Author Topic: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?  (Read 5886 times)

Offline reefmarker

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Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« on: November 18, 2015, 06:09:11 PM »
I have looked at getting a ham radio for years.  I currently have some cash to do it.

I was wondering if a Yaesu FT 991 and a ZEP antenna was a good place to start.  I will be at a fixed location for a few years, and if i upgrade to a base station the 991 will go in my van.

I originally wanted an ft817nd, but for a little more money the 991 is alot more.

Offline Carl

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2015, 08:07:36 PM »
The 100 watt radio is great,the ZEP antenna....with a proper station ground can be...as long as you have what is called an antenna tuner (automatic or manual) to match the radio to the antenna...About the FT 817 ...QRP is fun ,but during poor propagation ,mostly unheard as they are too limited in power ans most 100 watt radios will turn down to 5 watts anyway...why limit yourself?

The ZEP will produce occasional stray RF into devices in the shack or arornd the home, But that can be dealt with.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2015, 09:43:05 PM »
The 991's a fine radio.  A friend has one, and I have radio lust.

Take a look at Yaesu's FT-450D.  It's more basic, but it gives you 100w for only slightly more than the FT-817, i.e. about half the cost of the 991.  Everybody's got them on sale these days for about $650, shipped.  Also, it's pretty easy to operate, a real plus for a beginner.  (I oughta know...)

The 450D also has a built-in antenna tuner.  It's kind of minimal and probably can't tune a Zepp, but it will get you on the air with a lot of easy DIY resonant wire antennas.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 09:48:49 PM by Alan Georges »

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2015, 10:37:48 PM »
The one thing the FT-991 gives you is ssb on 2m and 70cm. If you want cheaper, try an FT-897. Any radio is going to be expensive and a personal decision.

Check out the latest episode of the fotime podcast. It or all about buying hf rigs. Definitely get an auto tuner.

Jerseyboy

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2015, 12:54:29 PM »
The one thing the FT-991 gives you is ssb on 2m and 70cm.

While I like additional capability, is there anyone who ever talks SSB on those bands?  By the same token I've yet to hear CW on 2 meters aside from repeater IDs.  Not saying it never happens, but I really don't think you'd be at a disadvantage if you lacked SSB on VHF/UHF on your radio.

Offline reefmarker

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2015, 07:09:34 PM »
Thanks for the info so far.

The ft 991 says it has an internal automatic 100 channel antenna tuner.  Will I need more than what is built in?  The built in tuner looked like it saved me $150 or so over buying an add on tuner.

Also,  can I run this off my battery bank instead of buying a power supply?  Bank can handle it, but I didn't know if a power supply was a better way to go.

I am going to check out fotime tonight.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2015, 07:47:52 PM »
The ft 991 says it has an internal automatic 100 channel antenna tuner.  Will I need more than what is built in?  The built in tuner looked like it saved me $150 or so over buying an add on tuner.
It can handle anything within 3:1 SWR.  That's mostly good for cleaning up band edges on resonant antennas.  It's not a general purpose tuner for zapping Zepps and random wires into shape, but it is nice to have.  Will it tune a G5RV?  Sometimes, but don't count on it.

BTW, here's the manual downloads page for this radio: http://yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=249&encProdID=D24F60F33816ED8BE5568D7E2B5E2131&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0  It's all in pdf.  You can peel out all the tech specs from there.

Quote
Also,  can I run this off my battery bank instead of buying a power supply?  Bank can handle it, but I didn't know if a power supply was a better way to go.
You bet!  How big is your bank?  75 A-H or bigger is a good size to have for full 100w transmitting, but I have abused a 24 A-H with no serious complaints.  A good battery bank may well be the very best, quietest power supply for ham radio.

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2015, 09:29:03 PM »
While I like additional capability, is there anyone who ever talks SSB on those bands?  By the same token I've yet to hear CW on 2 meters aside from repeater IDs.  Not saying it never happens, but I really don't think you'd be at a disadvantage if you lacked SSB on VHF/UHF on your radio.

So, it is true that it often quite up there but for some reason I am fascinated with communication on the higher bands.  When the vhf/uhf contests are going on, there is plenty of traffic.

Everyone talks about NVIS for local talk but I would think that local talk would be more appropriate on the higher bands. However, only a fraction of hams have capabilities at the higher freqs as they only have FM rigs.

That said, here is MT63 over FM using FLDIGI.

https://youtu.be/SWZ2vKWSilE

Jerseyboy

Offline reefmarker

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2015, 09:44:19 PM »
It can handle anything within 3:1 SWR.  That's mostly good for cleaning up band edges on resonant antennas.  It's not a general purpose tuner for zapping Zepps and random wires into shape, but it is nice to have.  Will it tune a G5RV?  Sometimes, but don't count on it.

BTW, here's the manual downloads page for this radio: http://yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=249&encProdID=D24F60F33816ED8BE5568D7E2B5E2131&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0  It's all in pdf.  You can peel out all the tech specs from there.
You bet!  How big is your bank?  75 A-H or bigger is a good size to have for full 100w transmitting, but I have abused a 24 A-H with no serious complaints.  A good battery bank may well be the very best, quietest power supply for ham radio.

Excellent info.  I will have to figure on an antenna tuner in the near future and stick with resonant antenna (s) at first.  I don't appreciate what the specs in the manual mean compared to what the ZEP antenna will need.

The battery bank is plenty big.  I may have to turn the charger on if it has been overcast for a few days, but that won't be a big deal.

Thanks!

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2015, 10:42:41 AM »
Hmm - I'm just a few days from testing out a homemade zep.  I'm doing the basic 17' 450ohm ladder line + 67' wire on side as prescribed by Carl.
Have a 4:1 MFJ current balun en route that I plan to use.

While that's all exciting, at the moment I'm limited to a built-in auto-tuner inside my old IC-737 which is able to handle up to 3:1.  It has worked decent with (mostly) resonant wire dipoles, but it will be interesting to see what the Zepp does.

Perhaps an LDG-IT100 will be under the Christmas tree this year...

Offline Carl

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2015, 11:15:44 AM »
Hmm - I'm just a few days from testing out a homemade zep.  I'm doing the basic 17' 450ohm ladder line + 67' wire on side as prescribed by Carl.
Have a 4:1 MFJ current balun en route that I plan to use.

While that's all exciting, at the moment I'm limited to a built-in auto-tuner inside my old IC-737 which is able to handle up to 3:1.  It has worked decent with (mostly) resonant wire dipoles, but it will be interesting to see what the Zepp does.

Perhaps an LDG-IT100 will be under the Christmas tree this year...

But a 3 to 1 internal tuner...with a 4 to on balun (transformer) in the line ...does have a lot more tune capability (say four times as much) as a internal tuner with no balun,or a 1 to 1 balun...so don't let the internal tuner stop you from trying a non resonant antenna...just be aware of limitations and heed the NO TUNE warnings to prevent damage to your radio.

I use the internal tuner on my Icom 746 Pro to tune all bands on a ZEP  http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=53436.0

antenna and it is on a 6 foot wood fence about a yard and performs NVIS quite well along with many DX (distance) contacts.

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2015, 10:10:08 AM »
But a 3 to 1 internal tuner...with a 4 to on balun (transformer) in the line ...does have a lot more tune capability (say four times as much) as a internal tuner with no balun,or a 1 to 1 balun...so don't let the internal tuner stop you from trying a non resonant antenna...just be aware of limitations and heed the NO TUNE warnings to prevent damage to your radio.

I use the internal tuner on my Icom 746 Pro to tune all bands on a ZEP  http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=53436.0

antenna and it is on a 6 foot wood fence about a yard and performs NVIS quite well along with many DX (distance) contacts.

I am still in need of an 80m solution.  I was thinking of using a wire running along my fence. I probably have well over 200 feet of fencing to play with. Non-metal fence.  Should I just run a long wire, a dipole, or something else along the fence? Just using an internal tuner right now so a long wire would probably match my rain gutter with the other side tied to ground.  My other option is to tie my front gutter electrically into my rear gutter to get off of the length that prevents 80m.  My only fear is that if I extend the length, I might lose some other band.  Maybe that is worth a try first.

sorry if this is a hijack.

Jerseyboy

Offline Carl

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2015, 01:56:12 PM »
I am still in need of an 80m solution.  I was thinking of using a wire running along my fence. I probably have well over 200 feet of fencing to play with. Non-metal fence.  Should I just run a long wire, a dipole, or something else along the fence? Just using an internal tuner right now so a long wire would probably match my rain gutter with the other side tied to ground.  My other option is to tie my front gutter electrically into my rear gutter to get off of the length that prevents 80m.  My only fear is that if I extend the length, I might lose some other band.  Maybe that is worth a try first.

sorry if this is a hijack.

Jerseyboy

Depending on where you want,or have,to put your feed point I would use a 70 foot or so (on each side,dipole along the upper part of the fence with stand off insulators/supports (PVC will do) or use the ZEP (W3EDP) a modern ,single wire antenna developed in the 30's as described and discussed in this thread....

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=53436.0


Start a NEW thread and others may benefit from your building an effective ,low profile antenna. It will be ideal for NVIS and also work distant stations well.

Offline reefmarker

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2015, 08:06:42 AM »
Well the 991 deal went away...

So, same question with an FT-450d? 

Would it do ok with a ZEP antenna?  I would think the same comments as above would apply.

Any bad / good personal experiences?

Offline Carl

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Re: Is a Yaesu ft 991 and a ZEP antenna a good starting point?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2015, 09:17:03 AM »
Well the 991 deal went away...

So, same question with an FT-450d? 

Would it do ok with a ZEP antenna?  I would think the same comments as above would apply.

Any bad / good personal experiences?


Fast and simple answer ....YES.

I own and use a FT 450D as a portable HF station and use the internal tuner to work most all bands with the described ZEP antenna.
I use a counterpoise attached to radio ground to help prevent stray RF as SMURF HUNTER describes:

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=54421.0