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Author Topic: first shack  (Read 2416 times)

Posts: 2

« on: May 01, 2006, 02:54:21 PM »

  What I would like to do is use the ft-100d, mfj 934 with the artificial ground ( since I live on the second floor ),antenna atas -120 for a vent on the roof, a wire to the gutter ( for counterpoise ) and a wire out the window to the gound ( for the ground). The ft-100d is for if this fails then I will go mobile ( not my 1st choice ).
  I have read and think that this is a good choice for my first radio. I have also looked at the ft 857d, but I want to keep the the radio as simple as possible. My thoughts are that I will use it for Dx (cw) and maybe 2 meters . Any input will be appreciated.

Posts: 5639

« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2006, 08:11:28 AM »

I don't have any experience with the radio you mention but let me comment on something else.

<< antenna atas -120 for a vent on the roof, a wire to the gutter ( for counterpoise ) and a wire out the window to the gound ( for the ground). >>

I would conside this ONLY if there were no other option!

The ATAS 120 is a marginal mobile antenna when properly installed on a vehicle. It is a disaster in an installation such as you mention. One of the real, full-sized motorised antennas from Tarheel, High Sierra or Hi-Q will be much better if you insist on going this route, but they are still a poor choice for a home installation unless you simply have no other options for an antenna. A good multi-band dipole (NOT a G5RV) will be a much better antenna for you.

 A wire to the gutter is just that; a wire to the gutter. It is not by any stretch of the imagination a ground plane for that antenna. You need at least two resonant radials for each band you want to operate on with almost any kind of roof-mounted vertical.

As for the wire out the window for a ground, you need to do a search on eHam and read the hundreds of posts relating to second floor grounding. A DC ground can be done but an RF ground from a second floor is an illusion with the lengths of wire involved it simply doesn't work. Correctly installed, balanced antennas, will eliminate any need for a second floor RF ground.

Sorry to be negative, but I think your proposed installation will become very frustrating very quickly unless all you are interested in is local contacts.

Lon W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland


A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.

Posts: 2

« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2006, 09:23:00 AM »

Thank you for the feed back. kg6tuz

Posts: 1

« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2006, 08:33:48 AM »

i think your right KG6TUZ you might want to rethink your set up. i started out on 2 meters and used a copper j-pole they work very well and you can use it inside your home or make a mount for your window and the 40 meters if you look at universal radio web site  mfj makes a window mount antenna, It covers 80 through 6 Meters and can handle up to 200 is the link for the page

Posts: 2994

« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2006, 01:05:07 PM »

These window mount antennas are also pretty poor, especially since you said you wnat to work some DX.  Can you put up a wire dipole for 20 and 17 meters?  Do you have room for a small vertical antenna?  Check out the small vertical dipoles made by Force 12 (perhaps the Sigma GT-5).  These will get you DX!

Chuck  NI0C

Posts: 26

« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2006, 06:34:20 PM »

If your goal is to buy a rig for both base and mobile, the FT-100 is a decent choice.  But I used to own the 857D and it's not that complex of a rig.  You'd learn it very quickly.

As for the ATAS-120 antenna.  First, if you must use this antenna be sure to get the 120"A" model. It has a rubber boot that keeps the water out.  The 120 models didn't have this boot and failed because of rain water getting down inside them.

If your goal is to have a good base station setup I'd highly recommend not going with the ATAS-120A antenna at all.  It works, but marginally.  You'd be much better off with a dipole or long wire and an antenna tuner.

Finally, in my opinion, the rig with the biggest-bang-for-your-buck is the Kenwood TS-2000.  It's a decent base radio covering all the bands, and makes a decent satellite radio too.
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