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Question for the antenna testers here. Which mode is best?

Discussion in 'CB Antennas' started by loosecannon, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. loosecannon

    loosecannon break on through

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    last night while talking to some locals on SSB, i mentioned to someone that i didnt hear them as well as i usually did.
    they were about S-3 when usually they hit me at S-7 or so.

    he came back with an S-7 (+ or -) signal and said, "is that any better?"
    i asked him what he did, and he told me he was being lazy with the microphone and was too far from it previously.

    that made me think about how many of us use a relative S meter reading to determine whether we have made gains or losses in our antenna systems.

    that made me think about how difficult it could be to get any sort of qualitative data from an antenna test when using SSB mode.

    knowing that a mere few inches distance from a microphone can have a dramatic effect on how many PEP watts our radios are putting out, tells me that antenna testing on SSB is dodgy at best.

    even if the distance from the mic was kept constant, the variances in voice volume during normal speech might skew the results.

    to me, it seems like testing antennas would best be done on AM mode with a deadkey only, or on FM mode.




    what are your thoughts on this?
    LC
     
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  2. W5LZ

    W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

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    Not hard to agree with that. Use CW, it's constant. Or a constant level injected tone, or two of them.
    - 'Doc
     
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  3. KE3W

    KE3W Active Member

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    Wow - there are so many varibles to deal with. You would have to make sure both ends are using the same antenna's (beam, dipole, long wire, watts out, swr, etc.). You would have to take into consideration QSB, QRM, Sunspot, etc.) and on and on and on...
     
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  4. W5LZ

    W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

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    And that's why you don't take on the air reports as gospel.
    - 'Doc
     
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  5. KE3W

    KE3W Active Member

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    [​IMG] Absolutely W5LZ - Heck, at my age - my hearing changes from day to day - I would be the last person to ask![​IMG]
     
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  6. bob85

    bob85 Supporting Member

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    you need an unmodulated stable carrier am/fm/cw and a time machine;)
     
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  7. loosecannon

    loosecannon break on through

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    bob,

    i thought i was the only one here who knew who tom bearden was.
    very interesting guy.

    he would definitely be the one to talk to about the time machine needed for accurate antenna testing.

    we all know that any results obtained this way are subjective, but its kinda all we got.

    everyone has an S meter in their radio, and everyone can tell when it goes higher, or when it goes lower.
    i just figure an AM deadkey would be the easiest way to see the differences.

    with ionospheric propagation all bets are off.

    thats how i see it anyway.
    LC
     
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  8. bob85

    bob85 Supporting Member

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    LC. tom is a very interesting guy,
    the time machine is to take you back to a time when there was no skip ;)
     
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  9. hotrod

    hotrod Well-Known Member

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    i like to use fm mode then turn rf gain knob down till i cant hear
    other person testing this elimanites false s meter readings
    i either hear ya or dont.probly not the best method ,but
    it does work well
     
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