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Basement Antenna Sep 7th 2013, 08:19 2 382 on 7/9/13
2m Mobile Choice Jun 5th 2013, 23:28 4 527 on 9/6/13

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Basement Antenna N8TTX on 7/9/13
Correction: the antenna technically is a Slim Jim J Pole, purchased from N9TAX on eBay (
Basement Antenna N8TTX on 7/9/13
I'd like some feedback on the setup that I am currently using. I am very surprised and happy with it, despite knowing that it shouldn't work as well as it does. Or should it?

After cleaning out some space in the basement, I had access to an old desk that hasn't been used for awhile, so it became my ham shack, so to speak. Not owning a base station, I took my Yaesu FT-60R down there and hooked it to a Ladder-line J-pole that I bought off of ebay. I thought I would give it a try and see how it worked, knowing that with the rubber duck it was pretty much useless.

My house faces north, and the desk is in the southwest corner of the basement. There is a concrete wall that divides the basement, west to east. My desk and HT are on the south side of this wall, with the antenna on the north side, with coax running through a gap by the first floor joists. The antenna is hanging from the ceiling with approximately 1' of the antenna above ground level, only a few inches from the west wall of the basement. It is also about 2' from the electric dryer. The main gas line coming into the house is within a foot also, along with some water lines along the floor joists above. We also have a septic system and that massive cast iron pipe leading outside is 4 feet from the antenna. This should give you a pretty good idea of the setup and surroundings.

Now, your antenna is your radio, correct? Get it as high as possible. This shouldn't work. I am approximately 5.1 miles southwest of most of the repeaters in downtown Columbus and hit them all with full quieting at 5w. I also hit a repeater on the east side of town that is 14.8 miles away, again with full quieting. As much as I want to install a new antenna on the roof or move this one outside, I can't bring myself to do it because it seems to work so well for what I want it to do. I haven't tried to hit any repeaters west of me, but I plan to experiment with that and also on simplex next week.

I'm looking for some feedback from those with far more knowledge than me about this setup and why it seems to work as well as it does. With the antenna in its current location, it works great. I did move it about 3 feet (closer to the west wall) and got rid of what little static I had. Has anyone else heard of anything similar that worked well? Everything that I've read says that this really shouldn't work as good as it does.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

2m Mobile Choice N8TTX on 6/6/13
I'm also looking at mouonting options. I have a Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab, with the fold down center seat up front. The cup holders come out of the lower dash in the middle.

2m Mobile Choice N8TTX on 5/6/13
I'm in the market for my first mobile radio. I currently have a Yaesu FT-60R HT that can be used in a cup-holder mount with a mag-mount Comet dual band antenna (M-24S I believe). I would like to get a dedicated mobile that has more power. The 2 that I'm looking at are the Kenwood TM-281A and the Icom IC-V8000. I'm leaning towards the Icom for it's features, even with the higher price of the two. The primary use for the radio will be general talk while mobile, severe weather net (what little we get here in central Ohio) and for ARES. I'd also like to be able to hit the repeaters in Columbus sooner on our travels back and forth to Akron.

The radio that I end up choosing will most likely be paired with a 5/8 wave Comet SBB-25 or similar antenna with a magnetic base (mounted on the top of my pickup truck).

I'd love to hear your opinions on either or both of these radios, pro's and con's, etc. net rates them both about the same but I'd like a few more opinions if possible. I'd also be interested in your opinions on my antenna choice.



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