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my new HW8 won't transmit

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KI4NZU, Apr 17, 2006.

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  1. KI4NZU

    KI4NZU Guest

    Hi, this is kristen.
    For those who remember me, I finally got my Heathkit hw-8 fired up. Ive got on and just tried to see if I could receive. For almost a week, everytime I get on, I get some weak signal sometimes, but other than that, only static. Is this normal for a new ham to experience?
    Bear with me as it is the fact that Im very new to this.

    When I finally do get a good sig., I call CQ on that freq. and it I can hear it go over on the air, but I tried it several times, and never get anything.

    I would appriciate it if anyone can help me and guide me through this.

    PS. Also, Im in the process of figuring out how to measure SWR and tune my antenna. Can anyone guide me through this process?
    sorry if I seem to be asking alot, but Im just confused.
    TNX es 73!
  2. N0WVA

    N0WVA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Kristen!

    The HW8 is a very neat radio, Ive had 2 of them. However, its only a QRP ( low power) transmitter, although the receiver is fairly good.

    I think the problem may be in your antenna! What are you using for that? A full size resonant antenna( simple dipole) is a must for best performance.

    However, you are doing the right thing by answering the strong ones. I dont know if you have the manual to that radio, but you have to tune to the right side of zero beat in order to be on the same frequency as the other station. I think you have to be on the "upper side" of the frequency, but its been a while, Im not positive! If not, the other station might not hear you.

    You might also try calling the specific station instead of CQ.

    So what are you using for that antenna?
  3. KA9VQF

    KA9VQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    The HW-8 is a QRP  CW rig only 10 watts if I remember right and that is only if you have a finest kind antenna.

    That and the fact that the band conditions are pretty poor during this part of the solar cycle I would be pretty surprised if anyone hears your signal.

    This is not intended to run you off the bands keep trying, someday someone might just answer you.

    here is the url to the site i found
  4. KI4NZU

    KI4NZU Guest

    Since you asked, I am using an inverted V dipole.
    Im trying to work on the 40 and 80. No I do not have the manual. But I will keep trying. Thanks!;)
  5. WB7DMX

    WB7DMX Guest

    you say it don't transmitt, how or what method are you useing to determine this ?
    when you key the transmit, does the power out meter move or not ?
  6. KI4NZU

    KI4NZU Guest

    the meter does move, however, I am saying that, no matter how many times I do the general call for days now, I still don't get an answer. What Im I not doing right?
  7. WB7DMX

    WB7DMX Guest

    the movement of the needle is telling you that rf is going out and working ok.

    it is just that it is such a small amount.

    running qrp is not the best way to start out.

    I once many years ago got a call to help out a new novice that was having the same problem that your having, except he had a lot of spending money and was well to do, he bought a new rig and antenna and everything else,
    I went to his house and called cq on it and got a pile-up of call backs, worked a few of them and got off.
    he did the same thing and no one would answer him at all, I called cq again and had another bunch call me back.

    the problem seamed to be that his sending was so bad, no one wanted to work him, I had a very difficult time trying to explain this to him with out getting him mad.

    not that this is your problem at all but you did remind me of that. LOL

    just keep trying, and don't give up.
  8. N0WVA

    N0WVA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, as long as you have that dipole cut to the proper length, it should be close enough match to make a few contacts. 124 ft for 80 and 66 ft for 40. It would be a good idea to grab an SWR and wattmeter to confirm a good match and power, I think with the HW8 you should be getting a couple watts out, which is very adequate for shorter hauls of 1000 miles or so.

    Im really surpised that you havent made a contact yet. 40 meters in the daytime is usually really easy to make contacts, unless the band goes completely quiet.
  9. KA9VQF

    KA9VQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try this link. There is a bit more information on setting things and checking things to be sure you are on the air.

    I don't think I have a watt meter that will work at that low power accurately you probably would need a special QRP watt/swr meter. Maybe a CB bridge would indicate something for you.

    here is another link to the HW-8
  10. N8YX

    N8YX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Get ahold of a field-strength meter and use it to verify that your antenna is actually radiating.

    How high is the apex of your inverted Vee?

    FWIW, I've made a considerable number of contacts on 80, 40 and 20 with the two HW-8s I own. Most were not using what would be considered 'favorable' antennas, but they did radiate efficiently. One more thing to check...
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