Ham radio base station and other questions

Discussion in 'Communications & Tech' started by The Lazy L, Oct 19, 2018.

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  1. Oct 19, 2018 #1

    The Lazy L

    The Lazy L

    The Lazy L

    Old Cowpoke Neighbor Contributor

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    I few years back I acquired a Kenwood TS-520S base station. Recently I erected a invert V antenna at 40 feet. I've been listen to some foreign countries and I may have been bitten by the "bug".

    I've been doing some research, looking at costs and possibilities.

    To be licensed I understand Morse code is no longer required. Is this understanding correct? The dots and dashes is hard for me to distinguish.

    An "Elmer" tried to tune (or is it load?) the 520. Finals? or tubes prevented transmitting. Can a new brand name base station (HF 160-10 meters) be purchased for a $1000 or less? If so any recommendations?

    If the new base station and licensing come to be then what is a recommend antenna to be placed at the top of my 80 foot tower? I've got a 2" conduit buried between the tower and the house. Figure 200 feet from the top of the tower to where the base station would be in the house.

    Antenna rotor if needed. I believe must be mounted towards the top of the tower to prevent mast torque. I got one more climb up the tower in me (age) to install. Rotor is something that requires lubricated on a routine basis or is it good for 10 or more years until I'm caught and placed in a nursing home?

    Local retirement home has a HAM club that teaches and provides licensing testing. Getting licensed and the new base station is a winter project, antenna installation is late spring or summer of 2019.

    Come to think about it, any suggestions on a Commercial Tower climbing source that doesn't cost and arm and a leg?
     
  2. Oct 19, 2018 #2

    VThillman

    VThillman

    VThillman

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    Good luck with this; it should be pleasurable. There were one or two ham radio guys on the old Rubertock (spelling deliberate) forum, don't know if they made it over here.
     
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  3. Oct 19, 2018 #3

    Bacpacker

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    Morse code is no longer required. FoLook at Yeasu and Kenwood radios. YEASU FT 857 is a really good radio and could be ran mobile if desired. As far as antennas, it really depends on what you want to do with it. Yagisare very directional but perform best to a given point. Wire antennas are not so directional but have much less gain. For 200' of coax, use the highest quality you can afford. Line lost from the wire will eat up any gains you may have other wise. Checkout the Wireman.com he Carrie's good stuff and even has a booklet telling a out the different types and what length vs frequency they are best for.
    Good luck
     
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  4. Oct 19, 2018 #4

    dademoss

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    I started with an ICOM 718, new its right at 700 bucks, so used should be cheaper if you find one. the Yaesu FT-587 is about a 100 bucks more, but adds VHF/UHF. I wish I had the room for good antennae, but I make do with a couple of multi band verticals.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
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  5. Oct 19, 2018 #5

    Bacpacker

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    I forgot Icom radios. They are great rigs as well. Them and Yeasu are probably #1 & #2 in no particular order.

    Antenna's and coax will have more to do with your signal than radios ever will.
     
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  6. Oct 19, 2018 #6

    kd4ulw

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    For HF I really like my Yaesu FT-450D. Gigaparts has it for $720 and free shipping through November. Like Bacpacker said, these days it’s mostly the antenna and feed line. A great radio can’t make up for a bad antenna.

    You could use a wire antenna like you are using now and save a lot of money and not worry about climbing. A basic G5RV dipole at 40 feet works well.
     
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  7. Oct 19, 2018 #7

    Bacpacker

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    Another Wire antenna to take a look at is the Carolina Windom. I works all bands and gets out pretty well.
     
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  8. Dec 2, 2018 #8

    ssonb

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    Since the move I have yet to be able to string up my antenna. I live in an area where a directional will do no good, unless I want to point it at mountains . I have found that with a good quality multi band dipole if you can hear someone even with just 100W it will reach back. BTW 'LL I have a Yeasu 450D It is a HF+6 I wish it was able to use more VHF like 73cm and 2m. I know it may cost more but try to find a base that is all bands all modes so iffuns yore stuck in home you can tune in a lot of handheld chatter. Then there is the models that are dual band..listen on one talk on tuther....Dang it now look at what you have went and done, ya done got my wanter cranked up! Now I want to look at new rigs.
     
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  9. Dec 2, 2018 #9

    Bacpacker

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    I haven't even looked at new rigs in years, not even sure whats out there now days. I have Kenwood TM-D700 for the house and mobile to work VHF/UHF and APRS. HF I use a Gen 1 Icom 706 It's HF +6M. I've been happy with them. I just use a vertical Jet Stream antenna for V&UHF, plus a roll up Jpole in the attic to use during storms. HF, its a Carolina Windom. Wire antennas do a great job.
     
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