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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: Suggestions and or comments  (Read 6294 times)

Posts: 98

« on: June 21, 2016, 07:56:08 AM »


I am (still) refining my QTH, however, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. (Not including antennas.)

I am currently (no pun intended) using an Icom IC-720 (yes, with the clunky rotary stepper); an Icom R-70; an Icom R-7072 interface unit to be able to use the IC-720 with the R-70 as a set of "twins" in order to work split; and a home built tuner. As a backup, I use an Icom IC-735 along with a matching 100 Watt auto-tuner.

I cannot justify an amplifier as my wife and I are raising our grand kids, so I only run barefoot into a Hustler 4BTV and operate mostly on 20 and 40 meters. I am researching building a phase steerable 7-Hex array using home-made 20 meter quarter wave verticals made out of rigid conduit, but that will take some time as the most important thing with those monsters is building a "perfect" ground plane.

Any way, I am looking for suggestions on my QTH, what I should be on the lookout for. I love the IC-720 and R-70, so I do not really want a new radio (believe it or not). The reason for the steerable vertical array is that I do not want the liability of a tower and all of the hassle that a tower involves, yet I want some directional control of my signal.

Any suggestions, thoughts or comments are most appreciated.




Posts: 1808


« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 02:21:11 PM »

Any way, I am looking for suggestions on my QTH, what I should be on the lookout for.

With due respect Joe, that is about as vague of a question as I can imagine!
Help us out.
Give us a clue.
Why are you looking for suggestions?
What is it about your current station that you don't like?
What capabilities are you looking for that you currently do not have?
And most importantly, what kind of budget do you have in mind?

Posts: 576

« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 02:45:42 PM »

I'm still working on how 'I am currently' can be mistaken as humor.

Posts: 98

« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2016, 03:19:33 PM »

Well, my biggest need is gain. I do not have thousands to spend on an amplifier, so I need to improve my antenna set up. The Hustler BTV-4 is over a nice ground plane, fed with low loss coax.

Would love to hear from those who have experimented or built phased vertical arrays.

Also need to work on the audio quality of my transmitted signal. Any suggestions on a pre transceiver audio processor? I am using an SM-8 mic (Icom).

Sorry for the vague post...


Posts: 496


« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2016, 12:19:33 AM »

 :)Hi Joe,
Best bang for your buck would be simple dipoles or something like a G5RV.
Verticals are not so efficient unless you have loads of radials or excellent soil.

Re. IC-720, I have restored two of them-the RX is incredibly good and selective.
The preamps were blown, so I installed 2SJ310's, and had to reduce the preamp gain.
As you pointed out, the internal processor is not that great as it makes it very restricted.

An external processor could work, I recall a unit that was made for the FT-847. Tokyo HP also made one, or you could build a RF speech processor.
Alternately buy a processor mic.
Just be aware that these old icoms feed DC out on the audio lead, and the return on the same lead is MIC. audio.
So normally a blocking cap is needed if you interface external circuitry.

Also take note the IC-720 works split no problem-you set it up using the SIMPLEX / DUPLEX switch--press this button in to work split.

73 de William
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 02:39:07 AM by ZS5WC » Logged

Posts: 241

« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2016, 08:32:35 AM »


Your setup sounds fine. No need for an amplifier. Nice to have but time spent finding an antenna that works for you is more important. I have a vertical but not overly impressed. My end fed always outperforms it. Antennas are the fun part of the hobby. So many different designs and most can be built from scratch. Experiment. That's where the fun is.

Good luck.


Posts: 474


« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 03:09:25 AM »

:)Hi Joe,
Best bang for your buck would be simple dipoles or something like a G5RV.
Verticals are not so efficient unless you have loads of radials or excellent soil.

This is good advice.

I have a low dipole for 40m, its about 25 ft high.

Even so, it out performs or is on par with my full sized 1/4 wave vertical 95% of the time.  Only once have I been able to not hear a station properly on the dipole that I could on the vertical, and that was just because the dipole is closer to the house and more susceptible to noise.

The fact of the matter is for 20M and above, nothing beats a tower and a beam.  Not only does a beam give you forward gain, it also gives you QRN/QRM killing nulls on the sides and especially the back.

That said, the fact of the matter is also that with a vertical or a dipole & 100 watts, you will easily get your DXCC in a year if that's your goal.  Local communication such as ragchewing will likely be best with a relatively low dipole as well - a beam won't help much here.

For 40M & below, most Hams use phased verticals or dipoles, but this is more out of necessity than choice. 

Lastly, don't put too much faith in the whole 'low radiation angle' argument when it comes to a vertical vs a low dipole.  Even though the low dipole will have a higher take off angle, it is unlikely that it will be down more than 10dB at useful angles.  In other words, it will be within 2dB of a vertical on perfect ground (which none ever are), or about even with a vertical on average ground and 4-8 radials.  BUT, it will work a lot better for local contacts...

My advice?  Enjoy the hobby with what you've got.  Play around with cheap home brew antennas such as dipoles, fan dipoles, verticals etc.  Find out if you like rag chewing or DXing more.  If you like rag chewing most, save for an amplifier.  If you like DXing, save for a tower and beam first.  With 100 watts and some home brew antennas, you will easily get enough out of the hobby to decide what is next, when the time is right.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 03:13:45 AM by VK3BL » Logged

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