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Author Topic: What do I need?  (Read 8049 times)

RangerMobile

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What do I need?
« on: August 07, 2014, 05:06:26 PM »
Hi Everyone, new to the site. I can set you up with everything there is with fishing and camping but when it comes to Ham radio, I am lost and am seeking help. It will be greatly appreciated.

I am looking at purchasing a Yaesu FT-817ND Transceiver. Just like buying anything, it's a unit that I think will fit my needs. My question is:

What accessories do I need to go with this?
Tuner, ( was looking at the MFJ 917 or the Z817 LDG auto tuner )

Antenna? ( Dipole for outside portable, camping ) also something for indoor usage.

Gel cell battery  - what do you recommend? any cables I might need for hookup   

Anything else you could recommend. I thank you all for responding, again, I am new at this and appreciate any help.

gil

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2014, 02:35:01 AM »
Hello Ranger,

I would suggest not using a tuner... If you have to, then look at the Elecraft T1. http://www.elecraft.com/T1/T1.htm

An antenna I found to be awesome for camping is the LNR Precision PAR 40/20/10 trail version. http://www.lnrprecision.com/endfedz/trail-friendly/
You do not need a tuner with this antenna, which means less losses.

If you want more bands and will be using the T1, make this: http://www.earchi.org/proj_homebrew.html
Or this one without a tuner: http://ea3gcy.blogspot.com.es/2014/04/ilertenna-end-fed-qrp-antenna-tuner.html

Nothing better IMHO than an end-fed for convenience and performance. With my 40/20/10 antenna I reached Estonia from Florida on 1.3W! I never use a tuner other than the adjustable end-fed matching box.

When you go camping bring some fishing line, 1oz weights and a slingshot... I am usually operating within five minutes of arriving on location! With a little practice you will shoot up that wire exactly where you want it. The sling shot has other uses too  :o

Gil.

RichardSinFWTX

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2014, 08:31:02 AM »
Not to say there's anything wrong with the 817, it's a fine radio; but I'd say save up a little more and go with the 857D.  My own personal taste though.

I like the LDG Z-11 Pro II tuner.

I agree with Gil on the end-fed antenna!  I have the 6m-40m end-fed from KX3Helper.com.  It is nice and compact and can easily be strung up in a tree or raised on the end of a 28' Jackite pole.

Welcome to the group and good luck!  Don't be a stranger!

KC3AOL

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2014, 10:15:50 AM »
Or this one without a tuner: http://ea3gcy.blogspot.com.es/2014/04/ilertenna-end-fed-qrp-antenna-tuner.html

That one is a tuner.  In fact, it looks very similar to the SOTA tuner that I'm almost done building:
http://www.qrpkits.com/sota.html

Is that considered an "end fed" even though it requires a counterpoise? 

cockpitbob

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2014, 02:52:45 PM »
All end-feds have a counterpoise.  They need something to push against.  In many cases the counterpoise is the coax feed line, not a seperate piece of wire.  That end fed coupler would probably work just the same with no counterpoise wire so long as the feed line is over 10' long.  Its schematic doesn't show it, but the coax's shield and the counterpoise are connected together by the board.

RangerMobile

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2014, 07:11:18 PM »
Thanks Guys I appreciate the info. I guess what sold me on the 817 is the small compact mobility of the unit. I seen where you can backpack this into the mountains and run it off of a small 12v battery.

I talked to a salesman and he mentioned the 857D. The only thing he did say was that you have to run this off of a bigger battery  / car battery. That won't work for me. Don't want to carry something like that around and I do not plan on using this in my vehicle. I'd like to use this at my camp which it located on a mountain top and also in my home.

I guess that's where I need a little help selecting the right equipment.

Again, thanks

KC3AOL

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 08:37:38 PM »
All end-feds have a counterpoise.  They need something to push against.  In many cases the counterpoise is the coax feed line, not a seperate piece of wire.  That end fed coupler would probably work just the same with no counterpoise wire so long as the feed line is over 10' long.  Its schematic doesn't show it, but the coax's shield and the counterpoise are connected together by the board.

You're right, the shield is connected to the counterpoise. For the SOTA tuner, they have recommended counterpoise lengths based on the band. Would I be ok just using a coax as long as the longest recommended length (35 ft) for all of the bands?

BTW, I'm planning to put together an antenna wire with built-in traps so that the one wire will work on 20/30/40.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but getting it back on track...RangerMobile, look into the Elecraft KX3 as well.

Quietguy

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2014, 09:09:14 PM »
Ranger, you might consider what bands and modes you plan on using on the radio.  I don't have and have never used an 817, but I have heard that one of the reasons they are commonly available used is because people buy them for the reasons you stated and then find out 5 watts SSB doesn't work all that well.  If you plan on working CW (Morse Code) then there is no problem working the world with 5 watts, but SSB isn't nearly as effective reaching out to someone.  Many less experienced users find it difficult to make contacts using low power SSB.

Before buying any rig, evaluate how well it fits the specific way you plan to use it - CW, SSB and 2m FM all have very different characteristics.

Wally

cockpitbob

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2014, 09:53:04 PM »
Would I be ok just using a coax as long as the longest recommended length (35 ft) for all of the bands?

BTW, I'm planning to put together an antenna wire with built-in traps so that the one wire will work on 20/30/40.
I just use a 6' counterpoise and get good results.  I use a 63' wire.  It will work on 40M, 20M, 15M and 10M.  It's resonant on all those bands.  For 30M I use a seperate wire cut for 30M.  No traps required.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 09:55:50 PM by cockpitbob »

gil

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2014, 11:36:32 AM »
Hello,

There is always the KX3, but that's $900. The difference is a better receiver and 150mAh current draw instead of 450mAh... You also get 12W with the KX3.
LNR precision has an interesting new transceiver, the FX-4 I believe...
Not a whole lot of truly portable transceivers are available, except for CW-only models, which are two dimes a dozen and work exceedingly well ;)

About the counterpoise for end-feds... A half-wave end-fed is the same as a dipole, except that you feed it at the end instead of the middle. Yes, they might work better with a short 0.05 x wavelength counterpoise and will use the coax outer shield, but they are not quarter waves in need of a full length "other-half." You can feed a half-wave dipole anywhere along its length... The shorter part is the counterpoise. You just need a way to deal with the higher impedance if you don't feed it in the middle. My PAR end-feds do not need an extra counterpoise. Any little bit of coax takes care of it and I get no stray RF on the rig. Use a random wire and sometimes, if the length isn't right, you will get needle pricks in your fingers on your key and the radio might behave erradicly... Not good... No problem with a EFHW.

Gil.

NCGunDude

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2014, 08:44:18 AM »
Ah, HF transceivers.... I looked at Yeasu, and the 897D looks interesting. Then there's the KX3 and the one highest on my wishlist, the Ten-Tec Eagle.

The other end of the spectrum are the rock mites.

The end fed wire antenna may end up being one of my field antennas for the reasons already mentioned. I'm looking at a dipole for an attic installation.

One of these days, I'll be taking the HF plunge, possibly with second hand equipment.

cockpitbob

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2014, 10:53:18 AM »
Don't overlook the FT-857D.  It's essentially the 897 packaged for mobile use.  You can't get a bolt-on tuner or built-in power supply for the 857.  I use mine as an all purpose rig.  I mount it in my car making use of the remoteable face plate, or it sits at home in my shack with a DC power supply and tuner next to it.

madball13

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2014, 09:14:40 AM »
Don't overlook the FT-857D.  It's essentially the 897 packaged for mobile use.  You can't get a bolt-on tuner or built-in power supply for the 857.  I use mine as an all purpose rig.  I mount it in my car making use of the remoteable face plate, or it sits at home in my shack with a DC power supply and tuner next to it.

I agree on the 857. The radio coupled with a 7AH battery will be a little heavier than the 817 and a battery but you can still operate for a decent amount of time and at 10-20 watts.

RichardSinFWTX

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2014, 09:39:18 AM »
+1 on the FT-857D.  I love mine!

RangerMobile

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Re: What do I need?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2014, 09:46:27 AM »
After all consideration and more reaserch, I went with the Yaesu 857D. Thanks guys for all the input, like I had mentioned, there is a lot to learn with this and it is exciting.

I have the Undilla 4:1 balun and will be placing this in an attic. 2300 sq. ft. HOA does not permit outside antennas. The Ham Outlet told me it would work.

Another question I have is how long of a wire should I be running off of each lead? I know there are formulas. Also, can I run additional leads off of the Balun. In other words with lets say, North & South, can I run and East as well?
Now I would have 3 wires coming off of that one lead. I looked at everything and cannot find any info.