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Author Topic: Want to build my first shack- HELP  (Read 5380 times)
K6BRN
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Posts: 490




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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2017, 06:22:43 PM »

CORRECTION:  The Yaesu FT-991 and FT991A both have antenna tuners (and they work well)

I have two of these radios.

Brian - K6BRN
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N6YFM
Member

Posts: 517




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« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2017, 03:29:47 PM »

I can't believe the number of people suggesting a  High Capital($$$) Project like a Tower for starting out.
Have any of you looked at 2017 Tower prices?   :-)

Anyway, back on topic:

Once you pick out an HF radio to start playing around with  (And yes, The 991 or the IC-7300 are great choices),
next, get a very simple antenna to play around with until you know you want more, and what you want, etc.

The MyAntenna's  EFHW-8010 wire antenna covers a ton of bands.  Me and K6BRN have put up several of them
in every imaginable shape (V, straight, L, square, zig-zag, trees, poles, masts, etc).   If it takes more than 30 minutes
to one hour to install, connect, and get on the air, you are doing it wrong :-)   This is about the lowest cost (both labor and $)
method of getting onto several HF bands and seeing what you like and don't like.

Once you know what bands you tend to favor, that answer will point you toward next steps.
For example, if you tend to hang out on 20m and 15m, you can effectively double your DX work (over the wire antenna) by
installing a simple rotating dipole on a higher mast, like the Comet H-422, on a very low cost rotor, on 25 feet of thick-wall aluminum
mast connected on your roof.   (This has gotten me 92 countries in the last 2 years in this "sucky" solar cycle minimum.)
[But to be honest, if you could get the wire antenna up as high as my H-422 antenna, it might do just as well.   My wire is much lower]

If you tend to hand out more toward 40m or 80m, you are going to want an entirely different antenna than that.
Probably, due to costs, an inverted V dual-band 40-80m wire with a very tall mast or tree support.  The higher the better here.

If you have a HUGE piece of land,   and lots of tall trees,   a full-wave horizontal 160m loop antenna in the back lot.
That can tune on other bands as well.  It does better than a dipole.

If you have a smaller piece of land, lots of money, and you are a much bigger bully than your neighbors, you can put in
a crank up 55 foot tower (for the price of a car in 2017) and put a beam yagi on top.  (You can also use it for attaching
your wire antenna's higher up.   
[It might cause divorse, or ugly legal battles with your neighbors.  But due to recent tower prices, concrete work, permits,
liability insurance, lightning protection, etc, I am not sure if the divorse or the antenna project costs more??]

So again, if you are just starting out, you need to keep it simple and low $$$ until you find out where you end up spending
most of your time, and who you end up talking to more often  (Local, or DX hunting).   All of this will dramatically affect
what type of antenna and how much $$$ is involved.  So my vote is to start with a multiband wire as a first step to dip
your foot into the pool.  The EFHW-8010 will not really require a separate antenna tuner (the one in your rig will work)
unless you try some really crazy shapes, layouts, etc, like I do.  Then, for some bands, I just use an external antenna
tuner.

Cheers,

Neal
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N8FVJ
Member

Posts: 378




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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2017, 06:13:18 AM »

Thanks Brian, miss that detail about the FT-991/991A built-in antenna tuner. If I was to replace my FT-847, the FT991/991A would be my top choice.
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