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Author Topic: Getting ready to be on HF  (Read 3344 times)
KE7DJQ
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« on: May 11, 2012, 09:15:40 PM »

I've had a General class license since 2005 but, except for Field Day, only used 2M/70 cm.  Now I have a used, but good YAESU FT-757GX and am trying to figure out antennas, grounds, lightning protection, wire feed into the house, and all the other stuff necessary for a simple, yet decent station.  

I also have the MFJ 949E tuner to go along with everything.

If anyone has any suggestions, I would appreciate them.

I don't have restrictions and have a good sized lot.  The station will need to be on the second floor of my house because the garage is too cold in winter.  I'm temporarily unemployed, so actually, the only restriction right now is $$, but I really want at least one antenna.  I'm trying to read up on all this stuff so I don't have surprises.

I have a couple of good sized trees.  Here's a link to a drawing of my lot:  

House and lot
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 08:32:45 PM by KE7DJQ » Logged
NI0Z
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2012, 06:17:26 AM »

This is in no way expert advice, but a starting point for doing something on the cheap.

Wire antenna, something like a G5RV can usually be had for little, especially if you find one at a hamfest or being sold locally by someone in a club.  If you buy one new commercially made your looking at about $50-100 depending on what bands you get and who makes it.  I think you can make your own for about $15.  You can ha g it from the trees as an inverted V or if you can manage to get it horizontal even better.  I have a 40-10 in my trees as an inverted V and pick up people all over the world. 

Grounding, if you can run the cable in by your water main, you could ground there on the cheap.  Not saying this is ideal, but it works Ian's it's what I am doing today.  They make little lighting protection arrestors that run anywhere from 5$ used at a ham fest to $70 bucks depending on what you buy.

You can use a 1 inch bit to drill your hole into the side of the house, and use sealant and or a rubber grommet for your connection to the house. 

You'll probably want a tuner for the antenna as well.  Looking for a used one will help trim cost.

Hope this helps!



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AC4RD
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 10:32:27 AM »

Brad, wire antennas are cheap and easy; you can often make them with stuff you already have on hand.  Second floor is no real problem--use a balanced antenna and you'll minimize the risk of RF problems.  A simple dipole for a couple of bands, or a tuner and a doublet fed with twinlead, and you'll be able to work the world!  If you have a local ham club, invite a few of the guys over to help you plan an antenna or two, and you'll be on the air the same afternoon!  :-)  If you don't have some Elmers handy, cut two pieces of wire around 33 feet each, feed it with a chunk of cheap coaxial cable, get the whole thing up as high as you can, and start having fun on 40 meters!

You'll have a world of fun doing this--and building wire antennas is WAY more fun than paying for them!  73 GL!    --ken ac4rd
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NA4IT
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2012, 11:12:29 AM »

A good "all band" antenna can be done with a wire dipole or inverted V fed with ladder line. 130 feet end to end will get you 10-80M. You will need a tuner equipped with a balun, or a 4:1 balun and short coax to go to some other type of tuner (or the built in tuner on your rig, if equipped).

There is a antenna book you might want to download (free!) at http://www.hamuniverse.com/n4jaantennabook.html. There is a link to the pdf file if the book on that page. It is a good reference, with lots of ideas, and drawings.
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KE7DJQ
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2012, 12:49:00 PM »

Thanks.  I got that pdf file from Ham Universe and will be reading it today.  I'm also picking up some books this week.  Older editions of the ARRL Radio Handbook and Antenna Book.

I do want to build my own dipole though.  I was going to get some regular electrical wire, but now I think I want some copper weld instead.
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WX7G
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2012, 04:12:58 PM »

A 100' dipole fed with 300 ohm TV line to an MFJ-901 tuner and you're on the air. I like the ARRL handbook style wooden A-frame masts. I've built many and 1 x 2's are good to 30' feet, which is high enough to start.
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KE7DJQ
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 09:47:56 AM »

I have a 2007 edition of the ARRL Handbook, but can't find the A-frame mast you mentioned. 

I do have some 10ft railroad ties and some sections of 1 1/2 steel fence rail that are 20 ft long.  I was thinking of setting them in the ground about 2 feet down and attaching 30 ft of fence rail to each one with eye bolts on the top so I can raise and lower the wire with ropes.
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W8JX
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 10:34:22 AM »

I have a 2007 edition of the ARRL Handbook, but can't find the A-frame mast you mentioned.  

I do have some 10ft railroad ties and some sections of 1 1/2 steel fence rail that are 20 ft long.  I was thinking of setting them in the ground about 2 feet down and attaching 30 ft of fence rail to each one with eye bolts on the top so I can raise and lower the wire with ropes.

If you are referring to putting railroad ties in ground to secure mast, you better do at least 3 foot and 4 foot bury would be better.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 10:37:10 AM by W8JX » Logged

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