[VHFcontesting] Total newbie questions about 2m and 70cm antennas and receive filters
chetsubaccount at snet.net
Tue May 21 14:59:18 EDT 2013
My return to VHF contesting was also with an FT897 a few years ago after an
absence of many decades.
First time out, I listened to just 6M connected to a 20M antenna that
provided reasonable swr. I recall only making about 10 contacts that first
time. The 897 can be finicky to swr on 6M. If that is a problem, adding a
coax jumper to the feedline may change the impedance enough to allow it to
work. After installing a 6M yagi, the QSO count greatly improved and I was
getting hooked on VHF.
Later I bought a good HF radio that included 6M so I then used the 897 on 2M
feeding a decent yagi antenna. That worked pretty well; the 897 receiver is
very sensitive on 2M, but unfortunately is easily overloaded from strong
signals, and there are many near me. So I had to stay far away from the big
signals. IF filters would not help that at all. Eventually I added a good
2M transverter to an HF rig and solved the overload issue.
On 432, my 897 is rather deaf. I still use it there, but have added a remote
preamp and the required switching to take it out of the line on transmit. It
now works on 432 "well enough". My 897 is connected to a computer, and the
well known serial port birdies are quite noticeable on 432 but can be worked
around. Most contacts on 432 are ones you arrange with someone you work on 2
or 6M, so you can pick a frequency that is clear for you.
Hope to work you in June.
GL and 73,
Chet, N8RA, FN31
From: VHFcontesting [mailto:vhfcontesting-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf
Of John W
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 6:34 PM
To: vhfcontesting at contesting.com
Subject: [VHFcontesting] Total newbie questions about 2m and 70cm antennas
and receive filters
I am an experienced HF contester, but I have never tried VHF contesting
I just ordered an FT-897D and I'm hoping to give it a try in the June VHF
Realistically, I can probably only put up a dipole for 6m in the time I
I have a 13 element 2m beam I can put up a few feet below my 5-band
How far away from the quad does it need to be to work OK? *This is a
temporary arrangement.* Long term, the quad will be gone and the VHF ants
will be by themselves on the 40' tower, or maybe even up on a taller future
I want to get a 70cm beam - I am thinking about an InnovAntennas 12 or 13
element LFA-SQ Yagi. (Any recommendations for or against that one? And is
How far from the 2m antenna does the 70cm antenna need to be if it's on the
Could I put either antenna (or both?) right in the center of the HF quad so
that it is firing through the quad's driven element?
Do I also need some sort of omnidirectional antenna for either 2m and/or
70cm? Seems to me that with such sharp directionality and high F/B ratio,
my rotor is going to be VERY busy. Where can I get tips on what are the best
directions to point when looking for contacts in the contest? In fact, is
there some online reference for new VHF contesters that I can read to get
some general pointers?
Do I need to add a CW filter and an SSB filter to the radio? If so, what
bandwidths are appropriate? On HF, I might use 500 Hz or 300 Hz, and 2.3 or
2.0 KHz. I don't know if the same applies on VHF. I figured I would go
with Inrad filters just because I like them a lot in my FT-1000MP's.
Anybody out there using Inrad filters in an FT-897 and want to make a
I think the rig does 100w on 6m, 50w on 2m, and 20w on 70cm if I recall
correctly. Is that going to be enough power to have fun, or am I going to
I am in a really good QTH btw, and an amplifier is really NOT in the budget
at this time.
Thanks and 73,
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