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New HAM First QSO

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 20,809 ✭✭✭✭ Mad_Lad


    First QSO was with a local friend of mine.

    2nd QSO was with LA1CI in Norway, near Oslo. Pretty cool ! :D

    I just got my license about 2.5 hrs ago, it's all automated once you register via email when applying for your exam, once I applied I had the call sign within 30 mins ! impressive.

    My setup is about as basic as you can get, the radio is a Yaesu FT-77, a nice classic looking rig, about 35-38 years old but it works and I got it a few weeks before sitting the exam just to play around with.

    Tuner is a MFJ Deluxe versa II.

    Antenna is the myantennas.com EFHW 80-10 https://myantennas.com/wp/product/efhw-8010/

    I have it strung up between a couple of trees, highest point about 55 feet. The transformer box is about 3 foot off the ground and grounded there at the base of a tree.

    No radials needed , it uses a 48:1 UnUn which appears to be the magic compared to a normal end fed with 9:1 which requires a load of radials, this does not.

    I got it because it got excellent reviews both on the website and eham.net.

    It's a multiband antenna resonant on multiple bands and no tuner is required because the SWR is low enough on all bands, the top end of 80 Meters I use the tuner to flatten the SWR bit other than that no tuner is required on all the advertised bands, ( depending on installation ) but seems to work good for me.

    Early days yet, only 2 QSO's .

    First a local friend and 2nd a Guy Near Oslo , Norway, he said he doesn't get too many QSO on 80 this far so the Antenna is working well with an old Rig.

    I will post the radio setup in another post.

    My hope is that I can encourage others into this fabulous and amazing hobby.

    I have been a shortwave listener for a few years now , my previous home did not allow much shortwave listening because of a neighbours TV that was on from 8am to after Midnight every night of the year, when it was off I could hear so much it was amazing. The TV knocked out LW, MW and most of SW, incredible ! If I had stayed at that location I would have bought them a newer LED TV. lol

    Anyway, I'm in the country now and have 1 acre for antennas lol but had I known as much as I do now I would have got my license years ago, my previous house was a mid terrace and did not allow mad antennas but I could still have worked many bands and even gone portable. The point being, I should have just got the license anyway.

    I have seen very good videos of contacts being made from a guy in the U.K to US with just a roof mounted antenna on a van and 5 watts of power, amazing !

    It's a great hobby and I hope I can encourage more people into this wonderful Hobby.

    Next plan is to set up a proper shack and think about what radio I will buy, but the old FT-77 will do just fine for now, a lovely classic rig, very simple to operate.


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Comments



  • Congrats !!!

    I wonder how nervous you were on the second QSO ?

    I remember my first one, I was shaking ? The first CW QSO is even worse, well done.

    When I get my Ariel back up we can arrange a QSO.

    I have an FT897 and an icom7600 plus a host of vintage and home brew rigs, but I have been pretty silent for a while.

    Do you have any interest in CW ?




  • SlowBlowin wrote: »
    Congrats !!!

    I wonder how nervous you were on the second QSO ?

    I remember my first one, I was shaking ? The first CW QSO is even worse, well done.

    When I get my Ariel back up we can arrange a QSO.

    I have an FT897 and an icom7600 plus a host of vintage and home brew rigs, but I have been pretty silent for a while.

    Do you have any interest in CW ?

    Thanks, actually I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be but think I'd have been a lot more nervous if I was a break station in a group if you get me.

    Yes I have an interest in CW which I hope to learn next, it's difficult when I work shift and have 2 small Children to look after when I'm off but hopefully I will get to learn some CW sooner rather than later.

    Yeah should arrange QSO, get that antenna up.

    I am sorry I didn't do this years ago but better late than never.

    CW is tricky of course and worst of all is someone who is very experienced and is way too fast not giving a chance to someone new, I've heard this complaint a lot.




  • Early shack pics. Basic as you can get lol . I need to get a desk and chair. Using the attic. Not perfect as the roof wasn't raised by the previous owner but it will make a nice snug shack.

    [IMG][/img]xDEIk0n.jpg

    yuMCNqI.jpg




  • Looks like the shack needs some more space, no room for your pen and paper, but much like my first set up !

    I love older radios, my favourite is my Eddystone EA12, it needs a lot of work, it was my first radio so must be overhauled.

    Make sure you hang on to that 77, a good radio.




  • Yes the FT-77 is going nowhere ! ;-)

    Yeah not much room until I get a proper desk , then it will be fine.

    I love old rigs too but I think I've come to the realisation that for my main rig I will get something more modern , after exhaustive reviews and youtube videos I think I will get a Yaesu FTdx-3000, it gets great reviews and on eham.net, I am more concerned about sound quality and proper DSP than waterfalls.

    Then I can add a nice proper classic Rig to admire sitting on the desk that gets occasional use.

    I fear than Ham radio is getting rater too much like using a windows 10 laptop with hand mic........... I'd like to see more traditional rigs, I feel too many Hams now spend much more time fiddling with menus and looking at waterfalls than trying to make QSOs.


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  • Hey if you want to continue the FT theme, how about this for VHF, I will take a picture.

    This would look good next to 77...

    20190521_012503.jpg




  • SlowBlowin wrote: »
    Hey if you want to continue the FT theme, how about this for VHF, I will take a picture.

    This would look good next to 77...

    20190521_012503.jpg

    Indeed it would look good, I got my eye on the FT-757 GX II.

    But for main base rig I might, just might think about the FTdx-3000 which got great reviews for noise reduction, sound and receiver quality.

    The IC-7300 didn't seem to fair so well in fact a lot of reviews suggest the 3000 is as quiet with no noise reduction as the 7300 is with it. The 7300 does indeed seem to be a lot noisier and I'm not really bothered with waterfalls and fancy displays even if the 3000 has some display.

    Some day I will have a excellent example of a FT-101 type receiver or one of the kenwood Hybrids. That's real radio !




  • Well done on the exam and congratulations. Amazing to see the FT-77 still working. Looks like a really well designed radio.

    Regards...jmcc




  • jmcc wrote: »
    Well done on the exam and congratulations. Amazing to see the FT-77 still working. Looks like a really well designed radio.

    Regards...jmcc

    Thanks, It's good to finally have that all over, couldn't stand the wait after the exam !

    Yes, the FT-77 is a great radio for the age and in excellent condition. I love the style of radio. I wish they made more classic looking radios today.

    I've my eye on a FT-757 but they are very hard to find in good condition. Probably in the end go for a Yaesu FTdx-3000 as it got excellent reviews for sound quality, noise reduction and receiver quality.

    The FT-77 will do just fine for now. A great starter rig. No going through endless menus, just tune and talk.

    Have to set up the shack properly and get a desk lol.




  • I also got a Xiegu X5105 Rig some time ago that I can finally use properly.

    Got a couple of good reports with it in the UK on 3760 Khz. They were very impressed for 5 watts, I was using the base antenna but still.

    Got a portable mini 100 watt end fed ordered from hyendcompany in the Netherlands which I will pair up with the X5105 when I am out and about, in my Mothers, Germany etc. It will cover 40-20-15-10 Meter bands and is 20 meters in length. These multiband resonant antennas are great.

    Still have to try out the EFHW 8010 from myantennas.com on more than 80 and 40 meters but got good QSo from Northern Norway last night and good report on 5 watts to the U.K earlier so it seems to be doing well.

    I might get the 160 Meter EFHW because the one I have is only 40 meters in length so not resonant on 160 meters but I can use a tuner and see how I get on with it, of course the Tuner won't make it resonant it will just allow me to be able to transmit on the band keeping SWR low which keeps the radio happy.

    The 160 Meter version is about 80 meters in length, I have no problem with space but installation is a bit of a pain because it will have to criss cross in parts due to trees not being in the desirable location lol.

    Anyway , very happy to have my License now that's for sure.


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  • Got 59 report from S57DX on 20 meters using the Xiegu X5105, 5 Watts, amazing ! :D

    I remember watching a you tube video a week ago about a Man in the U.K getting to the U.S on 5 watts with a whip antenna on the roof of his van ! :eek:

    Another getting to Australia with 50 watts and a whip on the roof of his car.

    Amazing !




  • Furthest contact so far was with VE9FI from Hampton New Brunswick, Canada. I was over the Moon with that, took a while to contact him as the European stations were running big power but he got me with my little old Yaesu FT-77 running just under 100 watts , he was running 1 Kw as were most of the European stations. I was thrilled , understatement lol. He could hear me just fine and we could have a conversation no problem.

    I couldn't believe when he said " the EI station please" haha.

    The myantennas.com EFHW-8010 is obviously performing very well .

    Radio is amazing, this hobby is amazing, forget the internet , Netflix and facebook this is much more fun !!!!

    If anyone is reading this and is a Shortwave listener and listens to ham radio operators like I did for so long then please go to the IRTS website and get the study material and sit the Exam, it's a great hobby.

    I heard TI8II from Costa Rica on 17 Meters , 8,300 Kms, now that would have been a contact, unfortunately he stopped calling CQ before I had a chance to reply.




  • Get used to missing the interesting ones!

    and also get used to using the WARC bands at weekends unless you are a contester....

    Mind you, I'm tinkering round with a FT101B and the clarifier is slightly off. No better way to get it set than on the busiest CW weekend of the year, with a million stations all wanting a 10 second QSO!




  • Get used to missing the interesting ones!

    and also get used to using the WARC bands at weekends unless you are a contester....

    Mind you, I'm tinkering round with a FT101B and the clarifier is slightly off. No better way to get it set than on the busiest CW weekend of the year, with a million stations all wanting a 10 second QSO!

    Ft-101B nice radio ! they don't make them like they used to !

    Yes contests are a pain in the ass, they should restrict them to 1 band only.

    I read somewhere that there's people making a lot of money , the organisers of the contests perhaps ?

    Hams want the awards so they can boast about them on QRZ.com and whatever they're into of course it's just not for me it's just a shame People only want the XXXX QRZ ? you are 59 and of course you have to say "you are also 59" because they don't want to hear anything else they only want your callsign.

    This is what IRTS has about contests on the website.

    Contests
    Where no DX traffic is involved, the contest segments should not include 3500-3510 kHz
    or 3775-3800 kHz.
    Non-contesting radio amateurs are recommended to use the contest-free HF bands (30, 17 and 12m) during
    the largest international contests. (DV05_C4_Rec_07)
    Contests should be restricted to 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m. That is 60, 30, 17, and 12m bands shall not be
    used for contests. (VIE16_C4_Rec_06 *)
    ( * to be ratified at General Conference 2017)
    For more recommendations about contest segments see the IARU Region 1 HF Manager Handbook.


    It only leaves 3 bands for phone, 60, 17 and 12.

    It would be nice if more People wanted to actually talk about the hobby, or anything else.




  • I got a new antenna yesterday and tried it in my Mothers while I was there.

    With the X5105 and 5 watts I made contact with AN1WHS first call, Antenna was maybe 30 foot highest and 15 foot lowest.

    End fed antenna from Hyendcompany.com. See below, impressed with it already. It's resonant on all the 4 bands needing no tuner of course you can use the tuner to flatting the swr out to the lowest. No radials, have to say I am a big fan now of these end fed antennas with no radials, the Myantennas.com EFHW-8010 is a good antenna and performs very well.

    OxkgTAe.jpg

    KTaduyo.jpg

    Here it is between the two trees , notice the electric wire, there was a good distance between it and the antenna you can't determine this in the pic.

    zGkYIHi.jpg




  • Mad_Lad wrote: »
    Ft-101B nice radio ! they don't make them like they used to !

    Yes contests are a pain in the ass, they should restrict them to 1 band only.

    good luck with that!

    Apparently, a high percentage of newer hams are only interested in contests.

    It's like cars..... brakes which harvest the kinetic energy and store it in a battery to power the car later? developed in competition, and now feeding through to real day to day use.

    likewise narrow filters and all that sort of stuff.

    I've never entered a contest, but it's a decent way to test your antenna.




  • good luck with that!

    Apparently, a high percentage of newer hams are only interested in contests.

    It's like cars..... brakes which harvest the kinetic energy and store it in a battery to power the car later? developed in competition, and now feeding through to real day to day use.

    likewise narrow filters and all that sort of stuff.

    I've never entered a contest, but it's a decent way to test your antenna.

    Yeah was a good way to test the antenna , I knew I had limited time to test before my two Sons came back outside lol.

    We must arrange a QSO on the radio PM me. Be good to chat with someone for a little while, you never know maybe we'll get our own net going. :D




  • if you go to 3.740 Mhz right now you will see a British ham 5 Khz wide, how absurd is that ? and what sounds like a German at 4 Khz this is illegal, 2700 Khz is the legal bandwidth for SSB. They couldn't care less !

    http://emeraldsdr1.ddns.net:8073/

    They've been yapping away for ages and no call signs.......




  • Mad_Lad wrote: »
    We must arrange a QSO on the radio PM me. Be good to chat with someone for a little while, you never know maybe we'll get our own net going. :D

    lol, I'd need to have a hunt and find a mic first! I've been purely CW and very occasionally digimodes for about 4 years.....




  • lol, I'd need to have a hunt and find a mic first! I've been purely CW and very occasionally digimodes for about 4 years.....

    See there you go, how can there be people talking on the radio when so many use digital modes ? ;)


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  • To be honest, it's more about the family complaining about me shouting at the radio than the fact that CW ops have better manners and the propogation is kinder to the CW than SSB!




  • That’s why I’m in the attic so no one can hear me ! :-)

    Made 2 contacts outside in my mother’s today . Belgium and Spain , all on the 5 watt Xiegu X5105. Good little radio !

    Too cold and windy to stay outside.




  • This was the equivalent of the Xiegu X5105 in my day. A home brew kit putting out 2 watt CW on 80m. I hope to clean this up and run it this year...

    I run it from a PP3 9 volt battery and my first contact with it was to Lund in Sweden.

    20190527_204027.jpg




  • What is the deal with this hobby? What do you do with your radios?




  • bilbot79 wrote: »
    What is the deal with this hobby? What do you do with your radios?

    Talk to folk! :p

    a little parable.........

    OK, you like fish. go to Tesco and buy a salmon fillet. you know exactly what you're getting.

    this is a mobile phone.

    Radio is going to the pier and casting a line out. You don't know if you're even going to get a fish, but it could be a cod, a herring or a shark.

    and you can tinker with the rods lines and bait to see what works best..... (My antenna is supported by several 10m fibreglass fishing rods so the analogy holds!)

    to give you an idea of what's out there, here's a link to some web based radio receivers.

    Ham bands are organised with morse code at the bottom, digital modes in the middle and voice at the top. 40 and 20m and the bands most likely to have stuff going on to listen to.

    http://websdr.org/




  • SlowBlowin wrote: »
    This was the equivalent of the Xiegu X5105 in my day. A home brew kit putting out 2 watt CW on 80m. I hope to clean this up and run it this year...

    I run it from a PP3 9 volt battery and my first contact with it was to Lund in Sweden.

    20190527_204027.jpg

    Sweet, definitely do get it back on the air ! :D




  • Great to see some enthusiasm on this forum. Have a ft950 here along with a ranger811h amp and a hex beam. Haven't been on air for ages.Will have to drop the tower and sort out the antenna system but just now haven't the time or the interest in the hobby.
    73.. maybe catch up with you later in the year.




  • bilbot79 wrote: »
    What is the deal with this hobby? What do you do with your radios?

    The hobby to me is about radio and the science behind it, experimenting with antennas and seeing how they perform , trying out different radios too.

    I have bought my antennas for now because I don't have a lot of time for building stuff with work and kids and all that but eventually hope to be able to build my own.

    It's also as martin below said like fishing, you never know where your signal is going to end up or what you're going to find and where.

    On my 5 watt radio in the pic above ( the X5105 ) I got to Belgium and Spain yesterday on the 20 meter band no problem they could hear me clear as a bell 5 watts and the 4 band mini 100 watt end fed antenna from https://www.hyendcompany.nl/ strung between two trees in my Mothers.

    My base antenna is the myantennas.com EFHW 80-10, 40 meters long strung up between some trees, to get to 160 meter band I need an antenna twice as long lol.

    I got to Canada with the EFHW 80-10 antenna last week on my old Yaesu FT-77 putting out about 80 watts. The furthest contact I've had so far, only have the license a week and don't get a lot of time.

    You can spend little or spend thousands and some spend tens of thousands on the hobby, whatever floats their boats.

    You can get a very old radio like I did starting off, I bought the antenna from myantennas.com it's the EFHW 80-10 , a very efficient multiband end fed antenna that got excellent reviews both on the site and on eham.net. The chap who owns the company worked for cushcraft and designed many of their antennas so he knows his stuff.

    Starting off, spend more on antennas, without good efficient antennas you're not going to use your power efficiently and your radio won't hear as well.

    There are various digital modes these days which in my opinion is not a lot like radio as they just use a computer and a radio to send the signal that's it so I'm not a fan of digital modes, probably the only one that interests me is PSK31 , at least there is some form of human contact.

    You can talk to people and make new friends, you can talk about anything and you get a callsign from the Government which is linked to your name and address so there's no messing around, no bullying and everyone is usually very friendly. It's not like the internet, very refreshing.

    A lot of people are not interested in talking only exchanging callsigns to get them in the logbook, and others are contest operators which means they can get awards for various things like contacting all continents.

    Hopefully we can get some kind of Net going with people on this forum and at least we can chat about the hobby or whatever.

    When my eldest Son starts primary I'll have some more time, I got another Son in Creche but I'll get a couple of hours I can get on the bike and take my little X5105 and the wire antenna and find a nice spot and make some contacts. I need to get back exercising and it would be great to take the radio along. I miss being on the bike a lot, when my two Sons are in primary full time I will have a lot more time.

    I can also get a mobile antenna and put it on a mag mount on the car and head off if the weather is bad, string up the antenna in a tree or get a spiderbeam fibreglass pole for fast deployment.

    Lots of options, with the hobby, it means different things to different people, this is just what it is to me. It also gets me away from phones, computers and screens, being there done that, internet is boring now to me, need more to stimulate the mind.

    My aim here on boards is to hopefully get more people interested in the hobby and to convince them to get their license, you don't need a big garden and you don't have to spend big money.




  • orm0nd wrote: »
    Great to see some enthusiasm on this forum. Have a ft950 here along with a ranger811h amp and a hex beam. Haven't been on air for ages.Will have to drop the tower and sort out the antenna system but just now haven't the time or the interest in the hobby.
    73.. maybe catch up with you later in the year.

    Definitely do get back into it, the more the merrier ! :)

    I just regret not getting my license years ago but never thought I could do so much even in a small garden in a mid terrace house !

    I only realised this when I moved house and have 1 acre to play with antennas and got more and more interested in the hobby and realised that I could have done much more in my old house. Anyway I'm there now and it's great.


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  • What kit would you recommend for a first time buyer with a limited budget?

    I'm kinda fascinated with the idea of tuning into places like France and Spain


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