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Entry to 2m & 70 cm SSB/CW/Digital

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by NN4RH, Oct 16, 2019.

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  1. WA3GWK

    WA3GWK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    He will be wasting his time on SSB with a vertically polarized antenna. A horizontal dipole would work better, and a horizontal yagi even better.
    WA4SIX likes this.
  2. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for all thoughts so far. Yes, planning antenna first, and it makes sense to wait and see what I can do with the few watts from the FT817ND barefoot. I'm basically trying to look a bit farther out so I can budget.

    Back around 2005, on a lark I mickey-moused together a 2-element, 2 meter beam out of copper tubing and some 2x2 lumber, nailed it to the top of an 10 foot 2x4, and lashed it to the deck. (fixed in one direction - northeast up along the east coast - no rotation) I managed five 2-meter contacts in one of the VHF contests, using an FT-817. All within about 60 miles. Considering that I lived in a high population density area at the time, that probably was not much of an accomplishment. I had to stop because there was a MONSTER running contest station about 40 miles away precissely in the direction I was pointed, that I looked up on QRZ and saw he had huge stacked array of many-element beams and legal limit, that just blew the hell out of my receive over the whole band, whenever he had that thing pointed my direction, which seemed to be about every few minutes.

    I'm in a less densely populated area now, so I'm not sure what it will take. It makes sense to see if I can at least hear anyone before going all-in. The next VHF contest that I know of is in January. I can probably have a competent antenna in place by then.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    For "success" on 2m SSB -- at least my own definition of success! -- I'd recommend as the very minimum something like an M2 2M9 (9 elements on a 14.5 foot boom) up as high above ground as you can possibly get it (and at least several feet higher than any structures in the area like houses, utility lines, etc), fed with low-loss coax like LMR400 or similar. That's nowhere near "ideal," but should successfully make contacts out to a couple hundred miles, even with 5W PEP, assuming your local terrain doesn't box you in badly.

    Add more power, and more stations will hear you -- for sure! But the antenna is most important, and worth the effort. Not much effort involved in using a higher-powered rig or adding an can do that in a snowstorm...but antenna work takes time and nice weather.:)

    Don't know who the monster station you're referring to was, but there are quite a lot of those on 2m and also on 70cm. When I lived in NJ, I used to be one! (On 2m, had four stacked 16L Yagis and on 70cm, four stacked 21L Yagis, all above a 70' tower and all fed with hardline; and I knew a number of stations with similar or larger setups. They can help you make longer DX contacts, since they can do the "heavy lifting.")

    Good luck and have fun!

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