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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: Getting Started in HF  (Read 54575 times)
K9MHZ
Member

Posts: 1725




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« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2014, 09:31:42 AM »

Would something lik Alpha Deltas attic antenna work well for this situation? Also have been taking a look at the suggested loops. That isotron also looks interesting. What tuners etc would you all recommend for this idea? Really appreciating the replies. This forum will be as good as I can get in place of an Elmer to help me out.

Alpha Delta...yes, if you have the room.
Isotron....NOOOOO!!!!!

Somebody mentioned the 590S for a rig.  That's a great idea if you can swing it, and with the SG having just come out, the pricing on the S may become very attractive.  I wouldn't look at small Yaesu and Icom HF mobiles automatically.  There's a reason they're small and mediocre....just like the Isotron.  Sheesh, for the love of ham radio and the laws of physics....DON'T get an Isotron "antenna".  Good luck.

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N4WCL
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #31 on: December 27, 2014, 08:45:49 PM »

I just wanted to give you guys an update on how my station setup has gone since receiving my Christmas gift. I ended up installing an Alpha Delta DX-EE in the attic with a 1:1 balun from Balun Designs to reduce some feed line RFI into my condo. I went with a Yaesu FT-857D and a YT-100 auto tuner. I knew I would not be operating from my home with great results due to restrictions with the antenna being indoors, and all the RFI that I can't control coming from my neighbors. I chose the 857 because I plan on operating from more remote locations over the weekend, and wanted a transceiver that would allow me to operate from a vehicle, remotely, as well as from home during the week. After opening my gift on Christmas morning I was up and running on the air within 30 minutes, and made my first HF contacts, including my first DX contact into Slovakia on 15M. I've been in the shack daily now for hours at a time. It is extremely addicting! I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the comments that helped me get up and running. I'm now looking into what antenna types would work best for remote HF operation, and can't wait to move to a house where I can put up any antenna I'd like. Operation at home with all the restrictions has left me with more noise than I'd like, but clearly it's at least working as the contacts keep coming. I've made some adjustments to the 857s settings and managed to get the noise floor down a little on a few bands. I've already done as much RFI reduction as I can by testing for sources, and killing the mains while on battery. I'm getting about an S6-S8 noise floor after eliminating every source I could find in our unit. My building is just too noisy to get it much lower with 7 other units all around me. My next steps are to get into digital modes, and plan on learning CW to help increase my stations contact ability with such noise. So far I've hit many states including Alaska, and had several DX contacts into Cuba, Canada, Brazil, and Spain. It's amazing how much entering HF has expanded my enjoyment of ham radio. Thanks again for all the help and I hope to hear you guys on the air at some point. 73s!
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KC6NRE
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2014, 11:56:17 AM »

The easy way to get on HF:

VHF/UHF/6-160 Meter Yaesu 857 & LDG YT-100 tuner ($500-$700 used)
6-80 Meter Alpha EzMilitary or Vertical antenna ($150/$250 used/new)
Coax at about $0.50-$1.00 per foot
Ground Rod and 14 Guage stranded ground wire at Home Depot for $20

Best thing about this hardware is that you can use it Mobile, Feild (Day), or for Base operations.
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W8JX
Member

Posts: 13268




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« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2014, 01:31:30 PM »

The easy way to get on HF:

VHF/UHF/6-160 Meter Yaesu 857 & LDG YT-100 tuner ($500-$700 used)
6-80 Meter Alpha EzMilitary or Vertical antenna ($150/$250 used/new)
Coax at about $0.50-$1.00 per foot
Ground Rod and 14 Guage stranded ground wire at Home Depot for $20

Best thing about this hardware is that you can use it Mobile, Feild (Day), or for Base operations.

While the 857 is not a bad choice for portable or mobile it is not a good choice for a base station or contesting. A rig must disapate same power/heat regardless of size so 857 will get very warm quickly in heavy use because it lacks thermal mass and heatsink surface area of a normal base radio. The somewhat larger Kenwood TS480 has much more thermal mass and better cooling and built in tuner too that will match reasonably resonant antennas.
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
K5TED
Member

Posts: 229




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« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2014, 03:01:17 PM »

I just wanted to give you guys an update on how my station setup has gone since receiving my Christmas gift. I ended up installing an Alpha Delta DX-EE in the attic with a 1:1 balun from Balun Designs to reduce some feed line RFI into my condo. I went with a Yaesu FT-857D and a YT-100 auto tuner. I knew I would not be operating from my home with great results due to restrictions with the antenna being indoors, and all the RFI that I can't control coming from my neighbors. I chose the 857 because I plan on operating from more remote locations over the weekend, and wanted a transceiver that would allow me to operate from a vehicle, remotely, as well as from home during the week. After opening my gift on Christmas morning I was up and running on the air within 30 minutes, and made my first HF contacts, including my first DX contact into Slovakia on 15M. I've been in the shack daily now for hours at a time. It is extremely addicting! I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the comments that helped me get up and running. I'm now looking into what antenna types would work best for remote HF operation, and can't wait to move to a house where I can put up any antenna I'd like. Operation at home with all the restrictions has left me with more noise than I'd like, but clearly it's at least working as the contacts keep coming. I've made some adjustments to the 857s settings and managed to get the noise floor down a little on a few bands. I've already done as much RFI reduction as I can by testing for sources, and killing the mains while on battery. I'm getting about an S6-S8 noise floor after eliminating every source I could find in our unit. My building is just too noisy to get it much lower with 7 other units all around me. My next steps are to get into digital modes, and plan on learning CW to help increase my stations contact ability with such noise. So far I've hit many states including Alaska, and had several DX contacts into Cuba, Canada, Brazil, and Spain. It's amazing how much entering HF has expanded my enjoyment of ham radio. Thanks again for all the help and I hope to hear you guys on the air at some point. 73s!

Congrats!  Just a suggestion re: your noise issue, you might want to consider installing the 2300hz optional filter, which will lower your noise and help out with splatter, plus add a little shaping to the transmit audio. There just happen to be some on eHam classifieds right now for a good price. Easy to install, just plugs right in.
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N4WCL
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2014, 06:20:35 PM »

Thanks! I'm probably gonna have an order in place tonight based on that advice. Had not even thought of that.
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PA1ZP
Member

Posts: 688




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« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2014, 09:50:50 PM »

Hi

Good luck with your Ft857D

I got 1 of the first Ft857D 12 yrs ago.
Still going strong.

And portable use is ideal with this thing.
And no HOA or restrictions with portable use for antennas.

73 Jos

73 Jos
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K9MHZ
Member

Posts: 1725




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« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2014, 08:41:49 AM »

I ended up installing an Alpha Delta DX-EE in the attic with a 1:1 balun

That was a very smart move.  Well done!
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W4AUE
Member

Posts: 11




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« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2015, 06:20:04 AM »

Brad,

I lived with the same HOA issues for several years. Ran a similar antenna in the attic and worked the world on HF using digital modes and 10 watts FT897D with LDG tuner all bands.  Only changes I would have made would be a remote tuner in the attic to reduce RF on the feed line.  Local noise was a big problem but with a CW filter, most of the digital modes don't care.

The FT897D works great on digi using the built in digital vox feature and a simple isolation xformer audio interface.  Cheap USB sound dongle and an old laptop & u r off to the races.

I've been at this since 1957 and I'm having more fun now than ever.

73 
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