Ham receiver on the way

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by sdsnet, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

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    I just bought an old Realistic DX 160 Ham receiver off Ebay for 40 dollars. I also bought an antenna to put up in my attic that is supposed to be good for 10-12-15-17-20 meter bands. I figured I would start out cheap with these components so I can listen in on what is going on and decide how much I want to get into the hobby. I'm thinking I will get my tech license and eventually look at getting a good transceiver like an ICOM some day. Anyway, I'm looking forward to tuning in !
     
  2. Blitzer

    Blitzer Cool Cat

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    Ham? Ham?

    Virginia smoked, sugar or country style? :eat: :rofl: :supergrin: :thumbsup: ;)

    One Winter I ran antennas all over my parents backyard, while I was still in high school. Drove them nuts. Come Spring most of them had to come down.

    :supergrin: :thumbsup: :wavey: ;) :banana:
     

  3. EUPHER49

    EUPHER49

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    OMG, that's funny!!!! I never heard thatone before :upeyes: :sigh:
     
  4. InjuriousGeorge

    InjuriousGeorge

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    Does the radio receive upper sideband (USB also called SSB) or just AM?
     
  5. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

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    535 kHz to 30 MHz

    General Coverage Communications Receiver Rating (1-5): HH (2)
    Made In: Japan 1975-1980 Voltages: 120 VAC 12 VDC
    Coverage: 150-30000 kHz Readout: Analog
    Modes: AM/SSB-CW Selectivity: 4 kHz
    Circuit: Single Conversion Physical: 14.5x6.5x9.25" 15 Lbs.
    Features: ¼" Head. Jack, S-Meter, Mute Line, ANL, Dial Lamp, Standby, Bandspread, Antenna Trimmer, AVC.
    Accessories: DC Pack (8xD)
    New Price: $160 Used Price: $90-145
    Comments: Ranges: .15-.4, .535-1.6, 1.55-4.5, 4.5-13 and 13-30 MHz. (Coverage gap from .4-.535 MHz.) Bandspread bands: 3.5-4, 7-7.3, 14-14.35, 21-21.4 and 28-29.7 MHz plus CB channels 1-23. Supplied with a matching external speaker (shown). Note the additional coverage of the longwave band.
     
  6. martho

    martho

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    You are going to be very disappointed in what you can hear on an attic antenna. You will hear the strong stations, but you won't hear a lot of other stuff. People will tell you an attic antenna will be fine. However, you are trying to learn about the hobby so don't deprive yourself of being able to hear what is out there to hear.

    If there is anyway to get the antenna hung from some trees, you will be much more pleased with the results.

    What is this 10 12 15 17 20 antenna?
     
  7. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

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    It's basically a 12 gauge 19 strand copper wire with some insulators on either end. It was only $25.00. Maybe I'll stretch it between the roof of my house and the roof of my garage or maybe a tree like you said. I'm not against buying an antenna, I just wanted to learn about it first so I will be able to make the right purchase. I know there was a guy down my street that had a huge tower antenna and the subdivision didn't give him a hard time. I'll take your advice and get it as high as possible outside the house. I plan to eventually get a transceiver I just don't know which band I will use hence I don't know which antenna to buy. I hear that since Houston is fairly low altitude that it isn't the best place for HAM's. At this point I want to be able to hear as much of what is out there as possible. I just received my circa 1975 Realistic DX160 receiver. I haven't received the antenna yet and so I can't tell if is working properly yet. I will probably get an ICOM receiver before I get a transceiver. I'm going to take this in stages and keep upgrading as I learn.
     
  8. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    Au contraire, mon ami... we've got a lot of hams in Houston and quite a lot of them are contestors so it's not a bad place at all.

    Congrats on getting into the hobby.
     
  9. Blitzer

    Blitzer Cool Cat

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    You don't get out much, HUH? :tongueout: ;)
     
  10. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

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    Not on the airwaves obviously...:rofl:

    I'm learning though, I read a lot the past few nights. I'm headed out to Houston Amateur Radio Supply tomorrow to learn some more. Actually a guy I know that has his tech's license was the one that told me that Houston wasn't that great for Hams. I'll have to give him a hard time next week about it.
     
  11. FN64

    FN64

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    >> I'm headed out to Houston Amateur Radio Supply tomorrow to learn some more.

    Beware of the advice offered by folks trying to sell you something.. read reviews, read articles & research on your own. Check out http://www.ac6v.com

    >> Actually a guy I know that has his tech's license was the one that told me that Houston wasn't that great for Hams.

    Having a tech license and being limited to 2 meters & other "mostly line of sight" bands I can understand his statement.
    However on the HF bands the signals reflect off the ionosphere allowing continental and world wide communications. I have talked with folks in Houston & I'm located in eastern Maine so don't base your choices from a single source of advice.. Listen to them all & sort out the chafe.

    vy 73 de FN
     
  12. martho

    martho

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    There are online receivers, too.

    You can play with them and listen to what signals sound like in different parts of the country and the world.

    BS7H will be QRV this weekend and next week. If you want to hear the most exciting thing to happen in ham radio in a couple years, BS7H is it.

    www.bs7h.com
     
  13. martho

    martho

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  14. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

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    Well, I didn't go out to the Radio supply store because I found info that refuted what the guy told me and they said they were going to be real busy Saturday anyway. After setting up my random wire antenna in the trees of my yard and grounding my receiver's antenna ground connection I can pick up so many frequencies now ! I picked up Cuba, Holland and China radio (which was out of another state I think). But I am getting a lot of noise from the insulated 14 gauge stranded copper wire antenna.

    I just received the Condo Buster antenna and I'll solder my RG-6 cable to it tomorrow and then install it in my attic.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Ham-Radio-HF-An...94QQihZ018QQcategoryZ4672QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    I'm really enjoying finding all the stations on my DX 160. It is surprisingly accurate, I tuned to 5mhz WWV the atomic clock and the dial was spot on for it. Pretty good for a $50.00 HAM receiver made in 1975 !
     
  15. martho

    martho

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    RG-6 is 75ohm cable. Is there a reason you are running 75ohm coax? I know you are not transmitting on it right now, but in the event you do, you are going to have a slight mismatch at the feed point. Many dipoles have a slight mismatch at the feedpoint and a balun often helps with that issue. In this case, the ebay ad states RG58 or RG8.

    As for your noise, it is just part of the deal. As you move to newer/more advanced receivers, you will have multiple DSP (both AF and IF stage) options avaiable to shape & move the noise.

    Now for WWV.... did you zero beat right at 5.000 MHz? AM is a very wide mode and if you are in the general area, you will be able to hear them.

    THIS IS FROM THEIR WEBSITE

    The station radiates 10,000 W on 5, 10, and 15 MHz; and 2500 W on 2.5 and 20 MHz. Each frequency is broadcast from a separate transmitter. The WWV antennas are half-wave vertical antennas that radiate omnidirectional patterns. There are actually 5 antennas at the station site, one for each frequency. Each antenna is connected to a single transmitter using a rigid coaxial line, and the site is designed so that no two coaxial lines cross. Each antenna is mounted on a tower that is approximately one half-wavelength tall. The tallest tower, for 2.5 MHz, is about 60 m tall. The shortest tower, for 20 MHz, is about 7.5 m tall. The top half of each antenna is a quarter-wavelength radiating element. The bottom half of each antenna consists of 9 quarter-wavelength wires that connect to the center of the tower and slope downwards to the ground at a 45 degree angle. This sloping skirt functions as the lower half of the radiating system and also guys the antenna.
     
  16. EUPHER49

    EUPHER49

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    Dipoles have a feedpoint impedence of 75 Ohms. If you feed it with 75 Ohm cable you won't have a mismatch at the feed point, but rather at the beginning of the line. (receiver) If you feed a dipole with 50 Ohm line you will have a mismatch at the feedpoint. In either case for an antenna cut to resonant length the SWR will be the same. 75/50 = 1.5 This is still acceptable.
    For sdsnet:
    I also might mention that if a dipole isn't at least a quarter wavelength above ground that the feed point impedence will be less than 75 Ohms. The radiation pattern becomes less than bidirectional. If you use a dipole on frequencies above for which it is cut (with the aid of a tuner) the pattern becomes very lobey.

    That said, I use a centerfed Zepp, cut for 80 meters (total length 125 feet) which is fed with 450 Ohm "window" line with a 4:1 Balun and around 10 feet of RG-8 running to the tuner. I transmit on all bands and have pretty good results from 80 thru 10 meters. The antenna is 10 gauge stranded copper wire. Stranded wire is not a factor in noise levels. If you really want a good receiving antenna you might look into constructing a Beverage antenna. (this is a receive ONLY antenna)
     
  17. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

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    Thanks for all the great info and advice ! I happened to have extra RG8 from my scanner antenna install. Since it shouldn't matter while I am receiving I decided to use it for now. When I move up to transmitting I will certainly run RG-6 or whatever is best. I soldered the RG-8 to the Condo Buster antenna and installed it in my attic this evening, mounted along the top ridge of my attic and it works better than the random wire I had in my tree.

    I just ordered a terminated tilted dipole antenna from www.radiowavz.com. The antenna I bought isn't listed on the website. I spoke with the man who designed many of their antennas. He told me that the terminated tilted dipole antenna would work really well in my environment outside the house and would be less noisy than the condo buster in my attic or a random wire.

    My friend bought a used ICOM ICR71A receiver. The scan function and ability to save frequencies is something I would really like to have one day. I'll update everyone once I install the new antenna.

    Thanks again,

    sdsnet
     
  18. EUPHER49

    EUPHER49

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    sdsnet,

    Antennas that transmit well also receive well. An antenna that isn't matched to a receiver won't perform as well as one that is...
     
  19. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

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    What is the best way to ensure an antenna is matched to my receiver ? Are you referring to the fact that I am currently using RG-8 coax ?
     
  20. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

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    Well I took a chance and placed a bid on Ebay for a Yaesu FT-707 and won it at the last minute for a very low price. It's an 1980's box but built like a tank, is a good beginner unit and it will work in my truck too if I get tired of using it as a base station.

    [​IMG]

    Description
    The FT-707 is an all solid state HF Transceiver for the amateur bands. Frequency coverage from 80 to 10 meters with operation in SSB, CW and AM modes. Nominal power output is 100 watts on SSB and CW, and 50 watts on AM. The receiver included the famous Yaesu's variable IF bandwidth, using two 8 pole IF filters, allowing continuously variable adjustment of the IF bandwidth, from 300 Hz to 2,4 kHz. The transmitter side features two powerful bipolar transistors with multiple protection in the final amplifier stage, with band switched low pass filter network providing excellent spectral purity. Available option is the FV-707DM external VFO, which provides twelve memory channels using a sophisticated synthesizer which allows scanning in 10 Hz steps and offset from memory channels. Scanning controls on the YM-35 microphone allow fingertip frequency control of the operating frequency when using the FV-707DM. When using the scanning controls on SSB or CW, the 10 Hz channel steps are not discernible, so the sound heared sweeping the band sounds just like a regular analog VFO. Digital plus analog display of the operaing frequency is provided. The front panel meter consist of a string of brigt discrete LEDs, for monitoring of the received signal stenght, relative power output, and the trasmit ALC level.

    Frequency coverage: 80 m (3,5-4,0 MMz); 40 m (7,0-7,5 MHz); 30 m (10,0-10,5 MHz); 20 m (14,0-14,5 MHz); 17 m (18,0-18,5 MHz); 15 m (21,0-21,5 MHz); 12 m (24,5-25,0 MHz); 10 m (28,0-29,9 MHz).

    Modes of operation: LSB, USB, CW and AM. Receiver sensitivity: SSB/CW 0,25 microvolt, AM 1,0 microvolt, both for 10 db S/N. Audio output: 3 watts on 4 ohms. Microphone impedance: 500-600 ohms.