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Author Topic: Tuning up  (Read 2125 times)
KB5ZSM
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Posts: 70




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« on: February 06, 2013, 12:16:09 AM »

Why do so many people think they need to tune up their radios on top of people having a QSO. I see this all too often, even on the maritime net. I was monitoring 14,300 yesterday and in just one hour I heard six differant people tuning up their systems, another repeating "audio" and one person whistling. Band conditions are bad enough as it is so why are we making things more difficult??? I thought we were supposed to be professional amateurs...
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KA4POL
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 12:28:31 AM »

Amateurism can be seen in both a negative and positive light. Since amateurs often do not have formal training, some amateur work may be considered sub-par. For example, amateur athletes in sports such as basketball, baseball or football are regarded as having a lower level of ability than professional athletes. On the other hand, an amateur may be in a position to approach a subject with an open mind (as a result of the lack of formal training) and in a financially disinterested manner. An amateur who dabbles in a field out of casual interest rather than as a profession or serious interest, or who possesses a general but superficial interest in any art or a branch of knowledge, is often referred to as a dilettante.

Stolen from Wikipedia.
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KE3WD
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 05:49:09 AM »

You were tuned only a few kc away from 14.313...

That freq is truly the bottom feeder's delight.


73
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KB8LOG
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Posts: 36




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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 06:30:09 AM »

Haha, yes, that close to 14.313 I'd be surprised if there wasn't anyone mucking up QSOs.
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W1JKA
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 06:59:42 AM »

   And the answere is: Many Wannabee hams are to dumb to use or even know what a dummy load is for and the only hope for them is to discover and congregate with their brethren Wannabee hams on 14.313.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 07:12:03 AM by W1JKA » Logged
N4KC
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 01:14:35 PM »

You mean if I am tuning up my amplifier, but I'm not actually saying something, the signal goes out over the air?!?   Wink

Seriously, I've only been a ham for just over a half century and I still can't figure out why it takes some guys five minutes to tune up a transmitter or amp.  Get a good watt meter.  Follow the manufacturer's tune-up instructions.  Then put little pressure-sensitive arrows on the controls marked or color-coded for each band.  Or make a spreadsheet and keep it handy.  That gets you in the ballpark.  Then just tweak.  If it takes longer than ten seconds for that tweaking, something is wrong...with the op or the radio.

Yes, I know some of it is deliberate and mean-spirited.  Don't acknowledge the tuner-upper, no matter how bad he is disrupting your life because they get a giggle from knowing we are affected by his boorishness.  I doubt this instance has anything to do with 14.313.  They like to stay there where their "audience" is.  More than likely, this tuning-up was related to the nets on 14.300...either someone deliberately needling them or tuning up to check in (see below).

Some of this kind of behavior is just being lazy or plain, old inconsiderate.  There is not a lot you can do about such duds other than taking a pair of diagonal cutters to their feedlines.

And sometimes, the tuner-upper simply can't hear one side of the QSO and figures the frequency is his to blow a hole through.  OK, but he still can listen a bit before cranking away, and then use a dummy load or a cheat-sheet and get it done in seconds instead of minutes.

Some is ignorance, though.  I MUST tune up on the DX or net control frequency, not down 5 or 10 khz, or I won't be properly tuned up to the maximum and he'll never hear me.  Not a lot we can do about those guys, other than try to educate them. 

And I just did!

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
(Author of the new book RIDING THE SHORTWAVES:
EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO)
 
 
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KB5ZSM
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 02:51:22 PM »

Well I already knew the answer to my own question but I threw it out there in hopes of making people think about their practices. Don, you nailed it.
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W9KDX
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2013, 05:49:46 PM »

After listening to a few pile-ups, I could readily see the grief that these people were causing.  That alone was enough to remind me to find a clear frequency.  I worked at it a while and after a bit of practice I can get my 811H tuned on any band in less that 7 seconds, usually much less if the dip cooperates. 

I was amazed to find it was this simple after just a few months; I still remember the first few times when I was sure I was going to blow something up and I would go back and forth almost forever.  At least it seemed that way.

If I can get this good at tuning, anyone can.
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Sam
W9KDX
AE5QB
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Posts: 267




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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 05:11:30 AM »

Dummy loads are great for testing, but at some point you have to tune up your antenna which may take a while for a new antenna or a new operator trying to figure out how his/her gear works.  But yes, it does not have to be done on top of a net or QSO.  Find a clear spot, listen, and then tune away.  Just remember that tuning and testing does not relieve an operator of proper ID requirements. Let people know you are testing or have just tested and who you are.  Keep it short, which you should do anyway for the benefit of your equipment, and by all means mark it or record it so you can duplicate.  Bottom line, be nice to your fellow operators and they will be nice to you.
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K8AC
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Posts: 1465




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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2013, 05:59:06 AM »

Quote
I thought we were supposed to be professional amateurs...

Say what???
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2013, 06:46:11 AM »

Amateur -- from the French, literally, "love of the craft"  (or more precisely, the work). 

Professional -- means you got paid to do the work.  Note that there is no distinction given as to how WELL said work might have been performed. 

Also take note of what historians call the "first profession". 

Then study the history of invention and science.  You will find out how many of the great contributors to the knowledge pool would be classified as Amateurs. 

An amateur who should be of interest to ham operators and any user of RF would be one printer turned amateur scientist and mathematician named Maxwell. 


73
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N8NSN
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2013, 05:55:59 AM »

Very good replies. During many nets, having people tune up a kc or so up or down from the net is MOST irritating. Some times if the tuner-upper is zero beated right on the net frequency, you can't even tell they're there. However, many rigs one would assumethey are zero beated, but they're not. Many would be hard pressed to even know what the LSB, USB, offsets are vs the carrier frequency. Let alone where to park it in "tune mode".

The best we can hope is that "they" will progress and learn as they grow into the hobby. Hope very hard! Because, without elmers or a personal interest to learn beyond: "plug it in, squeeze the mic, expel carbon dioxide..." - there is little hope that "they'll" ever get it.

TUNING:
Hybrid or tube rig - use dummy load
Rig + amp - use dummy load

Antenna ( if using a tuner for any reason )
First off - invest in a GOOD SWR meter if you're going to use one.
Use your receiver for peak RX !
Let me repeat that
USE YOUR RECEIVER FOR PEAK RX !
Best way is to set capacitors to 50%, set inductance for best RX, tweak cap for more peak, might need to readjust between inductor and cap(s) settings. Not to mention this peaking in RX gave you plenty of time to determine the frequency wasn't being used.

Now, this is why I suggest a "good" SWR meter... We're talking about one that is linear and correct down to less than one watt...
Then - set transmitter drive to lowest possible setting for RF output.
Key briefly and observe SWR.
Should be really close if hearing peak in RX was beneficial.
Some tweaking may be required... Keep it brief as possible.
Increase to power level desired.
Transmit briefly.
If SWR changed a little bit- don't obsess over it. Under a 1.5:1 is plenty good. Somewhere along the line obsessing over "perfect SWR" has become common.

It's a whole different subject thread, but volumes can be written on resonance of antenna vs feed line SWR and associated losses. I'm sure it will come up in another forum or thread because by-in-large a lot of people want spoon fed answers, are willing to accept just about any explanation from the internet - just so long as it requires little to no real effort to educate their self. Sigh... Reading is fundamental, but comprehension is IMPERITIVE !!!
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KASSY
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Posts: 165




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« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 11:44:35 AM »

Six people in an hour isn't bad. 

I think what happens is that someone picks a freq to use because there's a QSO.  THey don't want to tune on that freq and bother someone, so they just twist the dial without listening.

Or, it's more benign - they can't hear anybody on that freq so they use it.  What you don't know is that maybe YOU can hear the guy you're in QSO with, but the tuner-upper can't.

Down in the CW portion of the bands, I rarely see five minutes go by without a tuner-upper.,

- k
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AC2EU
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« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 07:37:28 PM »

The eternal tuning over a QSO or what I refer to as the "attack of the mad tuner" is a Ham radio phenomenon that will never understand, either.
Worse yet, when I call them out on it, they either;
1) disappear
2) keep doing it!
The event is never followed by an apology or ID, at least in my limited experience as an AR operator.
( Is this what a "LID' is?)  Huh

I have come to wonder if it's malicious or just "QSO envy"...?
Nobody could be so stupid as to tune on an active frequency, thinking that it is acceptable practice, could they?


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N4ZAW
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2013, 10:46:04 AM »

Why do so many people think they need to tune up their radios on top of people having a QSO. I see this all too often, even on the maritime net. I was monitoring 14,300 yesterday and in just one hour I heard six differant people tuning up their systems, another repeating "audio" and one person whistling. Band conditions are bad enough as it is so why are we making things more difficult??? I thought we were supposed to be professional amateurs...
I don't get it either. My best friend does this and he is far from alone. I've made him aware of my disapproval, but he is a headstrong dude. He just keys-up whenever, wherever, and even belts-out his call on top of a QSO -- very rude. I've heard more courtesy on channel six during a 'shootout'!
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