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eHam Forums => Elmers => Topic started by: KD2CJJ on July 07, 2012, 03:57:46 AM



Title: What would you do?
Post by: KD2CJJ on July 07, 2012, 03:57:46 AM
Hi I recently got my general ticket and shopping for a rig.  I love in the metro suburbs of NYC with high power lines almost a stone throw away..  I settled on a dipole for this reason.  Now for a rig... I have settled on two units- either a new kenwood 590 or used yaesu ft 950.  They are about 500 a part in price.  I want to save the cash but also like to buy once.  What your thoughts?


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: KA4POL on July 07, 2012, 04:23:59 AM
10 answers and 100 opinions will possibly be the result  ;D

When comparing the ARRL test results the Kenwood is the winner.


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: W9KDX on July 07, 2012, 06:08:49 AM
I was very pleased with the FT-950 I had for a year.  Other than the noise reduction which was confusing and hard to adjust because it was in the menus, it did a good job for me.



Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: VA7CPC on July 07, 2012, 07:30:38 AM
Hi I recently got my general ticket and shopping for a rig.  I love in the metro suburbs of NYC with high power lines almost a stone throw away..  I settled on a dipole for this reason.  Now for a rig... I have settled on two units- either a new kenwood 590 or used yaesu ft 950.  They are about 500 a part in price.  I want to save the cash but also like to buy once.  What your thoughts?

. . . Why a dipole?

. . . How far is a "stone's throw" ?

If you have a lot of powerline noise, that noise may limit whom you can, and can't, hear.   I know the Kenwood supports very narrow filters (50 - 100 Hz), which may let you work PSK31 and other narrow digital modes, "under the noise".  I'm not sure how narrow the filters go in the FT-950.

If there's a local club, I have a suggestion:

1.  Put up your antenna;

2.  Have someone come over with a rig (or borrow a rig), and see how bad the noise is.

You might have to operate "portable" or "mobile" to get away from the powerlines.  Neither of your two choices (which are both good base rigs) was designed to be comfortable in a car or on a picnic table.

             Charles


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: G3TXQ on July 07, 2012, 08:54:10 AM
Hi I recently got my general ticket and shopping for a rig.  I love in the metro suburbs of NYC with high power lines almost a stone throw away..  I settled on a dipole for this reason.  Now for a rig... I have settled on two units- either a new kenwood 590 or used yaesu ft 950.  They are about 500 a part in price.  I want to save the cash but also like to buy once.  What your thoughts?
My advice is this: be very careful how you love if you're very close to high power lines :)

73,
Steve G3TXQ


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: KD2CJJ on July 07, 2012, 10:45:39 AM
The reason why I have hesitated with the 950 is mainly because of the high power lines.   I am probably no more than a few hundred yards from the multi thousand volt lines.  I understand the kenwood employs the most sophisticated noise canceling technology but comes at a cost.  I went with the dipole over a verticle due to the nature of high noise with the verticle.  I ended up getting an alpha delta dxee.  I have everything ready for a rig but torn between the kenwood and yaesu.  I like the cost of a used yaesu or icom 756 pro ii.  I guess I'm looking for the advice if whether or not the price increase for the kenwood would be justified based on noise concern I have.  I know there is noise because i can hear the noise by tuning to commercial AM stations.  Not all stations and not at my home but if I drive up the block or around the block I get the noise.

Thanks for the adivce!


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: N4CR on July 07, 2012, 10:57:34 AM
Very few rigs will make a significant difference in the power line noise. That noise IS rf. It's going to travel through the two rigs in a very similar manner. It's not something that's subject to filtering in any meaningful way.

MFJ sells a device that can cancel noise and it requires a second sense antenna that is designed to hear the noise better than your main RX antenna. The MFJ 1025 is the device and against power line noise it's a combat veteran when used with an appropriate sense antenna.

I have power line noise here. The MFJ unit is the only thing I've found that makes a significant difference. And it's like night and day with the ability to completely cancel out the power line noise and reveal signals that just plain weren't there without it.

So your first stop is to stop thinking that any rig can filter out broad band interference that happens to also cross the frequency that you are trying to hear. Because they can't.


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: KD2CJJ on July 07, 2012, 11:15:41 AM
N4CR so what I am hearing is that the extra expense may not be worth it based on my concern? I guess if I can get a 950 at the right price I may pull the trigger.  What about the Icom 956 PRO II in comparison with the 950 - better, worse  or the same ?                           


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: N6AJR on July 07, 2012, 11:24:25 AM
 for 30, 40, 80 and 160 m you might try a Pixel technologies model RF PRO-1A magnetic loop  ( www.HighGainStore.com ) for their amazing antenna. it is a  magnetic loop antenna , for about $400 . Mag loops use the H field as opposed to the E field for yagies.  this is a recieve only antenna, comes with a preamp, easy to install and works great on noise.  on the higher bands, like 10/15/20 you might look at a small beam like the MA5B where you can put the wors of the noise off the side of the beam and lower noise that way.  good luck and have fun.


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: AC6IJ on July 07, 2012, 11:43:32 AM
Hi Mike, Why don't you make a magnetic loop antenna? There are lots of ideas you can get if you google them. I have made lots of them and have had very good luck with them. My best one was to India and he was using one too.  Lots of fun making them and they are very quiet. I have lots of pictures of the ones I have made that I can send you. Bill
   ac6ij@hotmail.com


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: N4CR on July 07, 2012, 01:39:07 PM
N4CR so what I am hearing is that the extra expense may not be worth it based on my concern? I guess if I can get a 950 at the right price I may pull the trigger.  What about the Icom 956 PRO II in comparison with the 950 - better, worse  or the same ?                           

Since every rig can put out a similar 100W signal, you'll find the rubber hits the road in two other areas. First is RX performance and second is ergonomics. Or maybe the other way around.

The RX difference between these rigs isn't found in everyday operating. The more expensive rigs have better close frequency rejection so in contesting you don't get hammered by a big gun a few kilohertz away. Cheaper receivers will deal with that situation poorly. Another situation where you might benefit from the better rx in a day to day situation is if you have another QRO ham living near you.

In day to day use(non contesting), all of them are about the same especially in a high noise area. Find the one that the ergonomics feels good. That's something you'll have to deal with every time you sit down in front of the rig.

This may mean that you have to visit places where you can try different rigs out, such as members of your local ham club or if you live near one, the local candy store. Generally speaking the button and knob count being higher means more controls are presented to you without digging through a bunch of computer menus.


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: KD4LLA on July 09, 2012, 10:11:15 PM
What your thoughts?

Find someone who owns one, the other, or owns both and listen...  YOU are the end user in this case.

Mike


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: VA7CPC on July 09, 2012, 10:28:55 PM
The reason why I have hesitated with the 950 is mainly because of the high power lines.   I am probably no more than a few hundred yards from the multi thousand volt lines.  I understand the kenwood employs the most sophisticated noise canceling technology but comes at a cost.  I went with the dipole over a verticle due to the nature of high noise with the verticle.  I ended up getting an alpha delta dxee.  I have everything ready for a rig but torn between the kenwood and yaesu.  I like the cost of a used yaesu or icom 756 pro ii.  I guess I'm looking for the advice if whether or not the price increase for the kenwood would be justified based on noise concern I have.  I know there is noise because i can hear the noise by tuning to commercial AM stations.  Not all stations and not at my home but if I drive up the block or around the block I get the noise.

Thanks for the adivce!

If the noise level changes a lot when you drive around the block, that doesn't sound like power-line noise to me.

You'd learn a lot by borrowing a receiver and connecting it to your antenna.  Or get an AM broadcast-band receiver, and listen to the noise _between channels_, or on a very weak (distant) broadcast station.

Previous comment is on the money -- it's hard to filter-out powerline noise. 

           Charles


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: N4NYY on July 10, 2012, 06:06:48 AM
I have the 950, which is a superb rig for the money. Likely best in class for $1,400.

What I would do is get a ham to try it at your QTH. If the power lines kill your receive, then no reason spending extra bucks on the 590.


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: KD0REQ on July 10, 2012, 10:05:04 AM
any ham club buddies who would bring their rigs over and test in your shack should earn a handshake and supper in my opinion.  you might get lucky and have good insulators on that high tension line, or you might be really in the soup and be surrounded with plasma TV sets, the worst noisemakers short of a side-scatter military radar next door.


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: WB2WIK on July 10, 2012, 11:20:22 AM
I've had pretty good luck with HT lines, unless I'm mobile and right under them (within a few hundred feet).

The big substation lines running only 1/2 mile or so from me don't generate any noise I can hear on anything.  I've had much more noise from local sodium vapor lamps, fish tank heaters, plasma TVs and other homeowner stuff.


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: NY4FD on July 13, 2012, 05:36:49 PM
Try a mag loop, they have very narrow bandwidth and act like a filter. A bit pricey but compared to a dipole hear way better and talk almost as well.


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: KZ1X on July 13, 2012, 07:38:14 PM
Mike

I looked you up and found your neighborhood on Google Maps.  I'm not unfamiliar with the area. 

IMHO you might or might not have a noise problem from those high tension power lines to the north of you, but you're GOING to have noise sources called homes from all around you, plus your own house, much closer.

LOTS of hams live in WAY more urbanized areas than you do and have NO problem operating.  It's all about the antennas.  Yes, some rigs may have noise performance differences from others, but ...

What's your antenna budget?  What are you willing / able to put up?

Hams helping other hams tiptoe around that question, trying to be politically correct, but really it's THE determinant factor in much of your radio hobby.  With skill and experience, a seasoned ham can make a couple of old pieces of wire sing a symphony, but the new guy with a low sloper gets the WAN award (worked all neighbors).

See if you can find a rig that has a separate RX input.

Just some random thoughts.

73 gl es welcome 

Steve


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: AD6KA on July 14, 2012, 05:56:01 PM
Quote
Hi I recently got my general ticket and shopping for a rig.
What would you do?
Buy the less expensive rig.
Buy and read antenna books. Most any year,
the theory doesn't change.
Use the balance of that "rig money" to start
an "Antenna Fund".

Get the dipole up for now and get on the air.
Concentrate on learning good operating skills.
This is just practice and lots of QSO's.
Learn CW.

Remember, a really good operator with mediocre gear
will do MUCH better than and a mediocre operator
with excellent gear.

Good Luck es 73, Ken  AD6KA


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: VE3FMC on July 15, 2012, 04:18:30 PM
The reason why I have hesitated with the 950 is mainly because of the high power lines.   I am probably no more than a few hundred yards from the multi thousand volt lines.  I understand the kenwood employs the most sophisticated noise canceling technology but comes at a cost.  I went with the dipole over a verticle due to the nature of high noise with the verticle.  I ended up getting an alpha delta dxee.  I have everything ready for a rig but torn between the kenwood and yaesu.  I like the cost of a used yaesu or icom 756 pro ii.  I guess I'm looking for the advice if whether or not the price increase for the kenwood would be justified based on noise concern I have.  I know there is noise because i can hear the noise by tuning to commercial AM stations.  Not all stations and not at my home but if I drive up the block or around the block I get the noise.

Thanks for the adivce!

I have 27,500 volt lines about 15 feet above one end of my 80 meter dipole. At the back of the lot I have 4,500 volt lines about 15 feet above the other leg of the 80 meter dipole.

I own and have operated a FT-950 for the past two years. I actually do not get any noise off those power lines in front and back of my house. I do get some line noise from some lines that are across the street and run between the back to back lots there.

Not too many noise blankers will help you with line noise. Oh sure they will help a little but don't hold your breath.

The Noise Reduction in the FT-950 will help some what, if you know how to properly adjust it.

Your best bet is to add a noise cancelling unit to your station if you find the noise is that bad. Have you actually had a radio hooked up to your dipole to see if you have the noise or are you just figuring you will have it.

I find that high power lines are usually maintained well, it is the lower voltage lines that have bad grounds, cracked insulators etc.

I can vouch for the FT-950, I like it. Otherwise it would not still be in my shack.


Title: RE: What would you do?
Post by: KD2CJJ on July 16, 2012, 08:31:57 AM
Thanks for the feedback - Im still torn between units - now I may want something smaller in footprint like a IC7000.

I have read through the antenna book and understand the PROs and Cons of just about all the various options (seems to be a default response on these forums when questions are asked).  I have settled on a dipole in an inverted V for now - later on maybe a mini beam or Mag Loop or Hex Beam (best and most expensive option).  I love the Mag loop concept actually from what I have read so far... small, compact, low ground loss, NVIS.. etc.  I know it has its challenges with bandwidth but I believe I can deal with that...   I  dont see any verticals in my near future but its all up in the air until I get on the air...     

One of my buddies will loan me a SB104 - That should be a good test with my simple dipole - and should dictate how much of a unit I need to block out any noise and what future antenna will or will not work.