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 Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847

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Wireless
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Call Sign : M5WJF / 26-CT-4345 / 26-TC-4345
Posts : 374
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Join date : 2021-11-19
QTH or Location : Shrewsbury IO82OQ
Equipment Used : kit
Age : 57

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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeFri Feb 25, 2022 9:02 am

Alan,

Thanks, when I started I wanted quality, and at every stage I've said to myself, sod it you're only going to do this once (unless I buy a winning lottery ticket), so decided I wanted it right first time.

It does look alright...

antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 27488410

The wife now calls it my girlfriend...tut, tut, as she's noticed me looking at it a lot, ha.

Got some PL-259s arriving Saturday I think, so will terminate all the coax, and then take a backwards step and test the SWR on all the VHF antennas...yeah I know, arse about face, should have done this before the tower went up, but I don't think any will need adjustment.

I'll also be measuring up to work out where these cables will go into the shack, and may start making a hole, depends on the weather and my back really.

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SangueG
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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeFri Feb 25, 2022 1:54 pm

Looking good Wayne!

I've had a whole load of girlfriends up in the loft. From the 11m copper 1/4 which I named Ygritte to the current fan dipole called Wednesday (after Wednesday Addams because the mess of wires looks pretty scary to anyone who ventures up there). It's quite normal you know to name them, to talk them, whispering how you love how low their SWR is Wink We'll all back you up if you have any human girlfriend issues because of, so do let know her name when she's done Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeFri Feb 25, 2022 7:22 pm

Well, I take your advice and have therefore christened it Wendy, because this does not get me into any trouble, as the wife's name is Wendy, see, up there for thinking, down there for dancing...

When I'm out in the garden, whispering sweet nothings to Wendy, she'll think nothing of it, and I may actually gain brownie points.
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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeSat Feb 26, 2022 7:20 am

Good call! Smile
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Alan Pilot
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antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeSat Feb 26, 2022 7:42 am

I would think about that one.
My wife would kill me lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeSat Feb 26, 2022 12:44 pm

Dug out the Watson 10 Amp PSU, set it to 13.8V, checked the PSU output with a Multi-meter, Ok then dusted off my MFJ-269 I bought 21+ years ago, yes it's exactly the same model as they sell today with the digital read out, although mine has a 1999 firmware I notice.

Anyway, was worried that the batteries that had been in there since 2004 had done some sort of damage over the last 17+ years, but all were fine, no corrosion at all, no battery leaks, and checked all ten of them and they were 0V, dead as a doornail on my battery meter. connected up the MFJ power lead, and the firmware worked perfectly using a cigarette plug (I decided to use one of those in case I was out at a car back then).  Also, once you've correctly Identified Pos and Neg leads there is no chance of wiring up back to front and blowing the safety diode.

Switched off the MFJ, connected a few mobile whips to test SWR and all the readings were normal, so pleased as punch my test equipment still functions perfectly.

As Soldering Irons are so cheap these days, I've bought a new 40W model from CPC, a kit, so has a desoldering pump, stand, replaceable tips, roll of solder, etc.  I think I'd invest in a lower wattage model for any electronic projects, 40W seems a bit brutal.  Then ordered a few rolls of different gauges of soldering wire.

So I'm nearing the point of terminating the RG-213, which I note is not favoured these days, people preference slightly better performing coax, and I think ML&S doesn't even stock 213 anymore.  However, I kept all my old coax because I'm a tightwad, so I'm actually recycling old copper.

Just waiting for a few bits.
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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeSat Feb 26, 2022 3:04 pm

Ok, my back is killing me, but the random wire dipole is now up...

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I'm pleased with that, it looks exactly the way I wanted it.

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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeSat Feb 26, 2022 3:13 pm

Looking like a radio will need plugging in very soon Wayne.

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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeSat Feb 26, 2022 3:31 pm

Just one more antenna to go up, the 40m Horizontal Dipole Mobile Whips, but I have to tune these first  Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeSat Feb 26, 2022 9:40 pm

Well done with all your hard work there Wayne. Most impressive. antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 1f44d 

Particularly jealous of your ladder line feed......my spacers made from old plastic blind slats don't look half as pretty. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeSat Feb 26, 2022 10:25 pm

Victor wrote:
Well done with all your hard work there Wayne. Most impressive. antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 1f44d 

Particularly jealous of your ladder line feed......my spacers made from old plastic blind slats don't look half as pretty. Very Happy

They were ex-Admiralty Military Specification Spreaders, NOS used for Ships Antennas, so I thought, why not, ha.

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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeTue Mar 01, 2022 6:51 pm

Ok, terminated the cables today, apart from the soldering, the day started with the Gas Boiler failing here, and it took most of the morning organising a repair.

British Gas Homecare...pfft, no-one available, given an appointment to repair in a week's time, so as I'm disabled and they have a Winter Contingency Plan which allows them to authorise a none British Gas Safety Engineer to undertake the work, you have to organise this yourself, nightmare, then pay them and send the Invoice to British Gas and then get your money back within two weeks.

Not exactly the Service you're sold in the adverts.  Anyway, managed to get someone to fix it.

So went down the garden this afternoon to fit compression PL-259s to the RG-213 at the bottom of the tower, unfortunately for me this was above shoulder height, and so took me forever, I got cold, fingers lost feeling, dropped a few things, had to increase my medication as a result, and finally knocked the thing on the head after spending two hours to fit five to the RG-213, and a screw on type to the RG-58 feed to the SG-235.

So limited progress, and I'll have to solder these later, but it was too cold and the light started failing, so spent the time waterproofing my efforts for another day.

Two hours work...still a little untidy on the last one, but my fingers were too cold, I'll tidy this up another day.

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I did label everything, as my memory isn't that great, ha.


Last edited by Wireless on Wed Mar 02, 2022 12:11 am; edited 1 time in total

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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeTue Mar 01, 2022 8:03 pm

You're not alone with BG Homecare woes. Won't say any more other than we left them and went to Corgi HomePlan and reduced my stress levels.

To be honest, regarding the PL-259 fitting I'm not much quicker at fitting them than that. Like to make them as perfect as I can and take my time trying not to lose any stands of braid from the shielding.

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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeThu Mar 03, 2022 3:54 pm

Wayne
When you join the coaxes will you just use a standard straight screw together coupler ? i think that is what it is called.
Screw 1 plug in 1 side then the same with the other then wrap with self amalgamating tape.
Could save me a load of hassle.
Only just thought about doing it that way i was going to take my antennas down and start again but i need help and can't always get any.
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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeThu Mar 03, 2022 6:21 pm

Alan Pilot wrote:
Wayne
When you join the coaxes will you just use a standard straight screw together coupler ? i think that is what it is called.
Screw 1 plug in 1 side then the same with the other then wrap with self amalgamating tape.
Could save me a load of hassle.
Only just thought about doing it that way i was going to take my antennas down and start again but i need help and can't always get any.

Yes, that's the plan, although I'l first be adding in the lightning arrestors next, and Earthing these to the M14 Bolts at the bottom of the tower.

I was thinking of just having one connection like this per coax between the tower and the shed, but now I think I'm going to have two per coax, to enable me to remove a short 'patch lead' of coax between the two, means more parts but I think it makes more sense.

Each connection naturally adds lost dB in signal, but I'm buying high quality connections in stainless steel, I was tempted to go full perfectionist mode and use silver plated, but that's prolly a silly idea unless the coax runs were a lot longer.

Like you I want easy maintenance, as getting help is always dependent on availability, and making this stuff as simple as possible for people with no experience helps, although my youngest son does hold an M3, and the two older boys have 2E1 calls.  They aren't always available to help.

Update: Ordered some more parts, should be here Tuesday, however expanding foam, plastic tubing, and a 50mm hole saw seems an arm and leg on eBay, so visiting the local hardware store here in Shrewsbury tomorrow, see what's what.

So will be using a spare length of Aluminium 50mm Scaffold Tube to bring in the coax to the shed, as its better quality than using Plastic, and I don't need to spend £10 to buy 1000mm of plastic for a ~100mm wooden shed wall. 

eBay can be a rip off, and I'm regretting chucking the 2ft of 50mm plastic drainpipe in the skip recently, ho hum.

Unrelated, but good news is my Air Arms S510R is grouping .177 pellets well this morning since it came back from the RFD, not as good as .22lr but then I don't have £4k to spend on a Target Air Rifle, plus 'er indoors gave me permission to buy a Tikka T3X TAC A1 in .308 Win, which I pick up Saturday, only cost me £6k...  £4k for a new Quartz Kitchen Counter Top, £2k+ for the Tikka, she doesn't know that I'm buying a Rifle Bag, Moderators, Bipods, Butt Mount, and later on three Rifle Scopes, ha.

I'll have to sneak those in with the reloading kits I'm buying...

Went to a Running Boar Shoot (Paper Target) on Saturday, I think I'm going to try it with .22lr first, although I will prolly join in the last full bore category as well, later this year.

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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeWed Mar 23, 2022 9:06 pm

Ok, minor update, we have been busy today but progress was slow for me as a lot of the effort was above my shoulders, and I had to take a few breaks, lots of tablets, and a lie down later in the afternoon.  My back is killing me now, and I wasn't up to taking any pictures by the end, so these have been taken a few minutes ago.

Cables are all now terminated inside the shed, however, I didn't have the energy to squirt the expanding foam today, as it was again above my head, so will have to do that another day.

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You'll note I actually used a 2.5 inch section of 50mm Aluminium Scaffold (an off-cut from before) to feed the coax and control line for the SG-235 into the shed.

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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeWed Mar 23, 2022 9:45 pm

All looking great there Wayne. antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 1f44d 

Be good to see you up and running. Take it easy, older bones are less forgiving!
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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeWed Mar 23, 2022 9:57 pm

Victor wrote:
All looking great there Wayne. antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 1f44d 

Be good to see you up and running. Take it easy, older bones are less forgiving!

Oh, almost forgot, I did put the MFJ-269 Antenna Analyser on the random wire dipole, well it seems its not as random a wire as I thought, its actually resonant at 1.81MHz, so top band should not be a problem, ha
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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeSun May 22, 2022 1:24 am

Ok, actually wired up the SG-235, and had my first QSO on 40m, running about 10 Watts, 59+ with my friend about 20 miles away hidden behind a massive mountain range called the Longmynd, here in Shropshire.

So a really good NVIS Propagation Test.

Little bit disappointed that I could not participate in the IARU Region 1 GlobalSet Emergency Test Network involving most of Europe, on 21st May, but I am in Birmingham attending a friends wedding.

The GlobalSet was during 1400-1600 UTC on 40m (7110 LSB) and 17m (18160 USB), if any of you heard unusual messages being sent as a test.

I'm not ready for Data Modes yet, so can't guarantee being able to participate in the RAYNET HF Team Data Net on 28th May 1300 UTC, but should be on air during the 1st June Voice Net at 1900 UTC on 3663 LSB/7110 LSB depending on F0F2.

80m has been very noisy most evenings, so its more likely that the Net will be established on 40m.

When I get back home to Shrewsbury this weekend I'll be having a look around the bands Sunday evening to see what's what.
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PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeMon May 23, 2022 10:28 am

OK, now looking at ALE Software, not decided which yet but I like the interface on ION2G.

Plan to be active on ALE rather than JS8Call to begin with, since there's no established frequencies on 60m, 4m, 2m, or 70cms for JS8Call, and the FT-847 will TRX on all those bands, plus I have antennas erected here already for all bands 160m to 70cms.

ALE has established frequencies on all of the bands HF to UHF.

Has anyone used ION2G, I'm planning to run ALE on a laptop in the shack, but am considering using my FT-100D with a set of mobile whip dipoles for 160m to 40m, plus 6m, 2m, and 70cms on a roof rack mounted on my Audi, and also run ALE Portable/Mobile...
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Call Sign : M5WJF / 26-CT-4345 / 26-TC-4345
Posts : 374
Times Thanked : 12
Join date : 2021-11-19
QTH or Location : Shrewsbury IO82OQ
Equipment Used : kit
Age : 57

antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847   antenna - Project: PC-ALE or JS8Call NVIS HF Antenna + SG-235 + FT-847 - Page 3 Icon_minitimeTue May 31, 2022 9:38 pm

Well, I've had to revise what I've been doing and re-evaluate.

Still can't find the FT-77 to put on Pactor1, its here somewhere, just elusive.

As regards ALE, it seems PC-ALE is long overdue a full release software update, so I'm reluctant to run that as its not currently supporting SEL Call ALE.

ION2G is a modern variant of ALE, and does, but does not support my FT-847.

DXLabs Commander does, its an interface software that allows MultiPSK to use it as a CI-V Commander, and will work with ALE in MultiPSK, but the implementation of ALE appears flawed, and only scans two frequencies/bands???

So the plan is to run JS8Call, which does support the 847, and is a Digital Mode that the RAYNET HF Team are evaluating for Emergency Comms, there appears to be frequencies used on 6m and 2m VHF now, and the convention, if it follows that of ALE, will mean that the kHz sub frequency will be the same as that on 6m & 2m, or 50.171 and 144.171 USB, so I expect that 70.171 and 432.171 USB will also be utilised by the Mode.

The other option is to sell the 700 Watt Yaesu FL-2100Z HF Linear Amplifier I never use, and don't intend to use again, so am investigating a Part-ex for an Icom IC-7100, which has the bonus of operating on all the bands the FT-847 does, and also is supported by both ION2G, DXLabs Commander/MultiPSK, AND JS8Call.

Plan may eventually be that I sell the FT-77 when I find it, and use the FT-847 for Pactor 1 on possiby more than just 40m.

Any funds raised could then fund a radio for HF+ 6m for DX on the Butternut.

So plans are going lateral and changing, and anyway, despite 'er indoors objections, to use an advertising phrase, 'I'm worth it', ha.

In terms of Voice SSB operation, tomorrow I join a 40m/80m Voice Net on 3.663 LSB and/or 7.110 LSB from 8pm to finally work those bands proper, I have worked my friend the other side of a mountain on 40m already as a test, but he does not have NVIS Antennas, so my twig was doing all the work both ways.

Couple of nights ago I joined a UK Social Net on Top Band, their operating was less than desired, but it gave me a chance to get signal reports and discover RF Feedback above 10 Watts PEP, which I think is mainly due to my having extended wire leads for my Heil Headset and Foot Operated PTT, hardly unexpected, likely solved with ferrite rings on the leads, but I intend to use a fist mic to check whether my suspicions are correct.

I have listened to 11m on this set up, but no TX, and it receives better than the 5/8 Silver Rod with Albrecht.

So I'm looking to sked with someone on as many bands as possible, preferably if they have an NVIS setup on 160 thro 40m, but also on anything on 30m thro 70cms, obviously for the higher frequencies require someone nearer unless there's skip or they have a beam vertically polarised.

Anyone interested?
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