Author Topic: Your First HF radio station  (Read 8831 times)

Offline Carl

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Your First HF radio station
« on: December 13, 2016, 06:23:08 PM »
Found by SMURF HUNTER and sent via burst transmitter from a secret bunker location,I share with you...

https://brushbeater.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/your-first-hf-station/

Offline Sailor

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 06:45:42 PM »
Always good info there.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2016, 07:54:00 PM »
Found by SMURF HUNTER and sent via burst transmitter from a secret bunker location,I share with you...

https://brushbeater.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/your-first-hf-station/

Thanks for posting Carl. 

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2016, 08:27:53 PM »
Really great article.  Thanks for posting it, Carl.

Brushbeater's a great blog, I try to check there at least weekly.

Only thing I'd add is that if you're a new ham and want an 8x7, it's a good idea to have an elmer familiar with them.  Not a lot of info on the faceplate, especially for the newbie.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 11:16:09 PM »
Great site, thanks for the post.

Offline Carl

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2016, 03:23:23 AM »
Really great article.  Thanks for posting it, Carl.

Brushbeater's a great blog, I try to check there at least weekly.

Only thing I'd add is that if you're a new ham and want an 8x7, it's a good idea to have an elmer familiar with them.  Not a lot of info on the faceplate, especially for the newbie.

I am learning the menus and sub-menus on an 857D now,it is a really good deal for an HF radio ,though a little delicate on VHF/UHF for my tastes.

Offline Greekman

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2016, 12:57:05 PM »
does it have SSB in the VHF?

Offline Carl

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2016, 01:11:32 PM »
does it have SSB in the VHF?

ALL MODE ALL bands 160 meters through 70 Centimeters. Common for Yaesu FT 857D and FT 897.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2016, 04:40:29 PM »
ALL MODE ALL bands 160 meters through 70 Centimeters. Common for Yaesu FT 857D and FT 897.
FT-817 too, but of course that's QRP and who the heck wants to bring a fencing foil to a broadsword fight?

BTW, Brushbeater yesterday posted an NVIS scenario, with puzzle questions:
https://brushbeater.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/so-you-wanna-be-a-guerrilla-rto/#comments
Got my own ideas for the results, but want to see answers from people who practice this stuff before I go all Hermione and start blurting stuff out.  There's something in the way the problem's stated that tells me that there's something else going on that I don't quite get.

Offline Carl

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2016, 05:50:39 PM »
FT-817 too, but of course that's QRP and who the heck wants to bring a fencing foil to a broadsword fight?

BTW, Brushbeater yesterday posted an NVIS scenario, with puzzle questions:
https://brushbeater.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/so-you-wanna-be-a-guerrilla-rto/#comments
Got my own ideas for the results, but want to see answers from people who practice this stuff before I go all Hermione and start blurting stuff out.  There's something in the way the problem's stated that tells me that there's something else going on that I don't quite get.

"D" layer absorption. I would use PSK31 about 1 hour before or 1 hour after daylight and DF gear  really will not have a good direction unless they are within 10 miles of you.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2016, 02:26:16 AM »
"D" layer absorption. I would use PSK31 about 1 hour before or 1 hour after daylight and DF gear  really will not have a good direction unless they are within 10 miles of you.
Kinda what I was thinking.  From just geometry, the ionosphere should start lighting up 36 minutes before dawn; I can see how refraction would drag this out to about a hour.  The way the question's worded, it sounds like he's talking about doing this after sunrise or before sunset, which makes no sense at all.  OTOH, long-distance AM skywave sometimes starts coming in before dark – so there's something I'm missing.  From the article:
Quote
You intend to use Near Vertical Incidence Skywave communication during time periods when the D layer of the ionosphere is ionized by the Sun, to keep signals from traveling any farther than they have to go in order to reach your base 300 miles away.
????

PSK31 sounds about right.  Putting up a full-sized 160m dipole under clandestine conditions... not me brother!  Maybe a full-sized W3EDP?  It's a lot smaller.  It also has a baked-in 10dB attenuation, so just shoot it 20w.  About the thunderstorms 1500 miles to the west, I'd go with doing this in the evening.  That way the storm noise is damped out, my transmitter doesn't have to yell as loud.

Offline Greekman

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2016, 02:49:15 AM »
FT-817 too, but of course that's QRP and who the heck wants to bring a fencing foil to a broadsword fight?

I am thinking more on terms of comms security. was it carl that droped the idea?

Offline Carl

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2016, 06:02:03 AM »
I am thinking more on terms of comms security. was it carl that droped the idea?

I certainly did, Why would you want anyone to be able to hear you?
QRP on 160 meters would leave you completely secure.

Offline Sailor

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2016, 06:34:19 PM »
I am not skilled enough or know what the real capabilities of .gov are.  In that given example, I would be radio silent. 

I have however talked zello to my computer at home that triggered vox on a 2m radio as a test.  A secure way to remotely operate a radio is interesting to me. 

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2016, 07:02:44 PM »
I have random station stuff, not likely everything I need, and not put together into a working system, so I have only used my handheld, and we have a robust local repeater network, so more than line of site.

Maybe a good new years resolution.

Offline Sailor

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2016, 09:55:42 AM »
List up what you have, does not take much to cobble together a working station.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2016, 10:03:56 AM »
I have random station stuff, not likely everything I need, and not put together into a working system, so I have only used my handheld, and we have a robust local repeater network, so more than line of site.

Maybe a good new years resolution.


Start with an improved dual band antenna, and then look for a ~15 amp DC power supply.  Power supplies from 30 years ago work just as well today, and there's no compatibility issues between radio types.  If it outputs 13.4vdc and can physically connect to your radio, it's good.

You can buy quality new mobile radios for under $150, and used ones for 1/3 that price at swap meets.  A mobile VHF/UHF will give you tremendously MORE power and capability compared to handhelds.  With the right antenna you will likely reach repeaters your handi-talkie cannot.


Offline Carl

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2016, 11:07:23 AM »
Few Hams realize the by the very definition of EMERGENCY ,that power,repeaters etc may not work
and so your station must stand on it's on abilities,or lack of ability and this is why I stress that a good antenna
and multiple ways to operate ,at least a mobile radio and hopefully an HF station because
when lives are in the balance...it could be your's and your family.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2016, 05:57:21 PM »
What Sailor, Smurf, and Carl all said.  We'll all be happy to help whenever you wish.

MM, what kind of communications capability are you interested in setting up?  Or just general learning about and getting into the field?  (or like when I started, had to learn a lot to know what questions to ask; ended up jumping into the middle)

Offline idelphic

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2016, 06:12:26 PM »
My first HF rig was the Yaesu FT-817, and I still have it.  I operate QRP 90% of the time if possible.  Digital modes I run 5watts also.

Nothing wrong cobbling things together - I just last month finally got a AC power supply to run HF.  for the last dozen years I've been running all my radios from a 88amp SLA battery (shown somewhere here previlously...)

I have more that I want to get setup, and hope to have a Packet BBS running by summer.

And while not directly HF or Radio equipment, I have put together a point to point wireless network which I will setup for Field Day 2017 allowing wireless connection between all the computers and stations running to centralize logging.  It could run on DC, but for FD - AC Mains are allow for that.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2016, 07:20:08 PM »
I have a yaseu FT-100D, and the kittens chewed ome of the insulation off of the mic cord, and that power supply without a case that Carl recommended last spring. I have a power cord I should be able to use for the power supply. I have a length of coax wire and a length of antenna wire hooked to one side of a plastic connector (says bencher on it) that should have wire on both sides, and the coax would connect to
the bottom..

Yes, I would like to be able to communicate when the repeaters are down. Not only can they go down due to lack of power, even though the one right by me has a generator and an underground fuel reserve. Look at the Loma Fire in the other part of the mountains last summer, it almost took out the repeaters there  ---

I would like to be able to use this unit I have as a home base station and to be able to put it in the car or trailer if I ever had to evacuate. I would realy love to know how to use it and have the secondary trailer part of it set up before GOTA field day next June.

My biggest home set up problem is that I do not have an antenae of any type, same for trailer.  I have been having much more physical trouble ltely, so it is likely I will not have any type of antenna to the house without help getting set up. ( I do things of course that cause me pain later, but it now takes less doing of anything to get there, for example, I helped sweep leaves off the deck. I guess it is compression between 3 or 4 (I forget) vertabrae ) so I think I may need to plug into the local ham group somehow to get help with set up, used pieces.

But, I think you gys tlk about easy portable antennas, so maybe before working on house setup I should try set up in car or trailer first to use the unit
« Last Edit: December 20, 2016, 07:36:34 PM by mountainmoma »

Offline Carl

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2016, 05:21:16 AM »
What level Ham license do you have?

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2016, 10:54:42 AM »
General. I did the tech and general tests at once, get it over with.

Offline Carl

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2016, 11:51:06 AM »
General. I did the tech and general tests at once, get it over with.

You are in great shape then. You either need an antenna for each HF band you plan to use or
an antenna tuner and a multiband antenna...either way ,the antenna is just wire,insulators,and perhaps a BALUN as the feed point.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2016, 02:41:38 PM »
You are in great shape then. You either need an antenna for each HF band you plan to use or
an antenna tuner and a multiband antenna...either way ,the antenna is just wire,insulators,and perhaps a BALUN as the feed point.

The darn wire needs to be strung up sturdily somewhere --

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2016, 06:23:58 PM »
MM, between a General ticket and an FT-100, you're 90% of the way there.  Just need an antenna now.  Plenty of options there, none of them particularly expensive.

The darn wire needs to be strung up sturdily somewhere --
PVC pipe guyed off with paracord works, is economical, and goes up really easily.  In 20' lengths, it's good for holding up the center of an inverted-V dipole.  In 10' lengths, it'll keep a low random wire above head height, which is perfect for working NVIS into neighboring states.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2016, 10:32:46 AM »






Many ways to solve the problem of insulating wire ends.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2017, 05:13:38 AM »
This guy's videos keep popping up in my "suggested for you" sidebar; this particular one is on how to set up a basic HF rig: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5gOq9d29oc  They're interesting, and he's doing an entire series on ham radio basics.  Lots of good info, especially for people just getting into ham.

Having said that, take his advice with a grain of salt.  He's all about the sedentary shack approach – has to be, considering his health – and isn't too worried about things like weight and portability.  Brushbeater's "can it fit in a pack you can carry?" approach is more in line with general survivalism and what gets discussed here.  Still, I have the utmost respect for W6LG and his basics videos, and there's a lot to be learned from his different take on the topic.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2017, 08:46:43 AM »
This guy's videos keep popping up in my "suggested for you" sidebar; this particular one is on how to set up a basic HF rig: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5gOq9d29oc  They're interesting, and he's doing an entire series on ham radio basics.  Lots of good info, especially for people just getting into ham.

Having said that, take his advice with a grain of salt.  He's all about the sedentary shack approach – has to be, considering his health – and isn't too worried about things like weight and portability.  Brushbeater's "can it fit in a pack you can carry?" approach is more in line with general survivalism and what gets discussed here.  Still, I have the utmost respect for W6LG and his basics videos, and there's a lot to be learned from his different take on the topic.

Like many things in the prepper sphere, if you can't reliably and consistently do something under "good" conditions, it won't work during a crisis.

I know some folks local to me that are all about portable, but actually skip over the home shack part.  When I ask them about grounding, or how they dealt with household RFI, I get funny looks.  I'll give these a watch.

Thanks

Offline armymars

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Re: Your First HF radio station
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2017, 09:08:58 AM »
For years for field day I used 4" drain pipe. This would let me go 30' tall with my weighted base. Last year I bought some drain pipe from Lowes. It had horizontal ribs. It was OK for 20', but when I went to 30' it folded over. They make a heavier pipe that's green. It will work much better.  The 4" pipe works very well and is quite stiff. I've used this for about 30 years. It's a pain to transport with it's 10' length.  I use a roof top carrier.