Looking for a transmitter and a future in HAM radio

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KI7OXA, Jul 31, 2018.

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  1. KI7OXA

    KI7OXA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello fellow Hams,
    Let me begin by telling you all a sad story. It might save questions about why I am wanting to do stuff the way I am thinking of doing it. I live 1 minute walking distance from the main gate of a broadcast station AM station putting out 1000W... 24/7. I want to get on HF badly but I have problems talking and hearing and unless the conversation is crystal clear, I can't understand it. Even FM on 2m I have problems making out anything but a strong signal. I started thinking maybe going with RTTY and building a portable RTTY station. FSK transmitters can't be that expensive I thought to myself, but I can't seem to any that are not mW QRP. With my IT background, I am used to building things, but an FSK transmitter from scratch is beyond me currently, by a lot.

    So now the questions are....
    If all I do is RTTY, is there fun out there for me? (aka people to talk to?)
    Is there a basic RTTY transmitter that can be both affordable and usable portable?

    I look forward to everyone's replies
    Will G.
  2. KB2WVO

    KB2WVO Ham Member QRZ Page

    ft and jt
    slowscantv .. sending 1 picture file at a time.. basicly a qsl card over the air. fun tho when its from space..
    cw. the sharp tones ? but they have readers and such..

    FLDIGI for psk and rtty ..free
    wsjt-x FT and JT its free also

    cw others have to chim in.. i havent had good luck with the software. and some of the software that works is 75 bucks.

    radio.. its a workhorse i had to sell mine to pay morgt. but the yaesu 450D just powers rite on thru .160 thru 6m very few radios in its price range have 6m. yes there is digi on 6m.
    can be remoted with cat software. few free ones out there that work fine..

    no becuse hearing is hard. doesnt meen uc ant enjoy the hobby..
  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    During contests, certainly. It's the most-used digital mode for contesting.
    Are you looking for something other than a way to drive a typical transceiver using software from a PC or notebook computer?
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Building a "radio" (transmitter and receiver, or transceiver) is quite a project; adding RTTY to it doesn't really make it any more complicated. However you'd normally use a computer (laptop/portable is fine) with free software to actually generate and decode the RTTY once it's converted to audio signals by your receiver, and to modulate your transmitter.

    Once you have that setup, you can usually use a number of digital modes, more modern ones than RTTY, which are very popular.

    The "radio" is key, as is the antenna.

    I doubt a 1000W AM broadcast station very close by would interfere with amateur radio communications, except possibly on 160 meters or on distinct frequencies that are harmonics of the AM broadcast station's frequency. I've operated HF mobile, driving right past KFI-AM on 640 kHz (50,000W daytime/nighttime, omnidirectional -- and you can literally drive right past the tower on Interstate 5) and it hasn't really bothered me.

    If you can erect antennas at home, you should be able to operate from home.
  5. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't bother messing with a dedicated FSK rig. Most digital ops are now USB, with encoding/decoding done by the computer.

    Most digital activity (these days) is on FT-8, with PSK a distant second. RTTY is mostly contesting. If you want a rag chew, you can find some activity using OLIVIA.

    All you really need is a SSB-capable rig, a computer with software, and some type of interface. Actually pretty simple.
  6. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your AMBC neighbor seems to be KTZR on 1450, It has a harmonic on 40M at 7250, that and 160M will be your only interference problems .
    1s to be
  7. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Not to be pedantic, but it's written "ham" not "HAM" :) It's not an acronym

    Good luck in your quest - any modern SSB rig can easily do AFSK, as has been mentioned. Especially if you search the used market for FT-450, IC-718, etc. - just add an interface (SignaLink is a popular one) and a computer and you're good to go.

    AK5B, W6KCS, KP4SX and 1 other person like this.
  8. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't do AFSK but, my PC audio interface is quite simple, and based on a cheap audio transformer & a handful of resistors. My WinKeyer USB Keyer (link) takes care of the PTT and CW key interface for up to two rigs (for SO2R). The rig's VOX is left disabled. My contest logger is WriteLog (link) but, there are MANY other programs that will also work. :)
  9. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    You don't see high power transmitters due to the extra costs compared to building QRP rigs. A lot of builders just like building and making the occasional contact. QRP works fine for that.
    100W solid state devices require a lot more care than low power devices.
    If you really want to build a 100W tube transmitter you are probably best off using old broken rigs for parts. But, a lot of expertise is needed to work around the fact that some of the parts don't work. Similarly, you can buy a lot of cheap imported tools that will work just fine if you have the skills to use them. But, a beginner won't know if the problem is the tool or the lack of skills if it doesn't work.
  10. KM3F

    KM3F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Many modern transceivers have BCB attenuators built in the front ends and are option changeable.
    You should try constructing a trap in a metal case tunable to the BC frequency.
    If that helps enough then do a transmit addition to the trap so it does not upset the match to the antenna for on air..
    Harmonics of the BCB are difficult to deal with if they fall within a band because they are just a signal like any other on the frequency.
    Make sure all cables power, and audio head phones etc are bypassed for rf and grounds are applied.
    Use all shielded cables.
    Also if common mode type pick up is an issue, you have to deal with that by applying
    attenuation on the coax with enough high impedance at the interfering frequency.
    You reside in the strong rf field of the antenna, I assume.
    Until you try these things it's a gamble if a home brew will be any better.
    When in these straights it's worth a try.

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