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Author Topic: Ham radio in the deep remote woods.  (Read 3914 times)
KD6OJG
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Posts: 69




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« on: June 17, 2018, 10:28:47 PM »

What would be the best amateur band to use if you were camped out in very remote wilderness.  Mind you, I’m talking about very remote - Packing in with horses for several days till you get to your location.  Deep in the Adirondacks, Appalachians, The Rockies or the Cascade Range.

Your automobile will not be anywhere close to take advantage of the battery or car antenna or hitting a repeater.  Also, would HF, or VHF/UHF on SSB be best.

I guess which antenna to use would be the next question.
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WZ7U
Member

Posts: 1073




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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2018, 12:43:57 AM »

HF 20 & 40 meters will get you the coverage it seems you're looking for. Power consumption is the Achilles heel for any portable operation and CW is more efficient than SSB. Wire dipoles or full wave loops are satisfactory antennas for this; Investigate the concept of NVIS (near vertical incident wave) propagation.

That's what I have off the top of my head right before bed. The responses you get should be helpful, or at least entertaining. Have fun with the radio out in the wilderness.
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KS2G
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Posts: 1063




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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2018, 05:47:20 AM »

What would be the best amateur band to use if you were camped out in very remote wilderness.

Also, would HF, or VHF/UHF on SSB be best.


Best for what??

What kind of communication are you seeking?

---> keeping "base camp"  in touch with fellow "campers" a few miles out on a hike?

---> local (20-30 miles to back to "civilization")?

---> regional (100-200 miles)?

---> nationwide and/or DX?

How reliable?

--->Looking to just make contacts for fun -- or needing "for sure" communications in case of emergency?

Timeframe?

--->Looking to make just occasional contacts over a couple of days?

--->Looking to make LOTS of contacts over a couple of weeks?

Factors such as above will determine bands/modes/antennas/power-source.

 Wink
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W8JX
Member

Posts: 13268




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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2018, 06:10:45 AM »

What would be the best amateur band to use if you were camped out in very remote wilderness.

Also, would HF, or VHF/UHF on SSB be best.


Best for what??

What kind of communication are you seeking?

---> keeping "base camp"  in touch with fellow "campers" a few miles out on a hike?

---> local (20-30 miles to back to "civilization")?

---> regional (100-200 miles)?

---> nationwide and/or DX?

How reliable?

--->Looking to just make contacts for fun -- or needing "for sure" communications in case of emergency?

Timeframe?

--->Looking to make just occasional contacts over a couple of days?

--->Looking to make LOTS of contacts over a couple of weeks?

Factors such as above will determine bands/modes/antennas/power-source.

 Wink


K2SG is spot on here. More info is needed for this.
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--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
N0YXB
Member

Posts: 1545




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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2018, 08:48:36 AM »

Agree with the previous posters. Also you can check out some of the Summits On The Air blogs and videos for ideas.
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K0UA
Member

Posts: 4369




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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2018, 08:59:29 AM »

A smarty pants would say the best Amateur Band to use would be the one that provided the best communications to the areas that you which you wish to communicate with during the greatest percentage of the time.

But if you give us some more info we could be a bit less general and a bit more specific.

Don't discount VHF/UHF either.  Just because you are in the big bad woods, doesn't mean there may not be a mountaintop repeater that could provide coverage.  Some experimentation may be necessary. In fact experimentation WILL be necessary no mater what you choose.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
KB2FCV
Member

Posts: 2989


WWW

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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2018, 07:34:22 AM »

For purely ham radio purposes.. just having fun or keeping touch I would go with 20 meters or 40 meters and to keep power consumption down I'd stick with qrp CW. Using just a long wire.. you'll get out. For me, the KX-1 made by Elecraft is perfect. It is very low on power consumption, it takes AA's but you can power it with an external 12V source.. it has a built-in auto tuner and paddles. I've taken it out with nothing more than a piece of wire tossed into the trees and have easily worked the eastern seaboard and midwest with just a few watts.

Now.. for true life-threatening emergency purposes I wouldn't mess around with ham radio, I would get an EPIRB and be done with it.
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KG4NEL
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Posts: 541




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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2018, 07:26:50 AM »

If I had to absolutely get in touch with someone? 40, and phone.
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VK3YE
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Posts: 267


WWW

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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2018, 04:23:19 AM »

40 is a great band but can be hit and miss. You might not be able to work people in your own state and there may be a lot of DX interference. 

Despite the need for the longer antenna 80m is really worth having giving reliable coverage out to about 300km or so with QRP when the other bands have gone long.
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Peter VK3YE

One ham radio post each day. Visit http://dailyantenna.blogspot.com
Author of top selling $US 5 amateur radio ebooks on antennas, QRP, getting started and more. See http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/vk3yebooks.htm
DL8OV
Member

Posts: 1051




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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2018, 11:29:23 AM »

Go speak to Wes Hayward W7ZOI, he's an expert on the backpacking thing and heads out into the wilderness on a regular basis.

http://www.w7zoi.net/

Peter DL8OV
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KD6OJG
Member

Posts: 69




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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2018, 12:47:33 PM »

What would be the best amateur band to use if you were camped out in very remote wilderness.

Also, would HF, or VHF/UHF on SSB be best.


Best for what??


What kind of communication are you seeking?

---> keeping "base camp"  in touch with fellow "campers" a few miles out on a hike?

---> local (20-30 miles to back to "civilization")?

---> regional (100-200 miles)?

---> nationwide and/or DX?

How reliable?

--->Looking to just make contacts for fun -- or needing "for sure" communications in case of emergency?

Timeframe?

--->Looking to make just occasional contacts over a couple of days?

--->Looking to make LOTS of contacts over a couple of weeks?

Factors such as above will determine bands/modes/antennas/power-source.

 Wink
U

K2SG is spot on here. More info is needed for this.

Myself and a small group of other people.  Making contact with any of you or whoever is listening.  Regular updating for anyone who is listening and wants to follow for their own general interest. 

Next Spring.  Picket Range in the northern Cascades. 

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AK4YH
Member

Posts: 107


WWW

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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2018, 02:08:12 AM »

I will also vote for 80m here. 80m is a great regional telephone. I first avoided using it thinking the antenna length would be a problem, but I was wrong. You can string your 134ft wire horizontally and benefit from NVIS. It works most of the time and especially well evenings. I would also suggest CW. There are numerous small CW rigs available, like the QCX I am using in the video below. For voice on 75m, I would suggest the Weber Survivor. For the antenna, I use a 49:1 transformer now. See the end-fed half-wave page on Facebook. An end-fed IMHO is easier to deploy, and a half-wave is pretty efficient. You don't have to worry about a ground system either.

https://youtu.be/aQUFW7Zlg_E

Gil.
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KB4MNG
Member

Posts: 350




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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2018, 05:19:08 AM »

Cw gives you a plethora of choices with equipment. With either CW or SSB you cannot go wrong with Elecraft equipment. They have mastered low power consumption and antenna tuners. With their on board tuners you can tune about anything. I could see you throwing up a long wire and being very successful.
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SWMAN
Member

Posts: 1331




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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2018, 07:25:58 AM »

 What about using a pair of good quality 27 MHz walkie talkies, the good ones with 5 watts and the long pull out whip antenna. They would give plenty on range between radios.
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KC2QYM
Member

Posts: 958




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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2018, 08:08:04 AM »

As you can see...You ask an open ended, non defined question and you receive every kind of answer across the spectrum.  Are you confused yet?

If you just want to work other stations in your remote areas then you neet to get a low powered transceiver (QRP) that you can run off a battery and throw up a wire dipole between two trees. 40 and 20 meters are generally active in this propagation cycle. Low power QRP may put you into the noise and you may get frustrated trying to make contacts but you can get lucky.
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