Limitations

By Jose B Rivera - N2LRB

Photo of my bedroom wth my DIY Magnetic Loop Antenna on the bed and radio desk to the rightJuly 14, 2018 - I have now lived in this great new apartments (new to us) for just three months. In that time I have slowly begun to gear back up ham radio activity wise. At first, it was hard because moving has a way of tiring one out. I could get on the air, as I did on the day I got the keys to the apartment. But experimentation and projects I had on hold, are just that, on hold. I don’t have the energy to start new things,

Energy
I don’t have the energy due to work. After work I am mentally too tired to do much except watch DIY videos on YouTube or read, listen to music.  Besides time does not allow. I get home to work within 15 minutes of leaving work and then have about 4.5 hours before bed time. So Energy and time are limitations. I don’t want to start something and not be able to finish it. And I want to make sure I have the energy till completion of any project.

Antennas
My biggest limitation is my antennas. It’s frustrating not being able to have any sort of outdoor antenna. All my HF, VHF, UHF antennas must be inside, in my bedroom. The Coop does not allow for out door or out the window antennas. Not even a thin vertical.  I feel this frustration the most when I respond to CQ calls and no one hears me. I make about one out of six attempted contacts. And to make it worst, they all hear me in the noise level. Very rarely have I been told I have loud, let alone great audio. I only do SSB. Yes I can do some of the digital modes, but they are so removed from an actual voice conversation. And if you read my previous article, I absolutely HATE FT8. I don’t see it as real radio and feel that hams are settling for so little.

I will continue to work with different HF antennas to see if I can get a better signal out than I do with my Magnetic Loop Antennas. The loops work, but being indoors saps a lot of their signal, hence I am heard on the low side. Being up 12 stores is helps, but not enough to overcome being indoors. I wish there was a magic antenna out there that works great for indoor use.

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