HF Radio - HFoZ

Submitted: Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 11:23
ThreadID: 66880 Views:4949 Replies:7 FollowUps:12
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Good morning

I’m looking for feedback from current users of the HFoZ radio network; good, bad, or otherwise.

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 11:51

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 11:51
Hi Landy,
Just had my HF radio installed on friday; a free 12 month subscription to HFoZ came with the radio. As yet I haven't had the opportunity to use it / test it. I also joined VKS737 (as HFoz was free) and HFoZ is a new network with a small number of users at this point (but growing).

However, I believe it has a number of advantages and less restriction than VKS737. eg. GPS positioning and SMS to their web site where friends and family can login to obtain messages and view your position on a 1:250K RASTER MAP. HFoZ actively encourages Mobile to mobile comms where VKS737 does not (as I understand their paperwork).

But as I said, this is all new to me and am still finding my way, and have yet to use the radio on a trip (July). That's when all will be revealed.

Don't know that i have been able to help you much.
Fred B
VKS 737: Mobile/Selcall 1334

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 13:13

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 13:13
Hi Fred
You are able to have mobile to mobile communications with other members of the VKS Network, providing it is not during the schedule skeds times. I know that you are not supposed to talk with other non VKS Members.

When I first joined the VKS network in 1994, the membership list was on 2 A4 Sizes of paper. Just have a look at the book of members now and you will see why it is the biggest growing Radio Network here in Australia.

Once again it was a South Australian idea and put in place and then the other states four wheel drive associations wanted a piece of the action, and then has just snow balled from there. The operators are all volunteers are a great bunch of men and women.

I will never say a bad word about the VKS network, they do an unreal job

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:42

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 14:42
Thanks Stephen,
yes they do sound like an awesome network of volunteers. I have heard of plenty of stories mobile members have come to the aid of other members and travellers.
Fred B
VKS 737: Mobile/Selcall 1334

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Reply By: Member -Signman - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:09

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:09
Who & what is HFoZ ??

AnswerID: 354318

Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:18

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:18
HFoZ HF Radio Network
Fred B
VKS 737: Mobile/Selcall 1334

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Reply By: RV Powerstream P/L - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:19

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 15:19
Seeing your post I thought that it should be available for potential members or persons interested to be able to talk to members no matter how small and I rang and asked them is that possible.

They said as long as they know who then go for it.
So

There is a get together organised for 28/29th March at the Coopernook State Forest Camp GPS 31 degrees 47'18.68" S 152 degrees 36'28.55" E.
The camp ground is located 5km west of the old Pacific Highway at Coopernook north of Taree NSW and is free of charges .Easy Access with some dirt.
Turn off Highway at Coopernook onto Forest Road. provided are toilets,water(not drinking)and fireplace in a large grassy clearing in the forest.

Please notify Mark Gillett 3389 after hours or ph 0249813389.
or email connect.east@hfoz.com.au
There is also a Weekend planned for WA members on the 25th and 26th April hopefully a nice comfortable spot a short drive north of Perth.
email: connect.west@hfoz.com.au

I am a member of VKS,VKE and HFoz so I am not biased about any of them.
Ian
AnswerID: 354328

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 18:52

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 18:52
There are a number of HF networks now that provide good comms service / opportunities across the nation.... its all a matter of chioce. As for VKS737 and mobile to mobile contact - it is true that members avoid calling each other within skeds sessions and also stay clear of any emergency business that may be 'on the go'; sked sessions only occupy a few hours of the day though. But several of the frequencies don't get used at all in skeds so opportunities for mobile to mobile contact are pretty good overall.
AnswerID: 354376

Follow Up By: qubert - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 20:50

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 20:50
i quit vks. i realised that if i needed to talk to some one i needed to be atleast 500k away from them (min) for transmission to work. if im travelling with a group then uhf/ vhf is enough. if i am by myself i dont need to call me mates to tell them im broken down. better off calling the parts shop and a courier ( radtel is my option)..
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 21:15

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 21:15
qubert,

That would appear, from the limited information you have provided, to be somewhat misinformed.

It may be true that HF is not particularly good for short distance communications, but the whole point of having this "network" of many thousands of travelers is to use the bases as the first point of call if in any sort of difficulty. They can then put the call out for others to assist.

Additionally, the bases keep fairly good records of "who is where" and if contacted, they may realize that someone able to assist is not too far from you, even though you may not be able to call or hear the closer station.

There have been many instances of travelers broken down or in trouble who have then been assisted by someone close by, using the various base stations as their point of call.

To use Radtel to call the parts shop and courier parts out to you in remote areas is going to take a VERY long time and cost you MUCH money.

Just my experience with the network over about 17 years.

Cheers,

Mark

Mob. 3531
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 00:04

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 00:04
"if i needed to talk to some one i needed to be atleast 500k away from them (min) for transmission to work"

If you can't talk to someone closer than 500km, then you're using the wrong frequencies and antennas.

For short distances you need an antenna with horizontal wires and to use low frequencies.

On Thursday I was doing tests from Katoomba to Newcastle (about 100km) and getting very consistent Beacons using VKS737 Channel 5 and Channel 1. At night only Channel 5 will work for short distances with the current sunspot cycle trough we're in.

If you have an Autotune antenna you need to run 4 metres of wire out horizontally from the top of the housing.

For short distance communication you need the signal to go directly upwards and a vertical antenna is useless for that.

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Follow Up By: RV Powerstream P/L - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 09:48

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 09:48
Useful infortmation whether a sidetrack or not and Im pleased you posted it Mike Thank you.
Ian
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Follow Up By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 21:11

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 21:11
Side track it may be but I agree very useful information

Mike DID would you be able to elaborate on the horizontal wire for the shorter distances please?

i.e. coated or bare....insulated at one or both ends....wrapped around the base of the whip etc?

Thanks
Life is a journey, it is not how we fall down, it is how we get up.
VKS 1341

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Reply By: The Landy - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 21:22

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 21:22
Whilst I appreciate the responses to date; I was actually looking for feedback on HFoZ. I understand what VKS can and does do.... And it does a great job.....however, that wasn't my question!!

I'm interested to hear from those with first hand knowledge of HFoZ.

Cheers
AnswerID: 354426

Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 21:57

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 21:57
Landy

I joined up straight away when it started but have not used it yet only testing a beacon test.

It started as a chat type version of a HF radio but is turning into something big (GPS, and Data ) not many members yet only a A4 page, but growing.

I joined because I'm one of those people that just can't have too much :-), but saw the merit in the chat line part of it.

I'm am still a VKS-737 and Radtel member but VKS is so big these days skeds take up all day. so HFOZ users can call in on VKS skeds and if they hear anyone they know can drop up to HF-OZ and have a chat.

I may never us it but I have a HF radio so why not use it

Cheers


Richard

I have not proof read this, so I hope you under stand it ... LOL
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 09:26

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 09:26
Thanks Richard

I did actually read a previous thread you had posted on this topic so thanks for that and your recent post.

I actually find the ability to log your position via GPS a good development as it provides others the opportunity to see were you actually are.

I’ve been a member of Radtel for a number of years as it had the phone service and have also been a member of VKS.

I inadvertently let my VKS renewal lapse and the reason for my post was to gauge whether I should rejoin VKS or take up the current offer Radtel members have with HfoZ as it does fit my requirements of having an avenue of communication.

We haven’t been travelling much in recent times; however I hope this will change in the months ahead and I understand the benefits of VKS membership. I may well rejoin it, and also HFoZ as you have done.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 09:46

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 09:46
Woops....sorry Landy. So easy to get sucked in by someone's silly comment.

Can't help you much with HFoZ, but I imagine it will grow over the next few years to be a useful addition to the other HF networks, though I doubt it will ever grow to the size and magnitude of the VKS network and I see this as a bonus.

Over the years I have been a member of just about all the networks (Phillip Collins and Assoc 4wd net - the predecessor to the VKS Net, Bushphone, Radtel, RFDS, VH2RGC, VKE, VMS and even a private work network, but probably haven't used them to the capacity that I could.

These days just tend to activate them for a trip as I'm traveling a little less with a very young family.

You can never have too many though, especially if it's mobile to mobile comms you're after.

Cheers,

Mark
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FollowupID: 622646

Reply By: cobber - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 23:17

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 23:17
Hi Landy, bit annoying when someone sidetracks the question, best solution is to ask the question again and hope you get the information you want the second time!
AnswerID: 354445

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 09:26

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 09:26
Yes...but all information for others still.

Thanks
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Follow Up By: RV Powerstream P/L - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 09:51

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 09:51
I doubt that you can get many opinions at the moment as it is so new and still under development but if you have been with Radtel and your satisfied then HFOZ should be no different with basically the same owner.
Ian
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