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15 votes

Why do operators mention the band when calling CQ on phone?

I have a scanner capable of HF receive, multiple HF receivers, and several HF SDR transceivers capable of receiving on more than one amateur band slice simultaneously. Lots of contest stations run ...
hotpaw2's user avatar
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14 votes
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What are these continuous sine wave tones I keep hearing?

A pure tone is an unmodulated signal — it carries no data. Almost nobody intentionally transmits a pure tone — it would be wasteful. The exceptions are the time-and-frequency reference signals like ...
Kevin Reid AG6YO's user avatar
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13 votes
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What has happened to HF?

HF propagation is not only limited by manmade interference but also by natural phenomena like sunstorms. Anyway, I'd account that to social and technological reasons: HF activity suffers very much ...
Marcus Müller's user avatar
13 votes

Do these look like amateur radio antennas?

It looks like a fibre or telephone cable strung between buildings. It sets a good precedent for setting up your antenna though - if you can get access to the other rooftop at night, and a catapault or ...
tomnexus's user avatar
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11 votes
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How to do APRS in real wilderness?

So you want to broadcast your location using backpack-portable equipment from deep in a narrow valley hundreds of miles from civilization. I'll assume that you would also like the ability to get a ...
rclocher3's user avatar
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11 votes
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Why aren't "ghosts" and intersymbol interference due to unmatched impedance (high SWR) a concern for HF receivers?

Intersymbol Interference (ISI) — or analog equivalents, like ghosting — are relevant only when the difference in time of arrival between the primary and reflected signal are significant compared to ...
Phil Frost - W8II's user avatar
11 votes
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Using shortwave communication, how difficult is it to transmit messages from the UK to the US?

To send a message of around three bytes over such a long distance, would this require an antenna that uses a lot of power? No. There's a huge variety of tradeoffs here, but as a quick calibration, ...
hobbs - KC2G's user avatar
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11 votes
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How to determine frequency and launch angle given a target skip distance?

The actual math here is annoying enough that you will hardly ever want to use it (it requires knowing the incidence angle of the signal on the ionosphere, which is dependent on the height of the F-...
hobbs - KC2G's user avatar
  • 12.4k
11 votes

Why do operators mention the band when calling CQ on phone?

It may have served a purpose in the past, with less filtering in transmitters and receivers, no digital frequency displays &c, e.g. to avoid mistaking a harmonic on a higher band for the ...
henryflower's user avatar
10 votes

antenna in the rain

The antenna itself won't be significantly affected by the water. However, waterproofing the coax connection is essential. If this is not done, water will creep inside the coax by capillary action and ...
Phil Frost - W8II's user avatar
10 votes
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Is "low loss" cable required for HF?

Your question seems as much about psychology as much as technical concerns. We mainly favor the technical questions, but I'll take a stab at the psychological aspects also. All of you, please feel ...
rclocher3's user avatar
  • 9,222
10 votes

Why do operators mention the band when calling CQ on phone?

Apart from historical reasons it's also a filler. When calling CQ on SSB you probably want to stretch out your transmission a bit because that's what you need to get heard. In theory you could just ...
Stefan I's user avatar
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9 votes
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Why don't monolithic HF transceiver ICs exist?

Why aren't there monolithic HF ICs. There are, in the shape of actual (broadcast) AM receiver ICs, which can most likely with minimal effort be also used to transmit. However, are there technical ...
Marcus Müller's user avatar
9 votes
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Do short waves pass through or reflect off concrete buildings?

The concrete is relatively transparent to radio waves of such large wavelengths (it attenuates, it doesn't reflect). However, steel bars within concrete typically convert that concrete to a solid ...
Marcus Müller's user avatar
9 votes
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Will electrically joined dipoles of different lengths, at right angles, behave as a multiband antenna?

The results depend on the two bands you choose. Frequency ratios of 2:1 are a good choice because the longer dipole, which is a full wavelength at the higher frequency band, will show high impedance ...
Brian K1LI's user avatar
  • 7,858
8 votes

What's the difference between "maximum usable" and "critical" frequencies?

The maps are related, but as this excellent posting describes: The 'critical frequency' is the highest frequency that gets reflected when it is aimed straight up at the ionosphere. However: …...
natevw - AF7TB's user avatar
8 votes

What has happened to HF?

Before looking for reasons why HF activity "appears to be declining", we should look for evidence that HF activity is declining — so let's look at some available sources of data. While contests may ...
hobbs - KC2G's user avatar
  • 12.4k
8 votes

How to determine frequency and launch angle given a target skip distance?

As an alternative to figuring all of this stuff by hand, you can use a tool like ITURHFPROP which does the math for you, based on statistical models of what the MUF and other variables will be for a ...
hobbs - KC2G's user avatar
  • 12.4k
7 votes
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What is propagation like when there are no sunspots?

We went through quite an extended sunspot minimum before the current sunspot cycle started, and I well remember what it was like. 10m was open only when there was e-skip, which wasn't very often. ...
rclocher3's user avatar
  • 9,222
7 votes

Why are Wullenweber CDAAs obsolete?

First, there are better DF antennas now and they take up way less real estate. Some of them are .. the Pusher and "L" and "T" arrays. The electronics for these is more sophisticated than the ...
Poe's user avatar
  • 139
7 votes
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Why are Wullenweber CDAAs obsolete?

Two major reasons HF direction finding arrays like that aren't particularly useful any more (you won't find many fixed HF DF stations at all, even more modern ones): As William said, HF is not used ...
Hamsterdave's user avatar
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7 votes
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What are the technical reasons that there are no FM transmissions on the long, medium, or shortwave?

So, the bandwidth argument is the dominant one. You need to incorporate the full Carson Bandwidth in your channel spacing, not only the frequency deviation! As explained in my answer to your previous ...
Marcus Müller's user avatar
7 votes
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Not-too-distant saltwater ground

With the canal 60 feet away it's not of much help. The objective with a monopole antenna is not just to have any ground connection, but to have a low-loss ground plane under the base of the antenna. ...
Phil Frost - W8II's user avatar
7 votes

antenna in the rain

Water has a drastically different relative permittivity $\varepsilon$ than air (water: ca 88, air: pretty much 1); it is, however, pretty non-conductive, just like air (being distilled and all). In a ...
Marcus Müller's user avatar
7 votes

Will electrically joined dipoles of different lengths, at right angles, behave as a multiband antenna?

What you describe is not far off from a common fan dipole. This is a multiband antenna consisting of several dipoles in parallel, each cut to a different length. Only instead of orienting each dipole ...
Phil Frost - W8II's user avatar
7 votes
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What is this burst transmission sequence across the entire band?

It's probably an ionosonde — sending out HF radio signals not to communicate but to measure the reflections and thereby determine the current characteristics of the ionosphere. The signal is probably ...
Kevin Reid AG6YO's user avatar
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7 votes

RF Bridge Problem - K6BEZ Antenna Analyzer

(See updated information further down) I found an article to address the problems all in one place in QST, September 2019. The author addresses the same problems in the question, and explains his ...
Peter Buxton's user avatar
7 votes
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Broadcast signal deviating with time

Since you said you're using an RTLSDR, it's very likely that you aren't receiving a station on 22,695 kHz, but rather one on 6,105 kHz. NHK World Radio does broadcast on that frequency (according to ...
hobbs - KC2G's user avatar
  • 12.4k
7 votes
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HF Vertical antenna with no radial and loading coil but only ATU for 80m to 10m in a boat

On boats the traditional solution is to use the backstay as the radiator, with an insulator near the top, another near the bottom, and an insulated wire running to the tuner. The water serves as the ...
tomnexus's user avatar
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7 votes
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Connecting two sites in the Arctic and Antarctic with a HUGE equatorial repeater? (Science fiction story advice)

Suggestion to OP (and all hams): Play with VOACAP Online to get a feeling for HF propagation. For example here is the whole path: And here is the expected probability of communication on a few ham ...
tomnexus's user avatar
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