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Procedure for testing an HT with a repeater #elmer

Jon KF6LMD
 

Hey everyone,

What is the standard procedure for testing an HT against a repeater? I want to test whether or not I'm in range and that I can transmit to the repeater ok. Specifically referring to the w6ek repeater. 

73
Jon KF6LMD

Greg D
 

Hi Jon,

Best bet is to just key up the repeater, give your call sign, and ask for a signal report from anyone listening.  Very often there's someone listening during the day and evening, and they can give you the best analysis.

There's also a code you can punch in to have the repeater record and repeat your audio signal so you can hear it, but that involves two trips (up and back), so isn't representative of what others would hear.

Greg  KO6TH


Jon KF6LMD wrote:

Hey everyone,

What is the standard procedure for testing an HT against a repeater? I want to test whether or not I'm in range and that I can transmit to the repeater ok. Specifically referring to the w6ek repeater. 

73
Jon KF6LMD

Jon KF6LMD
 

Thanks Greg. That's kinda what I was thinking, just wasn't sure if there was a better way. 

Thanks again
Jon

Greg D
 

There are more formal ways to test a transmit / receive link, for example looking at the audio response curve or measuring the signal / noise ratio (SNR) at the receiver, but these are more important for a digital link, e.g. packet radio.  Our repeater doesn't have an automated way to do either of these things, unfortunately.

If you are using, say, an HT and some sort of attached antenna, the variability in where you stand, the orientation of the antenna, and surrounding obstructions (your body, nearby walls, buildings, trees, mountains) will make such a huge difference in the received signal strength that any particular measurement will probably never be repeated.  So, we generally just drop back to a qualitative assessment of how you sound to others.  This includes both your signal strength (described by how "scratchy" your signal sounds - "full quieting" is best), and how your audio sounds (both volume and whether it sounds muffled or clear).  Talking too softly makes it hard to hear; talking too loudly may cause your signal to drop out on the voice peaks (called "over deviating"). 

If you're having some trouble making it into the repeater, there are tools you can use to figure out where the problem is, for example, looking at the terrain with some of the mapping websites.  Perhaps you just need more power, or to stand in a slightly different spot.  When you find it, the sage advice is to put a big "X" on the floor so you can find it again in the future.

Greg  KO6TH


Jon KF6LMD wrote:

Thanks Greg. That's kinda what I was thinking, just wasn't sure if there was a better way. 

Thanks again
Jon

Bob <wotbob01@...>
 

Greg, Speaking of mapping websites, do you have a link to a goood one?
Bob  WE6C



From: Greg D <ko6th.greg@...>
To: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io; jonpthomasson@...
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2018 10:23 AM
Subject: Re: [W6EK Groups.io] Procedure for testing an HT with a repeater #elmer

There are more formal ways to test a transmit / receive link, for example looking at the audio response curve or measuring the signal / noise ratio (SNR) at the receiver, but these are more important for a digital link, e.g. packet radio.  Our repeater doesn't have an automated way to do either of these things, unfortunately.

If you are using, say, an HT and some sort of attached antenna, the variability in where you stand, the orientation of the antenna, and surrounding obstructions (your body, nearby walls, buildings, trees, mountains) will make such a huge difference in the received signal strength that any particular measurement will probably never be repeated.  So, we generally just drop back to a qualitative assessment of how you sound to others.  This includes both your signal strength (described by how "scratchy" your signal sounds - "full quieting" is best), and how your audio sounds (both volume and whether it sounds muffled or clear).  Talking too softly makes it hard to hear; talking too loudly may cause your signal to drop out on the voice peaks (called "over deviating"). 

If you're having some trouble making it into the repeater, there are tools you can use to figure out where the problem is, for example, looking at the terrain with some of the mapping websites.  Perhaps you just need more power, or to stand in a slightly different spot.  When you find it, the sage advice is to put a big "X" on the floor so you can find it again in the future.

Greg  KO6TH


Jon KF6LMD wrote:
Thanks Greg. That's kinda what I was thinking, just wasn't sure if there was a better way. 

Thanks again
Jon




Virus-free. www.avg.com

Sean - KG6CYA
 

In addition to checking line of sight paths with mapping software, I have used RadioMobile for work projects. RadioMobile does propagation and will show you terrain influences with a heat map. This is a complicated program to get setup and use, however I have found some tutorials (http://www.g3tvu.co.uk/Quick_Start.htm) that get the program going pretty quickly with decent maps. You can also export to Google Earth and overlay terrain. Some colleagues are working on docs to make it easier.  I am not an expert, however I could walk someone through a propagation map.  

Sean

On Fri, Sep 21, 2018, 10:23 Greg D <ko6th.greg@...> wrote:
There are more formal ways to test a transmit / receive link, for example looking at the audio response curve or measuring the signal / noise ratio (SNR) at the receiver, but these are more important for a digital link, e.g. packet radio.  Our repeater doesn't have an automated way to do either of these things, unfortunately.

If you are using, say, an HT and some sort of attached antenna, the variability in where you stand, the orientation of the antenna, and surrounding obstructions (your body, nearby walls, buildings, trees, mountains) will make such a huge difference in the received signal strength that any particular measurement will probably never be repeated.  So, we generally just drop back to a qualitative assessment of how you sound to others.  This includes both your signal strength (described by how "scratchy" your signal sounds - "full quieting" is best), and how your audio sounds (both volume and whether it sounds muffled or clear).  Talking too softly makes it hard to hear; talking too loudly may cause your signal to drop out on the voice peaks (called "over deviating"). 

If you're having some trouble making it into the repeater, there are tools you can use to figure out where the problem is, for example, looking at the terrain with some of the mapping websites.  Perhaps you just need more power, or to stand in a slightly different spot.  When you find it, the sage advice is to put a big "X" on the floor so you can find it again in the future.

Greg  KO6TH


Jon KF6LMD wrote:
Thanks Greg. That's kinda what I was thinking, just wasn't sure if there was a better way. 

Thanks again
Jon

Greg D
 

Hi Bob,

I believe the best one for this sort of application (local VHF stuff) is to use Google Maps, but I forget how.  Dennis did a presentation on it earlier in the year, but we couldn't post the video because it showed a bunch of private info (repeater site, home locations).  There was another one he showed, but I forget what it was too... 

Dennis... ?  Quick summary for the assembled masses here?  I'm open to redoing the video, minus the sensitive parts, but we'd need to re-record it.  I can't edit things out of what we recorded without making it look like a 3-letter-agency got their hands on it

Greg  KO6TH


Bob Naylor wrote:

Greg, Speaking of mapping websites, do you have a link to a goood one?
Bob  WE6C



From: Greg D <ko6th.greg@...>
To: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io; jonpthomasson@...
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2018 10:23 AM
Subject: Re: [W6EK Groups.io] Procedure for testing an HT with a repeater #elmer

There are more formal ways to test a transmit / receive link, for example looking at the audio response curve or measuring the signal / noise ratio (SNR) at the receiver, but these are more important for a digital link, e.g. packet radio.  Our repeater doesn't have an automated way to do either of these things, unfortunately.

If you are using, say, an HT and some sort of attached antenna, the variability in where you stand, the orientation of the antenna, and surrounding obstructions (your body, nearby walls, buildings, trees, mountains) will make such a huge difference in the received signal strength that any particular measurement will probably never be repeated.  So, we generally just drop back to a qualitative assessment of how you sound to others.  This includes both your signal strength (described by how "scratchy" your signal sounds - "full quieting" is best), and how your audio sounds (both volume and whether it sounds muffled or clear).  Talking too softly makes it hard to hear; talking too loudly may cause your signal to drop out on the voice peaks (called "over deviating"). 

If you're having some trouble making it into the repeater, there are tools you can use to figure out where the problem is, for example, looking at the terrain with some of the mapping websites.  Perhaps you just need more power, or to stand in a slightly different spot.  When you find it, the sage advice is to put a big "X" on the floor so you can find it again in the future.

Greg  KO6TH


Jon KF6LMD wrote:
Thanks Greg. That's kinda what I was thinking, just wasn't sure if there was a better way. 

Thanks again
Jon




Virus-free. www.avg.com

Sean - KG6CYA
 

Google Earth is the easiest way to look at an RF path. Set a mark or pin on the repeater site and then another mark or pin on the radio location then do a line measure from point to point.  You can then right click and view profile and see the line from point to point.


On Fri, Sep 21, 2018, 12:01 Greg D <ko6th.greg@...> wrote:
Hi Bob,

I believe the best one for this sort of application (local VHF stuff) is to use Google Maps, but I forget how.  Dennis did a presentation on it earlier in the year, but we couldn't post the video because it showed a bunch of private info (repeater site, home locations).  There was another one he showed, but I forget what it was too... 

Dennis... ?  Quick summary for the assembled masses here?  I'm open to redoing the video, minus the sensitive parts, but we'd need to re-record it.  I can't edit things out of what we recorded without making it look like a 3-letter-agency got their hands on it

Greg  KO6TH


Bob Naylor wrote:
Greg, Speaking of mapping websites, do you have a link to a goood one?
Bob  WE6C



From: Greg D <ko6th.greg@...>
To: sfarc@w6ek.groups.io; jonpthomasson@...
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2018 10:23 AM
Subject: Re: [W6EK Groups.io] Procedure for testing an HT with a repeater #elmer

There are more formal ways to test a transmit / receive link, for example looking at the audio response curve or measuring the signal / noise ratio (SNR) at the receiver, but these are more important for a digital link, e.g. packet radio.  Our repeater doesn't have an automated way to do either of these things, unfortunately.

If you are using, say, an HT and some sort of attached antenna, the variability in where you stand, the orientation of the antenna, and surrounding obstructions (your body, nearby walls, buildings, trees, mountains) will make such a huge difference in the received signal strength that any particular measurement will probably never be repeated.  So, we generally just drop back to a qualitative assessment of how you sound to others.  This includes both your signal strength (described by how "scratchy" your signal sounds - "full quieting" is best), and how your audio sounds (both volume and whether it sounds muffled or clear).  Talking too softly makes it hard to hear; talking too loudly may cause your signal to drop out on the voice peaks (called "over deviating"). 

If you're having some trouble making it into the repeater, there are tools you can use to figure out where the problem is, for example, looking at the terrain with some of the mapping websites.  Perhaps you just need more power, or to stand in a slightly different spot.  When you find it, the sage advice is to put a big "X" on the floor so you can find it again in the future.

Greg  KO6TH


Jon KF6LMD wrote:
Thanks Greg. That's kinda what I was thinking, just wasn't sure if there was a better way. 

Thanks again
Jon




Virus-free. www.avg.com