Diamond SG7900 Dual Band Antenna

Two of my goodies from RARSFest was a Diamond SG7900 Dual Band Antenna and a Kenwood TM-V71A. I had been meaning to add 440 to my work truck for a while and looking for a way to crossband repeat to the JARS repeater from my home in Dunn. This radio/antenna combination did both. Although I’m happy with both purchases I’m very impressed with the performance I’m seeing from the Diamond SG7900. I had previously run a Yaesu 2900 75 Watt 2 Meter radio with a Larson 5/8 wave mag mount and I was concerned that dropping from 75 watts to 50 watts on 2 meters would decrease my range. I was wrong. The Diamond SG7900 with 50 watts input gave me about 30 miles MORE range than the 5/8 wave antenna did with 75 watts including a stationary contact on the 145.210 repeater from 85 miles away in Jacksonville, NC. The antenna specs back up my results with 5 dbi gain on 2 meters and 7.6 dbi on 440. The last piece of equipment in any system can make or break the performance of the whole system and in ham radio that’s the antenna. High end stereo equipment is similar. A premium system feeding rotten speakers will sound rotten. A premium radio feeding a poor antenna will perform poorly. Ask the QRP folks who work the world on 1/2 watt! You can bet they have a good resonant antenna. One down side to the SG7900 compared to the Larson 5/8 is size. The SG7900 is 62″ tall and is not very flexible. Also, it is not recommended for a mag mount. I have been running it on a mag mount but it did blow over at about 75 mph on a gusty day. Calm air at my ‘normal’ highway speed has been fine but I do intend to go to a bigger mount. It does have a foldover built in for when you think ahead before going into the garage.
The Kenwood TM-V71A is very nice too. It has a dual color green/amber display, the control panel can be flipped for speaker on top or bottom or remoted. It’s great for crossband repeat into the repeater AND (this is really cool) has a power off timer so no dead battery on Monday morning. That’s all for now, I hope my experience with this radio/antenna combination helps someone out there. 73 de KS4TI

Sprouting

As talked about last week on the Jars Prep net we have been sprouting different things for a fresh vegetable fix during the winter. We purchased the Sprout Kit and got rolling along. While it is nice to have fresh greens during the winter it was also partly related to eating healthier. The Sprout People have been doing it a long time and most of their seeds are from organic sources.

While I am sure there are cheaper sources to be found we have been very happy with the Sprout People on several orders now. They are fast to ship and communicate well during the process. I do not think you would be disappointed in purchasing from them.

Perhaps Doug can work his magic and the Prep Net some free samples. Speaking of our esteemed Prep net controller I am looking forward to turning on the radio tonight at 9:00 PM on the AK4H repeater as we have our weekly rag chew about preparedness. Whether you enjoy listening on your radio, scanner, or even echolink it is a check in driven net so if you have your technician license or higher feel free to hit the PTT button. If you have not gotten your ticket yet please let us know what we can do to help.

Protect your Heat Pump / Air Conditioning Compressor with your Home Alarm

Here are two relatively unknown but pretty smart items for protecting your HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) compressor from theft. You MUST already have a home burglar alarm and these devices connect to your HVAC system and your alarm system. The Whip monitors the refrigerant pressure in the system and alarms if the lines are cut and the pressure drops. The Copper Watcher does the same BUT also monitors the system voltage and will alarm if the service disconnect (power) is pulled and is smart enough to recognize a neighborhood power outage and not alarm. I am in the commercial alarm business but we do not do residential systems, I’m only passing this along so you can add it to your existing system if you are interested. Crime in this area started and continues with theft of copper coils and wire but now thieves are stealing the entire compressor to sell to dishonest Heating and Air installers. These are not cheap and the price and installation would need to come from your alarm contractor.

http://www.copperwatcher.com/

http://www.thewhip.co/