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Author Topic: QUICK & DIRTY CW QUESTION  (Read 5641 times)
KD8GLK
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Posts: 19




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« on: January 06, 2018, 09:58:36 AM »

All this research on getting my CW rig up and running is giving me information overload.   More I read, you need this gadget or that one  etc.. where I am having  information overload.  I'm sure this gadget or that one helps but right now I'm looking to get on the air.

I broke down and bought a used YAESU FT 817.  Course somethings are missing like the manual, original antenna, power supply (which I bought) &  mic. . (lucky I got the radio cheap).  I know the antenna is the most important element of  a CW rig. Here's my dilemma .

I am getting an information overload headache every time I do research on this hobby.
Every article I read it says you need a SWR, Antenna Tuner, Antenna Analyzer.
 I know they are handy and why you need them and eventually I will get an analyzer.
BUT until then, I just want get in the air with a quick and dirty 40M antenna for CW only no TXing  on 5 watts max?
Too do it without having to buy all the electronic toys you may or may not need to tune your antenna because you might fry your rig or  or loss of power wattage . I don't even care if I only get 5 miles out of it at first.   
I know they were dealing with tubes and not printed electronic circuit boards back then but how did the old timers tune their antennas when they didn't have all this fangled electronic "toys" when doing CW ? 

Carl

KD8GLK   


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KE6EE
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Posts: 2007




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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2018, 10:12:33 AM »

I can understand the information overload problem.

I think taking a simple approach to learning will be very useful. Trying to learn everything by cruising the
internet may not be a good way to start learning.

If you can, go to a local ham meeting and get to know someone who can help you out with the
basics. A personal connection will make all the difference. Most hams are more than willing to help
a newcomer. They are likely to have an extra dipole antenna, a key and other simple, usually inexpensive
items to give you or lend to you to help you get started.

Simply understanding the basic functions of an HF ham setup will help you distinguish between what is
important (a simple, effective antenna like a "resonant" dipole, an easy-to-use basic transceiver, a straight key and so forth).
You can download copies of the manuals for most rigs on the internet.

A manual for your rig will help clear things up. A cut-to-proper length dipole for 40M, fed with a piece of coax (any coax, any length) should allow you to get on the air without much of a struggle. If the SWR is too high where you want to operate, you can shorten the antenna until your rig is happy. If you are going to use only 5 watts I doubt whether you can do any harm to your rig even if the SWR is a bit high. Of course operating QRP before you have mastered basic operating technique may not produce quick results. I assume you already have some proficiency with Morse Code.

Thus, installing your dipole so you can easily take it down for adjustment is very useful. Starting out with a relatively long
dipole will make it easier to adjust by trimming rather than by having to add additional wire.

Any of the introductory books on ham radio will be helpful because basic information is likely to be clear and well-organized.
An afternoon at your local public library is likely to be more useful than cruising the internet.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 10:19:33 AM by KE6EE » Logged
K8AXW
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Posts: 6748




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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 10:17:16 AM »

Carl:  Information overload is the one great thing about ham radio!  But since you're presently having a problem with that let me suggest a QUICK AND DIRTY answer for you.

Buy a RESONANT (one that is already made for a specific band) antenna and buy the cheapest SWR meter that you can find that will handle your power level.  Now for the reasons why.

Buy the antenna because if I or anyone suggests an antenna for you to BUILD, you ain't seen information overload yet!

Buy an SWR meter because no mater what you come up with for an antenna you NEED to know if it's working; how good it's matched to the radio and where in the band(s) is it "working good."

I mentioned cheapest because an an SWR meter is an SWR meter.....the more expensive ones just have prettier cases and a few bells and whistles that is no doubt included in your "overload."

This is the minimum gear you will need to KNOW how your gear is performing.

Please stand by for more information overload because of what I just gave you!



« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 10:25:33 AM by K8AXW » Logged

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W1JKA
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Posts: 2100




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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2018, 10:54:24 AM »

I tuned my homebrew Novice xtmr. with a light bulb on the ant. output worked just as well and as much fun as just using my cut to freq. dipoles/hex beam today without any so called tuner/MU or SWR meter.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 10:56:25 AM by W1JKA » Logged
W4KYR
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Posts: 1732




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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2018, 11:09:13 AM »


I broke down and bought a used YAESU FT 817.  Course somethings are missing like the manual, ........

Carl

KD8GLK   




Carl, if you still want the manual, you can find it here

https://www.yaesu.com/downloadFile.cfm?FileID=8032&FileCatID=158&FileName=FT%2D817ND%5FOM%5FENG%5FE13771011.pdf&FileContentType=application%2Fpdf

Or here


http://www.du1gm.dxhams.net/Downloads/Manuals/Yaesu%20FT-817%20users%20manual.pdf



If you want the brochure


https://www.yaesu.com/downloadFile.cfm?FileID=618&FileCatID=154&FileName=FT%2D817.pdf&FileContentType=application%2Fpdf



If anyone needs the manuals in French or Spanish

https://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=102&encProdID=06014CD0AFA0702B25B12AB4DC9C0D27


Good Luck and enjoy the radio
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KD8GLK
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2018, 11:24:07 AM »




http://www.du1gm.dxhams.net/Downloads/Manuals/Yaesu%20FT-817%20users%20manual.pdf


Thank you, W4KYR! 

That was my next quest, was for a manual.
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KD8GLK
Member

Posts: 19




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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2018, 11:51:39 AM »

That's  what began my information overload headache, was researching for the  right antenna  Shocked

 K8AXW
"Buy a RESONANT (one that is already made for a specific band) antenna and buy the cheapest SWR meter that you can find that will handle your power level."

"Buy the cheapest because an SWR meter is an SWR meter.....the more expensive ones just have prettier cases and a few bells and whistles"

This is the "quick & dirty" information I was looking for!  Get past all the clutter & information overload !


Thank you so much K8AXW, KE6EE, W4KYR, W1JKA  for your help and information and advice.  You don't realize how this helps clear the fog.

Now, to have fun.   Smiley

Carl
KD8GLK 

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W4KYR
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Posts: 1732




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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2018, 11:58:14 AM »

Fow what it's worth. DU1GM has a number of manuals including instruction and service manuals, technical supplements as well as a few data sheets


http://www.du1gm.dxhams.net/manuals.htm

click on the name to download, usually a pdf file.

 
ALFASPID Rotator Instruction Manual
Alpha Delta Comms Delta-4 Lightning Surge Protected 4 Way Coax Switch
AOR AR-1000 Wide Range Scanner
C. M. Howes AA2 HF Preamplifier Kit
C. M. Howes CTU30 Antenna Matching Unit Kit
C. M. Howes CVF20 14MHz VFO Module Kit
C. M. Howes MTX20 14MHz CW Transmitter Kit
Cushcraft A3S 20m/15m/10m HF Yagi
Cushcraft A148-10S 10 element 2m Yagi
Daiwa CS-401 Coaxial Switch
Diamond D-130 Discone Antenna
Diamond HM-6 40m-10m Mobile Whip Antenna (pending)
Diamond W-8010 Multiband HF Wire Dipole
Diamond X300A/X300NA 2m/70cm Vertical Antenna
DL4YHF PIC Keyer
Down East Microwave DEM 23ULNA 1.3GHz PHEMT Low Noise Preamplifier
Down East Microwave DEM 50-28K High Dynamic Range 50MHz Transverter Kit
Down East Microwave DEM 70ULNA 432MHz Low Noise Preamplifier
Down East Microwave DEM 144-28DC 144MHz Transverter Kit
Down East Microwave DEM 1296-144CK 1296MHz Transverter Kit
Down East Microwave DEM 2400-144RK 2400MHz Receive Converter Kit
Elecraft K2
Heathkit SB220 Manual
Icom AH4 Auto Tuner Instruction Manual
Icom AH4 Auto Tuner Service Manual
Icom AT130/AT140 Auto Tuner Instruction Manual
Icom AT180 Auto Tuner User Manual
Icom IC-706MK2G Instruction Manual
Icom IC-706MK2G Service Manual
Icom IC-756PRO Service Manual 
Icom IC-756PRO3 Instruction Manual
Icom IC-756PRO3 Service Manual
Icom SM-8 Desk Microphone
Icom SM-12 Desk Microphone (pending)
Icom IC-T22A User Manual
Icom ICT81A Instruction Manual
Icom ICT81A Service Manual
Icom IC-PCR1000 Scanner Instruction Manual
Icom IC-PCR1000 Scanner Service Manual
IDC-136kHz Receiver Kit
Lowe HF150 Receiver Operating Manual
Maplin Superscan Active Antenna
Maplin VHF/UHF preamplifier
MFJ-269 Antenna Analyzer
Microwave Modules MMC50/28 6m to 10m Converter
Microwave Modules MMC144/28 2m to 10m Converter
Nye Viking HF Low Pass Filter
PA├śRDT LF Receive Mini Whip
Remote Imaging Group Rigsat RX2 Kit
TE Systems 6m Amplifier 0552G
Timestep 1691MHz Meteosat GOES Downconverter and Active Feed
Timewave ANC-4 Noise Canceller
WIMO Antennas for 2m and 70cm
WIMO 18092 Antenna Combiner 4 Way 430MHz
WIMO 18045 Antenna Combiner 4 Way 1296MHz
Yaesu FT90R User Manual
Yaesu FT90R Schematic
Yaesu FT736 Instruction Manual
Yaesu FT736 Service Manual
Yaesu FT736 Technical Supplement
Yaesu FT-817 User Manual
Yaesu FT880R User Manual
Yaesu G-5500 Az/El Rotator
Yupiteru MVT9000 Scanner Instruction Manual
 
Datasheets etc
Andrew LDF-450 Connector Installation Instructions
Avantek ATF-10136 GAASFET Datasheet
Avantek MAR-2 Microwave Integrated Circuit Datasheet
Avantek MAR-3 Microwave Integrated Circuit Datasheet
Avantek MAR-6 Microwave Integrated Circuit Datasheet
Hewlett Packard ATF-21186 GAASFET Datasheet
Mitsubishi MGF-1402 GAASFET Datasheet
Radio Amateurs World Atlas
Toyota Revo Owner's Manual
 
 

 

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K0UA
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Posts: 2112




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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2018, 05:48:02 PM »

So why not download the manual for free, and use the built in SWR meter inside the radio to trim your 40 meter dipole?  It doesn't cost much.  Actually it doesn't cost anything.
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N2EY
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Posts: 4709




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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2018, 07:50:18 PM »

If all you want is 40 CW, all you need is a coax-fed 40 meter dipole. You can buy one or make one. 66 feet of wire, center fed with 50 ohm coax. You don't need a balun.

The hard part is getting it up and in the clear, away from metallic objects and the ground.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W7ASA
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Posts: 491




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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2018, 08:16:53 PM »

The FT-817 , a key and matched antenna is all thae you need (power source for the radio is your choice. )

The FT-817 has an SWR meter built-in.  It's not a laboratory instrument, but it's perfectly sufficient to know that your antenna 'close enough' to operate.  I used mine for years, on both the original 817's and the newer ND models - no problem.  

Two examples of good antennas which do not require any antenna tuner: dipoles, or End Fed Half Wave (EFHW); both work well. Select the type that works best depending on the geometry of your set-up.  For an off the shelf, ready to use dipole with 'links' for multiband :

Four Band Dipole:
https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/four-band-portable-dipole-antenna-system-for-20-30-40-80m/

Three Band Dipole :
https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/band-hopper-iii-three-band-linked-dipole/

It's a great 'antenna in a bag that requires less than five minutes for one person to set-up in a flat field with no trees. I've 'always' made my own HF antennas for decades, but when I figured my time and materials costs; this won, so I bought it. It's in my backyard right now...

https://youtu.be/VKVZOHvioIQ

If you do not have trees to erect this antenna, and do not REQUIRE ultralite telescoping poles, this painter's extention pole works VERY well for portable in parks & etc. :
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Mr-LongArm-Pro-Lok-8-4-ft-to-23-2-ft-Telescoping-Threaded-Extension-Pole/4755038


Radio/power source + key + antenna made for your band(s) of operation = HF station on the air.

A simple station & efficient is what I prefer.


de Ray  ..._  ._

Ps. SOTAbeams is a superb company, with excellent products and customer service.  I do not receive compensation for recommending SOTAbeams.co.uk , but will GLADLY consider offers to do so  Smiley Cheesy Grin Wink Cheesy Grin Roll Eyes



 

« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 08:35:36 PM by W7ASA » Logged
K8AXW
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Posts: 6748




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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2018, 09:21:18 PM »

Carl:  I wasn't aware that the 817 had a built in SWR meter.  This simplifies things somewhat.  Good luck and have fun.

For cryin out loud, please don't ask what kind of key to buy!  The answers you receive will give new meaning to the term, "information overload!"
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KD8GLK
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2018, 05:41:06 AM »

Quote W7ASA "The FT-817 has an SWR meter built-in.  It's not a laboratory instrument, but it's perfectly sufficient to know that your antenna 'close enough' to operate.  I used mine for years, on both the original 817's and the newer ND models - no problem.

Quote  K8AXW "Carl:  I wasn't aware that the 817 had a built in SWR meter.  This simplifies things somewhat.  Good luck and have fun."

 Yes, it does have a SWR meter.  When I asked a few hams about it.  They said can't use it to tune an antenna with it  because it measures a different  kind of  impedance  than the SWR you buy separately.  They gave me some  Ham "voodoo mumbo jumbo" for the reasons why, which made no sense to me, Like you said  a SWR meter is a SWR meter.  Being a newbie still, I didn't know any better.  Plus, I couldn't find any information on anyone using their SWR on their radio . Most used the fancy SWR or antenna analyzer

So to use it, I'm thinking as long as you're within a few digital bars when tuning your antenna, you should be okay?!

Carl
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 05:59:36 AM by KD8GLK » Logged
K0UA
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Posts: 2112




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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2018, 10:05:34 AM »

The built in SWR meter in the 817 is just not accurately calibrated, but that doesn't mean you can't use it to prune your 40 meter dipole.   Cut the 40 meter dipole per the low end of the band say use 7.000 mhz in the 468/freq.  formula.  Now put it up and start testing.   Note the number of bars at 7.000 Mhz and the number of bars at 7.300 mhz.  Normally it will be better at the lower 7.000 freq.  Now let the antenna down and start chopping off of each end.  on 40 you can probably get away with chopping about 3 inches off per side.  Another technique to use instead of chopping off is to fold back. So shorten the wire by 3 inches per side by folding back, that way if you go to far you can fix it real quick by letting back out some more wire.

Retest with your built in SWR meter.  compare the results from the low end to the high end of the band. If it is still improving on the low end, keep going with the shortening method as above.  When it starts to rise on the low end and the dip is in the middle of the band or even best at the high end, you have went too far and let some more wire length back out.  You decide where you want to "dip" to be in the band.  If you are going to operate cw mostly then you want it to be near the low end of the band. IF you want to mostly work SSB then the dip should be higher in the band.  In any case you have the tools to figure this out in your hands right now.

If you didn't understand any of this let us know.  There is no shame in saying "I don't understand"  This is how we all learn.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2018, 10:05:53 AM »

Right!  I used to "overthink" things when I got caught up in the solid-state craze until one day I was at my wits end trying to get a solid-state switch to operate when I realized, "Hell, all I need is a little relay here" and it was like a light bub in my head lit up!

So from then on I remembered "KISS."  Keep It Simple Stupid."  Grin
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