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Any hams here?

Discussion in 'Camping & Outdoor Gear' started by Pskhaat, Oct 24, 2003.

  1. Pskhaat

    Pskhaat

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    One outfitting tool that I love is a good old 3 watt (were the bag phones 5 watts?) analog cell phone. In two instances it has saved much $, time, and some day maybe aid in something greater. I have reception on my bag phone in places that just amaze me. What I've always wanted however is to employ an external antenna for the phone. Buying a marine antenna for this is very costly and I can't imagine would be too terribly hard to build one for less, as long as impedence was matched and design was sound.

    Are there any RF experts here that could help me make a high gain antenna (or any arial that will be better than the 6" loaded one that's on the bag) for said phone? The frequency/wavelength band is known of course.
     
  2. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    [quote author=3fj40 link=board=14;threadid=6707;start=msg54973#msg54973 date=1067023262]
    Are there any RF experts here that could help me make a high gain antenna (or any arial that will be better than the 6" loaded one that's on the bag) for said phone? The frequency/wavelength band is known of course.
    [/quote]

    I am a ham, but no expert. Rather than building an antenna, I would suggest that you just buy one made for the purpose. You should be able to get something that plugs in with no problems and provides additional gain. If you want REALLY high gain, you can get a directional antenna (Yagi) that will fire your signal very well in one direction. Problem is, it is directional, so you need to know where to point it (ie where the cell tower is) and it's not something that you can run on the roof of your car.

    Have a look at this site: http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/antennas/wcyagi.htm.

    Oh yea, if you really want help in an emergency and are far away, get your amateur radio lic - you are only 35 multiple choice questions away :D! I've been hanging with a group of off roaders and have convinced 6 of them to go get their lic (b/c they are sick of not being able to hear each other on CB)

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  3. Pskhaat

    Pskhaat

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    [quote author=CDN_Cruiser link=board=14;threadid=6707;start=msg55059#msg55059 date=1067031545]
    suggest that you just buy one made for the purpose.
    [/quote]

    But I'm just stupid poor right now and do not have the funds to get one.

    I really need to do this, and have read many books on the topic for many years, I love RF engineering even though I understand so little of it. Two Qs: 1) is this just for the technical level? 2) in the US, does a licence require submittal of one's SS#?
     
  4. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    On the first question (not knowing much about cell stuff), you are correct. Since you know the freq, you can calculate the length of an antenna and build one using the right connections, etc. Ideally, you would need to test this to get a sense of the 'SWR' (standing wave ratio) which, is basically a measure of how efficient your antenna is. High SWRs can lead to blown equipment (think of it as sending an electrical pulse down your antenna into the radio). When you build your own antenna, there is a possibility of doing this, so you really should test it. In addition, inefficient antennas can 'leak' and this can be dangerous to your health. My sense is that for the $30 in good materials it will cost you to make one, you can probably buy one.

    On your second question, you should check ARRL.COM for answers as I am not an US operator and the regs are different. The basic lic will allow you to operate on VHF (vs HF which is for long distance). For many off roaders this is all they want. It allows for (1) very good radio-to-radio communications ('simplex') - picture clear FRS transmissions with WAY more power (2) the ability to use repeaters located all over the US to retransmit your signal (3) the potential to link repeaters (ie from Toronto I can call-up repeaters all over the world by entering a 4 digit code and transmit on those repeaters, etc.

    Not sure about SIN

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  5. Poser

    Poser Oh...Durka Durka Durka. s-Moderator Supporting Vendor

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    How they working today? ? ? ?
     
  6. Bobsbash

    Bobsbash

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    I am a ham myself but no expert. I usually post my ham questions at www.eham.net There are a lot of experts at that site.
     
  7. Shortwave

    Shortwave

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    Hey!
    I'm new to the board but... I'm a commercial radio tech, so if'n I can help.

    How much do you wanna spend AND where ya gonna put the antenna?
     
  8. Pskhaat

    Pskhaat

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    [quote author=Shortwave link=board=14;threadid=6707;start=msg86694#msg86694 date=1073544953]
    How much do you wanna spend AND where ya gonna put the antenna?
    [/quote]

    Don't want to spend too much (of course). I would want it as high as possible &| on the bull bar. There are about 8 foot high gain marine antenna's (half-wave'ish I'm guessing as they have no ground).

    But would certainly be interested in hearing your take on the best antenna design (loaded, whip, directional, etc) for HF/VHF communication that would be appropriate on an expedition-style 4WD.