Anyone so new they don't even have a radio yet?

Started by White Tiger, September 27, 2012, 03:30:54 am

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gil

February 07, 2013, 12:15:01 pm #30 Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 12:17:23 pm by gil
Quotethere are those of us on here who ONLY use Morse, because it is SOOOOOO amazingly effective


Like this morning, Ray and I chatted over 830 miles using 100mW!  :o
A tenth of a Watt!!! That's 8000 miles per Watt.
1000miles/Watt award? Oh please  ::)

Gil.

RadioRay

February 07, 2013, 12:31:20 pm #31 Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 01:11:23 pm by RadioRay
By the way, this was not with monster beam antennas (though I'd love to have some!!!) For those who don't know, I have a dipole and a SIMPLE , corner fed, HalfSquare wire antenna. Gil uses a PAR EndFed antenna, which is basically a wire to a tree, from his apartment in a southern city. He started at ten Watts (Oh - the POWER!) and had his usual strong signal - as always and when I asked him to reduce power, I head him send:

.----  -  -    --  .--     ....   .--   ..--..       1 0 0 MW    HOW COPY?  

No problem.  Instead of ten Watts yeilding a signal of S-7 to 9. His power drop to 100 milliWatts yielded a perfectly readable S-1 to 3.  That fits 'the math' of dB, power conversion and S-units on the signal meter on the front of the radio. This is no parlor trick - it's just pointing out that low power, long range RELIABLE communcation is entirely 'do-able' if you can eliminate electrical noise.  Power is for overcoming electrical noise for the guy receiving - not for bridging the distance - as far as I am concerned. From campsite to campsite, you can reeeeeally conserve power, which saves a LOT of hassle with recharging/resupply in the woods.

I used to do that, back in the stoneage - from the Idaho wilderness with my little SW40+ QRP kit. radio . . .  //I was radioman on the Lewis & Clark expedition...//



End of Sermon -

de RadioRay ..._ ._


"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

Geek

That does add another twist to the thought process, learning Morse.  Since my first goal is to establish communications with family members, most of whom aren't interested in prepping let alone communications in an emergency, I think I've got to take some intermediate steps.

While I don't get a lot of what you just said, the idea that one can communicate long distances with remarkably low power certainly sounds applicable to a SHTF scenario.

White Tiger

Ray and Gil (and WA4STO) have made me curious about morse/digital modes...but so far the only thing I've done to gain more knowledge is download a couple of iPad/iPhone Apps....one is pretty cool when I get the urge to drop down the dial into the data portion of the bands...I turn up the volume, pull up the app, then sit my iPad close to the speaker...and viola! I'm listening and decoding morse traffic...that's about the time I wish I knew how to send...for an emergency situation of ANY kind...I see the need for morse (I just keep stalling the learning of it).

I myself really enjoy conversation - albeit short ones for the most part - and exchanging information quickly. I hold a General license and operate solely on SSB.

Regarding fancy antenna's - mine WAS an incredibly difficult antenna...I'd thrown a rope attached to the center yoke of a fan dipole ("fan" describes what it looks like: 4 copper wires fanning out from the center yolk, covering 80m, 40m, 20m, &15m bands), up into my tall palm tree, over a palm frond up about 25', then attached a length of coax cable to the center of the dipole yolk, and hoisted it up the palm tree (it was recently pulled down by accident by the fellow trying to pull his camper out of my backyard)! The other end of the coax was run into my "shack" and attached directly to my radio. I have worked stations as far away as the Republic of Slovenia (over 5,000 miles) and Venezuela...and as close as very near my home (only requires a different type of alignment of the one of the legs of the dipole).

This arrangement can be done anywhere, and deployed very quickly. While I will use it as a base-station, it is also capable of operating mobile.

I LOVE this set up - and here's the best part: you can acquire everything mentioned above for $700 to $1000!

I also have a 10m/CB and a 2m handheld set-up that I travel with. I have the radio, a 10m dipole, a length of coax and some instructions inside an old military case made of aluminum...

Thea solution can be as complicated/expensive, or as simple/inexpensive as your budget allows.
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

gil

QuoteThea solution can be as complicated/expensive, or as simple/inexpensive as your budget allows.


I usually tell people that you can start Ham radio with $100...

Gil.

Geek

Inexpensive is good IF it gets the job done.  I can afford to make a couple mistakes along the way, but ultimately I want to be able to use this in a SHTF scenario, so I want to experiment once, get a working configuration and then other family members could buy the exact same set up without worrying about whether it will work when needed.

RadioRay

Geek,

That's good planning. 

How far are the shortest and the longest distances that you would like to span?  What type of terrain is between these points: flat, rolling hills, Himalayan?  This information can help us to help you for non-infrastructure dependent comms.


>RadioRay ..._ ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

White Tiger

February 07, 2013, 06:06:39 pm #37 Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 06:08:24 pm by White Tiger
Very similar to our plans - group of 4 local families 30 miles apart - I got my General and will have access to HF & pass comms/bulletins to them via 2mVHF. Everyone else will have Tech license.

The other group I'm coordinating has progressed much more slowly, is hundreds of miles away, but more resistant to acting on their concerns - because they are prepping for storms/weather related issues - no "doomsdayers" amongst them, and consequently not really motivated to adapt.
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

cockpitbob

Quote from: White Tiger on February 07, 2013, 06:06:39 pm
Very similar to our plans - group of 4 local families 30 miles apart - I got my General and will have access to HF & pass comms/bulletins to them via 2mVHF. Everyone else will have Tech license.
30 miles?  A little too far for reliable VHF simplex.  You might consider putting a repeater in the most centrally located house.  That way everyone could easily get by with an HT and maybe a slim-jim in the attic.  That house would need back-up power, but if they are preppers they probably already have that.

Maybe just a mobile radio that has cross-band repeater capability.  That would be much cheaper than a real repeater and you wouldn't need to go through all the FCC approval, and bad guys wouldn't find it in the repeater data base.   

White Tiger

Quote from: cockpitbob on February 07, 2013, 06:39:25 pm
Quote from: White Tiger on February 07, 2013, 06:06:39 pm
Very similar to our plans - group of 4 local families 30 miles apart - I got my General and will have access to HF & pass comms/bulletins to them via 2mVHF. Everyone else will have Tech license.
30 miles?  A little too far for reliable VHF simplex.  You might consider putting a repeater in the most centrally located house.  That way everyone could easily get by with an HT and maybe a slim-jim in the attic.  That house would need back-up power, but if they are preppers they probably already have that.

Maybe just a mobile radio that has cross-band repeater capability.  That would be much cheaper than a real repeater and you wouldn't need to go through all the FCC approval, and bad guys wouldn't find it in the repeater data base.   


Excellent advice Bob!

Yes, in actuality 3 of the four families are within 7 miles - the 4th member is about 20 - 30 miles away. We thought a separate slim Jim atop my 30' HF antenna mast would do the job, but the mobile cross-band repeater might be a better option - in which case my house would be the most centrally located anyway - could my Icom 271A work in that role?
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

RadioRay

February 07, 2013, 07:37:31 pm #40 Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 09:03:46 pm by RadioRay
There is a Po'Boy way to do this: a simplex repeater.  Basically, a simplex repeater is a short (20 second or less) digital recorder chip that 'plays what is hears back into the transceiver after it has received a transmission. Install a transceiver (HT) with good antenna where it best suits you. Plug the simplex repeater box into the mic/speaker and then when a call is heard by the transceiver when the sender unkeys their mic - a few seconds later on the SAME frequency, the simplex repeater re-transmits the message.  This works for all who can access your transceiver/simplex repeater. Use PL tone for the repeater and no tone for normal simplex.

It's like hiring a moron with a phonographic memory to stand between your team and repeat every word that you say , but you don't have to feed him . . .   :o

EzPz.


>Ray
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

Geek

I am also looking at 30 miles maximum.  I already have FRS/GMRS radios and CBs for short ranges.  My location is NJ, which has hills, but no real mountains in between us.  I see the most important communications occurring at the inception of whatever problem develops.  Ideally we would assemble at one of two locations, but there is going to need to be some communication to decide that it is time to assemble, account for anyone who is not at home when the problem begins, etc.  Assuming phones are out, this is the most critical time.  Once we are together the needs would be much lower.

cockpitbob

Quote from: White Tiger on February 07, 2013, 06:58:06 pm- could my Icom 271A work in that role?
That Icom can't be a cross-band repeater since it is only 2M.  You need a dual-band rig (2M & 70cm) with seperate antenna connectors for each band.  I have a lot to learn about this.  Here's an article on the subject I just found.

Ray's idea of a poor man's repeater is interesting.  I've never heard of that trick being done.  If there's an off-the-shelf or kit solution, that would be a super cheap way to go.

RadioRay

February 07, 2013, 09:01:37 pm #43 Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 09:10:21 pm by RadioRay
Get Thee  to E-Bay!     ;)


Also - at only thirty miles, ten meter SSB (voice) might just be able to make that shot and that wavelength will do quite well with hills and such.  You would only need the Tech license for the ten meter link. Also, ten meter is easy to install into a mobile and many 10 meter rigs are available on E-Bay and etc. at reasonable prices.  It's worth talking to those who use ten for LOCAL / area communications.  We used to to have a local Maryland/Pennsylvania ten meter net, and I seem to remember ground wave comms working at MUCH farther than 2 meter line of sight range.  This could be a VOICE solution for area & tactical comms.


>RadioRay ..._ ._


"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

gil

Well, since Geek is going to start with a Tech license, I think that 2m FM and 10m SSB are the way to go...
There are plenty of Radio Shack HTX-10 for sale on Ebay, very cheap. Worth a try..
AND you can make the same antenna work for CB and 10m!

Gil.