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2m DX

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Antennas' started by avistar23, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. avistar23

    avistar23 Active Member

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    So i need advice,

    Ive had very good results from my QTH on 6m SSB, well over 1000+ miles easily.

    Now here comes my qesution,



    seeing as ive had good results there, im intersted in 2m DX. we have ZERO local activity.

    i am putting up a new 6m (6m7jhv) and i was looking at the m2 2m12. Seeing as i have to pay shipping and duty to get it from Florida here i might as well buy both at the same time.

    Does anyone think it is worth it? Flordia is 180 miles from me, the antenna would be up 40 ish feet, beaming straight there, there will be very little above that (if anything) from my QTH to the ocean, so the signal should get out ok.

    anyone made good DX contacts on 2m? anyone think its worth it? would FM be possible at all?

    any advice/comments is welcomed
     
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  2. EDUK8TR

    EDUK8TR Administrator

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    I would think that if you have a pretty good shot toward FL you should be able to make some 2M contacts. You might even be able to hit a repeater or two there as well.(y)

    73

    Wayne C.
     
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  3. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur Staff Member

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    You might get lucky and hit a repeater but only if you mount the 2m antenna for vertical polarity and then it will be almost useless for long haul 2m openings on SSB where the standard is horizontal polarity. I have not had a good 2m SSB station at all but hope to remedy that this spring when I get the 2m antenna at 77 feet. I have worked into the northern part of Nova Scotia on occasion, with just 75 watts and an in-shack preamp, which is a similar distance as from you to the mainland 185-200 miles. This was over all land and my location is far from ideal for it. IMHO you should have no problems working some good long distance contacts on 2m SSB but you will have to use horizontal polarity.
     
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  4. towerdog

    towerdog one-niner-seven

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    SSB on VHF defies all common notions of propagation. Basically its just surface waves refracted along the surface of the earth, mistakenly called groundwave by many, myself included (because it sounds cool).

    I used to know hams who would talk hundreds of miles on 2m SSB, from N.GA to southern Indiana. Basically you need a rig, a highly directional beam or yagi, and an amplifier will help out alot if your rig is anemic.

    2m SSB rigs are kinda expensive, nobody I know of makes one anymore with the exception of high end kenwood and yaesu multi banders that also do HF.

    Now for FM, no, you arent going to get much further than your LOS without some sort of atmospheric propagation.
    Maybe if you ran a set beams up high, like 20 element or some ungodly long setup like they use to talk to the moon and back, and ran enough power to cook birds out the sky, then you might could talk to someone 180 miles away, but I doubt they could talk to you, not on FM not vertically polarized.
     
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  5. towerdog

    towerdog one-niner-seven

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    if the repeater's at the top of a 2000' tower, and you are at 40', and I know the elevation down there dont change much, your line of site is only 72 miles, although like said before it has a way of bending around the terrain to go a little further.

    Even at 180 miles your path loss just from the atmosphere would be amazing.
    There is a repeater in the mountains of western NC, about 7000' above sea level on mt.mitchell and another repeater on the same freq in Raleigh, 200 miles away at about 2000'asl, and once every blue moon mt.mitchell will key the one in raleigh. LOS is only about 180 miles but clouds, humidity and whatever else absorbs the signal is at fault more.
    In the desert I have heard of even greater range, but humidity is not there.
     
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  6. avistar23

    avistar23 Active Member

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    SSB isnt the issue i have radios to do it, I knew FM was a crap shoot, and im not going to polarize it for FM seeing as it really isnt going to happen, ill try SSB, just a big investment for little use, i guess HF is almost "to easy" if that makes sense.

    Anyone here have any antenna recommendation besides the 2m12, or anything besides the 6m7jhv for 6m dx.

    Thanks for all the info so far.

    Ive been looking into antennas for quite some time, ive had several yagis on 6, but nothing compares to the m2 in specs, i had a smaller cushcraft 2m, which wasn't enough for the job. the 2m will have its own tower (a small crank up) as to not interfere with the 6m on a rohn25g, and the Hf tri bander is on its own tower also. Trying my best to optimize their surroundings.
     
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  7. towerdog

    towerdog one-niner-seven

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    sounds like your all set. Actually from what I hear its easier to contact a buddy (who knows to where you are at and where to point his antenna) with 2 meter SSB than HF. One big advantage I forgot to mention, VHF has a much lower noise floor than HF. I just wish I could afford a 2m SSB rig or transverter, although honestly I know very little about about them.
     
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  8. FatHam

    FatHam Administrator Staff Member

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    You might do better over the water than you'd think. Just the way our coast is shaped here in So. Cal, people get some pretty amazing distance on 50W FM mobiles sitting out on some of the bluffs. 100 miles isn't uncommon "point to point" out over the water.

    2M SSB contacts between San Diego and Santa Barbara are common too, and that's probably the same distance that you're talking about. One of the guys here on the coast that's in to it uses a pair of Cushcraft 13B2's and talks crazy far.

    Save this link ---> VHF Propagation Map It's a real time VHF propagation map. Watch it for a few days and you might be surprised at some of the contacts that are made off the tip of Florida.

    My Icom 706 does 2M sideband, but being on a vertical antenna, it's not much more than a novelty for me. I need a beam to get serious about it.

    Watch Ebay and some of the online Swapshops. There are all mode VHF rigs in the $300 range pretty consistently.
     
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  9. vo1ks

    vo1ks Active Member

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    Other than receiver sensitivity, I don't see what difference FM vs SSB would be. RF is RF and the signal should carry the same regardless of the modulation technique being used.

    Other than direct propogation, antenna polarity is likely irrelevant as well. When the signal starts refracting its original polarity is lost. Much of observed signal fading could merely be variations in polarity as the signal travels. A possible remedy for this could be circular polarization. There will be an automatic 3dB drop in level for a linear signal, but fading due to cross polarization would be greatly reduced.

    The Larcan amplifier module you have on the way can be converted to 2 meters. A few jumpers here and there and you could produce well over 1kW to the antenna.
     
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  10. chris.s

    chris.s Active Member

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    Hello

    2 meter ssb can be challenging and lonely,you need to invest in a good beam or two,a good pre-amp a mast mounted one works the best,top of the line coax,and as get it up as high as you can,also an amplifier is a good investment.I do alot of 2m ssb work and its alot of fun, there is a morning group that gets together on 144.205 usb every morning and they make some good long haul contacts daily.I changed my antennas out last fall I took down a single 17b2 beam that worked well and put up a stacked set of 2m5wls at 60ft and picked up a bigger amp that does 1k out,I have qso's with guys in the morning that are 500-600 miles,I dont know what kind of activity is in your area so that makes for a tough call as to how much to invest into it,its alot of fun and can get very costly if you really get into it.

    73 chris.s
     
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  11. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur Staff Member

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    It is all about receiver sensitivity as well as receiver bandwidth. As you now narrower bandwidth emissions are more easily understood at the RX end and SSB has far less selective fading than FM. As for polarity, I understand what you are saying however it seems to matter more on VHF than HF. Note I said "seems". Probably due to propagation modes I guess. Less polarity rotation via tropo perhaps? Anyone serious about 2M SSB always uses horizontal polarity, probably to take advantage of the additional ground gain and therefore if you are looking for a contact it makes sense to use the same polarity. Direct sure makes a difference. I worked two guys in Halifax on 2m SSB a while back. Both were using the same yagi at the same height and same power level, 50 watts. They were about 1/4 mile apart and the only difference was one was vertical and the other horizontal. The guy on H was S9+ 10dB while I could not even detect the other guy on V.
     
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  12. vo1ks

    vo1ks Active Member

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    What type connectors does your 1k amplifier use?

     
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  13. Radio Tech

    Radio Tech Radio Operator

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    2 meter ssb can be great. But most get tired of waiting to hear someone call. So many qso could be made if one just call out. Sort of like 10 meters but worse.

    I ran ssb for years. I use a yaesu FT-736. I split the rx andtx antenna jacks. So has seperate jacks. Also good for EME. And it is all about antenna. I like running quagies myself.

    New VHF/UHF quagy

    I have worked New York maine and Deleware with this one.
    I recently lost this jewel in the last hurricane.
     
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  14. avistar23

    avistar23 Active Member

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    Any more info on that yagi? the QRZ link is not very in depth
     
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  15. avistar23

    avistar23 Active Member

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    Which pre amp would you reccomend? this VHF stuff is new to me
     
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