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60wag
02-01-2009, 08:35 AM
I took advantage of the warm weather yesterday and hooked up an SWR meter to my ham radio. I was looking for a measurable difference between my 2 antennas.

I have two SWR meters. On the fancy meter, I couldn't get a full scale reading to calibrate it on either antenna. I guess that meter is bad. On the second meter, I had no problem setting the full scale span but when switched to the SWR mode, the needle barely moved. Now no movement means the needle is on 1.0 which s the goal but it moved so little that it looked broken. This was with both antennas. In the past when I tried it with the CB antenna, the needle moved enough to make me think it was actually working. I would try it again with the CB but I just broke my CB antenna so that's out.

Groucho
02-01-2009, 09:30 AM
Are you using a SWR meter that you had previously used for your CB setup?

Question is, do you have a SWR meter that is specifically made for VHF/UHF? Most Radio Shack SWR meters are for CB and HF Amatuer Radio bands. (CB being the 11 meter band, well within the HF range).

HRO sells meter for VHF/UHF. If you have one for this, and things are not working, please explain more. If not, you nee to see about getting one or borrowing one. The SWR for HF will only go to about 29Mhz, and therefore is useless for 2M.

60wag
02-01-2009, 06:20 PM
Ahhhhhh. So the RadSchack meter that says "cb and ham" radio doesn't work for 2m. That makes sense. My ham works ok, its just that my newer bigger antenna doesn't seem much better than the stubby one. I was hoping to see that larger center loaded antenna might benefit from tuning it a bit. I did it with a CB antenna and was able to definitely reduce the SWR. Does anyone have a VHF/UHF meter that I can borrow?

Groucho
02-01-2009, 09:30 PM
Ahhhhhh. So the RadSchack meter that says "cb and ham" radio doesn't work for 2m. That makes sense. My ham works ok, its just that my newer bigger antenna doesn't seem much better than the stubby one. I was hoping to see that larger center loaded antenna might benefit from tuning it a bit. I did it with a CB antenna and was able to definitely reduce the SWR. Does anyone have a VHF/UHF meter that I can borrow?

Is your center loaded antenna a pre-packeaged one from HRO or somewhere like that? Like a Larson 2M/70CM one? Like this?
11872

If so, then it is pre-tuned from the factory and can't be adjusted much, if at all. If it looks like this:
11873

Then while it looks like it can be tuned by spreading apart the coils, I would recommend against it. It is another pre-tuned from the factory one.

I should have my meter here tomorrow or Tuesday, if so I'll bring it to the meeting and we can check.

Have you tried a log-distance QSO with someone else on simplex to see if the two antennas are really similar, or have you just been using the repeaters? Using repeaters in our repeater-congested area is like fishing in a barrel when it comes to seeing how well a stubby performs when compared to a 5/8 wave antenna. I say try it using simplex. That will give you the best idea of which one is better or worse.

nakman
02-01-2009, 09:48 PM
Bruce you should try rockin' simplex tomorrow night. Maybe Jeff or someone else from Broomfield will be on, who could be a good test, or Nathaniel in Arvada. With my SBB-1 I can hit those guys from here ok, but it's scratchy. with the SBB-5, it's way clear... I would expect you to get similar results from Boulder. Not sure I'd be able to hear you from way down here but let's give it a shot. Or heck I'd try tonight, I'll be up for another hour or so post up if you want to give it a go.

nakman
02-02-2009, 10:42 PM
Well that was a success... the big antenna definitely sounded better than the small antenna, call it good. Google Earth says 29.35 miles in a straight line, I know it's closer to 45 if you drive it.. but either way pretty cool we could chat for 30 minutes on 5 watts.. :D :beer: :beer:

PhatFJ
02-03-2009, 09:09 AM
Very cool!!