Posts Tagged ‘1.2GHz’

Loving My Alinco DJ-G7

Alinco DJ-G7
There are many reviews on the internet already about this cracking little 23cm-capable transceiver. In fact, it's the only 23cm handheld currently manufactured, which begs the question when will the Chinese fill the obvious gap in demand?

I'd like to add a couple of comments to help G7 owners get the most out of their cherished handsets:

Firstly, you'll find that programming the frequency offsets for 23cm repeaters may involve two minutes rotating one of the knobs. So, before you do this, set the tuning steps to 1MHz and not 25kHz, for example. You'll be able to dial a 20MHz offset in no time.

Secondly, make full use of the large alphanumeric display. This is the only radio I have where there are enough characters to enter a repeater call sign AND its location as shown to the right.

Alphanumeric display
If you're thinking of trying 23cm FM with one of these, I'd urge you to go ahead! I've had so much fun working good distances with just 300mW from a local hilltop. The top power on 23cm is 1W with 5W on 2m and 70cm, of course. The audio quality is crisp and clear and QSO's are very rewarding. Is there activity? Well, not a prodigious amount, of course. Try monitoring the SOTAwatch website for hilltop activity or put out a call on 2m or 70cm asking for stations QRV on 23cm to respond. Note that some stations may have horizontal beams for SSB - simply turn your antenna on its side when needed. Do some research on homebrew bi-quad antennas as they're really easy to construct and will give you immediate gain without sacrificing portability. Again, there is plenty of excellent information on the net. I used this design here: Hybrid Quad Directional Antenna

Check your licence terms, though, as Foundation holders don't have access to this band. Otherwise I look forward to working you soon!

Read Ross G6GVI's excellent review here: G6GVI Alinco DJ-G7

Update - here's a list of stations worked in my first week QRV on 23cm:


Sandpiper 23cm 19 Element Yagi

My relatively new Sandpiper beam is now performing well after a shaky start. It's a misnomer to sell it as anything else other than an antenna kit, to be truthful. It really does arrive as a bag of bits and two rough photocopied pages of sketchy instructions.

It didn't help that the elements were supplied in the wrong sequence with a couple of 'wild card' elements from another antenna design altogether. Marc, the manufacturer, was extremely apologetic and helpful in sending me the antenna measurements straight away by email. However, it meant the additional purchase of a metal rule and measuring callipers from our local excellent ironmonger to get cracking.

After what seemed an afternoon of measuring and re-measuring, the beam started to take form. This involved discarding one element and chopping down another to size. In the initial construction the reflector ended up as the first director. What was supposed as a reflector must have come from a 70cm design. No wonder the thing worked better sideways.

But now, all is well. Coupled with my 1W Alinco DJ-G7 I worked Stoke on Trent (2E0DDD) simplex from a local Anglesey hilltop thanks to a slight tropospheric enhancement. It seems to offer the best combination of gain and beam width. This means your calls will be heard reasonably widely with enough gain (17.1dBi). You won't be losing out too much due to de-pointing either. Its size also means that it can be supported by a modest pole/guys or tripod without offering too much windage.

I think it's possibly the most optimal solution for hilltop and portable operating.

The completed 19 element 23cm Sandpiper yagi

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