Hi HAM's! I'm new!

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by TennDECA, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. TennDECA

    TennDECA "Let's Roll!"

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    Hello all,

    I am a relative newbie to this HAM thing, so bear with me. I have not taken any classes or tests yet, have not bought any gear yet and (obviously) don't have a license yet. In fact, I don't know very much about this stuff other than what I have read here (after YEARS of staying in the "comfortable areas" of GNG, T&T, S&P and CT, I have ventured to the deep end of the pool known as the Ham Shack!)

    Let me describe my needs and ya'll can point me in the right direction and mold me like a fresh piece of clay!

    I do a lot of vehicle borne, backcountry camping. Sometimes for weeks at a time. I am looking for a mobile communications system I can install in my expedition vehicle that can be used to stay in touch with the world or for emergency comms should the need arise.

    I sometimes go DEEP into the backcountry, with NOTHING around for 100 or more miles in any direction. A CB is great for local comms, but in order to really reach out and talk (or listen) to someone, I'm sure a HAM is the way to go.

    (Frankly, this set-up will also need to be appropriate for use IF the need to bug-out away from population centers ever occurs.)

    I'm looking for a system that: Has the broadest range of communication capabilites, is powerful enough to communicate at distance, can be cleanly (and relatively discreetly) installed in the center console of my vehicle and finally, doesn't need a 20' antenna (or if it does, at least has one that can be removed and reinstalled when needed).

    So? Does something like this exist?
     
  2. FN64

    FN64

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    Hey TennDECA & welcome to the commo board..

    Looking at he "back country" requirements I'm inclined to think that the HF bands would be more appropriate than the more localized VHF/UHF frequencies.
    There's an antenna system called Near Vertical Incident Skywave or NVIS. What this does is sends the majority of your signal nearly vertical and the reflected signal reaches out to 400-500 miles. Normally, with a lower takeoff angle, the signal goes a LOT further as it reflects off the ionosphere at some distance from your station.
    This antenna configuration is especially suited for 40 & 80 meters & not as effective in the higher bands like 10, 15 & 20M. The good news is these antennas are easy to make and deploy!! The bad news is the radio gear is gonna cost ya from 200+ bux and would require a general class ham license for the HF bands.
    The tests aren't difficult but some study is required and there is no longer a requirement for Morse code.

    The neatness & discreetness of a mobile install depends on too many variables for me to offer a plan!!

    The antennas for HF are generally larger..
    Lower freq = longer wavelength = larger antenna.
    There are some "shortened" antennas that use loading coils & other methods that work fairly well but all of them will suffer from some degree of inefficiency.

    Consider an all band rig that covers VHF/UHF & HF. You can use the UHF/VHF in and out of town & have the HF capablities for when you're out in the toolieweeds!!

    So there's a start.. Keep asking & refining the needs & we'll get ya up & running with some decent commo.

    73 & good luck..FN
     

  3. TennDECA

    TennDECA "Let's Roll!"

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    Thanks for the reply! An all-band system (UHF/VHF/HF) seems to be just what I'm looking for. Do these come in mobile applications? (I'm not worried about cost, for now.)
     
  4. InjuriousGeorge

    InjuriousGeorge

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    Even on perfectly flat, unobstructed terrain you're going to have difficulties communicating 100 miles with a 50W mobile FM radio and magnet mount antenna. I'd say 30 miles is as good as you're going to do unless you can hit a mountain-topped repeater.
     
  5. rrog

    rrog

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    From one newbie to another, welcome aboard the ham board.

    rrog
    KI4VYV
     
  6. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

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  7. JBlitzen

    JBlitzen .22 Hater

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    20 meters HF would be fine. If you can get any signal out, it'd probably be easiest on that. Then, whoever you contact will be able to pick up a phone and call closer emergency services.

    You might also look into a morse code; it tends to get through where voice signals can't.

    To your original question, a typical Icom 706 or Yaesu 857 can run HF from a car; it's quite common. The harder part is installing an adequate antenna. HF is demanding; as you say, antenna length is properly measured in meters, not feet. Still, many people work up great HF solutions for their vehicles. Some even for their motorcycles. I don't know much about that, other than to say that it's definitely doable with sufficient motivation, and it will absolutely give you long range communication so long as the battery holds out. Check out eham.com for the mobile forum.
     
  8. lionheart

    lionheart

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    This is what I have in my truck.

    http://www.texastowers.com/ic706g.htm

    the 40 meter band is well suited to your needs and mobil antennas can be purchased for as little as $25. This type of antenna would only be useful for one band.

    For $250 more you can get an antenna tuner that will give you a lot of versatility with your antenna choices.


    these radios give you access to virtually all bands HF, VHF and UHF.
     
  9. TennDECA

    TennDECA "Let's Roll!"

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    Thanks for the additional comments guys. As far as antennae go, this unit will only be used when stationary (at camp site) so if I need a huge antennae, that's fine.

    So long as it can be set up next to my vehicle, then folded up, etc, for storage in my vehicle when not in use.
     
  10. G23Adam

    G23Adam .- -.. .- --

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    if you're a portable fixed installation you can string up a dipole wherever you go.
     
  11. TennDECA

    TennDECA "Let's Roll!"

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    Okay....

    So what's a dipole?
     
  12. FN64

    FN64

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