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Re: [FT897] Dumb Question from a Newbie to HF

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  • Alex Netherton
    A 6:1 SWR is a bad mismatch. Most radios won t transmit with this, and some will not receive well either. You need to reduce your SWR to at worst 3:1, and even
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 23, 2013
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      A 6:1 SWR is a bad mismatch. Most radios won't transmit with this, and some
      will not receive well either. You need to reduce your SWR to at worst 3:1,
      and even then you will not have full output. Make sure you have a match to
      each band.
      Do you have an antenna matcher? Looks like the Buddiepole will do the
      matching, but you have to tune the coils and whips. Tune them til you have
      a SWR of no more than 2:1 on the band in question. Then listen.
      A really good way to see if the rig is going to work is to just build a
      dipole for 20 meters. Go to your local Radio Shack and get 35 feet of
      copper wire. Cut 2 16 1/2 foot pieces of wire. Get a piece of coax and hang
      the antenna at least 10 feet from the ground, horizontally. Solder the
      center conductor of the coax to one piece of wire, solder the shield to the
      other, making sure to insulate the two pieces of wire from each other. Run
      the coax to the rig and attach to it with a SO239 connector (also at RS).

      If you don't have the room, or an antenna covenant:

      Get into the Buddipole manual and find out how to tune it to 40 meters.
      Tune, look at the radio, and keep tuning until your SWR is less than 2:1 -
      you should get down to 1.2:1, then listen and try to get a signal report
      from someone. 40 should be awake and alive most of the day. Like the other
      ham said, six is going to be dead until conditions get better.When six is
      in, you can work England from the US East coast with 2 watts and a vertical
      plugged into the back of the rig. When it is dead, you can't get anybody
      with a full gallon and a beam.

      If still problems, check all your connections.DO NOT, and I mean DO NOT
      transmit with a 6:1 SWR; most modern radios will (hopefully) not even
      transmit, most older ones will fry the finals.

      Gud Luck, and 73
      Alex
      KC4BO




      On Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 3:32 PM, Joel <hiqual@...> wrote:

      > **
      >
      >
      > 6M is dead most of the time so dont go by that.
      >
      > Are you able to pick up a lot of Shortwave broadcast stations?
      >
      > 20 M is more active during the day but you should find decent signals
      > there until
      > dark I would think in most locations.
      >
      >
      > On 4/23/2013 1:31 PM, dcawood wrote:
      > >
      > > I am very new to HF, just got the Buddipole last night.
      > >
      > > I tried the 20M last night and got mostly noise.
      > >
      > > I tried the 2M Jpole and got great results.
      > >
      > > Right now, I am down to trying 6M and get mostly noise?
      > >
      > > My Rig Expert AA-54 shows 1.6SWR and the 897 shows about the same swr
      > > on the radio.
      > >
      > > Problem is... I can't seem to hear anyone well... just faint talking
      > > over ALOT of noise.
      > >
      > > I got to be doing something wrong. Is there a setting cheatsheet for
      > > dummies?
      > >
      > > Currently trying USB, AM, FM, DIG, not very good results. The settings
      > > on the radio should be at default.
      > >
      > > Thanks,
      > > Donovan - KF5TSH
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > No virus found in this message.
      > > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com <http://www.avg.com>
      > > Version: 2012.0.2241 / Virus Database: 3162/5767 - Release Date: 04/23/13
      > >
      >
      > --
      > KQ�J
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >



      --
      Alex Netherton
      http://blueridgediscovery.com


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • northernscout
      Yes, there are other sources of noise to contend with sometimes. Pot growers, as an example. Their lighting systems generate a huge amount of QRM. Another is
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 24, 2013
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        Yes, there are other sources of noise to contend with sometimes. Pot growers, as an example. Their lighting systems generate a huge amount of QRM. Another is data over power lines in some areas. I have had problems with arcing on power line insulators when we get misty rains and the rain drops are so tiny they get carried on air currents. A friend told me that 20m m was dead, don't know about now, that was about a week ago and 20m is normally his favorite band.
        Donn / VA7DH

        --- In FT897@yahoogroups.com, "Radio_Randy" <randy.jones@...> wrote:
        >
        > Donovan,
        >
        > On 20 and 6 Meters, your S meter should register next to nothing when there are no signals (with the BuddiPole). Those bands are relatively quiet, so far as noise is concerned. If you are getting measurable noise levels with your S meter, you may be suffering from excessive RF noise in your area (I know we've talked about this, before).
        >
        > I would take my radio and BuddiPole and find a nice quiet rural location, away from power lines and farm houses and try again. At the place where I work, 20 Meters is quite noisy, near the offices. If I move a few hundred feet away, out into the middle of a field, the noise level drops to almost nothing. The signals are then completely readable.
        >
        > You might also try rotating your BuddiPole to see if the noise is coming from a specific direction. I've used this feature when operating on six and two Meters with my BuddiPole.
        >
        > 73, Radio Randy N7CKJ
        >
        > --- In FT897@yahoogroups.com, "dcawood" <dcawood@> wrote:
        > >
        > > I am very new to HF, just got the Buddipole last night.
        > >
        > > I tried the 20M last night and got mostly noise.
        > >
        > > I tried the 2M Jpole and got great results.
        > >
        > > Right now, I am down to trying 6M and get mostly noise?
        > >
        > > My Rig Expert AA-54 shows 1.6SWR and the 897 shows about the same swr on the radio.
        > >
        > > Problem is... I can't seem to hear anyone well... just faint talking over ALOT of noise.
        > >
        > > I got to be doing something wrong. Is there a setting cheatsheet for dummies?
        > >
        > > Currently trying USB, AM, FM, DIG, not very good results. The settings on the radio should be at default.
        > >
        > > Thanks,
        > > Donovan - KF5TSH
        > >
        >
      • Jeffrey Peters
        Hello Donovan - KF5TSH, Please take sometime an look up HF Propagation on Google or any search engine you like. Understanding propagation will help you find
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 24, 2013
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          Hello Donovan - KF5TSH,

          Please take sometime an look up HF Propagation on Google or any search
          engine you like. Understanding propagation will help you find other
          stations to contact. You will learn which bands will work best at different
          times of the day.

          Other helpful QSO or Propagation tools are DX cluster postings and for 6
          meters, I also find the following website called DXMaps very helpful.
          http://www.dxmaps.com/spots/map.php?Lan=E&Frec=50&Map=NA&mycall=&myloc=&freq=&prop=
          There you can click on the tabs and find/see where the propagation is
          coming and going. For example today clicking on the HF tab and then 20
          meters now a 18:45Z there is a great amount of contacts between North
          America and Europe/Middle East.

          The other thing to do is find some local ham radio operators that will help
          Elmer or teach you more of the basics of amateur radio operating. Ask other
          hams on your local VHF and UHF repeaters, ask at radio club meetings, and
          check your zip code on QRZ.com to see how many Hams live near you. Then,
          look up each of them on QRZ.com and send a nice general email to those who
          have email address listed and see who might be able to help you learn. I am
          sure you will find a few new friends that will help you get started and
          learning more about this wonderful and interesting hobby.

          I have been licensed since the 1960's and continue to learn something new
          about some part of this hobby almost daily. Do not be afraid to ask
          questions and keep asking until you fully understand.

          73 and Good Health, Jeff - K9JP SKCC #3008T



          On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 2:09 PM, William <wabarron@...> wrote:

          > **
          >
          >
          > Welcome to the HF bands!
          > They are entirely different from VHF/FM/AM
          >
          > This is real radio, so do not expect the high fidelity, crystal-clear
          > sounds you get from short-range transmissions. SSB is varying, maybe weak
          > signal, with lost of static.
          >
          > It all depends on your antenna and tuner. The antenna should be trimmed
          > (cut to length) for the band you wish to operate .. and a good antenna
          > tuner (like the AT-897) will help a lot. At the current time, bands are in
          > terrible shape .. very hard to hear. 20 mtrs generally ok during day .. but
          > recently only ok at night!
          >
          > In any case, don't give up, spend some $$$ on your antennas and tuners,
          > and you will have a lot more fun!
          >
          > 73, Bill W1WAB
          >
          >
          > --- In FT897@yahoogroups.com, "dcawood" <dcawood@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > I am very new to HF, just got the Buddipole last night.
          > >
          > > I tried the 20M last night and got mostly noise.
          > >
          > > I tried the 2M Jpole and got great results.
          > >
          > > Right now, I am down to trying 6M and get mostly noise?
          > >
          > > My Rig Expert AA-54 shows 1.6SWR and the 897 shows about the same swr on
          > the radio.
          > >
          > > Problem is... I can't seem to hear anyone well... just faint talking
          > over ALOT of noise.
          > >
          > > I got to be doing something wrong. Is there a setting cheatsheet for
          > dummies?
          > >
          > > Currently trying USB, AM, FM, DIG, not very good results. The settings
          > on the radio should be at default.
          > >
          > > Thanks,
          > > Donovan - KF5TSH
          > >
          >
          >
          >



          --
          Give this a try! ~Aspire to Inspire before you Expire~ OR ~Never be afraid
          to try, remember...Amateurs built the ark, Professionals built the Titanic~
          EVEN BETTER~
          Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright
          until you hear them speak.


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • n7mch
          The bands are rather iffy right now. Try WWV on 5, 10 and 15 MHz AM. If you hear those, your receiver and antenna are most likely ok. Good luck 73 de N7MCH
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 24, 2013
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            The bands are rather iffy right now. Try WWV on 5, 10 and 15 MHz AM. If you hear those, your receiver and antenna are most likely ok.

            Good luck

            73 de N7MCH Walt

            --- In FT897@yahoogroups.com, "dcawood" <dcawood@...> wrote:
            >
            > I am very new to HF, just got the Buddipole last night.
            >
            > I tried the 20M last night and got mostly noise.
            >
            > I tried the 2M Jpole and got great results.
            >
            > Right now, I am down to trying 6M and get mostly noise?
            >
            > My Rig Expert AA-54 shows 1.6SWR and the 897 shows about the same swr on the radio.
            >
            > Problem is... I can't seem to hear anyone well... just faint talking over ALOT of noise.
            >
            > I got to be doing something wrong. Is there a setting cheatsheet for dummies?
            >
            > Currently trying USB, AM, FM, DIG, not very good results. The settings on the radio should be at default.
            >
            > Thanks,
            > Donovan - KF5TSH
            >
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