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Thread: 50 Year Old Newbie

  1. #1

    Default 50 Year Old Newbie

    Well, that was simple enough!

    The 940 vendor and I had a great chat. Seems I got bad advice and was provided a wrong antenna (imagine that). 940 Vendor gave me great information and will hopefully be a great contact in the future.



    After a long life in Public Service, my body's warranty ran out. Subsequently, it's parts began falling apart. I'm not Retired/Disabled and living in VA.

    I am brand new at HF. I am taking my first Tech test next week.

    I wanted to buy a used workhorse to train/begin with that would fit in my budget. I picked up a TS-940 for about $400. I know the model has it's issues, but the seller was listed as reputable and a long time member with no complaints from the site I got it from. I bought a new Factory tuned antenna, added a lightening arrestor and grounded it; grounded the TS to a 5 ft copper rod into the ground and began attempting to find a freq to monitor. (No, not transmitting w/o a license. Just want to make certain it works.

    I cant receive anything. Not even my local NOAA station 30 miles away.

    Granted, I am probably the problem, but would anyone be able to direct me to information on USING the 940 (not the huge manual... more of a resource for the knucklehead that cant even enter a freq.)

    Nice to be here. Have a good day.

    Be safe

    Last edited by GSP299; Wed 8th Jan 2020 at 18:14. Reason: Follow Up

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Ash Fork, Arizona


    Welcome aboard. It's always nice to hear from someone new.

    But your post brings up a lot of questions. First, what antenna are you using?

    What bands is it tuned for? Do you know how to check if your transmitter is matched to the antenna?

    What are you using to connect from the TS-940 to the antenna?

    What kind of operating do you want to do? CW, SSB, AM, FM, Digital Modes, etc.?

    The manual is really good reading. Most user's problems are caused by not reading, and understanding, everything.

    For listening, you might want to go to and get a copy of the Amateur Radio Band Plan. They have a nice 11x17 color version.

    The best band for general listening might be 20 Meters (14.00 - 14.350 MHz). The upper end is mostly SSB and the low end is mostly CW. In between is various digital modes. 20 Meters is a band that is almost always open. The other bands may be difficult because band conditions change from day to night.

    But note that, as a Technician, you can't operate on the 20 Meter band. But it is still good to listen to.

    The Technician license has limited HF band access. There is only voice access (SSB) on 10 Meters. And 10 meters is not very good lately. On 80, 40, and 15 Meters, a Technician only has CW privileges. So I would recommend that you also study up for the General Class license test. It is very common for new hams to take the Technician and General test in a single session. I did that, along with 13 WPM Morse Code test. But that was a long time ago. But having a General Class license will maximize your HF access. Of course, you could take the Extra Class test as well, but that is up to you.

    The Technician Class license also has lots of VHF/UHF privileges but your TS-940 only covers 160 to 10 Meters.

    BTW, I am retired, but not disabled. The XYL and I run a horse boarding business. I have been a ham since 1967 (53 years).

    Good luck with your test.
    Martin, K7MEM
    Ash Fork, AZ - 60 miles from the Grand Canyon on Rt-66. Elevation 5,300 ft.

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