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I'm Excited!

Discussion in 'Ham Equipment' started by Keith Thompson, Jan 20, 2018.

  1. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    You should not need an external tuner unless you run an amplifier after the radio.
    One thing I will tell you about the internal tuners, if it takes a lot of time to tune in on several bands and it seems to hunt for a long time there is an easy fix and you don't even have to take the covers off.
    Simply connect your radio straight to a resistive dummy load and for each band start the auto tune and then go to each band and let the auto tune "Zero out."
    I bought a Kenwood at a ham fest at a great price with a "Defective" auto tuner. I hooked it up in my truck on a good antenna and it did the tuning hunt. SWR did not get down into a level I would use. Took it to my bench and hooked it up on the dummy load it hunted for about 20 seconds on each band and tuned in. Went back through and checked it again and it adjusted for less than a second on each band.
    On the same antenna where it would not tune in, it locked in quickly and SWR was low. So it works fine now.


     
    2RT307 likes this.

  2. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

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    Good luck taking your exams!

    Nice radio equipment to start off with. The 7300 is really all the radio you should ever need.The bigger expensive models don't offer that much more except more eye candy and more complicated menus.

    These days all that eye candy like waterfall displays and built in RTTY modes etc. can be easily done by interfacing your radio to a PC with a USB cable and it's far easier to do on PC anyway.

    The internal tuner should be fine for now. Typically these should tune easily enough any antenna load up to a 3:1 SWR, above that it will mostly likely bypass. This is a reflection of your antenna being too far from resonance on some bands. This is where we use external tuners so we can at least still operate on those bands even though the real SWR match is high.

    Your current dipole should be in range for the all the bands 10 thru 160 but maybe not for 60 meters. It looks like that antenna is balanced line fed so I hope HRO sold you a 4:1 current balun like the one pictured below. I would place this outside and run coax from your radio to it to help minimize any RF in the shack.

    [​IMG]


    While your waiting for test day, get that antenna up in the air at least 45 ft if possible and if you don't have a antenna analyzer, Check for a clear frequency then hit the internal auto-tuner and go ahead and just briefly key the radio on RTTY mode at low power ( 10 watts or less ). Do so on each band and check the SWR on the internal SWR meter. If you can tune all the bands between 10 and 160, then no external meter is needed unless you are going to add an amplifier.

    Good luck and enjoy the hobby!
     
    hillbilly101 likes this.
  3. hillbilly101

    hillbilly101 KE8GGC

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    Good luck with the exams...Looks like you got some nice equipment to have a lot of fun with
     
    Tallman likes this.
  4. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    I'll give you a little advice for when you tune up after you get your license.
    Turn the power down to about 10 watts and tune each band. When you are tuned in crank your power back up. The reason I mention this is because I was trying to talk to a station and some body was keying up on an adjacent frequency. We could still talk but it was annoying because we both heard it and had to keep repeating parts of what we said. We move to another frequency, but we should not have had to.
     
  5. Keith Thompson

    Keith Thompson AC1EG, Guns & Radios, Icom IC-7300, Yaesu FT-60R

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    Guys,

    Thanks to all of you for the terrific advice. I've gotten so impatient to get started that I'm driving 2 hours this Saturday to take the exam. I'll try to cram a little for the General, but if I can't get it passed I'll have another opportunity locally in two weeks.

    I've been picking out trees to use to string the dipole antenna. I should be able to reach 40-50 feet easily, but the orientation I'm looking at is SSW/NNE. Some guys on the DX chat suggested N/S would be better and that makes more sense. Now I have to measure between some trees and see if a N/S orientation will work.

    I've pretty much got the layout of the station fixed in my mind. I'll be on the second floor, so an RF ground will probably be too long, so I'll just ground everything to a piece of copper tubing to keep the electrical potential (I think that's correct) between the units as close to equal as possible. My real concern is figuring out how to protect against lightening strikes. Not a big concern this time of year but definitely need a solution by Spring.
     
    Tallman likes this.
  6. Keith Thompson

    Keith Thompson AC1EG, Guns & Radios, Icom IC-7300, Yaesu FT-60R

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    Thanks. I got it out of the box yesterday just to drool over it. I'll probably start setting it up next week after I make some room in my new "radio shack" i.e. the spare bedroom.
     
    hillbilly101 likes this.
  7. Keith Thompson

    Keith Thompson AC1EG, Guns & Radios, Icom IC-7300, Yaesu FT-60R

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    HRO sold me an MFJ-912 balun which is 4:1.
     
  8. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    Don't use your water pipes!!!! Use the ground wire and drive your own ground stakes.
    You can't use any connection that is soldered, solder will melt if you get hit and leave your house in danger.
     
  9. Keith Thompson

    Keith Thompson AC1EG, Guns & Radios, Icom IC-7300, Yaesu FT-60R

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    My pipes, being PVC, are not useable, so the ground wire and ground stakes will be the solution, as you suggest. The house ground stake is on the other side of the house, so I'll need a new stake on the house's back side, where I'll be.
     
  10. fourstringburn

    fourstringburn W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member K5KNM

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    That'll work.
     
  11. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    Good luck on your test! Actually luck is not needed.
     
  12. tba02

    tba02 WOOF

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    I wouldn't be overly worried about the minor difference if it in any way impedes you getting something in the air.
     
  13. n8fgb

    n8fgb Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget to ID too. I would say "N8FGB testing". And of course try to stay clear of other stations.
    Rich
     
  14. Keith Thompson

    Keith Thompson AC1EG, Guns & Radios, Icom IC-7300, Yaesu FT-60R

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    Well, I'm pleased to say I made some progress this weekend. I was planning to sit for my license exams on February 12, but with all the stuff crammed into my head I decided I couldn't wait. Saturday I drove two hours to a VE session near Manchester, NH, and successfully passed my tests for Technician and General. February 12th is now reserved for the Extra exam. The cramming begins anew.
     
  15. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    Time to get on the radio and party!!! Congrats!
     
    hillbilly101 likes this.

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