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Old 07-28-2021, 12:32 AM   #1
BuckySWT
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Default Just talked to Australia

We are at Port A. I’m an amateur radio operator and we have a 2nd and 3rd floor balcony and a gulf view.

I couldn’t resist throwing up an antenna tonight to see what I could hear.

Bands are opening up a little and with lack of noise from not being in New Braunfels, I could hear stuff everywhere!!

Then I heard a guy from Australia call CQ (looking for contacts), so I replied and about fell over when he heard me!!

Almost 8800 miles between us and for a while, he sounded like he was sitting next to me. Propagation deteriorated some but we had about a 5 minute convo.

Im still floored that my little 6 watt signal carried that far!!!




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Old 07-28-2021, 03:12 AM   #2
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That’s really cool.
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Old 07-28-2021, 03:27 AM   #3
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Awesome
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Old 07-28-2021, 04:02 AM   #4
Pedernal
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Wow that is awesome!! Curious as to your set up… Is that a dipole antenna?? What brand/model radio are you using??
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Old 07-28-2021, 04:35 AM   #5
falmike
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I too am curious about your setup.

73’s

K5CWO
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Old 07-28-2021, 05:08 AM   #6
flywise
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That’s cool as hell
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Old 07-28-2021, 05:25 AM   #7
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Dork. LOL J/k thats awesome!
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Old 07-28-2021, 05:54 AM   #8
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That is cool!
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Old 07-28-2021, 05:56 AM   #9
AntlerCollector
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My phone can do that too.
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:05 AM   #10
Dusty Britches
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That's awesome Bucky. Didn't you buy some of your radio stuff from me? I'm glad you are able to reach that far. My dad was always super excited to raise people from across the oceans. It was a lot of fun for him.
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:24 AM   #11
Das71198
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That’s so cool.
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:36 AM   #12
Rubi513
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That's cool.
My Dad had a base station when I was younger that had a linear amplifier. This was in the 70s and 80s. As a kid I could get on it and say "hey Dad". Didn't matter what part of Texas he was in he would respond back.
Dad used to talk to folks all over the world back in those days.
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:44 AM   #13
TX CHICKEN
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My grandfather was a ham radio operator and I was always amazed at the people he could reach on that thing. He had many lifelong friends he never met in person from that hobby.
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:48 AM   #14
eradicator
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Is he as disgusted with his govt as we are with ours?
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:49 AM   #15
KDinTX
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Back in the days of CB's in pickups, we used to have Galaxy radios with side bands and linears, could talk all over with them. Was pretty cool to be able to talk all over the state and other states while driving around.
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:11 AM   #16
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that is cool
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:29 AM   #17
BuckySWT
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So im running a Yaesu FT 818ND with a Z817 tuner.

Antenna is a sparkplug EFHW with a 65’ wire going up to a buddipole mast thats lashed to the railing on the upper balcony. Set up as an inverted vee. I’m guessing its up close to 40’. The goal was 33’ so I could get it a quarter wave above ground on 40m. Could hear plenty on 40m but 20m was awesome last night for my set up.

Tested it out in my HOA in NB and I heard more with that set up than anything I’ve experimented with in my short time as a ham (Feb 21).

I was amazed at how quiet the noise floor was compared to my home location. Sad we have to head back today

This was my first successful portable ops with this little kit and im tickled.
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:40 AM   #18
Ætheling
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Clear skies.
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:42 AM   #19
Benno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntlerCollector View Post
My phone can do that too.
Lmao! And the guy in room 206 can speak with an Australian accent.


Seriously, how does this work? With the curvature of the earth atmosphere conditions would have had to have been perfect for the signal to reach each other.
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:44 AM   #20
BuckySWT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benno View Post
Lmao! And the guy in room 206 can speak with an Australian accent.


Seriously, how does this work? With the curvature of the earth atmosphere conditions would have had to have been perfect for the signal to reach each other.

You generate RF through an antenna and use the F layer in the ionosphere to skip that signal around the world

Solar activity helps propagation and it opens and closes. Predictable but still random. Im a rookie at this, but am learning tons.

Im a big nerd, so this os cool atuff for me, but I like being able to communicate even if cell signal is gone.

HUGE connection between firearms and amateur radio too.

Hiram Percy Maxim.

Son of Sir Hiram Maxim.

Machine guns, silencers and radio repeaters.
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:05 PM   #21
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^
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flywise View Post
That’s cool as hell
From what I hear- Hell is Not Cool!
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:12 PM   #23
BuckySWT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KDinTX View Post
Back in the days of CB's in pickups, we used to have Galaxy radios with side bands and linears, could talk all over with them. Was pretty cool to be able to talk all over the state and other states while driving around.

My wife’s Pappaw was a CB’er
He had all kinds of radios and amps in his garage, I was told. TX Grasshopper was his call
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:14 PM   #24
BuckySWT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Britches View Post
That's awesome Bucky. Didn't you buy some of your radio stuff from me? I'm glad you are able to reach that far. My dad was always super excited to raise people from across the oceans. It was a lot of fun for him.

Its possible….

Lol

Its as bad as archery or hunting
Always buying and trading stuff!

I sure love the activity!!
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:26 PM   #25
BuckySWT
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My antenna.

It all winds up on a kite winder.
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Old 07-28-2021, 03:11 PM   #26
Abcdj
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Looks like your fishin off the third floor.
Cool stuff!
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Old 07-28-2021, 03:15 PM   #27
Benno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckySWT View Post
You generate RF through an antenna and use the F layer in the ionosphere to skip that signal around the world

Solar activity helps propagation and it opens and closes. Predictable but still random. Im a rookie at this, but am learning tons.

Im a big nerd, so this os cool atuff for me, but I like being able to communicate even if cell signal is gone.

HUGE connection between firearms and amateur radio too.

Hiram Percy Maxim.

Son of Sir Hiram Maxim.

Machine guns, silencers and radio repeaters.


Interesting, even though you lost me at solar activity. I could only assume lots of preppers are into this also.

Forgive me if some of my terminology is wrong. When transmitting are you on a certain bandwidth, are you able to search for others on numerous bandwidths at one time? I’m picturing this like like a suped up CB.

Last edited by Benno; 07-28-2021 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 07-28-2021, 03:49 PM   #28
BuckySWT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benno View Post
Interesting, even though you lost me at solar activity. I could only assume lots of preppers are into this also.

Forgive me if some of my terminology is wrong. When transmitting are you on a certain bandwidth, are you able to search for others on numerous bandwidths at one time? I’m picturing this like like a suped up CB.

Cb works the same

CB is in the 27 Mhz range or 11 meters
No license required.
Ham radio is everything else just about and does require a license through examination thru the FCC

We all had CB’s as kids in our trucks.
Ham radio is even more fun for me.

Whereas CB worldwide stuff required thousands of watts of power, amps, etc (and you can absolutely go high power with amateur radio…my current HF rig is low power. 6W max on DC power. 2.5w on internal battery.

I have my stuff in a little shoulder sling. With that, and a loooong fishing pole, I can set up pretty much anywhere and talk hundreds, if not thousands of miles and talk to folks who are some of the nicest out there.

Yes, there’s some old curmudgeons out there, but we got those too here you just turn the dial and let em be.

I love experimenting and building stuff too and this hobby encourages it.
Plus, theres a trac for almost anyone to explore. Direction finding, satellite comms, heck…you can bounce a signal off of the moon….weather balloons, all the solar stuff, auroras, digital stuff….did you know you send text and email, pics and video over radio?

I started with my GMRS license back in the late fall this year. With that license, theres no test and you pay a fee every 10 years and you’re entire family can use your call sign. I have a gmrs base unit in my radio station at home, and with an external antenna, can talk to my wife just about anywhere in NB.

Fixing to set it up as a repeater, I think.

So GMRS is another option for folks.
You wont get the distance of a ham radio, but its another option. I have all 3. CB, ham, and gmrs and use all 3 still.

I’m still a rookie in all this but have learned a ton!!! I just completed the American Radio Relay League’s (ARRL) summer teaching institute a few weeks ago and have almost a semester’s worth of info to take back to my computer science and robotics kids at NBHS this fall.

Amateur radio is 100% STEM (sci, tech, engineering, math). Its hands on, and engaging for kids of all ages. My son is hell bent on learning morse code. We practice listening in the evenings before bed time.

Talking on local 2m repeaters in town is fun too!
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Old 07-28-2021, 03:58 PM   #29
BuckySWT
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This is my go pack.
The pole is a $25 graphite telescoping “canepole” basically. Its a Japanese style rod, no eyes…buy weighs less than a pound and I just carry it.
Battery boc is from a company called PowerWerx. Itll hold a big ol 40 amp per hr lithium 12v, but right now its just got a little 9a/hr lithium in it that also fits in the pack.

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Old 07-28-2021, 04:01 PM   #30
BuckySWT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abcdj View Post
Looks like your fishin off the third floor.
Cool stuff!

I got some REAL funny looks when I started pulling out big black tubes and screwing em together

I have a pic from the beach….its freakin ridiculous. Looks like a huge outrigger!
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Old 07-28-2021, 05:36 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by AntlerCollector View Post
My phone can do that too.
…. I pay several thousand a year for mine, and I can’t call across the road 90% of the time
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:11 PM   #32
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I’m a radio operator out of Rosenberg just haven’t gotten me an HF rig yet for what ever reason. Love the FT-818ND
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:22 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckySWT View Post
I got some REAL funny looks when I started pulling out big black tubes and screwing em together

I have a pic from the beach….its freakin ridiculous. Looks like a huge outrigger!
Interesting topic BuckySWT, thanks for the detailed explanation. After reading your posts, I have a little bit better understanding about this.
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:24 PM   #34
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That's cool
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:54 PM   #35
BuckySWT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick bow View Post
I’m a radio operator out of Rosenberg just haven’t gotten me an HF rig yet for what ever reason. Love the FT-818ND

Its a great radio.
I researched a ton bc I didnt know squat going in. I got this used on ebay and have been learning how to make it work.
Im improving
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:56 PM   #36
BuckySWT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3ChordTruth View Post
Interesting topic BuckySWT, thanks for the detailed explanation. After reading your posts, I have a little bit better understanding about this.

That’s the other part of this activity that I love. Promoting the activity
Its a cool hobby and can provide tons of assistance during emergencies.
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:23 PM   #37
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Awesome thread. I've been meaning to get into HF but just haven't had the time.

K5KCA
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:28 PM   #38
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That’s awesome!
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:32 PM   #39
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Very cool! I’ve always had an interest in ham radio. Just never bought the stuff and learned to use it.
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Old 07-29-2021, 12:40 AM   #40
matagordian
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Originally Posted by marshman View Post
Very cool! I’ve always had an interest in ham radio. Just never bought the stuff and learned to use it.
You can get into pretty cheap nowadays. Baofeng uv-5r will get you into local repeaters. Test can even been taken online now. Some repeaters are connected to the internet and linked across the world.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:58 AM   #41
BuckySWT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matagordian View Post
You can get into pretty cheap nowadays. Baofeng uv-5r will get you into local repeaters. Test can even been taken online now. Some repeaters are connected to the internet and linked across the world.

First radio was a $26 baofeng.
Still use it. Works great too.
Attached it to a mag mount antenna and had it in my truck.
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