how to talk to someone 200 miles away

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mparker

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I was talking to my step dad today and he's been talking about getting his tech ticket. Anyhow he lives about 200 miles away... how would we go about communicating with each other if we both had our tech tickets? I know a repeater would greatly help, but I don't think there is any within both of our ranges....
 

N8IAA

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I was talking to my step dad today and he's been talking about getting his tech ticket. Anyhow he lives about 200 miles away... how would we go about communicating with each other if we both had our tech tickets? I know a repeater would greatly help, but I don't think there is any within both of our ranges....
There are a multitude of repeaters in the Columbus, OH area. There are some that are linked from Kentucky to northern Michigan. Google ham groups in your area. They will help you get your ticket and point you in the right direction.
Larry
 

mparker

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I already have my tech ticket.... and I monitor a lot of the local repeaters... I've plugged in some of the richland county repeats but I think I am to far away... or they are amazinly inactive... I thin I am about 60 or so miles from them...

HF is out of question... I don't have a HF rig or general, and I can't see my dad spending the money on one either or getting his gen any time soon...
 

zz0468

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Tech licenses? 200 miles away? No repeaters? No HF?

Try 2 meter SSB.
 

mparker

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zz0468 said:
Tech licenses? 200 miles away? No repeaters? No HF?

Try 2 meter SSB.
I other words your saying that it will be difficult to do....
 

zz0468

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I other words your saying that it will be difficult to do....
I didn't say that at all. I'm saying that 2 meter SSB is a mode that Technician class hams have access to, doesn't require repeaters, isn't HF, and is quite capable of reaching out 200 miles with regularity with modest stations. You'd have to invest in 2 meter SSB capable radios, and maybe a TV antenna size beam on the roof with a rotator.

You want to talk 200 miles? You're gonna have to put out SOME sort of effort. Skill, money, big antenna, expensive radio. Pick one.
 
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k9rzz

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It's gonna take more than 10 watts and 6 elements up 25 feet to get 200 mi reliably on 2m SSB.
I'd day 150w and at least 11 elements up 40 ft, both ends.

Think HF:

Daytime - 40 meters.
Nighttime - 80 meters.

Piece of cake. 100 watts and a dipole. You could even do it from the car.
 

mtindor

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Sounds like some people are failing to take terrain / elevation into consideration. Even with 150 watts into stacked yagis on both ends, if somebody is a few hundred feed down in a valley, they are going to have difficulties.

Assuming both sides are at a decent elevation and nearby obstacles aren't a problem, VHF SSB certainly could work well. But if you can't make that assumption, HF is the only viable radio-only means to do it reliably.... although in that case it'll never sound as good as VHF SSB would.

Mike
 

zz0468

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Sounds like some people are failing to take terrain / elevation into consideration. Even with 150 watts into stacked yagis on both ends, if somebody is a few hundred feed down in a valley, they are going to have difficulties.

Assuming both sides are at a decent elevation and nearby obstacles aren't a problem, VHF SSB certainly could work well. But if you can't make that assumption, HF is the only viable radio-only means to do it reliably.... although in that case it'll never sound as good as VHF SSB would.

Mike
Ok, there's a hit and miss element to the idea, but have you actually worked any weak signal modes? You might be surprised at just how much rf will refract over and around things. I can work over 10,000 foot mountains here in California regularly. A 200 mile hop on FM is a bit of a stretch, but it can be done. A 200 mile hop with SSB rigs on 2 meters is peanuts, even for a modest station like 100 watts and a rooftop antenna.

Better yet, for the OP, forget 2 meters. Make it 1296. The radios might be more expensive, but it almost gets easier as the frequency goes up. 10 GHz SSB will out talk ANYTHING except HF when the band is open. Really.
 
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mtindor

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I'm just trying to think in terms of reliability man. I've worked some 2m SSB with an 11-element yagi up 25 feet from a fairly high elevation. I'll certainly agree with you that you are going to get much farther on SSB. More power concentrated in less bandwidth for one.

I think the OP needs to present his expectations as far as reliability (wants 24/7 reliable comms / doesn't mind working when "the band is open" / doesn't mind a nighttime-only or daytime-only sched / etc).

In the end, I agree that 200 miles is doable on many bands... is it doable reliably? The factors I previously mentioned certainly come into play for VHF and above. For HF, you have to deal with schedules, atmospheric noise, potential power line noise, etc.

So it may or may not be a guaranteed thing without depending upon band conditions / scheduling / etc.

Mike
 

k8mcn

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Echostink is VoIP, not radio.
Warren, surely you jest, if it is ALL Voip, then how does the audio get from the repeater at the node you connect to??
I personally dont like Echolink, and dont use it but was trying to give the new guy an option WITHOUT letting my personal choices get in the way.plus you SHOULD turn on your spell checker as you spelled Echolink wrong.........
ps -Warren---you are one of the main reasons i rarely post on RR any more.not that my skin isnt thick, but why fight it when the Internet is so big................
 

mtindor

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but have you actually worked any weak signal modes? You might be surprised at just how much rf will refract over and around things. I can work over 10,000 foot mountains here in California regularly. A 200 mile hop on FM is a bit of a stretch, but it can be done. A 200 mile hop with SSB rigs on 2 meters is peanuts, even for a modest station like 100 watts and a rooftop antenna.
I won't debate you on this... although I've had experiences with VHF SSB operation, it was scattered and using a vertically polarized 11-element beam up 25 feet using what most of us would consider to be cheap coax and 60w. The ERP figure certainly is what it should have / could have been. I imagine a still-modest but "properly constructed" station with horizontal polarization may very well achieve the results you suggest, even at lower than preferred elevations. So I'll let you take it from here :)

I'll say this, it would be fun trying in all the VHF & above scenarios you suggest. Plus, if you get a good VHF and/or above station constructed, there really is a lot of fun in DXing those bands.

Mike
 

zz0468

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I won't debate you on this... although I've had experiences with VHF SSB operation, it was scattered and using a vertically polarized 11-element beam up 25 feet using what most of us would consider to be cheap coax and 60w. The ERP figure certainly is what it should have / could have been. I imagine a still-modest but "properly constructed" station with horizontal polarization may very well achieve the results you suggest, even at lower than preferred elevations. So I'll let you take it from here :)

I'll say this, it would be fun trying in all the VHF & above scenarios you suggest. Plus, if you get a good VHF and/or above station constructed, there really is a lot of fun in DXing those bands.

Mike
The bottom line is, it IS a lot of fun. Too many tech class hams never get past 2 meter FM, and consider Echolink to be DX. I'm not wanting to debate, I'm trying to drum up interest. It's absolutely AMAZING what can be done using SSB on VHF and up. If I had a requirement to talk to someone regularly 200 miles away, with the restrictions that the OP has given us, I would give a lot of thought to VHF or UHF SSB... or higher. Seriously, there are guys working almost 1000 miles on 10 GHz, and I know people who have worked dozens of states on some of the UHF bands - out here in the west where the states are big.

It takes a bit of skill and a bit of money to put together an effective station, but everything is available off the shelf, and everything is available used, if one is on a budget.
 

KC9NCF

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Let's first talk about generating RF!

RF modes that can be used:

2 Meter SSB
Linked Repeater Systems (That Columbus linked system to Michigan isn't always up)
If that linked repeater system idea fails, use 10 Meter SSB. You Techs get 28.300 to 28.500

If you are both CW proficient, Techs DO have CW privs on HF well under ten meters. Keep this rule in mind...use 30 meters and above during the day, then 40 meters and below at night starting at sunset.

On the FM side, you guys can use CW, Packet, or APRS. It carries better than people think! Especially when the band opens! Why not give six meters a try? You get SSB voice as Techs as well on 6!

I would save D-Star and Echolink or IRLP for when the REAL RF isn't going to work.
 
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