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Contact with a member on the air

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Contact with a member on the air

Post by drdx » Saturday, 10 May 2008, 22:32 PM

Never chose this area, but here goes. As many of you know, I'm here in N. Texas, in the center of the radio universe, Mckinney, Tx. A fellow member(Ranger6900) is in Decatur Texas, to my west. Several others are in the area as well.

A couple of nights ago, I went mobiling and was talking with some stations to my southeast in Mesquite, home of the rodeo, and Ranger jumped in there. I didn't hear him, but a station in Mesquite did. I am basically between the 2, but being on a base, and me in a mobile with local noise, he heard them first. From Mesquite to Decatur is about 75 miles. The Mesquite station and Ranger started talking, which is a good ground wave distance in itself base to base. I was then able to get in a good spot in my town and hear Ranger and speak with him, but I couldn't hear Ranger himself. I swapped out my coil loaded 10k and put the 102 whip on and was able to pick him out, no surprise there. I then put a call out and talked to Ranger for a few exchanges from my mobile to his base, a distance of about 60 miles, and I could hear him fine and he was putting a signal of about 2 s-units on the meter. That's probably the farthest groundwave contact from this mobile I've made. Just thought I'd share that. He was on his moonraker I'm guessing, with some power. I was on my mobile, with about 700 carrier/1200 pep. I didn't ask for a meter reading, as I NEVER do, but we exchanged a few times, so copy was clear. That was a 60 mile deal, so I'm wondering that with my directional setup on, and a few more watts that I have on tap, if it's possible, from a mobile, to make a 100 mile contact? I know, I know, I hear the "i'm on a mountain" deal, or the "i've done that 200 miles ground before" but I'm not talking about tropo, sporadic E, or any other type of skip. I'm talking the conditions you can have ANYTIME when it's dead. I'm on flat ground here with relatively poor soil conducitivity, so my story is a long haul for this area, what about yours? -drdx
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Post by beebuzzbee » Saturday, 10 May 2008, 22:45 PM

You didn't say it was AM or SSB, if AM that's very impressive

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Post by drdx » Saturday, 10 May 2008, 22:51 PM

That was on 28 am, so yes I was impressed too. Hey, if you're awake, jump in chat. -drdx
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Post by djrebel236 » Sunday, 11 May 2008, 0:36 AM

soundz cool DRDX, keep up the fun in DX-Land, maybe someday ya might hear me in there somewhere...Dj
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Post by Road Runner » Sunday, 11 May 2008, 5:29 AM

WOW..........that is a LONG distance chat for a mobile-to-base contact drdx!! I have never talked anywhere near that far (except for skip of course), but I also don't run any power (yet). The terrain where you live is basically the same as it is here: FLAT, so I'm curious (and I know this is not the main topic here) where you have your antenna mounted. Center of roof? What kind of vehicle? And what exactly is your "directional setup" you mention?
Sorry to ask so many questions, but I'm very curious to see how this turns out. I'm constantly trying to improve my own system by using others' experiences and knowledge posted on here.


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Post by drdx » Sunday, 11 May 2008, 20:53 PM

My vehicle is a jeep cherokee, the antenna is mounted about a foot from the rear of the roof, on the roof, and I use a puck mount. I have several directional deals I play with, but my current favorite is a mag mounted director setup. It consists of a vertical element that is about 6 inches on the short side from a tuned antenna, and it has 2 garden variety truck stop antennas at the bottom that act as 2 radials. So, basically, it is a vertical director element with its own radial system and it is totally independent of the vehicle electrical connection wise. It's uses a 6x6x6 gray PVC box for its mounting structure and is basically an upside down T. Talking to a local station, the signal difference is a little over 2 s-units difference between aiming toward or away from them with it on. It works well and aides receive nicely. My antenna alone is a little directional already from where it is mounted but my director deal really helps it out. I didn't have it with me or I would have slapped it on. I see a lot of talk about directional arrays that involve full length elements, and elements that are grounded and have weird lengths. My concept has a tuned vertical element, and it's owned tuned ground system. Sounds wacky maybe, but I figure the less you rely on your vehicle as part of your antenna system and favor a nice tuned one, like on a base antenna, the better off you will be. Last time I checked, my vehicle was no where near being a good candidate for half of an antenna. Sure, I use it as a ground plane, but the termination point of MY coax shield is soon to change. I'll always use the traditional roof mount for drive around, but for signal maximizing, there is much better out there, and I aim to find out what it is.

EDITED IN: I'm currently using .15 wavelength spacing for it, and my element math is from my yagi reference material, orr, lawson,arrl, etc.

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Post by Road Runner » Sunday, 11 May 2008, 21:25 PM

So with that on, it's basically a matter of "point and shoot" off the front of the vehicle, correct? This is really interesting. You say it is "independent of the vehicle electrical connection wise"................so that means it's not "hot" correct? It's grounded to the vehicle, but no conductor attached to it? This is really making the gears start to spin in my mind at the possibilities..................

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Post by drdx » Monday, 12 May 2008, 7:00 AM

On the director I mentioned above, it isn't connected to the antenna feed or the car. It is out in thin air and is excited by the signal. Read up on yagi antenna theory, as it can be an eye opener, but in general, a director is an element out in front of the driven element (the one that is coax fed) and it is a little shorter, giving it the quality of assisting in directing the signal. More than one director can be used, and an element to the rear is called a reflector. The reflector is a little longer than the driven element and acts as a "back door". This is the same theory used in base station antennas, I just apply it to mobile use as many others do. A little math is involved, but in general a director is in the 5% range shorter than a tuned antenna, and a reflector is about 5% longer. Much much more can be figured into this but that's the general idea. Spacing between the elements varies depending on available space and theory. You can have one or more directors, and just about always have either no reflector (if it is just a driven element and a director) or one reflector if you have more than one director. If you have more than one director a reflector is a must for decent performance. Every application is different and this is such a debated topic, I'm sure I'll have others pile in telling of this or that length, but I use stuff from what I've read, nothing complicated, and it works. There is always a computer program out there to optimize things, but often that optimization is so minimal you don't see it in practice, especially on shorter arrays. There are other directional options such as the "2-hot" deal, covered on this site elsewhere, and that's when you have coax running to more than one antenna and you use the coax to phase the feed to create directivity. That setup is also sometimes combined with what I mentioned above, which are known as parasitic elements. Once you have the materials this is some cheap learning fun. I've spent about 20 years sitting on the throne reading about it and working in the garage playing with it always in search of that elusive next better deal, as there is ALWAYS a better way and even the newest on the scene are capable of bringing to the table new and revolutionary ideas.

My fire suit is on, and I salute you, lurkers out there who chime in with better information. -drdx
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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by joekillowatt » Tuesday, 08 June 2010, 9:13 AM

he did say 700 watt carrier with 1200 pep,,,,,,,,carrier= am? not trying to be a smart a@@ or anything~~LOL
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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by 420Snowman » Thursday, 17 June 2010, 9:43 AM

Joe, by " carrier" he is referring to Dead Key sir, also not trying to sound like a Smart A@@.


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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by Sporty Mike » Thursday, 17 June 2010, 10:32 AM

Joe knew what he meant Snowman. Joe was poking fun at the question of wether it was AM or SSB, because when he said carrier it tells you that it's AM, as SSB has NO carrier. Now we're all smart **s's :biggrin:


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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by 420Snowman » Thursday, 17 June 2010, 10:34 AM

Right Right, sorry, havent had my Red Bull yet, maybe I am a dumb A@@!!! LOL


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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by heavyD » Thursday, 17 June 2010, 10:40 AM

everybody stop being smart a@@es
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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by 420Snowman » Thursday, 17 June 2010, 11:06 AM

HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM................................

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by drdx » Thursday, 17 June 2010, 11:30 AM

Man, this is an old thread. I'm not sure I'm running the same amp, but I'm AM only in the mobile. Judging by the wattage numbers I posted it was on my old setup, but still, if someone out there is roughly 100 miles away from me, let me know. I've still never talked that far local. It would probably have to be someone with a serious beam and power. My radio has ssb, so I have the capability but it is only barefoot as the amps don't have ssb delays so I'd think trying a ssb contact is out. I did talk to a guy on a big station once that was in the 90 mile range away but I have no way of confirming that he was where he said he was so I can't claim that, or that we weren't getting some atmospheric assistance. I'm after a repeatable, steady, local contact. Like at the Bonneville Salt Flats, the car has to run both directions to get confirmed for the 200mph club or whatever, I'd want to try 2 or 3 consecutive 100 mile contacts over a few days. Jessejames is about 45-50 away from me. Maybe we could arrange something to where I drove further away for this attempt.

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by Sporty Mike » Thursday, 17 June 2010, 12:28 PM

I heard Jesse James Dallas on 28 the other night but I didn't get back to him, my outgoing conditions seemed to be going N/NE not W.


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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by drdx » Thursday, 17 June 2010, 12:35 PM

Yeah, when the skip is rolling I often pass a message via skip down to jesse, who is far enough away that when the skip rolls we're unable to talk to each other. Treeclimber is another local that you'll hear out there. He's also in Dallas and usually mobile. The other day I heard skip talking to treeclimber so I keyed and told the guy he was talking to that he needed to let tree know that I was putting the mayonaise on him and to tell him I was blowing him a kiss. The guy came back to me with a "do u really want me to say that, do I have to?", kinda funny. Then, tree sent something back, something to the effect of Kiss my u know what. Tree-five jamaica is also a common 28 am'er. Last week I did my tree-five and some dude came on there in skipland and said "that's that dude from the computer" so I guess it was a member here or someone that views the site.

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by 420Snowman » Thursday, 17 June 2010, 14:32 PM

I heard Treeclimber on my lunch break today!!!!

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by drdx » Thursday, 17 June 2010, 14:47 PM

Yeah, I won't tip his hand but you'd be surprised what he's running. It gets out great and isn't a huge deal. Since you heard him you'd hear me from this same general area, so maybe there's a chance soon to hook up on the air.

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by drdx » Thursday, 17 June 2010, 15:16 PM

Hey, what time is your lunch break. Mine is flexible and I'll do my running around at lunch if you want to try to hook up on 28am. If you had conditions today then maybe we'll have some tomorrow.

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by 721HACKSAW » Friday, 18 June 2010, 4:59 AM

26 and 28 AM seem to have really been active lately. I often hear Deer Slayer, Mr. Jim Dandy, ect.. on that freq. AM can be really busy . A few weeks ago with the help of the Shoutbox I made brief contact with another CBRT member, the 221 in New York. We communicated on 43 SSB. It is great to communicate with a familiar operator out there in all that radio wave space .

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by 420Snowman » Tuesday, 22 June 2010, 13:02 PM

DeerSlayer has been blowing up Missouri from his sandpile lately, he has a super setup!!

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by drdx » Wednesday, 23 June 2010, 19:29 PM

Well, I was able to talk with Togaman today on 28am for several exchanges, an actual conversation. We had conditions coming and going but it was nice to hear folks from the forum out there. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come and we can soon plan a DXfest where we all try to get on one weekend in the future.

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by heavyD » Wednesday, 23 June 2010, 20:55 PM

drdx wrote: I swapped out my coil loaded 10k and put the 102 whip on and was able to pick him out, no surprise there. -drdx

I always wondered what the draw was to these coil loaded whips, it seems everyone agrees the 102 ss whip with a spring is the best antenna for tx and recieve.. is it the rated watts. couldn't find that info>>>????????
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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by 420Snowman » Thursday, 24 June 2010, 7:24 AM

DrDx, I go to lunch from 1145-1215 everyday, without fail, I will be on 28am today and pretty much everyday if its rolling, if not I jump down to 11 or 6 just to listen.

Lets give it a try!!

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by Sporty Mike » Thursday, 24 June 2010, 21:04 PM

Hey Snowman, where were you tonight?? I had 25 in St. Louis for a good QSO and Michigan and Illinois for quite awhile. I called out for 314 St.Louis several times.....maybe another day. Oh yea, BTW I was on 28 when I got them, around 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by togaman » Friday, 25 June 2010, 4:27 AM

drdx wrote:Well, I was able to talk with Togaman today on 28am for several exchanges, an actual conversation. We had conditions coming and going but it was nice to hear folks from the forum out there. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come and we can soon plan a DXfest where we all try to get on one weekend in the future.

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by 420Snowman » Friday, 25 June 2010, 6:18 AM

Sorry Sporty, I missed it, I turned it on a few times and had NOTHING, I mean, NO DX at all. I am hooking up the 300A tonight and will more than likely be on all night if the conditions are right, I will holler for you on 28, oh say about 6pm central, something like that, and also later, the more beers I get in me the more long winded I get!!

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by Sporty Mike » Friday, 25 June 2010, 10:02 AM

10-4 Snowman, I'll be listening.....conditions allowing of course.

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by 420Snowman » Friday, 25 June 2010, 10:21 AM

yes, sir, of course. 4040 was just running a gate on 28 during my lunch break!!
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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by drdx » Friday, 25 June 2010, 14:24 PM

Hey guys, I just got confirmation that I'll be staying on vacation down on the texas coast, for a week, beginning July 26th, in a beach house. I'll lug an hf rig down and maybe setup an imax, dipole, or something as a temporary base, on the patio for a little added height. I'll probably be just on sideband unless I have something that I think may work good on AM. I'll be on Galveston Island with lots of water around so it should provide some opportunity to maybe make some contact more members.

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by 420Snowman » Monday, 28 June 2010, 8:00 AM

Sounds like a good time Dr. we will be listening!!!


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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by drdx » Monday, 28 June 2010, 8:15 AM

I'm looking forward to it. My plan is slowly evolving but I want to be operational with a minimum of 100 watts and with a vertical base antenna. I may do something bigger using my mobile amps, which would be a nice setup if the parking arrangement works out. I've never set up like that, but I'll be stuck there a week, a full 7 days, with my wife, sister, mother, and 4 kids, so I figure they'll get a kick out of it. Maybe I'll do something like if you talk to me I'll give you a number, then you PM me here, and I'll send out a postcard or something corny like a beer can with a stamp on it.

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by Sporty Mike » Tuesday, 29 June 2010, 10:37 AM

Hey Drdx I talked to a guy in Galveston last night....didn't catch any numbers , he was calling himself "something" mobile. Said he had talked to me before, but I didn't recall.


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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by drdx » Tuesday, 29 June 2010, 11:31 AM

That's good to hear. I was in Galveston a few weeks ago, some guy called Longhorn mobile or something was there. I'll be there the week of 7/26. Next week, I'll be on South Padre, but in a rental car and a hotel, so I may put together a simple mobile setup for the rental, maybe a mag mount 2 hot with a small amp for the beach.

My wife and I both work remote jobs so we can work wherever. Next week, the trip is on her work as she has to be there in person, so since I can work anywhere I have connectivity I'm going. Late July it is the Galveston deal. Late in August, we're going to Myrtle Beach, so I'll set up there too I hope. On the Myrtle beach deal, we'll be driving from here (Dallas) to there, so I should have a lot of opportunity at making contacts during the 1200 mile trek each way. Maybe I'll set the base up on a timed recorder deal and get a gate of myself.

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Re: Contact with a member on the air

Post by 420Snowman » Tuesday, 29 June 2010, 13:51 PM

Sure thing Dr., PM sent
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