but it's supposedly very flexible.

Bob,  search here and other places for "stealth antennas" for ham radio.

Also, just wondering why did u rule out the FT-991A which does VHF/UHF, for the IC-7300 which is only HF?  The 7300 is a great radio by all accounts, but the 991 is too.

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KM6NFF
Member

Posts: 116




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« Reply #68 on: October 11, 2017, 06:47:27 PM »

The H-422 doesnt do 80m. And the reviews average 4.0.  I just ordered a EFHW-8010 due to this thread. I wont be able to erect it in a straight line but it's supposedly very flexible.

Bob,  search here and other places for "stealth antennas" for ham radio.

Also, just wondering why did u rule out the FT-991A which does VHF/UHF, for the IC-7300 which is only HF?  The 7300 is a great radio by all accounts, but the 991 is too.



The 7300 appears to have an easier interface, as well as a bigger screen. Also it looks much easier to operate. There are many functions the radio has that looks interesting. I've watched videos on both and the 7300 just looks better to me,
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KB1SNJ
Member

Posts: 116




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« Reply #69 on: October 11, 2017, 07:30:34 PM »

I see.  Also, there is computer interface which makes all controls as big as a computer or laptop screen. And customization. And nowadays with a simple USB cable, you can do digital work, which I am just getting started with.

I use HRD (Ham Radio Deluxe) for rig control and digital modes like PSK and WSJT-X software for JT65 (Which HRD doesnt do, AFAIK) etc. 

Also I have found that a good set of headphones really helps understand weak signals.

Before long you will be getting along with the wife about as well as this guy:
https://youtu.be/O7kirdtdI1c

Although, I have found that wives like a hobby that can be done pretty cheap when u think about it, doesnt involve drinking, and keeps you home, but hidden away. Make sure you highlight those benefits with her!

Oh one more thing from my own experience, I bought a Kenwood TH-F6 handheld for portable VHF work and scanner duty. GREAT audio and great radio. They are discontinued and apparently replaced with the double-the-price THD74A but a used TH-F6A may be a good start on VHF even if only 5 watts.


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KM6NFF
Member

Posts: 116




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« Reply #70 on: October 11, 2017, 07:42:33 PM »

I see.  Also, there is computer interface which makes all controls as big as a computer or laptop screen. And customization. And nowadays with a simple USB cable, you can do digital work, which I am just getting started with.

I use HRD (Ham Radio Deluxe) for rig control and digital modes like PSK and WSJT-X software for JT65 (Which HRD doesnt do, AFAIK) etc. 

Also I have found that a good set of headphones really helps understand weak signals.

Before long you will be getting along with the wife about as well as this guy:
https://youtu.be/O7kirdtdI1c

Although, I have found that wives like a hobby that can be done pretty cheap when u think about it, doesnt involve drinking, and keeps you home, but hidden away. Make sure you highlight those benefits with her!

Oh one more thing from my own experience, I bought a Kenwood TH-F6 handheld for portable VHF work and scanner duty. GREAT audio and great radio. They are discontinued and apparently replaced with the double-the-price THD74A but a used TH-F6A may be a good start on VHF even if only 5 watts.




I'm really lucky, my wife doesn't care what I spend within reason but she doesn't want an eye sore. I'm a 57 year old newbie and she is just happy I have another hobby. Its a great life. LOL
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K6BRN
Member

Posts: 452




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« Reply #71 on: October 11, 2017, 07:45:51 PM »

Chris:

My... impulsive, aren't we.  Did you do your homework?  There are multiple versions of the EFHW-8010 from MyAntennas.  Two or three different wire thicknesses to match your environment (thicker is better in ice storm regions).  But WAY more important is that there are multiple grades of matching transformer, with the -2K version recommended for high duty cycle digital modes when power averages 100 watts or more.  It has more efficient and bigger cores with a different ferrite mix.  If you are running PSK31, JT65, FT8, etc, I'd recommend at least the -HP grade.  And don't forget the common mode choke, either.  Those are listed on a different page.  If you ordered the wrong one, call Danny Horvath in the morning and see if you can change the order.  He's the owner, and is a great guy.

BTW...   You have a call sign, yet?  Might be time to list it if you do.

On the H-422....  It works fine but has three key weaknesses to watch for:  1.  Water can get into the traps and pull the resonance point (until they dry out), 2.  CW power is really limited to 250 or so watts.  Easy to damage on RTTY with a kilowatt amp, and 3.  Limited bandwidth on 40M.  

Lack of 80M coverage is no big deal ... few rotatable dipoles cover 80M.  

What the H422 does very well is: provide some gain and side rejection in a very small package that can be turned with a super light duty rotator, or it can be left parked at 60 degrees amd provide Europe to Japan coverage with good results.  Its as easy as the CHA250B to assemble and put up.  But harder than the EFHW-8010.

A local ham friend makes about 2,000 contacts with his a year, with it up about 35 feet, in a small lot surrounded by power lines.  Not too shabby.  His secondary gapfiller antenna is an EFHW-8010

Brian - K6BRN
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KM6NFF
Member

Posts: 116




Ignore
« Reply #72 on: October 11, 2017, 07:56:43 PM »

Chris:

My... impulsive, aren't we.  Did you do your homework?  There are multiple versions of the EFHW-8010 from MyAntennas.  Two or three different wire thicknesses to match your environment (thicker is better in ice storm regions).  But WAY more important is that there are multiple grades of matching transformer, with the -2K version recommended for high duty cycle digital modes when power averages 100 watts or more.  It has more efficient and bigger cores with a different ferrite mix.  If you are running PSK31, JT65, FT8, etc, I'd recommend at least the -HP grade.  And don't forget the common mode choke, either.  Those are listed on a different page.  If you ordered the wrong one, call Danny Horvath in the morning and see if you can change the order.  He's the owner, and is a great guy.

BTW...   You have a call sign, yet?  Might be time to list it if you do.

On the H-422....  It works fine but has three key weaknesses to watch for:  1.  Water can get into the traps and pull the resonance point (until they dry out), 2.  CW power is really limited to 250 or so watts.  Easy to damage on RTTY with a kilowatt amp, and 3.  Limited bandwidth on 40M.  

Lack of 80M coverage is no big deal ... few rotatable dipoles cover 80M.  

What the H422 does very well is: provide some gain and side rejection in a very small package that can be turned with a super light duty rotator, or it can be left parked at 60 degrees amd provide Europe to Japan coverage with good results.  Its as easy as the CHA250B to assemble and put up.  But harder than the EFHW-8010.

A local ham friend makes about 2,000 contacts with his a year, with it up about 35 feet, in a small lot surrounded by power lines.  Not too shabby.  His secondary gapfiller antenna is an EFHW-8010

Brian - K6BRN

Doing a lot of homework. No call signs yet. I should be taking the test this Saturday. I love this process. You get all sorts of ideas and go from there. Its really fun for me. Thanks
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KB1SNJ
Member

Posts: 116




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« Reply #73 on: October 11, 2017, 08:18:17 PM »

Thanks Brian, yes I was impulsive, went from the eHam review link and saw only the 1K version and ordered that for $140. I thought that at 1000 watt handling (intermittent) would be enough. My radio is 100 watts and someday I may go to a 600watt amplifier. Digital modes which I am just starting to dabble with, seem to run lower power, generally but more continuous. But I didnt give that much thought honestly in this impulse buy.

I have now looked at every EFHW multiband offering there and here's what there is:

EFHW 8010   GOES TO 1K PAGE
EFHW 8010 P   $130 200W
EFHW 8010 HP   $160 1500W
EFHW 8010 1K   $140 1000W
EFHW 8010 2K   $170 2000W

ALL SEEM TO USE USE 18GA MARINE WIRE

Do you still suggest I reconsider?

Thanks!

And I do have a call kb1snj. I had some hassle trying to change it here a long time ago and gave up. I forget why.







Chris:

My... impulsive, aren't we.  Did you do your homework?  There are multiple versions of the EFHW-8010 from MyAntennas.  Two or three different wire thicknesses to match your environment (thicker is better in ice storm regions).  But WAY more important is that there are multiple grades of matching transformer, with the -2K version recommended for high duty cycle digital modes when power averages 100 watts or more.  It has more efficient and bigger cores with a different ferrite mix.  If you are running PSK31, JT65, FT8, etc, I'd recommend at least the -HP grade.  And don't forget the common mode choke, either.  Those are listed on a different page.  If you ordered the wrong one, call Danny Horvath in the morning and see if you can change the order.  He's the owner, and is a great guy.

BTW...   You have a call sign, yet?  Might be time to list it if you do.

Brian - K6BRN
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 08:21:30 PM by CHRISDX » Logged
KM6NFF
Member

Posts: 116




Ignore
« Reply #74 on: October 11, 2017, 08:22:47 PM »

Chris:

My... impulsive, aren't we.  Did you do your homework?  There are multiple versions of the EFHW-8010 from MyAntennas.  Two or three different wire thicknesses to match your environment (thicker is better in ice storm regions).  But WAY more important is that there are multiple grades of matching transformer, with the -2K version recommended for high duty cycle digital modes when power averages 100 watts or more.  It has more efficient and bigger cores with a different ferrite mix.  If you are running PSK31, JT65, FT8, etc, I'd recommend at least the -HP grade.  And don't forget the common mode choke, either.  Those are listed on a different page.  If you ordered the wrong one, call Danny Horvath in the morning and see if you can change the order.  He's the owner, and is a great guy.

BTW...   You have a call sign, yet?  Might be time to list it if you do.

On the H-422....  It works fine but has three key weaknesses to watch for:  1.  Water can get into the traps and pull the resonance point (until they dry out), 2.  CW power is really limited to 250 or so watts.  Easy to damage on RTTY with a kilowatt amp, and 3.  Limited bandwidth on 40M.  

Lack of 80M coverage is no big deal ... few rotatable dipoles cover 80M.  

What the H422 does very well is: provide some gain and side rejection in a very small package that can be turned with a super light duty rotator, or it can be left parked at 60 degrees amd provide Europe to Japan coverage with good results.  Its as easy as the CHA250B to assemble and put up.  But harder than the EFHW-8010.

A local ham friend makes about 2,000 contacts with his a year, with it up about 35 feet, in a small lot surrounded by power lines.  Not too shabby.  His secondary gapfiller antenna is an EFHW-8010

Brian - K6BRN


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