Any recommendations for a smallish speaker with vol control for my HB1B and whilst we are at it a suitable aerial tuner?
Re I’ve not done much soldering yet - so I’m happy to buy. My HB1B is one of those with an internal SWR meter but I think I’d prefer a tuner with some kind of SWR meter or perhaps just a light if they produce good enough results as I might just find that simpler to use/operate.
m6gyu David Perry, Robin Hood’s Bay
I have one of these which I used with an MTR-5. Volume is not what I would say loud but is just adequate.
73 Phil G4OBK
I highly recommend the ZM-2 by EMTECH. great for tuning a wire or NORCAL doublet type antenna Simple but effective. Tune the caps for most noise, then key up and tune until led is dimmest. I think it is good to 25 Watts. I rarely use mine now that I have KX2 and KX3 with internal tuners, but I am hanging on to my ZM-2.
I also have one of these small pop-up speakers - for the size loud enough, but I prefer headphones despite the extra size and weight to carry.
For an ACU - what type of antenna do you intend using? A resonant dipole doesn’t need an ACU/ATU - for an end-fed there area a few QRP capable kits, often with a tuning LED rather than a meter.
here’s one that I have and have used: Pacific Antenna SOTA Endfed Halfwave Tuner - Pacific Antenna
Bavaria (but from Hull originally).
Is the tuner also for bad (shortened) wire antenna? I searcher what does not have a high weight for the MTR3B, which tuns very small/short wire antennas?
vy 73 de Matt HB9FVF
I also prefer headphones - the small in-ear type isolate external noise well (people or wind) and allow me to concentrate on those weaker signals. The size and weight is negligible
I have only ever used the Hendricks Tuner with half wave end fed antennas, how it might do with short wires - sorry I don’t know.
But from the description on the web page
"All that you have to do is attach the tuner to a wire, hook it to your rig, and then tune until the LED dims or goes out. "
would suggest that it will do what it can with whatever length you use.
Remember please this is only rated for 5W CW or 10W SSB as the tuning capacitor in it is one used in the old small transistor radios.
I built the kit as the 40m - 15m version.
I also have a pair of in-ear earphones which I have used when I have taken the absolute minimum equipment with me but for longer activations the over-the-ear ones are far more comfortable for me (plus the over the ear ones I have, have a built in noise cancelling function, which can assist with really weak signals on occasions).
David and Matt,
On summits with too little space for my beloved EFHW antennas I’ve always used the Elecraft T1 as a companion for the MTR3B. The T1 allows the use of a large variation of minimalistic antenna configurations in tight space conditions. Moreover, with an automatic ATU solution you will not see the (annoying) effects caused by the influence of hand capacity when tuning variable capacitors.
I have already thought with the Elecraft T1 … probably I will do it then. I think there is no better alternative … unfortunately again 140g
Thanks for the info so far guys (and gals?).
Weight for me isn’t too much of an issue really as I guess I’m fit enough as I’ve spent a fair few years climbing & mountaineering.
Headphones I have - a good pair of over the ears one, but I quite liked the idea of sitting with just a loudspeaker when there isn’t much happening and I fancy making a brew, sandwich, cigar, or just taking in the views!!.
As for the tuner I’ve got linked dipoles from SOTABEAMS but quite fancied giving long wires ago. I know it sounds lazy but I quite like the idea of not having to connect/disconnect the links every time I change bands - something I never had to do in the Royal Navy ho,ho!!! I’m still on a big learning curve both for general amateur operations and now SOTA so any input is welcome.
The SOTABeams Bad hopper (or whatever the new name is) linked dipole is a great solution as it’s a resonant antenna on each band and so no ATU is needed.The downside is, as you say, that you need to lower the antenna to change the links. Another option would be an off centre fed dipole which will work on certain bands without an ATU. It depends which bands you want to use but the Spiderbeams/Aerial-51 404-UL works well for me. Once up you switch bands by simply changing band on the rig. It works on 40, 20, 15, 10 & 6 without an ATU and on the WARC bands with an ATU.
You can of course build an OCF yourself - either building or buying the 4:1 Balun.
Another thumbs up for the Elecraft T1…
Works really well as a tuner, and one of the features I like is that it uses latching relays, so it only draws current whilst it is actively tuning (or displaying SWR etc if you ask it to). I’ve had the same PP3 battery in it for several years now. If you use the same antenna on the same band, there is no need to re-tune, the relays will all still be as you left them last time
(20 Watts absolute max, so if you intend to use higher power in future, that might be a concern…)
Supplement on remote T1 usage without a separate control cable (which was not asked for in this thread, only for the sake of completeness):
Inspired by the simple solution of Jim @ AB3CV -
http://jtmiller.com/T1%20tuner%20control.BMP - I have set up my proven T1 also for remote control (to mount the T1 on a long pole as high as possible). The remote side bias tee with switch (2N7000) is fully built within the T1, while the local bias tee is housed along with a pulse switch and a 9v battery in a small case.
Tuner - I kept using T1 successfully for most of my activations.
Loudspeaker - I bought JBL Clip 2. It looks like a working horse with 10h battery, waterproof, with a clip which allows carrying it outside. So far I preferred headphones for qso’s I admit but I think Clip 2 will work well.
If u don’t put the dipole up very high you don’t have to lower it to open/close links, and It still works fine for SOTA. I have been using one at 13 feet (apex height…inverted VEE config) for 10K contacts…only have to lower it for six meters.
To be clear, I was saying that I needed to lower the linked dipole to change bands - of course the OCF from Aerial-51 has no links and does not need to be lowered. It however has the disadvantage of the weight of the (albeit relatively light) Balun that the linked dipole doesn’t use.
I have both 6m and 10m fibreglass poles. The 10m one I hardly ever use as the difference between 6m and 10m height is negligible and the 6m pole is half the weight, half the price and ten times more reliable in not collapsing into itself.
Thank you all for replying. Some pretty sound advice I think. I won’t throw the linked dipoles away for the moment though
If you find having to drop the aerial to make/break links irksome swap out the links with SOTABeams Pico Traps. You will have to tweak the length of the aerial elements but these traps are super small and lightweight and mean you can switch bands without getting up.
Using pretuned dipoles/end fed half waves (EFHW) is a good option as you don’t have to carry an ATU and leads…less to forget! If you do want to use options that need an ATU then the T1 is an exceptionally good little QRP tuner.