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RE: [FT897] FT-897 Grounding and VHF Antenna Grounding

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  • Big Don
    It is my experience that yes you do ground the chassis. There is a lug provided for it. I am using 4awg cable on my chassis as well as my antenna protectors
    Message 1 of 11 , Apr 5, 2013
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      It is my experience that yes you do ground the chassis. There is a lug
      provided for it. I am using 4awg cable on my chassis as well as my antenna
      protectors which are then connected to ground rods. If you are not in a
      position to use grpound rods than a copper water pipe that has a grounding
      bypass over the meter so it is a continuous ground as they often use fiber
      washers on modern meters. Hope this helps.

      Don KD0RVR



      From: FT897@yahoogroups.com [mailto:FT897@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      dcawood
      Sent: Thursday, April 04, 2013 9:49 PM
      To: FT897@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [FT897] FT-897 Grounding and VHF Antenna Grounding





      Does anyone ground there FT897 Chasis?

      Also, Does anyone ground the outside of the UHF connector at the 897?

      I am experiencing poor rx.

      I thought it was the mobile radio tx; however, the local club here had a
      simplex net and I could not hear someone that another base could hear
      perfectly 3 miles away.

      I was using a ventenna; however, today I put up a Diamond x-50 and yhe
      problem became worse?

      If i turn up my rx gain, i can sometime hear people but there is a lot of
      background noise between receives.

      Any ideas?

      Donovan - KF5TSH





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Charles Scott
      Donovan: I don t know how the situation could be worse with the X-50 than it was with the Ventenna. That may indicate that you have cable or connector
      Message 2 of 11 , Apr 5, 2013
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        Donovan:

        I don't know how the situation could be worse with the X-50 than it was
        with the Ventenna. That may indicate that you have cable or connector
        problems.

        Also, your comment about having noise between transmissions on simplex
        is confusing, particularly because you say if you turn up the RX gain
        (do you mean the knob behind the volume control?) you can sometimes hear
        people but get noise between the transmissions. If that control is set
        to RF gain, the radio should be using automatic squelch level, so there
        shouldn't be noise between transmissions. I wonder if you have some
        local interference that's causing that. (Does the noise go away if you
        disconnect the antenna cable from the back of the radio?)

        I always leave that control as "Squelch" (menu 80) on my radio, so
        perhaps someone else has more info on the squelch/RF gain issue.

        And I agree with the others that grounding should have nothing to do
        with your ability to receive well on VHF/UHF.

        Sometimes it just pays to step back and start from scratch. Consider
        doing a full reset on your radio then see what you can hear well. If
        there's a number of stations you can hear just fine, you may not have a
        problem. If there's certain frequencies you have a problem on, you may
        have interference. If you have trouble with all stations, then you may
        have cable, connector, or antenna problems.

        Chuck - N8DNX


        On 4/4/2013 10:48 PM, dcawood wrote:
        > Does anyone ground there FT897 Chasis?
        >
        > Also, Does anyone ground the outside of the UHF connector at the 897?
        >
        > I am experiencing poor rx.
        >
        > I thought it was the mobile radio tx; however, the local club here had a simplex net and I could not hear someone that another base could hear perfectly 3 miles away.
        >
        > I was using a ventenna; however, today I put up a Diamond x-50 and yhe problem became worse?
        >
        > If i turn up my rx gain, i can sometime hear people but there is a lot of background noise between receives.
        >
        > Any ideas?
        >
        > Donovan - KF5TSH
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >

        --
        *Charles Scott*, President
        Gaslight Media
        120 E. Lake Street
        Petoskey, MI 49770
        http://www.gaslightmedia.com

        E-Mail: cscott@...
        Office: 231-487-0692


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Bob Aldridge
        According to my manual, the control operates squelch on FM at all times - no matter how the menu item is set... Page 21 Adjusting the RF Gain and Squelch So,
        Message 3 of 11 , Apr 5, 2013
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          According to my manual, the control operates squelch on FM at all times
          - no
          matter how the menu item is set... Page 21 "Adjusting the RF Gain and
          Squelch"

          So, it sounds as though the signals are not strong enough to break the
          squelch.

          Unless you have CTCSS set on receive, and everyone is transmitting a
          different
          one, of course...

          Bob
          2E0EBA
          London, UK

          On 05/04/2013 16:31, Charles Scott wrote:
          >
          > Donovan:
          >
          > I don't know how the situation could be worse with the X-50 than it was
          > with the Ventenna. That may indicate that you have cable or connector
          > problems.
          >
          > Also, your comment about having noise between transmissions on simplex
          > is confusing, particularly because you say if you turn up the RX gain
          > (do you mean the knob behind the volume control?) you can sometimes hear
          > people but get noise between the transmissions. If that control is set
          > to RF gain, the radio should be using automatic squelch level, so there
          > shouldn't be noise between transmissions. I wonder if you have some
          > local interference that's causing that. (Does the noise go away if you
          > disconnect the antenna cable from the back of the radio?)
          >
          > I always leave that control as "Squelch" (menu 80) on my radio, so
          > perhaps someone else has more info on the squelch/RF gain issue.
          >
          > And I agree with the others that grounding should have nothing to do
          > with your ability to receive well on VHF/UHF.
          >
          > Sometimes it just pays to step back and start from scratch. Consider
          > doing a full reset on your radio then see what you can hear well. If
          > there's a number of stations you can hear just fine, you may not have a
          > problem. If there's certain frequencies you have a problem on, you may
          > have interference. If you have trouble with all stations, then you may
          > have cable, connector, or antenna problems.
          >
          > Chuck - N8DNX
          >
          > On 4/4/2013 10:48 PM, dcawood wrote:
          > > Does anyone ground there FT897 Chasis?
          > >
          > > Also, Does anyone ground the outside of the UHF connector at the 897?
          > >
          > > I am experiencing poor rx.
          > >
          > > I thought it was the mobile radio tx; however, the local club here
          > had a simplex net and I could not hear someone that another base could
          > hear perfectly 3 miles away.
          > >
          > > I was using a ventenna; however, today I put up a Diamond x-50 and
          > yhe problem became worse?
          > >
          > > If i turn up my rx gain, i can sometime hear people but there is a
          > lot of background noise between receives.
          > >
          > > Any ideas?
          > >
          > > Donovan - KF5TSH
          >



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Dave Nelson
          hi Donovan ... of background noise between receives. ... Ummm ... yes have the RF gain set to max gain ... you do realise what the mute/squelch control is for
          Message 4 of 11 , Apr 6, 2013
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            hi Donovan

            > If i turn up my rx gain, i can sometime hear people but there is a lot
            of background noise between receives.
            > Any ideas?

            Ummm ... yes have the RF gain set to max gain ... you do realise what the
            mute/squelch control is for ??
            Thats for setting the mute/squelch level so you DONT hear the loud hiss
            in the gaps between presence of signals :)

            and the only reason I have a ground cable from the radio chassis to an earthrod
            is for lightning induced voltage protection. it presence or absence has NO
            EFFECT on received signal

            Dave
            VK2TDN

            At 06:44 PM 4/5/2013, you wrote:
            > > Does anyone ground there FT897 Chasis?
            > > Also, Does anyone ground the outside of the UHF connector at the 897?
            > > I am experiencing poor rx.
            > > I thought it was the mobile radio tx; however, the local club here had
            > a simplex net and I could not hear someone that another base could hear
            > perfectly 3 miles away.
            > > I was using a ventenna; however, today I put up a Diamond x-50 and yhe
            > problem became worse?
            > > If i turn up my rx gain, i can sometime hear people but there is a lot
            > of background noise between receives.
            > > Any ideas?
            > > Donovan - KF5TSH
          • J C
            A few comments I hope will help:   1.    I d check SWR or Forward/reflected power, right out of the radio into a good dummy load.  Note the power out and
            Message 5 of 11 , Apr 7, 2013
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              A few comments I hope will help:
               
              1.    I'd check SWR or Forward/reflected power, right out of the radio into a good dummy load.  Note the power out and SWR/reflected should be very low right at the back of the radio, unless the radio coax jack is bad.
               
              2.    Next, I'd check the same readings with the coax and antenna connected, at the radio end.  High SWR (above 1.5) would indicate a bad coax or bad antenna.
               
              3.    I'd check same at the antenna end, with the dummy load at the coax.  SWR or reflected should be low with just the coax and no antenna involved , use this test to compare cable loss- the watts delivered by your transmitter versus how many watts make it through the coax to the far end.
               
              4.    Now, check it with the wattmeter connected at the antenna; antenna connected.  If high SWR, the antenna could be bad, but not always the case.  Some cable lengths or antenna problems may not show high SWR or reflected power.
               
              5.    Check the RF connections and cable.  If the solder type, sometimes people forget to solder the coax braid.  Use silver-teflon connectors.  Use good cable - if VHF/UHF, I suggest LMR-400 cable or equivalent.
               
              Grounding issues:
              "Electrical Ground" is bonding your hamshack equipment and arrestors to a ground rod or other good earth ground.  Normally, electrical ground does not aid reception and transmission and is just for safety. 
              "RF Ground" are the radial rods or wires on a groundplane or vertical antenna, or, the metal top of the car an antenna is installed on (sometimes called ground-plane).  In some end-fed HF antennas, the RF ground may be one or more counterpoise wires, attached to the ground terminal of a longwire-type antenna tuner or coupler.   
               
              73
              W6CJ

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Radio_Randy
              I don t agree that a higher than 1.5:1 SWR definitely indicates either bad coax or a bad antenna. For instance, the minimum SWR for a dipole antenna is
              Message 6 of 11 , Apr 9, 2013
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                I don't agree that a higher than 1.5:1 SWR definitely indicates either bad coax or a bad antenna. For instance, the "minimum" SWR for a dipole antenna is around 1.5:1, due to it's 72 ohm input impedance.

                Bad coax can actually show a better than normal SWR (in the VHF+ bands), due to excessive loss. This is, of course, assuming neither the coax or any connectors are shorted or totally open. In addition, a bad antenna would be indicated only if the SWR were high at it's center frequency, not at the band edges.

                73, Radio Randy N7CKJ

                --- In FT897@yahoogroups.com, J C <lastradioman@...> wrote:
                >
                > A few comments I hope will help:
                >  
                > 1.    I'd check SWR or Forward/reflected power, right out of the radio into a good dummy load.  Note the power out and SWR/reflected should be very low right at the back of the radio, unless the radio coax jack is bad.
                >  
                > 2.    Next, I'd check the same readings with the coax and antenna connected, at the radio end.  High SWR (above 1.5) would indicate a bad coax or bad antenna.
                >  
                > 3.    I'd check same at the antenna end, with the dummy load at the coax.  SWR or reflected should be low with just the coax and no antenna involved , use this test to compare cable loss- the watts delivered by your transmitter versus how many watts make it through the coax to the far end.
                >  
                > 4.    Now, check it with the wattmeter connected at the antenna; antenna connected.  If high SWR, the antenna could be bad, but not always the case.  Some cable lengths or antenna problems may not show high SWR or reflected power.
                >  
                > 5.    Check the RF connections and cable.  If the solder type, sometimes people forget to solder the coax braid.  Use silver-teflon connectors.  Use good cable - if VHF/UHF, I suggest LMR-400 cable or equivalent.
                >  
                > Grounding issues:
                > "Electrical Ground" is bonding your hamshack equipment and arrestors to a ground rod or other good earth ground.  Normally, electrical ground does not aid reception and transmission and is just for safety. 
                > "RF Ground" are the radial rods or wires on a groundplane or vertical antenna, or, the metal top of the car an antenna is installed on (sometimes called ground-plane).  In some end-fed HF antennas, the RF ground may be one or more counterpoise wires, attached to the ground terminal of a longwire-type antenna tuner or coupler.   
                >  
                > 73
                > W6CJ
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Charles Scott
                Randy: For some types of coax problems such as contamination that might be true. For others such as pinched cable, broken center conductors, etc, the SWR could
                Message 7 of 11 , Apr 9, 2013
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                  Randy:

                  For some types of coax problems such as contamination that might be
                  true. For others such as pinched cable, broken center conductors, etc,
                  the SWR could be higher.

                  Chuck - N8DNX


                  On 4/9/2013 10:31 AM, Radio_Randy wrote:
                  > ...
                  > Bad coax can actually show a better than normal SWR (in the VHF+ bands), due to excessive loss.
                  > ...
                • dcawood
                  I think I have two main problems. One, even after repeated advice, I did not have my rx gain set to high and 80 set to sql for adjusting just sql. Two, I have
                  Message 8 of 11 , Apr 11, 2013
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                    I think I have two main problems.

                    One, even after repeated advice, I did not have my rx gain set to high and 80 set to sql for adjusting just sql.

                    Two, I have a Diamond X-50 raised to 25' however, the topology in this area puts me in a 30 foot dip in almost a 1 mile radius. In general the topology goes up and down in this area.

                    Also, I have some DX Engineering LMR400 on the way.

                    All my cables so far have been from cable experts.

                    The cable in use now is a 75' RG213U, With how my antenna is setup now I can use a 40' DX LMR Cable.

                    I have a cheap SWR meter on the way for testing. It's not an analyzer but its a start.

                    73
                    Donovan - KF5TSH

                    --- In FT897@yahoogroups.com, Charles Scott <cscott@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Randy:
                    >
                    > For some types of coax problems such as contamination that might be
                    > true. For others such as pinched cable, broken center conductors, etc,
                    > the SWR could be higher.
                    >
                    > Chuck - N8DNX
                    >
                    >
                    > On 4/9/2013 10:31 AM, Radio_Randy wrote:
                    > > ...
                    > > Bad coax can actually show a better than normal SWR (in the VHF+ bands), due to excessive loss.
                    > > ...
                    >
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