Radio Preppers

General Category => New To Radio => Topic started by: pavelow on April 22, 2013, 11:25:52 AM

Title: What do I need?
Post by: pavelow on April 22, 2013, 11:25:52 AM
Still new to the world of Ham but still I'm looking into the future.  What type of License and Rig(cost wise) would I need to broadcast out of state? The more coverage the better but the minimum I would like to eventually do is hit the next state over.
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: Joe on April 22, 2013, 12:22:56 PM
It depends on the distance and terain, natural and man made obsticles will interfear with your coms. 2 meter (VHF), 70cm (UHF), C.B. are all line of sight transmision. So take a look at google earth to see what objects may bolck your path. Then look a map that does line of sight distance or how the crow flies distance. Also your transmision elvation has to be added in to this, are you in a valley, hill top, or flat land.

Prices depend on what you need you can spend as little as $100.00 up to your limit. There are cheaper radios, but you also have to include a antenna, that is what my price is based on.

73 Joe

http://tjpeiffer.com/crowflies.html
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: WA4STO on April 22, 2013, 02:02:38 PM
Joe's correct, Pavelow; it's all a function of the distance you want to get to.

Remember too that you don't need to get there directly.

In my case, for example, I can get my message traffic (this month there will be close to a thousand messages) to any State I want by use of the existing amateur radio networks that are available to you for free.

A few minutes ago, I had a message that came to me from Germany.  It was destined for Anchorage AK (I'm in Nebraska), so I relayed it on to a station that is known (to me) to be reliable and error-free.  His automated network node will relay the message on to the Pacific Area and then into Alaska for delivery.

My antenna is made of a hunk (a very LONG hunk, true, but still just a hunk) of wire.  Cheap. 

We're here to help you get set up so that you can realize your goals.  Just ask.

Best 73
Luck, WA4STO
ARRL A1-operator
BPL Medallion holder
NTS(D) Digital Relay Station, Central Area
NTS(D) Target Station, CAN, TEN & NE
TCC Station ?Foxtrot?

Title: What do I need?
Post by: pavelow on April 22, 2013, 04:07:24 PM
Good deal. I was a little worried I'd have to spend a couple grand to do what I wanted to do when the SHTF.   Ill just focus on the licenses for now. Appreciate the help. This is an awesome forum.
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: Quietguy on April 22, 2013, 05:02:37 PM
Figure on getting the General class license for sure.  Technician gives you access to the VHF/UHF bands but these are line of sight unless repeated.  The General class adds the HF (High Frequency - shortwave) bands which can be used to contact other stations around the world.  It isn't a difficult test and can be taken the same time you pass the Technician test.

Wally
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: Geek on April 22, 2013, 08:53:57 PM
The way you get to a couple grand is to keep buying the wrong stuff.  :-)
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: cockpitbob on April 22, 2013, 09:12:58 PM
The way you get to a couple grand is to keep buying the wrong stuff.  :-)
Wow, I really like that one!  I think I'll write that on the wall.
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: gil on April 23, 2013, 10:57:31 AM
Quote
Figure on getting the General class license for sure.

Yep, and it's not much harder than getting the Technician. You could probably pass both the same day...

Gil.
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: KC9TNH on April 23, 2013, 06:24:15 PM
Quote
Figure on getting the General class license for sure.

Yep, and it's not much harder than getting the Technician. You could probably pass both the same day...

Gil.
I don't know how it is elsewhere but, because so much of the Tech is applicable and regurgitated on the General, it makes sense to take them both. The "elsewhere" part is that, around here, if a person came into the room and the (usually very old/experienced) Volunteer Examiners had someone pass the Tech and then refuse the free try at the General they might look for a hangin' tree.

(Yes, you get to get up & hit the restroom, have an apple fritter, 'nuther cup of coffee, etc. in between while the test you took is being graded by multiple examiners.)
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: gil on April 23, 2013, 06:30:49 PM
Quote
I don't know how it is elsewhere but, because so much of the Tech is applicable and regurgitated on the General, it makes sense to take them both.

Same from General to Extra. You can actually get the three books and read the same chapters (chapter numbers vary)  from the three books each day and attempt the three exams after a couple weeks studying. That's what I did.. For Tech an General, it's easy, you might as well. Extra requires a bit more work. I highly recommend doing many practice exams on QRZ.com.

Gil.
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: CroPrepper on May 08, 2018, 11:23:46 AM
I am making my initial shop order with the 817nd, and I have chosen the triband vertical from QRP guys as my first antenna. Also their Z Match tuner for QRP, to give it a try with a wire.
I am wondering why they use BNC connectors on all of their products? Aint those UHF connectors better? And a maybe a silly question, do I need a unun when using this Z match tuner with a long wire? I assume the longwire is not the same as an endfed dipole because I need a counterpoise, hence it's unbalanced-unbalanced... Right?
I'm a bit frustrated clicking my shopping cart together, as those qrp guys items all have BNC connectors and I intend to use the back socket on the 817 which is SO239...  So I need adapters...
I decided to go with the RG58C/U cable as a feedline in portable ops... Good choice?
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: gil on May 08, 2018, 11:48:15 AM
Hello,

Quote
I am wondering why they use BNC connectors on all of their products? Aint those UHF connectors better?

Most QRP radios and military radios use BNC, probably they are smaller, quicker and more secure. I don't think UHF is better. I don't have a single HF device that uses UHF connectors... If you are going QRP, better switch over now...

You would use a 9:1 UNUN with a "random" wire, which is any wire length not close to a half-wave on any band you want to use. With a half-wave wire, you would use either a 49:1 transformer or an HWEF tuner. The Z-match tuner might be able to match a random wire but you have a better chance of finding a match with a UNUN to lower impedance. The random wire is unbalanced... Get an adaptor for the back of your 817 and leave it there, forever and ever!

Good choice of the QRPGuys Tri-bander. You probably won't need a tuner on 20m and maybe not on 30, probably needed on 40.

Quote
I decided to go with the RG58C/U cable as a feedline in portable ops... Good choice?

Yes. You will find however that it is quite big... For lengths beyond 10m, it is a good choice, but again, takes up a lot of space. I use RG-316. It is about the same size as RG-174, which I also use, but stronger, albeit not as flexible. If you really want the best look at LMR-240/UF.

Gil.
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: CroPrepper on May 08, 2018, 01:10:47 PM
Thanks for the info Gil. So I could use that Zmatch tuner with the tribander for optimal swr?

Via TapaTalk

Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: gil on May 08, 2018, 01:36:11 PM
Quote
So I could use that Zmatch tuner with the tribander for optimal swr?

Absolutely.

Gil.
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: CroPrepper on May 09, 2018, 04:18:23 AM
I received the tuner and the antenna. I've never built such kits but I am not new to soldering. We'll see. (https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180509/b7102874e72f1ebbe7f35c0f596fa2d2.jpg)

Via TapaTalk

Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: gil on May 09, 2018, 10:17:07 AM
Keep us posted!
Gil.
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: CroPrepper on May 09, 2018, 05:51:06 PM
I was bored and decided to built those two kits. The only issues I had were missing information e.g. how to strip magnetic wires for toroids...

Anyway, it was quite easy although the manual gave me sometimes heas scratches...
Also, it seems I damages the plastic foil insulation in the variable capacitor on the zmatch tuner while removing the cover (totally dumb btw.) to cut out bigger holes so the pins can be bent farther down... No comment. Anyway, when I rotate the one capacitor you can hear the foil scratching. I hope it wont influence the capacitor... Otherwise i'll get a new one.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180509/635768dad951a385ac6c70f11d82ee05.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180509/111b40095c80ab9ef4e455af2ce19bb4.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180509/aa20000010d1f73c43516b1eeb7b9557.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180509/41e8edb837557555fae4ec828d3f122f.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180509/78f0db6d6d34dd6b95ee1996ec68c99b.jpg)(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180509/75970d0a906ef9ee19ce32c9a4d0d0fc.jpg)

Via TapaTalk

Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: gil on May 09, 2018, 08:00:09 PM
Nice! I might get one of those tuners...

Gil.
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: CroPrepper on May 15, 2018, 05:50:24 AM
I had my exam yesterday. I assume I have passed, knew all the answers. Unfortunately, I have to wait for my results, will get them this week I guess. Then do some bureaucratic stuff to get my callsign and permission for the station.
I had a nice chat with 9A9A, he was the supervisor on the exam. I was surprised to meet him because I ran into lot of youtube videos from people having contacts with him. He was mostly doing pileups.
Anyway, my Mini60s arrived some days ago and today if it will not rain I am heading out to trim and adjust the triband vertical.
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: gil on May 15, 2018, 09:11:20 AM
Excellent, keep us posted!
Gil.
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: CroPrepper on May 15, 2018, 02:59:25 PM
I went to my homestead today with all that gear to tune the antenna. I had constant swr above 10. Impedance was abnormal high on 700 and more. I knew something was wrong. At home I measured the coax and the inner core had no contact from end to end... Better luck next time...

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180515/cf41776c87878346e13fe5ff54f2a300.jpg)

(https://scontent-frt3-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/32625928_10216566915434028_8377390559035129856_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&_nc_eui2=AeFR35GzAqvA2_-Kry-qkyofMEDiPK5dk0Zcw63l4uHtNj2MOcGNLhiZp8DitXixu9RyncIGeQsALJuPzNqGM5rlgyHtkpUZk6iFNU0QqkkQ6Q&oh=e161652be35886666a123d10c7378418&oe=5B94CC73)

(https://scontent-frt3-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/32662634_10216566914954016_7525646716867969024_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&_nc_eui2=AeGselt1gkaVuFykjHAg2il2_Jum8zTCGv7wmFg-f_AQD2jd40w0eGkT4i8Z5PQCyGsttEboUsLLU3wrgbf10FLE_879m8e7YG-gUpbkcGZ-yg&oh=bb85579f601273e830cd0012b00a6423&oe=5B9AF7C4)


Via TapaTalk

Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: CroPrepper on May 22, 2018, 06:07:04 AM
Trying out the reception on the vertical triband. It's awesome, listened global chatter.
This one is between Belfast and Pretoria.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo8UOFVNlBU

BTW I passed my exam, waiting for my callsign and all that buerocratic crap  ::)
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: gil on May 22, 2018, 06:55:33 AM
FB. That antenna surprised me... It does work really well. Good work on it and the tuner. I use the Tri-Band antenna all the time now. It's so easy to set-up. Let's try to make contact when you get your call sign!

Gil.
Title: Re: What do I need?
Post by: CroPrepper on May 22, 2018, 07:06:12 AM
Let's try to make contact when you get your call sign!

Gil.

Yes, I am looking forward to!  :D