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Old 21-11-2010, 20:59   #76
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Originally Posted by SoonerSailor View Post
Amateur radio 2-way communications via satellite while possible from a boat would be pretty awkward and probably difficult to maintain without expensive antenna pointing and stabilizing hardware, though I have no experience in that arena.
Not at all. I have an "Arrow" (it's the brand as well as the construction) handheld dual band Yagi, and with an HT it's pretty easy to make both AO-51 and SO-50 as long as the pass is over about 15 degrees. I've even done this standing on top of an A-frame ladder. I haven't tried it on the boat yet, as the anchorages at the Channel Islands have less than stellar sky views (for sats, anyway). You can set memory channels to account for the doppler shift and bump frequency as required.

I don't think it would really be useful for communications other than a quick QSO. For one, even high passes don't leave you with much time. Secondly, there's often a line (I wouldn't exactly call it a pile-up :-). It's really not a rag-chewing mode. But it is fun, and the first time the new neighbors see you up on the peak of your roof with a headset and handheld antenna, it's a real icebreaker!


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Old 22-11-2010, 06:51   #77
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This is my experience with WINMOR as it presently stands.

With a really good connection to an RMS/PMBO station that supports the wider bandwidth Winmor modes (about 1600 Hz), you can get Pactor III speeds. I've seen over 5000 bytes/min from my home setup. At present, that is going to be the exception rather than the rule. There aren't very many wide bandwidth Winmor RMS stations, so the likelihood of finding one that will give you top speeds at your location is not great.

There are more RMS stations providing the narrow (500 Hz) bandwidth mode, and if you are coastal cruising in the USA you will probably, but maybe not always, be able to find a station to connect to. Speeds are likely to be in the 500 to 1000 bytes/minute range (but maybe as high as about 2000 bytes/min) with these stations, so best used for short text emails and small GRIB files.

There are some European WINMOR RMS stations, but I don't know how coverage is over there.

Using WINMOR will take a lot more dabbling and knowledge to make good clean connections than using a Pactor modem from SCS, so unless you are a bit of a techno-geek you probably won't find it very satisfying.


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Old 22-11-2010, 08:04   #78

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JRM - In a store and forward situation with a circular antenna, meybe this would be easier on a boat?

SoonerSailor - I'll give it a shot. Pactor III speeds at times is saying a lot. Hard to believe. I'm a tekkie so well see if I can make it work.

I'm wondering if anyone has experience in alternative antenna types - say loops or butterfly or kites?
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Old 22-11-2010, 11:30   #79
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I've used a kite a few times for fun. The biggest issue was balancing wire weight with enough strength to support itself. I ended up with the lightest magnet wire I could find and used about an inch of shrink wrap every couple of feet to hold it to the kite string, using the string for structure. It worked okay but I'd worry about the wire breaking if used regularly. The exercise was good fun and might have value as an emergency antenna, or for beach operations on a DXpedition or activation of an island or lighthouse.
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Old 22-11-2010, 13:07   #80

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Auspicious - that sound like a lot of fun!

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