New HAM's Question about how to get on HF

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    Fred Kemmerer
    Fred Kemmerer

    Our next Tech Night will be all about how to get on the air. Here is a little more information on it. If you can make it, we’ll be able to answer more of questions about how to get onto the HF bands. To get started, I’d recommend an Icom HF radio (they are the easiest to use) in the 100W class. Many of the new folks in the club are looking at the IC-7300. Its a new radio which has some very nice features. Also, an antenna tuner and the sound card function which is needed for digital is built-into this radio which help to reduce the overall cost of getting an HF station on the air. I just received my IC-7300 and will have it at the next Tech Night session.

    The other thing that you’ll need is an antenna. The most important bands for new HF operators would be 20m – good for DX and digital and 40m – because its always open somewhere at all times of day and its good for SSB phone. How you do this depends upon what you space for antennas is like. The simplest thing to do is usually to put up a 20m dipole, often mounted vertically. If 40m is more your thing, then a 40m horizontal dipole or perhaps a 40m Delta Loop is the way to go. If you have space for it, I’d also recommend considering a 7-band OCF dipole from Buckmaster. This goes up as an inverted V and will cover 80m, 40m, 20m, 17m, 12m, 10m and 6m. It needs about 100 ft of space end to end. The OCF dipole is a great wire antenna for a new HAM but its harder to put up than the simple dipoles.

    The is some good information on my Blog about these antennas. Just go to and search on First Antenna.



    - Fred (AB1OC)
    President, Nashua Area Radio Society
    Visit us on the web at -

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