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Old 01-30-2011, 07:29 PM   #1
KE5ZRT
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Default My First HF Rig!

After much debate and consideration, and a lot of input from you all and some local elmer friends, I have finally decided on purchasing a used IC-718 and an LDG -100 auto tuner ($400 for the pair!). The antenna is a set of MFJ HF sticks, aka: Hamsticks or Hamtennas, or Dummy Loads on a stick. They have been performing well for me with solid RST reports. The hamstick mount is directly in the center of the roof, bolted into a steel cross-member to obtain the best possible ground plane. I can't go mobile with the antenna in that configuration, but I am a full-timer and I don't expect to be mobile more than once a year or so anyhow.

The base station is located in the cockpit between the two captains chairs prominently displayed on a Wal-Mart end table that I modified to perch on top of the engine cover. The feedline for both radios is run through the refrigerator vent on the roof, behind cabinets along the ceiling, down the windshield post trim, and across the dash.

Looking forward to working you all on HF!!!!!!

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Old 01-30-2011, 08:15 PM   #2
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Looks real nice, glad your on the air.

Can you do 80m?

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Old 01-30-2011, 08:59 PM   #3
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Yes I can do 80 meters. The HF stick is tuned at 3.930 and it does well + or - 50 Khz.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:49 AM   #4
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On 80 meters 3973 from 3am till around 8am Before Breakfast Club and Breakfast club..... 3935 around 2300 UTC,, Wolverine SSB net.

I am most likely to check into one of the BC's. however I can't say which hour I will hit the radio room.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:40 PM   #5
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Thanks, I'll check those out. I will be a regular check in on the Panhandle emergency and Traffic Net on 3.933 at 0000 UTC. It is usually run by members of the Panhandle Amateur Radio Club here in Amarillo, TX.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:58 PM   #6
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I just set up a laptop mount on my steering wheel, and now I am all set!!!!!

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Old 01-31-2011, 11:21 PM   #7
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The Early Bird Transcontinental Net, 3.940 mhz, daily

Check in starts at 1:30 AM est, net starts 4:45 AM est to 6:00 AM.

http://www.earlybirdnet.com/

Hope to see (hear) you there. The protocol is check in and give your local temperature and get a number which signifies your position by which you will be called to check into the net, where you will give a short congenial greeting to the general net participants. You are allowed to say anything to anyone in general or specifically to an individual in a reasonably timed transmission. There are also times during the net when check in is solicited if you have not made the pre-net check in.The pre-net check in is open for open discussion/round table hamming.
There are usually 80 ish check ins and frequently over 100.


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Old 02-03-2011, 11:12 PM   #8
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Listening to 3.916 now...*blink* *blink*
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:06 AM   #9
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I have been climbing the ladder to change the hamsticks every time I need to change bands, and that gets a little frustrating. I am considering installing a multi-mount like the Hustler VP-1 pictured below. Any thoughts?

I do not plan on operating mobile, but my RV is my full-time QTH.

http://www.dxengineering.com/Parts.asp?PartNo=HUS-VP-1

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Old 02-18-2011, 12:24 PM   #10
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Default Antenna

There is nothing wrong with the hustler you are considering except that it is some what narrow banded unless used against a tuner.
BUT, I will recommend that you look at the Little TAR-Heal 2 screwdriver antenna and the MFJ-1924 controller (memory box).
The screwdriver antenna by itself would let you "TUNE" for minimum reflected power by it's self and the MFJ-1924 gives you quick positioning as well as a manual fine tune if necessary, all with out need of a tuner.
I have been using this arrangement on my pick-up for several years now with no complainants and good reports.
Yes the combination is a bit pricey initially, but the long term is working out quite well (for me at least).
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:51 PM   #11
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The VP1 should be a good choice for your use with the hamsticks. The resonant antenna should be a proper impedance to the rigs output, which means the other two sticks will be basically ignored by the output of your rig on that band. This is similar in operation to the fan dipole many of us use.
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