Presentation on theme: "Life Below 2 Meters ( (A Brief Look at the HF World) Brought to you by: And Denton County Amateur Radio Association, 2013."— Presentation transcript:
Life Below 2 Meters ( (A Brief Look at the HF World) Brought to you by: And Denton County Amateur Radio Association, 2013
What we will briefly cover in this session HF Band Plans Brief Look at some HF Equipment HOA’s and CC&R’s FCC guidelines for Installing an Antenna Wind Load Calculations How We Communicate on the HF bands Digital Communication Software Location, Grid Squares, Regions, and Zones Ethics and Operating Procedures Q-Signals, Abbreviations, and the RST System A brief look at propagation DX Clusters Logging Software Contesting, QSL'ing and Paper Chasing Learning Morse Code
Opening Statement “ Life Below 2 Meters ” is prepared and presented by members of the Denton County Amateur Radio Association (DCARA). This series is not geared to teach you everything you need to know about making contacts on the HF bands. It is, however, designed to give you a brief overview of what you should know and/or sources where you can find the information necessary to make successful and rewarding contacts with other hams around the world. Our focus is to get you up to General Class License so you can enjoy all the benefits and privileges that come with it.
Now that you have your “Technician ticket” what can you do? Don’t limit yourself to a hand-held transceiver (HT) or VHF/UHF mobile transceiver! Working local events and emergency drills is only one part of ham radio. The world is open to you down on the HF bands. Lots of radio excitement awaits you below 2 Meters.
Stepping up to the General Class license As a General Class License you get: New Modes of communication New frequencies New bands General Class license training session coming is fall 2013.
Things to Remember about Band Plans FAQ: If I hear a station can I talk to him? Really study the band allocations for the General Class exam. Restrictions within each band depends on your license. Every country has slightly different band allocations which their amateurs must follow. Also the world is divided into 3 ITU regions and each has their own band plan. These plans all have a great deal of overlap so you can usually talk to anyone anywhere providing you get onto a frequency acceptable to both parties.
A Brief Look at some HF Equipment What type of equipment do I need? Transceivers Transmitter – Receiver (separates) Power Amplifiers How much power (watts) output do I need? Antenna Matching Units Do I go new or used? How old is old? What’s a boat anchor ? What the heck is a rice box ?
What is a “Boat Anchor?” “Boat Anchor” generally applies to old tube type equipment. FAQ:Where did the name “Boat Anchor” come from?
Where did the Term “Boat Anchor” Originate? Version I --During World War II, Military Radio Techs used the term Boat Anchor as they struggled with the huge, heavy, electronic equipment of the day -- full of transformers, tubes etc. Also the US Navy frequently marked electronic gear with an anchor. After the war -- tons of the equipment appeared on the surplus market and was dubbed Boat Anchors due to the one of the reasons. Version II --After WWII a national magazine editor answered a query "As what to do with an outdated heavy, large, surplus electronic instrument?" and answered "Tie a line to it and use it as a Boat Anchor."
What is a “Rice Box” The term “ rice box ” generally refers to equipment made in Japan or China? Ten-Tec Made In America
You Will Need an Antenna Beams Yagis – mono band, multi band Quad, Hex Beam, Spider Beam all can be multi band Verticals
Build Your Own Antenna Wire Antennas Off Center Fed Dipoles (OCFD) Inverted V’s Broadside Dipoles Bazookas, Zepps, End Fed, etc, ARRL Antenna Books
HOA’s and CC&R’s Working with Home Owners Associations and your Covenants Conditions and Restrictions. Flag Pole Antennas Attic Antennas Wire Antennas
FCC Guidelines for Installing an Antenna Federal Communications Commission § 97.13 Restrictions on station location …”(1) The licensee must perform the routine RF environmental evaluation prescribed by § 1.1307(b) of this chapter, if the power of the licensee’s station exceeds certain limits”…. FCC’s Office of Engineering & Technology issued OET Bulletin 65 Edition 97-01, August 8, 1997. Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields.
Exemptions to Routine RF Radiation Evaluations On 08-27-1997, in the Second Memorandum and Order, the FCC adopted a sliding scale for categorical exemption to routine RF radiation compliance testing based on peak envelope power (PEP) at various Amateur Radio operating frequencies. While the RF radiation exposure compliance levels are based on average power, the categorical exemptions from the requirement for periodic station compliance testing are based upon peak envelope power (PEP). Stations operating at or below these respective PEP levels are categorically excluded from having to perform a routine RF radiation evaluation. However, all stations, regardless of power level, still must comply with the RF exposure limits. Frequencies in MHz Peak Envelope Power in Watts 1.800 - 2.000 500 3.500 - 4.000 500 7.000 - 7.300 500 10.100 - 10.150 425 14.000 - 14.350 225 18.068 - 18.168 125 21.000 - 21.450 100 24.890 - 24.990 75 28.000 - 29.700 50 50.000 - 54.000 50 144.000 - 148.000 50 222.000 - 225.000 50 420.000 - 450.000 70 902.000 - 928.000 150 1240.000 - 1300.000 200 2300.000 and higher 250
Average Power Estimate Amateurs are required to perform a routine evaluation of the strength of the RF fields around their stations, subject to certain exemptions based on peak envelope power (PEP) levels at the various amateur bands. However, the FCC regulations on permissible RF exposure are not based on peak envelope power (PEP), but on average power over a 30-minute time period for uncontrolled environments, or a 6-minute time period for controlled environments. Operating ModeDuty Factor Morse code (CW)40% SSB phone20% FM100% RTTY/Digital100% AM100%
Estimating Your Average Power Here is an example, if you operate a 100 watt PEP SSB phone station that is on for 10 minutes, off for 10 minutes and on for 10 minutes, you are operating with 100 watts average power (100 watts PEP * 20% * 67% = 13.4 watts average power) over a 30 minute period. (100 *.2 *.67 ) = 13.4 watts avg. pwr. over a 30 minute period Other factors to consider: Coax signal loss SWR/Reflected power Antenna Gain
Amateur Radio RF Safety Calculator Calculation Results Input Data for Calculations Average Power at the Antenna100 watts Antenna Gain in dBi2.2 dBi Distance to the Area of Interest 25 feet 7.62 metres Frequency of Operation30 MHz Are Ground Reflections Calculated?Yes Estimated RF Power Density0.0583 mW/cm 2 Controlled Environment Uncontrolled Environment Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE)1.005 mW/cm 2 0.205 mW/cm 2 Distance to Compliance From Centre of Antenna 6.0825 feet 1.854 metres 13.5392 feet 4.1267 metres Does the Area of Interest Appear to be in Compliance?yes Paul Evans, VP9KF has a great calculator to help you figure out your average transmitting power.
Let’s do some Wind Load Calculations Dig out the math books boys we have some thinking to do. Wind force applied to an antenna uses terms like: Preasure per sq./ft. Surface Area Drag coefficient for round objects Average force (F) Don’t worry guys there’s an app for that. There are calculators out on the internet for just about every type of antenna. Manufacturers spec. sheets
How We Communicate on the HF bands A recent survey showed that voice (also called phone) is the most widely used with CW coming in second. Amplitude Modulation ( AM ) is still alive and well Frequency Modulation ( FM ) – 10 Meters (above 29.5 MHz) Single Sideband ( SSB ) is the primary voice mode Digital modes Continuous Wave ( CW ) VHF/UHF you communicate using either Duplex or Simplex modes HF you communicate in simplex mode, and sometimes in split mode.
How we communicate digitally on the HF bands Connect a computer to your radio by way of an interface device install some software and you can be communicating digitally over the air via your keyboard. Digital modes can be more effective in marginal transmission conditions and some even sport error free transmission. PSK-31MTORPACTOR G-TOR MFSK16THROB PACTOR-IICLOVERRTTY HF PACKETDominoEX HELSCHREIBER MT63JT65 Olivia PACTOR-III CW WB8NUT has a website you can go to and listen to the sounds of these digital modes.
Digital Communication Software There are more than 30 digital software programs available. Digipan MixW FLdigi MMSSTV Packet Software (And a TNC) Winlink Winmor RMS Express Airmail FLdigi Dxzone on the Internet has a gold mine of ham links.
And there is the World Wide Web VoIP Internet communication (VoIP). Using some of the latest technologies hams can supplement a modest station with Internet connections. Echolink Using streaming-audio technology on a local repeater a ham in Texas can talk to a ham in Florida or even Australia using a simple hand-held transceiver. Use your cell phone and Echolink and talk to hams around the world.
Long Live Continuous Wave (CW) CW is not dead. It is alive and well. If you really want to enjoy DX’ing the world CW is the way to go. Even though you don’t need to know code to get your General Class license there are a few questions on the test relating to CW pro-signs and a few Q-Signals. (More on Q-Signals later)
Is Anybody Out there? Local Contacts on the HF bands does not mean your ham buddy down the street. In the HF world local may be several states away or across the country. DX’ing means distance communication. DX’ing is sometimes called the “ Ultimate Contact Sport.” Contesting is often called the "sport" of ham radio. Almost every weekend there is some form of amateur radio contest. Hams get on the air and compete to see who can make the most contacts in a limited period of time. Field Day gives you a chance to get out and test your preparedness.
Location, Location, Location Let’s talk about your station location. In the ham radio world your location is very important. Lets take a quick look at: Calculating Grid Squares, and degrees for you ham station. Know your ITU Region Know your ITU Zone Know your CQ Zone
Has Anybody Seen My Latitude? Latitude and Longitude, and degrees are necessary for several reasons. You need to know your latitude and longitude to figure out your grid square. Logging programs use Latitude and Longitude to assist in aiming your beam antenna, if you have a beam.
I’m a Red Neck not a Grid Square What in the dickens is a grid square? Grid squares are one of the ways used to identify your location. Some DX’ers are trying to work as many grid squares as they can. (More on “Paper Chasing later”). Be prepared to respond with your grid square if ask. You need your latitude and longitude to calculate your grid square. There is a grid square map for every county in the world.
It’s Time for your Daily Language Lesson It is true Q-signals are used as a type of shorthand when working CW but the need to know some of the basic Q signals still exist. If you plan on working CW or any of the digital modes you will see many hams using Q-signals in their messages. You will also hear many hams on the HF phone bands use Q-signals to expedite their message. Question:If a Marine is refer to as a “ Jarhead ” Who, then, is a “ LID ”? What does the term “ FIST ” mean? What’s a “ SKED ”?
Don’t be a “Lid” ETHICS AND OPERATING PROCEDURES FOR THE RADIO AMATEUR Edition 3 (June 2010) By John Devoldere, ON4UN and Mark Demeuleneere, ON4WW Proof reading and corrections by Bob Whelan, G3PJT
Q-Signals Q signals can be used as a statement or ask as a question. QTH What is your location? My Location is ________. QRS Shall I send more slowly? Send more slowly (_____WPM). QRQ Shall I send Faster? Send faster (_____WPM). QRV Are you ready? I am ready. QSK Can you hear me between your signals and if so can I break in on your transmission? I can hear you between my signals; break in on my transmission. (In CW this is call break-in.) QSL Can you acknowledge receipt? I am acknowledging receipt. Please send me a QSL card.
More Q-Signals QRZ is an invitation to respond to the calling station. You may hear DX’ers and contester’s sometimes calling QRZ’ed. QRM Man made or natural interference. QRN Natural interference. QRP Hams running less than 5 watts power. QSY I am changing frequency? Can you change frequencies? QRL Are you busy? I am busy or I am busy with (______). QRT I’m closing down my station.
Common CW Abbreviations KN I’m listening for specific station(s) AR End of message CL I am closing my station YL Young lady XYL A married lady (wife) 73 Best regards 88 Love and kisses There are Q-Signal and abbreviation questions on the General Class exam?
The RST Signal Reporting System RS READABILITY (R) SIGNAL STRENG TH (S) for Voice + CW 1 – Unreadable 1 - Faint signals, barely perceptible 2 – Barely readable, 2 – Very weak signals words distinguishable 3 – Weak signals 3 – Readable with considerable difficulty 4 – Fair signals 4 – Readable with practically no difficulty 5 – Fairly good signals 5 – Perfectly readable 6 – Good signals 7 – Moderately strong signals T TONE (T) Use on CW only 8 – Strong signals 1 – Sixty cycle a c or less, very rough and broad 9 – Extremely strong signals 2 – Very rough a c, very harsh and broad 3 – Rough a c. tone, rectified but not filtered 4 – Rough note, some trace of filtering 5 – Filtered rectified a c but strongly ripple-modulated 6 – Filtered tone, definite trace of ripple modulation 7 – Near pure tone, trace of ripple modulation 8 – Near perfect tone, slight trace of modulation 9 – Perfect tone, no trace of ripple or modulation of any kind You guested it! There is one RST system question on the General Class exam.
ITU Phonetic Alphabet A - AlfaH - HotelO - OscarV - Victor B - BravoI - IndiaP - PapaW - Whiskey C - CharlieJ - JulietQ - QuebecX - X-ray D - DeltaK - KiloR - RomeoY - Yankee E - EchoL - LimaS - SierraZ - Zulu F - FoxtrotM - MikeT - Tango G - GolfN - NovemberU - Uniform
Know Your MUF, LUF, and HPF During a high sunspot cycle conditions are best for the higher HF frequencies and during a low sunspot cycle the low frequencies are often in demand with all kinds of variation in between. Terms like:Maximum Usable Frequency ( MUF ) Lowest Usable Frequency ( LUF ) Highest Possible Frequency ( HPF ) Magazines such as QST and CQ Amateur Radio often publish charts that predict the best propagation to different areas of the World. These are just best guesses but will help you to choose your times and bands but there is no substitute for getting on the air.
ARRL Propagation Charts When are the bands open? These charts, generated using CAPman, show probabilities for average propagation in the Month of July 2013. On 10% of the days of this period, the highest frequencies propagated will be at least as high as the Upper red curves (HPF), highest possible frequency) and on 50% of the days they will be at least as high as the green curves (MUF), classical maximum usable frequency. The blue curves show the lowest usable frequency (LUF) for a 1500-W CW transmitter.
How Grey is Your Line? Don’t forget about Grey Line propagation. It offers many interesting possibilities.
International Beacon Project The Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF), in cooperation with the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), constructed and operates a worldwide network of high-frequency radio beacons on: 14.100 Mhz. on the 20 meter band 18.110 Mhz. on the 17 meter band 21.150 Mhz. on the 15 meter band 24.930 Mhz. on the 12 meter band 28.200 Mhz. on the 10 meter band
Beacon Locations These beacons help both amateur and commercial high-frequency radio users assess the current condition of the ionosphere.
How the Beacon Project Works Each beacon transmits every three minutes, day and night. The following table gives the minute and second of the start of the first transmission within the hour for each beacon on each frequency. A transmission consists of the call sign of the beacon sent in CW at 22 words per minute followed by four one-second dashes. The call sign and the first dash are sent at 100 watts. The remaining dashes are sent at 10 watts, 1 watt and 100 mill watts. There are programs for computers, iPhones and smart phones that can track the beacon transmitter schedule. Good old WWV, CHU and stratus 2 time servers.
Where is everybody! How do you find those DX stations? DX Clusters on the Internet VE7CC DX Cluster, and DX Summit. There are many more clusters.
VE7CC DX Cluster CC User is a window to the world. You can see what stations and countries are on the air and the band they are working in real time.
Logging that Contact Logging programs are like a pair of shoes. Everyone has a favorite. What to look for: Free or Purchase Will it interface with a digital program? Will it interface with a DX Cluster or Internet Cluster? Will it do call sign search's? Will it track awards? Will it print labels and contact information from the log? Will it generate ADIF files? Will it talk to my rig? Will it control my antenna rotor if I have one? Will it interface with propagation and Gray Line prediction software?
Popular Logging Programs Some of the more popular logging programs are: Logic-9 along with TRX-Manager. Ham Radio Deluxe along with DM780 Digital package.
Logging Software My logging program just happens to be ProLog.
It’s Time to Decorate the Shack? Do you need some new wall paper? Yes, “ Paper Chasing ” is a big part of ham radio. You can earn certificates to frame and hang on the wall. WAS – Worked All States WAZ – Worked all Zones WAC – Worked all Continents IOTA – Islands on the Air SOTA – Summits on the Air And the granddaddy of them all DXCC There’s awards for phone, CW, and digital contacts.
QC Contest CQ Contest Rag chewing is great, for a while. But to get more action into you hobby try a Contest. Every weekend there is at least one contest going on somewhere. Want to find those DX stations? Try Contesting. Looking for that one continent your missing for your WAC award. You may find in a contest. If coffee is your favorite beverage and you can’t sleep at night. There is a contest going on somewhere that you can join. Hardcore or casual just dive-in and have fun.
What Contest is Running Now? The best place to get a list of contests for the month is in the QST Magazine.
QSL’ing is a Live and Well! Part of the fun of amateur radio is collecting cards, called QSL cards, from other amateurs that you talk to on the radio. A QSL card is your proof that a contact was made and verified by the DX station. You need this “certificate” if you plan on participating in the many programs available to amateurs. Whether it's getting your DXCC award for getting cards confirming contacts with 100 or more DX countries, working all states in the U.S. A QSL card is your reward for breaking that pile-up and getting that contact. On the air, the abbreviation " QSL " literally means "Can you acknowledge receipt."
QSL Card Information A QSL card is your proof or verification of a contact. “ The final courtesy of a QSO. ” They can be simple or as elaborate as you want to make it. It’s the information on the card that is important. Here is what your card should contain: Your station call sign Your location The station you contacted Date and Time of the contact The band you were on at time of contact Mode of communication, i.e., SSB, CW, PSK31, etc. RST signal report you gave the other station Any additional comments like sequence number if working a contest.
Managing Your QSL Cards Direct QSL’ing to DX stations can get expensive with the cost of postage going up. Some DX stations have state side QSL Managers. QSL Bureaus Incoming – ARRL Outgoing – ARRL Logbook of The World ( LoTW ) You need to have patience. It may take years to get some cards. eQSL – Not a certified QSL card.
Here is a Sampling of Some QSL Cards QSL Cards can be simple or elaborate. It’s the information they contain that is important.
Make Your QSL Card Shine I started out with a simple card. But over the years I felt compelled to show a little more style and character in my card.
Join in on the Fun Want to make contacts in all 50 states! 3905 Century Club daily on 40 and 80 meters both CW and phone. Want to join a sideband group! Old Mans International Sideband Society ( OMISS ). 10x10 International dedicated to operations on the 10 meter band. Want to learn how to handle message traffic! National Traffic System ( NTS ) Texas Traffic Net Want to work QRP! North American QRP Club ( NAQCC ) Like to work CW! The International Morse Preservation Society ( FISTS) Straight Key Century Club ( SKCC )
Want to Learn Morse Code? There are several good computer based programs to help you learn the code.
Find yourself an Elmer Ham club resources The Internet Yahoo groups A local ham There is a lot of knowledge and experience in this club. There is always someone that can answer your questions.
Here is What’s Coming This Year Technician Class training session in August 2013 General Class training session in September October 2013 Thanks for listening. 73, Ken, AC5EZ
Disclaimer The Denton County Amateur Radio Association ( DCARA ) makes no representation concerning any effort to review the content of sites listed in these presentations (indeed, given the frequency with which they are updated, such review would be practically impossible.) Consequently, DCARA is not and cannot be held responsible for the accuracy, copyright compliance, legality or decency of the websites contained in these presentations. The material used in these presentations is provided “AS IS” and without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied. DCARA respects the intellectual property rights and other proprietary rights of others and wishes to thank the groups, individuals, and websites for the documentation and drawings used in this series. Credit is given to all authors of articles used where authorship can be identified. Permission is hereby granted by DCARA to use this series of presentations provided credit is given to DCARA and other authors identified in this series.