Author Topic: Communications:  (Read 26832 times)

Offline Blakejoh

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2008, 10:56:32 AM »
Recieving's easy and a blast to do.  In order to get the "ham" bands, though, you'll need a higher end receiver that'll cover AM, FM, CW, and Upper and Lower Sideband (LSB USB).  This way you can receive regular or emergency shortwave programming, local radio channels, as well as the ham bands.  Some of the Grundigs and Sonys are great radios.  A couple of good sites to look are Ham Radio Outlet, QRZ, and Texas Towers as well as others.  I cant keep up with the technology, so I just stick with my ancient boat anchors!  If you're interested in the "old school" stuff, Hallicrafters, Hammarlund, and Zenith were phenomenal radios.  EMP wont touch 'em, either!  For a radio to stick in storage for a rainy day, the Grundig's are probably the easiest.

Transmitting's a different beast.  You'll need a well tuned antenna and a 12v power supply.  With receiving, pretty much any wire strung out will work, but to transmit, the antenna's got to radiate to a specific frequency range, otherwise, you'll damage the radio.  12v dry cells work also for power and can be charged from solar panels.
Another thing to note is that some transceivers have what's called a general coverage receiver, meaning they are continuously tunable across their spectrum and can therefore receive signals outside the ham bands.  Furthermore, some of these can be easily modified to have a general coverage transmitter as well.  Note that I'm not advocating that modification, just saying it can be done.  Of course this brings up technical issues with antenna matching, etc., but I'll leave that for another day.
-JB
He who conquers must vanquish; he who defends must merely survive.

Offline redtailhawk

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2008, 12:40:33 PM »
The only thing I'd add, Seniortech, to your list is 12v dry cell batteries and a .5w solar panel, otherwise, that's a good emergency stash.  And, take it out occasionally, dust it off, and send out a signal to keep the spiders evicted!

Blakejoh, for the life of me, and probably more a "brain flatulence", I couldn't remember "general coverage receiver" so I just listed 'em!  Thanks!

Local radio organizations usually have equipment on hand that they're selling for a deceased ham's (silent key) family.  Considering the age of a lot of hams, its common and encouraged to contact a club or organization because it goes to help out the widow/widower.

We'll be on at 4pm MST on 14.260mhz. upper side band...the more the merrier!

redtailhawk

Offline Seniortech

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2008, 06:52:25 AM »
Blakejoh:
BigDuane:
All you guys out there:
We will try to have a net Saturday morning at 10 AM MST on 14.260 MHZ.  If the band won't work we'll go to 3.980 MHZ and try that.  Y'all join in if possible.  Or, as BigDuane said, listen in and post a signal report. 
General coverage receivers can be had at reasonable prices at hamfests and on ebay, but if possible try to get a transceiver.  Most transceivers have general coverage reception from .5 to 30 MHZ.   
Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
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Offline Blakejoh

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2008, 09:05:26 AM »
Blakejoh:
BigDuane:
All you guys out there:
We will try to have a net Saturday morning at 10 AM MST on 14.260 MHZ.  If the band won't work we'll go to 3.980 MHZ and try that.  Y'all join in if possible.  Or, as BigDuane said, listen in and post a signal report. 
General coverage receivers can be had at reasonable prices at hamfests and on ebay, but if possible try to get a transceiver.  Most transceivers have general coverage reception from .5 to 30 MHZ.   
If only I could figure out how to put an antenna up before then.  I wonder if they make anything like an RC-292 for civilian use.  We used to be able to put those up pretty fast, back in the day...
-JB
He who conquers must vanquish; he who defends must merely survive.

Offline MamaLiberty

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2008, 09:12:04 AM »
I'm glad all you folks can do this stuff. I can't even reliably dial in the weather station on the AM radio here. LOL

Say howdy to everyone for Mama. :)
It's not that people are dumber, it's that stupidity used to be more painful.

Offline redtailhawk

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2008, 09:49:29 AM »
Blakejoh, et al

The 292 pole sets are available in military surplus stores for about $5/section and are invaluable.  I use them a lot.  The antenna was VHF specific so really only good for line of sight or repeater/retrans operations.

Easy and fast?   A tuned dipole, calculated for the frequency to be used is made of two lengths of 14ga copper wire (coated works best, hardware store has rolls of it), two terminators on the ends, a center distribution point, and a feed line.  A 20m (14mhz) dipole would cost you $10-$15 with a 50ft feedline running $25 or so.  Once you've got it made, toss a line up in a tree and hoist it up, tie the terminated ends to other trees and you're in business.  Time involved:  1hr or less to build, 15min to put up/take down.  All the instructions and calculation formulas are on the ARRL web site, as well as QRZ, and others, or just send any of us a note, and we'll calculate it for you.

For receiving only, like shortwave listening or listening to ham radio, I've got a piece of wire(same as the dipole) about 150ft long just strung up in the trees and I receive about anything being broadcast.  Remember, its only receiving, no it doesn't have to accurate like a transmission antenna.

Hope this helps.

MamaLiberty, a Grundig YachtBoy, if you can find one on Ebay or other auction house, covers just about everything, is small, incredibly easy, has NOAA weather, and normally really dependable radios.  What it wont do is receive the ham bands, but will receive shortwave.

redtailhawk

Offline MamaLiberty

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2008, 10:28:24 AM »
MamaLiberty, a Grundig YachtBoy, if you can find one on Ebay or other auction house, covers just about everything, is small, incredibly easy, has NOAA weather, and normally really dependable radios.  What it wont do is receive the ham bands, but will receive shortwave.

I guess I fail to see the point of getting something like this, especially if I can't even get AM on a regular radio. Not too much use being able to listen and not broadcast, really. Or am I missing something? I sure don't have money to put out for something to listen to other folks talk to each other. <G>
It's not that people are dumber, it's that stupidity used to be more painful.

Offline Blakejoh

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2008, 10:52:05 AM »
Easy and fast?   A tuned dipole, calculated for the frequency to be used is made of two lengths of 14ga copper wire (coated works best, hardware store has rolls of it), two terminators on the ends, a center distribution point, and a feed line.  A 20m (14mhz) dipole would cost you $10-$15 with a 50ft feedline running $25 or so.  Once you've got it made, toss a line up in a tree and hoist it up, tie the terminated ends to other trees and you're in business.  Time involved:  1hr or less to build, 15min to put up/take down.  All the instructions and calculation formulas are on the ARRL web site, as well as QRZ, and others, or just send any of us a note, and we'll calculate it for you.

I'm embarrassed to say I have all this stuff; even did the calculations myself (years ago).  Unfortunately it's all buried in poorly marked boxes from our last move.

I thought about just running a long wire to listen in.  That's actually one way that I practiced copying code years ago, when I was preparing for the 13 WPM test.  I lived in a "no antennas" CC&R neighborhood at the time.

Now we are blessed to live in the country where there are no antenna restrictions, so I just need to quit procrastinating.
.
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Offline Blakejoh

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2008, 11:12:49 AM »
The 292 pole sets are available in military surplus stores for about $5/section and are invaluable.  I use them a lot.  The antenna was VHF specific so really only good for line of sight or repeater/retrans operations.

Thanks, I forgot the 292 was for VHF.  Now I'm trying to remember what our RTTY rigs used for HF antennas.  I was a 31B (which became 31V), but reclassed to a 13F to finish out my enlistment.  My memory of the antennae and other gear is pretty fuzzy now (30+ years later).
 :)
He who conquers must vanquish; he who defends must merely survive.

Offline redtailhawk

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2008, 11:43:08 AM »
Blakejoh,

Depending on the unit and its mobility, was either the B&W folded dipole erected on poles, or a vertical that I cant remember the name/nomenclature!

You're already set up and we're going to get to code in the near future!

redtailhawk

Offline Blakejoh

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2008, 12:51:11 PM »
Hopefully I'm not straying off-topic here.  redtailhawk (or anyone else), do you have any recommendations on the commercially available multiband HF verticals?  The slope of my property will make it more than a little challenging for proper directional orientation of an inverted-V, so I've been thinking about a vertical instead.

Thanks in advance,
JB
He who conquers must vanquish; he who defends must merely survive.

Offline donnie-paul

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2008, 01:23:41 PM »
I'm going to jump into Vonu's initial post but with a twist:

Simple works.  Period.

In the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan, each village communicates through sheperds who're carrying VHF handheld radios and each sheperd becomes a human repeater or relay throughout some of the most rugged  terrain in the world.  There is absolutely NO electricity in the mountains and the people dont really care for it because it consumes and requires parts, which no one wants to deal with.  Nothing moves in the Kunar, Konigal, and Gowerdesh Valleys without everyone knowing because these sheperds and the local villages talk to each other like we'd use a phone, in Pashtun, on the open waves.  The radios cost $110 USD and local tribal elders buy them by the hundreds to pass out to the sheperds and villagers.

With all our gadgetry and techno-wizardry, we haven't beat 'em yet, haven't jammed 'em yet, and they always know when the Army's coming, so they ambush at all the "good places" and vanish into the hills without worrying about being chased.

If there are "hams" here, lets get our long and short radios up and running.  I'm AA4VB in Yelm, WA so give me a freq and time.  All we need's a 10min net with check ins to make sure they're working and talking.

For non-hams, get your license.  Its incredibly easy and cheap, not to mention, dependable.  Dont want to learn Morse?  Fine, its not a requirement anymore and the test bank is available to all to study.

redtailhawk



Did these shepards have licenses?
"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key" The Eagles
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Offline MamaLiberty

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2008, 01:29:40 PM »
Did these shepards have licenses?

Why should anyone need "permission" to communicate? What difference does it make?
It's not that people are dumber, it's that stupidity used to be more painful.

Offline redtailhawk

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2008, 02:09:00 PM »
Its Afghanistan and no licenses for anything!  The only controls are what you can afford.  You can get a license, but few bother, since there's no monitors or qualification requirements.  If you have a toothache, you go to a street dentist who takes his tools from his pocket and pulls your tooth;  if you break your leg falling off a mountain, someone in the village will straighten it out and strap some sticks to it and you're perfectly fine.

If you use a telephone, you have already have a license to use that phone.  If you drive a car, you have a license.

Licensing is in place, worldwide and voluntary, to insure communications can continue without interference from either inadvertent, unknowing transmissions or from the occasional disruptive elements who just want to impose their will on others.  For those that dont want to license, but still want to communicate, there are bands available, free, to use like telephone, Internet (yes, its radio), Citizen's Band and Family Radio System and no one restricts those bands.

I introduced this thread to offer some options for communities to communicate, not to digress into a challenge to anyone's freedoms.

Blakejoh, Cushcraft's got a great multi-band verticle that'll work.

Offline Seniortech

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Re: Communications:
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2008, 04:25:01 PM »
No, I reckon the shepherds didn't have licenses, bless their hearts, it sounds like they might be thinking they're resisting oppression.  Or maybe they're in a full-blown war.

Why do you need permission to communicate?  What difference does it make?

Not wanting to offend anyone's libertarian concepts, but like someone said on a post this morning, it seems to make sense for people to voluntarily associate themselves together for convenience, common goals, mutual purpses, etc.

It is common courtesy, even decency, to follow the sensible rules that we recotgnize as a benefit to us.  You can drive your car without a license but you can't ignore the common rules of the road.  It is hazardous to your health to drive the wrong way on the interstate just because that might suit you better.  Someone might consider a stop sign to be a nuisance but it would be wise to look before running through it because you might get creamed by other drivers who are following the rules.  We follow the traffic rules without a second thought because it is in our best interest, although we don't often think of it in those terms.  We know the rules because we studied the license manual or because someone taught us the rules when we were learning to drive.   We become more proficient drivers with experience of driving.  It is necessary to watch out for the other guy if only for our own safety.
I don't mean to be patronizing here.

The ham radio frequency bands are crowded with hams, all trying to establish communications.  It isn't that easy. The frequency spectrum we have is all we are likely to get because there is intense competition for every little speck of the RF spectrum, and they ain't makin' no more RF frequencies.  Certain common sense rules are necessary for everyone's benefit.  We learn the rules by studying the manual and by operating experience.  We pass their silly little test and we get a ham ticket, much like getting a drivers license.  We get on the air and learn by the experience of operating our rigs.  It's fine to have some ham gear laid back for the hard times coming, but when we pull it out of the box the next question is going to be, "Now what the hell do I do?"  Like other tools, a rifle for example, we don't need to wait until we need it to learn how to use it.  We need to get the experience now because the time will come when that experience will be invaluable. 

It makes sense to me to get the ticket now, get on the air and maybe have some fun in our spare time, if we have any, while learning how to communicate. It is simple and cheap to get the ticket.  There is no code test, no psych evaluation, no background check, no age limit.  Anyone can do it.  But you will have to be willing to be on the "list" of ham operators.

You might operate without a license but I promise you that some well-meaning good ol' boy ham operator is going to report you and you will receive a call or letter in the mail notifying you of blah, blah, blah.  Or, worse yet, some of Big Brother's little $h-T head jack-booted emissaries will come knocking on your door.  Just like driving without the government permission slip. Sooner or later some cop is going to swagger up to your driver's side window in his polished boots, military creased shirt and mirror sunglasses, ask in his imperious tone for your "Papers, please." and he is going to write you a ticket and cause you a lot of hassle, trouble and fines.

Yeah, I know, this is a long-winded post, but before I go:  ham radio operators are a tight-knit group, helping each other by sharing experiences, tech advice, and ham gear.  There are numerous special interest nets across the bands.  Regular on-air meetings, often daily, on the nets, getting to know each other and sharing life experiences.  We know whose wife is sick, who lost his job, who went fishing, and on and on.  These nets tie us together in a special way.  If we can get an FSW net up and running it will tie us together in more ways than one.  We need that.  Why not join us "on the air?"
Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
A. Einstein