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Author Topic: Where is the HAM in the RADIO??????  (Read 2024 times)

Posts: 158

« on: November 15, 2009, 07:59:12 PM »

Ok guys... just read on... no flaming allowed Smiley

What is the trick with this "Ham Radio" thing? For the past 25 years i have been playing with, yes... mostly CB, but using my RCI-2950(not the DX) in 2003 i managed to talk to someone in Alaska during the winter time. Yes, i know, Sporadic E, etc...
I have been planning on getting a Ham licence for 20 years now, and finally am going through classes(ve3mis) the legal way.

Anyway... to make the story short....

Have my FT-847 with FC-20, I have a Come GP-15 for 2meter+70cm(that i dont use) and for 6m, all three of these bands are connected to a brand new Comet CX-514, which is a triplexer.

Rest of HF is fed with a jumper cable to FC-20, and from FC-20 there is two antennas for HF coming out.
One is a 10m dipole with a 4:1 balun fed with a RG-58
and one is a G5RV True-Talk from KErry, it is a 51foot version (JR). The Cable is fed with 58 through the foundation now, but will be shotened to about a third tommorow.
So far i can hear nothing. Not on 20, 40, 80... even with my dipole on 10, there is silence.
Am i missing something? I know about the sun cycles/spots etc, but hey, IS IT THAT BAD???
When would be the best time for these bands to open up? especially on 20m for EU or 10 and 6?

Posts: 99

« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2009, 09:58:36 PM »

you shold try the 10 meters HAM chanel!! i get lots a skip on that chanel all the time! if you here me on get a brake on the chanel and give me a shout! i am N1BUST the one buster brown in the base!

Posts: 1316

« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2009, 04:53:54 AM »

charliebaker is a kidder. Don't take him seriously.

as far as why you hear nothing on the band you mentioned,
something is wrong.

do you have a local Amateur club? some of those guys can be your best resources, and/or friends.

Posts: 805

« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2009, 07:45:37 AM »

We sometimes don't realize that some new to it really don't know what to expect. Just to give you some perspective, if I stuck the end of an odd foot of wire in the center of the antenna connector, I'd expect to hear at least some signals on 20 meters during the day almost any day. It's true that there are fairly rare times when an unusual solar event pretty well sweeps the bands clean, but that's so unusual that it would be the last thing I'd suspect. To give you an example, the other day I was installing an HF rig in the car. I didn't have the HF antenna mounted at that point. With the 2-meter antenna plugged into the HF rig, I heard many, many stations, including Europeans. Now that's a horribly mismatched antenna for HF, but it didn't matter, so far as whether I heard anything.

Dead silence generally means the receiver is not working, or something is set wrong and has the effect of nothing heard. For instance, the RF Gain turned all the way down. The operator manuals nearly always have a short section on the recommended initial settings for the controls. And an antenna lead shorted to ground might do it. Check the jumper cables with an ohmmeter with the jumper completely disconnected at both ends. Even ready-made jumpers can arrive shorted. Then plug an antenna directly into the radio, so the tuner is out of the line so you're not wondering if that's where the problem lies. Just to check, stick the bare end of a length of wire into the center of the radio's antenna socket. Or your CB antenna, since you know it's okay. If nothing at all is heard on any band, something is up with the radio. Don't count on hearing anything on 10 meters right now. You might, but it's still pretty iffy. There's nothing like the local activity on 10 that you're used to on 11. And count even less on 6 meters. 15 has been getting better as the current cycle progresses, but it can't yet be counted on. But 20 has been open and active every day and well into the night, and you should hear something on 40 most any time and 80 at least in the evening.

If you can't hear any kind of signal at all with the antenna or the piece of wire, go back through the initial setup instructions in the manual. It's not impossible to get a DOA radio from the factory or a seller, but it's much more likely that you just missed a control setting. I think a lot of us have had the experience of receiving a used radio and initially thinking, "Oh, no - it's not working," only to find that something's just set wrong that we aren't used to checking on our existing rig.

But the bottom line is that a working receiver with even the barest minimum sort of antenna should be hearing plenty on at least a couple of bands. Each band has its own propagation characteristics that vary with the time of day and solar conditions. But right now, 20 is just about guaranteed to be active. And you can always use your radio's general coverage receive capability to hear at least a couple of the WWV AM broadcasts on 5, 10, and 15 mHz, and you can tune across the 27mHz CB channels where you know there's something going on. It would be rotten luck to start ham life saddled with a broken radio, but it can happen.

Posts: 1012

« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2009, 02:27:26 PM »

Dont give up! As soon as the sunspots start(whenever that will be) you will be able to talk on 10 with a wet noodle and 5 watts.

Posts: 5096

« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2009, 08:30:45 AM »

"Rest of HF is fed with a jumper cable to FC-20, and from FC-20 there is two antennas for HF coming out."

I presume the FC-20 interface/control cable goes to the FT-847, and that the FC-20 has power applied.
"One is a 10m dipole with a 4:1 balun fed with a RG-58"

Why a 4:1 balun? You want 1:1, if you even need a balun at all.

"and one is a G5RV True-Talk from KErry, it is a 51foot version (JR)."

That antenna is meant for 40, 20, and 10 meters. It's not meant for 80/75 nor the WARC bands. Not sure about 15.

"The Cable is fed with 58 through the foundation now, but will be shotened to about a third tommorow."

Not sure what you mean by "through the foundation"
"So far i can hear nothing. Not on 20, 40, 80... even with my dipole on 10, there is silence."

That means you have an open or short someplace, or your rig isn't being operated properly. Between 20, 40 and 80/75 you should hear *something*.

You may not have the correct antenna selected for HF.

Try running the G5RV coax straight into the rig. While you won't want to transmit that way, you should hear lots of stations.

Do you have the rig set for SSB on HF?

73 de Jim, N2EY
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