Too much noise to copy phone/voice on FT857D

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by K5CDR, Aug 28, 2015.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Coaxial cable is always suspect, especially if you didn't buy it in bulk and install the connectors yourself. Almost all actual failures are at a connector, and those occur simply because they're not installed properly. That includes a lot of 'factory preassembled' coaxial cable assemblies. The 'factories' don't do the kind of job I do.

    Also, re the LDG tuner, remember the tuner can't tune itself when you're receiving; it can only 'tune' and tune correctly when you transmit, and that requires a carrier and not SSB. If you use the tuner in line and don't transmit, there's no way to know where it's tuned and if mistuned, they can introduce a whole lot of loss.
  2. WB5YUZ

    WB5YUZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, this is what I read on their web page:

    Don't you want your antenna to perform better?
  3. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm not a fan of manufactured whiz-bang antennas. Your choice of them and poor setup certainly limits your performance.

    1. SWR is no measure of an antennas performance.
    2. An Inverted L configuration is NOT optimum for NVIS performance. Get a horizontal dipole or position your Chameleon into a horizontal position with height somewhere between 0.1 -0.2 wavelengths above ground.
    3. For operations other than NVIS get your antennas as close to 1 wl as possible. Sloped antennas close to ground are quite lossy.
    4. Overuse of signal processing leads to poor audio results as you indicate.
    5. Noise Blankers are designed to counter pulse noise such as from car ignition. Generally, most operators seldom need them. Use of NB's is a bandaid. It is far better to resolve the offending source.
    6. DSP/NR controls should be used at the minimum level necessary. More is not better and leads to distortion and even loss of weak signals. When searching for weak signals it is best to turn off processing.
    7. Terminology: In analog voice modes, e.g. SSB, AM, FM, no 'decoding' is being performed since ther is no codes or codecs being used. They are 'demodulated".

    Keep it up. Learning to "Get the message through" is challenge of message handling and the pride of good operators! b.

    p.s. Filters: IF/PBT filter width for SSB is generally best with around 2.4khz setting. In the face of heavy interference narrower settings of 2.1khz may be better to as narrow as 1.9khz, but most ops find narrower settings quite fatiguing after a short time. b.

    p.p.s. Experienced operators find that use of large external speakers (such as a cast off stereo speaker) improve readability and are less fatiguing. Headphones can improve copy significantly with weak conditions.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
  4. K5CDR

    K5CDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used a counterpoise and it seemed to not make much of a difference, perhaps because the coax is far longer than the counterpoise. I discussed this with the manufacturer directly and he seems to agree as long as it grounded of course. Normally, I'd always have a ground plane but since I do not mind the coax being one - it works well enough for me. As for tuning, yes I know it needs a carrier - I do this on the bands I am permitted to operate on which are outside of amateur bands. I do so with QRP using CW and I have had no issues with the tuner. Thanks for the input too (I notice your on almost every thread on QRZ, wow and congrats)?

    Take care and 73's
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
  5. K5CDR

    K5CDR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks KB4QAA, I realize many long time experienced hams will want to DIY on their own designs and SWR isn't really a good measure of antenna performance but it at least allows me to know how much loss I'm getting from my antenna system. In fact, I have several verticals cut/made by my grandfather (who also was a TXARMY MARS operator, including Region 6 Gateway Chief prior to 2007 or so). I'd say 42 years of service including being an E8 as an SME in this field is what got me into this. I on the other hand, went through ROTC and chose the Air Force route. While I'm certainly not an expert by any means in radio operations, I am in Information Administration, Assurance, Networking and Security. In addition, I am certified, licensed and endorsed at the highest levels in such.

    As I have very young children, it takes up the majority of my time so I chose to work with either a Cobra (which the DOD uses) or with a Chameleon. I chose the Chameleon because it was an end-fed and Marconi design plus my neighbors nor HOA (that I already lived in prior to doing this) will allow a 250' dipole to be running across their property nor a tower with a Yagi. (I may later use a skyloop design however). I am aware that full NVIS does require the antenna to be positioned with an entire horizontal length, however this is simply not possible as I do not have 60' to run that length in my backyard (the only place it can be as discreet as possible). Therefore, it is possible to achieve partial NVIS from the horizontal portion if no angle is applied and the antenna will permit down to 160m range (obviously I'm not working those directly but outside of those as required). I do plan to shortly move to headphones internally once I get a room to do so, hence I have to work out of the garage or on the patio and its pretty darn hot in Texas to work in the garage that faces west). I have no need for the noise blanker, I don't think I mentioned use of that (as it's not being used with an auto or mobile QTH). Yes the DSP options work well and obviously the filters have their purpose. In any case, the horizontal L was my best option for now and I will likely add a vertical later if I desire for 20, 15 or 10 since I'm waiting on my general ticket to arrive. I rarely work DX and my interests besides QRP are 5/13cm operations, EME or working the birds - the latter not even being relevant to this antenna anyway. With that said, I believe all is well now. I was also copied as good readable yesterday near 40m and the antenna works as well as expected for a multiband with the conditions and environment used. I want to thank all for the comments/suggestions - go ahead and close this thread.


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