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Author Topic: Any Station Changes Planned for 2013?  (Read 3963 times)
W1VT
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Posts: 810




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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2012, 04:21:05 AM »

I put up a 20 ft flagpole vertical in the front yard that works really well for DX--autotuner at the base and elevated radials running under a ramp and through the shrubs in the front yard.  I finally got around to putting a picture of it on my QRZ page--it's in the upper right hand corner.  With my new rig and running a bit more power, I was able to work Alaska and Cuba for 40 meter band fills last night during "prime time."  Running QRP, it found there was just too much competition, even for relatively routine DX.
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K3NRX
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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2012, 04:23:41 AM »

I would like to get an HF pre-amp, but I am not sure if it's worth it....Running the TS-440, and all....will it work with a more modern rig???.....Can someone recommend one and let me know if it's a good idea???....looking to boost my receive....

V
KA3NRX
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WA8UEG
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2012, 05:15:00 AM »

2013 wishlist:

Have 8 sections Rohn 25, guy wire, grips, ground anchors, rotor and rotor automation. Have hex built except string the wires which I figure is an easy last step.

Gotta get that all vertical instead of horizontal in pieces.

Looking at a K3 and an AL-82. I'll see what kind of deals are floating around at Hamcation.

I have two sections of hardline to go down the fence line to make those antennas waaay out back seem like they're not so way out back. Got the 7/8 hardline, need connectors.

If I get it all done, it's a fantastic year. If not, It's a great year. Life is good even if I never do any of it. My wife thinks antennas are cool.


I use standard PL259's on the hardline and have never had any problems plus save a lot of money. Check out this link on a "how to do" page. http://www.w9xt.com/page_radio_gadgets_hardline_connectors.html. I have also butted the aluminum shield of the hardline against the PL259 and taken a small amount of RG8 or 213 braid and bridged the connection securing with small SS hose clamps then cover with licquid tape and wrap with coax seal. Not as neat but easy and has worked just fine for years now.
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W4VKU
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Posts: 342




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« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2012, 06:20:36 AM »

I would like to get an HF pre-amp, but I am not sure if it's worth it....Running the TS-440, and all....will it work with a more modern rig???.....Can someone recommend one and let me know if it's a good idea???....looking to boost my receive....

V
KA3NRX

I would recommend the Dx engg pre-amp. It was reviewed to be the best and at par with the
IK4AUY design. I have made contacts with that preamp which otherwise would not have happened.

However, with a TS-440, you will need to use the amp keying line to bypass the pre-amp when you
 transmit. A separate circuitry will need to be built to accommodate the preamp.
It would be ideal to use if the rig has a Rx antenna input or like in the case of the
FT990, where the main antenna is available as Rx-out and it can be looped through the pre-amp and
back into the rig via the RX-In and then selected via the Rx-Ant button on the front panel.

krish
w4vku
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WB3BEL
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2012, 06:25:30 AM »

I would like to get an HF pre-amp, but I am not sure if it's worth it....Running the TS-440, and all....will it work with a more modern rig???.....Can someone recommend one and let me know if it's a good idea???....looking to boost my receive....

V
KA3NRX

I seriously doubt you need a preamp on HF.

With very very few exceptions most operators have excessive noise at the antenna that a preamp will not help.

One well known case where preamp might be of value is if you have a lossy receive antenna like a flag or beverage.

Otherwise skip the desire to just make the Smeter read higher and simultaneously lower your receiver dynamic range.

Run this simple test.  Terminate your coax in dummy load and listen to the receiver noise floor.  Then switch to the antenna under test on a clear frequency.  If the noise is noticeably louder than on the dummy load then a preamp will not lower the noise floor
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W2IRT
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« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2012, 06:57:50 AM »

Not a lot I need to do at this end next year, and what I really would like to do -- replace my Mark V with a K3 or an FT-5000 -- I can't afford. Being on a roughly third of an acre suburban lot I'm somewhat limited space wise in how many separate antennae I can erect. Most of my stuff is tower mounted with a K9AY loop out in the far back corner and a 160 Inverted L over the driveway.

I have room for a vertical at the other edge of the property line but I have to wonder what kind of advantage I'd get by putting one up, other than redundancy (never a bad thing). I don't have the room for a Beverage in any direction, unfortunately. I would like to change things around a bit on 80m if I could. All I have is a 70' tower mounted inverted vee (legs offset a few degrees, not a perfect 180 degree setup).

The biggest job is ongoing maintenance, and more of that will happen in 2013. I need to replace a few crimp PL-259 connectors with Amphenol solder-types, continue the Great Cable Label Project and refine my station documentation in OneNote. The biggest change will be a couple of stand-offs off my short crank-up tower (where my 6m yagi is mounted), and finally get my 2m/440 radios and scanners connected.
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KY6R
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« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2012, 09:33:43 AM »

I would like to get an HF pre-amp, but I am not sure if it's worth it....Running the TS-440, and all....will it work with a more modern rig???.....Can someone recommend one and let me know if it's a good idea???....looking to boost my receive....

V
KA3NRX
I seriously doubt you need a preamp on HF.

I agree. In fact, with marginal stations who are ESP in the noise - I actually turn OFF the rigs preamp and turn DOWN the RF gain - right to the point where the AGC still works, but where I am "riding" the signal just above the noise. The only danger - you also have to increase the AF gain - and the signal then sounds like a small signal down at the bottom of a well - but with less noise and more intelligible. With this increased AF gain - you pray no really loud signal transmits on frequency.

I also have a K9AY loop system for 160M and 80M RX - with a remote preamp. I use a separate TX antenna. In this case, the remote preamp usually is the best bet - but even there - (only sometimes) I have had to either turn off that remote preamp or the rigs preamp.
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W6GX
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« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2012, 06:06:33 PM »

Well I have no planned station changes on the horizon.  However I do have a personal goal of learning CW at 25wpm.  I'm just a code reader now and I wish to do CW the old-fashioned way.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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W1VT
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Posts: 810




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« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2012, 03:54:39 AM »

I learned CW by copying W1AW broadcasts--from Kauai, Hawaii!  Participation in CW contests got my CW speed to 25+ wpm--got my 20wpm extra after six months of operating.
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KF7CSO
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Posts: 310




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« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2012, 05:46:39 AM »

I plan on erecting a 50' (or so) tower with a LPA of some sort. I'm on 2.3 acres so I am going to put up a Beverage or two. The tower all depends on what I can find on the used market.

I'm undecided on the low bands. I may replace my 43' vertical with something to cover that. Or just go wire off the tower and keep it for backup.


Eric 
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Eric
K2GWK
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« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2012, 06:23:31 AM »

Lots of changes for 2013. I have built a very stealthy tiltable 30' aluminum tubular tower. It would be up already but it's a little too cold to pour concrete right now. I have also purchased a TGM MQ-36SR. It will be assembled and put up when the tower is ready. Lastly, the eagle has laid a load and I will make a pilgrimage to Dayton and purchase a FTDX-5000, FTDX-9000 Contest or Flex Radio 6500. I have enough time to do a lot of research and make an intelligent decision on which radio to purchase. My God, I do so love this hobby.

Guy (K2GWK)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 06:26:49 AM by K2GWK » Logged

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NU1O
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« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2012, 07:40:16 AM »

Well I have no planned station changes on the horizon.  However I do have a personal goal of learning CW at 25wpm.  I'm just a code reader now and I wish to do CW the old-fashioned way.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
Jonathan,

You have assembled an impressive station in a relatively short time but the US government did not do you any favors by dropping the Morse code requirement. That was a favor to equipment manufacturers and retailers.

If you want to be a serious DXer you will need to learn CW at a good clip, such as the 25 wpm you are aiming at.

It is a commendable goal and I wish you a lot of luck.

There is W1AW, but if you want more frequent practice I'd suggest a good program or the little gizmo MFJ sells called Morse Tutor which is the size of a pack of smokes. I carry it around in the car to kill time and to help me remain proficient.

When you get ready to buy an good a good key you should look at the line by Pietro Begali.  I own the sculpture and it's more like a work of art than a code key.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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N2RJ
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« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2012, 08:03:45 AM »

I've seen the Begali keys and they are nice but out of my price range. I'll stick with my cheap bencher for now I guess.
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W2IRT
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« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2012, 08:06:48 AM »

Lots of changes for 2013. I have built a very stealthy tiltable 30' aluminum tubular tower. It would be up already but it's a little too cold to pour concrete right now. I have also purchased a TGM MQ-36SR. It will be assembled and put up when the tower is ready. Lastly, the eagle has laid a load and I will make a pilgrimage to Dayton and purchase a FTDX-5000, FTDX-9000 Contest or Flex Radio 6500. I have enough time to do a lot of research and make an intelligent decision on which radio to purchase. My God, I do so love this hobby.

Guy (K2GWK)

Guy, if you've got the scratch for a high end radio, I would suggest diverting some of those resources into something higher-performance than the TGM. I use one of these every year for CQWW-CW at a friend's house in Toronto. It's better than his old dipole -- barely -- but that's as much good as I can say. Extremely narrow banded on 20 (absolutely requiring a tuner), and very little front-to back and front-to-side rejection. It's the kind of thing you only buy if you want to convince your neighbours that you aren't really transmitting from home, it's just a fancy TV antenna to pick up a cleaner signal to watch football on your big screen. It's also something I'd use as a secondary antenna, DXpeditions, field day, etc. Not to dump all over the TGM, but if you're spending close to (or over) five figures for a transceiver, you certainly won't get the most out of it if it's connected to a compromise in the air.

Obviously I don't know your home situation, whether or not there are town or wife ordinances in play or whatnot, but I'm quite serious about this. I'd rather have a 25 year old transceiver with nothing extra except a 250 Hz CW filter and a second VFO in it but connected to as much aluminum in the air, as high up as I can get it. If that's not possible (and for many it is not, sadly), then spending massive coin on the highest-end transceiver seems like overkill. A big part of these transceivers is the ability to separate nearby overloading signals. This won't be a factor unless you have a few high power DXers/contesters in your neighbourhood.

What I would suggest is a K3 (with the second VFO added) or the FT-5000 without all the bells and whistles. The reason being is that you're not going to be hearing as well as the guy down the road with 3 elements at 75', but if he's running something with triple conversion and phase noise and you're on a dead-quiet K3 you'll hear better. Not sure what the stats are like on the Flex so I can't comment there. But the basic point I'm trying to make is put money into antennas to the biggest degree possible.
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N2RJ
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« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2012, 08:07:54 AM »

You know, right after I posted this, I went to the Begali site, and now I see they have a bunch of different keys with different prices... amazing, some are actually quite affordable!  So I may end up with a new set of paddles soon.
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