Archive for the ‘Tech Tips’ Category

  Choosing the right coax may seem complicated given the wide variety of cable types, their specs and costs. When we talk about coaxial cable loss, keep in mind that it affects transmitted energy as well as received signals. At 38 cents per foot, RG-8X is attractive, especially when putting up a new antenna system.   […]

Combination SWR Meters (sometimes called SWR Bridges) and RF Power meters (also called watt meters) are useful accessories in the ham shack. They provide information about transmitted and reflected power, and Standing Wave Ratio (SWR). Prices can range from about $80 for utility meters to over $500 for commercial grade meters. Selection Criteria: Maximum power […]

“Wow! I just got another transceiver. I’m gonna need a coax switch. I’ll get a used switch off the web.” Bad idea… Used coax (coaxial) switches come in all conditions. A few will be like new. Others will have burned contacts from surges and arcing, corrosion that can’t be easily removed, worn silver on the […]

Tinned-copper braid has been around for a long, long time. It’s been used in many grounding applications because of its flexibility and ease of soldering. It’s great for grounding radio chassis to radio chassis (DXE-TCB05-RT01) or from your equipment to a single-point ground. Good stuff. (DXE-TCB-050) Copper strap is better than wire because it reduces […]

Q: If RF is a high frequency AC signal, why are there plus and minus signs on a balun? A: Keep in mind that we are usually connecting a ‘BALanced’ antenna to the ‘UN-balanced’ coaxial cable, hence the term BALUN. So, for most regular applications on a single antenna that is ground independent, such as […]

My new ICOM IC-7300 transceiver has been loads of fun, but the scope was not displaying the frequency correctly for signals I was copying. I was listening to a local AM signal on 570 kHz and had to offset the frequency display by 1 or 2 kHz to have it sound intelligible. Also, the CW signals […]

We received a question from a Ham in Oklahoma about mounting a Cushcraft R8. Although our answer was aimed at the Cushcraft R8, the information can be used for other vertical antennas that are mounted above ground. Cushcraft recommends that the R8 antenna be mounted at least 10 feet above ground level. The mast you […]