HF radio

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 17:54
ThreadID: 69811 Views:1934 Replies:10 FollowUps:0
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Just been listerning to Alice Springs base{signal strenth 2-3] talking to various stations in the outback some i could hear some i could'nt hear i was going to do my first radio check with Alice springs but was'nt sure if he would pick me up or not, so how far should i expect to get,i heard a mobile station which was sitting on the cooper's at Innamicka would he hear me if i gave him a call out side SKEDS time.cheer's GD
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Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:00

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:00
If the radio is working right, you should be able to talk to who you can hear.
AnswerID: 369942

Reply By: blue one - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:25

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:25
Just give it a crack mate,
That's the beauty of VKS. If the base doesn't pick you up then someone will relay for you.

AnswerID: 369951

Reply By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:31

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:31
GD, you have heard the VKS operators already - they are absolute pro's, very friendly and helpful. Suggest you just call them during a sked period, after the initial bit when everyone's competing to lodge their call. Tell them it's you're first call, that you want to do a radio check. They will take you through it from there. Alice base works very well from Adelaide. Ive done calls to Perth and Charters Towers from Adelaide too. Last night coming back through the Adelaide Hills I could even hear Adelaide base very well. Good luck with it. JD
AnswerID: 369954

Reply By: toyotabits .........VKS-737 ...mobile 2629 - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:57

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:57
G'day GREENDG, today I spoke with Alice Springs for a chat & radio strength check from my driveway in Mooloolaba, I was supprised of the distance my old Codan has, my very first call on VKS was last week as I mentioned before. If you like you can pre arrange a call to me during a quiet time to suit you, just phone me 041 9990888 & we can make a time. I am a voulenteer radio operator with the local Coast Guard with 1500hrs there, also I have been a pilot on radios for more than 40 years, give me a call & we can practice without jamming VKS, regards, aussiiedingo
AnswerID: 369960

Reply By: anglepole - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 19:20

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 19:20

I don't know what radio you have, but if it has SELCALL then use that to get a fair idea on the signal strength you can expect. If you are a VKS member use the listed base beacon Selcall to find Alice Springs base.

Or as others have suggested just call up in a quiet time of a normal sked time.

Good Luck
AnswerID: 369968

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 20:09

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 20:09
Hi Greendog
Like all of the above, just give it a go. The best thing about HF is the greater the distance, the better chance of getting a base. Even try a little later for Sandstone or Perth.


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AnswerID: 369986

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 21:01

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 21:01
Yep - as the others have said, give it a go - if the operator hears you, you'll get a response. As for distance........it can be quite variable across the year (HF has always been so)........there is such a thing as too close, as well as too far away - Ch 2 (8022) might best be seen as 800 - 2500km nominal range - if the base is closer and they don't hear you, they probably will if you call in when they go to Ch 1 (5455 - better suited to shorter distances). Natural conditions unfavourable to HF will crop up from time to time though and throw all of the above indications out the window.
In VKS, with a number of scattered bases running skeds each day, you are virtually assured of getting into one of them.
Also, importantly, just because you can hear someone clearly doesn't indicate that they should be able to hear you - this is especially the case with bases (I'm a VKS volunteer operator)...... we often get out to mobiles who can't get back to us (bases are still on a nominal 100W, but much bigger antennas are used). But in the end, if the chips are down (and the balloon goes up :-o) and you need to shout 'mayday', it's just about guaranteed that someone somewhere will bob up on channel....... anyway, with selcall, you can 'wake up' any of the bases in range and get through via a phone link to someone in authority.
AnswerID: 369999

Reply By: Member - GREENDOG - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 21:07

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 21:07
Thanks guys i'll try and give it a crack during the week,thanks for all the advice.cheer's GD
AnswerID: 370000

Reply By: get outmore - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 01:17

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 01:17
Im always wary of trying adelaide i recieve them full strength but they barely hear me often complaining of static.

conditions over the last few days have been very long even when 600km from perth i was using ch1 with mixed results
AnswerID: 370018

Reply By: Steve63 - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 13:20

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 13:20
Hi Greendog,
Too far away is the wrong way to look at it. With HF you get direct up to say 100km (others will correct me if I have the distance incorrect). Usually the signal bounces off the ionoshere so you get ranges (ie 700 - 900km) where you get a good signal. In simple terms think of it as shining a tourch into a mirror on an angle. It does not light up the whole room but gives a reflected beam. HF works in a similar way but the mirror is more complicated and not flat. In general if you can hear the base station well they will be able to hear you. Just make sure you are not under a tree etc. The base station does have a bigger (higher gain) antenna and likely more power so if you can just hear them I would not like your chances. As the suns position moves it affects the ionosphere and the distances change so you can go from good reception to zero in a few minutes as the sun sets.

We are in Adelaide and when we go down to the Coorong I will talk to Alice Springs. It is difficult to get Adelaide but Alice is at the right range for a very clear signal at 8022KHz (Ch 2) most of the time. The range is affected by the frequency as well, in general the higher the frequenct the further away the best reception will be. Don't be put off if it does not work the first time. You can't always count at contacting a specific base station. On the CSR Perth was easier to get than Alice at times. Just look at the list of skeds and try at different times and different bases.

This is a very simplified version of reality. There is a small book called "Introduction to HF radios" or something similar that most shops that sell HF gear will sell. It explains it quite clearly. Don't try to over simplify it. If you get good reception one night on channel 2 does not garanttee good reception the next night. Reception is predictable but the math is very complicated and not really solvable without lots of data and a complex computer program. Try and see is easier faster and less frustrating.

AnswerID: 370064

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