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Recent Posts

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General Discussion / Re: PLEASE READ! Welcome to Radio Preppers.
« Last post by JoeJoe on October 15, 2019, 06:22:12 PM »
Hi Gil and co.
Just joined today and would like to say helllo.
Not a radio ham but radio does pay the bills :)
General Discussion / Re: Radio Prepper on Thingiverse.
« Last post by Presnell on October 15, 2019, 06:42:26 AM »
That's pretty cool, Gil. Is Thingiverse the go-to place for stuff like that btw?
Antennas / QRP Guys 80/60m Vertical Antenna
« Last post by bkmoore on October 13, 2019, 02:07:28 AM »

After some good success with the QRP-Guys vertical tri-band (20/30/40 m) antenna, I decided to give the 80/60m vertical antenna a try. I do not have much space and wanted to be able to use 80 meters. In short, it is a coil-loaded vertical with taps to select 80m, 75m and 60m bands. I built the antenna according to the instructions and found it had a high SWR on 80 meters. It could probably be tuned to a 1:1 SWR by taking some turns out of the coil, but that may sacrifice performance on 75m and 60m. I decided to leave the antenna as is, since my Elecraft K2's internal tuner can match the impedence without any difficulty. You do need to use the taps for 75m. The first time I tried the antenna on 75 meters, I forgot the set the tap and my tuner couldn't find a match.

I am in central CA and had no problem making several CW QSOs into Arizona and Washington with good signal reports at QRP power.  I could hear and see my signal clearly on the KFS WebSDR, located about 100 miles away. I didn't try SSB with the antenna yet, band conditions were bad and there was nobody I cared to talk to. (Lots of politics and ranting about former spouses, etc...)

Although not a product review, I think this is a good antenna for 80m regional communications. It's only $20, is extremely portable, has a very small foot print, and is very easy to set up. I look forward to trying this antenna in more situations and am curious if more radials will increase its performance.

I am curious to hear from others who have this antenna and their experiences. Especially if anyone gets this antenna to work on 80 meters without a tuner.


Morse Code / Re: Guess Who I Heard Today ? //Gil//
« Last post by gil on October 08, 2019, 07:26:05 PM »
Hi Ray. I didn't think about the noise level but you're probably right. The german station, DK8LG,  was using 80W. He gave me a 549. I was also picked up by W1NT on the Reverse Beacon Network, but a quick look at his QRZ page removes any doubt as to why... He also picked me up on Sunday using my friend's Xiegu G1M and an inverted-V on 20, also 5W. That magnetic loop certainly works! A 5m (16'5") perimeter seems to be the best. My previous loop was 6.3m (21') and barely missed 20m, so I could only use it on 30/40m. This one covers 20/30/40 and probably higher, I need to do some more testing...

Looking forward to further testing  :)

Morse Code / Guess Who I Heard Today ? //Gil//
« Last post by RadioRay on October 08, 2019, 03:13:55 PM »
High winds broke the line holding up my 80-10m dipole, leaving it laying in lower tree tops, AND it's pointed the wrong way to hear France.  However, I heard Gil veeeeery weakly while he was in Morse QSO with a German station.  Gil was using his home made magnetic loop on the balcony and MTR - 5 Watt transceiver! Unfortunately, I heard him probably at the end of the band opening, because by the time the Dk/F4 QSO ended, I tried calling him while he was fading fast. Of course, my RF noise level at this little country cottage is extremely LOW. His RF noise level in an apartment in a town  - I do not know, but local RF noise from chargers, displays, power supplies & etc.  can make a huge difference.

5W, homemade magloop on balcony, distance = 4196.5 mi (6753.7 km)

Food for Thought:   the German station Gil had talked with was easily readable, and -technically- could have relayed some short messages between Gil & I pretty easily. That could be handy in a grid down situation.

72 de RadioRay  ..._ ._
CB / Re: Is it wise to buy a CB
« Last post by Pensioner Prepper on October 08, 2019, 09:44:00 AM »
Indeed yes I do know what you mean.

I have to mention that in the Uk that the Radio powers that be tend to leve you alone. The big no no would be if your signal was interfering with commercial or emergency frequencies, then expect the big stick and rightly so.

That said I am surprised at the number of Uk YouTube videos whose authors are showing that they clarely do break every rule in the book. Can't say that I would publicly like to take that chance.
CB / Re: Is it wise to buy a CB
« Last post by gil on October 07, 2019, 04:55:22 PM »
Certainly... More a filtering issue than shielding, but the result is the same... I'd say it it wise to own a CB if you have an amateur radio capable of transmitting on CB frequencies... You know what I mean...

Hi Sparks.

For me it is more current draw... Also the SDR is not a direct conversion receiver, so not as discreet... But that is not very important... The SDR might have better filtering and you can see the whole band at once on the screen... Tempting... It doesn't cost much more than the G1M I just had a look at...

CB / Is it wise to buy a CB
« Last post by Pensioner Prepper on October 07, 2019, 06:38:09 AM »
Firstly I am a big fan of CB but, always a but, not necessarily a fan of CB radios. Why, well generaly speaking when compared to Ham radio equipment a CB radio can be found wanting. I will give you an example. I have a President Grant 2 CB radio which I was using to have an interesting conversation with a fellow prepper on USB. Sudenly my noise floor went from 0 to over 9 making further communication impossible. In the UK we have 80 CB channels to play with and have FM AM USB and LSB. The noise was over the whole 80 channels and over all modes. This persisted until daylight the next day when 0 noise level returned.

This was the clue as I was operating from a commercial caravan site. For the benifit of the residents the site owners have installed outside lights which are triggered to come on depending on light levels.
Right all well and good. The next night I switched on the CB and waited for the lights to come on.

You have guess it, lights on noise level 9 unusable. Then I had a thought, would this affect my Ham equipment. Pulling out my trusty FT - 897 and tuning to the same CB channel and using the same antenna the 897 was quite as the proverbial church mouse.

What does this tell you about shielding in CB equipment. I do have a few other CBs to try but I strongly suspect they will yield similar results.

My conclusion is that a case may be made that it is perhaps better to buy a ham HF set, have it opened up, which I feel all prepper radios should be and use that in preference to a dedicated CB set.

I know there are legal considerations but after all we are Preppers.
And then there is the new Minion SDR...  ::)

If having to decide between these two, what are the pros and contras?
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