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Author Topic: New Ham needing assistance on an antenna  (Read 7229 times)
WW2USA
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Posts: 14




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« on: June 20, 2018, 03:12:38 PM »

I’m a new ham and want to up setup my first ham shack.  I recently purchased a  Icon 7300 transceiver. The next thing needed is an antenna. I live in a HOA community so my options are limited.
I am considering one of the following options:


1) MFJ-1788 Super Hi-Q loop.

2) MFJ-936B  - Hi efficiency Loop Tuner and a separate loop antenna such as
     a MFJ-58B or similar.


I was informed that the MFJ-1788 had quality control issues and it is not recommended for new Hams.  Would you confirm this or suggest that I should be okay with it?

Also, I'm considering the purchase of the MFJ-936B hi efficiency loop tuner and a separate loop antenna. What is your advice on this setup? My Icon 7300 has a built in tuner, would I be able to use this instead of the purchase of the MFJ-936B?


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W1BR
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2018, 03:38:08 PM »

Those loops have very high Qs and tuning is very sharp!  An external tuner won't do much for giving you a wider operating range.  Is one of these flag pole verticals feasible?     https://zerofive-antennas.com/productdisplay/30-foot-10-80-meter-high-performance-commercial-duty-flagpole-antenna
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K5LXP
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Posts: 6021


WWW

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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2018, 05:49:31 PM »


If one of these little loops is the answer, I'm not sure I understand the question.

I get you're trying to come up with a solution that fits your situation but I think the answer will be something that you might not be able to buy off the shelf but offers better efficiency.

You're welcome to get the loop and see how far you get with it, but being a new ham you've got a steep learning curve ahead of you and adding in the complication of a compromise antenna will likely end up with a frustrating experience.  Just because an antenna "covers" a given band doesn't mean it will work effectively there, thus the snake oil aspect of antenna advertising.

I've lived in my parent's house as a kid, apartments, military barracks, single family homes and even a place on the national historic register.  I've had stations in all of them and have never had to resort to snake oil antennas no matter how "restrictive" the rules.  It's a given you're not going to put up a yagi on a tower but don't go right to the bottom on the efficiency and top of the difficulty scale right out of the chute.  Even if the solution is to put up a modest temporary antenna on the back porch, patio or out in the yard just when you operate then put it away, that's better than going with something that would be difficult at best to use even for an experienced op.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
 
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ONAIR
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Posts: 3703




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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2018, 12:20:42 PM »

I’m a new ham and want to up setup my first ham shack.  I recently purchased a  Icon 7300 transceiver. The next thing needed is an antenna. I live in a HOA community so my options are limited.
I am considering one of the following options:


1) MFJ-1788 Super Hi-Q loop.

2) MFJ-936B  - Hi efficiency Loop Tuner and a separate loop antenna such as
     a MFJ-58B or similar.


I was informed that the MFJ-1788 had quality control issues and it is not recommended for new Hams.  Would you confirm this or suggest that I should be okay with it?

Also, I'm considering the purchase of the MFJ-936B hi efficiency loop tuner and a separate loop antenna. What is your advice on this setup? My Icon 7300 has a built in tuner, would I be able to use this instead of the purchase of the MFJ-936B?



  Hams living in this HOA community found ways to get around the restrictions!  Check the "resources" section on their website:   www.K4VRC.com
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W1BR
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2018, 02:32:44 PM »

will this work?

http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-1625
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N0TLD
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2018, 10:39:39 PM »



It has worked for some, but read the reviews for it here on eHam. It doesn't look to be all that great.

For that $200 you could make your own stealthy wire antenna and have $185 left over for dinner with your YL to tell her you put up antenna. Smiley


Mike
N0TLD
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K5LXP
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2018, 06:03:33 AM »


"Everything Works" - N6BT 

Google that title and read about how he made contacts with just a light bulb.  I've made contacts with all sorts of compromise antennas too.  Operating HF mobile is an exercise in using low efficiency antennas.  One year just to be different I worked an HF contest using a swing set, patio furniture and a barbecue grill for antennas.  I wouldn't recommend it as a general practice though.  Every contact is a struggle.  Just as N6BT observes in his article, using a low performing antenna puts you on the low end of the "enjoyment" curve.

So sure, "everything works".  But just as it might be possible to catch a fish with a bare hook if you try long enough, it's a lot more fun to improve the odds and use a lure/antenna that improves your chances.  Rather  than start with an antenna that at best is a challenge and frustrating, seek out what what improves the odds, start with that and experiment with incremental improvements as you go.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
 
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NK7Z
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Posts: 2429


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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2018, 06:44:04 AM »

Would you confirm this or suggest that I should be okay with it?
I have been looking at PreciseRF loops, they seem very well constructed.  I use one of the pickup loop assemblies they make in a home built loop.  Extremely well constructed.  On the other hand you might consider building your loop.  They are dirt easy to construct, and you will learn a lot.  Then if you want to buy a loop, for portability, or better construction, you will know a lot more...  I just finished teaching a class on building loops, we had 13 attendees, and all 13 people walked out with working loops. 
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Thanks,
Dave
Amateur Radio: RFI help, Reviews, Setup information, and more...
https://www.nk7z.net
W6QW
Member

Posts: 74




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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2018, 12:32:33 PM »

Congratulations on your ham license.  I would also like to suggest that you consider the Icom AH-4 automatic remote antenna tuner.  It plugs into the rear of your IC-7300 and automatically tunes almost any type of wire configuration.  I use this set-up in my motor home with good results. Even in the most restricted environment, you can tack wires to wood rails, under eves, etc.

While a small loop will work, it's efficiency will be lower than even a small wire configuration but, more importantly, you may grow tired of constantly re-tuning the loop as you change frequency.

BTW, don't sweat the restrictions with your HOA situation.  I also live in a HOA and, with some creativity, have worked 273 counties on 40M (237 confirmed). So, read as much as you can and experiment a bit.  I also endorse that you read the N6BT "Everything Works" article in QST (available through a web search).
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 12:47:43 PM by W6QW » Logged
ONAIR
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Posts: 3703




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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2018, 09:13:46 AM »

Actually had decent results using a 24 foot Ultimax-100 end fed inside hotel rooms!  Check the reviews on eham. 
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NK7Z
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2018, 09:19:18 AM »

I would concur with ONAIR, a loop is a good antenna for what it is designed for, but if you can get a long wire working it probably will make a better transmitting antenna.
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Thanks,
Dave
Amateur Radio: RFI help, Reviews, Setup information, and more...
https://www.nk7z.net
WW2USA
Member

Posts: 14




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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2018, 05:23:04 PM »

Actually had decent results using a 24 foot Ultimax-100 end fed inside hotel rooms!  Check the reviews on eham. 

Do you have any pictures of the Ultimax 100 installed?

Thanks for the advice
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ONAIR
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Posts: 3703




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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2018, 09:44:57 PM »

Actually had decent results using a 24 foot Ultimax-100 end fed inside hotel rooms!  Check the reviews on eham. 

Do you have any pictures of the Ultimax 100 installed?

Thanks for the advice
   I'll take one next time I travel!  Check on their website:  www.Ultimax-Antennas.com
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WD4ELG
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Posts: 350




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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2018, 08:24:59 PM »

ONAIR - is the Ultimax within the hotel room, or extended off the balcony?
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ONAIR
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Posts: 3703




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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2018, 10:11:06 PM »

ONAIR - is the Ultimax within the hotel room, or extended off the balcony?
 Inside the hotel rooms, across the rooms from corner to corner.  Worked even in one level motels.  (It is a compromise antenna, but it will get you on the air on HF!)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 10:13:31 PM by ONAIR » Logged
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