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Best Signal Path For Ham Radio

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  • kc9ghz
    First of all, I wish to extend my apologies to the group for airing this request on this forum. Unfortunately I do not know of a more experienced and helpful
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 5, 2009
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      First of all, I wish to extend my apologies to the group for airing this request on this forum. Unfortunately I do not know of a more experienced and helpful group as this. Associated with my duties for a local county emergency management agency, I would like to probe the expertise of the members of this group. Our short term goal is to establish radio communications with a point approximately 90 miles away on amateur radio frequencies (Libertyiville IL to Madison WI). While I have asked a number of amateur radio groups in the area, including our county RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service), no one has been able to give me a definitive answer to my question. My question is this - are we better off trying to establish a troposcatter link on a microwave frequency, or a ground wave link on an HF frequency?

      Again, my apologies for sending this to the group, but I do not know of a better group of experts on establishing long range communications links. Please contact me off-list so that we do not disturb the group more than I already have.
    • Mike Cowen
      It sounds interesting. Toward group the goal of education and sharing knowledge, perhaps other list members might also benefit from the discussion. I d give
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 6, 2009
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        It sounds interesting. Toward group the goal of education and
        sharing knowledge, perhaps other list members might also benefit from
        the discussion. I'd give it a thumbs up for discussing it
        here. Let's hear from others. There's often something of interest here!

        Mike



        At 09:36 PM 6/5/2009, you wrote:


        >First of all, I wish to extend my apologies to the group for airing
        >this request on this forum. Unfortunately I do not know of a more
        >experienced and helpful group as this. Associated with my duties for
        >a local county emergency management agency, I would like to probe
        >the expertise of the members of this group. Our short term goal is
        >to establish radio communications with a point approximately 90
        >miles away on amateur radio frequencies (Libertyiville IL to Madison
        >WI). While I have asked a number of amateur radio groups in the
        >area, including our county RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency
        >Service), no one has been able to give me a definitive answer to my
        >question. My question is this - are we better off trying to
        >establish a troposcatter link on a microwave frequency, or a ground
        >wave link on an HF frequency?
        >
        >Again, my apologies for sending this to the group, but I do not know
        >of a better group of experts on establishing long range
        >communications links. Please contact me off-list so that we do not
        >disturb the group more than I already have.
        >
        >

        ---------------------------------------------------------------
        Mike Cowen Practice random acts of kindness
        and selfless acts of beauty.
        mcowen@... -Anonymous



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Richard Fitzgerald
        First look at the positives and minusi for each. Tropo is a technology that has come and gone for a variety of reasons; tropo depends on a lot of hardware to
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 6, 2009
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          First look at the positives and minusi' for each. Tropo is a technology
          that has come and gone for a variety of reasons; tropo depends on a lot of
          hardware to be successful, large multiple dishes on each end running at
          least dual-diversity but better with quad-diversity. The transmit link will
          require ERP's in the order of several Kilowatts with the antenna pointed at
          the horizon thus creating a RF hazard zone that would have to have a
          protected limited access area. Most tropo circuits were usually fairly
          poor quality not even approaching toll quality. In the event of a disaster
          that may render either end out of service your link could not be restored
          without considerable effort.



          HF-SSB for a path of 90 miles would provide very good service with simple
          wire NVIS antennas on each end. Eighty and forty meters would be easy to
          install and maintain. Another possibility would be directional antennas
          operating in the six meter band, provided there were no major terrain issues
          between both ends. If possible another idea would be 160 meters with ground
          mounted verticals with adequate radials.



          Given the choice between tropo and HF I would go with HF and a possible 6
          meter FM link. Again if you had to relocate you station HF would be easier
          and the availability of off-the-shelf equipment would be preferred. Tropo
          would most likely have to be implemented with non-standard equipment that
          would be difficult (read expensive) to find.



          Richard W5RDF



          From: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com [mailto:coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com] On
          Behalf Of Mike Cowen
          Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 7:27 AM
          To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Best Signal Path For Ham Radio








          It sounds interesting. Toward group the goal of education and
          sharing knowledge, perhaps other list members might also benefit from
          the discussion. I'd give it a thumbs up for discussing it
          here. Let's hear from others. There's often something of interest here!

          Mike

          At 09:36 PM 6/5/2009, you wrote:

          >First of all, I wish to extend my apologies to the group for airing
          >this request on this forum. Unfortunately I do not know of a more
          >experienced and helpful group as this. Associated with my duties for
          >a local county emergency management agency, I would like to probe
          >the expertise of the members of this group. Our short term goal is
          >to establish radio communications with a point approximately 90
          >miles away on amateur radio frequencies (Libertyiville IL to Madison
          >WI). While I have asked a number of amateur radio groups in the
          >area, including our county RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency
          >Service), no one has been able to give me a definitive answer to my
          >question. My question is this - are we better off trying to
          >establish a troposcatter link on a microwave frequency, or a ground
          >wave link on an HF frequency?
          >
          >Again, my apologies for sending this to the group, but I do not know
          >of a better group of experts on establishing long range
          >communications links. Please contact me off-list so that we do not
          >disturb the group more than I already have.
          >
          >

          ----------------------------------------------------------
          Mike Cowen Practice random acts of kindness
          and selfless acts of beauty.
          mcowen@... <mailto:mcowen%40mindspring.com> -Anonymous

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



          No virus found in this incoming message.
          Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
          Version: 8.5.339 / Virus Database: 270.12.53/2156 - Release Date: 06/05/09
          17:55:00



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Charles Fargis
          What bandwidth is needed? Are we making a single voice path half duplex (like 2 way radio) or are we solving a data comm problem requiring way more bandwidth
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 6, 2009
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            What bandwidth is needed?
            Are we making a single voice path half duplex (like 2 way radio) or are we
            solving a data
            comm problem requiring way more bandwidth than HF?
            Is it a full time 2 way voice connection or is it more like a cell callthat
            could be handled
            differently using modern cell technology and prioritized first responder
            technology.
            SOme of you may not know it but the world of cell and land lines now has
            features just like old Autovon.
            You carry a card that identifies you and thus your priority on the phone
            network.
            Happened as a result of 9/11. Why reinvent the wheel.

            -----Original Message-----
            From: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com [mailto:coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com] On
            Behalf Of Richard Fitzgerald
            Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 9:37 AM
            To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [coldwarcomms] Best Signal Path For Ham Radio





            First look at the positives and minusi' for each. Tropo is a technology
            that has come and gone for a variety of reasons; tropo depends on a lot of
            hardware to be successful, large multiple dishes on each end running at
            least dual-diversity but better with quad-diversity. The transmit link will
            require ERP's in the order of several Kilowatts with the antenna pointed at
            the horizon thus creating a RF hazard zone that would have to have a
            protected limited access area. Most tropo circuits were usually fairly
            poor quality not even approaching toll quality. In the event of a disaster
            that may render either end out of service your link could not be restored
            without considerable effort.

            HF-SSB for a path of 90 miles would provide very good service with simple
            wire NVIS antennas on each end. Eighty and forty meters would be easy to
            install and maintain. Another possibility would be directional antennas
            operating in the six meter band, provided there were no major terrain issues
            between both ends. If possible another idea would be 160 meters with ground
            mounted verticals with adequate radials.

            Given the choice between tropo and HF I would go with HF and a possible 6
            meter FM link. Again if you had to relocate you station HF would be easier
            and the availability of off-the-shelf equipment would be preferred. Tropo
            would most likely have to be implemented with non-standard equipment that
            would be difficult (read expensive) to find.

            Richard W5RDF

            From: coldwarcomms@ <mailto:coldwarcomms%40yahoogroups.com> yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:coldwarcomms@ <mailto:coldwarcomms%40yahoogroups.com>
            yahoogroups.com] On
            Behalf Of Mike Cowen
            Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 7:27 AM
            To: coldwarcomms@ <mailto:coldwarcomms%40yahoogroups.com> yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Best Signal Path For Ham Radio

            It sounds interesting. Toward group the goal of education and
            sharing knowledge, perhaps other list members might also benefit from
            the discussion. I'd give it a thumbs up for discussing it
            here. Let's hear from others. There's often something of interest here!

            Mike

            At 09:36 PM 6/5/2009, you wrote:

            >First of all, I wish to extend my apologies to the group for airing
            >this request on this forum. Unfortunately I do not know of a more
            >experienced and helpful group as this. Associated with my duties for
            >a local county emergency management agency, I would like to probe
            >the expertise of the members of this group. Our short term goal is
            >to establish radio communications with a point approximately 90
            >miles away on amateur radio frequencies (Libertyiville IL to Madison
            >WI). While I have asked a number of amateur radio groups in the
            >area, including our county RACES (Radio Amateur Civil Emergency
            >Service), no one has been able to give me a definitive answer to my
            >question. My question is this - are we better off trying to
            >establish a troposcatter link on a microwave frequency, or a ground
            >wave link on an HF frequency?
            >
            >Again, my apologies for sending this to the group, but I do not know
            >of a better group of experts on establishing long range
            >communications links. Please contact me off-list so that we do not
            >disturb the group more than I already have.
            >
            >

            ----------------------------------------------------------
            Mike Cowen Practice random acts of kindness
            and selfless acts of beauty.
            mcowen@mindspring. <mailto:mcowen%40mindspring.com> com
            <mailto:mcowen%40mindspring.com> -Anonymous

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

            No virus found in this incoming message.
            Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
            Version: 8.5.339 / Virus Database: 270.12.53/2156 - Release Date: 06/05/09
            17:55:00

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]







            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Bill
            I replied off - list to the original poster that this is a situation tailor-made for NVIS. I referred him to the Yahoo NVIS list for ideas. Bill Kansas City,
            Message 5 of 8 , Jun 6, 2009
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              I replied off - list to the original poster that this is a situation
              tailor-made for NVIS. I referred him to the Yahoo NVIS list for ideas.

              Bill
              Kansas City, KS


              Mike Cowen wrote:
              > It sounds interesting. Toward group the goal of education and
              > sharing knowledge, perhaps other list members might also benefit from
              > the discussion. I'd give it a thumbs up for discussing it
              > here. Let's hear from others. There's often something of interest here!
              >
              > Mike
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Richard Fitzgerald
              With today we celebrate the 65th anniversary of the invasion of Europe and all the men of the greatest generation we salute you and your sacrifice for our
              Message 6 of 8 , Jun 6, 2009
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                With today we celebrate the 65th anniversary of the invasion of Europe and
                all the men of the "greatest generation" we salute you and your sacrifice
                for our freedom. If it wasn't for those who fought and died in WW-II
                perhaps we wouldn't be freely posting in this forum.



                I have read that as a run-up to the invasion the military was having
                problems communicating across the channel, so they called in someone to
                solve their poor HF communications problem. He investigated and wrote a
                report that basically take your vertical HF antennas and lay them on their
                side; problem solved NVIS.



                Richard W5RDF



                From: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com [mailto:coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com] On
                Behalf Of Bill
                Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 11:29 AM
                To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Best Signal Path For Ham Radio








                I replied off - list to the original poster that this is a situation
                tailor-made for NVIS. I referred him to the Yahoo NVIS list for ideas.

                Bill
                Kansas City, KS

                Mike Cowen wrote:
                > It sounds interesting. Toward group the goal of education and
                > sharing knowledge, perhaps other list members might also benefit from
                > the discussion. I'd give it a thumbs up for discussing it
                > here. Let's hear from others. There's often something of interest here!
                >
                > Mike
                >
                >
                >
                >



                No virus found in this incoming message.
                Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                Version: 8.5.339 / Virus Database: 270.12.53/2156 - Release Date: 06/06/09
                05:53:00



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • kc9ghz
                Thanks for all of the informative responses, guys. It looks like we will go with HF NVIS, as all we need is half-duplex voice communications. Even if
                Message 7 of 8 , Jun 6, 2009
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                  Thanks for all of the informative responses, guys. It looks like we will go with HF NVIS, as all we need is half-duplex voice communications. Even if slightly off topic, I knew I could count on this group to come up with the best solution.


                  --- In coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Fitzgerald" <w5rdf@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > With today we celebrate the 65th anniversary of the invasion of Europe and
                  > all the men of the "greatest generation" we salute you and your sacrifice
                  > for our freedom. If it wasn't for those who fought and died in WW-II
                  > perhaps we wouldn't be freely posting in this forum.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I have read that as a run-up to the invasion the military was having
                  > problems communicating across the channel, so they called in someone to
                  > solve their poor HF communications problem. He investigated and wrote a
                  > report that basically take your vertical HF antennas and lay them on their
                  > side; problem solved NVIS.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Richard W5RDF
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > From: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com [mailto:coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com] On
                  > Behalf Of Bill
                  > Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 11:29 AM
                  > To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: Re: [coldwarcomms] Best Signal Path For Ham Radio
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I replied off - list to the original poster that this is a situation
                  > tailor-made for NVIS. I referred him to the Yahoo NVIS list for ideas.
                  >
                  > Bill
                  > Kansas City, KS
                  >
                  > Mike Cowen wrote:
                  > > It sounds interesting. Toward group the goal of education and
                  > > sharing knowledge, perhaps other list members might also benefit from
                  > > the discussion. I'd give it a thumbs up for discussing it
                  > > here. Let's hear from others. There's often something of interest here!
                  > >
                  > > Mike
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > No virus found in this incoming message.
                  > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                  > Version: 8.5.339 / Virus Database: 270.12.53/2156 - Release Date: 06/06/09
                  > 05:53:00
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • Kris Kirby
                  ... Outside of building a pair of repeaters, HF NVIS is the cheapest way to go. Just remember that it is just as likely to be oversubscribed as satellite in
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jun 7, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On Sat, 6 Jun 2009, kc9ghz wrote:
                    > Thanks for all of the informative responses, guys. It looks like we
                    > will go with HF NVIS, as all we need is half-duplex voice
                    > communications. Even if slightly off topic, I knew I could count on
                    > this group to come up with the best solution.

                    Outside of building a pair of repeaters, HF NVIS is the cheapest way to
                    go. Just remember that it is just as likely to be "oversubscribed" as
                    satellite in a disaster situation. It does have the lowest cost of
                    infrastructure, and the costs/dangers are related to the local
                    situation.

                    Big microwave dishes have to be kept aligned and from warping.
                    Underground cables may be sheared by earth movement and frost heaves.
                    Flooding may render large parts of a city inaccessible. A blizzard may
                    make keeping any object vertical in the air a challenge.

                    Maybe the questions to ask are: What does it take to keep telephone
                    circuits working in Canada and Alaska in the winter?

                    --
                    Kris Kirby, KE4AHR
                    Disinformation Analyst
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