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2014 Hard Cover Handbook Dec 27th 2013, 18:50 3 3,092 on 24/5/14

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New: What is the best starter equipment? Neustein on 23/12/20
Neustein, Like a lot of new hams, this question comes up often. Here in the South Western area of Virginia in the large hills, I always recommend to new Hams that they get a mobile radio with power supply to handle both the auto and home at first. That is going to get tiring switching back and fourth, so eventually you'll end up with 2 mobiles. The HT or handheld portable radios have their places, but if you're in the hills and mountains of 6 land they are not a good first choice. If you're in LA or some f those places you may be OK with an HT.
Next is the most important part of any radio. The antennas you use should be 50% of whatever set up you get. The stock antenna onan HT sucks, so get a better one. As to the home? Using a good duel or single band antenna and don't skimp on the price here and get crappy feedlines. 144-148 and 440-450 MHz need good large coax if the run is going to be longer than say 50 feet. The small types of coax usually RG8x is a good cable for your mobiles, and some of the shorter runs for the house. I try to use the best coax I can buy with what my budget allows. If it's a used line be very aware of where it came form and if there is any cuts in it.
I know this is said time and again, but pick up the ARRL Hand Book and read it cover to cover. I try to get a new one ever 2 years or so, but just starting out get a used one thru or or maybe But try to upgrade to a newer one, better information, better on ideas. Then after reading that, get a hold of an ARRL antenna book, those are great to have as both a reference and a great way to spend an evening in your radio shack

I hope this helps you a little bit, it's not hard, just a lot of information to handle at first.

Russ Abbey, N4MAV
Floyd County, Virginia
Suggest an "Affiliated Clubs" forum W3BC on 31/5/14
Bill and Joe,
I have to agree with the audits, but we also have a problem with the politics of this also. While I will not go into details, people have been dismissed when certain others have gotten into office no matter the one being dismissed is the best for the job. To be frank, if it happened here I'd just kiss the whole thing off and say goodby to them. But it would destroy our Club in the process. As it has done to other organizations here in South Western Virginia.
Russ, KG4MAV
2014 Hard Cover Handbook N4MAV on 27/12/13
Is anyone as disappointed with the new handbook as I am? While PDF is a decent format, what the heck happened to color? I was a little shocked to see it in black and white!
While yes I understand the cost factor here, but building a PDF and having it published is one thing, but really now it doesn't take that much more to make it in color! I thought this edition would be spectacular for the 100th anniversary of the ARRL, but that was my mistake. The articles are wonderful though, just in 2014 we could have used color even a little bit would break it up.
Maybe in the future put out a Handbook and an Antenna book through Zinio Reader, that would be nice.

Russ Abbey
Antron99 on HF WA8OCL on 27/10/11
I'm going to put my 2 cents in here. I also am on disability with very little left at the end of a month. I went to a farm store and bought a roll of their electric fence wire. I think it was a miles worth for cheap! I have used that stuff for a long while making dipoles and also using it for ground radials. The ground radials are all 1/4 wave of the frequency. I got a used Butternut HF9V at our local hamfest and when I put it up I laid down 1/4 wave radials for each band from 6 to 80 meters. All of them were laid on the ground after mowing the grass real short. I have had no problem with the mower vs. wires. The more wires the better the signal up to a point. Are you going to ground mount this? Or put it in the air?
Russ Abbey
Station Grounding N9AH on 27/10/11
Well, this is from experience here, so I'll tell you how my electrician and I did this. I was working on rewiring this old house we bought a long while ago now. :) I went to find the ground rod and panicked when I couldn't find it. We had had the house upgraded to 200 amp from 60 am service a few years ago now. I found the ground, on a water pipe which is copper. However, the water pipe changed into PVC before it went out to the well. I called my EX-electrician and he wouldn't fix it so I got another one who happens to live about a half mile from me. He stated that it was against the code to do a ground like that any more. So we put a ground rod in outside and redid the house ground. (It also cured a lot of problems I had had.) So to answer you questions here. Put a ground rod in and call an electrician to put the ground wire out to it. Yes, you have to ground everything to the house ground. It is 175 feet from my tower to the house and I had to put in a ground rod every 8 feet to the house so it would pass the inspection. Then I got to bury it all about 6 inches under the dirt. By the way, there is 3 ground rods for the tower surrounded by a halo of copper which is in turn surrounded by another halo 8 feet out from the tower. Over kill? Maybe, but at least I don't have to worry about the static charges that build up. I also have Poly Phayser's on every coax and hard line coming into this place.
Russ Abbey

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