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Messages - Polar Bear

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1
Amateur Radio / Re: Xiegu G90
« on: March 03, 2022, 1909 UTC »
I'm getting a bit tempted to buy a Xiegu G90. I really like the look and features of it. However, I would have to sell my Yaesu HF rig. I've always told my wife, If I buy something new, I will finance it without spending more money. I was a QRP guy for many years and I sometimes miss it. I love the waterfall display and portability. The weather is getting nice and it would be great to have a smaller rig to take camping. With the money, I could also purchase an antenna analyzer and a kit radio to build. I feel like the radio has been around long enough to have solid reviews and I know a couple of people that own them. I just worked a guy the other day on 10M on Curacao Island operating one and it sounded great. I'm torn though. I love the FT-950 and enjoy being able to change my CW speed with a quick turn of a knob to accommodate for slower stations or speed it up for DX op's without going through a menu. I've owned a lot of radios over the years and always say if I don't like the rig, I'll sell it and go back. I owned 2 FT-817's and an FT-818 among many others, usually switching it up every couple of years. It would also free up some space on my desk. I am worried about buyer's remorse though. With the bands not being great again, I worry I'll miss having 100 watts and even though 6M has been crap for quite some time, once I don't have it I'll wonder what's going on there?

Would be like selling a Porsche to buy a 1980 Yugo

Those things are junk, and you are just wasting your time even looking at them..

2
Equipment / Re: CB and JS8Call setup help
« on: February 22, 2022, 2109 UTC »
You need to use a interface such as a Signalink.

If you overload the signal, it won't be decipherable..

Plus digital modes are not allowed on the citizens band, just phone AM and SSB..

Plus you would need to use a SSB radio, not AM..

Digital modes tends to use Upper Side Band Only..  Everybody has to be on the same page for it to work, and there is no rules for the citizens band - since cb is only designed for local communications..

3
Equipment / Re: RG6 Compression Tool
« on: February 22, 2022, 2107 UTC »
The Belden Compression tool is nice, but I have had issues with certain connectors falling off.

Even the good Xfinity connectors the cable guy uses, they may stay on the cable, but are they making a positive connection?

I bought a crimper type tool from Lowes years ago, about $80

But good connectors are hard to find.

I bought a RF Industries crimping tool with multiple dies a number of years ago, they work great for everything..   https://www.rfparts.com/coax/coax-cabletools/coax-cabletools-crimp/cabletools-completekits/rfa4005-520.html

4
Equipment / Re: Any discone antenna fans?
« on: February 22, 2022, 2058 UTC »
I own several, they are ok for receiving local stuff, are ok for using on a scanner, are ok for transmitting on the police, fire, ambulance bands here, but for amateur radio I had to go to a hamfest and buy a second vertical whip and extend the whip by about 6 inches and trim a little off the radials until it was tuned for 2 meters / 70 cm.

The downside is - it may be ok for receiving some 6 or 10 meters, but it will not transmit on those frequencies.  I own a Diamond and a Tram and don't see much of a difference between the two.

And sometimes the Trams were made by Diamond and sometimes the Diamond antenna was made by Tram.

To get decent performance out of the antenna, you need to get it at least 10 feet higher then everything else in the neighborhood.. This includes buildings, houses, trees..
And you need to feed it with the best low loss coax.

If all you are going to do is use it to receive I would suggest that you purchase some Belden quad shield TV antenna coax and some good connectors.  75 ohm doesn't matter if all you use it for is receiving.

If you don't have the money to buy good coax, you could search the local TV Cable dumpster, they throw miles of coax away, along with connectors.  You might find a length of RG 11 with the F connectors already installed..  Which would be even better, then all you would have to do is buy two adaptors to connect it to the antenna and receiving radio.

5
Equipment / Re: Mixing tubes in Ameritron
« on: February 22, 2022, 2050 UTC »
Always use matched tubes..

There are many fine articles online - I would suggest that you read them..

6
Equipment / Re: Question about ordering aluminum tubing
« on: February 22, 2022, 2048 UTC »
The Answer is DX Engineering.

The question was - where can I buy this stuff, not does anyone have a better idea...

7
Equipment / Re: 'CB' amplifier for HF
« on: February 22, 2022, 2047 UTC »
AMATEUR RADIO EQUIPMENT MUST BE LINEAR, IT MUST BE BUILT IN SUCH A WAY AS TO CONFORM TO THE RULES AND REGULATIONS SET FORTH BY THE FCC.

Citizens band amplifiers tends to not conform to those rules..  Most are built on class c architecture.
Class C is ok if you are operating AM or CW, but is too wide for use for SSB phone.

No one says that an amplifier has to be expensive.  I bought several at auction for $65 each - 600 watt Ameritron and Dentron.

But, when you are a licensed amateur - you are held to a higher standard then the citizens band..

Part of this is in reference to - self training.  You don't need an amplifier.
What you do need is an Elmer.. Someone willing to invest time in you to teach you the fundamentals of physics and amateur radio - because obviously you aren't willing to invest that time in yourself.

If you would read - and there is many excellent articles online, they would teach you that your first and best investment should always be in a better antenna.

We all start out with some type of dipole, we then move on to beam antennas and then upgrade to stacked beam antennas.  Vertical antennas can be used if you have the proper take off angle.
Next to salt water is almost a must if you wish to operate DX.
A beam antenna gives you the advantage of appearing to have more power, without the investment of an amplifier, and it pays huge dividends when it comes to operating.

The second major investment is in good coax.  You always use the coax with the least amount of loss.
That Belden 9913 or LMR 400 is the best bang for the buck. Even better is if you can use as much hardline as possible.  Just look at the website of any major contest station and you will see miles of hardline and almost no RG8x.

Then there is the understanding that we don't talk in watts when it comes to RF, we talk in decibels.

The biggest bang for the buck is a 600 watt amplifier, because it has the most DB improvement over a 100 watt transceiver.  1000 watts or 1500 watts aren't that many more db over 600 watts.

Again, it all goes back to investing in low loss feed line and a good antenna vs the old G5RV and an amplifier some people calls a G5RV - nothing but a waste of time.  And the antenna tuner doesn't physically tune the antenna to resonance, it just tricks the transmitter into applying most of its power into the antenna tuner, when it is turned into heat - since anything not absorbed by the load is reflected back towards the source.

My only gripe is the people with the poor antenna situation, using an amplifier to sound like The Wizard of Oz, and then the only people they can hear is other people using an amplifier.
The amplifier doesn't improve the receive, only the transmit.
Even if you use a pre amplifier, when you amplify noise, all you get is a louder noise..

8
Equipment / Re: Mounting a Station Master above a Moxon
« on: March 30, 2021, 1804 UTC »
Sorry, my crystal ball is broken..  Don't understand the nature of the question...

First we would need to know the frequency desired.  What frequency do you plan to use with the stationmaster, which frequency do you use the Moxon for and why?

The Stationmaster is a commercial antenna...

The Moxon is not much better then a dipole, and if it was for 6 meters, you can put it somewhere else...

The Stationmaster is normally used as a repeater antenna, the Moxon is not.

If the Stationmaster is used for 2 meters and the Moxon for 6, they are two different frequencies, if they were both in the same band, then you may have a problem when transmitting on the Moxon, not to mention the RF getting into the front end of your other receiver - it being turned on or not - would probably damage the front end with overload.

I think instead of posting  theoretical questions you need to do some research and find an Elmer to help you.  Repeaterbuilder.com would be my first stop.  Kevin is Kevin, but he is smart..

9
Equipment / Re: BCD436HP CB reception tells me I'm on a diff freq
« on: January 26, 2021, 1751 UTC »
Find someone with a frequency counter and have your radio checked out.

Back in the day - when tubes were king, to use your cb radio - legally, you had an obligation to have the radio aligned at least once every 6 months.  The smarter people did it themselves, since a lot of them built their own radio, they knew the alignment procedure.

Old radios used tubes and crystals, so if it was an old radio I would say the crystals are bad.

If it is synthesized I would say someone went in with the golden screwdriver and did a peek n tune and loused it up for you.  Take it to a cb radio shop and have it checked out - won't cost you much and peace of mind is worth every penny.

Keep your eye open for a decent base station radio and buy yourself some low loss coax and a decent antenna and forget about walkie talkies - they are toys , made for little kids and people that just wants local communications.  You aren't going to talk more then 3 or 4 miles with a handheld 11 meter radio with 5 watts..

10
10/11 meters / Re: 11M "E" pipeline from Niagara Falls, NY!
« on: January 26, 2021, 1745 UTC »
My guess is those lunatics that hangs out on the Super Bowl has at least 5000 watts.

A great antenna would be a plus +1.

If someone could get those people psychological counseling, they would probably make good hams..

11
In Florida, 6 meters SSB opens to somewhere almost every day of the week.

That is called Tropospheric Propagation. 

When you get north of the Mason Dixon Line and hear someone on 6 meters, that is called a band opening.

12
10/11 meters / Re: 75' tower!
« on: January 26, 2021, 1741 UTC »
Oh yeah??? Here's a real test. Can you talk down to the PA border regularly? On Alma and North Hills in Allegany Co., a decent mobile station could easily hear the dudes up in Buffalo / Niagara Falls. Then again, most of them were running stupid power, so they didn't hear me at the time.
Range is dependent upon band conditions.

LOS - is about 65 miles, anything past that and you either have to have a damn good station or the band conditions are just right..

Even with a 25 watt AM radio and a Solorcon A99 on a 40' tower, the best I can do to a mobile is about 20 miles from where I live.

If people would use SSB they would get better performance, but most people are too cheap to buy a good SSB radio and they are more worried about how loud their audio is then how clean their signal is..

How many times have you heard people operate where their signal is 3 channels wide?  That is an inefficient use of power..  it takes a 4X multiplication of power to talk twice as far..  So on a day where you can't hear a legal 5 watt mobile more then 10 miles, you would need 1000 watts just to talk 100 miles.

13
Equipment / Re: Garbage Baluns
« on: August 16, 2020, 1549 UTC »
http://www.hypowerantenna.com/products/balun-line-isolators

Hy Power Antenna Company

Balun & Line Isolators

14
Equipment / Re: Garbage Baluns
« on: August 16, 2020, 1547 UTC »
Most antenna Balun manufacturers are  Charlatans, they waste your time with inferior materials and poor workmanship.

Look at the specifications for the Guella Balun used by the Hy Power Antenna Company.

The question is - are you using this antenna just for listening or do you expect to transmit on this antenna aslo.
Impedance matching is not as important for listening as it is for transmitting - where the transmitter expects to see a certain impedance.

A better solution for a monitoring antenna would be to use 300 ohm tv flat ribbon Twin Lead cable.

https://www.amazon.com/Radio-Shack-100-Ft-300-Ohm-Twin-Lead/dp/B003AKA08O

If you need 50 / 75 ohms at the receiver you can use a simple television balun between the two at the radio receiver..

15
TV DX Loggings / NextGen TV
« on: August 09, 2020, 1725 UTC »
How many of you looked at this?  https://www.cpb.org/atsc3

Looks like our televisions will once again be Obsolete..


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