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Author Topic: Amps...Are they a MUST for HF ???  (Read 20237 times)
KD8MJR
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Posts: 5557




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« Reply #180 on: July 29, 2018, 06:43:47 PM »

Let me make it 10,001 by saying that IMHO an amp is not needed if your just planning on talking to random people and having fun.  You may get lucky on some days and make some great long distance or rare contacts but you will be frustrated to Death if your chasing DX or trying to make contacts that attract pileups.

For me it was fairly easy to get to 150 entities with a crappy antenna and no amp.  After that it was a very painful and frustrating to go any further.  Adding a 500 Watt amp was the simple solution and that bought me up to about 250 entities with lots of pain involved but at least I was in the running again.  Unfortunately once again at 250 I was stuck and at the mercy of the propagation Gods and my ability to endure hours and hours of calling.  Each new entity was an endurance test.

Adding a good antenna to a legal limit amp made almost anything possible and now its just a waiting game for new activation's.  From experiments I have done if I go back to 100 watts and a good antenna I am not going to break any pileups or make it to the really hard locations.  I can hear them but they just cannot hear me.


73
Rob
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“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
VK3MEG
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Posts: 951




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« Reply #181 on: August 01, 2018, 05:58:26 PM »

as was said on the first page antenna first amp second.
atm i run 100 watts i live near the bottom of Australia 3-5000 mile to the closest dx. My license at only allows 100 watts i love working dx. i was first licensed near the top of the solar cycle (2012) i live on a suburban block. with my trusty g5rv and some low dipoles like you have @ 6m (18ft) i worked  126 odd dxcc then it was getting tougher so i went a bought a small tower 10m (30') and the biggest ant i could for a reasonable price i have 4 elements on 20 4 elements on 15 5 elements on 10m, then i could work lots of dx i have 275 worked 267 confirmed. i have dxcc on 4 bands 10 15 20 and 40m. 40m i use wire dipoles all with 100 watts now we are at the bottom of the cycle the noise floor has gone up a bit. dx is alot tougher to work. I have just upgraded my license through much study etc which was very hard for me. Why to get to use an amplifier. cause now with the bad conditions i need an amplifier to get heard. its tough i dont work much ft8 i work ssb or cw mainly but ft8 if i have to. spend your money on an antenna first then get an amp if you need one.
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KB2CPW
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Posts: 319




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« Reply #182 on: September 26, 2018, 08:17:49 AM »


  I know, I'm late to the party. Lol

   My friend I spoke to on 80m, consistently had a 20-30 over 9 signal and I asked him what amp he was using, he was running just 100 watts and had an astounding signal and he was heard by everyone. He was running an 80m loop around the area of property behind him which was state land. It goes to show that the right antennas are everything in this hobby.

Regards, Richy N2ZD
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KM1H
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Posts: 5289




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« Reply #183 on: September 26, 2018, 08:35:41 AM »

The antenna is only part of the formula. You being at the proper location for NVIS enhancement to your friend is the biggest part of the strong signal but NVIS seriously limits the distance covered. Great for rather local coverage if that is all you want. Different strokes for different folks and maybe you can benefit by further study of the subject.

Carl
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N9AOP
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Posts: 1167




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« Reply #184 on: September 26, 2018, 11:29:49 AM »

Back in the days of 'Nam, a local station was always in contact with a station over there to pass mars grams.  He used a rhombic with 300ft each leg.  The antenna sure does make the difference.   His dad owned a large auto salvage (junk) yard.  Perhaps all that scrap under the antenna helped the signal.
Art
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KM3F
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Posts: 909




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« Reply #185 on: September 26, 2018, 02:00:57 PM »

Is an amplifier needed?
Depends on your state of mind about operating in the hobby, what you can  afford and the application you want to pursue.

I run one full time along with high level outboard processing and a very clean signal.
Am I heard,,,you bet.
If you want to pursue the personal challenge of QRP do it.
The Antenna statement is overdone unless you have a very inefficient one to compare to.

For 75 and 40 it's a dual band at an average of about 30 feet.
On 20m I can do the same with a home made vertical set up in the side yard.
Very easy to make contacts all over Europe on 75m at night.



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VK3BL
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Posts: 1789


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« Reply #186 on: September 26, 2018, 11:28:27 PM »

The antenna is only part of the formula. You being at the proper location for NVIS enhancement to your friend is the biggest part of the strong signal but NVIS seriously limits the distance covered. Great for rather local coverage if that is all you want. Different strokes for different folks and maybe you can benefit by further study of the subject.

Carl

Couldn't have said it better.

When I got to '100 watts' in the original post, my mind instantly imagined a skyburning antenna.
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J.D. Mitchell BA  - VK3BL / XU7AGA - https://www.youtube.com/ratemyradio - Honesty & Integrity
ZS5WC
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Posts: 713


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« Reply #187 on: September 28, 2018, 05:10:06 AM »

 ;)I would say for next couple of years an Amplifier is a must, irrespective of how good your antennas are.
Bands are poor, noise levels are high-to be heard is a mission, and Having a decent QSO is important to a ragchewer like myself.
Also try and make your own QTH as electrically silent as possible. Suppress noisy devices, replace noisy lamps for quiet ones etc.
Take a SW portable and identify all the noise sources, make them quiet..
Clamp on ferrites on the power leads help a great deal.
After all, being an "Alligator" is not nice, All Mouth and No Ears!.. Grin

73 de William
ZS4L / ZS5WC
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K6AER
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Posts: 5728




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« Reply #188 on: September 30, 2018, 09:08:29 PM »

Is an amplifier necessary...depends on how hard you want the other guy to suffer. In 59 years of ham radio I have never heard the person on the other end tell me turn my power down.
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KC2QYM
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Posts: 958




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« Reply #189 on: October 01, 2018, 01:16:38 PM »

In today's poor propagation trend, 100 watts is the new QRP. Get an amp, you won't be sorry.  I resisted getting an amp for a number of years before I dived in.  I use an SB-200 putting out about 500 watts and believe me it helps.
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 5557




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« Reply #190 on: October 01, 2018, 01:45:19 PM »

Is an amplifier necessary...depends on how hard you want the other guy to suffer. In 59 years of ham radio I have never heard the person on the other end tell me turn my power down.

 Grin Grin So True  Grin Grin
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“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
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