Re: Talkback


In a message dated 15/01/2008 16:00:01 GMT Standard Time, microwaves@... writes:
Sorry, but I can't agree with you there Mike!!

RF talkback, IMHO, is ESSENTIAL when out portable. KST is a form of
talkback. Certainly for 10GHz you can't point the antenna, call CQ, and
expect to get replies (except during rainscatter conditions). For
backpack portable, RF talkback (ie 2m ssb 144.175MHz) is the preferred
method. Unfortunately the home stations seem to have turned their backs
on us portables and many use KST exclusively so we dont know if they are
active. It's their loss as they won't be able to get in touch with me if
I'm in a rare square with my backpack portable gear:-) Only those with
RF talkback will be able do that.

It IS possible to use KST from a vehicle of course but some portables
are finding that it is a real bind using a laptop(wind, rain, bright
sunlight, etc), especially if they operate outside the car, at a tripod.
It's much easier for me in my van but I often find the GPRS telephone
link (needed for the /P internet connection) is unreliable. There are
many summits where you cannot get a decent mobile phone signal. I have
to carry three separate SIM cards to make sure I can access at least one
network and then it's not always certain I'll get one. I can't see a way
out, if backpacking with microwaves, unless one buys one of these fancy
mobile phones with a minute internet screen and browser on it.

I think Richard could use the second VFO on his FT817 on 2m talkback and
then use a BNC coax switch to change the FT817 from feeding his
transverter to feeding a small portable 2m beam... his SOTA beam of
course! 5 watts of 144MHz ssb from an FT817, on a summit location,
should get him out over a couple of 100km or so quite nicely ...
certainly enough distance to be within the capabilities of his DB6NT system.

Back in the 80s, I frequently carried 30lbs or so(wideband TX/RX, 7AH
Yuasa battery, 18" dish, short 4 ft mast for dish, 12ft mast for 3 el
yagi, IC202S 2m talkback rig, plus food, wet weather gear, 1st Aid kit
etc)or so up Scottish and Welsh mountains to do 10GHz portable. I don't
think a barefoot DB6NT would weight anymore than my old wideband gear
and the 817 is much lighter than a 202.

> Certainly in the days of QRP WBFM (<10/15mW), with it's ill-defined
> stability and frequency, talkback was necessary, but I don't think it is now

Believe me, it definitely is necessary!

> ....There may be those who disagree, but I'll take the flak!

You did ask!
It was said a bit tongue in cheek, Peter, and I did say I'd take the flak!
I guess that Richard was thinking not so much of the weight of the gear, but more of the unweildyness of the poles and (2m) antenna. Of course there is a BIG difference between the backpack portable work we used to do, and the kind of "car-borne" setup which is commonplace these days - and, of course "summiting" is somewhat different again....
In my physically active days I thought nothing of hiking 80-100lbs. of caving and camping gear miles up hill and down dale almost every weekend - so top-heavy on an old Bergen framed rucksac (yes, ex-Govt!) that if you went over, it was difficult to get up again - but then I was in my twenties and early thirties! Blood Yell, nearly 50 years ago!!
If, as I think it is, many SOTA microwave contacts would be pre-arranged (not "chance"), just like we used to do in the forerunner of the NewsLetter, in which case (a.) there is much less need for talkback and (b.) there may be less need for *power* and antenna gain on the talkback band?
You are, however quite right - Richard might be well advised to consider using the dual VFO in the 817 plus coaxial c/o for talkback and maybe a SOTA compact beam? After all, the 2m QRP Backpacker contests seem to "net" their participants some fairly respectable QSOs without using large beams/masts and with little power. 
Mea culpa! Take talkback certainly, but keep it within sensible limits if a *true* backpacker, not car/P! And use it properly!
Regards, Mike, G3PFR

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