2 Meter Set Up

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daveleonard

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I'm not all that familiar with 2 meter except to know that it is mainly line of sight except during conditions when some long distance is possible. I live on a remote island out here in the pacific. The closest repeater is about 80 kilometers away so I will mainly be using just plain frequency radio. I will be a technician in April but I have been in study. What I would like to do is use a mobile 2 meter as a base station with a regulated power supply running into a 1,500 watt linear amplifier, some sort of VHF antenna as high as I can get it. Is this a reasonable set up?
 

K4PS

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Two Meter

Just my thoughts. 80k is around 50 miles. I would invest in a good two meter Mobile or Base. If anything get a ~150 watt "brick" amplifier that will run off of your power supply also. if you do get a "brick" solid state Amp, your power supply will need to be around a 50 amp model. Get as high a gain two meter base antenna as possible. A Hustler G7 is a good choice. You should do fine with this set up. You are correct on two meters being mainly line of sight. The curvature of the earth or ocean will be about your distance. Get your antenna as high as possible. { A 1500 watt Amp is very overkill and un-necessary}

Mike
 

WB4CS

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Agreed with K4PS, 1500 Watts on 2 meters, while legal in the US, is too much power. You'll end up sending a signal out farther than you can receive and will end up causing quite a bit of interference to people you can't hear.

A 150 Watt (MAX) amp and a good high gain antenna up as high as you can get it will work just nicely for FM.

You may also want to look into a radio that can do 6 meter and 2 meter single side band. You may have better luck making further contacts on single side band. Also, a Tech License gives you some SSB voice privileges in the 10 meter band. With a good 10 meter antenna and a 100 Watt radio, you could probably make some very good distant contacts on 10 meters.

Good luck on taking your amateur radio test!
 

prcguy

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A 1500w amp for 2m is unnecessary on 2m except for moon bounce and quite expensive. If you need that much power to make a contact the other station would need something similar to respond. What will be the elevation of the antenna on the island and does it face the coast?

50mi is not a big deal to cover on 2m to a repeater with a reasonable antenna, 50w and not too many obstructions and in my area we do this all day long with hand held radios since most repeaters are 1,000ft to 8,000ft high.

I live near the coast and had a Hustler G7 and it disintegrated due to corrosion from the marine air and its not a good choice near the coast. Any big 15ft to 20ft high vertical 2m antenna should have enough gain to do job if it can be done at all. Repeaters are usually at high locations with high performance antennas.

You might see if there are any 2m SSB operators within 100mi or so. I was recently using a 100w 2m SSB radio with 2 phased horizontal loops in a valley in the California desert and was making reliable contacts at 175mi over several mountain ranges.
prcguy
 

rapidcharger

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For the price of that amp, you could put up your own repeater.
A 50 watt mobile/base station will probably get the job done and if it doesn't, there's a good chance that the extra power isn't going to help you either as it's more to do with obstructions/terrain at that point.
 

teufler

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If the repeater you want to contact, is in one direction, go with a beam. If the repeaters are only one direction, you will not need a rotor. 150 watts is fine, ssb 2 meters is mostly simplex and is not through a repeater. I agree, that as a tech, you will have some ssb available on 10 meters and 10 meters can, when the band cooperates travel all over the pacific. And for the price of a 1500 watt amp, save you money and get your own repeater and get some interest in other residents. They would like the 2 meter activity.
 

n8zcc

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I'm not all that familiar with 2 meter except to know that it is mainly line of sight except during conditions when some long distance is possible. I live on a remote island out here in the pacific. The closest repeater is about 80 kilometers away so I will mainly be using just plain frequency radio.
I would first find out the height of the repeater's antenna, that will provide you with what you will need to build. Then use a line of sight calculator like this one (Line Of Sight Calculator) to find how high up your antenna will need to be. Two meter communications is about antenna line of sight and not power.
 

daveleonard

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Thanks for all the good solid info folks. I will try to digest it and hopefully come out with a reasonably good 2 meter rig. To answer some of the questions: The mainland, Mindanao, is on the other side of the mountain and the nearest repeater would be in Cagayan De Oro some 80 kilometers away. I doubt very much I will be able to reach out in that direction due to the mountain. My antenna will face the island of Bohol and the Visayas so I should be able to reach the repeater in Cebu. Since I am in the Pacific, actually the Bohol Sea, I hope to be able to reach vessels in distress on 145 mghz. I plan to use a directional antenna, probably whatever I can find at a ham fest, maybe a Yagi. As far as height of the antenna is concerned, I might be able to get a metal mast up about 30 feet on a tilting bottom home made mast. There are a lot of coconut trees here so I won't know how effective this will be until I do it.
I am not as concerned about reaching a repeater as I am having a strong simplex set up. The folks on the repeaters all speak mainly Visayan, their native language, although they can speak english. I am more concerned about simplex and reaching out as far as I can for emergency traffic. I am in a unique location here in the ocean to be able to pick up and help in emergency situations. So if 150 watts is all I need, that is good and will save a lot of money. I also hope to be able, when the conditions are right on 2 meter, to talk out on various skip propagation that comes along.
 

W9BU

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All things considered, I suggest you upgrade to General as soon as possible, get an HF radio, and put up a multi-band HF antenna. By focusing on just 2m, you are severely limiting your communications possibilities.
 

mmckenna

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I hope to be able to reach vessels in distress on 145 mghz.
I am more concerned about simplex and reaching out as far as I can for emergency traffic.
I am in a unique location here in the ocean to be able to pick up and help in emergency situations. So if 150 watts is all I need, that is good and will save a lot of money. I also hope to be able, when the conditions are right on 2 meter, to talk out on various skip propagation that comes along.
Vessels in distress on 145mhz, is that a local thing? More often, at least around these parts, Marine VHF Channel 16 (156.800) is where you'd hear distress calling, either that or on HF. If it's a local custom to carry amateur radios to use in an emergency, then go for it, but if not, you'd be better off with a marine VHF radio.

If you are at or near sea level, running extra power isn't going to help. VHF does just fine with a good antenna. Marine VHF radios usually only run 25 watts, as that is usually all that's needed to reach out to the horizon.
 

elk2370bruce

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1500 watts on 2 meters is totally out of the question! Costs are prohibitive and emf risks are higher than acceptable. Get your general class license and spend your money where it will do some good. As a newbie, you need to get an experienced ham to serve as your Elmer to have a solid grasp on reality.
 

avdrummerboy

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1500 Watts being too much, I agree. Get a high power radio and if you still need more power, get a brick amp. Your best option is to get a gain antenna and get it as high as possible, power doesn't mean a darn thing if you have no reliable way of getting it anywhere.
 

WB4CS

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Another suggestion (although one that I don't really care for) would be to get an HF+6+2+70cm base radio. For example, the Kenwood TS-2000 can do 100W of power on 2M and can also do SSB. It would also allow you to use 6M and 10M which are more prone to long distance communications and your Tech license gives you privileges on those bands.

The reason I don't really like this suggestion, I'm not a fan of all-in-one radios. If you take a lightening strike and your radio dies, you're off the air on all bands. Also, all-in-one radios tend to be less sensitive on the VHF/UHF bands. However, a radio like the TS-2000 would at least give you 2M SSB and 100W of power.

Agreed with others about the antenna, that's the most important part of a ham station. You can spend $10,000 on a radio and still not get out as far as someone with a $200 radio and a $2000 antenna system. At minimum I would allocate 70% of your ham radio budget on a good antenna system.
 

majoco

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"Ships" in distress - do you anticipate getting many of those? Any large deep sea going ship will be using GMDSS and they don't carry Radio Officers anymore. Small coastal ships around the Philippines, even if they do have a radio on board, will be on the VHF marine band or the old MF band, neither of which you will get a shore station licence for. Your intervention in any ongoing distress operation will not be welcomed by the authorities. Sorry to be a killjoy but thems the facts.
 

daveleonard

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Emergency

"Ships" in distress - do you anticipate getting many of those? Any large deep sea going ship will be using GMDSS and they don't carry Radio Officers anymore. Small coastal ships around the Philippines, even if they do have a radio on board, will be on the VHF marine band or the old MF band, neither of which you will get a shore station licence for. Your intervention in any ongoing distress operation will not be welcomed by the authorities. Sorry to be a killjoy but thems the facts.

I agree with every thing you said except the last sentence there "mate". Of course no amateur can interrupt an "on going" rescue, however, if I have the opportunity to respond to a call for rescue I may use "any and all means to affect that rescue" and that includes operating out of my band and certainly out of my assigned frequencies. Thats stated in the NTC rules and regulations as it is in the FCC rules in the US.
 

LtDoc

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"if I have the opportunity to respond to a call for rescue I may use "any and all means to affect that rescue" and that includes operating out of my band and certainly out of my assigned frequencies."
I think you had better read that again. It isn't a blanket "do whatever you want" kind of thingy at all. There really are limits to it. Suit yourself though...
- 'Doc
 

WB4CS

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Oh no, not the "in an emergency anything goes" argument again! :)

DaveLeonard, I'd suggest searching the forums here, this topic has been covered extensively.

To sum it up: The FCC rule that states "emergencies...blah blah blah...anything goes." applies ONLY to Amateur bands. What it means is, if you're a Technician class and you're in a life or death emergency, you can use the General or Extra class Amateur frequencies for assistance. The "anything goes" rule does not give you authorization to transmit on any non-amateur frequency or a frequency that you are not licensed for. I personally contacted the FCC for guidance on this topic and was confirmed by the enforcement officer at the FCC that deals with Amateur licensees.
 
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N8IAA

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Please pardon my ignorance, but, how does the FCC amateur radio rules apply to the Philippines?

As pointed out, the rules for 'emergency' comms only apply for using other frequencies in the amateur radio bands for which you aren't licensed, not public service frequencies. Sheeesh!
Larry
 

W9BU

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Guys, let's focus on the OP's question. The legality of what he proposes to do is his problem, not ours.
 
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