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Author Topic: What would range be?  (Read 685 times)
ANDREW86
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Posts: 4




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« on: March 27, 2003, 10:45:13 PM »

Hey.
I'm new to the HAM Radio scene thinking of getting a licence with a friend.

Here is my question. Is it possible to talk to my friend that has a cottage 250km away from my house? How could that be done and what kind of equipment would I be looking at? And how much?

thanks,
andrew
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RAD1OMAN
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2003, 11:21:25 PM »

80 or 40 meters would work. COST? how much do you want to spend? Phone, CW, Digital? you can spend $25 or $30 to over $3000.00 or more.
There in no definiative answer for such a broad question.
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ANDREW86
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2003, 11:31:55 PM »

Like what is the best equipment for that? I was looking at http://www.aesham.com/display_pages/tmg707a.shtml something that would be small like that. I dont even know what that is but. Im soooo new to this. Could you help me choose something right for me?

--andrew
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RAD1OMAN
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2003, 12:15:42 AM »

what license class do you have??
I do not think that you will be able to work your friend 250km away on VHF or UHF FM. Even with a repeater in the middle. You could if you were both using packet radio and knew the path between you. You might be able to work each other using IRLP of there is a node at both ends. But for communications, point to point, HF is the way to go. Cheap is CW. You could use voice but I would use PSK31. But you need a General class license or higher.
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WA9SVD
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2003, 02:24:23 AM »

Hello Andrew,
    I hope you'll obtain your Amateur Radio License soon!  But if we don't have a bit more information, it's difficult to predict what propagation will be in effect between your and your friend's location.  
    If you tell us your location, and that of your friend, it will be much easier to suggest the best band(s)/ times of day that will be the most useful for your desired communications.  It's even possible that VHF (SSB/CW, but probably not FM) can be a possibility on a regular basis, depending upon the actual path, and the equipment at both ends.
    If you give a few more specifics of your station  capabilities, we might be able to answer your questions  more completely.
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ANDREW86
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2003, 08:37:10 AM »

Hey
My location is: Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA
Her Location will be: Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA

It is North of my location

Here is a mapquest map just showing the distance.

http://www.mapquest.com/directions/main.adp?go=1&do=nw&ct=NA&1y=US&1a=&1p=&1c=Hamilton&1s=ON&1z=&1ah=&2y=US&2a=&2p=&2c=Peterborough&2s=ON&2z=&2ah=&lr=2&x=63&y=11

And if you could suggest what product I could use that would be awesome. I would like something preferibly small.

--andrew
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W4TYU
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Posts: 518




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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2003, 09:38:01 AM »

Cost of amateur equipment would range from US$300 to more than US$3000 depending how serious you are and how deep your pockets are.  Obtain your amateur license and in so doing you will find out more about what it will take.

I always suggest good used equipment to start with. It can always be sold and the station upgraded. Antennas can be anthing from a length of wire to a tower with a beam antenna mounted on it.

Have fun and join us.

Ole man JEAN
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K5DVW
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Posts: 2193




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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2003, 10:16:15 AM »

I think the most simple answer is that you can't do it with a small VHF pocket sized radio, unless there are some linked repeaters between you and her. You'll have to check locally for that info. You might can do it with a high powered VHF base station, but the antenna requirements become expensive.

Otherwise, you're going to have to use HF, which means 160m, 80m or 40m. To do that you'll need an HF radio, typically they range from $300 used and old, to $4000 top of the line new with about $500 being average used price and $1000 average new price for an entry level model. (those are in $USD) There are LOTS of different radios to chose from, undertand what you need then take your pick and get a brand name.

With an HF system, you'll have to consider the antenna. This can range from next to nothing, to $1000+ for a tower and beam. Fortunately for you and the distance you want to cover, a low slung wire antenna would be best. An antenna tuner would be useful, which would be another $100.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2003, 11:50:11 AM »

Andrew, everyone's trying to be helpful, but here's the best advice (I think):

-It's a 100% sure shot that you can contact your friend 250km away via amateur radio, provided you both have licenses.

-There are many ways to accomplish this, but in most cases the "contact" will not be totally noise-free full-duplex, like a telephone.  And also, the contact will usually not be "private."  You'll be using public airwaves and depending upon the frequencies, antennas, and propagation used, your conversations could be monitored by hundreds, even thousands, of people.

-Surely, you and your friend should both get ham licenses!  There are many Amateur Radio Clubs throughout Ontario to help you.  The process is not "overnight," and commonly takes at least a few months from start to having a license.  Once you have your licenses, *that* would be the time to investigate how to reliably contact each other via amateur radio; however, a 250km path is easy, and it's common to make contact over that distance 24 hours a day on a band like 40 meters, using very simple and inexpensive equipment.

WB2WIK/6
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KB1FLR
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2003, 02:16:09 PM »

Hi Andrew,

WB2WIK is 100% correct. To sort of sum up what everyone is saying:

You can definitely do this using Amateur.

You will need to obtain licenses that have HF (High Frequency) privileges. Some of the hams who responded mentioned VHF and UHF. Radio spectrum is divided into sections called bands. Some bands are well suited to local contacts, while others are better suited to regional contacts and still others are best for long distance contacts. VHF and UHF are probably too local for your needs, hence the recommendations of 40 and 80 meters.

You can purchase used radios for surprisingly little that will be great for your intended needs. As for an antenna, a hank of wire and some trees can work wonders.

To get your licenses you will need to take 1 or more tests. The first test is usually for privileges in the VHF and UHF bands. The next test or tests usually give you your HF privileges. I don't know Canada's rules, but the requirements are fairly similar worldwide.

Here is a link that may help:
http://www.rac.ca/liceinfo.htm

Best Of Luck,
Rick, KB1FLR
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VA3WXM
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Posts: 277




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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2003, 12:08:05 PM »

Well, Andrew, you've had a lot of good suggestions and I'll throw in my hat and say such communications would definitely be possible via ham radio.

The licence requirements in Canada are 3-fold.  The first level that most people attain is called Beginners.  This qualification gives you full access to all bands above 30 MHz.  The second level is called Advanced and gives you the same privileges as Beginner, in addition to being able to own and operate a repeater system and run a transmitter amplifier.  The third qualification is the Morse Code (CW) requirement of 5 words per minute sending and receiving.  Once attained you have full access to all ham bands below 30 MHz.  All three are interchangeable, i.e. you can get your Advanced and Beginners without getting the Code endorsement, or get your Beginners and Code but not the Advanced, etc.  The clincher will be if you succeed in earning the CW endorsement: this is where your desire of communicating 250 km can be achieved.

For more information about getting your licence check out Radio Amateurs of Canada at www.rac.ca.  They are the official representative of all hams in Canada both at the national level and within the international radio community.
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N6KB
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Posts: 46




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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2003, 03:04:38 PM »

If we knew exactly what the range is with any given setup and time, it would be about as interesting as using telephone, or a two meter repeater.
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