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My 10m/20m buildout and installing the FTM400XDR.


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17 hours ago, AdmiralCochrane said:

Yeah, I am super happy with it.  Bought it second hand and got the trigger when it was on sale.  Took a while to find the right pellet and a lot of practice to get that good with it.  I don't need anything else for home practice.   I hang the 1 ½" juice and tea bottle caps on chain and wack the heck out of them, very satisfying.  

Almost all pellet guns require some testing to find "the" pellet. Even some of the choked ones. Keep with it can be very rewarding with a springer when you master it. Me, I avoid break barrel and springers if I can. Hate to have to relearn how to shoot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another update.

Had to tack weld a support for the upper L of the bracket to control really bad rocking. I also tack welded the mount to the hood hinge bracket to stop it from the constant tilting back after a whack.

EDIT: to add image of the welded support

large.318614055_messages_0(2).jpeg.e2e78a66bf426bf45ba8e03dcaaa10bf.jpeg
 

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/1/2021 at 10:17 AM, kidphc said:

The Antenna.

I really wanted a Laird CWB270b. Well guess what they don't make it anymore. Couldn't find coil numbers or anything. It seemed ideal about 65" and wide banded.

So I started searching.

Found an article from the ORF/3730 Group in Canada. Apparently, they wanted something similar. Hence, a Larsen NMO30 with 64" whip for 11m/CB and NMO34 with 64" whip for 10m. I have those now.

  • REALLY BIG CON
    • This combo wiggles more then jello. At about 70 MPH the whole thing is canted back almost 30 degrees.
    • Simply getting in and out of the truck the SWR was all over the place on the nano vna, from the jiggling.

When tuning for 10m. I couldn't get the SWR lower then 1.6 at 28.540 or so. After talking to folks at MYGMRS and others. I probably went as short as I could with the coil in question. So I ran around with this for a while.

I really wanted 1(one) antenna for both bands. I really took Marc's words about the antennas being too short now a days into consideration. Part of the reason the antenna is not center line roof was due to height.

The NMO30/34 64" whip combo put it after tuning about 4 inches higher then my Larsent2/70b.

In comes my birthday in a couple of days. Wife has been hounding me for weeks as to what radio I want. Well the THD74a is like a gazillion dollars now, due to the shortage. So that is out.

I asked for an MFJ 1610T 10m Hamstick and Hustler quick disconnect on top of a Tram NMO to 3/8 adapter.

Below here she is tuned in at CH20 on the with a beautiful SWR around 1.14. On 10M tuned in at 28.400 at with an SWR of 1.09. Pretty close to under 1.6 across the band width in both bands depending where I have it set on the whip.

Interesting enough, the marks between 10m and 11m are only about 2 inches.

Overall height?

Under a couple inches below 13'. So objectives met.

 

 

Odd question, did you do a sweep on the HamTenna? How wide is the band? I'm picking one up this afternoon from DX (I love that they are basically next door), but the documentation on bandwidth is vague at best. 

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Odd question, did you do a sweep on the HamTenna? How wide is the band? I'm picking one up this afternoon from DX (I love that they are basically next door), but the documentation on bandwidth is vague at best. 
It is a mfj hamstick and not a hamtenna.

Yes, I did a sweep. It is actually pretty wide banded. You are going to get at most 1.7 (10/11m depending on ground plane and tuning) on the edges. Pretty shocked, with the nmos (bottom loaded coils) it was much narrower. Up to 2.3 on the edges when tuning for the middle.

Do I think it is incredible. No. I know enough to know that low swr doesn't mean it is a good antenna. Seems to hear well enough, been hearing Michigan and Florida on 38 usb a lot lately could be their setup with band openings. I get responses when calling at 5w on am on 11m. Not sure how far some of these people are.

But for $35, I think it is great. Chose it because of cost, the fact there was no loading coil.

Personally, if it weren't for covid I'd probably would of waited for hamfest probably could of gotten for about $15 then.

Sorry, no captures of the nanovna.

Should update, I ripped off the nmo this weekend in west Virginia. Spent some time grinding the mount a bit thinner and had to flip the nmo cap to get it to connect again.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

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2 minutes ago, kidphc said:

It is a mfj hamstick and not a hamtenna.

Yes, I did a sweep. It is actually pretty wide banded. You are going to get at most 1.7 (10/11m depending on ground plane and tuning) on the edges. Pretty shocked, with the nmos (bottom loaded coils) it was much narrower. Up to 2.3 on the edges when tuning for the middle.

Do I think it is incredible. No. I know enough to know that low swr doesn't mean it is a good antenna. Seems to hear well enough, been hearing Michigan and Florida on 38 usb a lot lately could be their setup with band openings. I get responses when calling at 5w on am on 11m. Not sure how far some of these people are.

But for $35, I think it is great. Chose it because of cost, the fact there was no loading coil.

Personally, if it weren't for covid I'd probably would of waited for hamfest probably could of gotten for about $15 then.

Sorry, no captures of the nanovna.

Should update, I ripped off the nmo this weekend in west Virginia. Spent some time grinding the mount a bit thinner and had to flip the nmo cap to get it to connect again.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

Actually, look again, MFJ 1610T is not called the HamTenna. It's the same thing, they just updated it slightly after they bought the product. Everyone still calls it a Hamstick though.

If I can center right at 28.4 and still use the entire 10m band, I'll be happy. I have the LDG Z817 tuner, but the more resonant the better.

They are only $20 right now, I also grabbed the 1620T for 20m. I'll report back. I'm going to use the MFJ tri-magnetic mount and only put it up there for stationary use with my FT-817. I should make a build thread for my parks on the air/hiking setup.

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16 minutes ago, tweiss3 said:
Actually, look again, MFJ 1610T is not called the HamTenna. It's the same thing, they just updated it slightly after they bought the product. Everyone still calls it a Hamstick though.
If I can center right at 28.4 and still use the entire 10m band, I'll be happy. I have the LDG Z817 tuner, but the more resonant the better.
They are only $20 right now, I also grabbed the 1620T for 20m. I'll report back. I'm going to use the MFJ tri-magnetic mount and only put it up there for stationary use with my FT-817. I should make a build thread for my parks on the air/hiking setup.

Get two for sota/pota work and look at running it as a dipole. They have cheap adapters for it.

https://chameleonantenna.com/shop-here/ols/products/cha-spider-asb

https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/mfj-347?seid=dxese1&gclid=Cj0KCQjwlMaGBhD3ARIsAPvWd6h5XdEnLGt7uRIE2jQM_2RDhiXQwr07V_FlXo7GGci4maATznamK9IaAg3oEALw_wcB

https://www.gigaparts.com/mini-dipole-6-meters.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwlMaGBhD3ARIsAPvWd6iAiF1CenefC2T07IeKKSa-A28K0I38gkfpDAcXWMjeOQMuXrASQ5waApb3EALw_wcB

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Ok, picked up both the 1610T and 1620T. I can't believe how wide band they are.

 

1610T

29.7MHz 1.17SWR

28.9MHz 1.05SWR

28.0MHz 1.20SWR

 

1620T (required the most tuning)

14.35MHz 1.35SWR

14.19MHz 1.15SWR

14.00MHz 1.40SWR

 

Super usable across the whole band. Now I can see how you would get 11m out of the 1610T

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Yup less the 6 inches for the tuning tip from 10m (28.400) to mid point for 11m. Just tuned and marked the whip. Even then it's about 1.8 when half way between the marks for both band edges.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Current update.

This morning on the way to work the antenna and 1/2 the nmo decided to divorce me on the highway. It went flying off and promptly got destroyed by the car following me.

So new mount for further down the 1/4 panel, going to use the 5/8ths fire ring mount.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

For what it's worth, I just did a trip and I tossed CB19 in the scanner queue (SDS200 with a NMO150/450/758 drilled in the roof) and I did hear quite a bit of CB traffic between the public safety stuff.

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For what it's worth, I just did a trip and I tossed CB19 in the scanner queue (SDS200 with a NMO150/450/758 drilled in the roof) and I did hear quite a bit of CB traffic between the public safety stuff.
Yup, there is actually a lot of traffic, especially by big highways. Makes 10meters look like a barren waste land.

Guess most people's antenna setups aren't good.

With the Wilson flex (4ft), I hear less then with the hamstick. Got a shark 10m antenna ( full size not the min) it's a tad short then the MFJ, also a lot thinner. Whip is much thicker.

I will report back in when I get the chance to test it.

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On 5/1/2021 at 10:17 AM, kidphc said:
  • NOTE 3 is for the APRS DROID OSM
    • This is connected to the FTM 400 via Bluetooth.
      • HOW? 
        • Via serial to Bluetooth Adapter and a Yaesu SCU-20 cable with gender changer male-male serial adapter.
          • Again thank you AMAZON!!.

Do you have more information on this? So technically you can do packet radio with this BT connection? I've actually just become interested in this radio for various reasons, but i'm trying to understand its uses completely. 

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Do you have more information on this? So technically you can do packet radio with this BT connection? I've actually just become interested in this radio for various reasons, but i'm trying to understand its uses completely. 
The TNC on the FTM400, is limited. It was more for visual representation on a map using APRSDROID, with a cell phone, as well as using APRDROID it is easier to see the raw aprs packets data, which is a pain in the but on the FTM 400. Not sure if it will relay SMGATE/winslink data from the phone to the radio.

READ: NO digipeater possibilities in stock format.

If you need full packet control you can add a TNC, and bypass the onboard TNC.

However, at that point I would recommend a Kenwood 710ga, which has a fully accessible TNC, and a windows laptop. You could do pretty much the same thing incorporating a Bluetooth dongle.

The FTM400, from what I get doesn't follow all the standard APRS formatting either, think it was a weird nemea data.

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I've just been reading between the top 3 IC5100A, D710GA and FTM400XDR and have limited my requirements to dual band, native APRS and cross band repeat. The icom is eliminated, which is a shame, the menu looks the nicest. I just remember you were using APRSDroid and thought you would have more information.

I have found you can get a Mobalink to work with the 400 and do winlink and packet. It's not a requirement for me, but is a plus.

The APRS on the 400 looks like it will work for me. I have been just reading the messages on my D74, and that's all im looking for while driving.

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7 minutes ago, tweiss3 said:

I've just been reading between the top 3 IC5100A, D710GA and FTM400XDR and have limited my requirements to dual band, native APRS and cross band repeat. The icom is eliminated, which is a shame, the menu looks the nicest. I just remember you were using APRSDroid and thought you would have more information.

I have found you can get a Mobalink to work with the 400 and do winlink and packet. It's not a requirement for me, but is a plus.

The APRS on the 400 looks like it will work for me. I have been just reading the messages on my D74, and that's all im looking for while driving.

Part of the reason I eneded up with the 400, was the ability to do Winlink, and SMSgate via the touch screen. Didn't like the whole T9 style texting of the Kenwood. Would of ended up with the ID5100a if it weren't for DPRS, yes you can add a TNC, but was trying to avoid that. 

Also, wanted to avoid a laptop in the computer, the boot up time was a big one. I did however, wanted to see resource location 

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27 minutes ago, kidphc said:

Part of the reason I eneded up with the 400, was the ability to do Winlink, and SMSgate via the touch screen. Didn't like the whole T9 style texting of the Kenwood. Would of ended up with the ID5100a if it weren't for DPRS, yes you can add a TNC, but was trying to avoid that. 

Also, wanted to avoid a laptop in the computer, the boot up time was a big one. I did however, wanted to see resource location 

Can you expand on how you can do Winlink via the touch screen?

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9 minutes ago, tweiss3 said:

Never knew about the APRS Winlink capability.

Now I need to understand YSF in order to make up my mind.

 

How is it going with replacing your 10/11 meter antenna?

Got a Wilson 4" flex, it is too long to 10m. So in the back of the truck is a Shark 10m (non-mini) little shorter then the MFJ, still gotta tune it. Been working on a 2012 JKU Unlimited Wrangler, my dad picked up. Absolute garbage, well this example is. All the common crap. He made a big mistake buying this and knows it. Just keeps apologizing to me. For example, stereotypical overheating on the 3.6L. Welp wish that was it, but to give an idea spent 9 hours pulling wire and correcting a bunch of hokey stuff on the truck.

YSF/C4FM is just another digital format, it is very similar to P25. There is a narrow band and a wide band digital format. Both are too wide to be used on HF say like a 991a, hence. Dstar is narrow enough to be used on HF. The FTM 400 when put in AMS mode, will auto select Fusion digital narrow, Fusion digital wide, FM narrow or FM wide based on the signal it receives, now you see where the C4FM nomenclature comes from.

Wire-x is the when the repeater or radio (PDN) is connected to the internet and can access the Wires-x network. 

FTM400 when set to PDN mode say in a base station setup with internet access can act as a portal to the WIRES-X network. You will need another C4FM capable radio to connect to the FTM-400.

Otherwise you will need a hotspot, which connects to a bridge. Keep in mind the Bridged "Amerilink" room is not the same room as the one on the Wires-X/Yaesu network. Confusing, yup....

Then there is GM "group monitor" You can set an ID and Group# beacon on a frequency and anyone close enough by with the same group # in GM mode will popup on your radio. By default it is set to ID 0 Group 0. No one in my area is really on GM on the FTM400 or my FT991a on 6m.

One of my HAM friends (collects radios) says that C4FM/Fusion wide sound the best out of all the digital modes. With P25 and DMR sounding pretty good. Pretty much said all of them on narrow mode sound like garbage. You know the nasal under water robot sound.

Check to see what Wire-x or Fusion repeaters are close by. That may sway your decision by a big long shot. Especially, since a lot of higher end DMR radios come with APRS.

I'll try to get a shot of APRS Droid and the FTM running to give you an idea of what I was going for. As well as what Americalink sounds like over the repeater. Hell may do it on the FT991a and HRI so you hear what it sounds like.

 

 

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On 7/27/2021 at 4:16 PM, kidphc said:

Got a Wilson 4" flex, it is too long to 10m. So in the back of the truck is a Shark 10m (non-mini) little shorter then the MFJ, still gotta tune it. Been working on a 2012 JKU Unlimited Wrangler, my dad picked up. Absolute garbage, well this example is. All the common crap. He made a big mistake buying this and knows it. Just keeps apologizing to me. For example, stereotypical overheating on the 3.6L. Welp wish that was it, but to give an idea spent 9 hours pulling wire and correcting a bunch of hokey stuff on the truck.

YSF/C4FM is just another digital format, it is very similar to P25. There is a narrow band and a wide band digital format. Both are too wide to be used on HF say like a 991a, hence. Dstar is narrow enough to be used on HF. The FTM 400 when put in AMS mode, will auto select Fusion digital narrow, Fusion digital wide, FM narrow or FM wide based on the signal it receives, now you see where the C4FM nomenclature comes from.

Wire-x is the when the repeater or radio (PDN) is connected to the internet and can access the Wires-x network. 

FTM400 when set to PDN mode say in a base station setup with internet access can act as a portal to the WIRES-X network. You will need another C4FM capable radio to connect to the FTM-400.

Otherwise you will need a hotspot, which connects to a bridge. Keep in mind the Bridged "Amerilink" room is not the same room as the one on the Wires-X/Yaesu network. Confusing, yup....

Then there is GM "group monitor" You can set an ID and Group# beacon on a frequency and anyone close enough by with the same group # in GM mode will popup on your radio. By default it is set to ID 0 Group 0. No one in my area is really on GM on the FTM400 or my FT991a on 6m.

One of my HAM friends (collects radios) says that C4FM/Fusion wide sound the best out of all the digital modes. With P25 and DMR sounding pretty good. Pretty much said all of them on narrow mode sound like garbage. You know the nasal under water robot sound.

Check to see what Wire-x or Fusion repeaters are close by. That may sway your decision by a big long shot. Especially, since a lot of higher end DMR radios come with APRS.

I'll try to get a shot of APRS Droid and the FTM running to give you an idea of what I was going for. As well as what Americalink sounds like over the repeater. Hell may do it on the FT991a and HRI so you hear what it sounds like.

 

 

I just have to figure out how I want to treat bank A and B in the memories, but I have one showing up Monday. I'm going to install in such a way that I can keep the CS800D and swap (in 10 minutes) between by changing the antenna over. I have confirmed at least 2 YSF repeaters can be reached from my house, so this should be fun.

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