Recent posts

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New To Radio / 10W for local, portable emcomm...
Last post by Tru - January 16, 2021, 12:03:39 pm
Hey, I am studying for my ham licence and am joining my local emergency preparedness group. My question is around all these portable radios like the IC-705, the EX2/3,the new TX-500 (the current one I'm leaning towards) that are around 10W. I know others like the FT-817/8 are down around 5-6W and have a huge following. I live on one of the Gulf Islands between the mainland and Vancouver Island. Line of site is not very far in most directions, though there is a peak fairly close to me that I can get to the top of within an hour's walk. I'd like a portable setup for emcomm during a long term, grid-down scenario like after an earthquake. So a low power rig is what I'm looking for for using on solar power. I may also need to walk to the local school which is designated as our Emergency Operations Centre, or up to the top of said peak, so light weight and packable is important (I'd likely be carrying a lot of food, water, clothing and camping gear as well!). I'd be relying on a combi of ground waves and NVIS. The range I'm thinking I'll need for voice communications is only 100km or so to the local major cities and surrounding islands and communities. The government will supply a large VHF radio plus FRS radio they want me to use for acting as a hub and intermediary for neighbourhood contacts (on FRS) and then on VHF to police, fire, ambulance, emergency social services, coordinating boats for bringing supplies to, or people off the island, that sort of thing. But their solution doesn't let us talk with Victoria or Vancouver or other surrounding islands or communities that are not line-of-sight. Nor even other parts of our own Island. Hence working with them to set up NVIS. Those who have done a decent amount of QRP NVIS, is 10W good enough for *reliable* SSB using NVIS for 100km or so? And to the extent it's not reliable, would 20W or 100W make a significant difference if the propagation just isn't there? Eg. Does 10W work 95% of the time and 100W would work 96% of the time? If that were the case I would stick with 10W. Or would 10W work 70% or the time, 20W would work 95% of the time, and 100W work 99% of the time? That would make me get a 20W or potentially even a 100W capable tranceiver.

NOTE that I am planning on getting very good at building excellent antennas. Also, I know CW and data modes will work fine with 10W, thats not what I'm interested in - I want to know what power output is needed for voice communication capability, as CW and data will work at that power level too.  Thanks for your input!
Military Radios / Thomson CSF TRC-372 manual.
Last post by gil - January 15, 2021, 04:43:32 pm
Compiled by yours truly, file attached.

General Discussion / Radio Prepper logo.
Last post by gil - January 09, 2021, 11:09:53 pm

Following recent comments I had to add this to all my videos... Please do not comment about current political events on the Facebook group as some people misunderstand the meaning of a flag created in 1775 and associate it with its misuse these days. I do allow a bit of leeway here as this is my domain name, hosted in Iceland, country with great laws about freedom of speech. Here it goes:

"DISCLAIMER: The Radio Prepper logo (depicting a microphone) is indeed inspired from a famous flag created in 1775. It is NOTHING BUT a symbol of freedom and independence. It does NOT imply support to any political group. It does NOT imply, represent nor support any ideology with an intent on harming anyone. Freedom means freedom from persecution based on any human trait or belief such as, non exhaustively, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or nationality. The Radio Prepper channel is a technology and science channel with a focus on preparedness and use of radio technology for disaster relief and small group communications in times of need. It is apolitical and open to anyone sharing the same interests."

If you need any clarification on my opinions, feel free to ask me in a private message, but be patient as I do not check those often. This forum and associated YouTube channel are for discussions of a practical nature only.

Sorry that I had to post this but I thought it was necessary in light of the new censorship paradigm. Note that nobody ever asked me about the logo until a couple days ago... Keep in mind that I no longer engage in arguments so don't waste your time trying to start one.
Now more than ever is the time to be prepared as the future appears quite uncertain. You thought 2020 was bad? Just wait...

I prefer to avoid political comments on any platform, but this time, only once, and to clarify my personal position if anyone wonders:
  • I am very much against instigating violence unless attacked.
  • My political views are mostly Libertarian, not Republican and certainly not Democrat.
  • I defend and promote freedom and individual rights.
  • I am not religious but defend freedom of religion as any other freedom.
  • I am very much against racism and any kind of discrimination.
  • I abhor ideologies based on theft and control under the threat of violence, specifically socialism/communism.
  • I do not support the far-right which is similar to far-left ideology.
  • Don't tread on me.

That's it, and I really don't want to talk about this again publicly.

I wish you all a safe and healthy new year.

New To Radio / Re: Resource for people lookin...
Last post by gil - January 09, 2021, 11:09:16 pm
Great thanks!
Licensing / Re: French or US licence ?
Last post by gil - January 09, 2021, 11:08:43 pm
That's what I did. I got the three ARRL books and studied them for a couple weeks, then passed all three exams in one session. When I came back to France the ANFR gave me a French call-sign. I think it is much easier that way.

Licensing / French or US licence ?
Last post by le_phasme - January 06, 2021, 02:33:22 pm
Hi there,
I live in french Guyana, which is a pretty desolated french region located in south america. I want to pass my amateur radio licence, but there is no way to get an exam session here. I though about passing my US licence remotly (
What's your opinion on it ? The idea is to try to get the Extra level so I can ask for a french callsign later...
I was wondering which of the french or US Extra licence is the easiest to get ?

Thanks, and cheers from the forest.
New To Radio / Resource for people looking in...
Last post by vwflyer - January 06, 2021, 01:52:02 pm
I wrote a couple of short documents that can be helpful to someone looking into how to use ham radio for emergency communications. I plan to give them to interested people, let them read through them, then answer any questions they have from them. I hope some of you can find them helpful too.
General Discussion / Self-hosted VPN (and pi-hole)
Last post by vy2js - January 06, 2021, 07:30:39 am
Radio related in that is how cell phone work...  ;)

I got a raspberry pi for xmas and promptly set up pi-hole on it which acts as a DNS request sink-hole.  all dns requests go to the pi-hole: if blacklisted (like facebook for me!) the pi-hole reaponds with nothing, but if it us whitelisted (or just not blacklisted) then the dns request gets passed along.  It deals only with the dns request not the data so thingsvare actually faster.

And no more ads.

And no more trackers!

On average, roughly ONE HALF of all dns requests from my phones & laptops are blocked 🚫.   Woo hoo

Also set up pivpv which qas super simple to do, just answering the installer prompts.

This means i have my pi set up not only as a dns sink-hole but mybown vpn!

So no when I'm out of the house i connect to my vpn and no matter where i am, I'm connected to home and significantly reduce the risk of being hacked.  I can now use public wifi without being exposed.

The real bonus is that when out of the house and connected to my vpn, my pi-hole is also in effect so NO ADS or TRACKERS.

Ad'free games.  Anywhere.

And facebook has lost track of me.


Antennas / Re: S8 noise at the QTH, need ...
Last post by gil - January 01, 2021, 02:27:08 pm
I magnetic loop would cure that real quick...

Antennas / Re: End fed windom
Last post by gil - January 01, 2021, 02:26:27 pm
I've had much trouble with a Windom because of stray RF currents... Not so with a half-wave end-fed...

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