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I'm a new ham and have only used 2m/70cm so far. I have recently completed a QRP CW setup: a YouKits HB-1B transceiver and a simple wire dipole. I haven't made any contacts yet, and I'm wodering if the radio is even working. A SWR meter shows power to the antenna when keying, but an HF radio nearby is only registering clicks. My question is twofold: how far away would a HF-SW radio have to be from the transmitting antenna to hear a clear groundwave CW signal on 40m, and is there a better way for me to test my rig if I still haven't made any contacts?

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  • $\begingroup$ If you are hearing clicks in a receiver, I would have to ask what "mode" is that receiver set to. By mode, I mean CW, USB, LSB, AM, etc. It should be in CW mode. If the receiver is older than you may have to adjust the BFO to hear the CW tone. You adjust to please your ears (mostly). $\endgroup$ – K7PEH Dec 5 '15 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ I found that either the receiver I'm using or the transmitter is "off" by about 1 kHz. I'm able to hear my CW tone on the receiver now. Next, to figure out if there is some adjustment I can make to actually be transmitting on the frequency I'm seeing on the HB-1B's display. $\endgroup$ – KE0FFT Dec 6 '15 at 5:30
  • $\begingroup$ You might want to verify which radio is off by 1 KHz: the transmitter or the receiver. Do you have a nearby friend who can listen in on the signal? $\endgroup$ – K7PEH Dec 6 '15 at 6:06
  • $\begingroup$ If you key the transmitter continuously, does the SWR meter register a (reasonably) constant output power? If it does, you are transmitting something on some frequency. Next step: call CQ! That's exactly what it's for. 40 meters is good at local grayline to nighttime. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Dec 10 '15 at 15:50
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Call CQ, preferably using a keyer, and see if you are spotted by the Reverse Beacon Network.

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