Friday, December 28, 2012

SO2R - are you nuts?

Call me crazy, but I've decided to build a single operator two radio (SO2R) station on my small suburban lot.

And I have no towers - just a big redwood tree with an inverted vee at 60 feet, and a ground mounted vertical (still under construction).

The goal isn't to win any major contests. The goal is to build my operator skills so that when I have the opportunity to operate from a shack that is SO2R capable, I can take full advantage of the station's capabilities. In the November Sweepstakes CW contests the last two years, I've had exclusive access to AD6Z's SO2R-enabled shack, but was unable to take advantage of all that aluminum. However, I did make use of the second receiver in my Elecraft K3, and I feel like I've learned enough to at least give SO2R a try.

So, the goals are:
  1. Don't spend a ton of money
  2. Allow me to practice SO2R on any arbitrary pair of HF bands
  3. See rule #1
The first cut on the overall design is:
  • Use the radio I have - a Yaesu FT-857D - as the second radio 
  • Erect a second antenna as far away from my G5RV as possible
  • See if using these two antennas without any bandpass filters works
  • Build or buy an SO2R controller
Likely fails:
  • My K3 has a great front end, but the FT-857D may not perform well with a strong local signal, especially when I'm running the KPA500 amplifier. Maybe a bandpass filter on the FT-857D will do the trick.
  • Operator brain explosion

1 comment:

Jeff WK6I said...

hi Gordon - Please be sure to buy this book, it will be a great help in managing interference between your two radios:

This book has been a huge help to me. The chapter on coax stub filters is worth the price of admission. When you make your stubs (and you will) be sure to tune for a null at the harmonic frequency you want to block. Many people make the mistake of tuning for the fundamental but that usually ends up with the null (max attenuation) being too high.

Good luck and keep posting! - jeff wk6i