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   Home   Help Search  
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Author Topic: Problems.....  (Read 2612 times)
N4DCT
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« on: February 16, 2008, 06:24:51 PM »

Hey guys, I got an FT-857 and got my general ticket today. I set up the 857, for VHF/UHF I am trying to use the little j-pole i built that I have always used but for some reason I can't seem to tune into some of the frequencies I have always been able to.

HF is just a nightmare, I am trying to set up the MFJ-1622 I can't seem to get HF to work at all though. Any suggestions?

I'm open to antenna suggestions, tuner suggestions, etc....
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2008, 08:16:38 AM »

Really need lots more info to help you.  Describe everything in detail, your setup and what problems you are having exactly.
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N4DCT
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2008, 10:31:40 AM »

Ok could I have a checklist of info you need?

Basically I'm in a confined area, can't do anything major as far as antennas go and I would like to get on some HF.

I have a Yaesu FT-857, and a little J-pole that I built when I first got my license to operate on the 2M band.

I was using an old Icom that was on loan to me from a friend and the entire 2m band worked fine on that radio.  I have moved downstairs and have the antenna on the other side of the house now (it is brick) and I can't get on some of the 2m Band any longer particularly 145.350 repeater with a negative offset which is the repeater I use most often.  However, I can get on 147.030 (-) which is my secondary repeater.  I haven't been able to try any other repeaters as of yet.

As far as HF is concerned.  I have a MFJ-1622 2-40M Antenna that has a tuning coil.  I have it setup to what I believe to be correct, and haven't had any success on any band in the HF world.  Not sure what in the world I am doing wrong there.  I would especially like to get on 10 and 20 meters for now, the rest would be nice, but 10 and 20 would be a good start.


KI4YIK
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2008, 12:39:22 PM »

Still need more info.

VHF  Is the J pole mounted in the same place as before you moved the shack?  If so, assuming the cabling is sound, you've changed the rig.  I'd say something is not set up correctly with the rig.  Offset?  PLs?  

HF  Where is this little antenna located?  How is it connected to the radio?  Who made the connecting coaxes.  Can you hear anything?  Can you dial in the WWV stations?
How did you tune it?
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N4DCT
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2008, 12:55:01 PM »

No it is a new rig and the antenna has moved.  I'm bringing in the old rig to test it with the j-pole's new location to make sure that isn't the problem.
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N4DCT
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2008, 01:55:59 PM »

Ok tested antenna for 2M with old rig and it worked perfectly, this is starting to worry me...
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2008, 02:55:40 AM »

OK, it's troubleshooting time.  Obviously look at the new rig.  Is it set up correctly; power output, etc. etc.

Need more info for HF but maybe same problem.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2008, 02:36:41 PM »

>RE: Problems.....  Reply  
by KI4YIK on February 17, 2008  Mail this to a friend!  
As far as HF is concerned. I have a MFJ-1622 2-40M Antenna that has a tuning coil. I have it setup to what I believe to be correct, and haven't had any success on any band in the HF world. Not sure what in the world I am doing wrong there. I would especially like to get on 10 and 20 meters for now, the rest would be nice, but 10 and 20 would be a good start.<

::The MFJ-1622 is a very *minimal* antenna that's also a bit tricky to set up and tune.

First, definitely clamp it to a window frame (metallic) if possible, with the entire whip "outside," and the clamp on the frame, with the coax coming in the window.  The counterpoise wire should be outside if possible.  Both the tap on the coil and the whip length, as well as the counterpoise wire length, are *all* critical.  If you "miss" by a little bit, the antenna will be very far out of resonance and just not work.

You absolutely need an antenna analyzer or R-X noise bridge, or a transmitter with an SWR meter (*not* the one in the FT-857, it's useless) to adjust this antenna.  20m would be a good choice during the daylight hours.

10m is a poor choice, as the band isn't open and you're not likely to hear anybody, even if the antenna's working just fine.

After the sun sets, even 20m falls apart and you're unlikely to hear a thing on that band.  40m is a much better choice from sunset on.  That requires a complete re-tuning of the MFJ-1622.

If the MFJ-1622 is installed so it's entirely *indoors,* it won't work much.  If it's clamped to something non-metallic, that also hurts.

I tried an MFJ-1622 here at my home shack (I don't have restrictions, I was just trying it out for possible future campsite use, operating portable) and here's what I found:

Working KV2AA in the Virgin Islands as a test:

With my 20m beam, signals S9+.

With my 20m 1/4-wave vertical on a roof tower (6BTV at 23' above ground with 24 radials): S8-S9.

With MFJ-1622 clamped to hamshack aluminum window frame, with whip outside, counterpoise wire outside, whip extended all the way, coil tapped for 20m and counterpoise also set for 20m resonance: S3.

With MFJ-1622 clamped to window sill indoors, with whip inside the shack: S0, couldn't hear him at all.

So, this is an S9+ signal down to "nothing," switching antennas in less than a second using a coax switch.

That's a big difference.

And it indicates a major difference between the whip being inside and being outside.

It takes some experimenting to use an antenna such as that one.  If you can install it outside of a window, clamped to an aluminum window frame, well above ground level (like 2nd story of a home, or higher up than that), that's the best situation.

WB2WIK/6

 
 
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N4DCT
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2008, 04:32:35 PM »

Thanks guys I got it working Smiley
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KB9CRY
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2008, 08:26:56 PM »

What did you do?  What did you find?  I'm curious and I'm sure others would appreciate the troubleshooting process.
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