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Antenna Questions

I'm sorry to keep asking "newby" questions, but I am thoroughly confused
about setting up my station. I don't think that I'll be interested in
the digital birds since I'd have to "learn" them as-well-as "learn"
about packet too.

This brings me to what type of antennas to buy.  I'm using an IC-820H
radio.  I have tried to listen to various birds with and without a
preamp attached to a dual-band Comet GP-6 up about 25 feet.  Yes, I know
that this is not what I want, but it is all I have right now & was just
trying to "hear" the birds.

I have had some success, but marginal.  It seems that I will need
directional antennas and a rotor.  Here is where I get my "brain
block."  It seems that I'd need cross-element beams to compensate for
polarity, right or wrong?  Years ago when I got "the bug" it was AO-10 &
13 and I could not afford the equipment.  What is needed now?

I'm sorry, but I guess that I am trying to absorb too much too fast.

Also, I like the helix antennas, but don't know if I could build one
myself.  Are there any commercially available?  I might mention that
years ago when the Russian Space Show was at Fort Worth, Texas, I
checked it out.  I noticed helix antennas formed on and in the shape of
a cone.  Any comments from you experts out there?

Thank you for any help.  So far the response has been wonderful to my
questions AND I am truly thankful.

Jerry N5GPC

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