Roll your own?

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voguy
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Roll your own?

Post by voguy » 06-24-2013 07:56 PM

Anyone design and build their own equipment, antennas, etc? Or is this a lost art?

Tonight I was working the math on phasing harnesses for a 2-meter beam for SSB operation. I thought I would try my hand at VHF communications other than repeaters.

Half the fun is making it, the other half ins using it. If anyone is interested I can post details.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

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Diogenes
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Post by Diogenes » 06-24-2013 08:52 PM

You have GOT to be kidding???????

Half the time RA or Squid post my pictures.

No beam or antenna erection at our place.

:D
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Raggedyann
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Re: Roll your own?

Post by Raggedyann » 06-24-2013 09:07 PM

voguy wrote: Anyone design and build their own equipment, antennas, etc? Or is this a lost art?

Tonight I was working the math on phasing harnesses for a 2-meter beam for SSB operation. I thought I would try my hand at VHF communications other than repeaters.

Half the fun is making it, the other half ins using it. If anyone is interested I can post details.

Voguy, you remind me of my oldest brother. He had a walk in closet in his bedroom and in it, he had a short wave radio, antennas, wires everywhere, etc., and that is where he lived throughout his teen years and a bit beyond. We would hear Radio Luxembourg broadcasting into the wee hours of the night. He and my Dad were always building and erecting new antennas for something or other.
“For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.” Simon Wiesenthal

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Post by Diogenes » 06-24-2013 09:42 PM

RA,

Radio Luxembourg???? Now that is impressive.
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Post by Fan » 06-25-2013 11:55 AM

VO I got interested in antennas and so on while setting up my FM station here, but wow I would need another lifetime to really get into it I think.

However, I find it all fascinating and am always up for some images and geeking out!
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Post by Raggedyann » 06-25-2013 01:58 PM

Diogenes wrote: RA,

Radio Luxembourg???? Now that is impressive.

It boasted the most powerful privately owned transmitter in the world (1,300 kW broadcasting on medium wave) in the late 1930s, and again in the 1950s and 1960s

The only other station we could get up in northern BC in those days was CBC and they ended their daily broadcast at midnight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Luxe ... English%29
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Post by voguy » 06-25-2013 04:11 PM

Radio Luxembourg was "The Great 208" (two-oh-eight) which referred to their dial position in meters rather than kilohertz.

It was heard here in Ohio because of their massive power. I have recordings, somewhere around here, of them and some of the U.K. pirate stations.

BTW, I read an article that the folks who own the rights to Heathkit are thinking of making a comeback. They were always fun to put together. Even something as small as a digital alarm clock was fun.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

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Post by LeslieV » 06-25-2013 04:54 PM

Yep, VOGUY, finished and put up a phased 4-element beam with a 'J'-pole for packet. The NTS packet BBS is about 75 miles to my west and I was a little on the margin getting in with just the 'J' on the tower so phased in a beam. Burns a hole there now.

Yes build antennas from 160M on up. Have wires for the lower bands and beam on 10/15/20 and phased arrays on the tower sides for 17M.

BTW, communications engineering is what I did for too, too long.

Not sure where in OH you are but if things work out I am planning a stop at a ham friends in Ashland when I head back to PA this fall to visit mom. Maybe we can QSO or eyeball.

BTW, mom will be 100 this year, young kid she is . .. . . . .

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Post by voguy » 06-25-2013 06:23 PM

Ashland is about 130 miles east of me. There are times I can work into one of their repeaters, and more often than not 160 or 80 is better on ground wave. Too bad you're not around during the Mansfield OH hamfest. That's one I always go to. It, and Toledo are probably the better ones in NW Ohio. Dayton is always too much of a zoo for me.

I know what you mean by "too, too long". After being retired, and talked back twice, I'm thinking this October will be it. The problem in the industry is there are now not the young guys wanting to get into the business, at least those who know there stuff. The DTV transition pretty much ran most of the older guys out, and the ones in the 40s went to other jobs. And now even the two-way shops are hungry for people. Enough of work...

I'm rebuilding a pair of Hy-Gain VB214 antennas that I got for $10 at a garage sale. They look terrible, but have potential for being fixed up. The trick right now is to come up with a phasing harness so I can stack both in h-pol. And then the feed point, which is nothing but nuts on wires, needs to be converted to something better quality.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

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Post by voguy » 06-29-2013 07:35 PM

Thought of RA when I was sent this....

30 minute cut of a 75 minute documentary, mostly on Swinging Radio England on Vimeo, many former DJ's and staff interviewed.

LINK
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

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Post by Fan » 06-30-2013 03:04 AM

I use this http://www.decade.ca/en/products.php?prd=587575038 and I am very happy with it for FM transmission.
The heartbreaking necessity of lying about reality and the heartbreaking impossibility of lying about it.

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Post by voguy » 07-01-2013 07:37 PM

This is how my son and I came up with the phrase Quisquam dignitas effectus est dignitas super effectus.

It all started when I found a pair of old ham antennas. The Hy-Gain VB214, (you can Google them, they are still made), is a 2-meter beam but has one downfall. All antenna connections are wires screwed on to nuts. For HF it isn't bad, but for VHF frequencies it's awful unstable. The 1/2-wave matching coax was literally falling apart in my hands and had water in it which migrated up the braid of the coax.

It started out by cleaning them up, then improving the antenna feed-point (Fp) then beefier 1/2-wave section, then stacking, and power-dividing. OY! My head so hurts!

Here's a sample of what I sketched out while watching the news. I'm probably going to put some kind of Youtube video together about this as I have to imagine other people have the VB214 and suffer the same problems with integrity.

Anyhow, enjoy.


Image
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Post by Raggedyann » 07-02-2013 05:00 AM

Although I have to admit it all looks like double dutch to me, I would imagine that it would be very helpful to those in the know. Very impressive VO! :bowdown:
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Post by LeslieV » 07-02-2013 07:16 AM

Very good work VOGUY and it should give years of service now that you engineered around all the problems they made.

Might look around for some of these as most will not try to repair them and they end up on one of the swap lists for near nothing or a hamfest. Hamfest for the non ham's is a electronic swam meet flea market.

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Post by voguy » 07-02-2013 05:07 PM

One of the last things I'll do is take all the measurements of the antenna, that way it could be cloned easily.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

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