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Author Topic: New to ten meters  (Read 4537 times)
KF5PGT
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Posts: 38




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« on: February 05, 2013, 01:27:28 PM »

I just got my first HF radio. It's a 10 meter rig. I'm trying to see if it works but I'm having trouble. I can't seem to pickup any signals. Can anyone give me some pointers and or a known working beacon that I can pickup from south Louisiana?

The radio is a realistic htx-100 and I'm using a homebrew 1/2 wave dipole. It's 14 gauge wire fed with coax.
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K1WJ
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 01:57:59 PM »

10m, IF open will most likely be during daylight hours - Your radio & dipole seem ok for use on 10m. Try to get the dipole up at least 16ft in the air very minimum. If you have a cb radio, listen to ch. 6 or 11 - if going crazy with knucklehead signals = 10m is open....Look on web for beacon station freqs. Call CQ daily......you may get a return. 10m will be closed more than open. Check everyday. 28.400 USB, seems to have action, if open. 73 K1WJ David
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KE3WD
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 02:00:24 PM »

Also see if you can find a local club or group that likes to talk local on the groundwave on 10 mtrs, not only for contacts, but these can often cough up a lot of good 10 meter learning and lore for you. 


73
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 02:26:37 PM »

A pretty good list of beacons is here.  Scroll down to the 28 MHz beacons, there are a LOT of them.

http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/por/28.htm

There isn't any time of day or night that I don't hear 10m beacons from "somewhere."  When the band is completely closed, I hear local ones.  When it's open, I hear a lot more of them, sometimes two on the same frequency.  There's a whole bunch of 10m beacons on the air, and you ought to be able to hear "something" provided you're listening in the right part of the band (which for the U.S. is 28.200 to 28.300).

They are CW (code), so if you can copy code it makes it a lot easier to figure out which one you're listening to. Wink
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KA4POL
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 09:55:22 PM »

As 50 MHz is not one of those everyday bands you might consider getting one of those 50 MHz crystal oscillators to see if your RX is working.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 05:52:12 AM »

As 50 MHz is not one of those everyday bands you might consider getting one of those 50 MHz crystal oscillators to see if your RX is working.

Um, we don't have any privileges there. 

And Ten Meters is in the 28-29MHz frequency range, not 50. 

We do have privileges in the 54mHz 6-meter band, but the OP has a 10 meter radio. 


73
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KF5PGT
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 07:14:45 AM »

Right now, my dipole is in my attic. It's the best I can do right now. It's about 15ish feet above ground. I've looked on the web for beacon lists and found a few. I can't get any of them on the air. All I can catch on the air is here and there digital sounds. Some sound like a steady tone and some have more of a "beep beep beep boooop boooop" sound.

I know that the band is closed right now and that may be the issue. Or maybe I messed up building the antenna, but I would think that even if I cut the wire wrong I would be able to recieve a signal. I can't get any beacons, but I live just north of New Orleans and the closest beacon is in Biloxi, Mississippi which is about 75 miles away as the crow flies. I guess that until the band opens or I find a local 10 meter op, I'm not gonna really know if the radio works.
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KA4POL
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 07:17:19 AM »


Um, we don't have any privileges there. 

And Ten Meters is in the 28-29MHz frequency range, not 50. 

We do have privileges in the 54mHz 6-meter band, but the OP has a 10 meter radio. 


How true, make that a 28 MHz oscillator.
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KF5PGT
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 07:51:58 AM »

How would you test the radio with a crystal oscillator?
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N4CR
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 08:16:05 AM »

How would you test the radio with a crystal oscillator?

Crystal or not, you would set the oscillator to output on a frequency you can receive and see if you hear it on the radio. When it's up close, an local oscillator can be a very significant signal.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

Never believe an atom. They make up everything.
AC4RD
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 09:19:21 AM »

Right now, my dipole is in my attic. It's the best I can do right now. It's about 15ish feet above ground.

One good place to listen is around 28.120; when the band is open, you'll usually hear PSK31 signals there.  You may not be set up to decode them, but any time the band is open to somewhere, you'll usually hear PSK around 120.  :-)  Also try listening at 28.200, for the NCDXA beacons--three minutes of listening there will give you a lot of information!    http://www.ncdxf.org/beacon/beaconschedule.html

73 GL!  Ken  (born and raised in Baton Rouge)
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KF5PGT
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2013, 09:42:56 AM »

Eureka!

I did a little experimenting. I made a quick, down and dirty long wire antenna and hooked it up to my radio. I got something! I heard half of a conversation on 28.400.3 and I could barely make out the beacon in Biloxi on 28.223.

So I guess there's something wrong with my antenna. I guess it's something with my feed line.

I'm gonna try those frequencies AC4RD suggested.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2013, 09:45:31 AM »

That you're hearing bleeps and bloops is likely a good sign that the receiver is actually working, as those sounds are probably from household electronic appliances that have oscillators in them (almost everything does, including microwave ovens, modems, electronic clocks, cooktops, dishwashers, alarm systems, and of course computers, monitors...practically everything nowadays).

10m is mostly a "daytime" band which can be open from fairly early morning to maybe mid-afternoon, and then often "closes" and is very closed at night.  If you're listening at night, that could be the problem.

See if you can find a neighbor who has a 10m station and ask him to run a test with you.  If you don't know any very local hams, you can do a zip code search on QRZ.com or the FCC data base and will probably find some hams in your zip code -- who you may not know, but may be able to "look up" and meet.
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N6AJR
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2013, 09:52:50 AM »

You can listen anywhere on the 10 m band but only transmit from 28.300 to 28.500 on SSB ( upper).  listen around 28.400 during the day and see what you hear.  I have made contacts with a dipole, about 8 feet 4 inches on each leg , soldered to a piece of coax, ( one leg to center conductor and one to the shield) and tacked it to the wall  near the ceiling in the radio in a V shape. it doesent take much.  keep trying.
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KF5PGT
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2013, 09:55:31 AM »

That's my next step. After I chase down the gremlin in my antenna, I am going to try and contact a club that's about 30 miles from me. I can hit their 2m repeater so I'm gonna see if I can get someone on it. The main problem is that they're mostly active in the late afternoon/evening and I work nights.

Groundwave for 10m is around 50-100 miles, right?
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