Hey everybody. For the past 4-5 months my interest in ham radio has been dwindling. Probably because whenever I turn on the rig, I only hear about 2-3 signals on 20 meters, and those signals are only about s4-s5. I havn't been able to make any contacts lately, and I don't know what the problem is. I have a ts520s, going into a tuner, going into a g5rv jr. this setup has been pretty effective in the past, but has started to fail. I really love the hobby and don't want to give it up, but hearing 2-3 s4 signals and nothing else is pretty discouraging. any ideas as to what the problem may be? do I need a different antenna?
You may need an antenna tuner. Some hams will tell you that a G5RV doesn't need a tuner, which is WRONG! You will need to get a tuner, then you will need to learn how to use it. I posted here asking how to use an antenna tuner, and got some good, detailed replies. Search for that thread. Once you have your antenna tuned correctly, you should have better luck. I use a G5RV Lite and my tuner settings change drastically between bands, so I will switch to a band and hear nothing, then reset the tuner and bingo, suddenly there's people talking. As for what tuner to get, I have a Ten Tec 228 (handles up to 200w) and I've been told that Ten Tec tuners are superior to MFJ tuners because their different design allows them to get closer to a 1:1 SWR. 228's show up on QTH Swap every so often, they go for $80 or so usually. If you can't find a Ten Tec, get the MFJ, just be aware that with a sensitive transceiver (such as my Kenwood 130) your performance may suffer. I find that the farther away I get from 1:1, the more the circuits in my radio dial back the finals.