Jump to content

Comms poll ~ what's in your pocket?


norman
 Share

Which if any radio do you regularly take into the air with you?  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. Which if any radio do you regularly take into the air with you?

    • VHF Airband
      5
    • 2M
      15


Recommended Posts

Guys,

Would you please take part in a poll regarding communications and radio. There may be several polls on this thread after a while and when the process is complete I will share some thoughts with you based upon the results.

If you want to reply more thoroughly, please feel free below.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 68
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Great stuff Ian, the thread is all about digging out this sort of stuff.

My Alinco is less than I would want but for some reason is very popular with the paragliding fraternity, perhaps because they are graced with near silence as they fly which must be a benefit. I think I will sell it to them should they be willing.

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

pmr is fine and good quality for close proximity (use them in PG training all the time). 2M is fine also and can go MUCH greater distances. Mostly its about the arial I think. There was a trend to ditch the rubber duck it came with and make your own 1/2 wave arial. Some even went as far as di-pole. Thats great if you can trail a yard of coaxx behind you but not so fine if you are on a PPG?.

SO

I am wondering if most of the complaint gainst this or that radio set can be sorted with a decent twig?

Rubber ducks have improved immensely but I suspect there are Gooduns and baduns. You may find that your Alinco would be perfect with a different arial?

I use Alinco DJ 190, 185, 195 DJS11 all great if the arial is a goodun (we change the djs11 standard arial for a flexy one), range 5 to ten miles line of sight near the surface depending on power setting (1 watt or 5 watt)

I also use a Alinco DJv5 when I want to monitor airband. All of these radios work fine with the right arial and are poor with the wrong one,

(I am not an Alincophile just used to be a dealer!)

BUT the one thing I now am absolutely certain about is no radio is any damn good unless you have active electronic noise supression and sideband headset. You need to be able to hear yourself speak and hear the transmission. My view is now "dont even think about a radio until you havre a decent headset. I just bought a Micro-avionics set and helmet built into a peltor earmuff. IT IS FANTASTIC.

Cheers Eddy (and Simon=supplier)

IMHO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HOWEVER if you are asking what would I recommend? after recent experiences I would now say that any pilot who takes themselves seriously, and wants to be taken seriously, would get an rt license and an airband set. (and a noise supressed headset).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 2m/VHF set will cover PMR frequencies too.

which radio is that Phil? Does it get right onto the 0.25 step?

I have been looking for such a beast for a long while.

F

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have 2 home made aerials which I am currently testing, one of which is a dipole and fits on my cage. They are both 1/4 wave, cost me less than 2 quid each to make and are tuned specifically for the 2m band frequencies we use. The non-dipole (monopole?) one runs straight up a riser. Also the PMR frequencies are fortunately a harmonic of the 2m frequencies we use so the same aerial can be used for that.

The problem with trying to use a handheld with its original rubber duck aerial is that the antenna relies on the individual that is holding it to act as the ground plane. When we use them in the air we don't hold on to them so the aerial is not functioning properly. Mag mount aerials work fine on cars but securing them properly to a paramotor cage is difficult. Some have a thread on the bottom but this is attached to the antenna core and bolting that to a conductive frame would completely wreck the antenna's RF properties.

On the subject of PMR range I have sets with ranges that are at least equal if not greater than any 2m band available. Legitimate? About the same as a fuel tank greater than 10 litres!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are using a 1/4 wave dipole on 2 meters, don't you have to use some sort of balun or loading coil, as it doesn't give 50 ohm ohm impedance? I've built a 1/2 wave dipole for airband out of aluminium tube, but being rigid, it's a bit tricky to mount, although a little easier as it's a tad shorter than a 2m antenna. I'm currently thinking of using flexible wire and just zip-tying it to the cage netting. The problem with that is that the thinner the element, the less tolerant of being off the tuned frequency. I am going to have to treat myself to an SWR meter soon, otherwise I can see my output stages going up the swanee. Another alternative is to use one rubber duck for the active element, and a second one as the ground plane element (effectively a dipole with two rubber-ducks). I'd like to use the VOR function on my ICOM, but of course voice is transmitted vertcally polarised, but VOR Nav is transmitted horizontally polarised. I have been tring to find information on crossed dipoles, but not found anything to date. Perhaps a 'V' dipole would be a good compromise.

I recently saw a set up with a rubber-duck just fastened to the netting on an extension to the radio, which was reported to work very well.

Francis, I'm not sure whether I can get the .05 Khz step or not on my VX 2. I can't lay my hands on the radio at this moment. I had also forgotten that I didn't test the facility with PMR radios, but actually with US FRS sets (very naughty in this country). I should think that if we were using PMR radios, it would in all likelihood be between fellow pilots, so range wouldn't be a problem if the tuning was just that small step out.

I am also in negotiations with Robin Rumbolt in America to import his paramotor RFI reduction kits. I haven't tested one yet, but have read some very encouraging reports from the States. If anyone is interested, they will be retailing in this country at about £20.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Francis, I'm not sure whether I can get the .05 Khz step or not on my VX 2. I can't lay my hands on the radio at this moment. I had also forgotten that I didn't test the facility with PMR radios, but actually with US FRS sets (very naughty in this country). I should think that if we were using PMR radios, it would in all likelihood be between fellow pilots, so range wouldn't be a problem if the tuning was just that small step out.

Um..... the "small step out" bit is the problem. Its fine for us being "out" BUT you are "out" by precisely the amount to transmit on another allocated and important (fee paying) frequency. The whole point about PMR is that it is slotted between existing allocations which are in commercial and military use.

Sure your dual band set has the right frequency range but not the right "step" to slot between the existing frequency allocations.

I have yet to find a "dual band" or even a UHF radio (other than a dedicated PMR) that will tune to the correct step AND not bleed onto the interleaved frequency.

This definitely IS policed by the home office radio spooks.

to be precise PMR is allocated 8 frequencies between 446.0 to 446.1 and that band is primarily allocated to the MOD who permit reallocation for comercial mobile use nand some aeronautical telemetry (beacons etc)

The frequency channels are 12.5 Khz apart and precisely interleaved with PMR channels 1 to 8 F1 = 446,00625 MHz.

F2 = 446,01875 MHz.

F3 = 446,03125 MHz.

F4 = 446,04375 MHz.

F5 = 446,05625 MHz.

F6 = 446,06875 MHz.

F7 = 446,08125 MHz.

F8 = 446,09375 MHz.

which are 6.25 Khz away from the MOD channels.

If you use a UHF or dual band radio that is not PMR stamped, you will be on the MOD frequencies not the PMR ones. You can be heard and can receive PMR from your mates but you are definitely transmitting to the local Taxi firm or skip lorry or BBC outside broadcast team who are paying a fee for the privilege or hearing your banter. They will report it and the DTI will investigate.

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have yet to find a "dual band" or even a UHF radio (other than a dedicated PMR) that will tune to the correct step AND not bleed onto the interleaved frequency.

Puxing PX777 UHF will tune to the exact frequencies required. I know as I have 2 of them doing precisely that. I also have the VHF version that is equally impressive. I sent one to Eddie Cartwright and he told me they were the best Chinese radio he had seen. Just don't ask how many watts Tx output. :wink:

Phil - yes, I am using 'some sort of balun'!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably right, as it is interleaved between other users. The limited range makes it less of an issue I'd think, not to mention the intermitent nature of our usage. It'd be kind of fun watching the 'spooks' trying to triangulate on us though :)

Do you know what other services the PMR frequencies are slotted between? I can't imagine that they would have used, for example, the emergency services or other life critical frequencies. If I thought I was going to fly with regular PMR users I'd just get another dedicated set and swap the VHF for the PMR and keep the airband whichever other set I was using.

The trick is interfacing the various radios into one headset. I just picked up a used 'Flightcell' unit that should do all that for me, including interfacing a mobile phone and MP3 player should I so wish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Puxing PX777 UHF

thats good news indeed! There are some that can do a 6.25 step but they are not dual band.

is the Puxing dual band (vhf and uhf) and can you adjust the tx output? what is its min output?

Given the discussion over rubber ducks and other twigs I guess its output can be attenuated by the use of a poor arial?

Heh heh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phil - yes, I am using 'some sort of balun'!

Could you give some more info on your matching system please, as a 1/4 wave dipole. one for each, airband and vhf, sounds a very attractive proposition. I think they would fit on the top half of my netting, far enough away from the tube work, to be quite efficient. Although a half wave is better, it's just that bit long to be manageable.

Francis, I reckon I can tune to within 1.5 khz of the PMR frequencies (if I've got my sums right), and I wouldn't be surprised if many cheap PMR radios, despite type approval, could be out of tune by that much. Just a thought, and as I said, not my intention to disrupt Z Victor One (that's a joke for oldies) from his essential work. If you were in fact on someone elses frequency, there would be a good chance you'd hear them first anyway, and you could make the choice not to transmit.

In all my days of involvement in Ham radio and the early days of CB, with all the inherent law breaking that went on with 'burners, SSB rigs and mamoth antennas, I've never yet heard of anyone actually getting 'nicked' for naughties on the airwaves. Maybe as long as you aren't pi**ing people off, you don't get into trouble. A bit like thirteen litre fuel tanks perhaps?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really interesting conversation gents.

I am wondering if we are going to see a drift towards the use of airband after appropriate licensing? It has a lot to offer and any serious cross country flyer would be well advised to be so equipped. Or are people just not fussed either way?

Another question is this, if there were a really excellent quality VHF airband option that gave crystal clear comms over ranges that you would expect for conventional aircraft sets, would you be inclined to equip yourself it meant an outlay in excess of what you would spend for a quality hand held but less than both a VHF and a 2M/PMR hand held?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would go for an airband...

The course seems to go on forever though, and this will put off most Paramotor Pilots who just wanna fly.

I arranged a course some time back on this forum and the uptake was very low indeed.

SW :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In all my days of involvement in Ham radio and the early days of CB, with all the inherent law breaking that went on with 'burners, SSB rigs and mamoth antennas, I've never yet heard of anyone actually getting 'nicked' for naughties on the airwaves. Maybe as long as you aren't pi**ing people off, you don't get into trouble. A bit like thirteen litre fuel tanks perhaps?

I was on top of st cats down last month (next to a DTI radio tower) and two guys were there with pointy hand held (directional antennae and an estate car boot full of knobs and dials. I over heard their comms and asked them what they were up to. They were trinagulating an umlinensed transmiwssion. Dont know what frequency but when you actually catch them at it you realise they are spending time and effort to rtegulate the improper use of frequencies. So not at at all like 13 litre fuel tanks.

In 1980 a friend of mine fitted an SSB AM 27 mhz rig in his Ford Capri (his Dads actually). He was tracked, stopped and the rig and car were confiscated.

Definitely seen by "them" as much more than a 13 litre tank in my opinion.

re hearing the other transmission.... not so sure. you might be rx bang on your frequency but tx bleeding all over the spectrum. you would need to find your bleed limit with another set tuned off to be sure you were on song i think? And the wrong arial will make a difference here too I suspect.

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another plus side of carrying an airband radio is that no matter where you are in the UK/world, there is always someone out there listening.

If you end up having a bad landing and injure yourself in the middle of nowhere, cellphone reception is limited, PMR and 2mtrs don't have that good range (line of sight only) and someone has to be listening.

With airband the emergency channel is monitered, and there is always going to be an aircraft flying overhead at some point to hear your distress call.

They may well be pis#'"ed of with you, but at least you'll get help.

My two pennys worth anyway!

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone compared the use of 2m to 10litre plus fuel tanks .. illegal technically .. but who cares? well ... I guess one difference is a 14L fuel tank probaly only affects you ... I wonder how many of the people carrying 2m radios have any clue as to the bandplan? You knwo which sections of 2m are used for weak signal work? "oh, I listened, it was not in use" ... so you think you'd hear someone bouncing a signal off the moon to someone on a different continet? (yes, people do!) nop, but your 2m handy probably ruins there attempts. Or you just happen to have picked the channel that input to a local repeater and you can be heard all over the county? Unsuprisingly people whose hobby is interefered with tend to complain, and to the DTI and anyone else who will listen . like the CAA ...

The list goes on .. our hobby is pottering around the sky in a bag of nylon with a lawnmower engine attached ... other people prefer tlaking to each other on VHF, it takes all sorts ... Paramotoring is quite likely to come under a variety of pressures in coming years, from many and varied angles. Showing ourselves to be responsible airspace users will help. Getting peoples backs up is unlikley to promote our cause.

Preferebaly get an airband radio and alicence, its not exactly hard or expensive .. failing that, at least find out which bit of the 2m band is least likely to upset people!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have 2 home made aerials which I am currently testing, one of which is a dipole and fits on my cage.

Now that's a real clever idea- Using the cage to mount the aerial. I've only used the standard aerials before, on a chest pocket on the flying suit- and almost poked my eye out several times...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They may well be pis#'"ed of with you, but at least you'll get help.

Chris,

Airliners worldwide monitor 121.5 on their second/third box for a variety of reasons. It occasionally happens that help is needed with either a comms problem or worse. If you are in distress, then you need help and you will get it without delay or condition provided someone is within range and in the UK during the day that should be continuously.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share




  • Upcoming Events

    No upcoming events found
×
×
  • Create New...