hf confused

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:22
ThreadID: 29296 Views:3027 Replies:9 FollowUps:2
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hello i have a codan 8528. and i am a bit daunted at the whole hf radio network/operation system. can anyone tell me what the difference is between a beacon call and a sellcall. and how do i know if the person i am trying to reach is on the same frequency. and should i be able to tlak to someone in adelaide if i am in darwin.i am a vks747 member but i havnt quite worked out why yet.........
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:53

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 21:53
Cant answer all your questions but as to knowing if someone is on the same channel as you - You cant but if you sell call them you should get return pips if they have recieved your sell call.
Last break i was testing my HF out and conditions were very varied from picking up Perth easily and people as far away as Melbourne faintly to not recieving a thing
AnswerID: 146246

Reply By: The Explorer - Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:09

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:09
From VKS website FAQs http://www.vks737.on.net/

Selcall is a system of uniquely identifying particular radio sets (including those at base stations). When two radios have selcall fitted, they can 'alert' each other without alerting other radios on channel, in range. The upshot of this is that you can advise particular base stations or private users that you want to communicate. It should be noted that once on air, all other users on channel can monitor your traffic (unless 'scrambler" technology is employed in an advanced radio).
Selcall capability also allows you to work directly with telephone interconnects at our bases, thereby making contact possible (conditions permitting) with key network staff and authorities listed in your user manual.

Beacons call ?
Beacon is simar to selcall, but its only a 'test' selcall. That is, you send out a beacon signal to a particular selcall number, and if that radio is in range, you will hear a revertive signal. The responding radio's user will be unaware that you have tested their radio with the beacon call. A satisfactory revertive tells you that it may be worth trying to establish a voice or data call. In other words you can use beacon calls to help choose the best frequency (i.e. the channel that has best return signal) to make contact with.

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AnswerID: 146249

Reply By: Member - David 0- Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:37

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:37
Good info above.
As for reaching a particular destination eg Adelaide to Darwin, it depends.
HF relies on the signal "boucing" from the ionosphere to ground and can therefore skip right over the top of some places. Time of frequency, time of day, distance and solar activity are the main varables. Read up all you can on the VKS737 website. The operators are fantastic. At this time of year they are not too busy, and may even welcome your call, so why not give one of them a call during the sched and test your radio out.
AnswerID: 146254

Reply By: Member - Ed. C.- Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:45

Sunday, Jan 01, 2006 at 22:45
There is a very informative booklet titled
"HF Radio for Travellers! a guide to HF Radio" Authors Chris & Michael Aulich....
available from this site (Exploroz shop) for $14.00....

I don't have a HF (yet!), but if/when I do, this booklet will be very handy indeed!!

Regards, Ed. C.
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"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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AnswerID: 146256

Follow Up By: Martyn (WA) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 02:06

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 02:06
I do and it's worth it's weight in gold, especially when trip s are sometimes a fair distance apart, good as a refresher. Doesn't take up to much space either.
Keep the shiny side up

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Reply By: Peter 2 - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 07:17

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 07:17
HF signals usually travel better nth/sth than east/west.
AnswerID: 146277

Follow Up By: Member - Luxoluk - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 18:00

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 18:00
I wonder whether turning your vehicle 90 degrees would help LOL.
FollowupID: 399856

Reply By: Footloose - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 07:35

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 07:35
It can be a bit confusing for first timers. But its not so hard. Sit back and destress over it all by taking a peek here. No speakada radio, mate.
AnswerID: 146280

Reply By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 12:02

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 12:02
Yep samsgoneagain,

All a bit daunting to start with and before you've used it. But once you've tuned in to the scheds a couple of times, and been brave enough to shout into that handpiece thingy, the world all seems a lot less confusing. Believe me, and many others on the forum, we've been there done that. Confused to start off with at the beginning of our trip, reasonably competant by the end.

Yes the base operators are great, no you probably won't be able to talk to Adelaide from Darwin every time you try, but you might, and thanks for asking about the selcall/beacon. That's something that I puzzled over too.

I'd really suggest you set up your unit outside your house and sit in the car listening to the scheds. You'll get an idea of who you can pick up and who you can't. VKS give you all the frequencies you need, and times. When the operator is clear of other callers and says something like: VKS Alice Springs open for callers, and it seems like no one else is responding, just be brave and hold the transmit button on the mike, then follow the protocols of announcing who you are calling, then your call sign. All this is on the VKS site.

Easy once you've done it a few times.

AnswerID: 146305

Reply By: Member- Rox (WA) - Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 23:10

Monday, Jan 02, 2006 at 23:10
Yes I found North South was better on a small Freq Ch 1 Darwin to Alice but Darwin to Charters towers Ch 2 8022khz was better. There fore i recon but not tested Darwin to Adelaide On Ch 2-4 should work. As for the book I don't have it but have met Micheal A he is a base opp in St Mary's Tas.
AnswerID: 146373

Reply By: Original Banjo (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006 at 17:13

Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006 at 17:13
G'day Sam - I'm a base operator for VKS737 - as said above we are not busy at this time of the year. You are most welcome to call in on any sked, any day and say g'day for a radio/operation check. Just look up the supplied sked timetables. As a general rule, you should make workable contact with any base up to 1500km away (less at times - but often a lot more than that). Early morning skeds and late evenings are often best. As others have said, a beacon call is just a "sniff" at a particular station (base or mobile) to see if they are in range. A selcall to a particular base or mobile is a "hey wake up - its me - I want to do business !" type of call. Where do you live ? I could suggest some of the better timeslots for your location - I could advise staff that you might well call in. Whatever ...........[ eMail / darian@picknowl.com.au ]
AnswerID: 146410

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