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Old 18-01-2019, 09:17   #1
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West Coast USA SSB Test

Anyone up for a SSB test in the next few hours?

I want to try NZ to USA on 12.4.

My whatsapp is +64 21 1250602 if you can help out or skype Al Grant (NZ).

Cheers

AG
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Old 20-01-2019, 15:39   #2
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Re: West Coast USA SSB Test

Al, I don't have "whatapp", nor do I have Skype on-board...but I do have HF radio on-board...
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl.NZ View Post
Anyone up for a SSB test in the next few hours?

I want to try NZ to USA on 12.4.

My whatsapp is +64 21 1250602 if you can help out or skype Al Grant (NZ).

Cheers

AG
Please have a look at what I wrote in your other thread...
SSB Frequency Selection

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Al,
1) You're correct that time of day, season of year, communications distance, and especially current solar activity, all need to be factored into the choice of what freq to use...(as does the actual antennas used, and transmit power levels)

But...

2) But, the good news is:
a) In most cases, it's not too critical..
b) You don't need a computer, nor the internet, to make the choice...

What these two things mean is that as you garner more experience, you'll find using a computer model (like VOACAP or the Aus Propagation site, https://www.sws.bom.gov.au/HF_Systems both wonderful, btw..) to be unnecessary....

FYI, it's been a few years since I took a look at VOACAP, and it's cool to see that they have a "maritime freq" version!!


3) For your proposed 1100nm path (NZ to Fiji path) in general, daytime comms would use the mid-HF bands (12mhz to 14mhz), but higher freqs for longer paths....nighttime comms along this path will be supported by mid to lower HF bands (evenings will still find 12mhz very usable, with 8mhz becoming the best choice later at night...)

So, for 10am local time (and with this being an almost N-S path, both ends will have similar solar exposure), yes 12mhz (or 14mhz ham) would be best!



4) As for all the numbers from the VOACAP charts....they may be cool for us egg-heads to ponder, but for most sailors they're a bit too much...

When I have recommended VOACAP to some, I usually recommend they either just use the "propagation wheel", or if they like some more info also look at the circuit reliability and signal strength charts ("REL & SDBW")....



5) Now, if you want an even easier way of looking at things....have a look at these videos....

Maritime HF Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2nPNdApNsZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y

{please note the first two videos in this playlist deal almost exclusively with radiowave propagation and freq/channel choice, with LIVE real-world demonstrations on various freqs at various distances....and the last video in this playlist (that I just added last night) shows a quick, live, real-world demonstration of how easy-peasy it is to contact other stations without any "predictions" at all!}


Here are other playlists, which have some of the same videos, but have some specific / exclusive videos dealing with these specific topics....and these too are all done, LIVE as-it-happens, on a real offshore cruising boat, with no script, no pre-planning....just like everyone actually uses the radio!

HF-DSC Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2n3z5nlv-ga2zYuPozhUXZX

Offshore Weather
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2mPZAx2vWzdjTJjHlChruyY

Icom M-802 Instruction Videos
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2npivDjoFrC-8QKVyMb4tVr



6) Or, if you want to start with the very basics....the first way of looking at HF radiowave propagation is to use these simple rules-of-thumb:
The higher the sun = the higher the freq used
The lower the sun (below the horizon is lower) = the lower the freq used
The longer the distance = the higher the freq used
The shorter the distance = the lower the freq used

If you simply commit these basic rules to memory, and then watch the videos, I doubt you'll ever need to look at VOACAP again, except for fun!



I hope this helps...

Fair winds.

John


P.S. A quick look at the "offshoreblue" site shows it seems like a friendly / well-meaning rehash of what has been the "accepted" way of explaining HF radio to non-tech sailors for 45 - 50 years....
Not bad, but not very specific, and I think you'd get a much better understanding from just committing the above rules of thumb to memory, and watching the videos...


P.P.S.....as for your thoughts about a NZ to USA maritime SSB test, that sounds good to me....But, I'm tied up quite a bit...
But, FYI, late at night my time, and early evening your time, is a great time for me to work NZ from my dock here in Florida....perhaps 12.359mhz..
(done it before, as well as to Aus, etc...)
If you wish to go-for-it, I will try to reply to your other thread later tonight, and maybe I'd have the time??
Talk later....

And now, back directly on point...

Al, while I'm on the East Coast of US, and am 7000+nm from you, I do work into NZ often....(but am going to be fairly tied up starting the 22nd, and for next 10 days)
And, would love to give 'ya a call on HF-SSB....

FYI, while I have nothing against using modern technology and computers to assist in radio communications...fact is, if radio operators learn the basics of radiowave propagation, and pay even minor attention to current solar activity (and geomagnetic activity), there is little need for "propagation tables", nor the "WSPR" and "RBN"....
FYI, while Joe Taylor, K1JT is a genius, developing WSPR, etc....and while WSPR can give a real-time indication of propagation.....of course neither of those computer modes do much beyond confirming the communications path is open and at what S/N is attained at some specific power level...and of course WSPR requires a computer to control the radio, etc., or a dedicated radio/computer....and while they may have changed in the past couple years, but last time I looked the RBN (while a great system!) is a CW (and RTTY) and FT-8 only system.....neither of these are too applicable to your "SSB Test"...

From your boat in NZ (Auckland, I think) you're about ~ 5500nm from California (and an all-over-water-path)....about 7000-7500nm from me; from New Orleans, LA; from Chesapeake,VA; etc...

And, if you wish to see actual comms on the maritime bands, you can tune into the USCG SSB Voice Weather broadcasts from NMC (Pt. Reyes, CA), NMG (New Orleans), NMN (Chesapeake, VA)....as well as the USCG WeFax Weather Chart broadcasts from NMC, NMG, and NMF (Boston, MA)....(and their other stations as well....and AMSA / BOM broadcasts, too..)


I'd try 13.089mhz first (and then 8.764 at nighttime, or 17.314 daytime), from NMC and NMN...for SSB Voice signals....and 12.788mhz (and 8.502mhz) from NMG for SSB Voice signals....at the prescribed broadcast times....
[note that the "offshore waters" broadcasts last a while, but "high seas" broadcasts (being more general in nature) are typically only a few minutes in length]

Have a look at their schedules here...
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfvoice.htm

And, here is what it sounds like and the video shows exactly how it sounds on various freqs...
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfvoice.mp3





And, for further testing of both the communications path with "voice-grade" S/N, and possibly even try receiving a WeFax chart....you can use NMC, NMG, and NMF WeFax broadcasts...(try 12mhz and 17mhz daytime and 12mhz and 8/9mhz nighttime)
NWS Radiofax

Here is what it sounds like...
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/radiofax.wav


Have a look at their schedules here..
http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/fax/hfreyes.txt
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfgulf_links.htm
http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/fax/hfmarsh.txt





Also, please have a look here at these video playlists for a good deal of LIVE, real-world, as-it-happens, info and operating recommendations for HF Maritime radios...

Maritime HF Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y


HF-DSC Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ga2zYuPozhUXZX


Offshore Weather broadcasts
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY


Offshore Sailing
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...KgTCj15iyl6qoY


Icom M-802 Instruction videos
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rC-8QKVyMb4tVr



I do hope this helps??

Fair winds and good luck.

John


P.S. Here is a new video (sorry about the poor quality, I was borrowing a camera phone) showing how quickly you can make contact with other stations, receive weather info, etc., just a couple minutes after stepping aboard.... {oh, and if I spoke French I could've called the two stations from France I heard first.....and if I had desired to speak to any "DX" (long-range / foreign) stations, there were plenty on 20m that morning...but the purpose was to just show how quickly/easily communications can be established on multiple bands, and with multiple stations...



And, here is a bit of an update from the earlier video regarding channel/freq choice and radiowave propagation...
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Old 20-01-2019, 16:11   #3
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Re: West Coast USA SSB Test

Thanks John. That is all very helpful.

If you do get to Auckland I would be happy to catch up over a few beers.

Regards the test I am tied up for a few days with work, but might be able to look at something about 4pm Thr (10pm Wed Florida time).

What frequency?

Regards

Al
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Old 21-01-2019, 10:02   #4
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Re: West Coast USA SSB Test

Iím on the west coast of California available to test
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Old 22-01-2019, 16:59   #5
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Re: West Coast USA SSB Test

Quote:
Originally Posted by fcw View Post
Iím on the west coast of California available to test
Thanks - will send you a PM.
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