eHam Forums => Station Building => Topic started by: KC9LXW on March 26, 2008, 11:04:59 AM

Title: Icom 718 and wire antenna
Post by: KC9LXW on March 26, 2008, 11:04:59 AM
Hey I'm pretty new to ham radio and I'm studying for my general right now and I wanted to ask some questions for you guys.  I was wondering if I get a Icom 718 transceiver, g5rv wire antenna, antenna tunner, power supply, and a computer I was wondering if I could work contries outside the US with just tose equipment?  If i need some more stuff please list.  I wanted to also do data and cw and was wondering what else I needed to run that.  But my main question if I got all of that equipment could I be able to work other countries say Japan or Russia and also work stations with in the states?  Thanks for all your help.


Title: Icom 718 and wire antenna
Post by: W5CPT on March 26, 2008, 03:38:36 PM
The equipment you list will certainly afford you the opportunity to talk to DX stations. The computer, while a nice accessory, is not needed.  You can log your contacts on it and a host of other things but it is not needed for operating.  Now if you want to try PSK31 or RTTY, then you need a computer and a soundcard interface to couple the audio to/from the radio and computer.

All that being said I would make one change to your list.  I would substitute an All-Band antenna for the G5RV.  The G5RV is a 20M antenna that works (somewhat) on other bands.  The All-Bander is a ladder line fed dipole that will require an antenna tuner (as would the G5RV) and give you much better reception and transmitting.  The only down side of the All-Bander is that you have to route the twin lead to the tuner and it is a little touchy about being parallel to metal objects such as aluminum siding.  If you must you can add a 4:1 BALUN and run as short as possible piece of Coax from the BALUN to the tuner.   Get the feed point of the antenna as high as possible (that goes for either antenna) and keep the feed line in the clear as much as possible and keep the twin lead (again both antennas ) off the ground and away from metal objects.

This will do you well for a very long time.  Now here is a piece of advice that many (most) new Hams ignore (bad mistake).  Learn Propagation. That is when to expect what part of the world to be on which band at which time and you will works LOADS of DX.

See you on the bands,

Clint - W5CPT

Title: Icom 718 and wire antenna
Post by: W5GA on March 27, 2008, 10:45:16 AM
Agree with what's been said.  In addition:

To do CW, you'll need either a straight key or a paddle and a keyer.

You can also try a fan dipole (multiple wire dipoles with a common feed point), and use coax to feed it.  Remember that with most any horizontal antenna, height is good and more height is better.

If you're wanting to DX for award purposes, the computer logging programs are the way to go.  MUCH easier to keep track of things than it is on paper.  There's a couple of really good free ones out there like DXLabs Suite.  Does anything you need to do.  If you want to contest, there's excellent free choices in logging programs there, too.

Good Luck!

Doug W5GA

Title: Icom 718 and wire antenna
Post by: KI4YFN on March 28, 2008, 07:23:06 AM
 I have 2 homes, both with shacks.  I'm not rich by any means, just good timing. My main home I have the Ten-Tec Omni VII. First HF radio I ever bought. My part-time QTH (3 months during the year) I have the Icom 718. You CAN NOT go wrong with the Icom. Along with the 718 I use a Jetstream JTPS28 power supply, an LDG Z-100 auto-tuner,  a Heil ICM mike, and a TRUE-TALK 200' wire antenna. I get great audio-signal reports with most contacts. Super simple, and all for less than $1,000. I have talked to many states and foreign countries all with 100w, I don't own an amp.
 If I had known the Icom 718 was such an easy to use, fantastic radio, I would have equipped both houses the same way, cheaper than what I paid just for the Ten-Tec Omni VII. I probably would have had $500-$600 left over! All of the above can be purchased (except for the antenna) from R&L Electronics at real good prices, and great people to deal with.
 Also go to the E-Bay website and type in "TRUE-TALK" in the search box. Kerry has got to make the best wire antenna on the market, and probably cheaper than you can build one. Everything is included, including the coax. Just hang it and hook it up. He makes several models and will answer any questions. Fantastic man to do business with!
  Good luck on your General exam!

Title: Icom 718 and wire antenna
Post by: KC9LXW on March 28, 2008, 06:40:39 PM
Ok thanks for all of your replies you really helped me out!!  I do have one relpy though the G5RV that I looked at says it can operate from 6-80 meters with an antenna turner.  At least that's what it says in the MFJ catalog.  Thanks again for all the help.

Title: Icom 718 and wire antenna
Post by: AA4PB on March 28, 2008, 07:17:24 PM
It probably does "operate" on all those bands with an appropriate tuner. The question is, what is meant by "operate". Probably it means that the SWR at the transmitter (after the tuner) is reasonable and it radiates some signal. It won't be as efficient as the suggested doublet fed with open wire line and it won't be as efficient as a group of resonant 1/2 wave dipoles (or a fan dipole). The main issue revolves around running a high SWR on the coax feed line of the G5RV on some bands. High SWR and coax results in higher losses, especially on the upper bands (15M, 10M, 6M).

That said, we often have to use compromise antennas because of space restrictions, budget limitations, etc. It won't stop you from working DX, especially as the sun spots improve. If you are like most hams, antennas are something you'll be reading about and experimenting with for many years to come.

Title: Icom 718 and wire antenna
Post by: W7ARE on March 31, 2008, 03:10:46 PM
Hey Justin:
I worked a DX-pedition on Ducie Island, running an IC-718 at about 90 watts into a 40 meter wire dipole up 30 feet, which was oriented directionally north and south. It should have been radiating north and south, but take a look at Ducie Island, down in the Pacific near Pitcairn Island. It is east and south of my location which is in northern Arizona. So, if I can do that with a 718 into an LDG AT-7000 tuner and 66 feet of wire, so can you. Ducie Island is, by the way, half way around the world from me.

Title: Icom 718 and wire antenna
Post by: KE5LDO on April 01, 2008, 11:58:50 AM
I have a 718, LDG-100 auto tuner, and use Kerry's WA2NAN 204' antenna at 30 feet.  It will soon be raised to 75". I have 1:1.5 SWR on all bands, and it is run in a north-south direction.  I have worked south America, Portugal, Italy and the north Island od New Zealand with it. Look at the reviews here for all the information by users.

Title: Icom 718 and wire antenna
Post by: ONAIR on April 02, 2008, 01:22:31 AM
   I have a 718 as a backup rig, and have worked the world with it using nothing but a bunch of home made dipoles!  Just learn how to homebrew some antennas and you'll have a blast and save a bundle.

Title: Icom 718 and wire antenna
Post by: N2UGB on April 14, 2008, 01:11:41 PM
Aside from some static-electricity issues, I have read nothing but great reports on the Icom 718. That, with a decent wire antenna, and antenna tuner is all you need. As a dyed-in-the-wool cw operator, I will suggest a nice straight key.

Almost bought the 718 myself but went for an OHR 500 and digital display. Still QRP and not sorry.

Good luck