What Equipment Are You Using For Skip Reception?

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Francosis

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I've read all the comments & archived post covering all manner of tropo ducting & skip reception which obviously has some merit, I've tried for a week now to try & capture those ever elusive transmissions with a BCT-8 programmed with the FCC fire service low band allocated frequencies (33 MHz & 46 MHz) hoping to hears skip from the East coast of the U.S. using the back of the set antenna, I live in Central Florida in a 6 story concrete high rise however I am facing south, no luck, I've read with skepticism about skip being received from coast to coast & border to border on portable scanners with the stock rubber duck antenna, I am pondering on getting two Vertex VX-5500 low band radios to cover both allocated sub bands, LMR-600 coax & Tessco low band coaxial ground plane antennas or any 5/8 wave gain antennas which is supposed to improve long distance reception, am I on the right track with this type of configuration? Any other members here care to share what their listening post consist of? I really want to get into this aspect of the hobby & am willing to learn, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

W6KRU

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I hear low band skip from the east coast out here on the west coast using a simple home made 12' vertical dipole.
 

Sweetbritches

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I've read all the comments & archived post covering all manner of tropo ducting & skip reception which obviously has some merit, I've tried for a week now to try & capture those ever elusive transmissions with a BCT-8 programmed with the FCC fire service low band allocated frequencies (33 MHz & 46 MHz) hoping to hears skip from the East coast of the U.S. using the back of the set antenna, I live in Central Florida in a 6 story concrete high rise however I am facing south, no luck, I've read with skepticism about skip being received from coast to coast & border to border on portable scanners with the stock rubber duck antenna, I am pondering on getting two Vertex VX-5500 low band radios to cover both allocated sub bands, LMR-600 coax & Tessco low band coaxial ground plane antennas or any 5/8 wave gain antennas which is supposed to improve long distance reception, am I on the right track with this type of configuration? Any other members here care to share what their listening post consist of? I really want to get into this aspect of the hobby & am willing to learn, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
From my experiencs i would not use a 5/8th antenna unless u are looking for a particular drequency or freq noit far apart. I am using a ground plane ungrounded antenna that is 75 inches(old low band antenna mountes on a steel plate) vertical and 80 inches ground plane radials (4 # 14 wire from ground plate at 4 cxorners to 4 insulators tied off to the 4 points on the ground ground). I tried using a full lenght whip of 102 inches but my upper 46.MHz were lower in signial. The antenna seems to work okay for 30MHz up I hear 29.6 fine as well as 49.89. I had a 5/8th antenna a ham gave me it didnt work very good below 45 mhz.
 

Francosis

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Skip Receiving Equipment,

I tried my scanner with a LMR-400 fed low band Ringo Ranger since I posted & nada, I'm not going to spend anymore money on an iffy project, I think I'll listen to VHF high band fire service allocated frequencies which are prevelant here in the sunshine state, thanks again for your replies......Francosis.
 

wdx4cwc

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I also live in Central Florida and have heard many low band stations with a stock type antenna while checking out of curiosity to see the difference between my outdoor and stock antenna.

First, I think maybe you didn't allow enough time for your week long test and the timing is a bit off skip season wise, not to say that there is still lots going on. Conditions here haven't been the best for low band here the past few weeks and the number of stations I have been hearing daily has dropped considerably but you still can find stuff to listen too. I noticed you said you have programed in 33 and 46 MHz frequencies hoping to hear certain stations, have you tried limit searches? 30-40 MHz has been active the past week here. 39 MHz California HP has been in almost daily, frequencies like 39.36, 39.44, 39.52 etc. 30-34 MHz has a lot of SS activity on freqs like 31.2, 32.18, 32.38, 34.32 to mention just a few. Also try 29 MHz for FM Hams as a test, you should be able to hear some simplex stuff and repeaters like KQ2H on 29.66 on your stock antenna. Things seem to pick up in low band here from 1300-1630z and again from 2100-2300z, not to say you won't hear things at other times.

You might want to try again, still lots to hear in low band,

Good luck,

Craig/WDX4CWC Orlando, FL.
 

GKolo

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I made a dipole out of phone wire and made it 13 feet, 6.5 on each side of the connector. I search 33.0 to 34.0 mhz and 39.0 to 40.0 mhz and have grabbed fire depts from Nebraska to New York.
All on a old Uniden BC235 scanner dedicated to searching.

Alot more comes in when its warm outside or just before storms.
 

Francosis

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What Type Of Equipment Are You Using?

Hello again, I took my BCT-8 to AES in Orlando & they tested it & said that this particular model does not pick up low band very well, they let me listen to some regular transmissions & skip transmissions on some of their 6 & 10 meter ham rigs so all is not lost, when I get another scanner I'll try again & let you all know what happens, thanks again for your advice & encouragement......Francosis.
 

prcguy

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Using a CB antenna to receive 30-50MHz can have losses of 15 to 20dB or more at some frequencies and a dipole or ground plane cut for a mid range freq can have similar losses at 30 and 50MHz.
20dB would be down in signal level 100X.

There are some great broad band VHF Lo antennas surplus send by the military that will cover the entire band with close to a tuned ground plane performance. I use a military Bicone model OE-254 which originally covers 30 to 90MHz and I extended the 8 1/2 ft elements to 10ft and get great performance from about 25MHz to higher than I can use at around 75MHz.

The entire antennas show up in eBay for about $150 on up but the center hub with matching transformer shows up in the $35 range and yo can make your own elements from 10ft lengths of aluminum tubing.

I use my modified OE-254 for 10m and 6m amateur use and it also works great on CB if your into that. You can hear things throughout the VHF Lo band on the 254 where the band sounds dead with a tuned CB/10m antenna.

There are also giant 8ft tall Discones that show up on eBay that will give similar performance from about 30 to past 200MHz.
prcguy
 
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KF4ZTO

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Dec 26, 2005
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Virginia
I use a RadioShack Pro-96 and the following antennas:

Homemade CB/11m dipole cut for 26.9 MHz
Tram-Browning BR-140 CB/27 MHz business 1/4 wave base loaded mobile antenna
Antenex 30-35 MHz (tuned for 33MHz) 1/4 wave base loaded mobile antenna
 

KKQ590

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bondule,wi
my setup

mobile i use a 5/8 vhf uncut antenna,at home just a old 1/4 wave cb antenna cut to 40mhzs-note not dc grounded or with a tunning short,it was removed.
you might want to try a half wave dipole cut for 40mhzs ,you dont need much when skips in.
 

kb2hpw

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I'm using a CB antenna for low band receive (also works for 10m xmit too). Only 10ft off ground, on a pole in a tripod. Works better when ground is wet so must be a ground plane issue. But I would try with CB antennas first, even a mag mount stuck on a metal file cabinet in the apartment. I have found that CB antennas work great for VHF-Low reception. As with all antennas, especially inside, experiment. CB mag mount or stick (longer the better I find) is a cheap investment. Bands are startign to open up so hang in there, you'll get something. Up here in the NE i've heard broadcast station links on 25Mhz already. 25.990 KLIF Dallas, 25.915 WBAP Texas, and 25.950 whcih I htink is on Denver. AM mode.
 

yaesu_dave

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Ogden UT
I use one of those giant 8 foot discones that I purchased on eBay a few years ago, and a Radio Shack PRO-2030 which I think is one of those most sensitive VHF low band scanners ever made. However, it's also extremely susceptible to overload from pagers and so forth if you live in an area where pagers still occupy the VHF high band (I don't, fortunately). I also use a Radio Shack PRO-2056 and Uniden BC350A for searching the VHF low PD and fire bands when the band is open. The 2056 and BC350A are also very sensitive in the VHF low range, and very convenient to use for searching with the PD and fire frequencies being pre-programmed.
 
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