HF discussions on chase mornings

Here's an idea that has been discussed before.

Is there any interest in ham folks who are "HF capable*" to meet on 40 meters in the mornings of a big chase?

I know this has been brought up before, but thought it would be fun to do.


*HF..for those who don't know what the heck I'm talkin' about are frequencies 30 MHz and below....i.e. HF=High Frequency. Only licensed hams general and above can use these bands. Nice thing about these bands, is the range....50-500 miles using ground wave propagation in the morning. Unless we get blasted by an overnight MCS/MCC...then we're hosed via static.


I'd be interested in something like that. Especially if you are planning on meeting someone somewhere. The only problem is most chasers don't have general class licenses, or HF radios themselves. But it would be neat to have a discussion of possible chases on HF.

Mobile HF would be something else that I think would be beneficial at times.
I'd be up for something like that. It would give me another reason to build that 40m dipole :wink: The Buddipole works great on 40m, but it seems that every time I leave it up for more than a few hours the do find a way to knock it over!!

Better start looking for a frequency now so we can avoid the morning nets, lol.

I think that's an excellent idea!

I think one of the few problems with it is the intended coverage area of the "net", and the choice of antenna used. There's a lot of renewed interest in NVIS (Near-Vertical-Incidence-Skywave) techniques that basically improve the local coverage of an HF setup within a 500-800 mile radius, however some of the normally inefficient "hamstick" type antennas can work out well for this usage too.
Not to take the radio out of Amateur Radio, but maybe setting up a conference on EchoLink would be a better idea. This allows us No-Code Techs (though I'm studying for the General upgrade...kinda...) to get in on it, and also gives people who are lacking an HF rig an in.

The BC
Gosh, I'm really behind the times...not sure what Echolink is.

Being a crusty ol' ham myself for 35+ years, part of the fun IS operating on HF, not through a link like what Echolink is suggested to be.

I think the folks who can't/aren't interested in operating HF, would simply stick to using the internet, and use the ST Forum for communications.

For those who are interested in this type of communications, this would be the time to work on your ham license upgrade....winter time! One can get set up pretty cheaply these days...especially with Icom coming out with their new radios...their older 706 MKII will be flooding the Ebay market soon for less than $500!

I've had HF in my geek mobile for a couple of years. There might be a time when chasers run across an area that was hit by a tornado, that took out the cellular tower, and no VHF/UHF repeators are available. How is one going to have emergency communications? Nice thing about HF...it will always be there in the time of need. Just ask any ham that handled traffic for hurricanes from the remote islands in the gulf.

Big drawback is that HF picks up the static discharges due to lightning strikes, but its amazing what these new audio processors do these days.

I'm glad to see the interest!

I'm all ears for selecting a 40/20 meter frequency/time!

Dang it ... this is making me want to upgrade my license. Took me long enough to just get the technician/no code ... now Tim suggests this, which sounds really nice. And I also appreciate the thought about communications after the storm ... this is not an unheard of situation, and happens at least once every year somewhere in the plains, seems like.

Guess it's back to the books.
I liked Tim's original idea of an HF net for that very reason, to encourage more chasing hams to work on upgrading. How many chasers hold a tech license as opposed to General or above? I'm all for encouraging folks to go back to the books and upgrade! But then again amateur radio is a hobby of mine outside of chasing, and my HF priveleges certainly give me something to do during the winter :)

Tim (no, the other Tim)
I would enjoy an HF meeting however im only a Tech Class : . I might find someone who is HF liscenced and make a short drive to their place and see if they will let me eavesdrop though :wink: .
Originally posted by Tim Samaras
Here's an idea that has been discussed before.

Is there any interest in ham folks who are "HF capable*" to meet on 40 meters in the mornings of a big chase?

Count me in!!

You announce a starting freq and time. I'll be there!

Originally posted by Gerard Jebaily
I would enjoy an HF meeting however im only a Tech Class : . I might find someone who is HF liscenced and make a short drive to their place and see if they will let me eavesdrop though :wink: .

Actually, if you know someone that has the appropriate license and the equipment, you can operate on HF on their station as long as they are present and to the proper signing proceedures, just like non hams can talk on ham in the presence of the control operator.
On 24 Feb 2007 the CW (morse code) requirement will be dropped. I have already passed the General test and am waiting for that day. I have a Yaesu FT-857D in the car along with the FT-7800R. I will be monitoring MidCars, 7258Khz when the time comes. I believe 40 meters is good for daytime operation from 500 to 800 miles, maybe more. At night, 75 meters is the band of choice. May this is worth a little discussion. Thanks and stay warm. I sure hope that groundhog knows what he's talking about. Spring can't come too soon now.
[FONT=&quot]Some food for thought

With HF, if there are 8 people, depending on sky wave and skip zones, you may only hear 2 of them. The band might be crowded, dead or you simply might have to deal with BPL or a huge transformer bleeding out in every direction for 10 miles.

Why not just use IRLP? There is always an IRLP machine nearby, just plug into a reflector channel which is always dead, like the Great Lakes Reflector. Just about all 10 channels are dead all the time. So 8 people can use 8 IRLP repeaters to plug into a reflector channel and tada no worries with skip or dead zones, no worries with BPL or other garbage on frequency and no worries about having to have an internet connection, laptop and mic to use Echolink. Most important of all, you don’t need an HF rig or a other qualifications for HF.

100% radio, 100% reliability, or well... very close to that![/FONT]
Since BPL isn't used that much, yet, I'm not worried about that. As for the transformers and other noise you get on HF, well, I guess thats part of the fun. I could use IRLP, but I'm more of a radio person than a computer person. I will have the laptop and mobile broadband, but for weather related use only. I'm not trying to put down IRLP, I'm sure it has it's pro's and con's as well as a pretty decent following. It's just not my cup of tea.
[FONT=&quot]There is always an IRLP machine nearby...[/FONT]

Out here in the plains, more specifically rural areas, there's not always a machine nearby to connect to IRLP. I MIGHT hit one from my home QTH if I really worked at it through some antenna work, but there's more than a few locations in KS that don't have access.

Sure, 40m is no guarantee either. Sure is fun to play with my radio though, I get enough computer time here at the office:cool:

I wouldn't mind rejuvinating the idea of a chase day QSO, it'd sure make the hours driving more enjoyable for some of you.
Yeah Kansas is dead centrally and to the SW, but at least TX, OK, CO, NM, NE and most places to the east have pretty good coverage.

I agree, certainly not 100% coverage, but 50 watts should get you into a number of places hopefully... maybe. I have been told there is also something called EchoIRLP (not an IRLP/Echolink node) which allows you to go into IRLP through Echolink. I don't know anything about it though, so maybe that would help?

Chase day QSO is certainly a very good concept if feasible.

What about a big cell phone conference call? LOL, $$$$$$$
The idea has merit. I will be driving out to OKC probably May 9th or so. It is approximately 1150 miles out. I will surely get tired of the FM radio. I figure 40 is good for the daytime hours and 75 is good for night. We can sure try something. Also, the fish stories are welcomed. Can't get to many good stories, plus it passes the time.
Though I am a General ham and have a HF rig, I think this kind of conference would be something best done over Echolink (more commonly used than IRLP, IMO).

On HF, propagation concerns and any static crashes from overnight storms might prove very problematic.

A room on Echolink (maybe called STORMTRACK) could be easily opened on chase mornings, and people can come and go. It need not be tied to any particular repeater, and would probably be best that way, as to not attract local attention by scanner listeners, or opposition to chasers by a local Skywarn spotting community.

A post could be made by anyone here here on ST to announce when the room is going to be activated.


echo link would work, however you will have some trouble getting with some servers. I use a Cingular air card, and I am not able to use the Echo link program with the air card, also, maybe someone reading this could help me with that too
If you guys want to go HF and avoid lightning crashes, noise and other stuff with the added benefit of some privacy there is a solution if you are willing to spend $300 - $500.

AOR makes digital boxes that will plug into any radio through the mic, they send the digital signal data on the carrier so the mode of modulation will not effect it. These boxes produce near FM quality sound in 3 kHz of SSB space and are becoming popular on HF, most importantly they will work below the noise floor so have better digital reception than analog voice. You guys wont want to use two meter FM anymore given the added range and amazing audio quality.

I have had considerable trouble getting Echolink to work unless I bypass my two routers and plug my computer directly into the cable modem.

There are port numbers you have to tell the router to allow to pass, and I have followed all the directions I can find online, to no avail. I don't know if anyone else has had such problems.

I write that because maybe that's a problem with the Air Card.