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Possible distance for HT


Muzic2Me
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Put up a temporary antenna to test the waters on seeing how the 5watt HT might hear out. Pretty sturdy, but not permanent.Wanted to get an idea for when I install my permanent mast. Waiting on my mobile with a little more wattage. I’m in the coverage of a local repeater 20 miles away and was hoping to catch some traffic. Any ideas on range. 20’ high antenna height.

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A quick estimate is take the square root of the antenna height in feet and multiply by 1.4 to get the line-on-sight distance to the radio horizon in miles. In your case that works out to about 6.3 miles.

If you assume the other station is an HT held at 5 feet it’s distance to the radio horizon is about 3.1 miles.

With trees and other obstructions between the two radios your real range might be a lot less.

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A quick estimate is take the square root of the antenna height in feet and multiply by 1.4 to get the line-on-sight distance to the radio horizon in miles. In your case that works out to about 6.3 miles.
If you assume the other station is an HT held at 5 feet it’s distance to the radio horizon is about 3.1 miles.
With trees and other obstructions between the two radios your real range might be a lot less.
Such an answer, you are the man.

To the OP there are propagation calculators that take topography into account and can give a decent idea of coverage.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, Lscott said:

A quick estimate is take the square root of the antenna height in feet and multiply by 1.4 to get the line-on-sight distance to the radio horizon in miles. In your case that works out to about 6.3 miles.

If you assume the other station is an HT held at 5 feet it’s distance to the radio horizon is about 3.1 miles.

With trees and other obstructions between the two radios your real range might be a lot less.

great formula, I'll have to remember that. thanks. What about a mobile with more wattage? Formula for that?

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Ed Fong antenna, those are great for receive and transmit. Used many of those for emergency communications services in the aftermath of hurricanes, floods, and oil spills. Also provides some funding for student projects, and lets them learn real world aspects of electrical engineering and building a product that can be used in by the public. Let us know what you get with that Ed Fong antenna real world.....to see if the math worked out. With transmit and handhelds, I was taught to estimate about one mile per watt, but that still depends on terrain, frequency, and antenna in use (that was assuming the standard antenna included with the handheld radio.)

Receive can often be much more, depending on the radio you are receiving and antenna in use......talk in versus talk out is also always an issue when repeaters are in use. Forestry service often deploys five watt portable repeaters, as their handhelds are only five watts, keeps that talk-in vs. talk-out similar in distance. You have received great advice in previous posts above.

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More power will help you to "burn" through the forest, from your base to HT, but not the other way, from HT to base. And not through the horizon. And I'm not fong of Fond antenna. Or wait, that should be other way around, fond - Fong. You can search this forum about Ed Fong antennas, was discussed in lengths.

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Put up a temporary antenna to test the waters on seeing how the 5watt HT might hear out. Pretty sturdy, but not permanent.Wanted to get an idea for when I install my permanent mast. Waiting on my mobile with a little more wattage. I’m in the coverage of a local repeater 20 miles away and was hoping to catch some traffic. Any ideas on range. 20’ high antenna height.
3B3B783C-E043-411C-AC5E-B7427E30D4D1.thumb.jpeg.5c09b0c28f77bf302e26d4681028b4bf.jpeg
2899403E-D301-4E58-A645-BF68745EDF89.thumb.jpeg.aaebf4ab4dd157eabeeb2b875a1227f6.jpeg

Good Day Muzic2Me.

There really are too many variables give you a definitive answer. There are simple objective formulas to use to estimate your range if you assume you live in outer space, if you are live on a boat on a calm ocean, or if you live on an earth that is as smooth, uniform and as free of obstacles as a ball. All of these formulas give you maximum theoretical range. Real world will be substantially less.

As I am sure you have seen the absurd claims of Midland et al of 37 miles for a pair of 2-5 watt HT. Yes, in outer space. But in the real world, more typically 1/2 to 2 miles.

Your topography and other natural and man-made obstructions between your antennas will dramatically limit your range well below the theoretical. Your real-world range, around your home, will be different from everyone else.

Here is a website you can use, free of charge, to estimate your coverage. It factors for topography and uses statistics to help factor for probable ground cover. I and others I have heard from that have used it have found it to be pretty good, so long as it is given accurate radio system performance values as inputs. It will be better than any of us can estimate for you.

http://ve2dbe.com

For me, here is some of my experience.
The shortest distance I have ever experienced outdoors using (2) 5-watt HTs has been 1/2 mile. The greatest distance ever experienced has been 2-1/2 to 3 miles (if I recall correctly). I can use a (5) HT with high-performance outdoor antenna at 56’ AGL and communicate over one particular repeater 50 miles away (its antenna is 900’ in the air), but I cannot get into some repeaters using a 50 watt radio as close as 8-12 miles away. If using 50-watt radios (base and mobile) I can communicate at times upwards of 8 miles in certain directions, less in others, while I can reliably communicate base to HT out to at least 1-1/2 miles in all directions but only out to 3 miles or so in others.

The biggest gift you can give yourself is antenna height. You will read that over and over as you go on your radio journey.

Good luck, and be sure to share your real-world experiences when you are done.
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On 1/11/2022 at 7:28 PM, PACNWComms said:

Ed Fong antenna, those are great for receive and transmit. Used many of those for emergency communications services in the aftermath of hurricanes, floods, and oil spills. Also provides some funding for student projects, and lets them learn real world aspects of electrical engineering and building a product that can be used in by the public. Let us know what you get with that Ed Fong antenna real world.....to see if the math worked out. With transmit and handhelds, I was taught to estimate about one mile per watt, but that still depends on terrain, frequency, and antenna in use (that was assuming the standard antenna included with the handheld radio.)

Receive can often be much more, depending on the radio you are receiving and antenna in use......talk in versus talk out is also always an issue when repeaters are in use. Forestry service often deploys five watt portable repeaters, as their handhelds are only five watts, keeps that talk-in vs. talk-out similar in distance. You have received great advice in previous posts above.

Thanks. I have purchased some Midland GXT1000VP4's to use on the other end for cheap testing. I also purchased the wouxon KG-935G. I have heard nothing but good about the Ed Fong antennas. I am still awaiting a permanent base unit, so the HT will have to work for now. I amgoing to try to at least see how far I can receive from the base antenna. I do not expect it to be far but will let you know. Thanks.

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On 1/11/2022 at 7:28 PM, axorlov said:

More power will help you to "burn" through the forest, from your base to HT, but not the other way, from HT to base. And not through the horizon. And I'm not fong of Fond antenna. Or wait, that should be other way around, fond - Fong. You can search this forum about Ed Fong antennas, was discussed in lengths.

I'll read into it. For the price starting out, it was not a bad deal for sure. I am going to test a bit and see what I got. Thanks

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On 1/12/2022 at 7:09 AM, mbrun said:


Good Day Muzic2Me.

There really are too many variables give you a definitive answer. There are simple objective formulas to use to estimate your range if you assume you live in outer space, if you are live on a boat on a calm ocean, or if you live on an earth that is as smooth, uniform and as free of obstacles as a ball. All of these formulas give you maximum theoretical range. Real world will be substantially less.

As I am sure you have seen the absurd claims of Midland et al of 37 miles for a pair of 2-5 watt HT. Yes, in outer space. But in the real world, more typically 1/2 to 2 miles.

Your topography and other natural and man-made obstructions between your antennas will dramatically limit your range well below the theoretical. Your real-world range, around your home, will be different from everyone else.

Here is a website you can use, free of charge, to estimate your coverage. It factors for topography and uses statistics to help factor for probable ground cover. I and others I have heard from that have used it have found it to be pretty good, so long as it is given accurate radio system performance values as inputs. It will be better than any of us can estimate for you.

http://ve2dbe.com

For me, here is some of my experience.
The shortest distance I have ever experienced outdoors using (2) 5-watt HTs has been 1/2 mile. The greatest distance ever experienced has been 2-1/2 to 3 miles (if I recall correctly). I can use a (5) HT with high-performance outdoor antenna at 56’ AGL and communicate over one particular repeater 50 miles away (its antenna is 900’ in the air), but I cannot get into some repeaters using a 50 watt radio as close as 8-12 miles away. If using 50-watt radios (base and mobile) I can communicate at times upwards of 8 miles in certain directions, less in others, while I can reliably communicate base to HT out to at least 1-1/2 miles in all directions but only out to 3 miles or so in others.

The biggest gift you can give yourself is antenna height. You will read that over and over as you go on your radio journey.

Good luck, and be sure to share your real-world experiences when you are done.

I am going to give it a test and see what some HTs will do. At least on the transmit from the house. Height is what I am looking into and the price.lol. Looking forward to getting a base station with a little more power.

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On 1/12/2022 at 7:09 AM, mbrun said:


Good Day Muzic2Me.

There really are too many variables give you a definitive answer. There are simple objective formulas to use to estimate your range if you assume you live in outer space, if you are live on a boat on a calm ocean, or if you live on an earth that is as smooth, uniform and as free of obstacles as a ball. All of these formulas give you maximum theoretical range. Real world will be substantially less.

As I am sure you have seen the absurd claims of Midland et al of 37 miles for a pair of 2-5 watt HT. Yes, in outer space. But in the real world, more typically 1/2 to 2 miles.

Your topography and other natural and man-made obstructions between your antennas will dramatically limit your range well below the theoretical. Your real-world range, around your home, will be different from everyone else.

Here is a website you can use, free of charge, to estimate your coverage. It factors for topography and uses statistics to help factor for probable ground cover. I and others I have heard from that have used it have found it to be pretty good, so long as it is given accurate radio system performance values as inputs. It will be better than any of us can estimate for you.

http://ve2dbe.com

For me, here is some of my experience.
The shortest distance I have ever experienced outdoors using (2) 5-watt HTs has been 1/2 mile. The greatest distance ever experienced has been 2-1/2 to 3 miles (if I recall correctly). I can use a (5) HT with high-performance outdoor antenna at 56’ AGL and communicate over one particular repeater 50 miles away (its antenna is 900’ in the air), but I cannot get into some repeaters using a 50 watt radio as close as 8-12 miles away. If using 50-watt radios (base and mobile) I can communicate at times upwards of 8 miles in certain directions, less in others, while I can reliably communicate base to HT out to at least 1-1/2 miles in all directions but only out to 3 miles or so in others.

The biggest gift you can give yourself is antenna height. You will read that over and over as you go on your radio journey.

Good luck, and be sure to share your real-world experiences when you are done.

The verdict is in!!....With my 5-watt Wouxon on a DBJ-UHF Ed Fong antenna at 20' high, I got about 2 miles receiving on a Midland HT rubber duck. I could hear the Tx out from the 5 watt base, but could not transmit back clearly. I am in a wooded area also though. Definetly going to work well enough with a 50 watt base station to a good mobile with a better antenna.

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The verdict is in!!....With my 5-watt Wouxon on a DBJ-UHF Ed Fong antenna at 20' high, I got about 2 miles receiving on a Midland HT rubber duck. I could hear the Tx out from the 5 watt base, but could not transmit back clearly. I am in a wooded area also though. Definetly going to work well enough with a 50 watt base station to a good mobile with a better antenna.

Glad to hear your results. The expectations have now been set.

Keep in mind now that no matter how much power you add to your base that it will not improve how well you hear on the base. In other words the added power will help your HT radios out in the woods to hear your base a little better, but it will not help your base hear them any better.

Thanks for the update.


Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM
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1 hour ago, mbrun said:


Glad to hear your results. The expectations have now been set.

Keep in mind now that no matter how much power you add to your base that it will not improve how well you hear on the base. In other words the added power will help your HT radios out in the woods to hear your base a little better, but it will not help your base hear them any better.

Thanks for the update.


Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM

I was thinking that if I had a more powerful mobile with an antenna in the car vs a HT in the car I would be able to receive and transmit a bit farther on both ends. Being that I would have a better antenna on a mobile unit. ?

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I was thinking that if I had a more powerful mobile with an antenna in the car vs a HT in the car I would be able to receive and transmit a bit farther on both ends. Being that I would have a better antenna on a mobile unit. ?
Generally, if you can see the antenna not even.

You'll gain more $ for $ if you get the antennas up higher.


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I was thinking that if I had a more powerful mobile with an antenna in the car vs a HT in the car I would be able to receive and transmit a bit farther on both ends. Being that I would have a better antenna on a mobile unit. ?

Yes, if you put a more powerful radio in the car I would expect you to be able to transmit a bit further. But a more powerful radio does not mean you will receive any better.

On the other hand, both a higher antenna and/or antenna with higher gain help you transmit further and receive better with the radio it is connected to.

When compared to an HT with rubber duck, a similar powered radio in your car using an external mobile antenna will result in greater transmit and receive range. If you add power to the mobile, yes it will transmit a bit further, but will not help it receive any better.

There are three things that improve or degrade transmit and receive equally. Antenna height, antenna design/performance, coaxial cable performance.


Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM
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14 minutes ago, kidphc said:

Generally, if you can see the antenna not even.

You'll gain more $ for $ if you get the antennas up higher.


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Sounds good, next experiment. It’s just money, right?:)

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Sounds good, next experiment. It’s just money, right?:)
Nah doesnt have to cost a bunch more, find the tallest tree closest to the house. Sling fishing line and hoist the antenna with the coax attached as high as you can. Chances are it's 30 feet higher then how you have it now.

Not much has changed with antenna theory in the past 5 decades. Especially, for line of sight services like gmrs.

Depending in how you are going to use it. I see a tower in your future. Lol

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4 minutes ago, mbrun said:


Yes, if you put a more powerful radio in the car I would expect you to be able to transmit a bit further. But a more powerful radio does not mean you will receive any better.

On the other hand, both a higher antenna and/or antenna with higher gain help you transmit further and receive better with the radio it is connected to.

When compared to an HT with rubber duck, a similar powered radio in your car using an external mobile antenna will result in greater transmit and receive range. If you add power to the mobile, yes it will transmit a bit further, but will not help it receive any better.

There are three things that improve or degrade transmit and receive equally. Antenna height, antenna design/performance, coaxial cable performance.


Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM

Thanks for the input also. I have 50’ of RG-8U for the house on a 5watt HT. I know there is a lot better coax, but it was going to take 3 months to get any, so I bought the coax mentioned temp. To just get the show on the road. So I’m sure I’m loosing a bunch on the coax for sure. I guess a SWR tester is next in my purchases.

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4 minutes ago, kidphc said:

Nah doesnt have to cost a bunch more, find the tallest tree closest to the house. Sling fishing line and hoist the antenna with the coax attached as high as you can. Chances are it's 30 feet higher then how you have it now.

Not much has changed with antenna theory in the past 5 decades. Especially, for line of sight services like gmrs.

Depending in how you are going to use it. I see a tower in your future. Lol emoji14.png

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

I look at towers daily. That will be on the bucket list. I’m surrounded by 60’ oaks. Love the privacy, but causes issues in this field of radio.👎

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Just now, Muzic2Me said:

Thanks for the input also. I have 50’ of RG-8U for the house on a 5watt HT. I know there is a lot better coax, but it was going to take 3 months to get any, so I bought the coax mentioned temp. To just get the show on the road. So I’m sure I’m loosing a bunch on the coax for sure. I guess a SWR tester is next in my purchases.

Coax is easy to find and most of the sites selling radio gear are competitive. Places like The Antenna Farm, DXEngineering, Gigaparts, Ham Radio Outlet and many others are all on the 'net. All you have to do is press a few buttons and shopwith the coax being delivered in a few days.

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Thanks for the input also. I have 50’ of RG-8U for the house on a 5watt HT. I know there is a lot better coax, but it was going to take 3 months to get any, so I bought the coax mentioned temp. To just get the show on the road. So I’m sure I’m loosing a bunch on the coax for sure. I guess a SWR tester is next in my purchases.
Correct for vhf coax is more important than the antenna or radio. Losses are going to be crazy at about 8db over 100 feet vs lmr400 at 2.7 over 100 feet.

Remeber 3db is equivalent to doubling your power.

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