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Messages - Quietguy

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General Discussion / Re: 3.818MHz Net on Sunday nights
« on: October 10, 2017, 12:21:14 AM »
They're sure proud of that unit! Did I really see them for $1500? I'm looking at the County Comm setup.

They have been discontinued but there is currently one on ebay for $200 Buy-It-Now.  I have had one for years and I like it, but I can't imagine anyone paying $1500 for one.  The CountyComm GP5-SSB is a nice little receiver, but the TH-F6A is a tri-band (2m/1.25m/70cm) handheld transceiver with wideband receive coverage - a completely different thing.


Net Activity / Re: Global Radio Relay Network
« on: August 28, 2017, 07:58:44 PM »
This is the main issue in traffic handling groups, all of them, getting people on the air at the right time, regularly.

Peer to peer digital works extremely well.  Given power availability - doable with solar - allows 24/7/365 monitoring and message capture.  I have done it over extended periods with Pactor before the newer soundcard modes were available, and I am told the new Winlink Express (new name for RMS Express) supports peer-to-peer on HF using sound card modes.

Asynchronous communications completely removes the need for simultaneous operating, but it isn't popular because it isn't "fun".  If the station is well configured with reliable equipment the operator is downgraded to a button-pusher.  Not much fun, but boy does it ever work efficiently.  Yes, it requires a computer, but if you have one why not use it?


Batteries & Solar / Re: Man Portable Off-Grid Power for Amateur Radio
« on: June 27, 2017, 05:20:49 PM »
I almost forgot the proof-of-concept. Here's my field station from last weekend

Is there a photo attached to this post?  If so, it hasn't been approved and we can't see it.


General Discussion / Re: Backpacks
« on: June 12, 2017, 01:11:01 AM »
(My emphasis.) There is a large empty space after this sentence and before the two concluding ones, but I see absolutely no link(s) nor pictures or any other kind of illustration in between.

I suspect Jon's photos are waiting for Admin approval before we can see them.


Antennas / Re: More info on the modified off center fed dipole
« on: April 28, 2017, 04:51:54 PM »
Very interesting, thank you!


Gil, we can not see images in posts until you approve them.  Right now I can't see any images in this thread or Lamewolf's original thread.  Apparently that was a change you made when you implemented the paid subscription plan, images posted by non-subscribers have to be moderated (approved).


Antennas / Re: Super Gain 9db 40m NVIS Antenna.
« on: March 24, 2017, 06:33:40 PM »
Thanks Wally, very informative! What's the book?

It's "Electronic and Radio Engineering", 4th ed, by Frederick E. Terman from 1955.  It was a college textbook still in use back in the mid-1960s.  It was used in some of my courses, which is why I happen to have a copy.  Sigh, yes, I'm that old and obsolete...

I can see that in my minds eye, but the gain they are speaking of in this article is going straight up !  Good for NVIS, bad for DX !

That was pretty much the author's point - reduce interference arriving at a low angle from foreign shortwave broadcasters on 40m and favor high-angle NVIS regional contacts.  I don't believe the term NVIS was used back in the '60s when this article was written, but they certainly were aware of the effect.  As DJ6KR mentioned in his post, the significance of this article is the reflector laying on the ground underneath the antenna wire directing more of the energy upward.  Terman's book (Figure 23-36) shows "Directive Gain" of about 8 at  a spacing of 0+ to about 0.1 wavelength and then steadily dropping to about 4 at 0.3 wavelength, where the plot ends.

The same figure has "Radiation Resistance" plotted at the same spacing scale, and it gets better as spacing goes up.  The downward sloping Directive Gain plot crosses the upward sloping Radiation Resistance line at a spacing of about 0.17 wavelength.  This yields a Directive Gain of about 7 and Radiation Resistance about 50 ohms.  That is probably the sweet spot for overall efficiency, but it puts the antenna up about 22 feet, which is still NVIS territory, but is much less convenient than 7 feet.  Additionally, Terman's figure is based on a reflecting screen beneath the antenna; 3 wires 6 feet on center may be a good approximation of a (40m) screen at 7 feet height but I wonder if additional reflecting wires would be necessary with higher antenna elevations, just because of the geometry.  At 7 feet the "screen" is wider than the antenna height, so would a 22 foot high antenna require a much wider "screen"?  I suspect it would to get the maximum effect.


Antennas / Re: Super Gain 9db 40m NVIS Antenna.
« on: March 23, 2017, 09:11:28 PM »
It is all about the reflector on the ground under the Antenna, I think.

Yes, I have a copy of Terman's book that is referenced in the article.  Terman discusses a "Half-wave Antenna with Reflector" starting on page 903 and derives the gain.  He shows plots of gain compared to radiation resistance as a function of antenna to reflector spacing.  Radiation resistance (and efficiency) goes way down with small spacing, while gain stays around 8 up to a spacing of about 0.1 wavelength (about 13 feet on 40 m) before falling off with increased spacing.  He says:

"In order to prevent incidental loss resistances from making the antenna efficiency very low, the spacing S should accordingly be at least 0.05 wavelength, and preferably 0.1 wavelength."

The article uses 7 feet, which is about 0.05 wavelength at 40 meters, but Terman's chart shows you would have better efficiency without losing gain if you made the antenna 14 feet high.


New To Radio / Re: Problem with antenna on 1 of 2 radios
« on: March 21, 2017, 06:02:21 PM »
With the working regular antenna that came with it, if I put my finger on the antenna and gently push in one of several directions, the incoming signal shuts off, as if the antenna has been removed. 

I haven't pulled a Baofeng apart to verify this, but it sounds suspiciously like the antenna connector is soldered directly to the edge of the printed circuit board and the connection is broken.  Since flexing the working antenna loses signal it sounds like it normally makes contact but any movement breaks the connection.  The odd antenna may fit slightly different from the stock antennas and deflect the connector enough to cause the problem.  This was a problem with the old Icom W32A dual band handhelds; an impact to the antenna could break the circuit connection and cause intermittent operation.

If you are comfortable with a soldering iron you can attempt to take it apart and touch up the connection or circuit traces leading to the connector.  At the price of a Baofeng you don't have much to lose.  If you transmit with the connection broken you may fry the output anyway.


Net Activity / Re: Preppers Calling Frequency.
« on: February 23, 2017, 05:16:24 PM »
I'm not sure such a frequency legally exists.

Only on 160 and 60 meters as far as the US is concerned.  Attached is a screen shot of the HF portion of the table I linked above.  Note that 80 meters is defined as 3.525-3.600 MHz and 75 meters is defined as 3.800-4.000 MHz.  40 meters is divided into two segments, 7.025-7.125 MHz and 7.175-7.300 MHz.  You are right, digital modes are not permitted in the phone allocations.

I believe this was one of the reasons the ARRL requested a rule change where the FCC would regulate by bandwidth rather than by mode, but I don't know what happened to that proposal.  There was a lot of objection because some people said they were just trying to turn all the bands over to "robot" digital stations.


Edit to add:  Full Members can't post images without approval now?  It says my screenshot is waiting for approval.

Net Activity / Re: Preppers Calling Frequency.
« on: February 22, 2017, 06:49:08 PM »
No, it isn't an ARRL Band Plan, it is in the FCC Part 97 regulations,  "97.305   Authorized emission types".  No 40 meter phone from the continental US below 7.125 KHz.  I took this straight from a government web site which has nothing to do with the ARRL:

Edit to add:  this link takes you to Paragraph 97.301 which details the limits for each ITU region.  Scroll down to Paragraph 97.305 for details.  Although the entry "7.075-7.100 MHz    Phone, image" appears to authorize Phone, footnote 97.307(f)(11) takes it away for the continental US:

(11) Phone and image emissions may be transmitted only by stations located in ITU Regions 1 and 3, and by stations located within ITU Region 2 that are west of 130 West longitude or south of 20 North latitude.


General Discussion / Re: Survival Radios, Really?
« on: February 02, 2017, 04:50:22 PM »
These go-boxes are good for disaster relief supported by an infrastructure, not for preppers on the move.

Or, they are good for the "radio operator" supporting a group in a retreat setting, if you happen to be a member of a group with a retreat.  For an individual on the move... not so much.  It goes back to the first thing people should do but isn't much fun, so it tends to be avoided:  define your realistic needs before obtaining the equipment.  Over and over again we see people on other forums asking "what radio should I get?  Is the Baofeng a good choice?"  Not one word about what purpose they expect the radio to serve, not one word about their terrain, not one word about who they want to talk (or listen) to...  IMHO it is very much like asking "how long is a piece of string?"  But if you ask them for details there usually is no answer.


General Discussion / Re: Survival Radios, Really?
« on: January 26, 2017, 06:17:52 PM »
Al, I am surprised that your agency needed more digital repeaters.

Often the problem is caused by going from analog VHF to digital 700/800 MHz systems.  Areas with terrain issues (those darn hills, valleys, canyons and mountains) - particularly rural areas without tall buildings - are not good candidates for replacing 150ish MHz public safety systems with 700/800 MHz trunking systems.  People tend to think of 150-160 MHz as line-of-sight, but that isn't strictly true.  There is lots of signal bouncing that goes on with VHF analog that doesn't happen with UHF trunking systems.  Many cities have been disappointed when their shiny new trunking system reduced their coverage area.


Morse Code / Re: cw on 2 meters
« on: December 31, 2016, 11:54:02 PM »
I recently configured my Buddipole for 2 meter verticle and began searching for signals in the 144.05 to 144.10 CW area.

I haven't tried it, but I believe most CW and SSB work on 2 meters uses horizontally polarized antennas rather than vertical as is customary with repeaters.  If that holds true in your area you are giving up a lot by using a vertical antenna, try a horizontal configuration.


Technical Corner / Re: How to solder aluminium rods?
« on: December 12, 2016, 03:25:59 PM »
I ended up using a mechanical connection.

Yes - I should have made my comment clear that the oxidation inhibitor paste was for mechanical connections between aluminum and copper, not soldering.  Copper and aluminum mechanical connections aren't reliable because of oxidation.  That was a major problem in the early days of aluminum house wiring connected to copper terminals on receptacles and switches.  I was suggesting using the paste along with a copper saddle straddling the joint.

Sorry if I confused the issue...

Technical Corner / Re: How to solder aluminium rods?
« on: December 11, 2016, 09:32:54 PM »
It is very difficult to solder aluminum and you can't really "slightly melt" it because aluminum does the transition from solid to liquid very quickly and you end up with a puddle.  The best way is welding with a shielding gas because aluminum quickly oxidizes.  I assume you are trying to butt the ends of the rectangles together and make them electrically continuous.  There is an oxidation inhibitor paste designed for making aluminum to copper joints in electrical wiring.  Maybe you could clean the oxidation off the rod ends, apply the paste, and make a saddle splice out of copper spanning the joint.  The cleanest solution is to find a friendly welding shop and have the ends welded.


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