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  • Obed's Avatar
    Yesterday, 19:19
    Obed replied to a thread no contacts on 20/40m in Activity Forum
    it is true that conditions are not prime at the moment, but there are still stations out there to be worked and you never know when the bands might open. Here at my office at work I have an old Icom 756 Pro III with a tarheel screwdriver antenna mounted on a tripod on the roof of my office... I work mostly digital with PSK31.... again conditions are not optimum, but in the last few days, running 30 watts I have worked several countries in your part of the world... Polland, Estonia, Germany, Italy, France... my office is in Houston, Texas ... so DX is out there...and it does not take a big beam to make it happen. Just hang in there and play.
    9 replies | 263 view(s)
  • JohnD's Avatar
    Yesterday, 15:42
    JohnD replied to a thread no contacts on 20/40m in Activity Forum
    If it is possible, lengthen your 20 meter dipole to a 40 meter dipole and increase the elevation. I am assuming that you have some sort of tuner. The ARRL International DX Contest, CW occurred this last weekend, and 20 and 40 meters were crazy busy. I used an old Carolina Windom (10 through 40), an MFJ manual tuner, and my old Kenwood TS-440 (100 watts) and worked 150 DX QSOs, give or take a few, without too much effort. I'm located in the southern U.S. My antenna is one half wavelength long for its lowest frequency, and it is suspended between a couple of trees in my back yard. It is about 15 to 17 meters above ground level. If it is possible for you to do so, I would suggest lengthening your antenna to 1/2 wavelength at the lowest frequency (40 meters) and elevate it higher above ground. 100 watts should work. 73 es gud luck! JohnD
    9 replies | 263 view(s)
  • MitchellB's Avatar
    Yesterday, 14:40
    Here in NC I have made contacts in Ireland and England before with my little setup, so I know it is possible at my latitude. However, in recent weeks, I have not been able to hear the activity on those bands I normally hear. I usually hang around on the 40 meter band, but the noise level was so high, I moved up to 20 meters a couple weeks ago, but I have made very few contact there as well. Once in a while I can hear European calls, but they fade in and out so quickly, I'm often not fast enough or strong enough to reach them. Just taking across a few hundred miles has been difficult for me recently. Hopefully conditions will improve.
    9 replies | 263 view(s)
  • WA1MAD's Avatar
    Yesterday, 14:01
    Well, not living in Ireland, I can't speak for conditions there. But here in Massachusetts, 40 meters has been unpredictable. I use a 706mk2g with an IT100 LDG tuner in my car and am amazed in its performance, most of the time. I work, 20, 40 and 80. There are many stations around the world that can be listened to on websdr.org. Just select one a few hundred miles from your QTH and listen on the computer as you put out a call. This will, at least, let you know you are transmitting. Another option is a fellow ham. I've had QSO's to Ireland and the UK from here fairly regularly. Haven't tried in the last few weeks though. Have you watched your SWR? Is your antenna resonant? Is your noise floor high? Good luck and 73. Mike WA1MAD
    9 replies | 263 view(s)
  • WZ7U's Avatar
    Yesterday, 10:05
    1/4-28 is the fine thread designation
    5 replies | 220 view(s)
  • WZ7U's Avatar
    Yesterday, 09:59
    WZ7U replied to a thread no contacts on 20/40m in Activity Forum
    Despite protestations to the contrary, latitude makes a difference but that is not a reason not to try. Keep trying!
    9 replies | 263 view(s)
  • paulears's Avatar
    Mon 19th Feb 2018, 17:07
    Youtube is hopeless for learning. There are so many truly awful ones, and they're usually incomplete at best, but at worst, they confuse - because you rarely can see exactly what they are doing, and your own installation, using a computer will look totally different. Drop down boxes will have different driver details, or different hardware, so available options are wrong, and very, very rarely are any critical points explained - they are just assumed to be how it is. Books have to generalise, but normally deal with specific building blocks and explaining the components, and they don't deal with equipment specifics - Youtube view it from the operation end, so what you need is underpinning knowledge then perhaps a youtube over-view? However, don't forget that the on-line info is NOT always video - there are some very good information sites, and of course the manufacturers have good info sources. The worst, I always think is youtube, where opinion is always top of the pile. I use youtube to find quick solutions...
    3 replies | 104 view(s)
  • Obed's Avatar
    Mon 19th Feb 2018, 14:48
    Obed replied to a thread no contacts on 20/40m in Activity Forum
    what are you using for antennas?
    9 replies | 263 view(s)
  • KE4RM's Avatar
    Mon 19th Feb 2018, 12:44
    Thanks for coming back with the info. Unfortunately, I agree with all you have said but I (being old and old school) don't really like reading for any length of time on a computer or a tablet. Youtubes are good but all the ones I have found seem to start out over my head and move up from there:confused:. Thanks again.
    3 replies | 104 view(s)
  • paulears's Avatar
    Mon 19th Feb 2018, 12:05
    I know exactly what you mean, being perhaps a similar age (licence originally in 80) - but the book route is NOT possible for reasons other than the obvious one. Authors are not writing books because they cannot make any money. I've ben involved with specialist books for quite a few years and mine died a speedy death and never recouped production cost - so the 1200 odd books I sold never made me a penny. Libraries were always good for a run but they don't buy them any more. One of my friends, however was a prolific author, and I bought his books when I was a teenager starting out, and ever couple of years there was a new edition - but suddenly, about ten years ago it stopped dead. His publisher, with his excellent track record wanted a guarantee of 15,000 sales or no money, and his new books were doing around 10,000 - so he was dumped. Here in the UK there is a healthy technical press range of books that sell on this subject (theatre stuff - lighting, sound etc) but the authors get a tiny payment, so they're...
    3 replies | 104 view(s)
  • bedmonson85's Avatar
    Mon 19th Feb 2018, 05:45
    Yeah, I don't do much 20 meters, but 40 has been in pitiful condition for the past couple of weeks. Seems to be coming back around though. Don't give up on it, the bands are just like that... up and down often. Like the previous poster mentioned, there's a number of places on the web that you can use to check how propagation is at any point in time. Good luck. Brian Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    9 replies | 263 view(s)
  • KE4RM's Avatar
    Mon 19th Feb 2018, 02:22
    I am just getting back into amateur radio after a very long (@30 years) absence and much has changed. I would really like to learn more about software defined radio and prefer to learn by reading books. Can you suggest a good book on sdr for a complete newbie...something like SDR for Dummies (no such thing exists unfortunately). The two that seem closest to what I need are "Software defined radio: for amateur radio operators and short wave listeners" and "The hobbyists guide to RTL-SDR". Would you recommend one of these or perhaps something I haven't seen yet? Thanks for any advise you can give. Jim KE4RM 73
    3 replies | 104 view(s)
  • pmh's Avatar
    Sun 18th Feb 2018, 19:25
    pmh replied to a thread no contacts on 20/40m in Activity Forum
    Bands can be up and down. You can check here http://www.bandconditions.com to see which are open. I don’t run more than 20W on JT65 or 30W on FT8. DX Heat is also a good site to see where the activity is. On the data modes you can use PSK Reporter or Ham Spots to see how well you are doing. For phone, you could check th3 many SDR sites and see if you are showing up on their waterfalls. With regards to power, I’ve never ran more than 100W.
    9 replies | 263 view(s)
  • paulears's Avatar
    Sun 18th Feb 2018, 19:12
    I took down my HF antennas because the level of QRM was creeping up and it just wasn't fun and the response rate to my calls was dropping.
    9 replies | 263 view(s)
  • chris.percol's Avatar
    Sun 18th Feb 2018, 17:34
    Hi, I'm in Northern Ireland and have an Icom 706MKII and seem to be able to make zero contacts on 20/40m. I've had some success on digimodes which tells me something is going out. My power meter peeks at about 60w on 20m and 100W on 40m when making calls. Does 100w not cut it these days? I hear people talking about their 2KW rigs. Any advice and tips would be appreciated. I'm trying throughout the day. I have a 20m dipole, with ladder line, probably 8m of feeder cable. Ta,
    9 replies | 263 view(s)
  • Ben Hutchinson's Avatar
    Sun 18th Feb 2018, 07:06
    My RTL-SDR provides raw I/Q signal pairs as the data format, at a sample rate of 2.4MSPS on each channel (the 2 channels being the I and Q signals). Now for further processing I want to first get the entire band "at my fingertips" which means converting it into a single channel real-valued (not I/Q) signal. This one channel will of course represent double the bandwidth (4.8MSPS). I've recorded a wave file from SDRSharp, and it has the I/Q data stored as a stereo WAV file. The output of the conversion should be a mono channel WAV file, that has combined the I/Q channels and doubled the bandwidth. What is the simplest way to do this conversion? Is there software already "in the wild" that will do this conversion for me, and if not, what is the easiest method to do this conversion?
    0 replies | 111 view(s)
  • 5B4AJB's Avatar
    Sat 17th Feb 2018, 09:55
    5B4AJB replied to a thread Base Radios drop in output power in Ten-Tec
    I met Lou at the Kempton Park rally once, he said the famous G5RV antenna was a "compromise".
    11 replies | 404 view(s)
  • paulears's Avatar
    Sat 17th Feb 2018, 09:30
    paulears replied to a thread Base Radios drop in output power in Ten-Tec
    Louis Varney was a clever fella - He was an officer in the Royal Signals during WW2 and specialised in antennas for direction finding and interception. He came from Essex (Colchester or Chelmsford, I think) and did a talk at the Lowestoft Radio club back in the 80s when I was first licensed. He spent a lot of time talking with the old boys who all seemed to have been doing things with radio in the war - very much a closed shop radio was back then! They ALL had G5RVs in the gardens, because people thought they were washing lines. Hams kept very quiet back then because they interfered with TV so much. You had to be brave to advertise what you did as a hobby.
    11 replies | 404 view(s)
  • bedmonson85's Avatar
    Sat 17th Feb 2018, 02:55
    I have an X50 but it's at the top of my tower. If memory serves the threads are 1/4"- 23 ( what ever the fine thread pitch is, not 1/4 - 20). I'd just take the antenna with you to the hardware store and match it. Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    5 replies | 220 view(s)
  • AndyG0CCX's Avatar
    Fri 16th Feb 2018, 22:05
    AndyG0CCX replied to a thread Base Radios drop in output power in Ten-Tec
    Yaesu FT101ZD + Daiwa CN419 manual ATU, then Kenwood TS-930S-AT, with built in auto ATU. Add 1 x 1/2 size G5RV, fed with around 30 feet of RG58 to the PL239 at the bottom of the ladder. Result? No issues, no burnt out radios, no need to tune at all on 20m, and either ATU coped happily on 10, 15, 20m. Much DX done with no problems. I will put one up again just as soon as my son moves out in the summer and I get my shack back. And yes, I've also gone the dipole, balu, co-ax route, but it didn't fare any better than the G5RV, so I'm sticking with it. You probably won't accept this as 'proving you wrong', 6m, but I can only offer my personal experiences as evidence that the G5RV CAN work very nicely indeed.
    11 replies | 404 view(s)
  • W5DXP's Avatar
    Thu 15th Feb 2018, 23:27
    W5DXP replied to a thread My first HF antenna plan in Antennas
    Your antenna is pretty close to my notuner doublet so this information may be useful to you. http://www.w5dxp.com/notuner/notuner.HTM -- 73, Cecil, w5dxp.com
    6 replies | 359 view(s)
  • Sixmeters's Avatar
    Thu 15th Feb 2018, 21:48
    Sixmeters replied to a thread Base Radios drop in output power in Ten-Tec
    You're welcome. The damage done to your transceiver, is already done.. Here is a short story for you - I bought a brand new Kenwood TS 590s in the fall of 2011 after listening to the whining / complaining of the local club members - at a field days site. Each expert operator had their own opinion on what was good and what their transceiver was - in their opinion. No one wanted to let others operate their station. I said screw it and bought my own HF radio. First year, life was good. I made lot's of contacts and I operated about 16 hours of the contest with no issues. Second year, the club decided to save a couple of bucks and they bought one of those cheap Harbor Freight gasoline generators.
    11 replies | 404 view(s)
  • Obed's Avatar
    Thu 15th Feb 2018, 21:48
    Obed replied to a thread My first HF antenna plan in Antennas
    have fun building.
    6 replies | 359 view(s)
  • Sixmeters's Avatar
    Thu 15th Feb 2018, 21:20
    What you are looking for is called an Off-Center Fed Antenna. Not all Off Center Fed antennas are equal. The good ones cost considerably more then the cheaper ones. The reason for the extra expense is due to the fact that it takes special torroids that must be tested before the balun is built is necessary for them to be resonant on more then a couple of bands. Look at the web site for the Hy-Power Antenna company. Their 80m Off Center fed antenna would do the trick. You will need to get it up as high as possible, 30 - 40' minimum. You will also need to use multiple supports - so you can bend it in the shape of a letter L. Don't worry about how far away from your house it is - that is the purpose of good / low loss coax. 150' of LMR 400 or Belden 9913 has negligible loss on 80 / 40 / 20 meters. You will soon discover that it will also work on 17 meters, 10 meters, 6 meters, 2 meters, 70 cm - without a antenna tuner...
    6 replies | 359 view(s)
  • Madwinger's Avatar
    Thu 15th Feb 2018, 20:34
    Madwinger replied to a thread Mobile Radios FT-70D basic programming in Yaesu
    Thank you for the advise. I appreciate all advise. I had already down loaded the advance manual. These manuals are written for the those that the manufacture believe to already know the language. There is no glossary that explains what words mean. Had I known what V/M was VFO/Memory it may have been easier. I have been picking thru the manual and reading threads and I know more today than I did yesterday. I will know more tomorrow than I do today. I got the Yaesu programming software loaded and working today. Did a few frequency programing tests and up loaded it to my radio and that seems to work good. Then I went back to the manuals and figured how to program it by hand. I'm good till the next question! Thanks for the help. This is a great community with so many willing to help. Hope to be chatting with some of you on air in a few weeks. Until then, I believe its, 73's?
    4 replies | 159 view(s)
  • Sudden's Avatar
    Thu 15th Feb 2018, 20:00
    Sudden replied to a thread FT60-R Program error in Yaesu
    Have you set the shift to split with a zero frequency for the TX. I have used this setting to stop accidental send into a beacon. It gives me a TX--ERROR without any information, but I know what it means so no problem.
    3 replies | 153 view(s)
  • K6CPO's Avatar
    Thu 15th Feb 2018, 19:36
    K6CPO replied to a thread Mobile Radios FT-70D basic programming in Yaesu
    There are two manuals for that radio, only one of which is included in the box. Go to the Yaesu website and download the "Advance" manual. There may be information in there that might make it a bit easier for you.
    4 replies | 159 view(s)
  • K6CPO's Avatar
    Thu 15th Feb 2018, 19:30
    K6CPO replied to a thread FT60-R Program error in Yaesu
    What software are you using (other than CHIRP and FT Commander?)
    3 replies | 153 view(s)
  • Madwinger's Avatar
    Thu 15th Feb 2018, 17:17
    Madwinger replied to a thread FT60-R Program error in Yaesu
    on my FT-70D when the TX shows up i press the mode button. Funny that they are so different. Archie
    3 replies | 153 view(s)
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