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Author Topic: What Band Would You Pick for Local Net?  (Read 611 times)
KE5BNO
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« on: August 07, 2006, 01:27:53 PM »

   What band do you think would be best for a group of stations within a 50mi radius of each other to use for occasional nets and ragchewing after 6:00pm? Most of the stations do not have beam antennas or towers above 40ft. We would like to use simplex in order to keep from timing out and "tying up" a local 2M or 70cm repeater.  I have tried various HF bands with "mixed" results to selected stations, probably because of the "mixed" nature of the antennas involved---everything from beam to dipoles. 40m and 80m are the logical choices, but are extremely busy and "noisy" at night. This leaves 2M simplex around 146.46 or so, which is limited in range,or 2M SSB--which many of the stations do not have.  I guess I know most of the choices---and most of the answers, but I just thought I would see what my fellow "out of area" hams thought.
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W3JJH
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2006, 02:03:55 PM »

6 m FM could be a good choice if the terrain is favorable.  Many of the newer HF rigs also cover 6 m.  10 m FM might also work and is supported by a wider variety of radios.  CB verticals can be cut down to retune them for 10 m.

Another possibility is 160 m SSB using NVIS antennas.  100 W into a low, shortened (inductor-loaded) dipole might have adequate coverage.

If the equipment is available and the you're not limited by the local terrain, 222 MHz might be the band you want.
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N4LI
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2006, 02:25:00 PM »

It all depends...

Anything FM would not be my first choice.  It's just not as efficient as more narrow modes like SSB (or CW).  And, while 6m is a good band, on FM it really doesn't carry as far as 50 miles reliably with compromised antennas.

160 & 80 are possible, but, they would be less than reliable daytime, and often noisy anytime.  Plus, one needs at least a General Class license to use 'em.

I think you answered your own question -- 2m SSB is, to me, the obvious choice.  With even a modest halo (and, better yet, a small yagi) and 50w (the output most of these shack-in-a-boxes have) 50 miles should be easy.  And, everyone is licensed to use it.

Just please... PLEASE... don't tie up 144.200.

Peter
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2006, 03:26:58 PM »

75m should be good for this at 6:00 PM local time.

It's not all that tied up with nets.  Heck, the phone band is 250 kHz wide!  If there are two dozen different nets each occupying 5 kHz and operating simultaneously, that leaves 130 kHz of empty space almost anywhere.

Local signals should be strong at that hour, this time of year.  Now during wintertime when it's already dark at 6:00 PM might be another issue...

50 mi on 2m FM simplex isn't very difficult, either, but each station would need a decent omni antenna up 40-50' above ground to make it happen, and of course if there were mountains in the way that could be a problem.

If just one of your "group" is well-sited for VHF (like lives on a hilltop and has a tower), you might consider installing a small, low-power repeater at that site for net use if a coordinated frequency pair is available.

WB2WIK/6
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2006, 04:10:24 PM »

I'll second 160m.  The issue with HF, of course, is that
conditions change with dayligth, season, sunspot cycle,
etc.  So in summer at the peak of the sunspot cycle you
might have to use 40m because the D-layer absorbtion is
too high for 80m.  In winter at the bottom of the sunspot
cycle there are several months when the critical frequency
drops below 4 MHz in the evenings and 80m won't support
NVIS propagation, so 160m is your best choice.  (Your
latitude also makes a difference - the closer you are to
the poles, the greater the change in the the hours of
D-layer absorbtion from winter to summer.)

Generally, though, if you can hear signals from considerably
further away than you want to work, try the next lower
band.  So when 80m seems crowded with signals from half
way across the country, it is time to try 160m.
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WB4QNG
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2006, 06:09:04 PM »

I would use 2 meter FM for fairly close in work. I don't know about 50 miles but a bunch of guys around here 145??? for a simplex frequencies and it works out. With most modern rigs having 50 to 75 watts you will be surprise what range they have. If someone is on the fringe of your group just have him add another 10ft to his antenna and it should work.
Terry
WB4QNG
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K6REA
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2006, 06:59:17 PM »

2 meter ssb should do it just fine.

kevin
k6rea
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W3JJH
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2006, 07:55:52 PM »

Check to see if the members of your proposed net can work the following repeaters:

Ft. Worth 52.65
Ft, Worth 53.15
Wichita Falls 53.29
Wichita Falls 29.62
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K7AAT
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Posts: 413




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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2006, 09:03:16 PM »


  You have already received lots of good input from others here.  I'll through in my 2 cents.  Why not use 10M SSB.  Everyone with an HF rig should have that capability, and if they need an antenna, a dipole is real easy to make for that frequency.  With the sunspot cycle at a minimum, you should have no competition for a frequency of your choice.


  Ed   K7AAT
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RobertKoernerExAE7G
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Posts: 1435




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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2006, 11:44:39 PM »

10 meters.

Easy to make a vert, or cheap to buy a CB antenna.

Just don't pick a trucker frequency, or South American CB frequency.

73
Bob
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KE6GLW
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Posts: 44




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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2006, 08:34:48 AM »

FM has the added problem of capture effect. With SSB you can hear through someone's doubling.

- Tim (KA1OS)
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N1XBP
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Posts: 80




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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2006, 09:57:33 AM »

"With even a modest halo (and, better yet, a small yagi) and 50w "

Just wanted to point out that repointing that yagi for every new station would get pretty tiring! Smiley

Directional antennas won't help much for a simplex net that's geographically diverse.

If you go 2M, you're going to have to use SSB, and chances are not everyone has that (more common these days, but still not everywhere). At 50 miles, assuming the other station is 50 miles away too, your going to need to be able to cover 100 miles at each station without a beam to cover the whole net. Don't know what your conditions are like, but some people would probably need an amp to do it (My 2M SSB rigs are 5W each, max.)

If you've all got 6 Meters, get together and make up some copper pipe j-poles. I don't know if you'd be able to do FM but you shouldn't have too many problems via SSB. Plus, you never know what you'll hear when sporadic E kicks in Smiley Problem here is also equipment availability.

You probably all have 10 Meters, so that seems like the logical choice. You won't be stomping anyone, the equipment is everywhere, and the antennas are cheap. You could make up a couple of simple 10M dipoles and have everyone turn them broadside to each other.. or even a CB whip on a washing tub might do the trick. Amps are easier to come by for those that need them. I paid very little for a used Radio Shack 10 Meter rig that works just dandy. You'd have some of the same fun solar minima propagation as six too.

I myself would either do 10 or 6 M, or I'd get two old VHF or UHF FM rigs from ebay and setup a simple "repeater" and have everyone set up a simple yagi (arrow makes some very reasonable small yagis for 440, 220, or 144) but I'd probably do the latter just for the fun factor.

- Jason
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2006, 12:19:47 PM »

Though it is worth trying, I think 10m won't give you much
better coverage than 6m or 2m.  Groundwave coverage is
pretty short and skip distance will be too long, so you
basically will be working line-of-sight, just as on VHF.

Probably the best approach (and the best learning for
everyone) is for those with equipment for different bands
to try it out and see how far they can work with an antenna
at, say, 30 feet or whatever they can manage.
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