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Author Topic: DXing with a basic rig?  (Read 2208 times)
AF5C
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Posts: 123




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« on: November 05, 2012, 04:32:31 PM »

Anyone else out there using a very basic rig for DXing?  I am currently using an Icom 706 original, have about $300 invested in it and that is with the narrow filter.  Wish I could afford something better, but it is kind of neat to work stuff on a very inexpensive rig.  So far I have worked 212 countries on it in the 19 months I have owned it.

What other basic rigs are being put into primary use in people's shacks?

John AF5CC
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AB8MA
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Posts: 738




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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 04:36:07 PM »

Anyone else out there using a very basic rig for DXing?  I am currently using an Icom 706 original, have about $300 invested in it and that is with the narrow filter.  Wish I could afford something better, but it is kind of neat to work stuff on a very inexpensive rig.  So far I have worked 212 countries on it in the 19 months I have owned it.

What other basic rigs are being put into primary use in people's shacks?

John AF5CC

Not bad at all, John. Took me a lot longer then 19 months to hit the 200 mark. What are you using for an antenna?

I am at 250 or so, using an Icom 775dsp and a Carolina Windom 40 up about 55 feet.
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W2NK
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Posts: 40




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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 05:27:33 PM »

Hi John,
I have a pretty bare bones station-A TS570, SB200 and for antennas, Hygain Explorer 14 and Cushcraft D3W dipole on a tripod on my roof. G5RV hangs below it in inv. Vee config. Only need 8 for having them all. Worst band for me is 80, took awhile to finally get 100 there, to finish 5BDXCC, plus nearly there with WARC bands to give 8bdxcc.
73,
Kathy, W2NK
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AD9DX
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Posts: 1464




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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 05:39:05 PM »

I got my DXCC with an Icom 7000 in six months. The rig was awful in the selectivity and ergonomics department. After I was sure that I was going to stick with it, I worked a crap ton of overtime and bought a Yaesu FT 2000d and got the AC0C roofing filter. It makes a decent difference, but SKILL is better than even the best rig.

I am still working on that part  Smiley
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
KF6ABU
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Posts: 351




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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 06:00:43 PM »

I used an ft-857 and a vertical for 250 dx, and 5 band dxcc (have not applied). You dont need anything too fancy. It sure is easier with my ts-590 and yagi now though.
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K0RS
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Posts: 704




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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 06:35:45 PM »

I occasionally fire up with a Heath DX-60, Hallicrafters HA-5 VFO and a Drake R4-B.  I don't keep track of countries worked with the old stuff.  Check it out:

https://sites.google.com/a/wildblue.net/k0rs/Home/activities/boatanchor-dxing

Several years ago a operated the CQWW CW with a Collins 75A-4 receiver, a Hallicrafters HT-37 transmitter and Heath SB-220 amp.  That was a single band, 40m effort.
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W2IRT
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 07:10:44 PM »

I got up to around 260 (give or take about 10) using two basic radios...a TS-820 with an outboard VFO and then a TS-570D(g), between August 2001 and May 2005. A 500W amp was added in 2004 and the AL-1200 came along two years later.
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www.facebook.com/W2IRT
Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
AF5C
Member

Posts: 123




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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 07:33:28 PM »

Antenna here is a homebrew G5RV type dipole.  Up about 25 feet in the center.  Running 100 watts with the 706 original.  Also have it going on 6m and 2m as well.  Made a 1400 mile plus QSO from OK to CT on 2m last summer.  Using a 70 watt amp to help, though.

John AF5CC
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KB3LIX
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Posts: 1097




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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 08:04:59 PM »

FT-897D here.
Nothing fancy, just have a 300 hz filter...makes a BIG difference
on CW, RTTY and other digi modes.

Antennas are either a Hustler 4BTV or a homemade doublet (zip cord)
center fed, 130' long supported by pieces of PVC pipe.
Hustler at 10' agl, the doublet about 20' agl.

Have 248 "Official" countries, plus about a dozen cards
for new DXCC's that I have to get together and send to
Peter (W2IRT)

Currently have Mixed, Phone, CW & RTTY & 20m certificates.

Working on 5bdxcc

10, 15, 20, 40 are complete. need about 20 on 80m
to finish 5bdxcc.
Once 5bdxcc is complete, I can also apply for 17 endorsement as well.

I also use the same setup for contesting.
I do fairly well for what I have.
I just printed my certificate for the 2011 Canada Winter Contest.
1st place, SO-LP in the 3rd US call area.

60,000+ points
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W1VT
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Posts: 809




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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 02:53:08 AM »

I recall putting together a list of 99 countries I worked using a straight key!  Can't get much more basic than a Heathkit DX-20 and a straight key!  But, as a DX station in Hawaii, nobody complained about drift, even on 10M!  Sure made a bunch of folks happy in 1978/79, helping them get their 50th state for WAS.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 02:56:04 AM by W1VT » Logged
WG5G
Member

Posts: 140




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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 05:18:23 PM »

Hi John, Ive used a Kenwood TS 130V here for the last 25 years, made the Honor Roll with it, Ive always beleived the antenna is the most important part of the station, you can spend thousands on a radio, but without a decent antenna dxing will be difficult in my opinion, 73 Dan WG5G.
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K3STX
Member

Posts: 958




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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 06:46:11 PM »

I recall putting together a list of 99 countries I worked using a straight key!  Can't get much more basic than a Heathkit DX-20 and a straight key!

Not sure I could tolerate using crystals with my DX-20 to do this, but maybe my DX-60 with VFO and old Hammarlund RX would be a fun challenge. I really should re-cap my DX-60 before running it too hard, but DXCC with the DX-60 sounds like fun.

Getting back to the basic question, MOST of us got DXCC with rigs that were REALLY basic. And usually not a transceiver; I got mine with a DX-100 TX and HR-1680 RX back in the '70s.

paul
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KH6DC
Member

Posts: 634




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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 11:03:23 PM »

Anyone else out there using a very basic rig for DXing?  I am currently using an Icom 706 original, have about $300 invested in it and that is with the narrow filter.  Wish I could afford something better, but it is kind of neat to work stuff on a very inexpensive rig.  So far I have worked 212 countries on it in the 19 months I have owned it.

What other basic rigs are being put into primary use in people's shacks?

John AF5CC

John what you have is great and seems to be working well.  If you think not and willing to plop down more money, you should invest in a better antenna.

I'm using a Elecraft K3, my 3rd rig since I was licensed 18 years ago.

73, Delwyn KH6DC
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
KE4YOG
Member

Posts: 182




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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2012, 06:34:52 AM »

We will have fun, fun, fun until they take the HF rig away.

It is all about the chase. That is the fun in DXing for me. Need to send my application in for my first DXCC. I am at 152 or do worked and 11o confirmed. All on Phone and since last year this time. I am almost to the point that I can send CW good enough to get on the air with it.
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N3OX
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Posts: 8852


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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2012, 07:34:10 AM »

I am up to 318 worked, first with a Kenwood TS-440S and then with a Yaesu FT-857D.

Got 139 worked on 160 which is a band that really challenges a rig.  The trick with raw rig performance is to understand signal levels to keep the rig in a receiving sweet spot.  I'm sure I would notice the difference of a better rig on the low bands in crowded conditions or when there are big thunderstorms.  Same on all bands in contests.  But DXing doesn't actually challenge rigs with poor electrical specs very much... not most of the time, and especially not on the higher bands. 

I use Ham Radio Deluxe keyboard shortcuts to make up for the huge deficiencies of the '857D in the "buttons and knobs" department.  Split and reverse buttons are mapped to my keyboard, including a special button for CW DXing that goes to the pileup-side VFO and opens the filter wider and then goes back to the DX station and narrows the filter.

Top of my list in a new rig is true dual receivers, preferably with phase-lock capability.  Might be nice to have some kind of panadapter display, and it wouldn't hurt to have excellent close-in dynamic range, but that's mostly because I want to continue low band DXing.  For the low bands I'd also like something with a real RX antenna input. 








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

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
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