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Author Topic: Do you use any homebrewed gear for DX-ing  (Read 2307 times)
KY6R
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« on: April 07, 2013, 08:58:37 AM »

Yes. Many antennas. Ones that my ex wife hated and my new wife says are invisible and that she likes a man who can build stuff and fix stuff.

(The only issue is priority. Build antenna, or fix drip irrigation first? Ugg confused.)

And who will be with me at Visalia even!
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 09:36:00 AM by KY6R » Logged
VK3HJ
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Posts: 704




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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2013, 10:08:54 AM »

Yes, most of my station.
All my antennas, Hex Beam, Bobtail Curtain and Half Square and their matching units, doublet antenna and its feedline and link coupler, 160 m vertical and its matching network, 4-way EWE and control and switching. Antenna switching using relays, and a similar unit to select transceivers. OpenHPSDR transceiver. Various kits, including K1EL keyer, PIC-based LC meter and antenna analyser.
I have an HF PA project out in the shed, that I really must complete one day too.
73,
Luke VK3HJ
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KB3LIX
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2013, 10:13:39 AM »

Yes,
My doublet is homemade except for the ladderline.
Even the center support/insulator is PVC pipe
cluged together.

This doesn't really count, but
my computer interface cable is homemade too.
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N3QE
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Posts: 2426




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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2013, 11:12:28 AM »

I've done a little bit of DX'ing on 30M and 40M with a completely homebrew direct conversion receiver (KK7B inspired) and a homebrew CW transmitter that is just a little bit above QRP level. I have a good enough 40M antenna at my QTH that I get spotted in EU even when running at QRP levels.

While my rig and amp are not homebrew... All my station accessories (PS, antenna switching, T/R ant switching, tuner, SWR meter, bandpass filters) are homebrew. Including e.g. station automation interfaces with the computer.

The thought of a "homebrew antenna" seems, that homebrew qualifier seems unnecessary. Of course I make my own antennas, insulators, and ladder line, using stuff found at any hardware store. Doesn't everyone make their own wire antennas and feedlines? I mean, yeah, there are adds for wire antennas in the ham magazines, but nobody buys them, everyone rolls their own because all the parts are already at the hardware store.

Plumbing-wise, I did build my own tennis ball cannon for putting antennas in trees (again, all hardware store stuff.)
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AD9DX
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Posts: 1519




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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2013, 11:33:20 AM »

All of my antennas except my 40m vertical.  My next prokect is to build a Moxon for 10m.  I have a feeling that this summer is going to be great for 10m.  You can quote me on that one!!!
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
AF3Y
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Posts: 3881




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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2013, 11:37:15 AM »

Back when I enough space to do it, I built several Delta loop antennas.  They are so simple, even a caveman (or Vince) could do it. hi hi

73, Gene AF3Y

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N2RJ
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2013, 12:14:17 PM »

When I think "homebrew gear" I don't normally think antennas. But my inverted vee and inverted L are "homebrew."

Anyway I use a SoftRock transceiver kit from time to time. And yes, I know some people don't consider kits to be true homebrew...
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KY6R
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2013, 12:25:38 PM »

When I think "homebrew gear" I don't normally think antennas. But my inverted vee and inverted L are "homebrew."

Anyway I use a SoftRock transceiver kit from time to time. And yes, I know some people don't consider kits to be true homebrew...

In todays day and age, using a soldering iron, wire cutters, etc is homebrew. You didn't just go to the candy store and get the dipole in a bag.

And then hire someone to put it up.

Using EZNec and figuring out the taper schedule for 2 and 3 element yagis is most Definately homebrewing.
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N2RJ
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2013, 01:33:40 PM »


In todays day and age, using a soldering iron, wire cutters, etc is homebrew. You didn't just go to the candy store and get the dipole in a bag.

And then hire someone to put it up.

Using EZNec and figuring out the taper schedule for 2 and 3 element yagis is most Definately homebrewing.

Well, I think every DXer is using "homebrew" gear, because every DXer I know is using at least one home built antenna.

Speaking of dipoles and the candy store, some people absolutely do go to the candy store and buy dipoles. I think some of them retail for over $100. Shocked
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N2RJ
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2013, 01:37:00 PM »

Speaking of which:

http://hamcall.net/7bandocf.html

Yikes, $500 for an OCF dipole!!! I think I'd rather buy a used tri-band beam for that price.
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K6UJ
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Posts: 345




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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2013, 02:59:31 PM »

QRO antenna tuner using vac variables.  Low band wire antennas.
Elecraft K3 built from a kit, does that count ?  Electronic keyer. 
Made several HF amps in the past, sold them, rack mounted and took up too much room.  Now using an Alpha 76PA I converted to QSK with vacuum relays and upgraded to 2 - 3CPX800A7's.  70 amp, 5 to 18 volt power supply for the shack, spent so much for the XFMR and all the parts I could have bought an  Astron cheaper, hihihi


Bob
K6UJ

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AD9DX
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Posts: 1519




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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2013, 03:49:38 PM »

Speaking of which:

http://hamcall.net/7bandocf.html

Yikes, $500 for an OCF dipole!!! I think I'd rather buy a used tri-band beam for that price.

THat is essentially the antenna I put up when I got active again.  The only difference is that I bought a balun $75 and "borrowed" some stranded 14g wire from my wife's grandpa.  The entire thing cost me less than $100.  What do they say about a fool and his money?
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
W1JKA
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2013, 04:38:05 PM »

Antennas,Yes all Homebrewed wires, hex beams,mast,chokes,baluns and switches.

Radios,homebrewed and kit.Tuners, c.w filters and side swiper key all homebrew.

Rather spend my money on good coin detectors.
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AF5CC
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Posts: 1018




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« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2013, 07:34:51 PM »

Yes, I homebrewed my dipole, which is currently be used for all HF bands and 160 meters.  I also homebrewed the computer to rig interface I use for the digital modes-worked 5W0M on 12m RTTY tonight with it. Still need 5W confirmed on RTTY since I only worked my first 5W on RTTY a few months ago (5W1SA).  It isn't much of an interface-a couple of cables that were laying around the shack that I soldered together, but I didn't burn myself and it actually worked!  Doesn't get much better than that!

73 John AF5CC
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VK3HJ
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Posts: 704




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« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2013, 07:42:41 PM »

Yes, commercially-made dipole and "G5RV" antennas sold for hundreds of dollars baffle me too.
I expect most of us participating here have been around for a while, and many have a professional technical background. The electronics and technical principles of what we use are reasonably familiar.
I suppose there have always been less technically-involved hams who just want to buy an off the shelf solution, and get on air, and not care too much about how it all works after passing the licensing exams. As long as they are having fun, are on air, and operating in a responsible manner, good luck to them!
There's another group of hams who are hard-core experimenters and are always designing, building and testing gear, and actually spend very little time on air. They are having fun in the hobby too!
Kits are fun, with all the procurement done for you, (mostly) very good clear instructions, and quality parts. Procuring electronic components is different here nowadays. I have to drive for an hour to visit the nearest proper electronics (components) shop, but online ordering is pretty easy now, with component data, comparisons, and delivery pretty slick. Not the same as browsing a retail shop, and picking up ideas from what you can pick up and look at in your hand. It's a bit like the old days when one could wander into a saddlery, and see, feel, and smell, the saddles, harness and other horse accoutrements, and lose an hour or two chatting with the saddler and other customers. Now a "saddlery" is a bit like a department store, with more clothing and fashion lines for "horsey" people, than stuff for their horses!
I still get a kick from operating my little station here and communicating with another ham near or far with lots of bits and pieces that I assembled with my own hands. And being able to repair or modify it when necessary to keep enjoying the hobby. I love the smell of solder flux smoke. Someone will probably tell me now that lead will cause me neurological damage and the smoke is carcinogenic.
Now I'm going out for a ride. It's a beautiful Autumn day.
QRV on Top Band tonight.
73,
Luke VK3HJ
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