Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: My first attempt at a HF QSO.  (Read 2801 times)
KJ4BNF
Member

Posts: 19


WWW

Ignore
« on: August 06, 2008, 08:38:32 PM »

I just got my HF rig set up (Icom IC-7000) and my antenna (MFJ G5RV Jr.) and I've had no luck getting a contact. I believe there are three factors here. Either no one wants to answer my CQ, there was little to no propagation, or something is wrong or not set up right with my station. I  don't think it is my rig or antenna. I have the antenna in an inverted V and the tuner tunes it up fine with low SWR.

Can anyone shed any light on this situation or provide some advice?

Thanks and 73
KJ4BNF
Grant

You can see my rig and antenna on my youtube page by going to the following website:
http://www.youtube.com/kj4bnf
Logged
AB0RE
Member

Posts: 293




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2008, 10:10:20 PM »

Hi Grant,

Sorry to hear you didn't have any luck making a contact yet.  

A couple of suggestions:
- Is there anyway to move your antenna any higher?  With the ends tied off so low your antenna is going to be a bit of a "cloud warmer" - it will radiate a lot of the signal at high angles vs. low angles which are required for further contacts.
- The trees surroundings the antenna will attenuate your signal a bit - anyway to mount the antenna in the clear?
- Get your ladderline further away from your metal mast!  It looks like it runs down your mast in your video which is not a good thing.
- What band were you calling CQ on and at what time?

If you'd like to set up a sked to try to work me please let me know.  My station is pretty miserable but it might just work.  :-)

Best of luck logging your first QSO.  

73,
Dan / ab0re
Logged
AE0Z
Member

Posts: 14


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2008, 11:09:40 AM »

The NCDXF Beacons can help you assess your "ears".

http://www.ncdxf.org/beacons.html

If you can establish via one of the propogation websites that you should be able to hear one or more of these, the schedule tells you exactly where and when to listen, and the variable transmit power can give you an idea of how well your antenna system is functioning.

Better still would be to find a local ham and arrange to be on the air at the same time.  He can tell you who he is hearing and where, and you can verify if you can hear them as well.

It is a rare ham who gets everything set up right the first time!  Keep at it and you can make the best of it.

Logged

Howard AE0Z
1 Peter 4:10
KJ4BNF
Member

Posts: 19


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2008, 04:27:22 PM »

OK I've made some antenna adjustments. I lifted the two ends of the dipole 10-15 feet off the ground as suggested and I moved the ladder line away from the mast as much as possible. How much is the ladder line being close to my mast affecting my signal? If it is hurting it bad I could try to move it away further. I have been trying to call CQ on most of the bands especially 20 and 40 meters. I tried calling in the afternoon, evening, and night.  20 meters seams to be the most active where I am but still no luck.

Thanks for the help,
KJ4BNF
Logged
KJ4BNF
Member

Posts: 19


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2008, 06:03:35 PM »

OK WOW I just made my first contact!  spoke with a very nice gentleman in Pennsylvania and I was getting very good signal reports as high as S7 at times. I have further modified my antenna by moving it into a tree and moving the ladder line away from any metal. The antenna is relatively straight with a slight angle as compared to the extreme inverted V I had earlier. Hopefully this new antenna configuration will provide a good radiation pattern and allow me to get more contacts.

Any advice or tips are still welcomed!!
73's and thanks for all the help. I don't think I would have made this contact without your help! I will post a new youtube video of the current setup for critique.

73 de KJ4BNF
Grant
Logged
AB0RE
Member

Posts: 293




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2008, 08:45:57 PM »

Hi Grant,

Congrats on your first HF QSO!  

Regarding the ladderline... try to keep it at least 6" away from any metal object (not just your metal mast), otherwise it may have interactions withe the metal objects.  Many make standoffs with PVC or wood to accomplish this.  Many hams also suggest making a twist in the ladderline every few feet which is supposed to help keep the line "balanced" and I think it also minimizes wind stress on the ladderline.  

I've never really used the stuff, so I'm no expert.  But I will say this: if you are using an antenna on a frequency the antenna is not resonant on, you are FAR better sticking with your ladderline instead of feeding the antenna with coax.  Coaxial cable gets VERY lossy as SWR gets higher.  Ladderline, in this instance, is a much better choice even though it requires careful routing from the radio to the antenna.

If you really want a LOT of good information on different antenna plans and installations, make it a point to get to a hamfest sometime in the near future, where there are people with boxes (years) of QST Magazines that are free or almost free for the taking.  An ARRL Antenna handbook will give you lots of good information, too.  Even if you get an old Antenna Handbook you'd be good to go - not much changes from year to year.  

73,
Dan / ab0re

Logged
ONAIR
Member

Posts: 1747




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2008, 11:26:25 PM »

The first one can be tough, but it's one you'll always remember!  Just keep at it and try answering some CQs as well!
Logged
N2RRA
Member

Posts: 645


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2008, 02:26:02 AM »

Hello Grant,

   I visited your You Tube site and was pretty cool! The more I check out YouTube videos the more I wanna make one myself so look out for my first.

Ok! I've noticed quite a number of things that are very wrong. For future reference you want to purchase the ARRL Hand Book. It's the Ham Radio operators Bible and it's a must for every new Ham or old to have.

Rule of thumb and bare minimum when installing an Inverted V is that you install the Apex high enough so that the ends of your wires are at least a minimum of 10 feet off ground, but each end measures 45 degrees from center of Apex apart from one another. In other words from the center of your Apex you should measure 45 degrees from center to one wire and 45 degrees from center to the other wire. A total of 90 degrees from one end of the wire to the next. Once you do that you then raise the Apex as high as you can get it with out applying to much tension in the middle of course. This ensures the best possible RF pattern and most gain you can get out of your now omni-directional antenna.

Now typically the recomended height for a 20 meter antenna would be 50 feet which would make the dipole a half wave length dipole. Depending on the band you make the dipole for you should always try to install it at least half wave length above ground. Your Apex should be at least 50 feet off ground and it doesn't look like it is. I know most can't do this and only install it between 20-30 feet, but there's a reason why there are rules. Theres no trying to reinvent the wheel. At these heights the dipoles pattern and effeciency is greatly reduced.

Second! This may not be the best analogy, but when your antenna is covered by so many trees its like installing it in a tunnel. The video seems like your cacooned around trees and what you essentially have is deflection. Trees and leaves contain water and water could be a deflective issue because water is conductive. Yes! Even for R.F. If you take VHF/UHF signals for example which are more sensitive to deflection from trees you will see this often.

Third! With deflection being an issue try not to staple the ladder line to the tree. Ladder Line is not a shielded cable there for any deflection can certainly disrupt your R.F. signal pattern greatly being that the ladder line is acting as part of your antenna and does radiate RF. It's bad enough that your signal pattern is not quite what it should be as an inverted V or a flat top dipole.

You say you use a tuner to control SWR. Your SWR should be generally at least 2:1 on every band more or less with out a tuner, but if your not seeing an exceptable SWR or better at least on 20 meters your antenna is not resonate and if it's not then a tuner is doing nothing more than makeing the radio happy. So if your antenna is not resonate most of your RF signal is getting lost through the tuner and not out the antenna. You need to check if the antenna is at least resonate on 20 meters.

Multiband dipoles are a great bang for the buck but are compromises on the other bands the dipole is not really cut for. In other words if you take a G5RV and radiate it on 40 meters it will not beat a 40 meter monoband dipole. Same for 80 meters! It will not beat a full size resonate dipole at 135 feet. You typically just get a better RF pattern and gain out of a monobander.

That being said I'm not familiar with your QTH, but I would start think about..

A. Installing the dipoles correctly to obtain true RF pattern with most gain.

B. Cutting some trees down around it and replacing them some where else around the property. Which I know wont happen!

c. In the mean time till you get a tower above the trees try a fan dipole. A fan dipole is essentially multiple monobanders using the same feed line. These can be a bit tricky to tune SWR, but are quite effective if you build then correctly. I think you can do it! This will at least allow the possibilty of getting the most gain out of every band which you will need considering what I saw on YouTube.

D. There are other alternatives which will result in an antenna farm and will require to use coax switchs but then you'll never leave the shack cause your having just to much fun. Delta Loops, Moxons, Full Wave Loops, wire beams etc...

Don't let this bring you down! These are some of the challenges that we go through, but to me the challenge is fun all the time.

Good Luck and 73!
Eric
N2RRA
P.S.
  Propagation is playing a big role, but for you not to make more QSO's leaves questions.



Logged
N2RRA
Member

Posts: 645


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2008, 03:41:42 PM »

KEY NOTE ON YOUR IC-7000 IF YOU WANNA BE HEARD. CHANCES THAT YOUR HAVING DIFFICULTING IS BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT MIC SETTINGS. THIS HAPPENS WITH NEW IC-7000 OWNERS, BUT NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.

I HAVE TWO IC-7K'S AND HAVE DONE EXTENSIVE REASERCH ON THE AUDIO WITH DIFFERENT MIC'S AND THE HM-151.

EQ SETTINGS: "SET IT, FORGET IT"

SSB TBW (WIDE): 100 - 2900 KHZ
SSB TBW (MID) : 200 - 2900 KHZ
SSB TBW (NAR) : 300 - 2900 KHZ

THESE EQ SETTINGS ARE NOW USABLE AND THE BEST IT WILL SOUND NO MATTER WHAT MIC YOU SWAP IN.

MIC GAIN:  70-100%
COMP LEVEL : NO MORE THAN A LEVEL 1 OR 2 THE MAX.

THE HIGHER YOU INCREASE THE COMP THE MORE NOTICABLE A HOLLOW TYPE SOUND WILL IN GULF YOUR AUDIO.

SPEAK ABOUT 2" TO THE MIC AND YOUR GOLDEN. BEST SETTING TO BE HEARD WILL BE THE MID RANGE SETTING. YOU WILL GET A BIT OF THE HOLLOW SOUND BUT NOT HAS MUCH AS WITH THE DEFAULT SETTINGS.

PERFORM THE AB5N MIC MOD IF YOUR GOING TO KEEP THE HM-151 HAND MIC OR PURCHASE THE ICOM SM-8 DESK TOP MIC OR THE HEIL IC ELEMENT HEAD SET. THESE ARE THE BEST MIC'S TO USE WITH THE IC-7000.

IF ANYONE HAS ANYONE QUESTIONS PERTAINING TO THESE SUBJECTS FEEL FREE TO GIVE ME A CALL OR TO SET UP A SCHEDULE ON AIR.

73!
ERIC
N2RRA
914-584-3543
Logged
KI4CRA
Member

Posts: 62




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2008, 05:38:15 PM »

Grant,

   I too have a 102' G5RV,up about 33' in an inverted Vee configuration.  It is by no means ideal, and doesn't compare to my Mosley tri band beam up 43' on a 52'  tower, or my 40 meter tuned dipole at 40' on the tower, but I have had this wire up now for about a year now and it works.  The ends are off too, one end is up about 15' whereas the other end is up about 6'.  It has worked for me me when all I had a year ago was 2 wire antennas and a GAP vertical.  Still miss that vertical, great antenna it was, but I digress.  From what I've seen from your you tube videos, it seems like you've got a handle on the situation.  You definitely have to have the ladder line WELL away from anything metal.  Which it looks like you have done.  If ever you would like to set up a sked wire to wire, wire to beam drop me an e mail ai4ho@comcast.net I would be more than happy to have a QSO with you.  Hope to hear you on the bands!  

73 de Mark
AI4HO
Logged
KB1PTH
Member

Posts: 2




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2009, 12:26:56 PM »

Yes Iam am only 12 and had a hard time get that first q in the log> Good job. Hop to here you one the air some day.
Logged
KE5EOT
Member

Posts: 38




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2009, 05:22:59 PM »

You may have the mic turned down too low, that will limit the output power on sideband. However, the most important part of any installation is the antenna and the ground. Make sure your rig is well grounded. Run braid from your radio to a ground rod at least 4 feet in the ground. An 8 foot rod is better, but 4 will do if you have large rocks in the ground. The better your ground, the lower the radiation pattern. A poor ground will cause the RF to radiate up more than out. Look up "cloud burner" in google for more details. Also, try to get a resonant antenna. A simple resonant dipole will work better than the G5RV through a tuner. The tuner will make it match, but it has to be resonant to radiate well. Lastly, congratulations on your first contact, it's a really great thrill and you'll recapture it over and over again with different equipment and in different modes and conditions.
Logged
K9FON
Member

Posts: 1012




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2009, 09:16:37 PM »

I will be more than happy to have a QSO with you!
You can find me on 7.255 or 7.251 thereabouts. I listen to midcars on 7.258 in the Am as well.
Logged
KB3SJQ
Member

Posts: 4




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2009, 01:47:16 PM »

Hi Grant,
if you want max efficiency on the G5RV, and if you are using it as an inverted V,you should keep the radiating wires at a 45 degree angle.
73s
hope it helps!

kb3sjq
Logged
KB3SJQ
Member

Posts: 4




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2009, 01:48:21 PM »

Hi Grant,
if you want max efficiency on the G5RV, and if you are using it as an inverted V,you should keep the radiating wires at a 45 degree angle.
73s
hope it helps!

kb3sjq
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!