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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: HF  (Read 3815 times)

Posts: 240

« on: February 22, 2003, 07:36:07 PM »

   I am not new to ham radio as I have been licensed since 1994.  However I have had my HF rig for about a month now and have made 2 contacts.  I usually try each evening when I get home.  Most of the time I hear no talking.  Other times I hear faint conversation but can not understand anything and can not tune in.  Most of the time I barely hear the time on 10.000Khz.  I am apartment bound and have erected and a loop antenna around my livingroom, 13'x13' and attached it to my MFJ-949e tuner.  I can tune 10m through 80m but have poor reception, even on 40m AM shortwave the signals are bad.  This is a 2 story woodframe building and I am on the bottom floor.  I am at my ropes end and just about ready top sell the whole rig and forget ham radio.  At least the HF part.  I do not know what to do.  I tried a borrowed 40m ham stick outside with 3x33' radials and got worse reception than the indoor loop.  I understand the band can be up and down but 2 contacts in 30 days.  Give me a break!  I am in Plymouth, MI and talked to Union City,PA and St. Louis, MO with 40w on 20m and 80m.  Yes, I had a general licensed ham with me when I did it since I am a Tech Plus.  Am I missing something?  I guess I do not understand HF and antennas because I am going nowhere fast.

Any help is appreciated.

Jim Glenn - KE4IZA


Posts: 21809

« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2003, 02:49:54 PM »

Assuming you've tried the usual stuff, like omitting the antenna tuner entirely to see if you hear better without it, and asking a local, experienced and technically knowledgeable "Elmer" to visit you and assess how the station's all connected, perhaps these notes will be helpful:

-WWV isn't on 10.000kHz, but it is on 10.000 MHz.  Whether you hear it well or not will depend on the time of day, and propagation.  WWV also transmits the same time standard signals on 2.500 MHz, 5.000 MHz, 15.000 MHz and 20.000 MHz.  Often, when propagation is poor for one of these frequencies, it's better for another one.  Have you tried others?

-Again, no matter how good or bad your station setup is, we are at the mercy of propagation throughout the HF spectrum, at all times.  Are you operating on bands that are open at the time you're using them?  That is, higher frequencies during the day, and lower frequencies at night?  (And of course, which bands are open when, and everything else relating to propagation, changes almost daily, and sometimes can change instantly, such as when a solar flare occurs.)

-I'd surely recommend you get some locals to help.  Rather than give up an important hobby, I'd move (and have done so, many times)!



Posts: 84

« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2003, 10:09:27 PM »

I agree with trying to find some local help. If worse comes to worse maybe go mobile or portable. Maybe find a nice hill with a pretty view and string up some wire in the trees.:-)

Posts: 293

« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2003, 07:21:32 PM »

Even with a dinky little antenna, you should be hearing the 40m broadcast stations pretty loudly, especially on the E coast. Maybe your rig is damaged or out of alignment.

That being said, my old FT-101 was deaf as a post on 10,15,20 until I put a long outside antenna on it. It was not deaf on 80 and 40, however, I was alway able to hear the broadcast stations, even with an indoor antenna on the W Coast.

Posts: 74

« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2003, 10:01:20 PM »

Let me make two point here if I may.

1. I fully agree with the post about asking an elmer to take a look at your setup.  Ask him to bring a know good rig and substitute for yours.  Since it seems everything is in the pits and you have a new (unknown) rig that would be a good place to start.  Have him show you the ins and outs of tuning is somewhat different from AM.

2.  Don't be discouraged.  I've been a ham a little over a year and learned that most hams don't CQ or answer them much.  Most are involved in nets, DX, contest or have regular schedules with friends.  Find a speciality mode or one area you like and concentrate on that.  Make friends in that area and they will always be there for you.

Hang in there....sometimes just getting there is half the fun.


Jim,  AB0UK
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