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] 2 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Improvement Needed  (Read 2013 times)
W9DEC
Member

Posts: 51




Ignore
« on: October 29, 2012, 02:13:54 PM »

I recently got my license and have been busy setting up my station. I live in a deed restricted community but I was able to put up a 6BTV vertical and in an attempt to get the most out of the antenna I put down 40 ground radials. I have a Kenwood 590S and a Kenwood MC90 mic. My receive seems to be very good but I'm not getting out as well as I would like and my contacts have a hard time hearing me. What steps, in order of priority, can I take to improve my situation?

Thanks
Dave
Logged
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20565




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 02:20:25 PM »

Check the modulation on the 590S.

I've heard many of them on the air that sound lousy and not well modulated at all (then there are others that sound fine).  Many complaints of ALC severely limiting power on SSB with that rig.

Can you listen to it with a separate receiver using headphones so you can see what it sounds like?  Might also check output with a separate meter to see what it's doing on SSB.

Obviously, if you're having this problem on CW or RTTY, then it wouldn't be a modulation issue. Wink  But since you mentioned the microphone, I figured you meant SSB.
Logged
WX7G
Member

Posts: 5972




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2012, 02:45:51 PM »

On all but 75 meters your 6BTV with 40 radials should be great.
Logged
N4NYY
Member

Posts: 4747




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2012, 03:04:04 PM »

Check the modulation on the 590S.

I've heard many of them on the air that sound lousy and not well modulated at all (then there are others that sound fine).  Many complaints of ALC severely limiting power on SSB with that rig.

Can you listen to it with a separate receiver using headphones so you can see what it sounds like?  Might also check output with a separate meter to see what it's doing on SSB.

Obviously, if you're having this problem on CW or RTTY, then it wouldn't be a modulation issue. Wink  But since you mentioned the microphone, I figured you meant SSB.

Good advice. You may have to buy an aftermarket mic or something to narrow it down and bust thru. If you have it set up for bassy audio, it will not work as well for DX.
Logged
WB6BYU
Member

Posts: 13143




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2012, 03:26:29 PM »

A good first step is to measure your output power with an external meter.

While you are at it, check the SWR on the feedline also.  It is quite possible
to have a bad connection, or even animals chewing on the coax.  If the
coax braid isn't properly connected at some point (a common problem) then
you may still be able to hear signals, but the SWR will be high enough to
cause the transmitter to reduce power.

If water has gotten into the cable the SWR will look better than it should,
but the coax will be lossy.

These sorts of mechanical problems are, in my experience, more common than
issues with the rig.

The next step is to check the output power of your rig in both CW and SSB
modes.  If you can hit 100W on CW, then the transmitter can deliver power
to the load.  A peak reading wattmeter should read the same on SSB, or
perhaps about 25 to 30W on a standard wattmeter.   (Note:  measure this
while you are talking.)  If you aren't getting that much output power, check
your mic gain and adjust it in accordance with the manual.  The mic gain
setting determines the output power in SSB mode.  A little bit of speech
processing will help intelligibility, but don't go overboard or it makes it
more difficult to understand you.

When in doubt, find another local ham and have them listen to you while
you transmit and give you feedback on your audio quality.
Logged
W9DEC
Member

Posts: 51




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 05:54:07 PM »

Thanks for all the good advice and I will follow through.
What would you think about adding an amplifier for more power?
Are there other equipment additions to improve performance?
Logged
WB6BYU
Member

Posts: 13143




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2012, 10:58:45 AM »

You're not the only one having problems - check this thread:

http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,86061.0.html


I wouldn't bother adding an amp until you know that you have the rig
working properly to start with.  There are multiple adjustments for
mic gain, compression, audio passband, etc. that all will affect the
intelligibility and strength of your signal.  You really want to be
able to measure the output and have someone listen critically to your
signal to make sure it is clean and crisp.
Logged
W8JX
Member

Posts: 5640




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2012, 11:25:18 AM »

Thanks for all the good advice and I will follow through.
What would you think about adding an amplifier for more power?
Are there other equipment additions to improve performance?

First and foremost make sure you have audio set right . Out of the box the audio is set VERY conservative. That rig like TS-480 is capable of outstanding transmit audio and punch when set right. Try about 10 to 15db compression and advance audio gain until ALC is hitting top of scale at times peaks. It will sound fine. Also over the air get some feedback on your audio with different audio DSP settings.

On amp you need to be careful that you do not create problems with neighbors from RFI with more power. See how it plays after audio tweaks as they can help a LOT with that rig.
Logged

--------------------------------------
All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
N3OX
Member

Posts: 8854


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2012, 11:57:21 AM »

I wouldn't bother adding an amp until you know that you have the rig
working properly to start with.  There are multiple adjustments for
mic gain, compression, audio passband, etc. that all will affect the
intelligibility and strength of your signal.  You really want to be
able to measure the output and have someone listen critically to your
signal to make sure it is clean and crisp.

I will add my vote to this.  A good trap vertical adjusted properly with lots of radials and 100W should get you good reports all over the world.
Logged

73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
WB6BYU
Member

Posts: 13143




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 12:23:57 PM »

Quote from: N3OX
...A good trap vertical adjusted properly with lots of radials and 100W should get you good reports all over the world.


When conditions are favorable.  When the bands are dead, even a kW and a bit antenna
may not make much in the way of contacts.  That's one of the lessons that comes with operating
for a while.  You may also find that shorter contacts (say 50 to 100 miles) are more difficult than
longer ones when using a vertical.
Logged
M6GOM
Member

Posts: 888




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2012, 01:33:01 PM »


First and foremost make sure you have audio set right . Out of the box the audio is set VERY conservative. That rig like TS-480 is capable of outstanding transmit audio and punch when set right. Try about 10 to 15db compression and advance audio gain until ALC is hitting top of scale at times peaks. It will sound fine. Also over the air get some feedback on your audio with different audio DSP settings.


Seconded. Outside of contests I use the stock mike. I use no more than 10dB of compression and the ALC as stated. I use the HB1 TX equaliser preset and consistently get good audio reports.
Logged
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20565




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2012, 01:47:44 PM »

Thanks for all the good advice and I will follow through.
What would you think about adding an amplifier for more power?
Are there other equipment additions to improve performance?

First and foremost make sure you have audio set right . Out of the box the audio is set VERY conservative. That rig like TS-480 is capable of outstanding transmit audio and punch when set right. Try about 10 to 15db compression and advance audio gain until ALC is hitting top of scale at times peaks. It will sound fine. Also over the air get some feedback on your audio with different audio DSP settings.


I think listening to it while making adjustments is really helpful.  I can't imagine why Kenwood (or anybody) would make a rig for voice modes that doesn't "default" to great sounding modulation without having to adjust anything.  When DSP is concerned, I think code writers went out of control in a lot of cases...

OTOH, I have Ten Tec stuff that is 100% DSP (modulation, de-modulation, everything is DSP) and if you use the "factory default" menu settings and almost any kind of dynamic microphone, they sound absolutely natural and perfect, with plenty of punch.  Without adjusting anything.  So, it is possible. Wink
Logged
VA7CPC
Member

Posts: 2375




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2012, 02:54:01 PM »

If your vertical is near your apartment (and your neighbors' apartments), and you put a kilowatt into it:

. . . You'll probably have trouble with RFI;

. . . Your neighbors will probably have trouble with RFI;

. . . You'll probably have trouble with your neighbors as a result.

Charles
Logged
KE3WD
Member

Posts: 5694




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2012, 06:40:07 PM »

I recently got my license and have been busy setting up my station. I live in a deed restricted community but I was able to put up a 6BTV vertical and in an attempt to get the most out of the antenna I put down 40 ground radials. I have a Kenwood 590S and a Kenwood MC90 mic. My receive seems to be very good but I'm not getting out as well as I would like and my contacts have a hard time hearing me. What steps, in order of priority, can I take to improve my situation?

Thanks
Dave

Hi Dave,

Your Vertical with that many radials should make a great DX antenna due to its low angle of radiation.

However, if you are talking about stateside contacts, it may just be that the low angle of radiation is the problem here, your signal is likely overshooting stateside hams, not hitting the ionosphere at all and thus not delivering much in their vicinity.  You can hear them because they are using antennas that cause their signal to rain down on you, but your signals may be overshooting them and thus they cannot hear you. 

73
Logged
WX7G
Member

Posts: 5972




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2012, 06:45:02 PM »

No, an antenna is reciprocal on transmit and receive. For stateside work the angle of radiation varies from about 5 to 25 degrees. A vertical radiates well in this range.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Next   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!