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Author Topic: How much range could i get.....  (Read 1127 times)
VE3PLO
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Posts: 158




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« on: May 25, 2009, 05:27:21 PM »

How much range would i get between two handhelds in the city? Both would be 3w or both 5w? Not using the rubber duckie:) but something better.
That would be 144Mhz or 440Mhz without any repeaters involved.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2009, 06:13:16 PM »

A lot depends on the city. The types and density of the buildings, interference and noise levels, inter-mod from transmitters located on top of the buildings, etc. If you are talking street level in Manhattan you may be looking at only a few blocks.
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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
VE3PLO
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Posts: 158




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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2009, 08:26:33 PM »

im thinking in an area with single family homes, or even somewhere up north where there is only forests and small towns....
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K0BG
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 05:54:08 AM »

Bob's answer still stands!

It's sort of like asking how far can you shoot a stream of water from a garden hose. If you're surrounded by a bunch of trees, the answer is not very far. Water pressure, hose diameter, and nozzle settings, all play a part. There are just too many variables to give a decent answer.

The same goes for simplex operation, especially when using FM where multipath refections often cause dead spots. Antenna gain plays a part, but a much smaller part than most amateurs realize. Fact is, sometimes a unity gain antenna is a better choice for urban communication.

Again, the answer cannot be defined with any degree of accuracy.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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K5END
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2009, 06:57:36 AM »

This does not answer your question, but you may find the information useful.

My QTH and my Dad's QTH are about 10 miles apart with mostly single family homes, one large golf course and lots and lots and lots and lots of trees--we're talking a lot of dense vegetation here--in between us.

Hand helds won't reach at all.

But with decent base station antennas between 10 and 20 feet above ground we can talk simplex FM on two meters at around 10 watts and the audio quality is better than through the repeater (for various reasons.)

I also have a Yagi for 2 meters mounted about 20 feet up pointed at a repeater more than 20 miles across urban Houston.

I can talk all day long through that repeater with that Yagi at only ONE HALF WATT. Sure, the signal to noise is not the best, but all signals are copied.

At 5 watts this config gives full quieting, and the reports I get for 5 watts are the same as I get for 50 watts. The other party cannot tell any difference between the two.

So, the bottom line is, HT ducky antennas don't do much for you.

The antenna type, efficiency and installation practice is a huge part of what this hobby is all about.
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VE3PLO
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Posts: 158




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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 10:36:32 AM »

K5END,
thank you, this was the type of answer that i was basicaly looking for. I wanted to get one for myself and have wife use my ft-857 mounted in the house. I do work in the radius of 30km to my house.
I would definitely buy a different antenna than a short ducky. Something that would give me some gain, i have seen some diamond antennas for Yaesu handhelds with 2.15db gain.
There is one repeater in this part of town here so maybe that will help, but it is 10km away from my house. I guess we will see.
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K5END
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2009, 01:19:05 PM »



I assume you are both licensed?

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K5LXP
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2009, 01:19:36 PM »

> There is one repeater in this part of town ...
> but it is 10km away from my house.

If the repeater provides line of sight to each station through its elevation, then it pretty much doesn't matter if it adds up to a further total distance than if you were talking direct.  Having a decent antenna elevation at the home station may make all the difference to simplex coverage out that far too.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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VE3PLO
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Posts: 158




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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2009, 04:59:23 PM »

K5END,
not yet, we will be in september:) It is very tempting to push that ptt button, but i haven't.
I have always wanted to be a ham and have some radio/electronics experience, it took me 20 years to get to this point where i am in the process of assembling my QTH and signup for classes. Long time:)
Thanks for all the help,
Daniel.
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K5END
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Posts: 1316




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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2009, 01:28:51 PM »

"it took me 20 years"

Better late than never. I heard a CQ on an old, restored tube SWL radio my Dad restored and was so impressed by this that I vowed to learn Morse code and become licensed...in 1977.

In 2008 I finally got around to it.
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 17195




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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2009, 11:52:09 AM »

I have some transmitter boxes that I use for transmitter
hunting that use an HT on low power - around 200 to
500mW.  If I set them on the ground I can usually hear
them a few kM away, as long as there isn't a hill in the
way.  With a bit of height, either by placing the box on
a hill or in a tree, or using an external antenna 2 to 3m
in the air I generally can hear it out to 10km or so, but
this is often limited by terrain.  With about the same
power to a 3dBd omni antenna at my house I can hit repeaters
about 150km distant with full quieting.

Antenna height, at one end or both ends of the path, and
the resulting path free of obstructions will make more
difference than anything else.  Most people would say that
the road through our valley is "flat", but even the
minor variations are enough that I see a significant
difference in signal strength when I'm paying attention
to it.  You really won't know what your coverage is,
however, until you actually test it with the radios and
antennas you plan to use.

But, at a general guess, if you have a "good" base antenna
up high in the air (and don't get misled by questionable
gain claims from the manufacturers) and don't have too
many terrain obstructions, I'd expect you could get
fairly reliable 30km coverage to a mobile running, say,
25 watts.  Whether you could maintain that communication
at 5W to a HT with a good mobile antenna is less certain,
and will depend greatly in the terrain involved.
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KC6WGN
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Posts: 110




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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2009, 01:00:56 PM »

A 3 or 5 watts power on vhf/uhf is a lot of power,speaking in the line of sight signal. I experienced of my 1 watt 2 meters radio can hit a 25 miles range mountain repeaters. But in the city, it varies because of obstructions such as building,power lines,and etc.

73s thanks...
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AA4PB
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Posts: 14361




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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2009, 02:05:26 PM »

Hitting a mountaintop repeater is one thing. Working in the city between two HT's simplex (as he said he wanted to do in his original post) is quite a different matter. Two HTs at ground level with antennas attached will likely get between a few blocks and half a mile reliably with decent copy. You might do better in certain situations like if you both stand out in the middle of the same flat street with a clear line of sight between you. How long can you do that in most cities without getting run over :-)

Been there, done that many times with commercial 5W HTs. It is what it is.
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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
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