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Author Topic: think I'm going vhf/uhf  (Read 1824 times)
KF6GUB
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Posts: 29




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« on: January 12, 2013, 06:40:13 AM »

This is at home that I would do this.  Maybe the car later.  What antenna should I use?  It can't be outside.  What instruments would I need to adjust SWR, etc.?   What about the feed line?   thx  Jim
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 06:43:00 AM by KF6GUB » Logged
W9GB
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Posts: 2648




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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2013, 07:09:14 AM »

Quote from: KF6GUB
I think I am going to start with a VHF/UHF fixed (base) station at my home.
Jim,

This is a typical entrance ramp for 21st century radio amateurs.
A commercial Dual-Band (VHF/UHF) antenna will handle 2 meters/70 cm bands, and majority are "pre-cut and tuned" for amateur radio allocations.

Diamond and Comet mfg. sell many models in a fiberglass tube.
I have a Diamond X50A installed on a 6 foot 1-1/4" aluminum mast lashed to a patio railing.
http://www.rfparts.com/diamond/x50a.html

IF at all possible, get you antenna OUTSIDE.  HEIGHT MATTERS on VHF/UHF (just like off-air) TV antennas.
These VHF/UHF antennas are unobtrusive, smaller than off-air TV antennas and most satellite dishes.  
===
If your Coaxial cable run is less than 50 feet, then you can use almost any suitable 50 ohm coaxial cable.  
For longer cable runs, select coaxial cables with LOW Attenuation (dB per 100 feet at 150 MHz and 450 MHz).
===
DC Power for radio?  At least 12 Amps for VHF/UHF radios with RF output below 50 watts.
A DC Power supply is a Life-Long investment, in other words select quality and capacity (amps) that you expect over next few years.
==
Since you are near Austin, you do have a small amateur radio dealer:
Austin Amateur Radio Supply
http://www.aaradio.com/
They likely won't have a large accessory inventory to window shop -- but will give you idea of prices and offerings.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/austin-amateur-radio-supply-austin-2
==
Used equipment, power supplies, and antennas or DIY construction will save you $$,
BUT require some technical knowledge and skills to DIY repair or restore.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 07:23:01 AM by W9GB » Logged
KA4POL
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Posts: 2083




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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2013, 07:31:49 AM »

This is at home that I would do this.  Maybe the car later.  What antenna should I use?

This might be an interesting DIY project: http://eastalabamaarc.com/2m70cm_jpole_project.htm
 
Quote
It can't be outside.

The higher the frequency the more you need to be free from obstacles. So this is really bad.

Quote
What instruments would I need to adjust SWR, etc.?

You need an SWR meter suitable for the frequencies used. Just a sample, I don't say this is the best one: http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-862

Quote
What about the feed line?  

Any good, i.e. low loss, coaxial cable will do. Just check out the specs to see the loss per foot. Being inside your cable should not be to long.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 08:14:12 AM by KA4POL » Logged
KF6GUB
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2013, 07:51:42 AM »







If your Coaxial cable run is less than 50 feet, then you can use almost any suitable 50 ohm coaxial cable.  
For longer cable runs, select coaxial cables with LOW Attenuation (dB per 100 feet at 150 MHz and 450 MHz).
 

W9GB:   Thanx for your input.  Don't quite understand the coaxial details you explained.  thx   Jim

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K5LXP
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 08:22:37 AM »

The simplest, easiest and quickest solution is to buy a mag mount dual band mobile antenna and stick it on a metal surface like a refrigerator, air conditioner, filing cabinet or even a metal sash or railing.  No assembly or tuning required - "plug and play".  Try a few different locations indoors to find the best spot.  You may find this perfectly adequate depending on what stations/repeaters you wish to contact.  If not, you're bound to putting something outside but no matter what you'll still have the mag mount you can use indoors or on your car.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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K7PEH
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Posts: 1124




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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2013, 09:04:55 AM »

This is at home that I would do this.  Maybe the car later.  What antenna should I use?  It can't be outside.  What instruments would I need to adjust SWR, etc.?   What about the feed line?   thx  Jim

Given your constraints, I would consider going mobile first, it might be easier.  Just about all UHF/VHF rigs are easily used in both mobile and home or portable QTH.  A magmount antenna can be had for cheap, most hamfests offer them for $10 or under at times.  I have given away magmounts.

The only thing that would be an issue for mobile ops is the DC power and how you get it.  You need to check your mobile rig peak DC current draw with the current ampere rating of the circuit (dash DC outlet for example) you use.  For my rigs in my pickup truck, I went to a mobile car phone/stereo store and had them wire up a high-current circuit for my DC needs (just as if they were wiring up a 500 watt boom box stereo set).

For home use, depending on the location of your repeaters or other kind of ops activity you plan, consider using an HT.  No dependency on coax, wires, antennas or anything.

I have never owned a VHF/UHF SWR meter.  Never really needed one.
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VE3FMC
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 03:46:02 AM »

This is at home that I would do this.  Maybe the car later.  What antenna should I use?  It can't be outside.  What instruments would I need to adjust SWR, etc.?   What about the feed line?   thx  Jim

Jim are you close to any repeaters? If so, you might be able to get away with an HT in your home. But you will have to be fairly close to a repeater for that idea to work.

Do you have an attic that you could put an antenna in? That would be the best place to mount it as long as there is not a lot of wiring there.

Or simply buy a dual band mobile, antenna and operate mobile.
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 01:37:56 PM »

The simplest, easiest and quickest solution is to buy a mag mount dual band mobile antenna and stick it on a metal surface like a refrigerator, air conditioner, filing cabinet or even a metal sash or railing. . . .


+1.  My 2m/70cm magmount antenna sits on my file cabinet, next to my desk on the second floor of my townhouse.  It hits all the local repeaters just fine.  I have wood siding and a wood-frame house.

This solution doesn't work if you have metal-lath stucco, or metallic siding.  It _may_ work if you have steel studs and non-metallic siding.

For metallic siding, use a window-pane-mounted 2m vertical dipole, made of adhesive copper tape (from the local craft store).   

.        Charles
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WN2C
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Posts: 479




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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2013, 08:13:02 PM »

From what I can tell, you have been licensed for 6 years.  What have you been doing for all that time?  I take it you moved to Texas from California? What equipment do you have now? Any desire to upgrade and get on HF?

Rick  wn2c
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N6AJR
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2013, 01:44:46 PM »

I own my own  house and have a tower and a couple of verts outside, but for 220 mhz I have a small groundplane antenna in the shack itself and for 900 mhz I have a 900 mag mount up side down on the rain gutter. They work "ok" for local repeaters. You can also put small commercial antennas and homebrew dipoles in the attic, and laying flat on the roof. look up home brew and stealth antennas on google or bing or such.
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K8AXW
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2013, 08:44:07 PM »

GUB:  POL has an excellent suggestion.  Perhaps you could get someone to make you a J-pole.  I recently saw a J-pole mounted in a bucket of dirt on a balcony.  A plastic plant was wrapped around the J-pole until it looked exactly like a potted plant.

LXP also has an excellent suggestion.  I've done this when I operated portable.  I used a mag-mount antenna setting on a sheet of aluminum foil on the floor.  I've also used a filing cabinet with good results. 

A also built a J-pole with 300 ohm twinlead mounted inside a piece of 1 1/4" PVC pipe with an SO-239 protruding from the bottom cap.  The top cap has an eyebolt with which I suspend it from a hook in the ceiling, a ceiling light fixture or a tree branch.

I feed it with about 15ft of RG-58 coax.  At 2m and this length the loss is very low.

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WA3SKN
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2013, 08:22:33 AM »

First determine what repeaters and clubs are in your area.  You can then get a good idea for rigs and antennas needed to get on the air and they can help too!
73s.

-Mike.
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