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Messages - gil

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Antennas / Re: Mounting Antenna for NVIS vs DX operation ?
« on: April 26, 2018, 07:11:03 AM »
FB on the 320, I love mine!

Not surprising on 20m, but you should get regional contacts on 40. 20m just doesn't work for NVIS, which will work only with 40/80m. Higher frequencies will just shoot up into space and be picked up by aliens in thousands of years  :o Horizontal is better for NVIS but sloped should work too. Vertical is for long distances, and that would be best on 20m. So, go horizontal on 40/80m and vertical on 20. You don't want to lower your antenna too much, 20ft is fine.

For regional/local contacts, 80m is your best bet. We would have no problem making 320-to-320 contacts on 80. Oh, wait! Let's try!


Antennas / Re: Magnetic loop antenna.
« on: April 26, 2018, 07:03:21 AM »
Loops can be very efficient, but small loops sold by most antenna companies are just too short. Best for 20/30/40m would be a 19ft perimeter loop.


Technical Corner / Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
« on: April 25, 2018, 03:46:07 AM »
I am having a blast with the QCX on 80m! At last, I can get some rag-chew time :) 80m seems to be the only band on which people are willing to chat around here. Coverage is very good with my 8010P end-fed. Someone told me the QCX outputs 2.5-3W... I don't know, but if I output 3W, it sure gets around! That rig is an awesome radio, too bad it burns so much current. Three 18650 cells let me operate for quite a long time though, I have not emptied a pack in one session yet.

I need to experiment with different 80m portable antennas in the field. This band works too well for prepping to avoid because of antenna length.


Antennas / Re: Magnetic loop antenna.
« on: April 25, 2018, 03:39:49 AM »
??  21 x, that's a lot of copper! 

Oops, I meant perimeter, not diameter!

Good looking loop Jon. Now you can get fairly cheap vacuum capacitors from Russia, not much more than a good air capacitor.


General Discussion / Re: GUERILLA QRP PORTABLE
« on: April 25, 2018, 03:37:47 AM »
The concepts of Gil and Julian are two sides of the same coin.

I believe so as well. He uses mainly digital and I mainly use CW. The reason is probably that we both noticed that voice modes aren't that efficient. While you can certainly have lots of fun with QRP SSB and make amazing contacts, relying on it for emergency use isn't the greatest idea... Digital or CW (which could be considered a digital mode) give us a much better chance to establish contact. When you do go out and set up your station in the field, you can't help coming to similar conclusions...


Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / Re: The Yaesu FT-891.
« on: April 25, 2018, 03:32:05 AM »
Certainly, but 1A on receive is still an enormous current draw when you're operating on batteries. If you're operating close to your car or have some means of transportation, that's great. We are talking mainly about prepping here though, and in such an application, that radio is not a good choice IMHO. To power it, you need a larger battery and a  larger solar panel. Even the new battery chemistries aren't that small if you want a reasonable operating time. If you need to hike out of a situation on foot with a backpack, your 891 and its associated equipment will end up in a ditch after a few miles... For a camp radio, maybe, with a solution like OH8STN uses. He is the only one I have seen who came up with a workable solution, but still, I would not want that extra gear size and weight.


My opinion as well Ray.

Julian did make it work with new battery technology and a large solar panel, but I also prefer something that fits in a small bag or a large pocket for that matter... One thing that might work is something like the new QRPVer digital QRP transceiver:

But you still need a tablet... It is a small solution for someone who does not want to learn Morse code.


The FT-891 is a great alternative as you can just leave it at 5 w and if you need more just dial it in. You dont need 100w or the 25A draw when you can make contacts at 20watts with a good antenna like a linked dipole
Certainly... But the 891 burns 5A at 5W output. My MTR burns 0.7A at the same power output... Not to mention the 35mA on receive...

Sent from my SM-G928F using Tapatalk

Antennas / Re: Magnetic loop antenna.
« on: April 24, 2018, 04:29:53 AM »
Hi, yes, but I had a larger one, which I built out of copper pipes, 21ft diameter. Loops work very well. You just have to retune them every time you change frequency. If you use a short length of coax, try RG-316...


Antennas / Re: MR100 Cheap Chinese Antenna Analyzer Review.
« on: April 23, 2018, 06:25:15 PM »


General Discussion / Re: GUERILLA QRP PORTABLE
« on: April 19, 2018, 06:06:17 AM »
Thank you Vladimir. Nice QRZ page. I like what you did with the bicycle handlebar.

Surprisingly, a lot of people still doubt QRP really works, and really well, especially using CW. They believe the small QRP radios are toys. Some people, you can show them a hundred times, they will still not believe it. They have 500-1KW tube amps that cost thousands, and antennas so badly matched they can't make contact without them.

I also believe less is better, lighter, smaller, easy to carry and lasting a long time on small batteries.

Welcome aboard, you are in good company.


Definitely, as they are, those modes are of little use for our purpose. The technology used though could be modified to allow chat, drop messaging and SOS emergency beacons, maybe. There are modes that do some of that... I still need to further investigate FSQ, but none were really engineered for survival radio.

The complexity problem remains... There just aren't enough tablet applications for radio. A laptop in my book is too much trouble and an extra failure node. It would be interesting if a Chinese manufacturer would combine an Android tablet and a 5W HF transceiver. The programmers would get to work then.

All that said of course, being able to reliably communicate with a simple $50 CW  radio is hard to beat, even with the new high performance modes. I'll investigate anything interesting, but if the SHTF, I know what I'll grab first...

BTW, the only other electronic device I might want aside from a radio is a solar pocket calculator...


Sent from my SM-G928F using Tapatalk

Yep. I wish there was a mode based on WSPR for SOS only (with a beacon test mode), which would send coordinates from a GPS chip. Success guaranteed!


Excellent points Ray. I think the future of portable digital will be tablets, then integrated systems... If only someone made a tablet with a built-in HF transceiver! I wish there were more programmers developing digital software for Android. You can get PSK, but not much else...

No doubt the new digital modes are very efficient. I just saw a guy on FB post an image of a series of WSPR spots with one milliwatt! With a few thousand-mile spots!

But of course, Morse is simpler and gets the job done in most cases  ;)




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