Within the past few months I've gotten back into Ham radio after a decade absence. Even then, my previous experience was limited to using an HT. In getting back in, I wanted to try a hand at HF. To do so, I obtained a Buddipole (can't fit an antenna at home), an IC-7000 and an LDG auto-tuner. I've had the combination for about a month, but only have had time to use it three times. I connect the radio and setup the Buddipole per the instructions. I'm able to tune it without any trouble and receiving is no issue at all. However, I believe there might be a problem transmitting. In the three times I have set it all up, I've only been able to make a single contact and that was the first time. Even then, it was a special event station and I just made the contact and then we moved on. Every time since, I've tried calling CQ, I've tried entering conversations already in progress. About the best I've been able to do was someone today on 20m told me that "station calling CQ your radio is unreadable." Every time I've been able to hear people clear as day, but they've been unable to hear me. This is the only radio I have, and to be quite honest, I'm not sure if there's anything I need to do to properly setup the radio.
Anyone have any ideas? I know I'm not giving much to go on... When I do transmit, the SWR is <2 and power seems to be >50%. I've tried 20m and 40m. Same thing on either band. I did try the radio on 2m and was able to hit repeaters...
I'm not surprised. For what it is, the Buddy Pole is about as good as portable antennas get. If there is a problem, it is height above ground! erected just a few feet above the surface, you can't expect too much. However, 50 feet in the air, you could expect better results.
I'm also surprised that you chose to integrate the LDG tuner. Yu shouldn't have to do that, especially when the Buddy Pole is mounted close to the surface. It is sort of adding insult to injury.
All this said, if you erected a full size dipole, you'd already know how limiting the Buddy Pole is.
Perhaps its my ignorance, but I used the LDG tuner simply because I don't have an antenna tuner and I'm a little paranoid of damaging the radio if SWR was too high.
Maybe I'll try something other than a horizontal dipole...
If another station told you your rig was "unreadable" I suspect s/he might have meant your audio was distorted....and that can happen even at 50% power (which from an IC 7000 is 50 watts) IF the Buddipole is in very close proximity to the transmitter. You may be getting rf into the audio because of that. How close is the antenna to the radio? I suspect it is not far vertically but how far horizontallY? If less than 10 feet try extending the coax to get the Buddipole further away from the radio and see if that solves the problem. As Alan said the Buddipole is a "decent" portable antenna but you'd have far better results with a full size antenna up a bit higher.
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