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Antenna resources?

citoriguy

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Hi all - I am looking into getting a base station that I can set up in my home office, and am looking for an antenna to mate with it. My office looks out on to the main road, so I’d likely have to route the antenna up through the ceiling, into the attic, then on to the back of the house.

I’d really prefer to have a small antenna just outside my window to avoid doing all of that work if at all possible. I’m okay with sacrificing range in the near term while I figure out a more dynamic and permanent solution.

What resources do you all use to acquire antenna parts and accessories? I’m studying for the General license now, and am looking at used base receivers of all types, including some with 2 antenna ports on the back. Is Gigaparts a good place to get started? Any local places (near Acton/Concord/Maynard)?

Thanks in advance,

CG
 
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citoriguy

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Band(s)? Jack.

Basically whatever I’m allowed to under a General license. I’m in the Acton/Maynard/Concord area and there are some local PD/Fire/Emergency channels that I would like to get, and I’d like to start learning more about repeaters.

I guess I’m looking for versatility while I learn more.
 

MrOrdinary

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I'm just a couple of weeks ahead of you on this track - Technician in November, vanity call in December (just 'cuz I wanted to do it), General in February.

Technician -- UHF/VHF , mostly local repeaters , on 2m , 1.25m, and 70cm . Primary resource is Minuteman Repeater Assoc
General -- adds the medium and long-distance HF bands, from 80m - 10m .
I'm not CW-literate, mostly due to laziness for the learning.

You want to work distant stations - investigate HF equipment and antennas.
You want to work nearby stations and repeater nets? You'll need a lot better than what I have - multi-band antenna on the Yaesu VX-6 H/T. I'm lucky to reach the driveway
from inside the house.

I'm going to start attending meetings for Minuteman repeater as a way to find other hams local to me, maybe find a coach/mentor (called an "elmer" in ham-speak).
 

TC McQuade

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Your wife bought you a Yaesu FT-991a for your birthday . . . Congratulations that's a nice radio! She sounds like a keeper, be sure to let her know how cool she is!

As for antennas, you'll never have enough nor will you ever have a big enough one. Enjoy the hobby it's contagious and if you let it - it will take all your money! :)
 

citoriguy

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Your wife bought you a Yaesu FT-991a for your birthday . . . Congratulations that's a nice radio! She sounds like a keeper, be sure to let her know how cool she is!

As for antennas, you'll never have enough nor will you ever have a big enough one. Enjoy the hobby it's contagious and if you let it - it will take all your money! :)

She definitely is. I think she’s tired of me picking up new hobbies and slowly acquiring items, then ending up with multiple items that don‘t get used. I’ve been babbling about the Yaesu and Icom 7300 for the last several weeks. She got it off eBay, so I’m sure it was the better priced unit. Either way, the thought was very sweet.
 

breslau

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You'll not find one antenna that works across all bands. Generally the higher the frequency the smaller the antenna. While you might get some reception across all bands with an antenna you need something closely matched to the frequency to transmit. For 70cm this is a few inches while 160m it can be 130 feet.

Ham Radio Outlet is in Salem, NH. They many of the MFJ products and knowledgeable salespeople.

Congrats on the Yaesu. I have the Icom 7300 and it is an amazing radio.
 

JDL

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This is too wide a subject to do in a post. Also more information is needed. If you contact me I can try and help.
John N1HM
 
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You'll not find one antenna that works across all bands. Generally the higher the frequency the smaller the antenna. While you might get some reception across all bands with an antenna you need something closely matched to the frequency to transmit. For 70cm this is a few inches while 160m it can be 130 feet.

Ham Radio Outlet is in Salem, NH. They many of the MFJ products and knowledgeable salespeople.

Congrats on the Yaesu. I have the Icom 7300 and it is an amazing radio.
Just what I was thinking
 

citoriguy

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Holy moly....this antenna stuff is way more complicated than I thought it would be. I need to take a picture of my house to show you where the easiest point of entry is to where my radios will be set up. It is in a spot that I can run up the side of the house and be somewhat discreet, but it has to be one straight line - there’s no room for lines extending from the antenna.

I also want the most range possible. My main priorities are local PD/fire, etc., but I also want to start testing range and see where I can go, learn and meet new people, and whatever else comes with it.

The MFJ site and HRO have so many options it’s dizzying for a noob like me.
 
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Holy moly....this antenna stuff is way more complicated than I thought it would be. I need to take a picture of my house to show you where the easiest point of entry is to where my radios will be set up. It is in a spot that I can run up the side of the house and be somewhat discreet, but it has to be one straight line - there’s no room for lines extending from the antenna.

I also want the most range possible. My main priorities are local PD/fire, etc., but I also want to start testing range and see where I can go, learn and meet new people, and whatever else comes with it.

The MFJ site and HRO have so many options it’s dizzying for a noob like me.
You can do a lot with two wires with a tuner and I wouldn't worry too much about size when it comes to listening to PD and FD. I'd suggest you make a 40 meter dipole using insulating wire any gauge and tune from there.
 

MrOrdinary

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Yes, I joined the N1IMO Net last night from ~10 miles away with my Yaesu FT-60r with no problem. I do have a longer antenna on it however (HRO purchase).

Hmm, missed this when you first posted it , Len. I have a Yaesu VX-6 , with a replacement for the rubber ducky as recommended by HRO in Salem NH (dual-band Diamond
SRH229). Still limited in range, whether in house or in vehicle.

If your longer antenna is outside the house, I'm very interested in what you installed. Sounds like it's working fine for you.
 

Len-2A Training

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Hmm, missed this when you first posted it , Len. I have a Yaesu VX-6 , with a replacement for the rubber ducky as recommended by HRO in Salem NH (dual-band Diamond
SRH229). Still limited in range, whether in house or in vehicle.

If your longer antenna is outside the house, I'm very interested in what you installed. Sounds like it's working fine for you.
My FT-60r sports a Diamond SRH77CA whip antenna. I have the Dr. Ed Fong's DBJ-2 roll up antenna Ed's Antennas but I don't have the proper adapter to connect to HTs. My house in NH is ~200' elevation and my office is on the 2nd floor, so that might make some difference. Once all my stuff moves up here, I'll have my Icom 5100A setup with the mag mount car antenna on my file cabinet (that setup is still at my MA house). I don't anticipate putting an outdoor antenna on my VHF/UHF rig, but will run one for the HF rig.
 

citoriguy

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Quick update - I ordered the MFJ-1622 apartment antenna and a MFJ-1812 for the time being. They‘re on their way, along with a bunch of different connectors and should be here sometime this week. I think I found a discreet place for the 1622, so I’ll give that a shot. The 1812 is an indoor use antenna, but l have to move some things around in my office to get closer to the window. I wish my office was in the back of the house because that would open up a ton of options without cables going all over the roof and between trees.

I have been looking at dipoles and other antennas, but these two were cheap and don’t cut into the woodworking or gun budget. I have been looking at the Comet CHA-250B because I think I can line that up with the side of the house so it kind of blends in with the 2nd story, and I don’t need radials.
 
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Quick update - I ordered the MFJ-1622 apartment antenna and a MFJ-1812 for the time being. They‘re on their way, along with a bunch of different connectors and should be here sometime this week. I think I found a discreet place for the 1622, so I’ll give that a shot. The 1812 is an indoor use antenna, but l have to move some things around in my office to get closer to the window. I wish my office was in the back of the house because that would open up a ton of options without cables going all over the roof and between trees.

I have been looking at dipoles and other antennas, but these two were cheap and don’t cut into the woodworking or gun budget. I have been looking at the Comet CHA-250B because I think I can line that up with the side of the house so it kind of blends in with the 2nd story, and I don’t need radials.
I think you have a lot of options, I also think if you decide to go to a dipole you should look into a LDG auto tuner
 

citoriguy

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Where are people going for connectors? For example, my FT-991A require PL-259 connectors. The MFJ-1622 I purchased has that connector, but isn’t long enough to get screwed on to the connector. Other antenna considerations seem to have different output connectors, so those will need an adapter to connect to the transceiver.

Any guidance?
 
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