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Author Topic: What do I need.  (Read 1736 times)
NR5P
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2009, 07:12:51 PM »

I have an uncle who is a ham.  I live in temple, tx and he lives in mt. sterling, il area.  Around 800 miles I think.  We talk on 40 meters with 100 watts with no problems just about daily.  40 meters has been going long earlier lately but we talk day and night.  We both have dipoles up about 30ft.
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NR5P
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2009, 07:12:59 PM »

I have an uncle who is a ham.  I live in temple, tx and he lives in mt. sterling, il area.  Around 800 miles I think.  We talk on 40 meters with 100 watts with no problems just about daily.  40 meters has been going long earlier lately but we talk day and night.  We both have dipoles up about 30ft.
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SPENCER5
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2009, 07:23:20 PM »

Thank you so much for the answer NR5P, its beautiful. My faith is restored. Do you have a brand of antenna or is it a DIY? Also, any thoughts on the ICOM 746PRO, I can get a great deal on two of them and not need to upgrade for quite some time. Thanks again for being normal.

Steve
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AC5S
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Posts: 64




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« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2009, 07:37:27 PM »

Hi Steve,
Sorry for some of the posts to your question.  As you may have figured out by now we have some on this site and in the Ham community that just can't seem to be real "Elmers" but instead try to pass their views off on other people.  I call most of these people morons, but in any case, don't let a few rub you the wrong way.  Now for your question:

That is a great idea!!!  I always choose radio over any other communication method beacuse it is the reason I got into this hobby almost 25 years ago.  HF is the best way to make your communications work.  On almost any day (or night) you can communicate the distance you described.  I would get set up for 20, 40 and 80 meters.  A good multiband antenna(or antennas) will work well.  A mid priced HF rig ($699-$1100) will work also.  A similar setup on the other end.  You can always experiment with long wire, vertical, and dipole antennas, but I think you will find a horizonal antenna may work the best.  I got started in Ham radio with the idea of doing the same thing, but needed a shorter communication path, and a VHF repeater worked well for me.  Glad to have you interested in the hobbie!!!!  73's  Paul
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AC5S
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Posts: 64




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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2009, 08:07:07 PM »

Steve, Just one other note...K9YCI is a AH, as are so many others on this site.  This forum used to be excellent, but I don't think there is a moderator on this forum, and there should be.  Anyway, don't let these guys get you down, and thanks for speaking your mind about the STUPID responses.  You are right on!!!!
Paul N0BSS
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SPENCER5
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2009, 08:23:41 PM »

Thanks N0BSS. The fact that I am still on here tells me there is no moderator. Believe it or not, I was holding back with my response. I appreciate your answer and your help. I am sure my interest will grow as I get more and more into it. I do enjoy just listening also. And will do just that until I am licensed. Can you give me any advice on an antenna. I need something with a WAF. That's home theater for wife approval factor. I would like to mount something on my roof that doesn't stand out too much. I don't mind spending money for quality and I am not interested in DIY. Thanks again for the thoughtful answer. Those others should be ashamed of themselves. In fact, they seem like the type that would be talking on a CB radio instead of ham.

Steve
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K4DPK
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Posts: 1077


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« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2009, 08:36:46 PM »

Steve….

I agree with you some of the responses were unnecessarily harsh, but with all due respect, you really didn’t give us a lot to go on.

Read back over your first post, if you will.  You didn’t give a call, and you signed with an alias.  That, to some, suggested no license.  The reference to cell phones not working well further implied a lack of understanding, at least of HF communication.  This was a misunderstanding, but it was brought about by a lack of information from you.  You suggested we could not grasp the obvious, but it really wasn’t obvious.

Some of us cautioned you that a ham license was necessary, not to be cruel, but because we had no way of knowing from your original post that you knew that.  

Think how differently the responses might have read if you had initially told us you were licensed, had some experience with HF, your relatives were up and coming to ham radio, and your hope was to communicate regularly.

I wish you every success with your plan.

Phil C. Sr.
K4dpk
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K4DPK
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« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2009, 08:59:12 PM »

Steve....

My son is a ham in Montana (I'm in GA).  We typically use 40 meters SSB in the evenings, and that is truly a wonderful way to use ham radio.  (During the summer, 20m SSB was somewhat better.)

BTW, I just noticed that you said in your last post you weren't licensed yet.  Good luck to you, and please let us know if we can help in any way.

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk
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SPENCER5
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Posts: 7




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« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2009, 09:18:24 PM »

Sorry Phil. The fact that other people have been able to  answer my question as asked makes your defending the moron over thinkers moot.

FYI, I am not licensed, and that fact has absolutely nothing to do with my question. That is my point. My being licensed or not licensed doesn't change my question and shouldn't change the answer. Also, telling me to get a web cam or use the telephone when I am on a ham forum is asinine.

I will bet you I can go on 100 auto forums and ask a question related to buying a car and not have one moron ask me if I am licensed to operate a motor vehicle or do I have insurance or recommend I take a cab or a bus or ride a bicycle or tell me how to dress while riding the bicycle or ask me if a relative I am buying a car for is licensed. It's beyond ridiculous.
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K4DPK
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« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2009, 09:48:02 PM »

Steve...

I see what you mean, but honestly when I first read your post on the other thread, I took "obvious newbie, new to ham radio" to mean you were a new Technician and I wondered why you didn't use your call.

Of course, I'm not trying to excuse people who deliberately made cruel remarks. We do have some people on here who should fight the impulse to show how stupid they really are.

When I told you that someone on the other end also had to be licensed, I don't think it was out of line, and I think several of the other similar posts, though possibly excessive, were caused by similar misunderstandings.

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk
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AC5S
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Posts: 64




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« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2009, 07:20:38 AM »

So we can't answer questions if people who post are not Hams?.  Or maby not the "class" of license we are?  Since when do we have to challenge every person who asks a question?  PLEASE;  let's turn this forum back into an Elmer's forum and the rest of you idiots go somewhere else.  Just so you know, a few years ago this forum was not as active as it is now.  The downside was that if someone asked a question if might go unanwered.  The upside was that people seemed to be more helpful.  It seems latley that there are Hams on this forum who have taken the approach that every question must be asked a certian way;  that if you didn't get your ticket by taking the code test you are "less" of a Ham than those who did;  that un-licensed people should not be on this forum; etc.  There if a forum for them to express their positions and opionions, but they choose to come here are and "vent" through their answers.  Most Hams I have known for the last 25 years or so, are not like the idiots represented here.  

Now Steve, one thing I'm not real knowledgable on is Horizonial antennas because I have usually always run verticals and wires.  However, the last beam I had was a smaller HyGain tri-band (10,15,20 meters) model TH-3JRS.  Smaller footprint than their larger beams.  This would easily mount to a smaller mast and rotor on top of a roof.  40 meter beams are larger and you may need a tower for those with some height.  For 80 meters I would try a vertical (Hustler BTV4 with 80 meter coil) or a long wire (end fed maby) or one of the other wire types out there (Windom, etc).  The BTV antenna is very narrow on 80 meters, but if you are on a the same frequency each night, not a problem.  You will most likely need a good antenna tuner.  I like the LDG brand.  Fully automatic in most cases or will tune with just a touch of a button.  Good luck!!
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AB7E
Member

Posts: 117




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« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2009, 08:28:15 AM »

Hey, there ... SPENCER5.

There are indeed some folks here on eHam who qualify as jerks.  KB9CRY always makes a point of making a smart-ass reply having little to do with the original poster's question.  AC5UP varies.

Everyone else here, including K9YLI, tried to give you and honest reply based upon the sketchy information in your question, and you proceeded to rip them all a new one.  There are LOTS of people who post totally clueless questions here on eHam, and anyone trying to help you has no way of knowing where you fit on that scale.  I can easily see where most of those who answered you were honestly trying to help you based upon their perspective of what misperceptions you may or may not have.  Your inflamed reaction (ESPECIALLY your unwarranted comment about K9YLI) to a problem you basically caused makes me think that you're going to fit better with the KB9CRY/AC5UP crowd rather than the KQ65Q/WA3SKN/KJ1AME/K9YLI group.

My gut reaction says to blow you off as just another jerk the hobby would be better off without, but to answer your question .... there is no single frequency that will reliably communicate 800 miles "on demand" (whatever that means).  At any particular time of day or not, some frequency on the HF bands will probably support a conversation over a distance of 800 miles, but that frequency may not be the same from day to day as propagation varies, and there may be times of day when no frequency will do what you want ... such as the middle of the day when D-layer absorption mostly kills 80m and 40m (especially as the sunspot level climbs) and skip is too long for 20m and 15m.  Your best bet is to try some combination of 40m and 20m using relatively low (30' to 40') horizontally polarized antennas.

Dave   AB7E
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N2EY
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Posts: 3849




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« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2009, 09:47:50 AM »

1) Licensed operators at both ends (but you knew that). I strongly suggest working up to the Extra because the parts of the bands-of-interest reserved for Extras are the least crowded. The license is not hard to get, just one more test beyond the General.

2) 80/75, 40 and 20 are the bands to focus on to cover the distance you want to span. Depending on time-of-day, time-of-year, and sunspot number, one of the three should do the job most of the time. 40 is the most important, 20 the least.

3) A good horizontal wire antenna, such as a dipole, up 40-60 feet. Can be homemade rather easily. What's important is radiation at medium takeoff angles.

4) Most 100-watt-class HF transceivers made in the last 30-odd years will do the job if in good condition.

5) If you were only considering voice modes, I suggest you set up for, learn, and use modes other than voice. Four reasons for this:

a) There are times when voice modes will have a hard time getting through, or may not get through at all, due to poor propagation. Yet Morse Code/CW and data modes like PSK31 will get through easily.

b) Even with good propagation, crowding in the 'phone bands may sometimes be a problem.

c) There may be some things you want to talk about that you don't want the whole world to listen in on. While you can't use codes, ciphers or encryption, and nothing on the ham bands is really secret or secure, voice modes are much more wide open.

d) They are just plain fun.

No mode will work 100% of the time, but being able to use non-voice modes gives you a lot more options.

6) The single most important hardware in the station is the antenna. But a good antenna isn't always the most expensive.

For what you plan to do, I'd rather have good homemade trap or parallel dipoles/inverted V up high and in the clear and a low-cost used rig, than a top-of-the-line new rig and a ground-mounted vertical or low, compromise antenna. Effective antennas for 80/75 and 40 meters aren't small, and they need to be up a few dozen feet to do a good job, but they don't have to be complex or costly.

73 & good luck de Jim, N2EY
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VE7RWN
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Posts: 73




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« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2009, 09:56:08 AM »

Hi Spencer, and welcome to the fun. As others have said, what you are after can be done for not a lot of money. I know you are not into DIY, but the time it takes to install an antenna, is only a little less than to make a dipole, and making one is less expensive. Sounds like you wish to talk in mainly one direction, so put up the dipole at right angles to the direction you are aiming for. They are easy to put together, and easy to repair when mother nature kicks the life out of them!
As to the radio end of things, you can go from a used boatanchor rig (tubes) for a couple hundred bucks and up from there, as you know. Invest in a reaonable tuner, and your dipole can be made to work on a number of bands reasonably well.
I started out in radio the same way you look to be starting now. I had an interest in radio, but wanted to talk with my uncle, not too far away. That was over 30 years ago, and I still enjoy the hobby.
You will find most of the people in the hobby pretty good, but as with any group of people.................

Hope to hear you on the air soon, good luck.

Rob, VE7RWN
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OLDFART13
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Posts: 242


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« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2009, 05:52:06 PM »

Any HF radio will work.  There are many out there and lots of information available on the reviews section of this site.  You can get some very good deals on used rigs if you want to save some money.

The antenna is what you need to focus on.  You need a fan dipole antenna.  Use a 1:1 balun with a set of wires for 80meters and a set for 40 meters.  

Here is more information:

http://www.hamuniverse.com/multidipole.html

73, Steve
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