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Author Topic: newbie help  (Read 5448 times)
HAMNEWBIE12
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Posts: 16




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« on: March 26, 2012, 10:17:11 AM »

hi all. Im fairly new to amateur radio. I've had my licence about a year or so but i havent really had the chance to make very many contacts. At first i had a hybrid kenwood and just a long piece of wire for 20 meters and that worked alright but then i had to move and i sold that rig. So now i have ft100d and i bought a vertical hvt-400b vertical and an mfj antenna tunner but i cant seem to get anything to work. I was hoping someone might be able to help me out, for all i know the yaesu isnt even transmitting right. Thanks
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KA4POL
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Posts: 1957




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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 10:23:59 AM »

It is very difficult to help you by just writing here. Try to locate some hams in your area. They can see what is going on and what your problems might be.
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KJ4FUU
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Posts: 162




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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 10:26:30 AM »

A few questions:

1.) Do you have a wattmeter to see if the FT100D is putting out any power?

2.) What sort of ground plane/radials are you using with the HVT-400B?

3.) What power level are you using on the FT100D?

4.) Are you operating inside the house or outside? If inside, is this a newer house/condo?

New houses/condos use a lot of metal and seem to act like Faraday cages.

73,

-- Tom
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HAMNEWBIE12
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 10:58:10 AM »

Yea I was hoping to find an elmer in the atlanta area, its been kinda difficult. In response to the questions, I am setting up the antenna on the balcony of a first story apartment building. In terms of radials I am using 4the pieces of 10 feet wire hooked up to the shield side of the coax cable. I have an mfj 945e which has the wattmeter and it seems to show about 50 watts when I put out 100 but that might be because the tuner has the option of chosing between 30 and 300 watts. My biggest concern is not hearing very much activity when im sure I should be hearing a pretty busy band. If I had an antenna system that I knew was reliable I could probably test it out but sadly I don't.
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KG4RUL
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Posts: 2703


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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2012, 11:21:34 AM »

Here are some clubs in the Atlanta area:

Atlanta Radio Club
City:
Atlanta, GA
Call Sign:
W4DOC
Specialties:
Digital Modes, DX, General Interest, Public Service/Emergency, Repeaters, VHF/UHF
Services Offered:
Club Newsletter, Hamfest, License Test Sessions, On-The-Air Bulletins, Repeater
Section:
GA
Links:
http://www.w4doc.org, http://www.w4doc.org


Georgia Tech Radio Club
City:
Atlanta, GA
Call Sign:
W4AQL
Specialties:
Contest, Digital Modes, DX, General Interest, Public Service/Emergency, Repeaters, VHF/UHF
Services Offered:
License Test Sessions, Repeater
Section:
GA
Links:
http://www.w4aql.org/


FAYETTE COUNTY AMATEUR RADIO CLUB, INC.
City:
Peachtree City, GA
Call Sign:
KK4GQ
Specialties:
General Interest, Public Service/Emergency, Repeaters, VHF/UHF
Services Offered:
Club Newsletter, License Test Sessions, On-The-Air Bulletins, Repeater
Section:
GA
Links:
www.kk4gq.org
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HAMNEWBIE12
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2012, 11:43:58 AM »

Are there any regional / state forums on here?
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2370




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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2012, 08:50:44 PM »

You're not the first person in your situation.   The advice from people (including me) has been pretty consistent:

. . . Find somebody local to come over and figure out what's wrong.

The Internet is a great place for questions like:

. . . The XYZ knob on my Veeblefetzer isn't working the way I expect.   What could be wrong?

But the kind of de-bugging you may need is much better done by somebody who can _see_ and _hear_ what you have, and play with it on the spot.

Contact the clubs first.  If that's impossible, the Internet is a very-second-best alternative.

        charles
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KG6AF
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Posts: 344




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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2012, 08:57:46 PM »

Going to local clubs is a great idea.  If that doesn't work out, you can always find hams in your immediate area by going to http://vanityhq.com/ . Click on "N4MC's Ham Locator" on the left side of the screen, and you'll be taken to a page that lets you find hams by zip code.  Maybe some of the folks near you won't be willing or able to help, but you only have to find one person.
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HAMNEWBIE12
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2012, 09:01:46 PM »

thanks y'all for all your help. im gonna start looking around, i tried to the Atlanta Radio Club facebook page but i havent gotten any responses. im gonna keep looking around, hopefully something will pop up.
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AG6WT
Member

Posts: 443




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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2012, 09:14:35 AM »

thanks y'all for all your help. im gonna start looking around, i tried to the Atlanta Radio Club facebook page but i havent gotten any responses. im gonna keep looking around, hopefully something will pop up.

Isn't there a HRO in Atlanta?

If there is they should have some antennas hooked up to demo radios. Ask them if you can bring your FT-100D to hook it up and see if you can hear the same signal as their new radios. If the receive works, see if you can make a contact to confirm that you can be heard.
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HAMNEWBIE12
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2012, 09:45:38 AM »

Yea there is an HRO here, I just didn't imagine that they'd be that nice to let me test out my stuff on their equipment.
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AG6WT
Member

Posts: 443




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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2012, 09:55:05 AM »

Yea there is an HRO here, I just didn't imagine that they'd be that nice to let me test out my stuff on their equipment.

I don't know about the Atlanta store but the staff in my two local HROs are pretty nice. With online ordering killing many brick-and-mortar stores, they SHOULD welcome you as well as other newbies if they want to have a customer base. After all, it's the newbies that have empty hamshacks just waiting to be filled!

If they do help you, you might make a point of buying something on the way out. I'm sure there is something that you can use such as an ARRL Antenna Book or a VHF/UHF antenna for your FT-100D?
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HAMNEWBIE12
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2012, 10:38:54 AM »

Well my mfj antenna tuner came from them. So maybe that counts lol.
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W6EM
Member

Posts: 773




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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2012, 06:48:59 PM »

Sounds a bit like you aren't getting a decent ground plane from your radials.  Hard to do when on a balcony.  With the radio telling you its putting out 100W and the tuner says 50W, then something's not right.

An old and popular apartment antenna can be made from 2 slinkys.  Essentially a continuously loaded dipole.
Since its a horizontal antenna, a ground plane isn't needed.  If you have the space indoors or out, you might try that.  Someone actually used to sell them as a kit.

73,

Lee
W6EM/4
Leeds, AL
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HAMNEWBIE12
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2012, 07:00:57 PM »

do you know of any websites that have info on that slinky antenna?
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