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Re: [FT897] FT-897D with SGC Turner

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  • james.amburn
    HI Geoff I use the FT-40 on my trailer with a push up aluminum Flag pole with about a fifty foot wire and mount the box on the ladder with great results. This
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 29, 2012
      HI Geoff
      I use the FT-40 on my trailer with a push up aluminum
      Flag pole with about a fifty foot wire and mount the box on the ladder with great results. This makes a good inverted "L" antenna. I have ferrite bead on each end and have no RF problem in the RV. If you have any questions let me know.
      Good luck,
      Jim N0TUI

      Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE SmartphoneGeoff <general@...> wrote:
      Nothing special required with wiring, the SGC just needs 12V DC to power
      it and it tunes on RF sensing and is therefore automatic. There is a
      control box option which might be worthwhile or if there is a schematic
      available you could home brew it. It allows locking the tuner to avoid
      retuning and a few other features. At minimum you will need coax + 12V
      DC to the tuner, if you use a control box you might need some extra
      wires as well.

      Other than that it works well, the only conceivable downside I can see
      is that people say the 897D "starts" folding back power at an SWR of
      1.5:1. the SGC considers anything less than 2:1 to be a good match, so
      there may be some overlap where you're not getting maximum power out.
      However, I'm sure the foldback is a gradual process and you are still
      gaining a lot more effective radiated power by having the tuner sited at
      the antenna as opposed to a mismatched load on coax.

      You'll probably find the antenna you're talking about behaves like an
      'L' with a vertical leg and a horizontal leg. I don't believe the
      ground radials will make that much difference. But the SGC is great for
      just throwing up an antenna that fits the space and tuning it, it'll
      definitely radiate something :) You might consider some ferrites at
      several points on the control lead and coax coming away from the tuner
      to make sure the coax doesn't pick up RF from the antenna (since
      logically you will be running the coax down your tower which is also one
      of your radiators! You may find this causes you issues in which case
      running a sloping counterpoise off your tower is a better choice than
      using the tower itself).



      On 30/12/2012 12:37 PM, Gary wrote:
      > Hey Guys:
      > I am looking at purchasing a SGC SG-230 Smartuner
      > (http://www.sgcworld.com/230ProductPage.html) to use with my FT-897D
      > for HF use. The turner will be installed on my tower at about 37 feet
      > and I will run a single wire antenna appox. 82' long from the tower to
      > a nearby tree. The turner will be grounded to my tower and to a series
      > of ground wires around the tower.
      > Has anyone have any experience using this turner with their 897D and
      > if so how do you like the combination? Did you do anything special in
      > wiring the turner with the radio?
      > Many Thanks and 73's
      > Gary Shuford, km5me

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    • J C
      I used this tuner, but with a TS-2000 in an emergency communications/EOC environment.  It did, however, work with an FT897D in a temporary setup.   I used a
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 30, 2012
        I used this tuner, but with a TS-2000 in an emergency communications/EOC environment.  It did, however, work with an FT897D in a temporary setup.
        I used a similar antenna, around 75 feet of wire, sloped, but fed at the bottom.  The counterpoise system was a LOT of ornamental and structural steel in the building and the tuner was connected to it by a very short 6GA lead. 
        The tuner was (and this may sound hokey, but SGC recommends it) protected by a small rectangular plastic trash can.  The trash can was upside-down, and the short lead from the tuner to the wire antenna penetrated the side of the trash-can.  Yes, the tuner is rated for outdoor, but the trashcan gives it further protection against HEAT, UV, water, etc.
        My feedline was about 150 feet of LMR-400, from the EOC on the first floor, through the weatherhead above the second floor.  I preferred this pseudo-hardline to RG-8, RG-213 for its lower loss at long runs, and the fact that it also had to carry 12 VOLTS DC for the tuner.  I was originally thinking of using 1/2 inch Andrew LDF50 HELIAX or SUPERFLEX in the 150-foor run through the building, but decided it would be overkill for my DC-amp and RF-loss requirements.
        My installation used SGC power-inserters or diplexers.  This is how you "freeload" the coax, to feed DC through it to the tuner and not have DC or RF turning up in the wrong places.  The other option would have been separate DC wiring, conduits and what would have amounted to costly electrician's work.  The DC for the tuner was connected to the same WEST MOUNTAIN RADIO PowerGate and RigRunner 12-VOLT emergency electrical system as the radios, so no cheap wall-warts or suprises in the EOC.  The SGC-230 needs emergency power for as long as the HF radio has emergency power.
        I have run EOC, emergency and other HF ops involving volunteers and quickly learned that conventional (in-the-shack) tuners, SWR meters and antenna switches are a distraction, are prone to mis-use, and require volunteer training... and in a stressful moment in the EOC, can be very easily screwed up.   By comparison, the SGC-230 and other military-type outdoor antenna tuners allow any volunteer to pick up the mike (key, keyboard) and get the job (emergency communications) done.
        I prefered the use of a random wire antenna on top of my EOC for several reasons: 
        1. Better close-in, NVIS, and all-around coverage on the low and mid HF bands (where it's going to happen).
        2. ALL Amateur bands (and MARS) through a single antenna; no traps or multiple coax-fed antennas that cover only a few NARROW hambands.  1.8-30 MHZ continuous.
        3. Mechanically reliable.  Just a piece of wire, no traps, exposed coils, etc.
        4. Low visible profile.
        5. No fussing with length and pruning, just follow SGCs guidelines.   Most lengths that work in one location, will work again in new locations.
        If I had it to do over again:
        I would have lengthened the sloped wire antenna to 150-250 feet, in a vee, lazy-L or sloped configuration; slightly better results on 1.8-5 MHz
        I would have employed a second tuner, at the base of a 21' vertical and counterpoise radials, for low-angle work on the higher HF bands.

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