1. In celebration of the launch of the new redesigned site, we just gave away a FREE antenna! Click Here to See Who Won!

Reaching out beyond 100 miles with VHF/UHF

Discussion in 'General Ham Radio Discussion' started by Need2Know, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Need2Know

    Need2Know KK4GMU - The Villages, FL

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    7
    I understand that without repeaters, VHF/UHF reach out maybe 10 miles plus or minus, depending on antenna height on either end.

    With repeaters on towers, maybe 20 to 30 miles is typical. In undertand that starting with 6 meters and lower frequencies (HF) our signals can start to bounce off atmospheric layers and reach hundreds or thousands of miles.

    Here is my question. How common is it for communities of ham operators who may be involved in Skywarn or ARES, or even independent operators, to set up systems where the VHF/UHF only hams (those who don't possess HF capabilities) have arrangements with other hams who have HF capability to reach beyond the VHF/UHF distance limitations?

    Is this done on a personal level, i.e. merely communicating with a local ham with HF capability and asking him to communicate to another state?



    Or are there more sophistated arrangements involving mixed band repeaters? For example, instead of repeating in the same VHF/UHF frequencies, HF repeaters are used? Looking at the band plans, it appears this would only be feasible CW in the CW frequencies so that Tech licensees could access HF repeaters.

    This capability would be helpful in the case of a region wide disaster affecting most of a state or several states.
     
    #1
    1 person likes this.
  2. Se7en

    Se7en Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,603
    Likes Received:
    199
    The only linked repeater system i know of is WINSYSTEM. i too am curious about your question.
     
    #2
  3. hookedon6

    hookedon6 W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    234
    perhaps an easy answer to your situation is to investigate ECHOLINK and/or IRLP.
    you can "work" the world on 2 meters with it.

    another (better) method would be an HF REMOTE base equiped with "SKYCOMMAND*"

    the VILLAGES does have an amateur club that meets regulary in one of the recreation halls . the club is active in all the areas of your concerns,..... ARES, SKYWARN,.. NTS,RACES, HURRICANE WATCH, ect. click on the AREA GROUPS icon on the web page

    they have an event scheduled for 20 MARCH next to the RIO GRANDE pool
    go here: http://search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0oG7lvrA1JPTl8A5MZXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyODNvdTk3BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA0RGUjVfNzU-/SIG=11l9ifsls/EXP=1330803819/**http%3a//k4vrc.club.officelive.com/
     
    #3
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  4. W5LZ

    W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    6,834
    Likes Received:
    726
    I'm not sure I understand the question completely, but it sounds like EchoLink, IRLP, or maybe cross banding repeaters is what you may be talking about. All of them are certainly possible for Technicians to use. Some easier than others.
    The emergency/disaster aspects of them are a bit "if'y" though. In a disaster type situation who says those VOIP systems will be available? Except for the cross-band repeating, all of them depend on a connection to the internet, a telephone line in most cases. If that telephone line is one of the conveniences lost during that disaster, then they aren't reliable.
    - 'Doc
     
    #4
    1 person likes this.
  5. RatsoW8

    RatsoW8 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    601
    The simple answer is no. I've never heard of "arrangements" that allow technician class amateurs to cross band repeat during emergencies to hf due to their limited hf privileges. I believe one is expected to upgrade their license if they have the spark to join up with the ARES bunch. A little motivation if you will.

    Also, there are still emergency traffic nets that meet daily on 40 and 75 meter phone. 40 meter is usually good for emergency comms that extend beyond vhf/uhf limits out to 400 miles or so reliably. Most likely in a SHTF situation there will be no electricity, no internet for echolink or cell phone towers. The ARES guys will prevail with their generators, portable repeaters and hf gear.
     
    #5
    1 person likes this.
  6. K9GAS

    K9GAS W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    11
    The main question is answered. If you have the ability, put up stacked arrays or beams for VHF/UHF and you'll get way past your thought on distance. I know guys that hit repeaters 200-300 miles from their location. Nice thing about those frequencies is the antennas aren't so big compared to HF beams. Just a thought.
     
    #6
  7. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Messages:
    11,366
    Likes Received:
    2,830
    FWIW there is nothing preventing a tech class operator from operating on a cross band repeater if the input to that repeater is of a frequency and mode that the operator is licensed to operate on. IOW suppose a cross band repeater was set up with a 2m input and a 40m output. A tech class operator may operate through that repeater as he is only transmitting within his authorized band HOWEVER this same operator may not have such a repeater licensed to him. Having said all that AFAIK there are no such repeaters in operation except perhaps a few with a 2m input and 10m out. Most crossband repeating is done on the VHF/UHF bands.
     
    #7
  8. Need2Know

    Need2Know KK4GMU - The Villages, FL

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    7
    Doc and Ratso: You've posed the other aspect of my query that I failed to mention and that is the assumption that no internet capability would be available. At least the regional systems are down - lack of juice; no power backup; circuits fried, whatever.

    So, the other part of my scenario involves "no internet." Restated, what lawful internet indpendent means of radio communication are availble to the licensed Technician with ONLY his VHF/UHF equipment to reach beyond 100 miles?

    The possibilities include:

    a. Contact a local ham who has HF and ask him to be relay your message/act as your conduit, or

    b. Cross band repeat within "tech-available frequencies" which, in CW, include 80, 40 and 15 meters; 10 and 6 in phone. For those of us who don't do morse code, there is this highly rated free decoder software

    By the way, motivation has absolutely nothing to do with the answer to this question. There are economic and other practical limitations for most of us. "Priorities" is an important concept. Communications is just one aspect of emergency preparedness. Limited time and resources need to be doled out to the most cost effective aspects of preparedness. And I am told some local ARES groups are more "spark-inducing" than others.
     
    #8
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  9. W5LZ

    W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    6,834
    Likes Received:
    726
    Technicians -do- have HF capabilities on 10 meters. That wouldn't be my HF band of choice for 'near' communications, but it's certainly possible.
    - 'Doc
     
    #9
  10. Need2Know

    Need2Know KK4GMU - The Villages, FL

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    7
    There is probably a good reason for that somewhere. I wonder what it is?

    I would think it is technically feasible for VHF/UHF to HF cross-band repeaters to be equipped to block non-CW signals. This would resolve the licensing issue. This would require a "phone/CW" tradeoff, probably not something repeater operators want to sacrifice.
     
    #10
  11. W5LZ

    W5LZ Crotchety Old Bastard

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    Messages:
    6,834
    Likes Received:
    726
    Since there's no CW requirement for licensing anymore, why would there be a "phone/CW" trade off, I'm not understanding something with that. Technicians do have voice privileges on 10 meters.
    I'm not aware of any cross-band 2/10 meter repeaters for general use. There are/have been satellites set up like that though, no idea if any are still active. It can certainly be done, but just how practical would it be?
    - 'Doc
     
    #11
  12. RatsoW8

    RatsoW8 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    601
    I understand. There isn't really one correct answer to your questions. We all participate in this hobby(and beyond) to the extent of the "all inclusive" resources each of us have to do so. :D
     
    #12
  13. Beetle

    Beetle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,501
    Likes Received:
    359
    To RELIABLY communicate on VHF and higher, with or without repeaters or the Internet being involved, you need to get a big antenna system on a tall tower. This applies whether you're located in the middle of 500 acres of flat prairie with no restrictions on antennas, or in The Villages FL, where (AFAIK) you can be summarily executed for even thinking of such a thing.
     
    #13
  14. Need2Know

    Need2Know KK4GMU - The Villages, FL

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    7
    So true. I believe we have more than the average number of flag poles though. ;)
     
    #14
  15. Need2Know

    Need2Know KK4GMU - The Villages, FL

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    7
    Regarding the "highly rated decoder", I installed it a few hours ago on my Windows 7 system and once it opened, nothing was clickable. It brought me back to when I was 8 and the decoder ring in the cereal box didn't work like I expected either.:blink:
     
    #15
    1 person likes this.

Share This Page