Thursday, May 8, 2014

Getting into HF - My Journey - Part 1 : The Beginning

Last October, my family and I took a great vacation down to Gatlinburg, TN. The Gatlinburg area is home to many fine things: Pancake Houses, Candy Makers, Wineries, Mountain Music, Dixie Stampede, Smoky Mountains National Park, and fantastic views. The family had rented a nice cabin up on the mountain just south of the main drag in town. It was excellent. One of the other fine things that calls the area home is TenTec. TenTec produces some very popular and well built radios for the Amateur Radio community. I had never really seen much of their stuff outside of an antenna tuner my dad had (KB9BVN), but upon booking the trip, he insisted that we make the visit over to their headquarters. With the entire family in tow, spread across two SUVs, we made the journey to Sevierville, TN. Wow. What a place. Compared to the massive warehouses that I have become accustomed to over the years, the place wasn't very big. But, Wow, did they have some cool stuff. After about an hour inside, and playing on their open to the public station, I had caught the bug. The HF bug. I had to get on HF. At the time I was only a General. I know that I could get on HF with that license, but I'd always be worried about tracking what parts of the bands I was allowed to operate on, and where all the action was. So about 30 days after the trip, I tested and passed my Extra Class Exam.

Since then I have been on a mission. A mission to get on HF at my QTH. All I've ever really done involved VHF/UHF from my vehicles and home. HF is a totally different animal, requiring gear that I've not had much exposure to as of yet.

I'd need a few new pieces of kit:

1.) An HF Radio
2.) An HF Antenna System - There are so many options here. I'm leaning towards a dipole or Vertical to keep the HOA happy.
3.) Possibly an antenna tuner
4.) Nice to Have - Antenna Analyzer
5.) Coax Feed line

I'll document the rest of the adventure later in this series. Thanks for reading!



1 comment:

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