1 month, still no HF contacts

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio' started by KG5ENI, Mar 19, 2015.

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  1. N4AAB

    N4AAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm retired, and have been on the air about 15 or so hours this year on HF. I have 16 QSOs. Most of the times, I called CQ and got no replies. I'll try and get on air for the CQ contest on Saturday. Maybe I'll get up to 20 QSOs. Even though I'm retired, I do have calls on my time when my relatives need help with something... like the dishes or laundry.
     
  2. WD5IKX

    WD5IKX Ham Member QRZ Page

    what did you figure out

    What did you figure out? I made many HF contacts mostly DX during that same period while operating 100w SSB mobile and I live only about 60 miles north of you so I don't think it was all bad band conditions. Mobile HF is all about your ANTENNA. Mag mounted hamstick antennas would be my last choice. I made a nice 5 band HF center loaded antenna using a MFJ-67 coil and a 36" whip on top of a 54" mast with a shunt coil at the base for less than $100. I jokingly call it the "Bug Wacker" and it covers 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 meters. Hf mobile antennas are studies in compromise and mine is not perfect but it performs well. I like mine "big and ugly" because it about performance not looks. In a perfect world I would drill a hole and mount my "Bug Wacker" right in the middle of the roof to get the maximum amount of metal below the antenna. I may do it someday but I have to figure out how to get it under my carport. John WD5IKX

    5 Band Bug Wacker-4.jpg 5 Band Bug Wacker-1.JPG
     
    KF5KWO likes this.
  3. K4KWH

    K4KWH Guest



    It is of particular satisfaction to me to build an antenna and have it work as hoped!:D I've made a lot of "bugwhackers", "bugcatchers", etc, and have several of them in my parts bin--including a couple of Texas Bugcatchers complete with cap hats of various sizes. And, as noted, they will blow away most of the "pretty" HF mobile antennas out there. Like the late(?) Don Johnson said, "It takes a BIG, UGLY antenna to truly work serious HF". I learned this as my first HF mobile antenna was the old "Master Mobile" 75 meter coil and mast. I still have it. When the hamsticks came along (dummy load on a stick):eek:, I tried 'em. Pretty OK on 20 Meters and up. 75? As they say in Noo Yawk, "Fergaddaboutit"!:D That thing just plain STUNK. I went back to my Bugcatchers. Used a couple of Webster Bandspanners for awhile. Fair. Still went back to the large coil and whip. Got a 3" screwdriver (built by yours truly) which approximates the 3-4" Texas Bugcatcher. Works great.

    This is a story I like to tell on a buddy of mine. We were working with a humongous 160 meter coil on his truck one day. Down on 160, with any power at all, conditions being right, corona can be a problem. While we were trying to get the SWR right, a CBer walked up (Jim had an electronics shop at the time). While Jim touched an insulated screwdriver to the antenna and I keyed the mike with 500 watts. BRRRRRRRZZZZZZZZT!!! Blue fire arced about 6" from the whip. The CB guy standing right by the antenna jumped about a FOOT in the air and lit out running!!!!!!!!! Almost scared him to death!:D:D:D:D:D OH man! How we laughed!
     
  4. WD5IKX

    WD5IKX Ham Member QRZ Page


    Yeah...I like em "Big, Tall and Ugly". Actually I think they look cool and they do turn a few heads. I am working on a new coil that will get down to 75 meters. My "Bug Smasher" which uses a K6MB coil only goes down to 40 meters and at 13' 6" to the tip it is even bigger than the Bug Wacker.

    Bug Smasher-4-sm-LBL.jpg

    I have a set of Webster Bandspanner resonators. Do you have any info about them or did you have the "all bander"

    Great story! "BRRRRRRRZZZZZZZZT!!!" You think he is still running? (o:

    John
    WD5IKX
     
  5. N4AAB

    N4AAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, in spite of propagation problems, I'm up to 48 QSOs.
     
  6. K4KWH

    K4KWH Guest

    Not much info on Bandspanners. I did have some of them in the 70's. There were 2 versions of it, long one and short one:D. Pretty decent antennas, giving all-band performance. Not bad at all. However, the "BIG UGLY" coil still out performed the Bandspanners-all of which of mine were all banders. My first HF antenna I had was the old Master Mobile 75 Meter coil with a 3 foot mast. I had it on Civil Air Patrol. Still have it, tho its not in the best of shape. The top and bottom, black, it is, both have broken. Coil still OK. I have a small collection of MM coils I have picked up over the years;). Now I use a 3" screwdriver with a 3 1/2" body. This is approximately the same as the Texas Bugcatchers so popular 20 years ago. Had of a couple of them, too! My screwdriver gives ME the best all-round performance. It is rare that I can't be heard, and its because of the nature of the screwdriver which allows it to be tuned on the go. Since a 3-4" loading coil is pretty Hi Q @ 75 & 40 meters, it is affected adversely by its surroundings. Because the antenna is moving thru this fluid environment, full of changes and challenges, the antenna is affected by metal buildings, cars, big trucks, etc. The fixed-tuned, Hi Q coil then reacts to this with wildly varying SWR readings. It can even cause one to lose his QSO. It may, or may not be a problem to most operators, but it can happen. Ain't nuttin' you can do about it. But, with the screwdriver, one can simply "bump" the motor switch and bring SWR right back in line, making for more effective mobile-ing and a better signal in and out. But.......that's why they make so many different antennas to please us finicky amateurs!!!:eek::cool:
     
  7. N4AAB

    N4AAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    53 QSOs as of today, and my 6th and 7th special event station. W1N and WM0L. Doing good with two radials in place. Opposite sides of my radial plate.
     
  8. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    For transmission only, just to make sure the driver transistors are happy. Swr is not antenna efficiency and does not represent receive performance.
     
  9. K4KWH

    K4KWH Guest

    I know that. I was referring to reactance, impedance as well with the analyzer which provides a better picture of what a given antenna is doing. Real-time data shows that bugcatchers, (large coils, large wire, and spacing) and screwdrivers will literally talk over the TOP of a hamstick and will out receive them, too. Its been proven in lots of antenna "shoot-outs" and is backed up with technical data. The very construction of these HF antennas indicates how an antenna will perform---generally. At higher frequencies, there's not much difference, but at 75 & 40 meters, the larger mobile antennas will out-perform the hamstick in almost every case. Obviously I have a bias against the hamsticks. But it works for YOU, then its best for you.:D
     
  10. AIENTEC

    AIENTEC QRZ Member

    I have had similar problems too...
     

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