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New to 10m

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Raptor05121

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Well I finished getting my LMR-400 setup and plugged it all in for the first time since I got my license a little over three weeks ago. I've got a TS-940S and a Realistic HTX-100 (10m only) radio but I keep flipping through 28.300-28.500MHz and all I hear is static. Should I at least hear someone or is it just dead at 11pm?
 

RadioDaze

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Yeah, it probably IS dead at 11 p.m. 10 meters is primarily a daytime band. The lower frequencies will be active at night, such as 80 meters, and some 40 meters. But congrats on the license and welcome to the hobby!

The 940 is a nice rig.
 

K9WG

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10-meters will be mostly active in the direction of the sun. I can get Europe in the mornings, South America at noon, and California / Pacific early evenings. Also right now 10-meters is not real reliable. Some days it is super, others just a noise machine.
 

VA3QRM

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10 meters

Check the AM, FM simplex and FM repeater portion of the band with the TS940. With the sunspot / solar enhanced activity I've worked literally dozens of new countries and new modes for countries with an Icom 706 and an Antron ( Solarcon ) 99 vertical and wire. Much fun with a HTX 100 and mono band Comet vertical mobile. Check this out as well DX cluster - dxwatch.com ..... as a local ham told me...." if you can hear it you can work it.." 73
 

Raptor05121

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Bump. I have no idea on how to get this beast working. I'm going from transceiver to antenna. I don't have any fancy equipment like I see these diagrams on QST showing. I scrolled through ALL frequencies and all I hear is sports and commercial music on the CW band 9-12mHz. Am I doing something wrong?
 

KD0OTK

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10m should only be active from sun rise to sunset. If you want to check if your radio is working right, you can check commercial shortwave. 5.000 to 5.800mhz and 7.000 to 7.600 is where I hear the most activity.
 

Raptor05121

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I am picking up some news from the BBC possibly on 7.251mHz so I guess she's working. I am not anywhere near my amateur equipment during the day (too busy playing with the fire depts VHF). So does this mean my license is useless?
 

W2NJS

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Alex,

In effect, ALL the hambands work the same way you're finding things work on 10M, that is that at times the band is dead and other times it's hopping. Dig into the band plan* about 10M and you'll find that certain portions of the band are CW, others are SSB, then there are four FM channels, and there's even some AM to be found there. Same goes for all the other HF bands, except for the FM, which is found only on 10M and higher. What you won't find on 10M is a lot of international broadcast interference, so except for the hams it's a pretty quiet place.

*One version of the 10M bandplan can be found in the ARRL Repeater Directory, but that's just a guide for general guidance which will get you started on the right track.

http://www.arrl.org/shop/The-ARRL-Repeater-Directory-Pocket-sized

Regards,

Tom,W2NJS
 

KD0OTK

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I am picking up some news from the BBC possibly on 7.251mHz so I guess she's working. I am not anywhere near my amateur equipment during the day (too busy playing with the fire depts VHF). So does this mean my license is useless?
Not at all. The best DX on 10 is during the weekend. You have vhf and uhf repeaters for during the day as well.
 

wyomingmedic

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The HF bands are alive somewhere, 24 hours a day. As was said, 10 meters USUALLY falls dead after dark. It really requires the suns radiation to bounce appropriately.

What really helps is the antenna. I have got a very large antenna for 10 meters and I can usually hear somebody at any point of the day on 10 meters. If not SSB, then CW.

As the bands shift with the sun, you can follow down. At night, 40 and 80 meters is usually open all over the world.

Are you also in the correct bands and have your settings correct? 20 meters and above is USB and 40 and down is LSB. Also make sure you have you RF gains set correct and that you don't have any wonky filter setting in place. The 940 s a great rig but it does have a few buttons.

Explain your antenna a bit better. How high is it? Where is it? If all you have is a 10 meter dipole, then you aren't going to hear worth a darn on 40 meters.

Good Luck,
WM
having your license is not useless, but you have to take the time to maximize it. If you have a Tech class license and are limited to SSB on 10 meters, then you will not get a great taste of HF.

During the day, park your radio on 14.300 USB and listen for a bit. You should hear some folks yacking randomly. Later at night, slowly scroll between 7.200-7.400 in LSB mode. And scroll SLOW. Just casually scan the band.
 

Raptor05121

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Not at all. The best DX on 10 is during the weekend. You have vhf and uhf repeaters for during the day as well.
The 940 is an HF-only radio. I am thinking about trading it in for a more user-friendly radio with a wider band limit.

The HF bands are alive somewhere, 24 hours a day. As was said, 10 meters USUALLY falls dead after dark. It really requires the suns radiation to bounce appropriately.

What really helps is the antenna. I have got a very large antenna for 10 meters and I can usually hear somebody at any point of the day on 10 meters. If not SSB, then CW.

As the bands shift with the sun, you can follow down. At night, 40 and 80 meters is usually open all over the world.

Are you also in the correct bands and have your settings correct? 20 meters and above is USB and 40 and down is LSB. Also make sure you have you RF gains set correct and that you don't have any wonky filter setting in place. The 940 s a great rig but it does have a few buttons.

Explain your antenna a bit better. How high is it? Where is it? If all you have is a 10 meter dipole, then you aren't going to hear worth a darn on 40 meters.

Good Luck,
WM
having your license is not useless, but you have to take the time to maximize it. If you have a Tech class license and are limited to SSB on 10 meters, then you will not get a great taste of HF.

During the day, park your radio on 14.300 USB and listen for a bit. You should hear some folks yacking randomly. Later at night, slowly scroll between 7.200-7.400 in LSB mode. And scroll SLOW. Just casually scan the band.
I have a 30' aluminum pole strapped to the side of the house. It has what appears to be a semi antenna as it says "Freightliner" on it. It has two coils in it, so I'm assuming it is multi-band. And at the top is a little foot-or-so piece of metal screwed into the top of the 'Freightliner' antenna. It also had three radials on it, but two were broken off during the transfer. All the equipment I have is hand-me-down from my grandfather. All the connectors are rusted, the LMR-400 has holes in it, and I did my best to splice connections from end to end to get it to reach my radio.

I am picking up some radio on the AM calling 3.885mHz. Its coming in and out. Too bad I can't talk on it :mad:
 

wyomingmedic

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The 940 is an HF-only radio. I am thinking about trading it in for a more user-friendly radio with a wider band limit.


I have a 30' aluminum pole strapped to the side of the house. It has what appears to be a semi antenna as it says "Freightliner" on it. It has two coils in it, so I'm assuming it is multi-band. And at the top is a little foot-or-so piece of metal screwed into the top of the 'Freightliner' antenna. It also had three radials on it, but two were broken off during the transfer. All the equipment I have is hand-me-down from my grandfather. All the connectors are rusted, the LMR-400 has holes in it, and I did my best to splice connections from end to end to get it to reach my radio.

I am picking up some radio on the AM calling 3.885mHz. Its coming in and out. Too bad I can't talk on it :mad:
I wouldn't worry about trading off the 940. It is a good rig. And I'm not sure what you mean by "Wide band limit".

As for your problems, I think you answered them yourself. I have never heard of a Freightliner antenna nor could I find one on Google. I wonder if it is a homemade CB jobber. Seeing coils in it doesn't mean much. It is probably not multiband. And the missing little radial things is a problem.

The other problem is the rusty connectors and coax with holes in it that has been spliced. I would bet dollars to donuts THAT is your biggest problem. If it were me, I would go buy some brand new coax and a few hundred feet of wire.

Google on how to make a dipole for whatever band you want. You could beat your head against the wall for years and not get your old coax up and going. Or you could go spend $30 and get a working antenna up in an afternoon.

With a decent antenna, like I said, you will always be able to hear somebody to talk to somewhere.

WM
 

Raptor05121

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The antenna is a CB antenna from a Freightliner 18-wheeler. This is a pic from the top end looking down:



I put a antenna analyzer on it and for some reason it has a 1.1SWR in the 2m band and a 1.5SWR in 10m. I also have this thing:





But the little black box where the coax plugs into is held on by two metal brackets, one above it and one below it, to the pole. The one above it is broken, and judging from the poor SWR reading across the board, I'm guessing that bracket has something to do with the reception.

My only problem is I am an unemployed full-time college student. If I am lucky enough to earn money it goes towards gas, insurance, books, etc. I do not have any disposable income. From what I hear the 940 is worth at least $500. Right now its not worth much to me since I can't use it. I'd rather sell it for $500 and get a smaller 10m/2m for $300 or so and a nice $100 antenna and $50 in coax.

I am bringing the 940 to my next club meeting to hook it up to a proper antenna and let the pros try to make her sing. Like I said, right now all it is to me is a 50 pound paperweight.

Thanks for the help.
 
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pjtnascar

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Congrats on the license! I just got mine back in June and upgraded to General this past Monday.

I agree totally with Wyomingmedic. Ditch that "antenna"you have, and build a dipole.You can pick up some okay coax at Radio Shack for less than 20 bucks. It will work okay for a short run on 10 meters. Google the 10 meter dipole and build one to set up. 10 meters is dead at night, but you may be able to hear something. Try tuning in in the early evening (around sunset) and you should still receive something. I actually made a very quick (the other guy repeated my call to me) to a station in Puerto RIco last week.

In the meantime, why not try to pick up a cheapie dual band radio? My first one was a TYT UVF1 walkie talkie. Works pretty good for repeaters on 70cm and 2 meters and can be found for between $90-$130 depending on where you get it. You'll meet some great local hams on your local repeaters, and most are more than happy to give advice and help to a new guy.
 

pjtnascar

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BTW- I am also a college student with the added bonus of having a wife and two kids, so I feel your pain! If you can get wire cheap or free, dipoles are very economical. Do yourself a favor-hang on to that transceiver. You have it already, and getting a replacement later will be expensive. If anything, sell the 10m rig to raise cash for the cheap dual bander.
 

W2NJS

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Alex,

Regarding "wider coverage" transceivers, I had an Icom 706 for several years and used in only on VHF and UHF. The multi-function buttons and other tricks needed to get it to work on HF drove me nuts so I finally dumped it. The HF receivers with the "traditional" way of operating are much easier to use than today's all-band units, believe me, so I'd stick with what you have and just add a dual-band VHF/UHF radio when the time is right.
 

WA0CBW

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Alex, What you need is an ELMER!

That is someone who is an amateur radio operator that would be willing to help you in your journey to enjoying your ham radio license. See if you can find a local Amateur radio club and get to know them. Almost every radio club could lead you so someone that could help you with all your questions. Or you might try dropping the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) an email asking them if they could help you find someone in the area where you live.

Good luck and have fun in your new hobby.

Bill - WA0CBW
ARRL Technical Coordinator -- Kansas Section
 

kb2vxa

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The antenna issue seems to be covered rather well except for one thing, a half wave dipole is horizontally polarized since they're usually mounted that way with a figure 8 radiation pattern 90 degrees off it's axis. That means you have to mount it broadside to the areas you want to cover. A nice addition would be a vertical such as the ever popular Antron for vertical polarization and omnidirectional coverage, you'll find both quite useful once you get your feet wet.

Since you're new to the game you need to learn a bit of protocol since operating is a world apart from VHF/UHF so listening around the HF bands will give you a heads up, like the famous Gordon West says; before you transmit, listen listen listen. While a lot of hams use 10M as a "CB" talk-around band and there are informal "nets" and various groups out there when the DX comes in things get formal and there is procedure to follow or they'll think you're a lid and won't talk to you.

Speaking of CB, it makes an excellent "beacon band" so when you hear madness and mayhem 10M is usually open. That's when you go up there and call CQ, a lot of times when you hear nothing it's because the lights are on but nobody's home, they're listening but nobody's talking.

Now what's this about too busy playing around with the FD radio? You're a volunteer so you should have a pager so you're playing around with the wrong radio... get my drift?

"I am picking up some radio on the AM calling 3.885mHz. Its coming in and out. Too bad I can't talk on it."
It's not a calling frequency bit it IS a circus that's been entertaining me since 1965 so consider yourself lucky. Listening casually will give you brain damage, heavy addiction will drive you insane so when the band you're in starts playing different tunes I'll see you on the dark side of the moon taking your test for General.

http://www.amfone.net/Amforum/index.php
 
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mmckenna

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Raptor,

That looks a whole lot like a Cushcraft R5 vertical antenna. looks like it's been modified, damaged or something. The black box is the matching coil, and if it's missing the top bracket, that is a major problem. There should be a fiberglass insulator in the antenna adjacent to the black box. The lower part is grounded, the upper part is the radiator. If that bracket is missing, you have no connection from the matching coils to the actual radiator.

The holes in the coaxial cable is likely an issue too, but you could try repairing the antenna and then check the whole system.

I think with a little help front the local club, you could get that antenna working. I bet you might even find someone that might have some extra coaxial cable they could loan you, if you asked nicely.

Try this site to see if some of the info matches up with the antenna you have: Cushcraft R5 maintenance by dxzone.com

Good luck, and don't give up!
 
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