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SeldomSeen

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  • Location
    Lyons, Colorado
  • Interests
    My wonderful beautiful wife, motorcycles, fly fishing, flight simulation, R/C airplanes, vintage sports cars, N scale model RR, B&W film photography and processing, history and other non-fiction studies.

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  1. Update: Now my base radio is a fine simple analog dual-band IC-2730A with a Diamond X-50A antenna. Six repeaters and a few simplex folks can be reached despite being in a valley. I joined a local club and have participated in their interesting twice weekly nets. They are a nice bunch of folks. The rest of the time their repeater is almost totally unused. Other repeaters have the occasional mobile during the day and a couple of small groups that talk daily. Ninety some percent of the talk is about radio equipment. I consider myself to be eclectic and would like to converse about various other topics. Like Hamlet said: "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreampt of in your philosophy." That doesn't seem very likely though. I like DOCSGMRS's idea of more involvement with GMRS. It's certainly worth another look. I may have to get something more powerful than my Wouxin KG-805G though. And there's always HF and the general ticket down the road. Possibly. Maybe. I can't say for sure.
  2. Have a look at this set up. It's temporary but putting it up and down would be a snap. https://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/mfj-1982mp-end-fed-antenna.705831/
  3. It looks llike the 5BTV won't work for me. This if from the specs: Due to the short height of these antennas and the use of a resonator for 80 meters, the natural 80 meter bandwidth is narrow. The lower end of the 75/80m band which is where CW is designated, is not covered. Even the roof mounted (no extra radials) verticals I researched have the same problem.
  4. I read that the G5RV was developed during the vacuum tube era and doesn't work as well with solid-state transceivers. It's good to know that you can bury the Hustler radials. The HF antenna dilemma makes Joseph Heller's Catch 22 seem like a walk in the park. Given enough time I will come up with a viable solution. CW is anachronistic but I really like old things. In my dated paradigm CW is the crown jewel of amateur radio.
  5. berkinet es all: I had hoped to get the radio shack in a box Yaesu FT-991A. It has a built-in antenna tuner but that alone may not be sufficiently adjustable for making the unit resonant with a random wire. Besides, the FT-991A with a poor antenna would be like having a fine big bass boat and powering it with a 6hp motor. I will now settle for a nice simple dual-band mobile, set it up as a base radio and just talk to the repeater crowd. HF will go on the back burner for awhile. Deborah (who always supports my crazy ideas) says I tried to do too much at one time as is my usual wont. Later I can maybe get a used IC-718 or similar and a Hustler 5BTV. In the meantime I will continue to study for the General at a leisurely pace and keep improving the Morse code. Thank you all for your help. Stay healthy and most importantly, have fun.
  6. That just seems too portable; too temporary. Wires spread out all over the the ground? I can't help but grin when I think about it. I don't think it justifies the purchase of a transceiver that costs twelve hundred dollars plus all of the other accessories. There just has to be a better solution. I just finished learning the Morse code today. It took exactly one week. I should be thrilled. But now, I'm up against another brick wall.
  7. That's about what I expected. What I need is a descent antenna that I can use especially for CW in the 80, 40 and up HF bands. It doesn't have to be absolutely perfect. I'd be happy to just be able to reach other operators in the lower 48 States.
  8. I now have learned and used all of the letters except Q,X,Y and Z. Those come tomorrow. I can send at 10 wpm and receive at about five with a character speed of 15 wpm. I don't thing that's too bad for only six days of study. But there is a problem however. Every time I use the letter 'V' (...-) The first few minutes of Beethoven's Symphony no. 5 goes through my head for the next half hour.
  9. I need to hang a Hy Power Off Center long wire antenna over my house. It's 135' long. My roof peak runs East and West. I want the antenna to be North/South for best East/West coverage. So I will have to mount the center piece to a mast at the peak. The peak is only 15' high. The mast will raise the antenna a bit. Will this proximity to the house negatively affect the antenna's reception? My house is a log home and there is virtually no metal above the ceiling.
  10. I spent some time studying the manual for my HT last night and discovered that I wasn't enabling the repeater tone encoder for some of the saved frequencies. Remember, I'm brand spanking new at this. Today I found the sweet spot on the roof and made my first QSOs on three different 2m repeaters. They said I was a good 4 1/2 with just 7W and a (no need ground plane) mobile antenna. That was a total surprise! I'm pretty sure I could also nail some 70cm repeaters. There are a lot of them out there. Now, that do it all FT-991a ain't lookin' too bad.
  11. Change of plans. Last weekend I decided to start very simply. I cancelled the order for the 991a and ordered an IC-V86 2m HT. It came today and I tried it out. While sitting on my roof with the HT and two different antennas I tried to access all of the local repeaters with 7Watts. I was unable to access any of them. On one I got some static each time I transmitted but wasn't able to open the squelch. I even tried different areas of the roof. As expected, this experiment proved that purchasing a dual-band FM base unit would be a total waste of money. My mountains won. Of course I can still use and have fun with the HT when I'm out on the plains. Now, to have any sort of activity with my Technician privileges at home I would need to purchase an HF transceiver such as the IC-718 and use CW mode. Fortunately my Morse code studies have made fantastic progress. I should be able to use all of the letters, numbers and some of the punctuation marks very soon. Then when I get my General license (hopefully within a months or so) I could then use the HF radio for voice. So there it is.
  12. I started studying with FreeMorse.com today and am already making progress like never before. Being able to use CW seems to have so many advantages. I would still get the decoder software just to verify that I received information correctly. With CW even after I get the General license I won't have to talk to the surly octogenarians on HF. They bounce between God talk, politics and foul language (that you wouldn't want your mother to hear) like balls on a pool table. I was under the impression that such things were frowned upon by the FCC.
  13. My attempt to learn Sam Morse's code at an earlier period in life was a total failure. Now that my older brain isn't what it once was I wouldn't dream of attempting it. In order to take advantage of Technician privileges I'd still like to communicate in this mode whenever I get into HF. The question that concerns me however is this: Will the old boys who had to learn the code as a license requirement harbor any resentment toward an upstart that only uses software and a computer? What is the proportion of all CW mode users rely on a computer to handle the translating?
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