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HAM radio

Go on. Make us in the UK really angry. How much did you pay for it :(

$1100. Minus $100 mail in rebate. So $1000 even. Just seemed like the best bang/buck ratio. My wife lets me do something like this once a year or so, with her absolute blessing. I don’t go boozing, and she knows where I am. If I’m not in the basement, I’m at the golf club. Likely with her!
 
I can't remember the source of the rumour which is frustrating. Im pessimistic though as I think we're more likely to lose space than gain it.
I forgot about the French proposal to move the 2m band
Will we lose the 2m band? - KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog
France proposes 144-146 MHz for Aeronautical Mobile Service
IARU addresses 2m & 23cm threats - Radio Society of Great Britain - Main Site : Radio Society of Great Britain – Main Site

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endure

GCM
$1100. Minus $100 mail in rebate. So $1000 even. Just seemed like the best bang/buck ratio. My wife lets me do something like this once a year or so, with her absolute blessing. I don’t go boozing, and she knows where I am. If I’m not in the basement, I’m at the golf club. Likely with her!
That's only 700 dollars less than the RRP in the UK you bastard... ;-) :mrgreen:
 

fv1620

Old-Salt
The biggest chunk of spectrum loss on a band I used to operate on was 21000-22000 Mc/s I think that went in late 1972 or early 1973.
 
I have the set up and running. It’s quickly obvious that I will have to invest a lot more time in antennas. I strung a dipole out on my deck last night, cut for 14MHz, and I could only RX very strong stations on that band. Down in the 3s, I could hear quite a bit of CW.

Got up early today and used the dipole centre insulator as the core of something like the below. Only 12ft high, but widely fanned. Maybe need to work on the counterpoise, it only has 4 legs, each 16’. Maybe add some longer legs in between.


However, not to put too fine a point on it, apart from 7MHz, it’s shite as-is. 7MHz is actually OK. I had an SSB conversation with a bloke in Florida, about 5-600 miles away, but it quickly faded out as the sun went down after work. Was quite pleased with that though. I could hear another guy, plain as day, explaining to whoever he was talking to (that I couldn’t RX), his VHF set up has a 1200W PA, and gets 350 miles on 2m!!!

Then had a play with FT8. Again, RX worked just fine. I was RXing from stations 3000km away! But no response to my CQ even to much closer stations, so I can only assume I’m not getting out.

Only had it a day. Very happy so far!
 
I have the set up and running. It’s quickly obvious that I will have to invest a lot more time in antennas. I strung a dipole out on my deck last night, cut for 14MHz, and I could only RX very strong stations on that band. Down in the 3s, I could hear quite a bit of CW.

Got up early today and used the dipole centre insulator as the core of something like the below. Only 12ft high, but widely fanned. Maybe need to work on the counterpoise, it only has 4 legs, each 16’. Maybe add some longer legs in between.


However, not to put too fine a point on it, apart from 7MHz, it’s shite as-is. 7MHz is actually OK. I had an SSB conversation with a bloke in Florida, about 5-600 miles away, but it quickly faded out as the sun went down after work. Was quite pleased with that though. I could hear another guy, plain as day, explaining to whoever he was talking to (that I couldn’t RX), his VHF set up has a 1200W PA, and gets 350 miles on 2m!!!

Then had a play with FT8. Again, RX worked just fine. I was RXing from stations 3000km away! But no response to my CQ even to much closer stations, so I can only assume I’m not getting out.

Only had it a day. Very happy so far!
Interesting vertical fan antenna. The low dipole is effectively in NVIS mode so when your signal comes back down, 350 miles is within that area. It's working as it should though you may be able to make improvements.

Receiving from 3000km is great but you need the right skywave take off angle to make use of that. NVIS mode antennas are not appropriate for Dx. A vertical that you can raise and lower using a SOTA pole from SOTA Beams or a Dx Commander should make a significant difference. Given your concerns about high and visible antennas, SOTA forums may be helpful. Even a mobile whip on the end of an extendable pole would be better for Dx.
 
@supermatelot asked me for an update via other means (not HF!! :) ).

Again, got up early and redid the antenna. Now have a droopy Dipole cut for 7 MHz. Can receive all sorts on that, but not yet managed to get someone to ack my TX. But only played with it for an hour or so.

I rigged up a piece of 2x4 off the underside of my deck, and attached the centre insulator to that. When the house was built, I noticed that the concrete trucks were emptying their residue and just wasting it. So I had the foresight to buy some 5-gal buckets, and had them drop the residual loads into those, with a rebar loop in to use as an anchor at some future point. That point is now :)

Eventually I'd like to use the septic drain field as an antenna field, but for now I'm improvising.

Here's the droopy improvisation:


IMG_0193.JPG


Future antenna field with concrete-filled bucket:

IMG_0194.JPG


And a view of the "shack":

IMG_0195.JPG


Work computer on the left (complete with Arrse and VOACAP) :), my computer on the right, showing WSJT-X and a web SDR. Rig is central, PSU under the left monitor. Need an HDMI switch now so I can use both monitors for either computer. Don't like using work computer for home stuff and vice-versa.

In other news, my M-I-L happens to have a 30ft lattice mast in her yard, complete with antenna rotator and enormous Yagi thing for TV. The mast is no use, the house is too low even with a mast to RX TV signals, so she has satellite TV only. When my F-I-L was alive, he tried and tried to get terrestrial TV, but gave up in the end. The mast, rotator and antenna have been there for probably 15 years now. The Sat dish is bolted to the lowest section of the mast, so I just need to buy a new lower section and I can have the rest. Win :)
 
Gen question- whats the issue with you just getting a mahoosive antenna that ticks all boxes? You live in a pretty leanly populated place. Are there still strict planning laws on antennae there?

<Note correct plural of 'antenna'> That's about the best input I can give at this level of 'beard'.
 

endure

GCM
If you get the mast up you could put a rotatable beam on top of it. That field makes me really jealous. My garden is about 15 feet wide and 30 feet long. :(
 
Gen question- whats the issue with you just getting a mahoosive antenna that ticks all boxes? You live in a pretty leanly populated place. Are there still strict planning laws on antennae there?

<Note correct plural of 'antenna'> That's about the best input I can give at this level of 'beard'.

Just time and money really. No planning laws that I would fall foul of. I have plenty of space, but I'd need a 200ft coax, which of course will have 2-3dB of loss (which I can probably deal with), but that shit ain't cheap. While I've still got something like 5000 trees, they're not all that mature, so finding ones that are tall enough to get up with a ladder and secure a pulley is not that simple either.

MIL's mast is a good avenue, and I think the lower section is only $150 or so, but it needs a yard of concrete to anchor it. And shipping is pretty costly too. I can't put the mast in the septic field, the drain lines are under it, so I'll have to find another spot for that.

Hey, two days in, and having fun :)
 

endure

GCM
Gen question- whats the issue with you just getting a mahoosive antenna that ticks all boxes? You live in a pretty leanly populated place. Are there still strict planning laws on antennae there?

<Note correct plural of 'antenna'> That's about the best input I can give at this level of 'beard'.
He's a Brit. We call them 'aerials' ;-)
 
How about-during the experimental stage, a serious of end-fed wires capable of different freqs, suspended like washing lines? Is that feasible?
 
He's a Brit. We call them 'aerials' ;-)
He's not a Brit. He's a Wigganer. A bit like a scouser but more brains. Same genus though, Subsequently..when he planned on fecking off back to Ireland where scousers are from-he miscalculated..ended up in a short low earth orbit and his beard reacted with the troposphere above Tennessee...and here we are :)
 
He's a Scaley - thus, right or wrong (and there are arguments up the ying-yang either way), they are, and forever will be, in my "book of words" - "Antennas".


:D
I'd like to think that, when I make my minor input into the massive world of amateur radio, my insistance of correct grammar will be well received.


Am I being a bit naieve in that assumption??
 
Well fvck me, it works :)

Just had a voice convo with a guy in Chicago, 500 miles from here. So I must still be in the NVIS propagation mode. Think I'll be climbing tress this weekend :)
 
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