Areas of Interest in the hobby

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by martho, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. martho

    martho Guest

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    Let's get an idea of what everyone does in this hobby so we have some go to people for questions. I think the military calls them SME...subject matter experts.

    It would be nice if we had some digital guys, some contesters, cw guys, ARES/EMA, 6m enthusiasts, etc. This way we would have elmers to help each other. I don't care if you are a 30 year Extra or a 2 week Technician, we can all help each other in some way.

    My main focus is chasing countries.
    I also contest in the big ones and the IL QSO Party.
    I play on RTTY, but mostly just to add countries to my log.

    What do you do?
     
  2. G23Adam

    G23Adam .- -.. .- --

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    I enjoy fox hunting and IRLP, and have been having a blast learning EME and satellite operation.
     

  3. jtull7

    jtull7 Pistolero CLM

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    I have used my license for the last 14 years almost exclusively for search and rescue communications. That saves lives in a real and immediate way. Out here in the Rocky Mountains we have many repeaters at 12,000 foot altitude plus.

    I have never had any inclination to listen to old coots rag chew endlessly about their prostrate problems. Not that I'm dissing them, it just doesn't interest me.
     
  4. martho

    martho Guest

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    WOW! The satellites are easy to work, but EME is a whole new ballgame. You must have someone local showing you the ropes. Without power and decent antennas, EME is just a dream for most of us. I was at a Multi-op for June VHF contest and we worked Asiatic Russia on 2m EME and Switzerland on 432 EME. However, legal limit and an impressive antenna set up made it possible.
     
  5. R. Emmelman

    R. Emmelman Guest

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    From my already prepared "brag tape".

    Amateur Radio Station WI9NDY
    Richard H. Emmelman
    United States Air Force Military Affiliate Radio System AFA1CY

    Licensed in April 1977 with an original call of WD9CYI

    Major emergencies and disasters

    • Emergency radio communications January 27 – January 31 1978 for blizzard conditions in Indianapolis.
    o Mobile radio communications in 4-wheel vehicle providing emergency transportation of personnel and medication
    o Mobile radio communication in support of Indianapolis Police Department for transportation of officers.
    o Radio communications in support of Red Cross shelter operations.

    • June 25, 1978 tornadoes - Indianapolis
    o SkyWarn operations during storm
    o Emergency radio communications for recovery of tornado in downtown Indianapolis (Red Cross)

    • Hurricane David 1979
    o Long distance radio communications for health and welfare inquires.

    • Ulrich Chemical Spill c1986
    o Radio communications in support of Red Cross shelter operations.

    • Air force A7-D aircraft crash into Ramada Inn airport October 20, 1987
    o On site radio communications supporting recovery activities.

    • September 20, 2002 Tornadoes - Indianapolis
    o SkyWarn operations during storm
    o Emergency radio communications for recovery activities.

    • Hurricane Katrina 2005
    o Long distance radio communications for health and welfare inquires.
    o Long distance radio communications in support of recovery effort.

    Current Associations

    • Central Indiana SkyWarn
    o Provides National Weather Service with real-time reports of severe weather from radio operators trained in observation.
    o Available 24/7/365
    o Covering 39 counties in central Indiana

    • United States Air Force Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS)
    o Provide Department of Defense sponsored emergency communications on a local, national, and international basis as an adjunct to normal communications.
    o Provide auxiliary communications for military, civil, and/or disaster officials during periods of emergency.
    o Assist in effecting normal communications under emergency conditions.
    o Handle moral and quasi-official record and voice communications traffic for Armed Forces and authorized U.S. Government civilian personnel stationed throughout the world.

    • Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)
    o Coordinated national communication response in time of emergency

    • Marion County Auxiliary Communications Group (MCACG)
    o Support of Marion County, Indianapolis Emergency Management when normal communications are disrupted.

    Activities Supported

    Marion County SkyWarn

    Indianapolis 500 festival Parade

    Indianapolis Special Olympics

    Tour de Cure Cycling Event

    Operation Deep Freeze 07

    Operation Ardent Sentry 2007

    Maritime Mobile Radio Service Net


    Station Capabilities

    Global high frequency communications on Amateur Radio, Military, and Federal SHARES networks

    Local communications on VHF/UHF on Amateur Radio and Military networks

    Digital communications via packet, PSK31, MT63, and other “sound card” modes.

    Slow scan television.
     
  6. G23Adam

    G23Adam .- -.. .- --

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    You have to have a lot of power and a very good antenna.... strangely enough, working satellites and working EME uses many of the same principals, except you don't query the moon for packets ;)

    I'm waiting for a Meteor shower, that way I can get my ping jockey badge ;)
     
  7. FN64

    FN64 Guest

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    Local involvement with VHF nets, ARES, SKYWARN.
    HF work is mostly "field portable" with jury rigged antennas.
    Current QTH is geographically impossible to mount a decent antenna. Have, in the past, worked PSK, RTTY, SSTV, Hellschriber & other "fuzzy modes". Tinkered with satellites but no real "working knowledge"
    Should have the extra by summers end.. &*$%^ polar coords!!

    Have tons of URL references for those who need 'em..

    73..FN
     
  8. rrog

    rrog

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    I'm not quite a two-week Tech, but I'm not far from it, so I don't have much to offer yet. But I've been going to a local club that trains in emergency scenarios. It's called METERS - Middle East TN Emergency Radio Service. It's been helpful. In addition to the monthly meetings, they have a weekly net to discuss different aspects of emergency radio.

    rrog
    (two-month Tech)
     
  9. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

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    Martho, I am also interested in chasing countries. What bands do you frequent most ? What antennas do you have ? Do you have a preferred method for making contacts ?
     
  10. martho

    martho Guest

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    There are several factors in the process which are important. If I had to pick one which stands out, it would be antenna efficiency. A wire dipole feed with 100' of RG8X and run through a tuner is hardly efficient (unless you find the spot where the antenna was cut) Wire dipoles work and are decent antennas for stateside stuff, however once you start looking for weak signals from the other side of the globe, they are not what you want. Dipoles have dead spots off the end of the antennas and the lobes can often have spikes depending on installation location/height/etc. If the DX is on the peak of one of the spikes, thats great. If they are in a null, you are not going to hear them.

    Multiband verticals are good for what they do in giving someone a resonant antenna on 8 bands. That often comes with a price, though. If you are going to look at a vertical, think about mono band verticals in different locations in the yard. You can build them very cheaply and they will outperform any multiband shortened vertical on 30,40,80. Spread them out so they don't interact and you can have nice radial fields. Radial fields can be done in a backyard with grass. Use lawn staples and put the radials in the grass, and secure them with staples. The grass will grow over the wire and you will never know it's there. I mow over mine weekly.

    The first 150 countries you can get in a weekend during a good DX contest. Try CQWW, WPX or ARRL DX. If you think about all the big gun stations in Eu, Sa, Af and the Caribbean, you can work most of them with just about any antenna imaginable. I have worked nearly 100 DXCC from the car and those antennas are really inefficient.

    Once you work to that 150 level, things start to slow down. Most people will add an amplifier, however an amp doesn't help if you can't hear the other station. Antenna is the key to the process. For 10 through 20m a yagi at 70' is about the best compromise you can have. For 30, 40, 80 and 160, verticals with a good radial system is key. You can have a Yagi for 40, but they get very large. Some use rotatable dipoles for 30/40, too, but height is critical to get a low takeoff angle.

    From TX, 17m 20m 30m 40m are the DX bands at this time of the cycle. You may get some action on the others, but those 4 bands are a great place to be. 17m usually has a great south pacific path in the late afternoon. 20 is good over the pole during the evenings and solid Eu in the mornings. About 2000z, 30m starts to have prop to Eu and Af. Remember, 30 is CW/digital only, no phone emissions. 40m has great prop from 2300z until sunrise.

    Run good coax. People will tell you that coax doesn't matter much on HF. Well, people will use RG58 to feed a dipole for 10m. The loss is approx 2.5dB per 100' at 28mhz on RG58. If you use 9913 or equiv., the loss is 0.6dB. Remember, going from 100w to 1000w is 10dB in increase. If you are running 2.5 dB loss coax, 1000w, becomes just over 500w.(never run 1KW into RG58, this is just discussion) If you are running 0.6db loss coax, you 1000w is now just shy of 900w. The same amount of attenuation is lost in RX, too.

    Some people will stack yagis or buy longer boom yagis to improve gain. Most of these people are already running hardline. However, the average ham who is running crappy coax, can make the same gain improvements just by increasing the quality of coax and getting rid of jumpers/bullets which add some insertion loss.


    SDSNET: Do you watch any of the dx clusters? that is a great way to know who is on what band at any given time.