Special Stage Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
your other left, you idiot
Joined
·
3,909 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, what can I do?

After dnf-ing on Passmore II at POR/lspr, I tried to call in where we were. I was using my hand held, 5w w/ rubber ducky. We were south of Kenton, and the repeater was in Houghton/Hancock, so I could not hit it.
Is there a solution? Please keep in mind that I ride in more than one car, so a permanent mount (& amplifier ?) is not feasible. Needs to be transportable and not too heavy (some drivers get really anal about additional weight).

Thoughts?

press on,
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
>OK, what can I do?
>
>After dnf-ing on Passmore II at POR/lspr, I tried to call in
>where we were. I was using my hand held, 5w w/ rubber ducky.
>We were south of Kenton, and the repeater was in
>Houghton/Hancock, so I could not hit it.
>Is there a solution? Please keep in mind that I ride in more
>than one car, so a permanent mount (& amplifier ?) is not
>feasible. Needs to be transportable and not too heavy (some
>drivers get really anal about additional weight).
>
>Thoughts?

If you call on reverse, you should be able to contact the nearest radio control. They will then have to tell net control to clear some airtime to get your message. Reverse swaps the input and output frequencies to thet you transmit on the repeater output frequency and receive on the repeater input frequency. This effectively gives you a two-frequency simplex link with the radio control. Note that you will not know if you are getting stepped on by the repeater, but you should be able to get hold of someone on the stage in an emergency. Remember to identify the fact that you are on reverse, since it will affect how the operator deals with your transmission.

Adrian
VA3WTL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,757 Posts
The 'reverse' channel is worth a shot'; it may or may not work. Most mobile radio cars are much lower in height above ground and therefore do not have a nearly as good a propagation to/from their site as the repeater.

If you are in an RF 'hole, the only thing that is going to help is RF power, antenna gain, or antenna height. The power is easiest to address with a 50W mobile unit rather than a portable. You could put one in a padded box in a bag to carry along and strap in the car. Explain to the 'weight fixated' driver that someone's life, or his/her not being sruck in the woods for hours, may depend on this.

As for antennna, a collapsible vertical or mag mount roof antennas would give you a bit benefit in a reasonable size; I would go with the samll mag mount. A yagi or quad would be rather largish at these frequencies. There may be some decnt gain loop antennas for this frequency band, with gain; I'll take a look.

As for height, carry a light rope for hauling the antenna up in a tree. Getting the antenna 30'-50' feet above ground is ususally equivalent to a 10x increas in power, and this helps both uplink and donwlink equally. Or walk to the nearest high ground.

Regards,
Mark B.
Corsico RF Communications Inc.
NM9S
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,998 Posts
Look into making a J-pole antenna out of 300-ohm twinlead. (J-pole and twinlead on Google will probably get you a plan.) Weighs about six ounces, doesn't need a ground plane, and if you have enough coax, it can be slung up into a tree for more height.

One of the ops at LSPR was having a terrible time reaching the repeater from his position (turned out to be the repeater's problem.) After trying every commercial antenna he had and everything I had (good hams ALWAYS have spares :)) he slung his j-pole up on a branch and it worked fine.

Bruce
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,443 Posts
Jimmy, it probably wasn't a problem with your handheld. The weather conditions caused serious problems with the entire net. At one point it seemed no one could reach anyone else. By switching to an alternate frequency, the net was able to reestablish itself (barely) and finish the night. It's highly unlikely anyone was even monitoring the primary by the time you tried to call in (and, because of the conditions, unlikely anyone would have heard you, regardless of equipment).
 

·
straight at T
Joined
·
2,472 Posts
>The 'reverse' channel is worth a shot'; it may or may not
>work. Most mobile radio cars are much lower in height above
>ground and therefore do not have a nearly as good a
>propagation to/from their site as the repeater.

The advantage of reverse is that you only need the power/LOS to get to the nearest operator. The location of the repeater is irrelevant.

Adrian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
I friend mounted a 50w mobile in a small cooler.

Add in a collapsible antenna, and you might have a compact lightweight box that can be easily strapped to a roll cage, behind a seat, in a trunk compartment. I'd suggest getting/making a set of straps (vs. bungees) to be able to secure the cooler.

Other things to think about:

-- power cord; have a connector that can be plugged into to a power point or a set of small alligator clamps (for those vehicles w/o a power point) tha can be attached to the battery.

-- If planning to use the radio throughout the event, you might want to use a cooler with an attached lid that can be left open for ventilation. (heat might not be a problem if only listening)

-- drilling some small holes to run the power cord and anntenna cord or just letting these run out an open lid

-- carrying a remote speaker that can also be quickly strapped to the cage so the radio can be heard if using throughout the event (even on transist, or when stranded in the woods so you don't need to be next to the car to hear the radio

-- you could get really fancy and get a dual-band cross band repeater radio and then carry a small handheld to talk to the radio which will talk to the repeater

I think I have carried the simple cooler idea far enough :)

Mike
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,738 Posts
<<< (some drivers get really anal about additional weight). >>>

NAH! I can't believe that there are people like that out there!



Can't see me in your mirrors?
I must be in front of you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
Do you want to be able to use the radio when moving, or is it just there for situations like you encountered?

If the latter then the twin lead J-pole is a good solution to help raise your effective power and elevation (why is it that no one ever breaks down on top of a hill?).

If you want to be able to use it when mobile then more power using a mobile unit and a mag-mount whip is the better route. I put one of the Yaesu FT-1500 in my rally car. It is only about twice the size of my VX-150 handheld and seems to be bullet proof.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
>
>After dnf-ing on Passmore II at POR/lspr, I tried to call in
>where we were. I was using my hand held, 5w w/ rubber ducky.
>We were south of Kenton, and the repeater was in
>Houghton/Hancock,

I thought the POR was a TSD run in Lower Michigan???????

We did have Repeater problems on Friday. I would think that 5w would not be enough to hit the repeater from most places on a good day. On Saturday the Repeater is next to Gratiot Lake so you could use a hand held there fine.

If you hold out your OK sign and the next car actually reports it, you should never have to report yourself off. If you need to display the Red Cross it would help, but there are procedures for that too.

Kevin DeLoughary
RallyMaster 2004 LSPR (not to be confused with the POR)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Adrian's idea is good, even better is setting the handheld on simplex on the output of the repeater (The frequency that is shown when you are receiving). That way you can hear the repeater output on receive and hopefully reach someone who happens to be within 3-4 miles.

I have a telescoping 5/8 antenna with a standard BNC on it so that it plugs directly onto the handheld. The improvement over a "rubber ducky" is substantial and collapsed they are a little bigger than a pencil. They're commercially available at ham stores, that's where I got mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
>If you hold out your OK sign and the next car actually
>reports it, you should never have to report yourself off.
>If you need to display the Red Cross it would help, but
>there are procedures for that too.
>
>Kevin DeLoughary
>RallyMaster 2004 LSPR (not to be confused with the POR)

Not trying to mix up this pot any further, yes, there are "proceedures" for reporting cars off. We all know (or should know) these proceedures. But remember, as discussed at the LSPR driver's meeting, getting car numbers and exact locations is a difficult task, now with notes, etc...

I know that this is more than Jimmy's origional question, but I encountered the same thing at Ojibwe this year. Before the comments start, yes, the "proceedures" did do their job and reported our car off and roughly at the correct mileage and we were OK. Where things got interesting was while waiting for sweep and our "rescue", listening to the net pass our information back to service and our crew. I overheard everything from "car is stuck off the road, but drivable" to "car is off the road and needs a heavy wrecker to recover". Quite a large range of reports, with some level of concern on my part. I attempted to call into the net, during a pause in communications, but I was unsucessful. Just being able to clarify information and status can be important.

I was surprised, that I could not get into Net Control, but then again, I was also using a HT with RD. It also could have been that Net Control did receive my signal, but elected to continue with normal rally traffic, since I was clearly not an emergency. I completly understand and approve of that. Having worked a net control, the information is flowing extremely fast and is easy to miss an unexpected or weak station calling.

Now, back to Jimmy's question. I currently carry my HT and a small mag mount antenna in my carry-all bag. During our delay, on stage 4, I hooked up the system and though I elected not to transmit, I did have clear reception of the net and realized quickly that the situation was known.


Bill Westrick
Silly Side Co-Driver :p
KC8VTS
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top