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Author Topic: Best setup for comm across US?  (Read 2597 times)
W0ALE
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Posts: 37




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« on: April 22, 2013, 10:09:42 AM »

Please don't beat me up too much for this...I'm still a newer Tech class, but plan to go for General soon.

I was wondering what the best setup would be to talk long distance (CO to PA) with my dad.  Is there a setup that could also be portable, so I could contact him while mobile & driving across the US?

If there is something already out there let me know...I wasn't quite sure what terms to use to search for this info.

Thank you,

Dave
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K5LXP
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 10:34:08 AM »

Basically it'll be 20 or 40M depending on distance and time of day.  Those bands are readily done mobile. 


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13243




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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 10:43:12 AM »

"Best" is always a dangerous word - one can almost always find some way to
spend more money and make it better in some way.

If you just want to make occasional contact, then a moderate station such as
a standard HF transceiver and a dipole antenna may be adequate.  You' would
probably want to set up a schedule to try different bands, as propagation changes
throughout the day, the year, and randomly.  Sometimes you may make contact
on 10m, but 20, 17 and 15m are more likely at present during the day.  In the
evenings 40m or even 80m may be better.

If you want guaranteed contact every day, then it gets more complicated, as
sometimes the bands aren't cooperative, and other times there may be too
many stations to be heard well.  In that case a better antenna (such as a
beam on a tower - though it is possible for the tower to be too tall)
and a higher power amplifier may increase your chances.  (Of course, you
also have to be able to hear the other station, so your father might
need to improve his station.)

Most modern HF transceivers run off of 13.8V, so can be connected to a
car battery and operated mobile.  Mobile antennas aren't as efficient as
most fixed antennas because they are limited in size, but on 20m through
10m performance is usually reasonable.  Or you can carry a portable antenna
that you can set up in a rest area or park along the way.

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AD4U
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Posts: 2164




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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 11:01:10 AM »

Typically it will be 20M in the daytime and 40M at night.  Of course that can (will) vary from day to day.

Dick  AD4U
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W8JX
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Posts: 5774




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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 12:21:10 PM »

40 will work in morning till a few hours after sunrise and will work for around a hour before sunset to well into night.  20, 17 or 15 should work during day now. I would prefer later two as 20 can be a circus at times.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
AC2EU
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Posts: 395


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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2013, 12:53:32 PM »

Please don't beat me up too much for this...I'm still a newer Tech class, but plan to go for General soon.

I was wondering what the best setup would be to talk long distance (CO to PA) with my dad.  Is there a setup that could also be portable, so I could contact him while mobile & driving across the US?

If there is something already out there let me know...I wasn't quite sure what terms to use to search for this info.

Thank you,

Dave

40 and up are all good choices, however there are go guarantees.  There are other variables, such as antenna orientation and geography .
I have a HAm friend in Nebraska that I can't work even during prime propagation conditions.  Think it's his location or possibly an antenna issue. The same time we could barely copy each other, I was talking to a guy in Idaho and Colorado With no problem whatsoever.

Generally speaking, I can work the west coast from eastern NY with  regularity using 20 and 40 meters .
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W0ALE
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2013, 04:08:29 PM »

Thanks for the replies everybody!

73,

W0ALE
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W5DXP
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2013, 04:42:15 PM »

If there is something already out there let me know...

Cellphone?  Smiley
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73, Cecil, www.w5dxp.com
The purpose of an antenna tuner is to increase the current through the radiation resistance at the antenna to the maximum available magnitude resulting in a radiated power of I2(RRAD) from the antenna.
W0ALE
Member

Posts: 37




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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 05:41:42 PM »

If there is something already out there let me know...

Cellphone?  Smiley

You're no fun!  Tongue
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KF7ITG
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Posts: 82




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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2013, 08:24:08 AM »

Just for fun check this out. Quite a bit to read but defiantly interesting.

http://hflink.com/
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K7RBW
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Posts: 391




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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2013, 08:26:41 AM »

I use the cellphone to coordinate the HF QSO.

Of course, after all that work, you probably wouldn't have much left to say on HF.
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9908




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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2013, 10:46:01 AM »

a decent radio in the shack, and a small beam Like an MA5B, up about 30 feet on a push up mast with a rotor, will go a long way in making this happen, a small amp would also help, and you can make a 40 meter dipole hanging off the mast "point" in the direction of your dad...
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KS2G
Member

Posts: 411




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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2013, 02:42:24 PM »

Everyone is proposing HF.
But the OP is currently a Technician.

Right now, he could use EchoLink or IRLP via VHF/UHF -- and not have to worry about band conditions, propagation, time of day, etc.


73,
Mel - KS2G
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12836




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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2013, 03:06:01 PM »

He also said "...I'm still a newer Tech class, but plan to go for General soon"

From that one can assume that HF will be a possibility.
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