Sunday, January 29, 2012

An Antenna and Tuner. The HF Rig is Complete.

With the addition of the Kenwood radio and power supply the quest for an antenna and tuner sent me on another adventure of research, talking to elmers, and of course the Internet.

After 2 or 3 attempts I finally won an eBay auction for a MFJ-948 antenna tuner. I had been bidding on actual Kenwood tuners hoping to match my radio but bidders were paying outragous amounts for 20 year old gear and frankly I don't have that kind of budget right now. This MFJ unit is an older manual tuner and the price was right. My understanding from research is that the older units with the beige/cream colored face (like this one), are better built and more sturdy than the newer ones? Time will tell on that theory.

With the advice of Gary VA7EIY I went looking at G5RV and Windom antennas since my criteria were it needed to be inexpensive, as multi-band as possible, and quick to setup in the dead of winter when all I really had was frozen ground and trees with nice bare branches.

The standard G5RV is 102' long and I have just the perfect spot to string it up. It needs to be up only 30+' in the air and operates on 10m - 80m with a tuner. Looking online everywhere I settled on the W8AMZ G5RV, it was a little more money than the others but the quality of the materials and construction seemed leaps and bounds better than most other ones I looked at. The difference in price was only $15-$20 so that seemed like it was really worth it.

All told I'm into a full HF rig consisting of a Kenwood 300watt transceiver, 30amp power supply, antenna tuner, G5RV antenna, and RG8 coax feedline for $400.00. Not bad.

I'm saving most of my cash for a winter holiday so this is the quick step that will get me on the air and come spring when the vacation is over, the ground is thawed, and the bank account is topped back up I'll invest in a better, newer HF rig and this one can be my backup or field day equipment.

No comments: