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Author Topic: i have another stupid question about my antenna  (Read 6840 times)

Posts: 5688

« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2013, 01:54:49 PM »

Are you guys now satisfied that you have now thoroughly undermined my good operating advice and likely totally confused the OP as to what to do? 

gotta love internet forums...


Posts: 33

« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2013, 03:30:41 AM »

the OP exists in a continuous state of confusion and anxiety.  i am a "what if" personality, or my wife calls me a "just in case" guy because i'm always worrying about what might happen if this goes wrong or that goes wrong and what to do when this happens.

my theory, or what i once knew, before my dozen years away from the hobby, is very slow to come back and i realize i don't know/remember things and it bothers me.  

i have received a good education from the replies in this thread, that's worth a bunch, to me.  i appreciate you all for taking time to discuss this.

the antenna is playing great!  embarrassingly, i receive an email last night that my PSK signal was so loud it was blanking the guy's receiver.  shamefacedly, i admit that had cranked up 10 watts more than i usually do in an exuberant attempt to nail a station I've only read/heard about, and have only witnessed someone talking to that callsign, once or twice in all my years.  but prior to this antenna, i doubt that comment would have been made, because i'd used that much power many times before and received good reports about the clarity of my signal...

so i'm both embarrassed that i was operating in a bad manner but happy that my antenna seems be working better.... i will take care to control my enthusiasm from now on... and have made apologies.   adjustments have been made. 

thank you all, and please, continue the discussion, i need all i can get.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 03:44:51 AM by KM4IY » Logged

Posts: 1964


« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2013, 04:36:52 AM »

the OP exists in a continuous state of confusion and anxiety.  i am a "what if" personality, or my wife calls me a "just in case" guy because i'm always worrying about what might happen if this goes wrong or that goes wrong and what to do when this happens.

To add a bit of humor...  You have a promising future in IT Security ahead of you!  I retired from a job where I was responsible for IT security...  Glad I am out of that business...  I avoided the impending heart attack all IT people are set up for...  Smiley

For reviews and setups see:

Posts: 33

« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2013, 06:14:27 AM »

so, here's what I think I've learned from this discussion, my own research, and local discussions...

Since i'm using ladderline, use a tuner to match the 50 ohms the radio requires.

after the tuner, a balun either 1:1/4:1 is needed.  that seems to depend upon the opinion of the operator.  however, I've not seen a 1:1 for ladderline.  I guess i'm overlooking it.

keep the ladderline (depend on who's talking) from 2" to 2' from ANY metallic object and try to not run parallel with other feedlines or if I do, keep them separated - agn 2" to 2'  make sure the station is well grounded.  these two ingredients go a long way helping alleviate rf/tvi problems in the house.

in a decent installation, ladderline does not heat up until way past the ham radio legal limit wattage is applied, UNLESS it is TOO close to metal and/or there's a break in the line and arcing occurs.

keep the ladderline as still as possible, or if it has to hang freely, make a curl every few feet to give it more stability against wind.

most I've talked to advocate a direct connection to a tuner with a balanced antenna receptacle... my old dentron mt2000A has that, but because its inside and under a shelf, pulling it out to disconnect for storms is a hassle, so I have a small 4:1 200 watt balun outboard right now, and plan to find one that will accommodate my AL811H if/when I ever decide to use it.  I've had it a while and only used it once or twice just to try it out.  I find it unnecessary in PSK, or if I did try to use it, i'd be tarred, feathered, and quartered  :-) 

i'm still vague on the hardcore theory, but maybe i'll understand more later.  I just don't understand why more people aren't using this.  is it marketing?

if any of my thoughts are wrong or misguided, help me by making corrections...  thank you all...

Posts: 6761

« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2013, 08:15:15 AM »

IY:  You pretty well have it nailed down!  I have a couple more suggestions.

This is a hobby.  Treat it as such and try not to get overwhelmed with the answers/suggestions and theory that you have been bombarded with.  

There is no such thing as a simple answer.  There are those who are really into theory and will launch into a in-depth dissertation at a moment's notice.

I used to have a CB buddy who had no formal electronics learning that took great delight in making an ass of me (in fun).  He would slyly ask a question and after quoting chapter and verse theory to him he would show me that what I had just said was BS based on what he had previously cobbled together.  

So the lesson I learned from him is this:  If it works, use it!

When I got into ham radio I should have learned this lesson first because this is the way it used to be before anyone knew anything!
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 08:29:46 AM by K8AXW » Logged

A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!

Posts: 17483

« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2013, 09:56:56 AM »

Probably the most important thing I can add is to make sure you have good
strain relief at the feedpoint:  that is the most common source of failure
in antennas fed with parallel-conductor line.  (The second is where the line
connects to the tuner/balun at the other end.)  Try to anchor at least 4"
or more of line to your center insulator so there is no flexing at the solder
joint or bend.  For long term survival there may be an advantage in using
stranded wire for the last foot or so of feedline on each end (even if there
are no insulators in that portion), and/or attaching the feedline to a flexible
material such as garden hose or tubing to act as a dampener.  The reason
is that such feedlines tend to flutter and twist in the wind, and the
constant vibration can cause stress fractures in the copper wires.
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