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4/22/2019 5:32:20 PM
Posted: 11/16/2008 5:25:23 PM EDT
Simple question here for SHTF. If power is knocked out to all the repeaters around you then your ham radio setup is only good for line of site communications ?
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 5:36:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/16/2008 5:40:06 PM EDT by odontia32m]
Yes, height is might. My buddy on a zero gain j pole can talk far, far better than me and the 10db cushcraft beam I am the same elevation but surrounded by huge hills. He can simplex from Indiana to TN, where I am usually in the noise.


eta: the answer was for uhf/vhf, now hf is a different story.
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 5:36:59 PM EDT
VHF/UHF: Basically, yes.

HF: No.
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 5:41:14 PM EDT
So all things equal, on handhelds (Lets say Yaseau VX-6's, 5w max)...

Optimum weather, Flat ground, no impediments....

How far would your signal be good enough to communicate??? 2m? 1.25m? 70 cm????




Link Posted: 11/16/2008 5:47:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/16/2008 5:48:50 PM EDT by odontia32m]
Originally Posted By CavVet:
So all things equal, on handhelds (Lets say Yaseau VX-6's, 5w max)...

Optimum weather, Flat ground, no impediments....

How far would your signal be good enough to communicate??? 2m? 1.25m? 70 cm????






How far is the horizon? 18-20 miles? Handhelds are no different that those bubble pack frs radios with ht-ht distance. On average ht-ht a few miles would be great.

Link Posted: 11/16/2008 5:54:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By odontia32m:
On average ht-ht a few miles would be great.


you can multiply that by 10 with a lightweight pair of 4 element Yagi's and a little bit of elevation.

ar-jedi



Link Posted: 11/16/2008 5:54:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Philadelphia_GunMan:
If power is knocked out to all the repeaters around you then your ham radio setup is only good for line of site communications ?

My ham radio setup is good for hundreds/thousands of miles depending on time of day, frequency band and propagation conditions.

Link Posted: 11/16/2008 6:35:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By Philadelphia_GunMan:
If power is knocked out to all the repeaters around you then your ham radio setup is only good for line of site communications ?

My ham radio setup is good for hundreds/thousands of miles depending on time of day, frequency band and propagation conditions.



Congrats!

Thats the exact answer that makes people not want to ask stupid questions.



(My 2004 +/- opinion stands reaffirmed yet again)
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 6:47:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CavVet:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By Philadelphia_GunMan:
If power is knocked out to all the repeaters around you then your ham radio setup is only good for line of site communications ?

My ham radio setup is good for hundreds/thousands of miles depending on time of day, frequency band and propagation conditions.



Congrats!

Thats the exact answer that makes people not want to ask stupid questions.



(My 2004 +/- opinion stands reaffirmed yet again)


Am I wrong that you think the OP is stupid for wanting to learn?

Link Posted: 11/16/2008 7:06:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By odontia32m:
Am I wrong that you think the OP is stupid for wanting to learn?



Yes you misunderstood me.

I thought it was great on the OP to step up and ask the question, followed by bad flaunted in his face of a super space shuttle rig that can talk to aliens day & night. At least explain the difference to him instead of just saying mine is the uber then nothing. I just read it as really crass, not helpful at all, and voiced my thoughts of same.
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 7:10:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CavVet:
explain the difference to him


OP: as a start, click here...
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=10&f=22&t=604477

post any questions you want –– we'll get 'em answered for you.

ar-jedi



Link Posted: 11/16/2008 7:25:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CavVet:
Originally Posted By odontia32m:
Am I wrong that you think the OP is stupid for wanting to learn?



Yes you misunderstood me.

I thought it was great on the OP to step up and ask the question, followed by bad flaunted in his face of a super space shuttle rig that can talk to aliens day & night. At least explain the difference to him instead of just saying mine is the uber then nothing. I just read it as really crass, not helpful at all, and voiced my thoughts of same.


OK, thanks for pointing out what I was thinking. We need to help people and cultivate new hams.

Link Posted: 11/16/2008 7:56:33 PM EDT
My first QSO was 1016 miles. A few days later, trying to contact a friend 122 miles away, we could not hear each other, but another ham 1403 miles away relayed between us.

As stated above, it depends on a number of things.

HF can, under the right conditions, bounce off the ionosphere and allow very long distance communication. Too low a frequency, and the longer wavelengths may be absorbed in the lower layers of the Ionosphere, though shorter wavelengths may penetrate higher and bounce.

VHF/UHF, due to the very short wave lengths are considered "line of sight" but actually will go a little further depending on terrain and height of antenna, other factors. I can easily hit a repeater over 40 miles away on 2 meters with very little power (8-12 watts).

Each frequency band has its own particular propagation characteristics. Read up.
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 8:10:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
I can easily hit a repeater over 40 miles away on 2 meters with very little power (8-12 watts).


to the OP: note... HT<->HT range is FAR LESS than HT<->REPEATER range. a repeater has a gain antenna, and that antenna is advantageously mounted either on a tower or on surrounding high ground such as a mountain.

ar-jedi



Link Posted: 11/18/2008 3:22:28 PM EDT
I talk quite often on 2 meters simplex over 100 miles away.

I have a 13 element yagi on top of a 48 ft tower. I am using a e-bay special Kenwood radio pushing out 30 watts.

He has twin 13 element yagi's up 120 ft. Dont know what rig but about 100 watts.

Do it all the time
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 6:41:35 PM EDT
I did read some of that HAM 101.

What I'd like to know is could I reliably communicate with someone 100-200 miles away without repeaters and without building my own tower or spending thousands of dollars ?
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 7:10:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2008 7:11:46 PM EDT by JBlitzen]
200 miles over land is essentially impossible with a handheld VHF or UHF radio, even with a directional antenna. Even a base VHF/UHF rig with a high antenna would have very serious trouble getting that far, if it was possible at all.

An HF rig or CB would serve you better, but HF can have trouble bouncing that close.

NVIS would be your best bet, which is low frequency HF with an unusual, but not particularly difficult or expensive, antenna configuration. It also requires that the other party be set up similarly and in the right distance range, which makes it an uncommon setup for general qsl'ing.

The wikipedia article is quite informative, and should give you the keywords and theory you need to search or ask for more specific information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_Vertical_Incidence_Skywave

(The acronym boils down to "goes almost straight up and bounces almost straight down again")
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 8:36:07 PM EDT
Listen to this young man all the way through.

http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=RtjvfpEwbFY

His Dad didn't need no stinkin' repeater!
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 11:55:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2008 12:03:47 AM EDT by FrankSymptoms]
Originally Posted By odontia32m:
Originally Posted By CavVet:
So all things equal, on handhelds (Lets say Yaseau VX-6's, 5w max)...

Optimum weather, Flat ground, no impediments....

How far would your signal be good enough to communicate??? 2m? 1.25m? 70 cm????






How far is the horizon? 18-20 miles? Handhelds are no different that those bubble pack frs radios with ht-ht distance. On average ht-ht a few miles would be great.





The general theory is true; however, ham band HTs are capable of MUCH more than the 'bubble-pack' handhelds. Ham operators are authorized lots more power than the GMRS/FRS HTs: 250 watts(IIRC) for hams vs. .250 Mw (GMRS/FRS). Typically, ham HTs are in the 1.5 to 5 watt range. Also, ham radio operators are allowed to modify their rigs quite a bit: replacing the 'rubber duckie' antenna with a simple wire antenna of the correct wavelength contributes immensely to the signal strength. There are many antenna designs which provide gain over a simple wire antenna, too. (GMRS/FRS radios may not be modified legally.)

Example: My dad used to chat with people 30-40 miles away. They were on a mountain top; he had a J-pole mounted on his roof; he was using an Icom IC2A, capable of about 1 1/2 watts output. There was some static on the channel but communications were reliable.

I used my own IC2A, same output, to work the Mt. Disapointment repeater from Los Angeles. Using my G5A and a LDPA antenna, I worked a low-earth-orbit satellite which was at least 300 miles high! 5 watts output.

As a general rule, if you have a choice between changing your antenna and boosting your output signal, work with the antenna!
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 3:38:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2008 3:41:50 PM EDT by GlockTiger]
Originally Posted By FrankSymptoms:
Ham operators are authorized lots more power than the GMRS/FRS HTs: 250 watts(IIRC) for hams vs. .250 Mw (GMRS/FRS).


Fine post. Just to touch up the numbers though, the ham power limit in most cases is 1500 W. FRS is 500 mW. GMRS is 50 W (15 W fixed station and 5 W small base station, as defined by 95.25).

Some ham exceptions:
50 watts on 60m
200 watts for Techs/Novices in the "novice" CW portion of 80, 40, 15, 10m bands, to which all Techs have privileges.
Some other silly limits for Novices, as if anyone still holds that license class

ETA WOW! I actually made it to 1,000! Snuck up on me, so I'm glad it wasn't a wasted post.
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