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Thread: Intro and looking for help

  1. #1

    Default Intro and looking for help

    Hello all. Just getting into ham radio. Spent 7 years in the army repairing communication systems in helicopters, never thought I'd be into doing it as a hobby, but here i am. Living in Northern California away from the big cities and hustle and bustle.

    I will be taking my tech test in 2 weeks and am eager to start. I got a good bit of my uhf/vhf gear and I went ahead and purchased a ic 7300 for a killer deal and would like to get it up and running to at least listen to some long distance signals. HF has perked my intrest. I will be getting my general later. I have been reaseaching like a mad man. Should I pick up an antenna tuner now as I'm sure ill grow into it? Any suggestions? My other question would be antennas. I live on little less than an ace of land, no HOA, but residential power lines on 2 sides. No trees i can use. What type of antenna would be a good starting point for my 7300? Thank for any advice and look forward to being part of this amazing hobby.

  2. #2
    gnuuser's Avatar
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    the power lines would cause you problems with hf antennas
    properly constructed dipoles and verticals offer you the best chance of signals but you may be limited where you can erect them.
    you do not want any part of the antenna to touch power lines in the event that the antenna falls, (preferably the topmost part should it fall wants to be at least 10 feet away at its closest point of the fall)
    spiral antennas and mag loops offer good performance but with the drawback of being narrow in bandwidth requiring tuning every time you change frequency.
    Tuners can help But you can purchase or you can build them (Its much more satisfying to build your gear as you learn how and why they operate the way they do)
    while you can get some signal out with (for example) a wire dipole strung along a fence, You will get much better results if the antenna is at least a 1/4 to 1/2 wavelength above the ground
    the higher the better!
    If you have the room a full wave horizontal loop about 12 or more feet above the ground will give decent results.
    Im so old dirt was my apprentice

  3. #3

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    I have power lines on 3 sides. I use a sloper with 135' wire and 49:1 balun and it does not seem to pick up anything from the high voltage lines around me, but the vertical I have definitely does. A mag loop might be a good investment as well.

  4. #4
    gnuuser's Avatar
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    you can build mag loops or you can buy a pre manufactured one but make sure it is out of reach of anyone due to the high voltage induced when you transmit.
    spiral antennas similar to mag loops may surprise you with their simplicity and their performance
    Im so old dirt was my apprentice

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