Saturday, May 3, 2014

Antenna Tuner For Your Ham Radio Shack

Right now I have two different antenna tuners for my ham shack. I have an MFJ-949E Antenna tuner. This is a manual antenna tuner. It will tune it will tune dipoles, inverted v antennas, beams, verticals, mobile whip antennas, scanner antennas and shortwave antennas. I use it with my 10 to 80 meter dipole antenna. It does a pretty good job at tuning to a low swr reading. The only drawback I have found with it is that the knobs are not very comfortable and after awhile your fingers get sore. As far as tuning goes I wrote down the various settings for different frequencies. I keep a chart handy so I can easily tune to the frequency I am on using my Kenwood TS-2000 Ham Radio. I have tuned frequencies from about 1.8mhz to 30mhz. I would recommend it to anyone as a manual tuner if you are running np more than 300 watts.
  My other antenna tuner is a MFJ 993b automatic antenna tuner. It pretty much covers the same Ham Frequencies as the MFJ 949E antenna tuner. It does take a little getting used to with all the different settings and button choices. However once it is set up it works like a charm. It does only go up to 300 watts so do not go higher than that. The only problem that I ran into was with the on off power button. It last somewhere between 3 months to a year and then it has to be replaced. I had replaced it with switches from MFJ quite a few times and decided to do something different. I replaced the on off switch with a good toggle switch. I wrote about this in an earlier post. I have no had any more problems with the switch since then. This is my main antenna tuner at this time.
  There are quite a few good antenna tuners made by MFJ despite the varying reviews I have read. There are other brands of antenna tuners that have caught my eye. Some of those brands are Palstar, Ameritron, Vectronics and LDG Electronics. I really like the Palstar Antenna Tuners, but they are out of my budget at this time. I do have to say the reviews are very good and they look like they are built like tank. I also like the high end automatic tuner in the LDG Electronics line. I read the reviews and they seem to be pretty good. For myself I am not running an amplifier at this time and have no need for one. Maybe one day in the future I will be looking more at one of them. Also most Base Ham Radios have an antenna tuner built in them that usually is good up to 100watts.
 Thank You for reading 73s from Dan KC2YTI

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Where Can I Find Supplies To Build A Homebrew Yagi Antenna

  Where can I find supplies to build a homebrew yagi antenna ? When I have been searching the internet for antenna building supplies I saw a variety of places. The problem is if you are building a yagi with more than two elements and an antenna larger than 10 meters it could get expensive. I have some old pieces of half inch aluminum tubing from an old ground plane antenna. The elements together are at least 9 feet long, which would be about 18 feet total length for one whole element. This would probably work out for a 10 meter 2 element yagi.
  Of course I will have to decide on how I will tune it for the SWR. I have looked at some designs and they are pretty straight forward. I may even be able to make it resonant for a certain part of the 10 meter band. I don't know, but can probably use my antenna tuner as well. If I don't need it I won't use it. This is all just part of the planning stage. I may make the boom out of .75 grey uv pvc conduit and either put some dowel rod inside for strength or maybe a piece of metal conduit. Either way that will support a 2 element 10 meter or smaller beam antenna.
  Since the weather here in Rochester New York is getting better I can start working again on my 6 meter quad project and my 17 meter moxon antenna project. Another thought was making the 17 meter moxon into a multiband moxon. I will have to kepp thinking about that one. Okay so lets get back on the subject at hand. Where can I locate supplies for a yagi antenna. Some popular places are DX Engineering or Texas Towers. I have also seen some by Hygain in the MFJ Catalog. There must be some local sources for supplies. The only local places I can think of are Home Depot, Lowes and ACE Hardware. Two problems generally come up, one the supplies are limited on hand and they can also be a little bit pricey.
                                                          I just love working on projects.

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