Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by whynot, Jan 21, 2016.
Any helpful tips or tricks?
Do you have a 100 watt HF rig? If not DONT do the 817
Nice Radio, if you have a QRP Fetish, or a 100 Watt Hf Amp in your shack...
Another ham! Low power but you are talking and a good front end so you can listen to what other folks are saying. (opsec)
Operations security (OPSEC) is a term originating in U.S. military jargon, as a process that identifies critical information to determine if friendly actions can be observed by enemy intelligence, determines if information obtained by adversaries could be interpreted to be useful to them, and then executes selected
Having to think seriously about obtaining an HF rig. Been putting it off for several years. I usually won't purchase something like that without doing months of research and advice-seeking, and don't want to spend 3 grand for a bunch of features that will never be used, or that are used so infrequently that I have to look in the manual every time to figure out what it does and how to enable / disable it.
An automatic built-in antenna tuner would definitely be a nice feature that I could get along with. All-mode operation is another.
Other than that, KISS principle applies.
I have an 817ND and love it. But if it's your first radio, you're going to be disappointed. And @AD1 is right: I would not want an 817 as my only radio.
I'm going to take this moment of serendipity to plug a recent article about QRP from my own blog:
Getting Started In QRP. - Off Grid Ham
The article is worthwhile for non-QRP folks too.
Good luck and 73.
My advice is to go over to Yahoo groups and sign up for the FT-817 group. Lots of good information to be had.
BTW QRP works just fine for CW/PSK-31 and the other digi modes.
Because I live in a HOA and have a marginal antenna: end fredz wire running up the trunk of a 3 ft dia pine tree, between two 2 story block/Stucco houses, I need over 50 watts to get out on PSK31
Been there, doing that. PITA and I'll never live in another HOA once I move.
I have a new weapon i just put together
A 20 & 40 meter hamstick dipole. This is a photo when I was setting up and tuning. It is now on the side of the house(between the 2 houses)
Works great and of the bands would be better i would see how well they worked.
This photo is wih the 10 foot tripod all the way down and the main section of the painters pole(8 more feet) is not extended yet. I can get up to about 35 feet.
if you mostly listen, who cares if it's QRP? I agree don't buy it instead of a better rig, but if it's free, heck yeah take it. It does everything a 706MkIIg does, only with less transmit power.
ANY rig of any output ability would benefit from a better antenna. NO portable or short antenna is ever going to be "good" even it seems to work.
Put up a proper dipole for a long wavelength (80 or 160) and use an outboard tuner if you want a good multiband antenna.
The learning you need to do about antennas is a really big part of the "hobby" you're considering here. Learning about gain and loss and such. There's a lot to learn. It is possible to take advice and get a good arrangement but if the advice includes buddipoles, or any other wonder-tenna, look elsewhere. ESPECIALLY for QRP.
Feel free to experiment and find out how much worse these things are if you have the time, money and interest. But put up a dipole first, and I don't mean buy one.
That's a modern dilemma, for sure. I used to tell those getting on HF to buy a old transceiver like an HW-101 or Drake TR-4, but the amount of noise on the bands these days is so high that sometimes mod cons like noise-blankers or IF-shift or notch filters make the investment in new gear worth it.
I have a Yaesu FT-897, which I bought back around 1990, when I decided to get back into the hobby after a long hiatus. The rig's receiver capabilities astonished me: "DC to Daylight" with no gaps, and the best notch filter I'd ever used. Although I prefer "Hollow state" rigs for ragchewing, I still turn on the Yaesu when I need to hear someone through noise and static, and the built in keyer and QSK option make it a much better choice for CW.
When I got the Yaesu, I was surprised to discover a ten-meter repeater about eight miles away, and even more surprised to find that the auto-tuner would allow me to reach it using a 40-meter dipole. I have never figured out how a 100-watt rig could load up a 40-meter dipole on 29.620 MHz without arcing over!
If it is a Solid State PA, the impedance scare so low and the Binary Swiched Lumped Constant AutoTuners, make it all possible... Also remember that if the Repeater is inside Ground Wave, it would only take a few Watts, to go that far, and the rest of the Watts could be consumed in heating... Antenna efficiency isn't real critical in that instance.. You have plenty of Tx power to throw away...
Back in the day, when I was a MarineRadioman, we used to make Test Calls to KMI, in Cammiefornia, from ships, in Seattle Harbor, with 100 Watt exciters, connected to Dummy Loads... I had a really leaky chunk of Rg58u on the Dummy Load, and PT Rayes had Phased Rombics on their Receivers.... It only took a few Watts if the Band was open, on 12Mhz...
It still amazes me: the Yaesu's auto-tuner has always been finicky, and I never got a "High SWR" warning on 10 meters, or any indication of power foldback from the rig. The only thing I can think of is that I had some magic length of coax acting as a transformer, and I wanted to dig out the noise bridge and graph the dipole all across ten meters, but I told myself "Never question the gifts of the gods", and let it be.
Search for Ft-817nd mods or Ft-817nd modifications. Some will void your warranty.
Just read the article on the $4 special - great stuff
Used to belong to a HAM club in Northern Nevada. Seemed like some of those old guys could make UHF and VHF antennas out of anything scrap metal, copper pipe, old window screen, rabbit wire, pieces of leftover brass shim stock. I was pretty much awestruck.
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