Million Questions but I will start with one - 2 meter

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KE8EYM, Jan 11, 2019.

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  1. N8FVJ

    N8FVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use LM400 coax and an excellent Kenwood TM-V71 transceiver. Easy to use, super sensitive receiver. 50 watts power on both bands.
  2. KD8LUI

    KD8LUI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I didn't read through all the posts, but I think your bottle neck is your HT. What kind of antennas have you built? have you tried a Yagi or Log ? I have a Elk that I use for Sat work but I routinely take it hiking and point it towards the nearest city and call CQ. either on simplex or I use a phone app to look up a repeater in that town.

    As far as sitting at your QTH I think everyone should get one of those fanless 2M radios... I am most familiar with the Icon 2200h but I know Yeasu makes one. Bombproof and like 60W and cheap... around $100. might be able to get one second hand for much less.

    Depending where you live (big city? rural town?) might determine your needs out of an antenna.

    All that said, I use a ID51 HT and a Arrow J pole in the attic. works well for me and I can get in all the repeaters in my area.
  3. AF7IN

    AF7IN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not picking on you, but this illustrates a point. You can't take one factor (TX power, in this case) into account and throw out all the other issues affecting performance.

    If your 'simple dual band' antenna was perhaps not so simple - say a good vertical collinear vs a 1/4 or 1/2 wave ground plane (assuming you're not in a deep valley with repeaters at a high-angle above you) - you could likely do one heck of alot more with the power you've got. Same with coax length/loss. And connector choice. And insertion loss of anything else you throw in the mix.

    I'll admit to being a bit of an efficiency snob, but IMO it's usually better to try to send as much of your generated power at the target you're trying to hit. If you're ever on battery power, you'll appreciate the difference big-time. An antenna with gain characteristics optimized to your location not only makes the most of your TX power, it also minimizes the amount of RF noise you receive, meaning you can actually get away with using a radio with less front-end filtering than you could otherwise.

    Case in point: I can use my $25.00 baofeng on low power (1 watt) and come in full-quieting on virtually every publicly-accessible repeater in the Phoenix metro area, and many far beyond it, without any real problems with QRM, even on 70cm. That's with a 30' (at the tip) antenna mounted on the roof of my single-story home. The difference... a strong collinear vertical located so as to avoid pattern distortion, A short-run of LMR-400, high-quality N-connects, and a single low-insertion-loss lightning shunt. Total cost: still less than I'd pay for a quality dual-band mobile combined with a lower-quality, poorly chosen, or poorly located antenna system. And when I hook up my portable dual-band to the same system... then I can REALLY get out.

    BTW - This post is not directed at you in the least - even though it probably sounds like it is. No offense intended whatsoever. I know locations differ, and sometimes more power is an absolute necessity. I'm just using your post to illustrate general concepts to others, not to single you out specifically or say what you're doing is wrong.
    W4EAE likes this.
  4. W4EAE

    W4EAE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Excellent points, but I am not too sure about the universality of good antenna setups being cheaper than more power. The 120 feet of LMR-600 in my setup costs significantly more than my 80w radio and 17-foot antenna combined. o_O

    I do not typically run more than 5w for anything within 50 miles; but at the hairy edge, the full 80w makes a big difference. I can imagine how for someone impinged by budgetary or property constraints, that hairy edge might only be 30 or 40 miles.
    AF7IN likes this.
  5. W4EAE

    W4EAE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe this 'better antenna allows for lower power' topic should be a presentation for HOA and community boards.

    'If you let me install a 17-foot antenna, I will only need to run at 5w.'

    'If you don't let me, I'll just have to run a kilowatt at ground level.' :p
    AF7IN likes this.
  6. AF7IN

    AF7IN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well played, sir.

    Very well played :D

    'And if your consumer electronic devices malfunction due to insufficient filtering, I can help you fix your equipment (for a reasonable fee)'
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  7. KE8EYM

    KE8EYM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have built a couple different 3 element Yagis trying to get out and I just finished a dual band Slim Jim that is working out really well at 25 feet of height. That is about all the height I can work with right now with the ground frozen. I am hoping to pickup a tower next summer. I live up in Northern Michigan and I am surrounded by woods so I have that to contend with which makes height a really big deal.

    The idea of trying to make everything work as well as you can is one that I subscribe to with the limiting factor of available funds. I would like to build a better antenna but as a noob it is easy to get overwhelmed with information at times. Right now I am using radio power instead of antenna to hit my local repeaters that are about 30 miles away and I would like to change that.
    AF7IN likes this.
  8. KD8LUI

    KD8LUI Ham Member QRZ Page

    think i read that you picked up a 2M mobile? how is that extra power working out? a lot of power + a yagi should get you some really great results. that Elk Log was like $115 I would hesitate for a second to permanently mount that dude on a tower or even improvise something... a sat dish mount somewhere high? attic?
  9. N5RFX

    N5RFX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I took a look at the terrain in your area on Google Earth Pro. The terrain seems pretty flat. You seem to be in a wooded area, and that is ground clutter. Getting your antenna above the tree line will help a lot. That 3 element Yagi should work fine. I also agree with the comments about hand held receivers. Your mobile may be better in that regard. Let us know how things work out.

    Mark N5RFX
  10. KE8EYM

    KE8EYM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes the new radio does improve my ability to hit my local repeaters. I am easily getting in with the 30 watts and most of the time with only 10. I did look at the Elk log antennas and they have some good reviews but I like the challenge of building my own and seeing what I can do with them.

    Mark, it is actually kind of hilly up here but not mountains. The biggest issue is definitely the trees, lots of tall, dense forests up here. I use this line of sight map to see what I am up against
    N5RFX likes this.

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