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Messages - Quietguy

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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.


General Discussion / Re: Contest Mayhem.
« on: November 01, 2016, 05:01:59 PM »
You should see the peeing match about this on's QRP forum.
I quit reading all of eham's forums several years ago because of the trolls and general lack of civility.  I don't enjoy associating with assholes in Real Life so I decided I didn't need to associate with them in Cyber-Life.


Digital Modes / Re: HF APRS
« on: October 08, 2016, 08:58:40 PM »
Interesting.. Especially if the message can be stored upon reception and read later.

Yes - it's just data; APRS allows a limited amount of free-form text.  The radio/TNC feeds what it hears into a computer as ASCII text and what you do with it on the computer is up to you and the program you run.  People are using Raspberry Pis and RTL-SDRs to process APRS data using Linux software.  I have been involved in an application where we used a 2m radio, Kantronics TNC and Windows laptop to process specific APRS data and upload it to a web server for plotting.  The laptop sits there 24/7 running a cron job where it throws away the stuff we don't want and uploads the stuff we do want to a hosted server.  PHP scripts on the web server process the data for plotting on demand.  We already had the equipment but I'm thinking about replacing it with a RTL-SDR/RPi combo just to free up the "real" radio, TNC and laptop for other use.  It seems kind of a waste to keep a perfectly good 2m mobile sitting there doing 24/7 receiver duty.

Lots of potential, but some creative DIY interfacing may be required for non-standard applications.

Digital Modes / Re: HF APRS
« on: October 08, 2016, 06:58:14 PM »
APRS is a convenient protocol to send any kind of short data packets - short "text" messages, battery/system voltage, ambient temperature, equipment temperature, river/lake levels... a custom interface can be built which sends alarm system status of a remote site.  It will tell you when the tripwire on the trail leading to your cabin is tripped and it will monitor the status of your gates.  All it takes is a little DIY and you can get away from the range limitations of unlicensed wireless devices.

Backpack survivalism is not in the cards for some of us, so a little extra infrastructure can be worth the time and effort.  It becomes a force multiplier for those of us who, because of age or infirmity, can no longer throw the ruck over the shoulders and march off into the sunset.  EMDV.  (Everyone's Mileage Does Vary)


I just did a little looking around and it has been around a year or so with lots of information on various sites, including Miklor: .  Eham gives it the usual mixed reviews from "the greatest thing since sliced bread" down to "pure junk".  Oddly enough it is available on Amazon for $85 with programming cable and free Prime shipping.  There are a few known issues, so read about it before ordering.

Apparently programming is supported by Chirp and there is a jack in the rear just above the power cable.  It is kinda hard to see in the Banggood photos but if you look close it is there. 


Classifieds / Re: MTR5b, American Morse mini-Paddles, Kayaker Case
« on: August 07, 2016, 08:55:58 PM »
if I have to pay for the plane ticket, I can think of a couple redheaded girlfriends who might take me up on such an offer ;-)

Well, yeah, but are they Morse code wizards?


General Discussion / Re: Field Day: What to expect?
« on: June 26, 2016, 11:18:16 PM »
I am trying to figure out how to auto-forward my emails from my gmail account to my winmore account based on their size.
I have not researched this, but I'm going to guess that you can't.  Or, at least if the WL2K people see that you are doing it they might disable your account.  It would be very easy to break the no-commercial traffic ham rule with an auto-forward setup.  One forwarded advertising message would put you and the WL2K team in violation of FCC rules.  I believe the FCC still holds the entrance node to WL2K network responsible for enforcing all rules.


Antennas / Re: End-fed angle and NVIS, observations.
« on: June 17, 2016, 05:34:13 PM »
Another thing to remember is there is not a sharp break between NVIS to not-NVIS.  There is a radiation pattern transition that goes from favoring an upward radiation pattern (NVIS) down to a radiation pattern that favors the horizon (not-NVIS).  Reality says that most ham 80 m dipoles have at least some NVIS characteristics because it is really hard to get them high enough in the air to avoid it.  As Bob mentioned, 1/8 to 1/4 wavelength above ground works for NVIS, and at 80 meters that is roughly 30 to 60 ft.  Lobes can come and go depending on height above ground and nearby objects.

A few years ago I had a fan dipole up about 50 feet that included 80 meters and it worked extremely well for daytime SSB contacts with friends out to about 200 miles.  Then at night I had reliable peer to peer 80m Pactor 3 links with friends in Virginia, Louisiana and Southern California from my more or less rural location in SW Washington state.  The limiting factor was really local QRM/QRN on their end.  That simple 80/40/20 fan dipole between trees at about 50 feet was pretty much a great all-purpose solution.  Nationwide daytime 20 meter Pactor 3 was a slam dunk and 80 meter daytime NVIS was a piece of cake.  Either 40 or 80 worked well for distance links at night, depending on conditions.

At the time I used WL2K as backup email and my routine was to hit an 80 m station about 100 miles away during the day and the San Diego Yacht Club station (about 1000ish air miles) on 80m at night.  If for some reason the "local" 80m station wasn't available during the day, 20 m would usually get me the San Diego station if it's frequency was clear (which was usually not the case during RTTY contests).


Technical Corner / Re: Crystal set cat's whisker
« on: June 15, 2016, 07:00:46 PM »
That's how the TV Tax cops in Great Britain catch people who watch TV without paying the "Telly Tax" that funds the BBC.  Radios and TVs are tuned by mixing a variable frequency local oscillator signal with the incoming RF, and the weak local oscillator signal is radiated out the antenna.  You can tell which radio or TV station is being received by the frequency of the local oscillator.

For a little boost in your paranoia level... a couple of years ago I read an article about an advertising agency setting up a monitoring station adjacent to a busy freeway leading into a major city.  They detected and recorded which radio stations car radios were tuned to as they drove past; the information was used to sell marketing campaigns to radio stations.  They insisted they had no way to associate any given record with a specific vehicle so there were no privacy concerns.  And that is probably reasonable during rush hour when all lanes are bumper-to-bumper with traffic since they are looking in from the side using detectors on adjacent private property.

However... a government agency could put detectors above each individual lane looking down from an over-crossing and merge the records with video and license plate readers to build a profile of traffic.  They would know you are secretly listening to Glenn Beck and the Bernie bumper sticker on your car is just camouflage.  Or that dark green helicopter that is hovering over your neighborhood...


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