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Antenna help

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KD0OTK

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Hey guys. I got my first HF radio today. I strung up a dipole for 10m yesterday. I don't have a tuner, but I made both of the ends 8.35 feet. I tuned through 10m for about an hour and didn't hear anything understandable. A few of the signals were past 9 on the meter though? I threw out a few cq's also, and nothing :(.
 

n5ims

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That's just how testing a new antenna works, either the band is super fabulous or dead (sounds like you got the dead part this time). Give it a few days of trying and see if things are better.

A few things to check though, just in case:
* Since you send the CQs, what was the SWR? Acceptable (2.0:1 or less hopefully)?
* Did you check the connections with an ohm meter to make sure that they're solid (and not shorted)?
* Try tuning around the band (even extending to the CB frequencies, receive only of course) to see if you can pick up signals there. If so it at least works to some degree. If not, you probably have some issues to work on.
* Were you using the correct mode (and sideband if appropriate)? My chart shows 10 meters to use USB and you may have issues if you try to use LSB.
* Did you try during the correct period of the day for that band? My chart shows that 10 meters is best during daylight hours so night time propogation may not be very good.

Here's a link to a .pdf of a chart similar to the one I have http://www.georouter.com/cras/Frequency Charts.pdf
 

Alliance01TX

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New HF

Howdy

Did you have any means to test the antenna/coax to ensure you have a low SWR reading and are 'matched' to 50 Ohms....? If not perhaps your local Ham Club might offer some help...

Also,dial around the other bands (short-wave) and you should be able to hear various commerical (AM) broadcast across several bands...if not you may well have a connector/coax or matching issues perhaps.

Finally,have you looked at the MUF/LUF data to see if 10M is usable at the time period / location you are at as Solar Cycle events (or lack of) might also be a factor too.

Others can chime in to provide points to test / consider as well....

Thx

Bill
 

KD0OTK

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Elk River, MN
That's just how testing a new antenna works, either the band is super fabulous or dead (sounds like you got the dead part this time). Give it a few days of trying and see if things are better.

A few things to check though, just in case:
* Since you send the CQs, what was the SWR? Acceptable (2.0:1 or less hopefully)?
* Did you check the connections with an ohm meter to make sure that they're solid (and not shorted)?
* Try tuning around the band (even extending to the CB frequencies, receive only of course) to see if you can pick up signals there. If so it at least works to some degree. If not, you probably have some issues to work on.
* Were you using the correct mode (and sideband if appropriate)? My chart shows 10 meters to use USB and you may have issues if you try to use LSB.
* Did you try during the correct period of the day for that band? My chart shows that 10 meters is best during daylight hours so night time propogation may not be very good.

Here's a link to a .pdf of a chart similar to the one I have http://www.georouter.com/cras/Frequency Charts.pdf
I just tuned around 11m and didn't hear anything. I don't have an swr meter so I can't check swr unfortunately :(. How would I check the connections? I'm fairly sure my multimeter can do ohms.
 

W2NJS

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The 10M band is divided into sections that are used for different modes, like SSB, FM, CW, and (I think) even AM. You might want to run this down to help your monitoring/contact efforts.
 

n5ims

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I just tuned around 11m and didn't hear anything. I don't have an swr meter so I can't check swr unfortunately :(. How would I check the connections? I'm fairly sure my multimeter can do ohms.
If possible, route the coax out to where the antenna is and using your ohm meter to perform these checks:
* Check the continuity between the center pin on your connector and the outer connection on your connector, there should be infinate resistance (no connection).
* Check the continuity between the center pin on your connector and the side of the antenna that connects to it, there should be zero resistance.
* Check the continuity between the outer connection on your connector and the side of the antenna that connects to the coax's shield, there should be zero resistance.

Please note that if you have a balun on your antenna, you may get different results from what was given above. Also if you have anything else in that line (like a lightning arrestor) make sure that they're also good. If you can detail exactly what you have (radio, coax, and other specifics on your antenna - just coax and wire or do you also have a balun, lightning arrestor, etc) folks may be able to help you with specifics on what you can try. Often the radio has a meter that can be used to see just how well it's transmitting using values like the final's current, voltage, etc.
 
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k8wtf

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Jun 11, 2011
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Measure ohms across the center pin and ground shield of the cable feeding your antenna and make sure there is no short (would read all 0's).

Also, 10 meters can be dead for days, so don't be too discouraged if all else checks out. Perhaps you can find someone local to set up a scheduled time with to verify everything is working.
 

KD0OTK

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Elk River, MN
Measure ohms across the center pin and ground shield of the cable feeding your antenna and make sure there is no short (would read all 0's).

Also, 10 meters can be dead for days, so don't be too discouraged if all else checks out. Perhaps you can find someone local to set up a scheduled time with to verify everything is working.
I can't check at the antenna, it's all sealed up. I did check at the end of the coax. It showed nothing. I can hear about 10 AM stations near me. I ended up getting an FT 747.
 

SCPD

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S9 and can't understand

You've been given lots of good advice, but I gotta ask about something you said in your original post.

You said you had a S9 signal, but you couldn't understand it. So before we start checking coax, checking the match, and all that, I think we need to work on that issue first.

Like one person said, the most common voice on 10 meters is upper sideband. Do you have your radio selected for USB?
What is the signal you can't understand sound like?
 
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KD0OTK

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Elk River, MN
You've been given lots of good advice, but I gotta ask about something you said in your original post.

You said you had a S9 signal, but you couldn't understand it. So before we start checking coax, checking the match, and all that, I think we need to work on that issue first.

Like one person said, 10 meters is upper sideband. Do you have your radio selected for USB?
What is the signal you can't understand sound like?
Radio is set on USB. On 28.4 mhz I can hear voices very faintly. A slight whisper. The meter is up between 8 and 9.
 

majoco

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Sounds like receiver RF gain is turned down if the "S" meter is always between 8 and 9 - it should be bouncing up and down with the received SSB audio if the AGC is set to 'short' or quickly rise and slowly fall if set to 'long'. It's a broadband receiver - try picking up some other signals in the broadcast bands.

And I wouldn't go squirting 100W up the antenna until you get an SWR meter - the PA transistors may go pop. What is the current capability of your power supply?
 
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