Discussion:
Toroids
(too old to reply)
Jeremiah McCarthy
2007-03-09 21:01:28 UTC
Permalink
I have wound hundreds of toroids and have an "IMHO" to submit...The flame method is the poorest, most time wasting, most dangerous procedure...Since we need to strip the enamel up to as close to the core as possible, the flame will inevitably damage the first and last few turns by scorching both those turns and the core...The flame method requires 3 steps, (1) burn the enamel off, (2) clean up the scorched wire, (3) tin the wire...You will be lucky if you really can do so...

The "blob" method requires only one step and should be done with high heat...I used to use an old fashioned unregulated 40 watt iron for this...Today I use a Hakko 808...There is no need to first scrape the wire...The object is to burn the enamel off, and the heat of the iron and the solder alone will do that..If the enamel won't burn, the iron is simply not hot enough...Start as close to the core as possible...Put a blob of solder on the tip, immerse the wire in the blob, and slowly work out towards the tip of the wire, adding more solder as necessary...

Starting at the tip of the wire and working inwards towards the core has a tendency to push the wire inward, especially with the 28 gage wire used in the KSB2...This forms a loose turn inside the core, which, when pulled back out into place, will leave enamel on the wire close to the core, in the area where soldering onto the circuit board should occur...

After the toroid is wound, I pin it down flat on the bench with a weight, like a draftsman's paper weight, covering only half the toroid and leaving the wire leads sticking straight out...This leaves both hands free to manipulate the iron and the solder...Tin the top lead, then turn the toroid over and do the other lead...

Jerry, wa2dkg
Ron D'Eau Claire
2007-03-09 22:49:32 UTC
Permalink
Jerry, wa2dkg wrote:
The "blob" method requires only one step and should be done with high
heat...I used to use an old fashioned unregulated 40 watt iron for
this...Today I use a Hakko 808...There is no need to first scrape the
wire...The object is to burn the enamel off, and the heat of the iron and
the solder alone will do that..If the enamel won't burn, the iron is simply
not hot enough...Start as close to the core as possible...Put a blob of
solder on the tip, immerse the wire in the blob, and slowly work out towards
the tip of the wire, adding more solder as necessary...

----------------------------------

That's my experience too, Jerry. I provided the link to the emtech video for
those who don't have an iron that goes hotter than 700F without turning off
the solder station, letting the iron cool, and changing tips. The scraping
trick they show allows the use of the cooler 700F iron.

I start from the end because I've noted that heating the wire does speed up
the burn-off rate. I work towards the toroid core. If your rig gets out
better than mine, we'll have to study the effect of the direction of tinning
on electron flow <G>.

Ron AC7AC
Don Wines
2007-03-10 01:38:08 UTC
Permalink
WA2KDG wrote:

The "blob" method requires only one step and should be done with high
heat...I used to use an old fashioned unregulated 40 watt iron for
this...Today I use a Hakko 808...There is no need to first scrape the
wire...The object is to burn the enamel off, and the heat of the iron and
the solder alone will do that..If the enamel won't burn, the iron is simply
not hot enough...Start as close to the core as possible...Put a blob of
solder on the tip, immerse the wire in the blob, and slowly work out towards
the tip of the wire, adding more solder as necessary...

Jerry,
That's the same method I use with the exception of the "hold-down" portion.
Years ago I bought a "Third-Hand Jig" from RS that has 'gator clips attached
to movable arms. I place this jig on a sheet of typing....er, printer paper
and hold the wound toroid with one of the 'gator clips. This not only holds
the coil steady but acts as a heat sink so the toroid and wound wire doesn't
heat up to much. I start at the core end and work my way out to the end of
the wire and the solder blob and burnt enamel just falls off the end of the
wire onto the paper. Makes clean up easy too!

One thing for sure, the solder blob method makes the phrase "snortin'
solder" come to life!! I also use a circuline mag lamp between me and the
work that keeps (most of) the smoke out of my face.

BTW, I use a Weller with a 700 degree tip and have never had to scrape the
enamel with the wire provided by Elecraft. It takes a few seconds to melt
the enamel but it will melt at that temp. If memory serves (and at my age it
often doesn't) they use a 600 degree thermaleze coated wire.

Don,
K5DW
KJ3D
2007-03-14 00:22:29 UTC
Permalink
Please excuse - all my posts are being returned. Thought I would try just a
simple reply.
KJ3D
2007-03-14 00:25:12 UTC
Permalink
Hello Group,

I purchased a 17 m add-on to a Hustler 6-BTV vertical and the instructions
recommended I use an antenna analyzer to tune it up.

Having never used one of these I started looking around and got pretty
beaten up with sticker shock - just can't justify spending the bucks some of
these things go for.

So, an inexpensive model seems to be an MFJ-259B. eHam is full of reviews,
and they seem to be either GREAT or DON'T BOTHER. I know there are some QC
issues with MFJ stuff. I've had to clean up several of their units over the
years which I actually take some pride in. They seem to deliver OK once the
cold solders get fixed and the hot glue gets replaced.

Anyway, I have enormous respect for the brain trust available on this
reflector and it seems like I know some of you - unlike the more-or-less
disembodied reviews on eHam.

Any thouhts about the 259B?

Any other suggestions? - 300 bucks is ALOT more than I would like to spend,
so please don't suggest any of the AEA jobs - I would have to get a second
job.

Thanks in advance,

es 73

Tom, kj3d

***@comcast.net

4991
Bob Nielsen
2007-03-14 00:35:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by KJ3D
Any other suggestions? - 300 bucks is ALOT more than I would like to spend,
so please don't suggest any of the AEA jobs - I would have to get a second
job.
It's somewhat limited in what it can do, but you might consider the
KD1JV Tenna-Dipper <http://www.4sqrp.com/kits/td/td.htm>. You can't
beat the price.

Bob, N7XY
Tom McCulloch
2007-03-14 00:44:05 UTC
Permalink
Hi Tom,

I have little need to use an antenna analyzer, but a while back I "just
had to have one" so I bought a Vectronics VEC-584B which is very similar to
the MFJ jobbie. It very well could be the same on the inside with a
different label on the outside...I can't guarantee that, of course.

But for my limited purposes this does a FB job. I see they have it at Radio
Shack for About $230, which is more than I paid, but about a $100 or so less
than the MFJ. Here is the RS page:

http://63.240.110.151/product/index.jsp?productId=2111087&cp

Take a look and se if it meets yours needs.

Perhaps others here can comment on the MFJ vs. Vectronics analyzer
GL
Tom
WB2QDG
K2 # 1103

---- Original Message -----
From: "KJ3D" <***@comcast.net>
To: <***@mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 8:23 PM
Subject: [Elecraft] Antenna Analyzer
Post by KJ3D
Hello Group,
I purchased a 17 m add-on to a Hustler 6-BTV vertical and the instructions
recommended I use an antenna analyzer to tune it up.
Having never used one of these I started looking around and got pretty
beaten up with sticker shock - just can't justify spending the bucks some of
these things go for.
So, an inexpensive model seems to be an MFJ-259B. eHam is full of reviews,
and they seem to be either GREAT or DON'T BOTHER. I know there are some QC
issues with MFJ stuff. I've had to clean up several of their units over the
years which I actually take some pride in. They seem to deliver OK once the
cold solders get fixed and the hot glue gets replaced.
Anyway, I have enormous respect for the brain trust available on this
reflector and it seems like I know some of you - unlike the more-or-less
disembodied reviews on eHam.
Any thouhts about the 259B?
Any other suggestions? - 300 bucks is ALOT more than I would like to spend,
so please don't suggest any of the AEA jobs - I would have to get a second
job.
Thanks in advance,
es 73
Tom, kj3d
4991
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Geoffrey Mackenzie-Kennedy
2007-03-14 01:46:26 UTC
Permalink
Hi Tom,

I bought a MFJ-259B a few years back and had to send it back after a few
weeks because of a bandswitch problem. The repaired analyzer's bandswitch
worked properly until a few months ago and had to be replaced. I never did
like the way in which the unit I have tunes, too much backlash. It is a
useful instrument as long as its limitations are recognized but I find the
Dipper addition not useful. When I have to use internal battery power the
useful operating time between recharges is quite short, sometimes too short
to complete a job.

Should I buy another 'Analyzer' it would not be a MFJ-259B, but to be fair I
have not explored any of the suitable alternatives.

73,
Geoff
GM4ESD


----- Original Message -----
From: "KJ3D" <***@comcast.net>
To: <***@mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 12:23 AM
Subject: [Elecraft] Antenna Analyzer
Post by KJ3D
Hello Group,
I purchased a 17 m add-on to a Hustler 6-BTV vertical and the instructions
recommended I use an antenna analyzer to tune it up.
Having never used one of these I started looking around and got pretty
beaten up with sticker shock - just can't justify spending the bucks some of
these things go for.
<snip>
Post by KJ3D
Any thouhts about the 259B?
Any other suggestions? - 300 bucks is ALOT more than I would like to spend,
so please don't suggest any of the AEA jobs - I would have to get a second
job.
Thanks in advance,
es 73
Tom, kj3d
KJ3D
2007-03-14 01:58:43 UTC
Permalink
Wow, that's a lot of response in a couple of hours. THANKS to everyone who
took the time to reply. You guys are the best.

The Tenna Dipper looks too good to pass up. Gotta have one. If it works
out I can spend the rest of the money on a 100 watt hat for the K2.

73,

Tom, kj3d





-----Original Message-----
From: elecraft-***@mailman.qth.net
[mailto:elecraft-***@mailman.qth.net] On Behalf Of KJ3D
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 8:23 PM
To: ***@mailman.qth.net
Subject: [Elecraft] Antenna Analyzer

Hello Group,

I purchased a 17 m add-on to a Hustler 6-BTV vertical and the instructions
recommended I use an antenna analyzer to tune it up.

Having never used one of these I started looking around and got pretty
beaten up with sticker shock - just can't justify spending the bucks some of
these things go for.

So, an inexpensive model seems to be an MFJ-259B. eHam is full of reviews,
and they seem to be either GREAT or DON'T BOTHER. I know there are some QC
issues with MFJ stuff. I've had to clean up several of their units over the
years which I actually take some pride in. They seem to deliver OK once the
cold solders get fixed and the hot glue gets replaced.

Anyway, I have enormous respect for the brain trust available on this
reflector and it seems like I know some of you - unlike the more-or-less
disembodied reviews on eHam.

Any thouhts about the 259B?

Any other suggestions? - 300 bucks is ALOT more than I would like to spend,
so please don't suggest any of the AEA jobs - I would have to get a second
job.

Thanks in advance,

es 73

Tom, kj3d

***@comcast.net

4991


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John R. Lonigro
2007-03-14 02:02:20 UTC
Permalink
Tom:
I've got an MFJ-259 (not the -B model). It has performed pretty well
over the years, not perfect, but it always seems to work for me.

You can get by a lot cheaper with an absorptive SWR bridge and your QRP
radio. Go to www.ad5x.com (Phil Salas' website) for some suggestions
(tenna-tune and tenna-tune2) on how to build one. Or go to
www.qrpkits.com (Doug Hendricks' site) for a kit that is similar.
Someone else suggested www.4sqrp.com (4 states qrp group) for another
solution. None of these are as fancy as the MFJ, but if all you want to
do is adjust an antenna after assembling it, they will probably all work
fairly well for you.

I have no financial interest in any of these products, but I've used
some of Phil's ideas and have purchased kits from Doug and the Four
States group and have been well satisfied in each case.

73's,

John AA0VE
Post by KJ3D
Hello Group,
I purchased a 17 m add-on to a Hustler 6-BTV vertical and the instructions
recommended I use an antenna analyzer to tune it up.
Anyway, I have enormous respect for the brain trust available on this
reflector and it seems like I know some of you - unlike the more-or-less
disembodied reviews on eHam.
Any thouhts about the 259B?
Any other suggestions? - 300 bucks is ALOT more than I would like to spend,
so please don't suggest any of the AEA jobs - I would have to get a second
job.
Thanks in advance,
es 73
Tom, kj3d
Andrey Stoev
2007-03-14 02:25:51 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

Take a look at Palstar ZM30 (http://www.palstar.com/zm30.php).
IMHO it is a pretty good analyzer. Check also the reviews at eham.net for
more details on the performance!

73
Ken Kopp
2007-03-14 05:27:43 UTC
Permalink
I agree about Mighty Fine Junk ... meters held in place
with glue-gun glue, raw metal edges, parts taped in place,
melted wire insulation at solder jounts, etc.

BUT ... I have a '259B and really like it! It's served me
well. I've used it for a number of antenna resonance
tasks and really can't offer a negative comment. Well,
maybe the poorly placed double sided sticky tape that
holds the batteries in place DID need a bit of attention ....

My Lady (N7HKW) and I spend six months each winter
in our RV and I have a screwdriver antenna on the rear
bumper that I tune to resonance with my '259B. It's easier
and faster than setting up the rig for low power and steady
carrier ...

Ditto for a 100' insulated tower at home that I use on 80
160 that has a manually-tuned network at the base.

W8JI's website has information that applies to the '259.

73! Ken Kopp - K0PP
***@arrl.net
Tom Zeltwanger
2007-03-14 11:27:58 UTC
Permalink
I just got one. It works great. Already saved me hundreds of trips between the
shack and the antenna. I didn't want to spend the money, but there is really no
other easy way to tune an antenna. I have heard that MFJ quality has improved
in general, but can only say my unit seems fine.

73,

Tom KG3V
Post by KJ3D
Hello Group,
I purchased a 17 m add-on to a Hustler 6-BTV vertical and the instructions
recommended I use an antenna analyzer to tune it up.
Having never used one of these I started looking around and got pretty
beaten up with sticker shock - just can't justify spending the bucks some of
these things go for.
So, an inexpensive model seems to be an MFJ-259B. eHam is full of reviews,
and they seem to be either GREAT or DON'T BOTHER. I know there are some QC
issues with MFJ stuff. I've had to clean up several of their units over the
years which I actually take some pride in. They seem to deliver OK once the
cold solders get fixed and the hot glue gets replaced.
Anyway, I have enormous respect for the brain trust available on this
reflector and it seems like I know some of you - unlike the more-or-less
disembodied reviews on eHam.
Any thouhts about the 259B?
Any other suggestions? - 300 bucks is ALOT more than I would like to spend,
so please don't suggest any of the AEA jobs - I would have to get a second
job.
Thanks in advance,
es 73
Tom, kj3d
4991
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Elecraft mailing list
You must be a subscriber to post to the list.
http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
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Jesse Justiss
2007-03-14 01:02:10 UTC
Permalink
Bought the MFJ 259B a couple of years ago and now I
won't do without one. Since I use open wire feeders
with a tuner it makes adjustments a snap. W8JI has a
website you should visit.

http://www.w8ji.com/mfj-259b_calibration.htm



____________________________________________________________________________________
Food fight? Enjoy some healthy debate
in the Yahoo! Answers Food & Drink Q&A.
http://answers.yahoo.com/dir/?link=list&sid=396545367
Siu Johnny
2007-03-14 06:12:04 UTC
Permalink
Agreed. The workmanship of 259B is poor and the frequency is for ever
drifting. However, it is the cheapest piece of equipment serving the
designed purposes.

I am now using a Kuranishi analyser where was bought from Japan and of
commercial grade. The price of it is more than double of the 259B. For
amateur works, 259B is enough.

73

Johnny Siu VR2XMC


From: "Ken Kopp" <***@acninc.net>
To: "KJ3D" <***@comcast.net>, <***@mailman.qth.net>
Subject: [Elecraft] MFJ 259 Antenna Analyzer
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 05:25:43 -0000

I agree about Mighty Fine Junk ... meters held in place
with glue-gun glue, raw metal edges, parts taped in place,
melted wire insulation at solder jounts, etc.

BUT ... I have a '259B and really like it! It's served me
well. I've used it for a number of antenna resonance tasks and really
can't offer a negative comment. Well, maybe the poorly placed double sided
sticky tape that holds the batteries in place DID need a bit of attention
....

My Lady (N7HKW) and I spend six months each winter in our RV and I have a
screwdriver antenna on the rear
bumper that I tune to resonance with my '259B. It's easier
and faster than setting up the rig for low power and steady carrier ...

Ditto for a 100' insulated tower at home that I use on 80
160 that has a manually-tuned network at the base.

W8JI's website has information that applies to the '259.

73! Ken Kopp - K0PP
***@arrl.net

_________________________________________________________________
MSN €H®ð·jŽM¡AŠ³»ô«°€€ŒöªùžÜÃD http://www.msn.com.hk/hothits/default.asp
David Cutter
2007-03-14 07:43:47 UTC
Permalink
I have both models of the 259 and the AEA analyser. The latter is a
wonderful toy and great for filters, but not easy to use in the field on
antennas, I think because the data transfer rate is so slow and the screen
is not easy to see. The 259s are very good for tweeking antennas, though,
probably the best thing MFJ ever produced, thanks to W8JI.

The rx noise bridge is another low cost instrument that can work well.

David
G3UNA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Siu Johnny" <***@hotmail.com>
To: <***@acninc.net>
Cc: <***@mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 6:10 AM
Subject: RE: [Elecraft] MFJ 259 Antenna Analyzer
Post by Siu Johnny
Agreed. The workmanship of 259B is poor and the frequency is for ever
drifting. However, it is the cheapest piece of equipment serving the
designed purposes.
I am now using a Kuranishi analyser where was bought from Japan and of
commercial grade. The price of it is more than double of the 259B. For
amateur works, 259B is enough.
73
Johnny Siu VR2XMC
Subject: [Elecraft] MFJ 259 Antenna Analyzer
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 05:25:43 -0000
I agree about Mighty Fine Junk ... meters held in place
with glue-gun glue, raw metal edges, parts taped in place,
melted wire insulation at solder jounts, etc.
BUT ... I have a '259B and really like it! It's served me
well. I've used it for a number of antenna resonance tasks and really
can't offer a negative comment. Well, maybe the poorly placed double
sided sticky tape that holds the batteries in place DID need a bit of
attention ....
My Lady (N7HKW) and I spend six months each winter in our RV and I have a
screwdriver antenna on the rear
bumper that I tune to resonance with my '259B. It's easier
and faster than setting up the rig for low power and steady carrier ...
Ditto for a 100' insulated tower at home that I use on 80
160 that has a manually-tuned network at the base.
W8JI's website has information that applies to the '259.
73! Ken Kopp - K0PP
_________________________________________________________________
MSN €H®ð·jŽM¡AŠ³»ô«°€€ŒöªùžÜÃD http://www.msn.com.hk/hothits/default.asp
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You must be a subscriber to post to the list.
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Stewart Baker
2007-03-14 07:16:33 UTC
Permalink
Hi Tom,

Have a look at this site

http://www.miniradiosolutions.com/

73
Stewart G3RXQ
Post by KJ3D
Hello Group,
I purchased a 17 m add-on to a Hustler 6-BTV vertical and the instructions
recommended I use an antenna analyzer to tune it up.
Having never used one of these I started looking around and got pretty
beaten up with sticker shock - just can't justify spending the bucks some of
these things go for.
So, an inexpensive model seems to be an MFJ-259B. eHam is full of reviews,
and they seem to be either GREAT or DON'T BOTHER. I know there are some QC
issues with MFJ stuff. I've had to clean up several of their units over the
years which I actually take some pride in. They seem to deliver OK once the
cold solders get fixed and the hot glue gets replaced.
Anyway, I have enormous respect for the brain trust available on this
reflector and it seems like I know some of you - unlike the more-or-less
disembodied reviews on eHam.
Any thouhts about the 259B?
Any other suggestions? - 300 bucks is ALOT more than I would like to spend,
so please don't suggest any of the AEA jobs - I would have to get a second
job.
Thanks in advance,
es 73
Tom, kj3d
4991
_______________________________________________
Elecraft mailing list
You must be a subscriber to post to the list.
http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
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David Douglass
2007-03-14 09:47:49 UTC
Permalink
Tom,
Any thoughts about the 259B?
Check out the following site and look at the projects link. The SCARC sell a
Antenna Analyser kit ($140AUS including international postage, which will be
not much over $100US)

http://www.scarc.org.au/

I have built one of these and it works FB. It is not of the same quality as
an Elecraft kit, but the price is good and you get the added bonus of making
it yourself.

David, VK2NU

PS...maybe this should be something Elecraft should look at adding to there
product list in the future, I'm sure this would be a goer !!




------------------------------

Message: 18
Any thoughts about the 259B?
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7:19 PM
Marteinn Sverrisson
2007-03-14 09:56:36 UTC
Permalink
Hi

VK5JST Aerial Analyzer, covers up to 30MHz, a kit is abt $100.

take a look at: http://www.users.on.net/~endsodds/analsr.htm


73, Matti
--
Marteinn Sverrisson TF3MA
Langitangi 2 Internet: tf3ma [at] raunvis [dot] hi [dot] is
270 Mosfellsb?r http://www.raunvis.hi.is/~tf3ma
Iceland
Brett gazdzinski
2007-03-14 12:32:43 UTC
Permalink
Hello all, I have ordered a basic K2 (to start with),
and thought I would introduce myself.

My name is Brett, the call is N2DTS, been a ham since sometime
in the 70's self educated in electronics and ham radio.

When I started out, I went right to the general ticket, and my
first rig was a Heathkit hw7. I had a LOT of fun with that rig
and really enjoyed CW rag chews on 40 and 15 meters.

I then got a Heathkit hw101, and built it in 2 days, and had
had more fun.

I then got into AM phone, partly because all those great
old tube rigs were dirt cheap at fests, and have been on
AM since, with a LOT of home brew gear, to the point I had
only homebrew equipment.

My homebrew receivers are sort of the same design philosophy
as the K2, low noise single conversion, filter
just after the mixer, high Q pre selector at the antenna input.
Only I used tubes...and built them for AM reception mostly,
covering 160, 80 and 40 meter phone bands
(as they were before the change).

I just wanted something homebrew that could receive AM signals
under good band conditions, but wound up with receivers that
work better than anything else I had, the modern stuff,
ic735, ts440, ic756 pro, the old stuff, R390a, sx17, Scott SLRM, etc.
The homebrew radio was MUCH quieter, and had much better fidelity.
I sold off all the other stuff!

There seems to be 2 major groups building in ham radio, the QRP
and AM people.

Anyway, I have been looking at the K2 since it came out.
I had built an emtech for 40 meters, great little rig for
a handful of parts. It was fun to build and modify.

Will they ever add AM to the K2?
Normally I would look into that, but the K2 is all computer
controlled and I cant say I am fond of processors inside radios...

Well, now the K2 is on the way, along with the rework eliminators,
and guess I will have to re-learn the code, I am real rusty and
have to think about some letters.
I was up to a comfortable 20 to 25 wpm in the past, and used
a straight key from radio shack which I still have.

My favorite thing on cw was to rag chew with new people
at moderate cw speeds, not sure if that has evaporated along
with the code requirements for a ticket.

I have some really cool QSL cards from the past, and even better
memories of pounding out CW on 15 meters working a housewife in
Wyoming for hours talking about the weekly rodeo, and the Pan Am
clipper radio operator who sent me a QSL with the picture of
the aircraft he used to operate on, etc.

Great stuff!

Brett
N2DTS
Craig D. Smith
2007-03-14 12:43:06 UTC
Permalink
I have a MFJ259B. Had to hold my nose to shell out the $250 or so for
something with that build quality and design flaws (size, battery system,
etc). That said, next to my transceiver, it is the piece of equipment I use
most often and it does do the job intended. I would feel naked without it.
Every ham should have one or something equivalent.

The features and quality of ham equipment these days is astounding, but
strangely there, in my estimation, is no really good antenna analyzer on the
market. I think the MFJ is the best overall unit available, and that is a
sad statement. Most analyzers (see Eham reviews) score lower than the MFJ.
The Palstar gets good marks for size, quality, etc, but does not have an
analog meter which I think is an essential user interface for convenient
usage.

So I agree with the comment some others have made - there is a big market
for a good antenna analyzer - especially with all the new ham licenses that
will be minted soon. My wish list includes: About half the physical size of
the MFJ, analog meter plus LCD display, decent battery life, frequency
coverage from 1.5 to 150 MHz, price about $250 or $200 for a kit. I don't
need automated plotting or computer interface. Either Elecraft or Larry
Phipps have the technical expertise and kitting experience to do a great job
with such a project. I hope they are listening!!

73 Craig AC0DS
Darwin, Keith
2007-03-14 12:57:16 UTC
Permalink
Yes, we need something better. I have the MFJ and it has been "fine".
I use it to save wear & tear on my knees. Take the MFJ to the antenna
and do the adjustment.

But, I wish the MFJ was smaller. It does far more than I need. I just
want to know the SWR at each freq. and sometimes the actual complex
impedance. Beyond that, I don't care what else it measures.

Analog SWR meter is very beneficial.

Another approach might be a small Elecraft rig (K1) with batteries and a
noise bridge.

- Keith N1AS -
- K2 5411.ssb.100 -

-----Original Message-----
From: Craig D. Smith

So I agree with the comment some others have made - there is a big
market for a good antenna analyzer ... Either Elecraft or Larry Phipps
have the technical expertise and kitting experience to do a great job
with such a project. I hope they are listening!!
Dan KB6NU
2007-03-14 13:19:20 UTC
Permalink
You all might want to take a look at the Autek Research
(www.autekresearch.com) antenna analyzers. The basic model is only
$140, while the more full-featured model that can do things like
inductance, capacitance, and phase angle measurements is still only
$200. Neither has an analog meter, but that hasn't been a big
drawback, and the flip side of that is that it's small. It easily
fits in the palm of your hand.

73!

Dan KB6NU
----------------------------------------------------------
CW Geek and MI Affiliated Club Coordinator
Read my ham radio blog at www.kb6nu.com
LET'S GET MORE KIDS INTO HAM RADIO!
Post by Darwin, Keith
Yes, we need something better. I have the MFJ and it has been "fine".
I use it to save wear & tear on my knees. Take the MFJ to the antenna
and do the adjustment.
But, I wish the MFJ was smaller. It does far more than I need. I just
want to know the SWR at each freq. and sometimes the actual complex
impedance. Beyond that, I don't care what else it measures.
Analog SWR meter is very beneficial.
Another approach might be a small Elecraft rig (K1) with batteries and a
noise bridge.
- Keith N1AS -
- K2 5411.ssb.100 -
-----Original Message-----
From: Craig D. Smith
So I agree with the comment some others have made - there is a big
market for a good antenna analyzer ... Either Elecraft or Larry Phipps
have the technical expertise and kitting experience to do a great job
with such a project. I hope they are listening!!
Vic K2VCO
2007-03-14 15:49:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dan KB6NU
You all might want to take a look at the Autek Research
(www.autekresearch.com) antenna analyzers.
I have an Autek VA-1 (the slightly more expensive model that displays
the sign of the reactance), an MFJ259B, and a Micro-908.

All of them must be used with great care around RF fields. Even if the
field is not strong enough to damage it, it will prevent accurate
measurements. Thanks to a mixing product of local BC stations that
appears on 1810 KHz, I can't use any of them to tune a 160M vertical!

The Autek is small and light and provides reasonable battery life from a
9v battery. It fits in a pocket. It has only a digital readout so it is
a little less convenient to read than the MFJ which also has analog meters.

The MFJ uses up batteries, lots of AA cells. It's also a pain to change
them (lots of screws). I use it when I am in the shack or where there is
AC power. The analog meters make it easy to find dips and peaks, etc. I
haven't noticed any QC problems with mine.

The AA908 is interesting. It is a kit that uses SMT technology and was
fun to build. It has an RS232 interface so it can collect data to be
analyzed on a PC. Unfortunately, there seems to be a design problem
which makes it very sensitive to component variations (or something) and
mine -- and many others -- seem to be very inaccurate over about 10 MHz.
I am hoping that the kit manufacturer will come up with a solution.

I would buy an Elecraft analyzer if it were priced under about $250. I
mean, how many of these things do I need?
--
73,
Vic, K2VCO
Fresno CA
http://www.qsl.net/k2vco
Leigh L Klotz, Jr.
2007-03-14 16:37:09 UTC
Permalink
I have an Autek VA-1 and a miniVNA and here are some tips:
1. Get an Optek neoprene camera case and store it in there. Put the
battery in the external pocket, as it gets turned on easily. Put a BNC
adapter in the battery case. I velcro-clipped the case to my antenna
bag.
2. Don't twist the center pin of the SO239. It is hooked to a flying
capacitor lead.

I also have the miniVNA and like it as well but haven't gotten around to
making it work with a PocketPC yet.

If money is no object, the TimeWave one (designed by a local ham here)
is really nice.

73,
Leigh/WA5ZNU
Larry Phipps
2007-03-14 13:40:42 UTC
Permalink
I have the MFJ, Autek Vector Analyst and AEA CIA. Without question the
most accurate is the AEA, but I usually grab the Autek because of its
size. It also resolves sign of X. The tuning is touchy though, and the
menus are a hassle. I hadn't thought of an antenna analyzer product,
since the field is so crowded, but maybe there's a niche for a simple
device, along the lines of the MFJ, but smaller and with better product
build (ie, user built kit ;-) and battery life. Maybe also with the
ability to determine sign of phase angle.

Larry N8LP
Post by Craig D. Smith
I have a MFJ259B. Had to hold my nose to shell out the $250 or so for
something with that build quality and design flaws (size, battery system,
etc). That said, next to my transceiver, it is the piece of equipment I use
most often and it does do the job intended. I would feel naked without it.
Every ham should have one or something equivalent.
The features and quality of ham equipment these days is astounding, but
strangely there, in my estimation, is no really good antenna analyzer on the
market. I think the MFJ is the best overall unit available, and that is a
sad statement. Most analyzers (see Eham reviews) score lower than the MFJ.
The Palstar gets good marks for size, quality, etc, but does not have an
analog meter which I think is an essential user interface for convenient
usage.
So I agree with the comment some others have made - there is a big market
for a good antenna analyzer - especially with all the new ham licenses that
will be minted soon. My wish list includes: About half the physical size of
the MFJ, analog meter plus LCD display, decent battery life, frequency
coverage from 1.5 to 150 MHz, price about $250 or $200 for a kit. I don't
need automated plotting or computer interface. Either Elecraft or Larry
Phipps have the technical expertise and kitting experience to do a great job
with such a project. I hope they are listening!!
73 Craig AC0DS
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Darwin, Keith
2007-03-14 13:51:24 UTC
Permalink
Sign of the phase angle can be determined by varying freq. and watching
the magnitude to up or down. I can live without the sign.

Something smaller that gives the same SWR / Impedance answers would be a
big improvement!

You go Larry!

- Keith N1AS -
- K2 5411.ssb.100 -

-----Original Message-----
From: Phipps

... maybe there's a niche for a simple device, along the lines of the
MFJ, but smaller and with better product build (ie, user built kit ;-)
and battery life. Maybe also with the ability to determine sign of phase
angle.
Larry Phipps
2007-03-14 14:56:59 UTC
Permalink
That's true for simple series resonant antennas, Keith. But as I found
out when writing the sign detection algorithm for the LP-100, it's not
always the case. Your point is well taken, though. Small, simple, accurate.

73,
Larry N8LP
Post by Darwin, Keith
Sign of the phase angle can be determined by varying freq. and watching
the magnitude to up or down. I can live without the sign.
Something smaller that gives the same SWR / Impedance answers would be a
big improvement!
You go Larry!
- Keith N1AS -
- K2 5411.ssb.100 -
-----Original Message-----
From: Phipps
... maybe there's a niche for a simple device, along the lines of the
MFJ, but smaller and with better product build (ie, user built kit ;-)
and battery life. Maybe also with the ability to determine sign of phase
angle.
_______________________________________________
Elecraft mailing list
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Elecraft web page: http://www.elecraft.com
John Lamoreaux
2007-03-14 14:08:53 UTC
Permalink
There was a nice thread on this same topic, some three months ago, on
the Buddipole reflector. As a result of that discussion, in the end
I went with the AmQRP AA-908. The kit was easy to assemble,
notwithstanding that it was my first experience with surface mount
components. The price was comparable to the MJF -- $230 in the US
and Canada. I also purchased the DSP card, for another $80 dollars.
With a simple reload of software, the analyzer becomes a DSP audio
filter. (Unless I'm mistaken, the DSP algorithms are the same as
those used in the K2 DSP.)

Pax et 73, John N8ELR
Stephen
2007-03-14 13:03:09 UTC
Permalink
Tom,
For a moment I was getting excited because I thought Elecraft had
introduced an Antenna Analyser kit! Now that would be a useful addition to
their product line.....
Regards,

Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: elecraft-***@mailman.qth.net
[mailto:elecraft-***@mailman.qth.net] On Behalf Of KJ3D
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 1:57 AM
To: ***@mailman.qth.net
Subject: [!! SPAM] [Elecraft] Antenna Analyzer Redux

Wow, that's a lot of response in a couple of hours. THANKS to everyone who
took the time to reply. You guys are the best.

The Tenna Dipper looks too good to pass up. Gotta have one. If it works
out I can spend the rest of the money on a 100 watt hat for the K2.

73,

Tom, kj3d





-----Original Message-----
From: elecraft-***@mailman.qth.net
[mailto:elecraft-***@mailman.qth.net] On Behalf Of KJ3D
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 8:23 PM
To: ***@mailman.qth.net
Subject: [Elecraft] Antenna Analyzer

Hello Group,

I purchased a 17 m add-on to a Hustler 6-BTV vertical and the instructions
recommended I use an antenna analyzer to tune it up.

Having never used one of these I started looking around and got pretty
beaten up with sticker shock - just can't justify spending the bucks some of
these things go for.

So, an inexpensive model seems to be an MFJ-259B. eHam is full of reviews,
and they seem to be either GREAT or DON'T BOTHER. I know there are some QC
issues with MFJ stuff. I've had to clean up several of their units over the
years which I actually take some pride in. They seem to deliver OK once the
cold solders get fixed and the hot glue gets replaced.

Anyway, I have enormous respect for the brain trust available on this
reflector and it seems like I know some of you - unlike the more-or-less
disembodied reviews on eHam.

Any thouhts about the 259B?

Any other suggestions? - 300 bucks is ALOT more than I would like to spend,
so please don't suggest any of the AEA jobs - I would have to get a second
job.

Thanks in advance,

es 73

Tom, kj3d

***@comcast.net

4991


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Dave G3VGR
2007-03-14 13:20:38 UTC
Permalink
I would definitely second that!
Seems like every time I fish out my MFJ259B to use outdoors, something
else isn't working correctly on it
73 Dave G3VGR
K2 #4783
Post by Stephen
Tom,
For a moment I was getting excited because I thought Elecraft had
introduced an Antenna Analyser kit! Now that would be a useful addition to
their product line.....
Regards,
Steve
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2007 1:57 AM
Subject: [!! SPAM] [Elecraft] Antenna Analyzer Redux
Wow, that's a lot of response in a couple of hours. THANKS to everyone who
took the time to reply. You guys are the best.
The Tenna Dipper looks too good to pass up. Gotta have one. If it works
out I can spend the rest of the money on a 100 watt hat for the K2.
73,
Tom, kj3d
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 8:23 PM
Subject: [Elecraft] Antenna Analyzer
Hello Group,
I purchased a 17 m add-on to a Hustler 6-BTV vertical and the instructions
recommended I use an antenna analyzer to tune it up.
Having never used one of these I started looking around and got pretty
beaten up with sticker shock - just can't justify spending the bucks some of
these things go for.
So, an inexpensive model seems to be an MFJ-259B. eHam is full of reviews,
and they seem to be either GREAT or DON'T BOTHER. I know there are some QC
issues with MFJ stuff. I've had to clean up several of their units over the
years which I actually take some pride in. They seem to deliver OK once the
cold solders get fixed and the hot glue gets replaced.
Anyway, I have enormous respect for the brain trust available on this
reflector and it seems like I know some of you - unlike the more-or-less
disembodied reviews on eHam.
Any thouhts about the 259B?
Any other suggestions? - 300 bucks is ALOT more than I would like to spend,
so please don't suggest any of the AEA jobs - I would have to get a second
job.
Thanks in advance,
es 73
Tom, kj3d
4991
_______________________________________________
Elecraft mailing list
You must be a subscriber to post to the list.
http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
Help: http://mailman.qth.net/subscribers.htm
Elecraft web page: http://www.elecraft.com
_______________________________________________
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Elecraft web page: http://www.elecraft.com
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Don Wilhelm
2007-03-14 14:38:02 UTC
Permalink
Larry,

A kit is a great idea! Avoid temptations for an instrument that tries to do
everything and ends up doing many things poorly.

I had hopes that the AMQRP Micro908 kit would be a better replacement for my
MFJ259, but alas, it is very inaccurate for impedances that vary much from
50 ohms resistive. IMHO, its bridge needs a total redesign to make it a
useful instrument.

Of course, the N2PK VNA should be a great instrument if I can ever get
around to completing it, but it is not a tool to use at the top of a tower -
it needs the computer attached to be useful.

73,
Don W3FPR
Post by KJ3D
-----Original Message-----
I have the MFJ, Autek Vector Analyst and AEA CIA. Without question the
most accurate is the AEA, but I usually grab the Autek because of its
size. It also resolves sign of X. The tuning is touchy though, and the
menus are a hassle. I hadn't thought of an antenna analyzer product,
since the field is so crowded, but maybe there's a niche for a simple
device, along the lines of the MFJ, but smaller and with better product
build (ie, user built kit ;-) and battery life. Maybe also with the
ability to determine sign of phase angle.
Larry N8LP
Post by Craig D. Smith
I have a MFJ259B. Had to hold my nose to shell out the $250 or so for
something with that build quality and design flaws (size,
battery system,
Post by Craig D. Smith
etc). That said, next to my transceiver, it is the piece of
equipment I use
Post by Craig D. Smith
most often and it does do the job intended. I would feel naked
without it.
Post by Craig D. Smith
Every ham should have one or something equivalent.
The features and quality of ham equipment these days is astounding, but
strangely there, in my estimation, is no really good antenna
analyzer on the
Post by Craig D. Smith
market. I think the MFJ is the best overall unit available,
and that is a
Post by Craig D. Smith
sad statement. Most analyzers (see Eham reviews) score lower
than the MFJ.
Post by Craig D. Smith
The Palstar gets good marks for size, quality, etc, but does not have an
analog meter which I think is an essential user interface for convenient
usage.
So I agree with the comment some others have made - there is a
big market
Post by Craig D. Smith
for a good antenna analyzer - especially with all the new ham
licenses that
Post by Craig D. Smith
will be minted soon. My wish list includes: About half the
physical size of
Post by Craig D. Smith
the MFJ, analog meter plus LCD display, decent battery life, frequency
coverage from 1.5 to 150 MHz, price about $250 or $200 for a
kit. I don't
Post by Craig D. Smith
need automated plotting or computer interface. Either Elecraft or Larry
Phipps have the technical expertise and kitting experience to
do a great job
Post by Craig D. Smith
with such a project. I hope they are listening!!
73 Craig AC0DS
--
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.10/720 - Release Date: 3/12/2007
7:19 PM
Larry Phipps
2007-03-14 15:15:12 UTC
Permalink
The N2PK is an awesome piece of gear for the money. I have several
friends with them. I also have one sitting in a box waiting to be built.
That project got scuttled when Jack, K8ZOA found a couple of surplus HP
VNAs that we both bought. He already had his N2PK built, and another HP
as well, but I am now too spoiled to finish the project ;-) I also have
one of his Z90 Panadapter kits sitting in a box. I had his prototype for
awhile last year, and showed it at Dayton... a really nifty kit, and I
definitely want to finish that project ;-) His manual is awesome... like
a cross between Elecraft and Hewlett Packard... should be a snap to do
when I get to it. Jack's website is www.cliftonlaboratories.com. K2
owners should bookmark it. There is plenty of good K2 test data there,
as well as some K2 specific construction stuff.

The TAPR VNA that Ten-Tec sells is pretty decent, but pricey, and
requires a PC. Ditto for the W5BIG which looks like a good design.

I can see maybe a nice, small unit... simple, smooth, handy and accurate.

73,
Larry N8LP
www.telepostinc.com
Post by Don Wilhelm
Larry,
A kit is a great idea! Avoid temptations for an instrument that tries to do
everything and ends up doing many things poorly.
I had hopes that the AMQRP Micro908 kit would be a better replacement for my
MFJ259, but alas, it is very inaccurate for impedances that vary much from
50 ohms resistive. IMHO, its bridge needs a total redesign to make it a
useful instrument.
Of course, the N2PK VNA should be a great instrument if I can ever get
around to completing it, but it is not a tool to use at the top of a tower -
it needs the computer attached to be useful.
73,
Don W3FPR
Post by KJ3D
-----Original Message-----
I have the MFJ, Autek Vector Analyst and AEA CIA. Without question the
most accurate is the AEA, but I usually grab the Autek because of its
size. It also resolves sign of X. The tuning is touchy though, and the
menus are a hassle. I hadn't thought of an antenna analyzer product,
since the field is so crowded, but maybe there's a niche for a simple
device, along the lines of the MFJ, but smaller and with better product
build (ie, user built kit ;-) and battery life. Maybe also with the
ability to determine sign of phase angle.
Larry N8LP
Post by Craig D. Smith
I have a MFJ259B. Had to hold my nose to shell out the $250 or so for
something with that build quality and design flaws (size,
battery system,
Post by Craig D. Smith
etc). That said, next to my transceiver, it is the piece of
equipment I use
Post by Craig D. Smith
most often and it does do the job intended. I would feel naked
without it.
Post by Craig D. Smith
Every ham should have one or something equivalent.
The features and quality of ham equipment these days is astounding, but
strangely there, in my estimation, is no really good antenna
analyzer on the
Post by Craig D. Smith
market. I think the MFJ is the best overall unit available,
and that is a
Post by Craig D. Smith
sad statement. Most analyzers (see Eham reviews) score lower
than the MFJ.
Post by Craig D. Smith
The Palstar gets good marks for size, quality, etc, but does not have an
analog meter which I think is an essential user interface for convenient
usage.
So I agree with the comment some others have made - there is a
big market
Post by Craig D. Smith
for a good antenna analyzer - especially with all the new ham
licenses that
Post by Craig D. Smith
will be minted soon. My wish list includes: About half the
physical size of
Post by Craig D. Smith
the MFJ, analog meter plus LCD display, decent battery life, frequency
coverage from 1.5 to 150 MHz, price about $250 or $200 for a
kit. I don't
Post by Craig D. Smith
need automated plotting or computer interface. Either Elecraft or Larry
Phipps have the technical expertise and kitting experience to
do a great job
Post by Craig D. Smith
with such a project. I hope they are listening!!
73 Craig AC0DS
--
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.10/720 - Release Date: 3/12/2007
7:19 PM
Ken Kopp
2007-03-14 16:06:21 UTC
Permalink
"The MFJ uses up batteries, lots of AA cells."

My battery set has been in mine for several years, so this isn't
an issue for me. It does shut off automatically if one forgets.

"It's also a pain to change them (lots of screws)."

My '259B has (just) two screws holding the battery cover ....

73! Ken Kopp - K0PP
***@arrl.net
Chris Kantarjiev
2007-03-14 16:26:06 UTC
Permalink
The 259 is a fine unit. When I tuned up my Hustler, I borrowed one from
a local ham, rather than buying one. I also borrowed one of the little
Autek VA1 units, and I used them both. They got about the same results. I like
the 259's knobs and such better than the Autek, but the Autek gave
slightly more information (sign on the impedance). It also fits in
your pocket and doesn't eat batteries as quickly as the MFJ does.

A few months later, I ended up buying an MFJ 269, to do some
of my own experiments. I've been perfectly happy with it; it has
some problems, but I think every analyzer under $1K has problems.

I suggest that you try to borrow one before buying!

73 de chris K6DBG
Chris Kantarjiev
2007-03-14 16:30:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by KJ3D
The Tenna Dipper looks too good to pass up.
It's a nice little unit - I have one, too. The thing to realize is that
it is designed to match a 50 ohm resistive load, *and nothing else*.

Your Hustler is not that - no vertical is.

(BTW, I'm curious about the 17m addition you got - I have a 6BTV and
wouldn't mind if it had 17m!)

73 de chris K6DBG
Brett gazdzinski
2007-03-16 05:20:05 UTC
Permalink
My K2 kit arrived yesterday, very fast shipping to
New Jersey!

I built the control board in a few hours, seems easy to
build as long as you have a magnifier to read those
little numbers on the parts!

The manual is very well done and printed, I like this kit!

Brett
N2DTS
a.yoshida
2007-03-16 06:50:33 UTC
Permalink
Brett

Do not hurry but enjoy !!!

Happy user of K2/K1/KX1
73 de aki, ja1nlx
***@my.email.ne.jp
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~yy7a-ysd/
http://ja1nlx.exblog.jp/


----- Original Message -----
From: "Brett gazdzinski" <***@verizonbusiness.com>
To: <***@mailman.qth.net>
Sent: Friday, March 16, 2007 2:16 PM
Subject: RE: [Elecraft] Kit arrived...
Post by Brett gazdzinski
My K2 kit arrived yesterday, very fast shipping to
New Jersey!
I built the control board in a few hours, seems easy to
build as long as you have a magnifier to read those
little numbers on the parts!
The manual is very well done and printed, I like this kit!
Brett
N2DTS
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You must be a subscriber to post to the list.
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Brett gazdzinski
2007-03-17 02:55:03 UTC
Permalink
I got my front panel board done today, and
started on the RF board.
So far all seems good, very easy to build, at least
so far....

In case anyone is wondering, they are up to SN 6065!

I have read a bit here about setting up the filters, and it being
critical, and you need the spectrogram software.
Well, it seems to me if you need that to set the
rig up so it works correctly, it should be included
with the kit?

Would a spectrum analyzer help?
I have a nice HP 8592l that I used on the homebrew receivers,
could I use it on the K2 to set the filters up?


Brett
N2DTS
Tom Hammond
2007-03-17 15:09:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brett gazdzinski
I got my front panel board done today, and
started on the RF board.
So far all seems good, very easy to build, at least
so far....
In case anyone is wondering, they are up to SN 6065!
I have read a bit here about setting up the filters, and
it being critical, and you need the spectrogram software.
Well, it seems to me if you need that to set the
rig up so it works correctly, it should be included
with the kit?
You don't "NEED" Spectrogram, but it does help quite a bit.

The last shareware version of Spectrogram (v5.1.7) is available
at www.n0ss.net. You can find it on both the K2- and K1-specific
pages of this site, along with K2- and K1-specific PDF documcents
for ease of using it.
Post by Brett gazdzinski
Would a spectrum analyzer help?
I have a nice HP 8592l that I used on the homebrew receivers,
could I use it on the K2 to set the filters up?
I'm sure you could use it as well. But you'll have to get info
from someone else. I've never had an opportunity to use a real
spectrum analyzer in that use.

73,

Tom Hammond N0SS
Don Wilhelm
2007-03-17 03:18:16 UTC
Permalink
Brett,

You will find Spectrogram easier to use than a spectrum analyzer. Think of
Spectrogram as a spectrum analyzer for the audio spectrum (which it is). In
general, it will offer better resolution than an RF spectrum analyzer and
will provide a plot of the audio response of the K2.

Your spectrum analyzer may be helpful in determining the harmonic rejection
of the K2, and other RF related parameters, but the audio response analysis
offerred by Spectrogram will be sufficient for aligning the K2 filter
bandpass.

73,
Don W3FPR
Post by KJ3D
-----Original Message-----
I got my front panel board done today, and
started on the RF board.
So far all seems good, very easy to build, at least
so far....
In case anyone is wondering, they are up to SN 6065!
I have read a bit here about setting up the filters, and it being
critical, and you need the spectrogram software.
Well, it seems to me if you need that to set the
rig up so it works correctly, it should be included
with the kit?
Would a spectrum analyzer help?
I have a nice HP 8592l that I used on the homebrew receivers,
could I use it on the K2 to set the filters up?
Brett
N2DTS
--
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.446 / Virus Database: 268.18.12/724 - Release Date: 3/16/2007
12:12 PM
Ron D'Eau Claire
2007-03-17 03:25:23 UTC
Permalink
Brett, N2DTS, asked:

I have read a bit here about setting up the filters, and it being critical,
and you need the spectrogram software. Well, it seems to me if you need that
to set the rig up so it works correctly, it should be included with the kit?

======================
Good point, Brett, and the truth is you can set up the filters without any
other stuff. However, Spectrogram is an excellent tool that makes the
process infinitely easier. Unfortunately, Elecraft doesn't own it!

You can get a copy along with FB detailed instructions on how to use it from
one of our long-term list members and great contributor, Tom, N0SS. Go to
http://www.n0ss.net/index_k2.html

And scroll to the bottom of the page. The next-to-last item is the
Spectrogram software. The last item is the step-by-step instructions for
using it.

Once again, for the thousandth time, *thanks* Tom!!

Ron AC7AC
Brett gazdzinski
2007-03-20 12:45:33 UTC
Permalink
I finished the K2 (6065) at about 10pm last
night, everything was nominal, my only concern being
the low output power on 15 meters (7 watts).
I should go back and do a full alignment as handing the
RF board was sure to disturb the mounted parts...

The entire kit had one missing .1 cap, or I lost it,
I had one on hand to use so no problem.

I do NEED a knob with a finger dimple!

Between 10 and 1130 PM I heard some signals on
80 and 40 meters, not much on the other bands
although I did not listen carefully.

I think filter 2 needs a tweak and the built in speaker
sounds fuzzy, but otherwise all is good.

All the adjustments worked, and did not require much tweaking,
nothing was at the limit or close to it, most things were
quite close right out of the bag.

I want to get the ssb option and the auto tuner eventually,
and listen to plenty of slow code, then might actually
get on the air with the rig!

I did not track the hours, but I got the kit Thursday,
worked on it Thursday night, Friday night, most of Saturday,
Sunday night, and Monday night.
The XYL is thrilled its done....


Brett
N2DTS
Mike Geddes
2007-03-20 22:17:30 UTC
Permalink
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] Kit arrived...


Wow, that was a fast build! Since I enjoy kit building . . . I am going to
stretch my K2 #6042 out just a bit, and enjoy the journey as well as the
destination. Congratulations on your build and hope you get a lot of
pleasure from you K2.

73,
Mike
N4JX

K1/4 # 2319 on the air
K2 # 6042 next project
Post by Geoffrey Mackenzie-Kennedy
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2007 8:43 AM
Subject: RE: [Elecraft] Kit arrived...
Post by Brett gazdzinski
I finished the K2 (6065) at about 10pm last
night, everything was nominal, my only concern being
the low output power on 15 meters (7 watts).
I should go back and do a full alignment as handing the
RF board was sure to disturb the mounted parts...
The entire kit had one missing .1 cap, or I lost it,
I had one on hand to use so no problem.
I do NEED a knob with a finger dimple!
Between 10 and 1130 PM I heard some signals on
80 and 40 meters, not much on the other bands
although I did not listen carefully.
I think filter 2 needs a tweak and the built in speaker
sounds fuzzy, but otherwise all is good.
All the adjustments worked, and did not require much tweaking,
nothing was at the limit or close to it, most things were
quite close right out of the bag.
I want to get the ssb option and the auto tuner eventually,
and listen to plenty of slow code, then might actually
get on the air with the rig!
I did not track the hours, but I got the kit Thursday,
worked on it Thursday night, Friday night, most of Saturday,
Sunday night, and Monday night.
The XYL is thrilled its done....
Brett
N2DTS
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Brett gazdzinski
2007-03-21 02:28:15 UTC
Permalink
After work today I got much closer with the vfo calibration,
and moved onto the TX alignment.

I hooked up the dummy load and the 0-20 watt meter.
3.5 MHz 12.5 watts out, 2.7 amps
7 MHz 14 watts out, 4.3 amps
10 MHz 10 watts out, 2.4 amps
14 MHz 8 watts out, 2.3 amps
18 MHz 9 watts out 1.8 amps
21 MHz 9 watts out, 1.8 amps
24 MHz 6 watts out, 1.5 amps
28 MHz 5 watts out, 1.8 amps

13.8 volts per my DMM.


When tuning C21 in the 30 meter bandpass, the output power
would take off and go to 20 watts till I turned the power down
then back up, then it acted normal.
In my kit, C22 was a 2.7pf, not the 3.3pf listed.
I assumed the 2.7 was what they could get instead of the 3.3.
Something is really wrong there, but the parts seem to be
the correct values, the toroids have the correct turns, etc.

I checked the voltage at the RF output detector and its ok.
I looked into all the trouble shooting steps in the manual,
made sure all the correct parts are in the correct places,
the toroids have the correct turns, etc.
Nothing gets hot, or even warm, despite the 5 minute key downs
at full power.

Looking at things on the spec an, after the power knob
is up past 1/2 to 3/4 the harmonics go way up, but I might
be picking signal up before the filters.

One other thing I noticed, the RF watt meter built into the rig
reads correct on 80 and 40, but does not reflect the lower power
output on the higher bands, its still pegged.

I looked at the signal on the spec an, probing the driver input and
output power levels, and I don't think the drive falls off,
I did not probe the output of the power amp as it would risk
the spec an (1 watt max input).

I don't need lots of power out, but dislike when something does
not work up to spec.
The receiver seems to work very well, although I have
not run the spectrogram on the filters yet.



Brett
N2DTS
Don Wilhelm
2007-03-21 04:05:12 UTC
Permalink
Bret,

I am not certain what you mean by the phrase "the RF watt meter built
into the rig reads correct on 80 and 40, but does not reflect the lower
power output on the higher bands, its still pegged". What do you mean
by "pegged"?

Is the internal RF meter indicating a high RF voltage? If so, you
should believe that the RF voltage is really high and something is wrong
with your test setup. The detector used in the basic K2 is a simple
diode detector and does accurately reflect the RF voltage, and the
microprocessor calculates that value to watts with the assumption that
the load is 50 ohms resistive.

Is your load at the time of these measurements a good 50 ohm resistive
dummy load?

If you do have a good 50 ohm dummy load on the K2, then I would strongly
suggest that you check your connecting coax link before doing anything else.

What kind of power meter are you using? How has its accuracy been verified?

We need to know exactly what your setup is before we can provide
informed answers to your questions.

How are you measuring the current draw? Is this the indication on the
K2 or are you using some other measuring device?

All in all, what I can say at the moment is that the base K2 will
control its power output according to the RF voltage indicated at the
internal diode detector. That detector is not a wattmeter and needs a
good 50 ohm resistive load in order for the K2 to control the power output.

As far as adjusting C21 - adjust any of the bandpass filter elements at
a power of 2 watts or lower. Attempting to adjust them at higher power
levels can lead to incorrect alignment due to several other factors.

How are you determining that the harmonic content "goes way up"? That
is unusual and indicates that you have a problem with soldering or
incorrect components somewhere.

The usual cause of high current draw coupled with low power output is
the Low Pass Filters and/or the T4 circuitry. Do you have T4 properly
wound?

73,
Don W3FPR
Post by Brett gazdzinski
After work today I got much closer with the vfo calibration,
and moved onto the TX alignment.
I hooked up the dummy load and the 0-20 watt meter.
3.5 MHz 12.5 watts out, 2.7 amps
7 MHz 14 watts out, 4.3 amps
10 MHz 10 watts out, 2.4 amps
14 MHz 8 watts out, 2.3 amps
18 MHz 9 watts out 1.8 amps
21 MHz 9 watts out, 1.8 amps
24 MHz 6 watts out, 1.5 amps
28 MHz 5 watts out, 1.8 amps
13.8 volts per my DMM.
When tuning C21 in the 30 meter bandpass, the output power
would take off and go to 20 watts till I turned the power down
then back up, then it acted normal.
In my kit, C22 was a 2.7pf, not the 3.3pf listed.
I assumed the 2.7 was what they could get instead of the 3.3.
Something is really wrong there, but the parts seem to be
the correct values, the toroids have the correct turns, etc.
I checked the voltage at the RF output detector and its ok.
I looked into all the trouble shooting steps in the manual,
made sure all the correct parts are in the correct places,
the toroids have the correct turns, etc.
Nothing gets hot, or even warm, despite the 5 minute key downs
at full power.
Looking at things on the spec an, after the power knob
is up past 1/2 to 3/4 the harmonics go way up, but I might
be picking signal up before the filters.
One other thing I noticed, the RF watt meter built into the rig
reads correct on 80 and 40, but does not reflect the lower power
output on the higher bands, its still pegged.
I looked at the signal on the spec an, probing the driver input and
output power levels, and I don't think the drive falls off,
I did not probe the output of the power amp as it would risk
the spec an (1 watt max input).
I don't need lots of power out, but dislike when something does
not work up to spec.
The receiver seems to work very well, although I have
not run the spectrogram on the filters yet.
Brett
N2DTS
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Brett gazdzinski
2007-03-21 12:43:11 UTC
Permalink
Tom,
Post by Brett gazdzinski
I hooked up the dummy load and the 0-20 watt meter.
3.5 MHz 12.5 watts out, 2.7 amps
7 MHz 14 watts out, 4.3 amps
10 MHz 10 watts out, 2.4 amps
14 MHz 8 watts out, 2.3 amps
18 MHz 9 watts out 1.8 amps
21 MHz 9 watts out, 1.8 amps
24 MHz 6 watts out, 1.5 amps
28 MHz 5 watts out, 1.8 amps
Were these values obtained with POWER set to a 'requested'
15.0 watts?
Power knob all the way up.
Post by Brett gazdzinski
13.8 volts per my DMM.
Measured where? At the output of the P/S? Or at the back of
the K2?
At diode D10, the big protection diode on the side of the board.
I have fat wires running to the 35 amp supply.
Post by Brett gazdzinski
When tuning C21 in the 30 meter bandpass, the output power
would take off and go to 20 watts till I turned the power down
then back up, then it acted normal.
This is normal function WHEN YOU ARE TUNING UP THE RIG.
When this happens, don't turn the POWER control back, just exit
from TUNE mode and return to TUNE mode, then continue your
alignment tweaking. Repeat the EXIT / TUNE sequence as often
as necessary during your alignment. This allows the ALC to again
take over the (at least) start you out at the desired power
level... Once you get the rig aligned this increasing of power
won't occur.
I was using the key to transmit, not the tune button,
is there a difference (besides the sidetone)?
Post by Brett gazdzinski
I checked the voltage at the RF output detector and its ok.
Checked it with what? And what value were you looking for?
DMM, just that it read the correct range, and went up with more
power output.
Its in the 3 to 4 volt range.
Post by Brett gazdzinski
Looking at things on the spec an, after the power knob
is up past 1/2 to 3/4 the harmonics go way up, but I might
be picking signal up before the filters.
Spec an connected to the ANT jack?
No, just picking up the signal while probing T1 and T2,
I was trying to see if the drive level falls off with the power.
Past 1/2 to 3/4 power, some harmonics are higher than the
fundamental frequency, but below that all looks normal, harmonics
30 or 40 DB down or more.
I know this is not really a valid test.
On what bands... all?
Most if not all.
Post by Brett gazdzinski
One other thing I noticed, the RF watt meter built into the rig
reads correct on 80 and 40, but does not reflect the lower power
output on the higher bands, it's still pegged.
This tends to imply a Hi-Z condition at the ANT jack? OR that you
have a LO-Z condition on 80/40. Probably the former.
This occurs what a known-good dummy load connected at the ANT jack?
I have and tried 2, a bird kilowatt, and the heath cantenna,
and checked the swr on both, its low.
I also tried two coax cables between the rig and the watt meter,
which also agrees when I hook up the antenna and tune it for
a low swr, the power outputs on the heath antenna tuner agree
with the other watt meter.
Post by Brett gazdzinski
I don't need lots of power out, but dislike when something does
not work up to spec.
Agreed... the K2 should put out 12W-15W on all bands, though it will
probably be closer to the 12W level on 12M and 10M.
73,
Tom Hammond N0SS
Brett
N2DTS
Brett gazdzinski
2007-03-21 13:10:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Don Wilhelm
I am not certain what you mean by the phrase "the RF watt meter built
into the rig reads correct on 80 and 40, but does not reflect
the lower
power output on the higher bands, its still pegged". What do
you mean
by "pegged"?
The watt meter in the rig indicates 10 plus watts out
even though the power out is 5 watts at full power.
The RF sense circuit does reflect the lower power, with say
2 point something volts out of the RF pickup instead of the
4 plus volts when the rig puts out 12 watts.
Below about 2 volts the RF sense voltage falls off like it should
and the watt meter on the front panel starts going down.
Post by Don Wilhelm
Is the internal RF meter indicating a high RF voltage? If so, you
should believe that the RF voltage is really high and
something is wrong
with your test setup. The detector used in the basic K2 is a simple
diode detector and does accurately reflect the RF voltage, and the
microprocessor calculates that value to watts with the
assumption that
the load is 50 ohms resistive.
The voltage reads something like 4 point something volts
on 80 and 40 at 12 to 14 watts out, and as I go up in bands
and the power falls off, the output voltage drops to something
like 2 volts (from memory).

I tried an experiment by loading this voltage down with
a 10k to ground at the DMM leads and did not see any change
except on the watt meter reading on the rig, which went down
a bit.

I do not suspect a problem with the RF sense circuit.
Post by Don Wilhelm
Is your load at the time of these measurements a good 50 ohm
resistive
dummy load?
Yes.
Post by Don Wilhelm
If you do have a good 50 ohm dummy load on the K2, then I
would strongly
suggest that you check your connecting coax link before doing
anything else.
I tried 2 cables, both are likely 75 ohm as I don't have any
rg8x to bnc cables, but the cables are short, like 2 feet long.
I will try some rg8x into bnc to 259 adaptors just to be sure.
Post by Don Wilhelm
What kind of power meter are you using? How has its accuracy
been verified?
2 different ones, and yes, they are in the ballpark.
Post by Don Wilhelm
We need to know exactly what your setup is before we can provide
informed answers to your questions.
How are you measuring the current draw? Is this the
indication on the
K2 or are you using some other measuring device?
Only by the K2 readout. I suppose its just a rough
reading.
Post by Don Wilhelm
All in all, what I can say at the moment is that the base K2 will
control its power output according to the RF voltage indicated at the
internal diode detector. That detector is not a wattmeter
and needs a
good 50 ohm resistive load in order for the K2 to control the
power output.
This does not seem to work past 80 and 40 meters, it does seem
to be close on 80 and 40 meters, set the rig for 2 watts out and I
get close to 2 watts out and the bar graph power meter indicates
2 watts out. Above 40 meters, the power out is low, the rf sense
voltage is lower, but the power is lower then the bar graph indicates.
Post by Don Wilhelm
As far as adjusting C21 - adjust any of the bandpass filter
elements at
a power of 2 watts or lower. Attempting to adjust them at
higher power
levels can lead to incorrect alignment due to several other factors.
I tried it both ways, at 2 watts and full power, and at as low a power
I could read on the watt meter, does the same thing, but I think
its just some sort of resonance...
Post by Don Wilhelm
How are you determining that the harmonic content "goes way
up"? That
is unusual and indicates that you have a problem with soldering or
incorrect components somewhere.
While I was probing T1, T2, and T3.
Its not a valid test of the output of the rig, but under say half power,
the signals look clean and normal, as you turn the power up, the harmonics
go WAY up past the fundamental frequency.
The reason I noticed this is because my O scope was doing a poor
job at measuring the signal levels at the various transformer ins and outs.

I don't know if this is valid at all, as even at the 2 watt level, power
is down on the bands above 40 meters.
Post by Don Wilhelm
The usual cause of high current draw coupled with low power output is
the Low Pass Filters and/or the T4 circuitry. Do you have T4
properly
wound?
I think so.
It looks like figure 6-30 on page69 of the book.
2 turns of green wire, 3 turns of white wire, and the two
bare wire links, all pulled tight to the board.
Post by Don Wilhelm
73,
Don W3FPR
Thanks,
Brett
N2DTS
Don Wilhelm
2007-03-21 13:42:28 UTC
Permalink
Brett,

All that sounds like you have a significant amount of reactance
connected to the K2s antenna jack. If you have an antenna analyzer,
remove the coax from the K2 and check the entire load that your dummy
load, wattmeter and coax combination is presenting to the K2.

Since you have a 'scope there - put on a 10X probe and measure the RF
voltage directly at the BNC antenna connector on the K2 while feeding
your load. Read the peak to peak voltage and calculate the power
directly from the peak to peak voltage as V^2/400 and you should find it
agrees with the internal indicated power - if it does not, there is a
problem with the internal detector. If it does agree, you have a
problem with the setup that you have connected to the K2.

Again, the K2 will control power according to the RF voltage it measures
with the RF Detector. If you have the amount of RF voltage that
calculates to the requested power output, then the K2 is controlling the
power output as designed.

Yes, the basic K2 is very sensitive to loads that are reactive or not
exactly 50 ohms due to the simple diode detector used. That changes
when the KAT2 or KPA100 or KAT100 is installed because those units
include a real wattmeter which reports power rather than RF voltage to
the microprocessor.

On the 'harmonic' situation - yes, what you observe is true if you are
probing with a spectrum analyzer inside the K2 circuits. The Low Pass
Filter will reduce the harmonics significantly before they reach the
output jack. To properly use a Spectrum Analyzer to measure internal
stages, the transmitter circuit must be opened, transformed to 50 ohms
and then fed to the spectrum analyzer. A spectrum analyzer has a 50 ohm
input impedance and cannot be properly used for in-situ measurements
like a high impedance oscilloscope can be used.

73,
Don W3FPR
Post by Brett gazdzinski
Post by Don Wilhelm
I am not certain what you mean by the phrase "the RF watt meter built
into the rig reads correct on 80 and 40, but does not reflect
the lower
power output on the higher bands, its still pegged". What do
you mean
by "pegged"?
The watt meter in the rig indicates 10 plus watts out
even though the power out is 5 watts at full power.
The RF sense circuit does reflect the lower power, with say
2 point something volts out of the RF pickup instead of the
4 plus volts when the rig puts out 12 watts.
Below about 2 volts the RF sense voltage falls off like it should
and the watt meter on the front panel starts going down.
Post by Don Wilhelm
Is the internal RF meter indicating a high RF voltage? If so, you
should believe that the RF voltage is really high and
something is wrong
with your test setup. The detector used in the basic K2 is a simple
diode detector and does accurately reflect the RF voltage, and the
microprocessor calculates that value to watts with the
assumption that
the load is 50 ohms resistive.
The voltage reads something like 4 point something volts
on 80 and 40 at 12 to 14 watts out, and as I go up in bands
and the power falls off, the output voltage drops to something
like 2 volts (from memory).
I tried an experiment by loading this voltage down with
a 10k to ground at the DMM leads and did not see any change
except on the watt meter reading on the rig, which went down
a bit.
I do not suspect a problem with the RF sense circuit.
Post by Don Wilhelm
Is your load at the time of these measurements a good 50 ohm
resistive
dummy load?
Yes.
Post by Don Wilhelm
If you do have a good 50 ohm dummy load on the K2, then I
would strongly
suggest that you check your connecting coax link before doing
anything else.
I tried 2 cables, both are likely 75 ohm as I don't have any
rg8x to bnc cables, but the cables are short, like 2 feet long.
I will try some rg8x into bnc to 259 adaptors just to be sure.
Post by Don Wilhelm
What kind of power meter are you using? How has its accuracy
been verified?
2 different ones, and yes, they are in the ballpark.
Post by Don Wilhelm
We need to know exactly what your setup is before we can provide
informed answers to your questions.
How are you measuring the current draw? Is this the
indication on the
K2 or are you using some other measuring device?
Only by the K2 readout. I suppose its just a rough
reading.
Post by Don Wilhelm
All in all, what I can say at the moment is that the base K2 will
control its power output according to the RF voltage indicated at the
internal diode detector. That detector is not a wattmeter
and needs a
good 50 ohm resistive load in order for the K2 to control the
power output.
This does not seem to work past 80 and 40 meters, it does seem
to be close on 80 and 40 meters, set the rig for 2 watts out and I
get close to 2 watts out and the bar graph power meter indicates
2 watts out. Above 40 meters, the power out is low, the rf sense
voltage is lower, but the power is lower then the bar graph indicates.
Post by Don Wilhelm
As far as adjusting C21 - adjust any of the bandpass filter
elements at
a power of 2 watts or lower. Attempting to adjust them at
higher power
levels can lead to incorrect alignment due to several other factors.
I tried it both ways, at 2 watts and full power, and at as low a power
I could read on the watt meter, does the same thing, but I think
its just some sort of resonance...
Post by Don Wilhelm
How are you determining that the harmonic content "goes way
up"? That
is unusual and indicates that you have a problem with soldering or
incorrect components somewhere.
While I was probing T1, T2, and T3.
Its not a valid test of the output of the rig, but under say half power,
the signals look clean and normal, as you turn the power up, the harmonics
go WAY up past the fundamental frequency.
The reason I noticed this is because my O scope was doing a poor
job at measuring the signal levels at the various transformer ins and outs.
I don't know if this is valid at all, as even at the 2 watt level, power
is down on the bands above 40 meters.
Post by Don Wilhelm
The usual cause of high current draw coupled with low power output is
the Low Pass Filters and/or the T4 circuitry. Do you have T4
properly
wound?
I think so.
It looks like figure 6-30 on page69 of the book.
2 turns of green wire, 3 turns of white wire, and the two
bare wire links, all pulled tight to the board.
Post by Don Wilhelm
73,
Don W3FPR
Thanks,
Brett
N2DTS
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Brett gazdzinski
2007-03-21 18:30:04 UTC
Permalink
At lunch I did some more tests.
I made a dummy load using 4 200 ohm 2 watt resistors, measured
the resistance at 50 ohms, and plugged that right into the watt meter.
The other end of the wattmeter plugged into the K2 antenna jack
using adaptors.

I did the tx setup per the book, and now have at least 10
watts out on all bands, but it does roll off on the
higher bands. 10 meters might be below 10 watts, I don't
remember. 80 and 40 meters do about 13 or 14 watts.

What the 'tune' button seems to do is measure the rf out
per a set power (2 watts), display it, and when out of the tune mode,
corrects the power so its right.
You can really see it work on 80 and 40 meters, set the
power knob to 2 watts, hi the tune button and the meters read 3 watts.
Exit the tune mode with the power still set at 2 watts
and hit the cw key and I get 2 watts out on the bar graph
and my meter.


This works a treat on 80, 40, and 30 meters, the power output
matches the knob set point and the bar graph very closely
AFTER you do the tune setup, at least up past 10 or 12 watts.

Above about 30 meters, the bar graph and the tune position start
showing more power then the 3 watt meters I have do, I have some
diwa little thing, a Kenwood average/pep meter, and the heathkit
antenna tuner meter. All read the same.

The higher you go above 30 meters, the more the rig says its doing
more power out then my meters do.

The RF sense circuit is after all the stages, its at the
antenna output basically..

I checked all the components in the rf output sense circuit and
they are the correct values and measure correctly.
I did not mess with the diode (D9 1N5711), nor can I verify
its number without unsoldering it.

Maybe I should order a few 1N5711 diodes and see if there is
any difference in how they act.

This sure is a fun rig to trouble shoot and play with, although
I am still not over fond of computers in HF gear...

Brett
N2DTS
Post by Brett gazdzinski
I also tried two coax cables between the rig and the watt meter,
which also agrees when I hook up the antenna and tune it for
a low swr, the power outputs on the heath antenna tuner agree
with the other watt meter.
How long are the coaxes you're using between the wattmeter and the
dummy load? And are there any antenna switches in-line or
anything else?
Also, what length coax between K2 and wattmeter?
73,
Tom
Don Wilhelm
2007-03-21 19:01:00 UTC
Permalink
Brett,

In TUNE, the power control loop is not as tight in the firmware portion
of the loop as compared with normal keying. The reason for that is to
allow those using a manual tuner with their K2 to be able to adjust it
without the power jumping quickly all over the place.

I am glad to hear that you had good results with the direct connections
- that seems to verify that there is reactance (or other cause of a
non-50 ohm purely resistive) condition somewhere in your setup - whether
it is the coax, the external wattmeter or the dummy load itself we may
never know, but you can check each one easily at the frequencies of
interest with an antenna analyzer. You may be able to borrow an AA to
make those measurements if you do not have one.

You may find some frequency dependency between 1N5711 diodes (I have
occasionally noticed that), but I do not consider it a problem because
the power indication and control point are not more than a few tenths of
a watt off at any point if all is normal. Considering that most
wattmeter specs are in the range of 5% to 20% OF THE FULL SCALE READING,
the diode detector in the K2 is actually more accurate than most if the
load is 50 ohms resistive at the frequency of operation (measuring
with an ohmmeter is not suficient, resistance at DC is not likely to be
equal to the resistance at RF).

On your wattmeter accuracy, consider that even 5% of the 20 watt scale
can result in an error of 1 watt at any power level - and even the Bird
wattmeter is only that good immediately after calibration - you must
expect such errors in your measuring equipment (check the spec sheet and
verify the measurement by independent means if you really want
accuracy). The Diode Detector is actually more accurate than most
wattmeters, but it must be used with a known good non-reactive load.


73,
Don W3FPR
Post by Brett gazdzinski
At lunch I did some more tests.
I made a dummy load using 4 200 ohm 2 watt resistors, measured
the resistance at 50 ohms, and plugged that right into the watt meter.
The other end of the wattmeter plugged into the K2 antenna jack
using adaptors.
I did the tx setup per the book, and now have at least 10
watts out on all bands, but it does roll off on the
higher bands. 10 meters might be below 10 watts, I don't
remember. 80 and 40 meters do about 13 or 14 watts.
What the 'tune' button seems to do is measure the rf out
per a set power (2 watts), display it, and when out of the tune mode,
corrects the power so its right.
You can really see it work on 80 and 40 meters, set the
power knob to 2 watts, hi the tune button and the meters read 3 watts.
Exit the tune mode with the power still set at 2 watts
and hit the cw key and I get 2 watts out on the bar graph
and my meter.
This works a treat on 80, 40, and 30 meters, the power output
matches the knob set point and the bar graph very closely
AFTER you do the tune setup, at least up past 10 or 12 watts.
Above about 30 meters, the bar graph and the tune position start
showing more power then the 3 watt meters I have do, I have some
diwa little thing, a Kenwood average/pep meter, and the heathkit
antenna tuner meter. All read the same.
The higher you go above 30 meters, the more the rig says its doing
more power out then my meters do.
The RF sense circuit is after all the stages, its at the
antenna output basically..
I checked all the components in the rf output sense circuit and
they are the correct values and measure correctly.
I did not mess with the diode (D9 1N5711), nor can I verify
its number without unsoldering it.
Maybe I should order a few 1N5711 diodes and see if there is
any difference in how they act.
This sure is a fun rig to trouble shoot and play with, although
I am still not over fond of computers in HF gear...
Brett
N2DTS
Brett gazdzinski
2007-03-21 19:28:38 UTC
Permalink
Don,
Ok, but why always on the low side and not the hi side
of error?

2 to 3 watts out of 10 is 20% which is not that good,
and why only at the higher frequencies?
On 10 meters, it might say 12 watts out but only give 8
actual watts....
I want to know why it rolls off at the higher frequencies,
that is, the built in meter reads higher than actual power.

I suppose I should also test the rig at 14 volts, just to see
what the power out is.
The manual states that all the measurements were done at 14 volts
and I have been doing them at 13.8 key up.
My supply is regulated, but not that regulated..

And I wonder what sets the efficiency, output power VS current
and voltage in. Would that mostly be T3?

Eventually I might want to tweak that!

You can likely tell I like playing with radios more than
actually operating them, that is why the shack is almost
all home brew....

Well, maybe tonight I will do the spectrogram stuff!


Brett
N2DTS
Post by Don Wilhelm
You may find some frequency dependency between 1N5711 diodes (I have
occasionally noticed that), but I do not consider it a
problem because
the power indication and control point are not more than a
few tenths of
a watt off at any point if all is normal. Considering that most
wattmeter specs are in the range of 5% to 20% OF THE FULL
SCALE READING,
the diode detector in the K2 is actually more accurate than
most if the
load is 50 ohms resistive at the frequency of operation (measuring
with an ohmmeter is not suficient, resistance at DC is not
likely to be
equal to the resistance at RF).
On your wattmeter accuracy, consider that even 5% of the 20
watt scale
can result in an error of 1 watt at any power level - and
even the Bird
wattmeter is only that good immediately after calibration - you must
expect such errors in your measuring equipment (check the
spec sheet and
verify the measurement by independent means if you really want
accuracy). The Diode Detector is actually more accurate than most
wattmeters, but it must be used with a known good non-reactive load.
73,
Don W3FPR
Brett gazdzinski
2007-03-22 12:53:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brett gazdzinski
Brett,
I agree with Tom - that you should re-peak the bandpass
filters at low
power (1 to 2 watts) It is easier to discern the peak at low
power and
there is lesser chance that the K2 power adjustment mechanism
will try
to compensate and confuse the response.
I tried that.
I did it at 1 watt, no real change.
Post by Brett gazdzinski
Be certain to observe the correct band order for doing the bandpass
filter alignment - for any band pair, you must adjust the inductors
first and then the trimmer caps. Do 80 and 40 meters in any
order, but
align 30 before 20, 15 before 17, 10 before 12. If you have
the K60XV
installed, 40 must be aligned before 60 meters. 160 and 80 share the
same inductors, so you may have to compromise a bit between them, but
that filter is broad and there is plenty of reserve drive on those
bands. On 10 meters, you may find better coverage across the 28.0 to
28.8 MHz band if you do the alignment at 28400 kHz rather
than the 28200
mentioned in the manual. But if your main 10 meter interest
is CW, use
the 28.2 point.
I have been doing it that way (by the book).
I have no idea what is on what band, and when they are open.
I have been stuck on 80 and 40 meters weekend mornings for the last
15 years or so, I have checked out 20 and 15 meters at night with the K2
and there is nothing there, so I suppose they are more daytime bands?
Post by Brett gazdzinski
Since you said you have a 'scope, you will find it easier to
watch for
the peak on the scope trace than to wait until the digital display
settles down. Just connect your 'scope's 10X probe across the dummy
load. Connect directly to the dummy load with a short connection for
the best results.
You will be able to see the RF voltage peak on the 'scope
easily. You
are not trying for any specific voltage, just for the point
of the peak.
If you do not use the 'scope, make the adjustments slowly to give the
digital display time to respond.
After peaking the bandpass at low power, you can re-check the
max power
output if you have any real doubts about it.
I think I am real close to maximum I am going to get out of the rig
without changes, and I am fine with 10 watts or more on most
bands, 10 meters is about 8 watts, I might try removing one turn
from L21 and L22 as a test.


Thanks,
Brett
N2DTS
Post by Brett gazdzinski
73,
Don W3FPR
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