Anyone use a HF radio anymore?

Submitted: Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 14:36
ThreadID: 140737 Views:1454 Replies:10 FollowUps:7
Hello, I have a HF radio & was wondering if it is worthwhile fitting it in my Motorhome for the lap? Wondering the cost & who to go with, thanks
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Reply By: Member - nickb "boab" - Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 14:46

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 14:46
Norm : VKS 737 have a good following of member.. cost you $146 p/ year & there are the other clubs aswel
if you decide to sell they are sort after & still get good money .
Cheers Nick b
VKS 737 ( 0915 )
Wish the missus was as dirty as the tailgate

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Reply By: Darian - Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 15:27

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 15:27
Make and model of the radio Norm ? Also description of the antenna. Depending on these, installation could be very easy. Re worthwhile to have...? If you plan your trip, then study the coverage maps for your chosen mobile phone provider, you’ll be able to see any blanks. Potential emergencies can be covered by either HF or a Satphone. Satphone would be easiest for casual phone calling in these ‘blank’ spots (in my view :-). But hey...if you already have the HF, there lays a big $ advantage....and phone calls are possible via HF, with fees.
AnswerID: 634066

Follow Up By: Darian - Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 17:11

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 17:11
By way of clarification on comment below...I’m a long standing VKS737 member and still do a couple of base station skeds each week. Among a number of HF comms providers, VKS provide the most comprehensive coverage and service to my knowledge. But here, I feel the need (mostly :-) to generalise in commenting...Exploroz is not VKS. That said, VKS’s website has the full story.
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Follow Up By: Norm F - Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 17:40

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 17:40
already have a n Iridium sat phone for the last 10 years.. X2 radio 'n multi plug antennae, thanks
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Follow Up By: blue one - Thursday, Nov 26, 2020 at 17:48

Thursday, Nov 26, 2020 at 17:48
I was on the Kowmung which is about a 8 hr drive, from Syd to our camp was about 50 min flight time.

Three Sat phones were a no go. One HF set got through for a Medivac.

Very impressed and have a HF set from a 9232 to a NGT for the best part 20 years now.

Wouldn't leave home without it. LOL
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Reply By: Member - Warren H - Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 15:51

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 15:51
Codan used to 'make' a portable kit. Radio (8525), power cables with alligator clamps, bull bar clamp with aerial mount and a tapped aerial with rfds frequencies all setup in a plywood box. Having a tapped aerial avoided the need for the auto-tune antenna controller. We used it with hired 4wds in the early-mid 90's, in the pre-sat and almost pre-mobile era. So you could always set your unit up that way. I remember in the 80's seeing an even older setup with a much lower powered Codan in an aluminium case and an aerial you threw over a tree.
NT Pajero
2007 Goldstream Crown

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AnswerID: 634067

Reply By: B1B2 - Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 16:27

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 16:27
Norm a short answer is yes connect up your radio and join VKS 737. there are hundreds of members. They base station operators (like Darian used to be, still is!!) are all volunteers. You start to recognise their voices and can get all kinds of information from base stations and other members. Bushfires, floods etc.
On the CSR I could hear how flooded the track was up ahead from other members. Also, on the Gibb R. road there was a huge bushfire, and the road was closed up ahead at Home Valley, I kept listening while on the road and heard the road had reopened.

So, I am a definite yes.
AnswerID: 634068

Reply By: wooly0005 - Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 16:51

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 16:51
Hi Norm,

If you already have the radio, have you ever used it?

I am a member of VKS737 and find it very informative and worthwhile. About $140-150 per year.

I have never used it whilst the vehicle is travelling (not that it can't be used in this way) but usually turn it on for the morning and sometimes the afternoon skeds. You can hear people call in from all over the place, very interesting and useful information, particularly if you are heading that way.

I would not think that it could be relied upon 100% for instant contact in the event of an emergency though.

But even a satphone can have shortcomings there as well.

A PLB is about the only way to garauntee being able to send a distress call with immediate effect.
Wooly VKS-737 Mobile 1656

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Follow Up By: B1B2 - Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 19:06

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 19:06
VKS 737 are very helpful if you are having reception trouble, turn your fridge off, move the vehicle, and then you will have members who can relay messages if that was not successful.
The ionisphere is fickle as it bounces the signal.
Using my Codan NGT one of our group left for home and was atRenmark when he sellcalled me 900km away. ( we were at Cameron Corner) The handset rings like a telephone and you can see who called.
It is not perfect but I would like it to keep it supported.
You may notice remote police vehicles have them installed.
I drove around parliament house a few yeas ago and was pulled up by the federal police who asked me about my aerial.
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 20:32

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 20:32
.
......"Fickle"...... that sums it up well.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: cookie1 - Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 21:15

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 at 21:15
Had my Codan NGT since 2009 and have moved it several times between vehicle replacements. Have done a number of trips and try to call into VKS737 when I can and when I remember - it is easy to forget calling in when your on holiday soaking in the various destinations.

A couple of years ago we did the Canning with a group of experienced 4wd'ers and approaching Georgia Bore one of the vehicles snapped both rear leaf springs entering and exiting a creek bed, everyone had Satphones but who to call, where to get help nearby, calls to Melbourne, where they were from were fruitless.

In the end I called VKS737. They provided a list of 4wd outlets, the nearest being Newman, a few phone calls later and I travelled to Newman, picked up the replacement springs and headed back.

My thoughts are, VKS737 provide an invaluable service and well worth the subscription every year, I listen to the Skeds, get the weather for where I am travelling and am comforted in the knowledge that if it hits the fan I can call up VKS and get help or advice from the very friendly volunteer operators.
AnswerID: 634076

Follow Up By: B1B2 - Thursday, Nov 12, 2020 at 07:44

Thursday, Nov 12, 2020 at 07:44
That reminds me, on of our vehicles had a front CV joint problem (the circlip fell out, and it came apart), at Durba Springs. We fixed it reasonably well, but I asked him to leave us at Georgia Bore and drive to Newman. I told him to register at the police station when he arrived. On VKS 737 skeds they confirmed to me that he had arrived by contacting Newman Police, so we were happy to let him travel alone.

One downside since I have had my Codan, is that Radio Australia is no longer Transmitting. I would set up an extension speaker for any footy fans to listen to the match, this was a big hit by a sandune in the desert under the stars.
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Reply By: Richard J - Friday, Nov 13, 2020 at 00:48

Friday, Nov 13, 2020 at 00:48
No, I don't own HF radio anymore.
AnswerID: 634094

Follow Up By: old mate - Friday, Nov 13, 2020 at 15:14

Friday, Nov 13, 2020 at 15:14
Then why are you replying?????
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FollowupID: 911215

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Saturday, Nov 14, 2020 at 08:55

Saturday, Nov 14, 2020 at 08:55
Isnt he giving his point of view that it is not worth installing as he has chosen to do ?
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FollowupID: 911218

Reply By: tom h13 - Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020 at 00:15

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020 at 00:15
for sure, it definately worth, just try
in case of accident, how useful it is
AnswerID: 634132

Reply By: greybeard - Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020 at 14:18

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020 at 14:18
Just remember to make sure your partner is comfortable with operating the radio. Not much point with a HF radio if the only operator is lying in the dirt needing assistance.
Ditto for a sat phone...
AnswerID: 634137

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