1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

******** The Official amateur radio thread ********

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Feek, 7 Jan 2012.

  1. TonyLewis

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Sep 2021

    Posts: 118

    Location: UK

    Thanks, exactly what I was looking for! I will have a play over the next week :)
     
  2. TonyLewis

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Sep 2021

    Posts: 118

    Location: UK

  3. TonyLewis

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Sep 2021

    Posts: 118

    Location: UK

  4. ODuffer

    Gangster

    Joined: 28 Jan 2021

    Posts: 171

    Location: Liverpool

    The SDRPlay has much better front-end filtering than the dongles, I think you'll get more out of it.
    It also comes with a pretty decent software package.

    For the antenna, it really depends on what you want to listen to-

    For HF(SWL), to start with literally just a random wire. You only really need to worry too much about baluns etc once you start to transmit.

    easy-antennas-for-the-swl.pdf (wordpress.com)

    For VHF/UHF, perhaps fabricate a 2m Slim Jim. It will come in handy if you decide to get licenced :)

    Details here- Making a Basic Slim Jim 2m Antenna | Essex Ham
     
    Last edited: 15 Sep 2021
  5. Snaggle

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,354

    Location: Northants

    another vote for a sdrplay . . The rtl work "ok" till you get a strong signal . spend the little extra
     
  6. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: 16 Oct 2002

    Posts: 233,689

    Location: In the radio shack

    Out of those two, I'd definitely go for the sdrplay - Much more capable receiver.

    For listening on HF, just throw out a long wire, that's all you need really and it'll get you started easily.
     
  7. TonyLewis

    Gangster

    Joined: 10 Sep 2021

    Posts: 118

    Location: UK

    Thanks chaps, I will report back when I get it all setup.
     
  8. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: 16 Oct 2002

    Posts: 233,689

    Location: In the radio shack

    Do love a bit of grey line propagation. For the last two mornings, I've worked a whole bunch of VKs with a ZL thrown in for good measure. One after another, all long path on 20m FT8. They're not strong enough for SSB but conditions are moving in the right direction. SFI is 102 and SN is 99. Really hoping this bodes well for cycle 25.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Chris Wilson

    Soldato

    Joined: 28 Nov 2003

    Posts: 6,468

    Location: Shropshire

    I have not been on HF for a while, work has conspired against having time, and what bit I have is spent sorting out the mechanics of mounting my "new" satellite dish. I have oxy-acetylene, MIG and TIG welding here, but not enough Amps or gas flow for 10mm steel plate and 10mm wall thickness 170mm diameter steel tube. So I need to take my sub sections on the trailer to a friend who is geared up for heavy fabrication, them to a sand blaster prior to painting. All very time consuming, but a custom install was needed, I couldn't bring myself to live with the Heath Robinson original set up.

    I admit to being pretty anal about this sort of things mechanical elegance, albeit it won't work any better for looking pretty ;)

    I believe 10 meters was very open the other week?
     
  10. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: 16 Oct 2002

    Posts: 233,689

    Location: In the radio shack

    Aye, it’s been lively on 10m for a few evenings. I worked Bob down in VP8 recently on 10.
     
  11. Uhtred

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,018

    Location: Bedfordshire

    Can someone help me with coax and connectors please? I'm planning on buying a diamond x50 to connect to my baofeng handheld. Initially I'll have it set up in the loft until I can work out where to mount it outside. The antenna uses n type connectors so I think I need a 2meter coax with n connectors both ends and then an adapter to convert it to sma. Do I need special tools to work with n type connectors?

    Also, how do I choose decent quality coax? I know it doesn't matter so much over 2 meters but eventually I'll need a ~15meter run. I gather I need 50 ohm but other than that I'm just going by the cost, eg I can safely assume that Westflex 103 is better than RG58 because it's £1.85 per meter vs £0.40. Looking at the specs I can see loss at 100mhz over 10 meters is 0.46db vs 2db respectively so I guess I just answered my own question....
     
  12. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: 16 Oct 2002

    Posts: 233,689

    Location: In the radio shack

    Messi & Paoloni Hyperflex or Ultraflex 10 is about the best bang for your buck these days and you don't need any special tools to fit the connectors, just a couple of large spanners, a knife and a soldering iron. N-types are very easy to fit, there's a decent video here.

    One thing to be aware of with the Baofeng, the front end isn't particularly selective and can be quite easily overloaded if you start using it with an external aerial at height.
     
  13. Uhtred

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,018

    Location: Bedfordshire

    Ah ok, so that might mean I have trouble receiving strong signals? That's good to know as one member of the net I frequent is a stones throw away
     
  14. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: 16 Oct 2002

    Posts: 233,689

    Location: In the radio shack

    No, but what could happen is that weaker stations could be swamped by stronger signals on nearby frequencies.
     
  15. stigggeh

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Apr 2004

    Posts: 2,906

    Just to note - If going for the M&P Ultraflex 10 as Feek suggests you will need to buy the M&P plugs/connectors because the dimensions are slightly larger than standard RG213. I use Ultraflex 10 and you can make others fit, but its a faff and not worth it over the quality M&P connectors.
     
  16. Uhtred

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 6,018

    Location: Bedfordshire

    Ok, I'm fairly rural but I will look out for that.

    Noted. Thanks both
     
  17. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: 16 Oct 2002

    Posts: 233,689

    Location: In the radio shack

    What a weekend! CQ WW this weekend and the bands have been buzzing. Had a huge run to the US on 10m earlier this afternoon. I called, they just kept replying :D
     
  18. Feek

    Commissario

    Joined: 16 Oct 2002

    Posts: 233,689

    Location: In the radio shack

    Bought myself a second hand TS-480SAT to put in the car. I've been pondering one of these for a few years and it was offered to me a couple of days ago at a price I couldn't refuse. I've just bodged it into the shack to make sure it's all OK and within a couple of minutes of switching it on, I'd worked a German who was beetling along the autobahn and just running just 25W (him, not me).

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Pman85

    Associate

    Joined: 26 Feb 2009

    Posts: 42

    Long time lurker in this thread.. not an enthusiast myself but my Dad had lots of CB and Amateur radio kit back in the day.. for some reason I just love ‘looking at’ this hardware.. must be the dials, buttons, displays etc that really scratch my nerdy itch.

    Keep it coming
     
  20. Chris Wilson

    Soldato

    Joined: 28 Nov 2003

    Posts: 6,468

    Location: Shropshire

    Weren't some of those 200 Watt jobbies? They always have nice sounding audio and seem to have been around forever. I have never seen one in the flesh, I guess they must be pretty small?

    I was once tempted by the bigger Kenwood HF / VHF / UHF rig that was sold (rarely it seems) as a black box and a remote display. But someone beat me to whilst I was dithering.

    All the steelwork is now here for my big satellite dish mounting and I have made and threaded all the tube ends for Rose joints. I'm now waiting on my friend to get some profile cutting and welding done.

    Trouble is, being low lying here, if I don't get the main tube concreted in 5 feet down very soon I'll be in to the water table.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 10 Nov 2021