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Re: [Murgas ARC] Fwd: Buying a used radio

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  • Bob Nygren
    Some questionable antenna advice, (in my opinion.) In an area as mountainous as ours, a 1/4 wave mobile antenna is preferred to a 5/8 wave. If you are in one
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 31, 2010
      Some questionable antenna advice, (in my opinion.) In an area as mountainous as ours, a 1/4 wave mobile antenna is preferred to a 5/8 wave. If you are in one of our many valleys, the low angle of radiation of the 5/8 antenna is a disadvantage. The 1/4 wave antenna has a higher angle of radiation. More of your signal will make it up to the mountaintop location of most repeaters.

      The description of the "cheap antenna " for the home is not accurate. 468/F (in mHz) is a good starting point for construction a 1/2 wave dipole antenna, not a ground plane. 468/146 = 38 inches not 57 inches. Anyone trying to make 57, (or 38) inches of wire function as a ground plane antenna on 2 meters will be frustrated.

      Google "J Pole" for an easy to build antenna for 2 meters for home use. I've seen a dual band J Pole on EPAY for about $20. You can build one for less than $5. Keep the feed-line as short as possible.


      Bob N3RN

      --- On Sat, 7/31/10, worksntv@... <worksntv@...> wrote:

      From: worksntv@... <worksntv@...>
      Subject: [Murgas ARC] Fwd: Buying a used radio
      To: KB3FIC@..., gozalla@..., kf3di@..., N3XXH@..., k7sz@..., n3tsv@..., ng3f@..., ddobinick@...3FAA, Ka3qpq@..., screamingeagle@..., w5td@..., suegan@..., rob@..., charleshookerjr@..., leslohreast@..., jd1@..., charleshooker23@..., jnlcaffrey@..., mgblions@...
      Cc: scrantonpoconoamateurradioklub@yahoogroups.com, k3ytl@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Saturday, July 31, 2010, 7:38 PM



      From: WA3LWR@epix. net
      To: Undisclosed- Recipient: ;
      Sent: 7/29/2010 1:14:41 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
      Subj: Buying a used radio
          A few of you have asked me how to buy a used radio now that you are hams.
      Locally, Gene LaRue sells equipment that family members have asked him to sell equipment that belonged to a deceased ham.  He does not make any money on it and has very reasonable prices.  His number is 344-0439.
      The Scranton Pocono Amateur Radio Club also has some equipment from Estates.  Check with Ray WX3A at Hampilot@aol. com.
          Now on buying a radio.  First, in our area there are both two meter and 440 MHz repeaters.  There are also a few six meter repeaters.  All the area repeaters are FM and most use PL tones (sub audioable tones).
          You do not need a new radio which will usually run you between $200 and $300, and up to $200 for dual band units.  Any of the major companies: Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu and Alinco have fine units.  Alinco usually has fewer bells and whistles and is cheaper, but all will do the job and I own some of each company.
          Since two meters is the most popular frequency in the region I would encourage anyone wishing to save some money to buy a single band (2 meters) radio.  Just make sure it has independent PL tones for all channels.  (Some like the Icom 28 only give you three PL tones and has 20+ channels.) 
          Any power level of 10 watts or more is going to do the job.  You do not need  70 watts.
          If it is a used radio you will see prices around $50 and assuming it works and has a microphone, it could be a great deal.  Check at Eham.net for Product review and check to see what others have to say about the unit.
          The antenna is always a hard decision, and dependent on how much you value your pristine vehicle.  An antenna drilled into the center of the roof would be the best, but even then you have the question of how large of an antenna.  A quarter wave antenna is under 20 inches and will do a good job, IF you are within 20 miles of the repeater. 
          A half wave antenna mounted on the window will do a better  job, but may only work on one band.
          Magnetic antennas do an excellent job, but sometimes you will need a wire attached to the base and then to a good car ground, to see the best performance.  You can always experiment at home to see if it makes  a difference.  If you do  not see one on receive, it probably will not make a difference on transmit.  A number of hams have SWR meters and MFJ-259 systems and can help you adjust the antenna.  (I am one who has both.)
          In the Northeast the 5/8 antenna seems to be the antenna of choice, but it is almost 3 1/2 feet high.  Mounting it on the center of your roof could be a problem with the garage door and especially parking lots.
          At home a simple cheap antenna can be quickly made using the formula 468 divided by the frequency.  For two meters that means 57 inches of wire, attached to a two by four, and that wire attaches to the center wire of the coax.  Four radials, each 19 inches, at a 90 degree angle to the vertical 57 piece wire (and not touching, will connect to the coax shield.  This will work as well as an expensive antenna.
      You can also make many other kinds of high gain antennas.  Use good coax, in the car the thin 58 coax is ok, but for the home use 9913 or LMR cable.  The loss could exceed 50% of the output power with the cheaper coax and a 100 foot run.
          If you are installing equipment at a commercial establishment such as a hospital, check to see what bands and types of systems are used in the area.  Locally we have digital packet systems and would bring the local hospitals into it, and directly to each other, at 9600 baud and on 430 Mhz.  This would also bring them into both Lackawanna and Luzerne County EMAs. 
      Six meters might be used, but requires a separate antenna.  Two and 440 of course, and what else?
      So check with various people who are directly involved in EMA and SKYWARN weather spotting.
      Hope this helps and remember the area hams have the experience and are usually willing to help you, even to the point of helping to install the antenna system.

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