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Time to learn CW (Morse Code)

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Caesar

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Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
184
Location
Cayce, SC
I am a ham (no code tech) which works for me b/c i live on 2m and 440. I am however very interesting in hf and have enjoyed it at field days but i am pratical and am not at a place in my life were i can drop 1000$ to get a (cheap) hf setup, so i have not gone for any higher level ham ticket yet....

Well, long story short, my uncle's uncle passed away a few months ago, i'd never met him but he was a ham, and had been since the 40's i believe. my uncle had no use for the equipment, so instead of trying to make money off of it, he gave it to me.

what i have found so far is a lot of older 50's - 70's stuff from what i can tell:

Heathkit DX-35
Heathkit Linear SB220 i think, the 1.2kw model
Yaesu:
FP-301D
FT-301D
FV-301
FC-301
Halicrafters SX-100
an Ameco PreAmp, and i know there are two other Heathkits that he built that are connected together, not sure what there model numbers are, haven't picked them up yet..

in any even, he was a ham for a long time, got a couple arrl books from 1945 and 1949 as well, he died at 92 and i believe my uncle wanted to see the equipment up and running and used agian by someone he knew instead of selling or collecting dust, so now, other than buying an antenna for HF, i have no other excuses, time to learn cw and get the General license. ;-)
 

jrplmil

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2006
Messages
119
Get on there and enjoy. I have been ham General class sence 1982. Did not go higher as I prefer CW. Hope to hear you soon. KA5KOH
 

nexus

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2002
Messages
1,646
Location
Mississippi
Caesar,

Go get that General Ticket!!!! It took me 18 years to finally get mine. I had been sitting on my Tech+ license for the longest time, and wanting to do more than just 10 meters. I just recently passed my general element and am loving the freedom to work phone in the other bands. 5WPM is not that bad. Hope you get the fire in your pants to go take that test and pass it. BTW, you don't need to buy an antenna. If you have some property (like a house on a lot) with some trees, you can easily make an all band wire dipole. All you need is some RG-8X coax a plastic coat hanger, a spool of zip-cord style speaker wire, (12 or 16 guage), and a roll of twain or rope, fishing line or something non-conductive.

Take the coat hanger and cut two straight pieces the same lenght about 4 inches, and with a drill, drill a hole at the end of each of the two pieces you cut. These will be your "end insulators," then cut the hooked part of the coat hanger off making an even u-shaped piece. with the drill, drill out a hole at each end of the hook, and one at the top center of the hook. This will be your feedline point. The center hole will be used for attaching some fishing line or other hoisting device. The two end holes will be where your feedline and wire attach to eachother.

Take the spool of zipcord wire, and unreel out whatever lenght you want your antenna to be. Say you want something that will work on 40 meters, take a calculator to figure out the lenght needed. 468 devided by frequency in mHz = lenght of 1/2 wave. (example, 468 devided by 7.2 mhz = 65 (feet). That is the entire lenght needed for a half-wave dipole, now devide 65 feet by 2 and that will give you the lenght of each leg which comes out to be 32.5 feet) Ok so take the spool and unreel 32.5 feet of wire and cut it from the spool. on one end seperate the zipcord apart and remove some of the coating to expose bare copper wire about 1 1/2 inches should be enough.

Take your RG-8X cable, on one end remove the coating (about 3-4 inches) and then carefully pull apart the shielding braid and twist it together when you have it unwoven. Then remove about 1 1/2 inches of the dielectric from the center conductor to expose the center conducter wire.

Take the braided side, and put it through one of the holes of the curved part, and the center conductor through the hole of the other end of the loop. Then do the same thing to the zip cord, one piece goes in the hole and twist it together with the braid and the other wire goes in the hole with the center conducter and twist the wires together. Now un-zip both parts of the zipcord completely so you'll have two completely seperate wires. On each end of the zipcord, attach an end insulator to it. ok now by whatever means you have, attach string or fishing line or whatever to the centerpoint and hoist it up a mast or up to a limb in a tree or something like that to get it off the ground. Then do the same thing to the two ends of the zipcord with the end insulator, attach string or whatever you have and then hoist them up into the air strung between two trees or structures. make sure no object, tree, plant or anything metal is touching the wires of the zipcord. run the coax into the station, attach it, tune and operate!

I have made one of these antennas and with my automatic tuner it tunes everything on my radio except 160 meters. I get good reports all the time, and my antenna is only 25 feet off the ground. I already had the coax, and coat hanger, and the only thing I bought was the zipcord wire (brown coating) for about 20 dollars for 100foot.

So see there is no need to spend a lot of money for an antenna, in fact if you have two pieces of wire that are 33 feet in lenght you wouldn't even need to buy wire. I used zipcord because its easy to manage, but you can use any copper wire.
 

Caesar

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
184
Location
Cayce, SC
that is a good ideal and thx, i will check into it, however my backyard unfortuenly is not that big anymore, i might get 70ft tops diagonaly, but in the mean time i am gonna try to trade/sell/swap the two heathkit sb 400/401 and sc-35 to hopefully get a good allband di-pole or something, would love a beam, but need a tower, not a chemeny mount for that! lol...
 

traumacop

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
165
Location
Newark, Ohio
I'm sorry to hear of your uncles passing. It was very thoughtful of him to pass his radio equipment on to someone in the family who enjoys radios and would give it a warm reception.

I can remember when my father was into CB and I was lucky enough to spend enough time with two of his CB friends who got into ham radio and introduced me to the ham world. Now I watch my son run around with a family radio like I did with my first Icom 2AT.

Your uncle provided you with a means to make your own antennas, a big part of ham radio. With a small amount of time in the antenna section of the books and some help here on RR, you can build many different antennas mostly with surplus already at home.

No matter what ticket you end up with, you have been given a treasure. Half of the equipment you listed will fill the rest of your spare time hunting and listening to good dx communications. The next big contest could easily occupy the better part of a day.

Who needs a PS2 to stay occupied.


Good luck and enjoy.
 

loumaag

Silent Key - Aug 2014
Joined
Oct 20, 2002
Messages
12,911
Location
Katy, TX
Caesar,

Please consider what you have before you jump into a trade. A working pair (SB-401/400) is certainly worth a lot more than any wire antenna including all mounting hardware. A non-working pair will still get you enough for buying all the things you need to make an all band antenna, so just don't jump into a deal.

As a matter of fact, if they are working you might just consider selling the linear to fund your new hobby and use the pair; they do sound good on the air and if assembled correctly, they are pretty much flawless. :)

Maybe I just have a soft spot for those green things, but ... well that is another topic. :cool:
 

Caesar

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
184
Location
Cayce, SC
@Lou: been working with the equipment some today bringing power into at a low voltage and working it up slowly as they haven't been used in a while, making sure not to blow anything, and everything powers up, the Yaesu setup works great, the others are working but do appear to need some new tubes and misc stuff. the Yaesu from what i am reading was there first solid state hf rig, heh....
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2004
Messages
1,195
Location
Texas
I just noticed that in the Dallas area, the WB network is changing to CW for some reason. Please dont tell me Im going to have to listen to The Simpsons and Raymond in morse code.

:lol:
 
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