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I am working on setting up a Ham Radio shack for long distance communication on the HF frequency. The goal is to transmit 1,200km from Alberta to Manitoba using skywave propagation. I would need to be able to transmit and receive 10mhz at 30 degrees on a low budget. I am considering using the Nooelec NESDR Smart HF Bundle. What are your thoughts on this for transmitting, and do you have any recommendations on what would be good antennas to use? Thank you.

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  • $\begingroup$ 10 Megahertz or 10 millihertz? Is this a carrier frequency or a bandwidth? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 10, 2022 at 16:19

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The antenna to use will be fully dependent on the frequency you plan to be using, and if 10.1 MHz is your carrier frequency, will depend on the space you have available (that antenna will probably be > 10 meters in size).

On the transmission side, you'd want to use any modern low-power mode, like FT-8. Not very popular on 30m in North America, nor in Europe, far as I can tell. If, and that's a strong if, I remember things correctly, it's advantageous to use the 21 MHz (15m) band for skywave during daylight/summer conditions, not the 10 MHz (30m) band. That halves the size of the antenna, which is an excellent thing.

You'd try FT-8 on 21.074 MHz. Transatlantic contacts are not rare on that, so I'd guess a distance 1.2 Mm might work, with very limited TX power.

I am considering using the Nooelec NESDR Smart HF Bundle. What are your thoughts on this for transmitting

That's a receive-only thing, so the outlooks on transmitting with it are pretty negative!

It is a nice receiver, though!

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  • $\begingroup$ Ok, sorry, I got mixed up. Are there any good quality transceivers out there at a budgetable price? Considering the fact that I have no experience with assembling electronics, are there any ham radio kits that would be powerful enough to meet the requirements? Also, what are your thoughts on the use of programmable circuit bords like Arduino & Raspberry Pi? $\endgroup$
    – P.R.
    Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ use of an arduino or a raspberry pi for what, exactly? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 11, 2022 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ For use as SDR transceivers or as the main computing power in the transceiver. $\endgroup$
    – P.R.
    Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ This is too open-ended to have an opinion on; it's kind of like asking what you think about "minerals" in general, as building material and for other purposes. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 12, 2022 at 23:06
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If I understand your question as

  • I want to send/receive
  • a low powered
  • FT-8 signal
  • as cheaply as possible
  • signal needs to go 1,200 kms.

Then the answer is probably.

For hardware - the cheapest Tx/Rx is a "Pixie QRP"; This is a very active QRP (Low Power) rig. While this is meant as a CW Transceiver there are mods available for FT4/FT8. You would possibly be better off trying WSPR before you try for FT4/8 as it has a better signal/noise ratio.

It will have aprox 800mW output power.

With such small transmit power - you will need to ensure your antenna is as well matched as possible. I would suggest a dipole for 10Mhz - as it can be tuned/trimmed to be an exact match.

You are trying to hit the magical 1W per 1000km mark, which may be difficult for a first project.

Good luck - and let us know how you get on.

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  • $\begingroup$ The "Pixie" QRP kits I know of are extremely simple CW circuits and I can't find tips for using them with FT8 — can you provide links for that? Otherwise wouldn't something like the QDX from QRP Labs be a better recommendation? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 15, 2022 at 19:41
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    $\begingroup$ @natevw-AF7TB have a look at github.com/lu7did/PixiePi oz9qv.blogspot.com/2020/07/receiving-ft8-with-pixie.html That should point you in the right direction. $\endgroup$
    – Tim Seed
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 6:10

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