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Author Topic: Disappointment…!  (Read 2633 times)
VE3CUI
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Posts: 15




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« on: September 15, 2017, 12:16:14 PM »

Two weeks ago our family engaged itself in a road trip down to Destin, Florida, from up here in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario. I thought it'd be a great opportunity for some 10-meter mobile fun, whiling away the hours of driving with some interesting QSOs on the band whilst mobile, using my trusty old Radio Shack HTX-10 transceiver, & my mag-mount antenna…besides, I was always curious as to how 10 might sound "…from the other end:" what a great chance for learning & experience, both, right…?

Nothing could have been further from the truth.

I guess the sporadic summertime "E" season of propagation had long since ended, & there was no other ionospheric propagation to take its place. The band was dead, dead, DEAD the entire 1-1/2-weeks of our trip, both there, & back. The ONLY propagation was groundwave propagation, which allowed me to tune-in the odd beacon station based in several of the large cities that we passed through. And that was it!

How very disappointing.
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K0UA
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Posts: 1132




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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2017, 12:36:52 PM »

Well, dead is not always dead.  It is a matter of prospective.  Yes, from a mobile SSB setup, I don't doubt the band was pretty quiet.  But from a beam and FT8 digital mode prospective the band was very much alive during that time period, and even today, I have worked several South Americans on 10 meters on FT8.  now don't get me wrong, they are very weak. Perhaps even inaudible, but workable.

It is all about point of view.  Can you think of a signal setup weaker than a mobile?  I can't.  But when conditions are good, that same mobile setup can make dozens of good contacts on SSB.  Conditions right now are not too good on 10 meters. In fact after working a few SA station today, I went down to 15.
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VE3CUI
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2017, 08:06:47 PM »

Well, when the beacons are inaudible, for all intents & purposes, the band is DEAD, whether you're mobile, or not…

And, indeed, I heard about 4 beacon stations in total, but ONLY when I was driving through those cities where they were located --- no skywave propagation whatsover.

A mobile set-up may NOT be the best signal to be heard on the band, I agree, but a mobile's "ears" can still be VERY effective…but no matter: the band was just plain ol' FLAT for me the entire trip…! (Sigh)
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K5LXP
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2017, 06:30:52 AM »

I just completed a nearly 4000 mile trip and had a temporary HF mobile setup installed.  I don't even think I tuned through 10M, it's been dead for so long and with the sporadic E season pretty much behind us, there is little point to even trying.  With the sunspot conditions as they are, and from what I've observed on numerous portable and mobile operating occasions this year, 40M is the band of choice.  20M is decent when it opens and 17 you take when you can get it, but it seems 40 is open somewhere most anytime you try.  I have a terribly inefficient antenna for 40M and I was making easy stateside CW and SSB contacts on 40 both weekends of my travel.  20 was OK once it opened but it seemed 40 was open to somewhere every time I got on.  30M also had some activity at times I wouldn't have expected.  I guess the upshot of this post is if you're going to operate HF mobile, having the ability to work multiple bands is key to finding where the activity is, rather than setting up for one band and waiting/hoping for something to happen.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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VE3CUI
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2017, 06:44:58 AM »

Hi Mark,

I agree with you 100% --- unfortunately, the ONLY mobile rig that I have here is a monoband Radio Shack HTX-10 --- which is a 10-meters ONLY transceiver.

I guess I kinda (hopefully) figured that there might STILL be some life in the band, from my summertime portable operations when I enjoyed many short-skip contacts…alas, it was NOT to be!

40-meters is a GREAT all-round band, for sure, and I take my hat off in salute of those guys who might have the wherewithal to build a mobile set-up around 7-MHz --- especially with a decent antenna…

~73!~ de Eddy VE3CUI - VE3XZ
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K0UA
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Posts: 1132




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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2017, 07:34:46 AM »

And us digital mode operators will keep on making contacts on these dead bands.   Smiley

It is all a matter of perspective.  Besides the winter Es season will be here soon.
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VE3CUI
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2017, 11:17:08 AM »

But how in the world does one ever manage to wedge --- into an ALREADY over-loaded SUV --- a laptop computer, a transceiver, 3 adults, a Boston Terrier, & all of the fixings needed for a 1-1/2 week long road trip, and STILL drive "distraction-free", I wonder…?! Hi Hi
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K0UA
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Posts: 1132




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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2017, 12:47:36 PM »

But how in the world does one ever manage to wedge --- into an ALREADY over-loaded SUV --- a laptop computer, a transceiver, 3 adults, a Boston Terrier, & all of the fixings needed for a 1-1/2 week long road trip, and STILL drive "distraction-free", I wonder…?! Hi Hi

I don't think you can.  Although I have seen some pretty cluttered up cockpits with radios and computer gear.  Not something I would want to do. I haven't operated digital out portable yet either, although it is something I have thought about.  But not in the mobile unless I was just sitting parked, and then that is just portable out of the wind and weather  with a lousy antenna.    Smiley
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KC3EF
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Posts: 77




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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2017, 02:30:21 PM »

K0UA,

Just did a 6700 mi road trip thru the West running digital mobile.  Radio under front seat and using a 2-1 computer/table.  Ran psk31 and JT65.  Made lots of contacts and gave several people some rare grids.  Use a 20 mtr hamstick with a LDG tuner.  Everything seemed to work fine.  By the way the XYL was driving. 

73
KC3EF
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K0UA
Member

Posts: 1132




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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2017, 02:46:10 PM »

K0UA,

Just did a 6700 mi road trip thru the West running digital mobile.  Radio under front seat and using a 2-1 computer/table.  Ran psk31 and JT65.  Made lots of contacts and gave several people some rare grids.  Use a 20 mtr hamstick with a LDG tuner.  Everything seemed to work fine.  By the way the XYL was driving. 

73
KC3EF

Well, there you go.. That would be one solution to the "texting while driving problem"  I bet you had a lot of fun. You may be setting a trend in mobile ops.
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