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Latest Posts

Topic Author Posted On
Fan Dipole Ladder Line W3NSH on 19/7/20
Zak is right that a single band dipole is lots easier than a true multiband fan system. (Apart from mechanical issues, all the dipoles interact with each other, making it hard to get good SWR on all bands.)

I have had good luck with a "non-resonant" dipole system, with 86 ft length fed by 400 ohm ladder line. The ladder line ("any length") comes into the house, where I have a 4:1 balun giving 50 ohm impedance, more or less. You do require an antenna tuner, however, to get reasonable SWR. It does cover 80 - 6 M pretty well for me. (Thanks WB1GCM for the tip.)

73 Martin AA6E
QRN from neighbor's air compressor N0CHS on 13/7/18
Older air compressors (like mine) have normal (induction) AC motors that don't usually make RFI. If your neighbor has one that has a variable speed motor, they can make a lot of RF noise. The easy check would be to take a portable radio (AM, FM, or shortwave) to the compressor and see what you get. Chances are the interference is very broad band. In any case you should be able to check out various parts (the motor, the line cord, etc.) to see which are "hot". Most likely, it is injecting noise into the AC power line, so a filter on that line might help. You might also check to see if the frame is properly grounded to the AC 3rd wire.

Good luck!
Martin AA6E
FT8 WD5IQR on 29/8/17
FT8 is now handled as a mode by LoTW in latest versions of TQSL. See (LoTW login required)
HF use of squelch wheelgunnut on 22/8/17
Bill -

Squelch is more useful with FM than with AM/SSB because FM signal quality falls to pieces very rapidly when it weakens toward the noise level. (Threshold effect) AM/SSB signals, on the other hand (particularly SSB), degrade more smoothly as they get weaker. You can still copy signals that are near the noise level. With effort!

Also, HF propagation is often more variable than VHF+. You might want to copy a signal that varies between S3 and S9 over a few seconds. Squelch might cut out the dips when you could still copy them.

You can reduce the "noise blast" after a transmission stops by adjusting your AGC or RF gain controls carefully.

It comes down to personal preference, but most ops seem to prefer to keep their "ears" open as much as possible on HF/MF.

73 Martin AA6E
FT8 AG5P on 13/8/17
**ADDED** Latest update of TQSL and LoTW support FT8 without any fuss. Disregard following.

Easy workaround:

Select File > Display or Modify Prefences...
Select ADIF Modes tab
Add... ADIF Mode = FT8
Resulting TQSL mode: DATA

Now, when you run TQSL, ADIF file's FT8 QSOs will be mapped into DATA QSOs for LoTW. ARRL awards category DATA is the same as JT65 and other digital modes. It would be nice to record your Q's as FT8 in LoTW, but it's not necessary.

73 GL Martin AA6E

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