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CQ Radio Amatuers de G4MYD

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  #1  
Old 21st December 2017, 22:10
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CQ Radio Amatuers de G4MYD

I'm in the process of setting up a Radio Amatuer Station at home, which is all new to me, although I've had the licence for over 30 years. (Don't ask ... it's a long story.)

I'm taking my time with it, and have pretty much accumulated most of the bits and pieces of gear. At a recent meeting of the ROA I bummed quite a bit of knowledge from other members and I think I've got an aerial plan (end fed wire) ... but ... now I have to consider earthing.

Now it's been 30 years since I was at sea, and Earthing on a ship, as I remember it, was relatively simple. So when I started researching Earthing for a home station (will never exceed 100 Watts) on the Internet, what I found was .... advice comes in at all angles, with all opinions, all of which seem to contradict one another.

So I figure ex-sparkies who are also Radio Hams (which is my plan) are far more likely to know stuff, or at least tell me what their arrangement is with regard to Earthing.

For your info my place is a bungalow with mains provision via TNC-S and PME (Protective Multiple Earth) and I know this because I put in a Edition 17 Consumer unit some years ago which required me to understand domestic mains systems. My loop earth reading is well below 10 Ohms on all sockets.

So, how do I earth the radio station kit ? Should I drive in a copper rod outside (I could do that) ? Should I earth via the house earth ? Should I put out Earthed counterpoises ? (If these questions seem dumb ... please tell me so.)

Would appreciate any advice, and you can hurl abuse if you like, as long as it's constructive abuse.

For your info, no aerial is currently in place. I've got to prune a young Oak Tree and I'm waiting for January to do that. I have a hole through the outside wall ready for the transmission aerial. I am worried about RF creeping about in the setup.
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Old 21st December 2017, 23:44
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I imagine the least likely to cause interference is to have the copper rod(s) independent of the supplies' protective earth, whether an urban supply or rural.

Did 'they' ensure you had an amateur callsign so they could keep an ear on you?
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Old 21st December 2017, 23:52
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Worked for the 'lads' Varley. Not going to transmit prime number codes to Moscow in the dark of the night that knock on the door is something I can do without with these days (I'm f****** outnumbered for starters.)
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Old 22nd December 2017, 02:08
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My house was a new build 19 years ago, so I opted for both a ground spike and a chicken wire 'mat' which I put down and connected up before laying turf in my back garden. Other options for a ground 'mat' in established gardens, as you've alrady suggested when referring to counterpoises, are to cut slits in the grass with a spade and then lay bare wires at the bottom of the slits. It's remarkable how quickly these slits close back up. (And stop sniggering at the back... )

73 es gd DX de Mark
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Old 22nd December 2017, 03:11
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Yes, you need a separate earth stake, and a counterpoise (wire radials in/on the ground) if you can fit it in as you are running an end fed antenna....otherwise you will get RF feedback problems.

Usual rules - keep the run to the stake from the radio and (especially) the antenna tuner as short as possible, using as heavy a cable as you can find. Get as many radials out as you can - bury them. Connect the radials to the earth stake.
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Old 22nd December 2017, 10:16
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OK thanks for the advice.

I've started an initial plan and even driven in the Earth rod right by the wall directly outside the equipment site. There's a bit of an old copper gas pipe runs up the wall there (from bottled gas which I got rid of years ago) and I can use that as part of the run down the wall from the cable hole. The distance from the radio to the earth rod will be about 4 feet. I was thinking of putting in another earth rod below the point where the actual bare copper wire part of the aerial (I think) will start and run counterpoises from there across the lawn. (Using the slit idea as above.) The two earth rods will of course be connected together at their tops. They will only be a few feet apart, but, there's concrete between them, so the connection will have to be over the top of that.

Is there any reason why I can't drive in more than one earth rod ? (they only cost a few quid from Screwfix.) Will this cause problems ? (like, disturb tectonic plates or something )
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Old 22nd December 2017, 21:06
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No, run as many as you like. The law of diminishing returns does start to apply though... radials are more important.
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Old 23rd December 2017, 10:14
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Bob, I you or anybody else wants to know all about earthing I think this has it. http://rsgb.org/main/files/2012/11/U...g_Rev1.3a-.pdf
73, Merry Christmas
Andrew
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  #9  
Old 23rd December 2017, 11:03
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Many thanks Andrew.

I do have that document, but some of the suggestions in it, e.g. transferring your house power system to TT is something I definitely do not want to do. It would be a very extreme fault on the TNC-S PME that would put you in danger.

Also I don't think the power company would wear that. However some of the other information is useful.
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Old 24th December 2017, 05:25
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Many thanks to all for your advice. I think my plan is sorted thanks more to this site then all the Internet browsing I've done on the subject.

I'm off up north to Peaky Blinders land for the holiday, and leaving this chaos behind for a few days. Boy am I ever rusty when it comes to radio shacks,
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Old 24th December 2017, 06:27
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I agree with what appears to be the majority consensus; as many ground rods and radials as you can fit in.
I don't have the luxury of soil, just a few patches of mold in rock crevices, and so have drilled a couple of wells 70 feet down into the water table with 2" diameter copper tubes as electrodes; also have electrodes in the septic tank and a grid of copper tubes under a filled-in sandy area.
All in anticipation of the 5KW Tx I'm working on……….
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  #12  
Old 24th December 2017, 11:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobClay View Post
Many thanks to all for your advice. I think my plan is sorted thanks more to this site then all the Internet browsing I've done on the subject.

I'm off up north to Peaky Blinders land for the holiday, and leaving this chaos behind for a few days. Boy am I ever rusty when it comes to radio shacks,
That place is a bloody mess, Clay ... there isn't even a rosy for your beer cans! Don't let those Peaky Blinders know about your copper rod plans ... they won't last five minutes!

John T
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Old 24th December 2017, 12:28
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No beer or butties in the equipment room. Cheltenham rules.
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  #14  
Old 31st December 2017, 06:54
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posted by BocClay:
Quote:
For your info, no aerial is currently in place. I've got to prune a young Oak Tree


You could always use the tree as an antenna; I've done it with a coconut palm, which are very sappy; don't know how it would work with a dense wood like oak, but it might be interesting to find out.
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  #15  
Old 1st January 2018, 01:52
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Originally Posted by Naytikos View Post
posted by BocClay:


You could always use the tree as an antenna; I've done it with a coconut palm, which are very sappy; don't know how it would work with a dense wood like oak, but it might be interesting to find out.
So that's what they mean by a "radio log"!

John T
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  #16  
Old 1st January 2018, 02:46
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Problem I have is I've sort of grown fond of this tree. Here we are, how it was when I first planted it about 10 years ago, having been lumbered with it in a pot in my local pub, and how it was earlier this year.

So, sad f***er that I am, I actually feel guilty about having to cut it in order to put in an aerial . which I am going to do. But use it as an aerial (which is complete b*ll*x by the way ) I can't do that. I don't want to upset the 'ents.'

We on these islands owe a lot to the oak tree. We shouldn't discard that debt (although clearly I am going to do just that.)

(Jeez if this is how 2018 starts, it doesn't bode well for me . )
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Old 1st January 2018, 11:43
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Bob, please don't cut down that innocent tree, one of the symbols of our heritage. Ships of Oak, Men of Iron. The best cure for sea-sickness is to sit in the shade of an oak tree.

A low-cost 10 metre telescopic fibreglass fishing pole or two are good supports. I have a doublet, and a 13m vertical using some more rugged telescopic poles. A friend ran a wire along his wooden fence top and with an atu worked everybody he could hear. What't your rig?

73, HNY
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  #18  
Old 1st January 2018, 12:32
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I can assure you I'm not going to cut it down. Just prune it a bit on the right hand side to clear that high fence post you can just see.


Have picked up a second hand ICOM 7300 off Ebay which seems pretty neat. Lot of learning to do about it.
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Old 5th January 2018, 15:36
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Are there any out there who've had experience with the ICOM software RS-BA1. This is basically remote control software for a PC to control the ICOM transceiver. I had to send away to Japan for it, and when it came just before the holiday I could not get it to work on either PC or laptop. So I gave up and went down the pub.

Today I had another go, and noted an update produced since I last tried a couple of weeks ago. After a lot of cursing and throwing pinless grenades about, I finally got it to work (not sure if the update had anything to do with that.) The tricky bit for the PC seems to be the comport drivers !! Have others had this trouble. ?

While trawling through YouTube videos on this I came across some free logging software called N1MM which had the spectrum display feature and this installed easily and was very easy to set up and lo and behold the transceiver sucked it like a Yorkshireman sucks free beer !! A much better spectrum display I think than the RS-BA1, which was quite expensive.

Anybody had any experience with this ? It looks like it has a lot of other features which it will take me some time to explore.
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Old 6th January 2018, 05:13
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Bob .... I have used N1MM for several years with Elecraft K2 and K3 and a notebook PC. I use it for general logging but if you are into contests most of their formats are included. It really comes into its own when connected through RS232 or USB to a PC. (I have heard that Icom interfaces are a bit tricky though.)
Especially useful is the Telnet server thingy where you can get it to show spots from whichever skimmer you prefer, shown in the Bandmap window.
I haven't connected the spectrum display yet.

As freeware it is a wonderful gift for the amateur community, and is constantly updated by a dedicated team. Along with thousands of other users I can't understand who would want to pay for logging software.

See you on the air someday.
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Old 6th January 2018, 10:28
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Thanks JD. Yes I am quite impressed with it so far. And it picked up the ICOM much easier than the ICOM software did !!

I'll look into the Telnet feature as I've got some of that software laying around somewhere.
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Old 6th January 2018, 13:22
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Searched drawers I didn't even know I had for the Telnet software, but to no avail. I thought Microsoft had removed the Telnet facility from Windows from Vista onwards, but as I browsed the net for freebies, I suddenly got informed that the Telnet Client is still in all later versions of Windows, but you have to turn it on first.

DUH !!!!!

(I'll stand in the corner for half an hour with a pointed hat on.)
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Old 6th January 2018, 13:29
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Bob .... N1MM will set up the Telnet cluster for you. Go to main menu at the top of the log page, Window, Telnet. The manual online will help you dig deeper if you need it.

John
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Old 27th January 2018, 09:41
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I didn't know there was such a thing as a 'spy satellite spotter !' But did this fellow ever make a score when he found a previously abandoned failed NASA satellite had come back to life !!

He must have some good kit in his radio room.

http://www.spaceweather.com/
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Old 1st February 2018, 05:42
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A buried earth rod to start with, but at least 1 buried radial the length of each band you want to work. In the US we have to tie it to the building's earth per the code, but I'm not sure what you have to do locally.

There are plenty of software programs to run the rig. I do quite a few digital modes, so I use FLRig to run my radios.

You're right that it's a heck of a lot easier to do it on the ship.

73 Jeremy N1ZZZ
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