Submitted: Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 21:27
ThreadID: 132812 Views:3432 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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If you break your 9350 whip don't panic. Much has been written in earlier
entries about this subject and mostly advise to have a sat phone instead of the HF radio. Ignore that advice.. Not only are sat phones expensive and you can only call one number at a time like an ordinary phone. So if you have an emergency you better be carrying heaps of phone numbers for the area you are in ! Also, with a sat phone you can't 'chat' to various other travellers at the same time. Also. in case you don't already know, sat phones do NOT always get out. There are very many places around Australia where they simply will not work !.
If you break your 9350 whip, all you need do is remove what's left of your whip and attach a long piece of wire to the bolt on top of the black pipe tuner and attach it to any nearby tree. The higher the better.Your NGT will tune that wire, no problem. I will include a follow-up note in the next few days to provide the optimum length of wire. Incidentally, I think such emergency wire antennas are available to buy from some communication oulets. All ready to use with instructions and insulators.
Good Luck. Romska. Posted Sunday 190616 9.25pm at Mackay Qld.
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 22:06

Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 22:06
While it is true that a 'longline' wire antenna can be used with a HF radio it is not necessarily the most useful solution.
It is unwise to suggest "ignoring advice" of using a satphone for communication in remote areas. Both HF and satphones are invaluable. A good model satphone on the right network is no less reliable than HF radio which can suffer problems at certain times.

Your negative expressions of satphones are of minor significance and I could raise a similar number of 'inconveniences' for HF radio. A series of good articles on Outback Communications appear in the Communications section of ExplorOz Articles. Perhaps you should read them.

Incidentally, I carry both a satphone and HF radio together with a PLB.

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Follow Up By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 23:29

Sunday, Jun 19, 2016 at 23:29
Is this a troll?

I'm with you Allen, we also carry HF, Satphone and a PLB (SPOT). All have their different uses.

I haven't seen the 'Satfones don't work' hobbyhorse get an airing for a few years. Nice to see it getting some exercise again.

All systems have their limitations and there have been many times when I have been unable to contact base on HF with milspec gear, 1kW of power and a greater range of frequencies than those available to land mobile users.

And we do carry a large range of emergency contact numbers for the phone, all laminated and in our emergency grab bag. The satphone also isn't tied to the vehicle or reliant on it still being shiny side up on dry land, with working batteries. Or near a convenient tree to hang the emergency aerial - tough to find in a lot of places :o)


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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, Jun 20, 2016 at 12:27

Monday, Jun 20, 2016 at 12:27
Yes Allan. The big 30L1 Collins may not make it back from the ionesphere so if no one is within ground wave distance then you are stuffed. There are plenty of places like the Simpson where HF wont help. And being able to chat to a local may be useless in a medical emergency.

Also the longer the wire the more directional it can be depending on the frequency, thickness, length and height of the wire, plus the angle and type of feed. I got comms to Holsworthy once from Singleton, in a bad ionespheric storm by hooking up to one end of a very long fence lined up with Sydney. Not even the 5 element Wilson at 30 meters up could get there on 40M. Needless to say it was down in 1.8Mhz area, and I don't think that 4WD HF is allowed there. Yes HF does have limits. I won't tell you how we wet the earth around the 3M copper and brass earth stake!!

I agree that for some people, HF does have a place but not at the expense of a satellite phone.

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Jun 20, 2016 at 13:04

Monday, Jun 20, 2016 at 13:04
Back before DRCS phones were common place, I was about 100kms from the station, during a mostly dry, electrical storm. Called the station on the HF, on 2020khz, to be told by my wife: "I know you're there but can't understand what you're saying". As the vehicle was on a hill, about 40-50M above the surrounding terrain, tried the UHF, and managed to pass on that I was heading home.

HF is a great medium, MOST times, and back then there was a real "community" in outback Australia, often frequented by people who had never met, but had been conversing for years.

Probably buy 4 sat phones for price of one HF!


Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: TomH - Monday, Jun 20, 2016 at 07:16

Monday, Jun 20, 2016 at 07:16
Another error is that the cost of an HF radio can be considerably MORE than a Satfone.
Also depending on the network if you can see the sky you should get service with a Satfone but depending on atmospheric conditions a radio may not work.
A rather uninformed post and not well thought out. Would be hard to find a tree on sandhill 645 in the Simpson maybe.

Not everybody will be using an NGT either. I bet there are more older models still in use than there are NGT's.
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Reply By: Member - nick b - Monday, Jun 20, 2016 at 10:13

Monday, Jun 20, 2016 at 10:13
whilst not disagreeing with others ~ when i lived in the NT it wasn't uncommon to see station people & bush contractors using the wire technique ....
but as i understand hf radio's are a bit out dated these days

when i was looking in to emergency devices for an upcoming trip i found they all cost a bit of money ..... so l will just keep my fingers crossed ...lol

Cheers Nick b

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