Bitcoin donations to: 1CE9UfWJcHBYkWPns7iqBqZgKhd5xfqEaM thanks!
Buy Bitcoins easily by clicking HERE!


Use coupon radiopreppers for 20% off on the above site.

Author Topic: 2m antenna tuning  (Read 10385 times)

Geek

  • Guest
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2013, 08:09:53 AM »
Well, I'll be a lot less bothered when the problem is solved.  My dilemna is that the solution that Dave and I are sure would work, i.e. a really good antenna on top of the roof, is one I can't implemement without getting some help, would not hold up in the next Hurricane Sandy, and I would not be able to repair it myself.

WA4STO

  • Guest
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2013, 09:51:22 AM »
can't implemement without getting some help, would not hold up in the next Hurricane Sandy, and I would not be able to repair it myself.

I understand.  And I share the same situations in that:

1.  I couldn't deal with my roof antennas myself.   So, when I had a contractor in to do some other work (installing the wood stove, eight foot grounding rods in the shack, etc) I had him go up on the ladder and put up the 12 element beam and rotor for 2 meters.  Now I can get to the fifty - mile - away repeater just fine.

2. Here in the Midwest, we have tornadoes.  Nothing like Sandy, that's for sure, but if the roof antennas suddenly went away, it wouldn't bother me in the least, since my nationwide prepper comms efforts are almost always on 40 meters and that's just a wire.  All I have to do is throw a hammer up in a branch and I'm back on the air.

I realize that when you're starting out, it seems that there's always something that gets in the way of success.  Still, I've found that my prepping "mentality" works best for me when I plan for more than one method.  So, for me, it was vhf AND hf.  When I had trouble with one, I fell back to "plan B" until I could get help with Plan A.  Eventually, it all comes to fruition.

73

Luck, WA4STO

Geek

  • Guest
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2013, 02:54:46 PM »
Sounds like a healthy attitude.  Considering that 6 months ago I didn't have a HAM license and now I have a General license and a couple radios, I am progressing well enough.  I expected I'd hit some challenges.

WA4STO

  • Guest
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2013, 03:28:33 PM »
Considering that 6 months ago I didn't have a HAM license and now I have a General license and a couple radios, I am progressing well enough.

Talk about a healthy attitude! 

You can be sure that a bunch of us here (and elsewhere) enjoy watching your progress. 

73

Luck

Geek

  • Guest
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2013, 08:24:21 PM »
Thanks.  I am also still progressing on other things besides communications, e.g. the old Suburban that is now in the restoration shop, slowly adding to consumables, etc.  Yesterday I was explaining to the shop owner that I was going to want to mount a couple antennas in the truck while it was apart.

WA4STO

  • Guest
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2013, 08:38:56 PM »
Actually, that's another possibility...

...  back when I was working, I was consulting all around the country.  My last gig was for the Governor's office in Des Moines.  There was rarely a way to put up effective antennas at hotels, campgrounds, etc, so what I often did was run the coax out to the car.

You could do the same, although it wouldn't be anywhere near as effective as a decent antenna at height.  But you could run the coax from the car in to the radio shack and still do better than an inside antenna.

Also, it would be a way to compare the house antenna to a "known" antenna (the one on the car).

Glad I'm retired!

73

Luck


Geek

  • Guest
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2013, 08:33:33 AM »
Using a car is one test I may run, but I am most hopeful that I will succeed in the attic, either with an existing antenna, or with a better antenna.  Since the house is pretty high, on the second floor of the house I am already 20+ feet higher than the roof of a car.  The attic will be another 8' higher, albeit with the roof interfering, and finally I could go with a better antenna inside the attic.  Outside on the roof has all the disadvantages I mentioned earlier.

After this dialog and talking to Dave, I've decided not to go for a roof antenna for VHF, even if it means failure on packet radio.  If that happens I am going to turn my attention to HF, where I can string a wire in the trees without getting on the roof.

WA4STO

  • Guest
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2013, 06:23:10 PM »

After this dialog and talking to Dave, I've decided not to go for a roof antenna for VHF, even if it means failure on packet radio.  If that happens I am going to turn my attention to HF, where I can string a wire in the trees without getting on the roof.

I heard from Dave just a bit ago and apparently he's now suggesting that the one 2 meter antenna was of poor design, or construction but that you've got a mag-mount that checks out just fine. 

I continue to be optimistic that you're in such a fabulous place for vhf activity that even a minimal antenna should do the trick.

I applaud your idea of doing what you can on vhf first and if that fails temporarily, concentrate then on a wire for HF operations.

I put an antenna (an expensive 9 band vertical) up on Craigslist last night and it wasn't there but half an hour before it sold.  And I live out in the boonies of Nebraska.  So now I have enough cash on hand, according to the wife, that I can buy a whopper of an HF amplifier.  But Dave has been (correctly) reminding me that I could be much more value to the digital infrastructure if I'd spring for a high speed modem, which would be half the price of the amplifier, and which would make the wife's smile that much larger (always a good thing). 

Ah, decisions, decisions...

73

Luck, WA4STO

gil

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2872
  • SMeter: +75/-3
    • View Profile
    • Radio Preppers
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2013, 07:01:58 PM »
Quote
I can string a wire in the trees without getting on the roof.

For 2m you could make a ladder-line Slim-Jim antenna and hoist that in a tree...
Very easy/cheap, and discreet..

Gil.

Quietguy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 168
  • SMeter: +8/-1
    • View Profile
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2013, 09:50:03 PM »
I could be much more value to the digital infrastructure if I'd spring for a high speed modem

If you are talking about an SCS modem... if you haven't seen Pactor 3 in action, I think you would be amazed at its performance compared to other modes.  I have the older SCS PTC-IIex and it still amazes me when I connect to another station that is buried in the noise.

I don't know what your plans would be for a high power amp, but I would buy two SCS modems (one for backup) before I would spring for an expensive HF amp - but I don't do HF amp kind of things.

Wally

WA4STO

  • Guest
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2013, 11:15:08 PM »


If you are talking about an SCS modem...

Yes, that's exactly what I was referring to.  NTS(D)'s Pactor systems use them for anything faster than P-1 and, although I never have enough traffic to really need anything faster ... well ... sure would be nice to be able to do P-3.  Yumm...

73

LH

Geek

  • Guest
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2013, 11:29:12 AM »

After this dialog and talking to Dave, I've decided not to go for a roof antenna for VHF, even if it means failure on packet radio.  If that happens I am going to turn my attention to HF, where I can string a wire in the trees without getting on the roof.

I heard from Dave just a bit ago and apparently he's now suggesting that the one 2 meter antenna was of poor design, or construction but that you've got a mag-mount that checks out just fine. 

I continue to be optimistic that you're in such a fabulous place for vhf activity that even a minimal antenna should do the trick.

I applaud your idea of doing what you can on vhf first and if that fails temporarily, concentrate then on a wire for HF operations.

I put an antenna (an expensive 9 band vertical) up on Craigslist last night and it wasn't there but half an hour before it sold.  And I live out in the boonies of Nebraska.  So now I have enough cash on hand, according to the wife, that I can buy a whopper of an HF amplifier.  But Dave has been (correctly) reminding me that I could be much more value to the digital infrastructure if I'd spring for a high speed modem, which would be half the price of the amplifier, and which would make the wife's smile that much larger (always a good thing). 

Ah, decisions, decisions...

73

Luck, WA4STO
Dave tested both antennas.  One is garbage and the other is a decent mobile antenna.  If I can get the mobile to work that would be wonderful. but I am not really expecting it to handle the Packet network.  He has recommended a Comet GP-3 as the next step in antennas.  While he has been recommending putting it on the roof I think he has finally figured out I am not real keen on that idea and I intend to test in the attic first.  We have a major local Hamfest coming up, so I am going to shop for the antenna there.

If I still can't get the packet network to function even with the GP-3, then I am going to drop that approach and move on to HF.

Meanwhile I am debating with myself about antennas for the Suburban project.  I need to figure out what antennas, where to mount them, how to mount them, how to mount the radios and how to route all the resulting cables.

WA4STO

  • Guest
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2013, 12:04:47 PM »
Meanwhile I am debating with myself about antennas for the Suburban project.  I need to figure out what antennas, where to mount them, how to mount them, how to mount the radios and how to route all the resulting cables.

Are you considering VHF or HF for the Suburban?  Or both? 

At the risk of making it seem overly complicated, be sure to wade through K0BG's site, particularly with regard to proper grounding of mobile antennas.  http://www.k0bg.com/

73

LH

Geek

  • Guest
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2013, 07:39:44 PM »
Meanwhile I am debating with myself about antennas for the Suburban project.  I need to figure out what antennas, where to mount them, how to mount them, how to mount the radios and how to route all the resulting cables.

Are you considering VHF or HF for the Suburban?  Or both? 

At the risk of making it seem overly complicated, be sure to wade through K0BG's site, particularly with regard to proper grounding of mobile antennas.  http://www.k0bg.com/

73

LH
For something actually wired into the vehicle, VHF.  Anything HF would be in a box to be used when pulled over.  :-)

WA4STO

  • Guest
Re: 2m antenna tuning
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2013, 04:40:41 PM »
Geek - I hear that congrats are in order; you are successfully connecting to WA2IMS now!

I remember, when I lived in CT that the WA2SNA node was very capable.  That is, it had a HUGE number of other stations available to connect to through it; it was very popular.

Course, that was decades before guys like WB2FTX had NTS(D) pactor nodes and MBOs up and running.  These days, even with far fewer people using VHF packet, there's still a ton of fun (and utility) to be had.

I've had some recent successes of sorts as well in the past couple of weeks.

1.  Got a message from a guy in Kentucky who had delivered one of my radiograms there locally.  He really wanted to know how to do much more traffic handling on the digital modes, so I got him set up (he did all the work; I just gave him advice) on WINMOR/WL2K.  That didn't take any time at all and when he was done, I had the 9th region pactor (in Indiana) hub start forwarding traffic for his area code down to him in KY.  Which is great because, until now, we didn't have any outlets for that area code and now we have at least one.

2.  I had suggested to a traffic-handling friend in MN, who seriously loves Morse, to consider becoming the recipient of Minnesota digital traffic.  He agreed; Dave sent him a KAM from the equipment bank (like the one you  have, maybe?  I forget) and he's in the process of getting the cables wired up now for his specific radio.

Again, congrats!

Luck Hurder, WA4STO