On the 11th of march I bought a Simoco SRM9000 from Mike G4CDF. (Thanks Mike!) I finally had a 4 meter rig and he also let me borrow a 4m loop to get me started until I could make my own. I was pretty much working to get it all setup as soon as I arrived back home.
First question when putting any amateur station together is of course how on earth will this all go together and where can I put it?!
The antenna itself is not small and would not be the kind of thing I can just hang in my window. It also has a pole fixed to it for mounting vertically with a horizontal spacer between it and a mast. This made things more difficult as it could therefore not just be laid down on a first floor roof ridge which is close enough to my shack. Instead I settled for persuading my parents to let me stick my military fibreglass mast up on the corner of the house. Amazingly, it blends in quite well and just looks like a piece of guttering down-pipe that is rather small…. Oh and it also has a large chuck of metal hanging off to one side!!
So I have an antenna sorted and a mast for the antenna to go on. I setup the radio connected to the power supply that I have running my other radios on the desk and it immediately sprang to life. Great… I have a radio, an antenna, a microphone and speaker and power. I knew I was missing something.
Next problem – how to get coax into the shack without drilling holes in the wall or doing anything else that seems to annoy my parents! So here is my solution:
It got a little cold last night because the window is now open just a crack for the coax to come through so i enlisted the ever useful duct tape method!!
Finally I was ready to get a QSO on 4m so I then experimented with all the buttons and I think I hit scan and heard Alison G8ROG doing a test. I quickly replied and sort of knew that I would manage to contact her given we are just across the valley from each other. Perfect 5/9 signal!!!
I was given various pieces of advice including about the local nets and events throughout the week and frequencies (Thanks Alison!!)
The important ones to remember are:
- 70.425 – Local net frequency
- Nets are on Tuesday evening’s at 20:30 and most members are from RADARC but it is not exclusive.
- GB2RS news is also read out on a Sunday morning with a net on the same frequency afterwards.
- Vertical Polarisation is the norm but some use horizontal
So my next steps now are to re-program the radio and have a browse through the settings and of course join in the nets regularly.
If you are interested in getting into 4 meters then there is a wealth of knowledge within the club. Just come along to one of our meetings and ask! We will be happy to help!
There are also some great resources for the Simoco SRM9000 series of radios on the Simoco post linked here
Listen out for me on the weekly nets and I look forward to speaking to you!
73 de 2E0JPM
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