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Land Ops - The Off Road, Navigation and Amateur Radio Search Club

Land Ops ARC
 Expedition communications, overland navigation, teamwork challenges


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  • 11 Jul 2017 8:21 AM
    Message # 4968034
    Chris Doering (Administrator)

    NVIS - Near Vertical Incident Skywave

    I saw this Hummer online with the antenna farm on top. It has the tell tail whip that is bent forward and this is not for going through the drive-thru. We see this on many military vehicles. This position is not for passing under bridges, but it is meant to intentionally aim a portion of the antenna wave at a high angle upward so to get a skywave to bounce off the ionosphere. This is ideal for HF communications between stations up to a few hundred miles.

    On this topic we'd like to get the basics of NVIS, i.e. antennas, frequencies, ionospheric conditions affecting skywave propogation, etc...

    Please share the basics here....

    (note) the wild apricot forum is working on making photo posting by everyone. RIght now only administrators can add photos to forum topics. In the meantime, if you have a diagram or photo that helps us understand NVIS please email it to me and I can add it to the post.

    send to ki6qbm@landops.org

    Last modified: 11 Jul 2017 8:26 AM | Chris Doering (Administrator)
  • 12 Jul 2017 9:33 AM
    Reply # 4970991 on 4968034
    Deleted user

    NVIS doesn't really work better at night than the daytime, you can just us a different frequency.

    This link is what i use all the time http://www.sws.bom.gov.au/Images/HF%20Systems/Global%20HF/Ionospheric%20Map/WorldIMap.gif

    For example right now at 9:20am we could use up to thru 5Mhz. By tonight it will probably be only usable thru 4Mhz. So you can see that at this time in our location 7Mhz (40 meters) will probably never work for NVIS.

    So that puts us at 75/80 meters, 3.8-4.0 for voice. Since we want to work NVIS, it should be horizontally polarized which eliminates vertical antennas. A good 75 meter antenna will be over 130 feet long. A lot of people don't have room for that. I just put up a wire 135 feet long 30 feet up in the air about a month ago. I "should" be able to talk all over SoCal if the other station also has an NVIS antenna.

    Then we get into mobile. The lower the freq, the long the antenna should be. Difficult to put a 130 foot antenna horizontal on my jeep. So just like the picture you showed above, we bend over a whip to make it horizontal and because it is about 120 feet to short, we load it with a coil. Efficiency is very low, maybe 1-3 %.

    I have one set up for my jeep, just need to test to another NVIS station.

  • 12 Jul 2017 9:49 AM
    Reply # 4971004 on 4968034
    Chris Doering (Administrator)

    ok, this is a great start.

    I passed the test but this will be great hands-on application training. Yes, I am interested in operating your base HF station at the Sierra Op. Please bring it. 

    So I guess you were running DX (vertical antenna) at Truckhaven to contact Emmanuel in Nor Cal. I'm really enjoying and fascinated the possibilities. After only being on 2 meters and 70 cm and being at the mercy of repeaters only, this opens up much more geagraphy for our ops to take on a whole new op style...concurrent!

  • 13 Jul 2017 6:56 AM
    Reply # 4974454 on 4968034

    I am very interested in NVIS for mobile applications.  Just found this military antenna on Ebay. AS-2259/GR Thinking about buying it for using on our Ops use.

    I am also looking into getting my Jeep setup with a whip bent over and reflecting off the top of it.  But the to is composite so need to come up with a reflecting channel below the antenna.  Maybe a half U metal tube mounted to the bottom of the whip antenna?


  • 13 Jul 2017 8:11 AM
    Reply # 4974603 on 4968034
    Deleted user

    Chris, at truckhaven I used a vertical dipole. 2 hamsticks horizontal on my vertical mast, so the polarization was horizontal. But I don't think it was NVIS, just normal HF skip. I will bring my home base. We should be able to hook the middle of the dipole to your vhf mast or even to use trees up there.

    Warren, I don't think anything is needed under a bent over whip, my jeep has a soft top! There are some that don't even believe the bent over whip will work. I wouldn't spend much money on anything until we have done more testing. We will know much more in a couple of weeks at the Sierra Op.

  • 05 Sep 2017 6:51 AM
    Reply # 5063937 on 4968034

    Regarding the AS-2259/GR for portable use...

    Here's an inexpensive copy that can be built with basic antenna parts:


    I have all the parts in the garage; wouldn't have to buy anything.  Maybe I should whip one out...

    Jim, KJ7A

  • 05 Sep 2017 9:01 PM
    Reply # 5064994 on 4968034
    Chris Doering (Administrator)


    Thanks for this PDF. If you have all the parts in your garage, I'm wondering if you might consider helping to construct one for the club. That is if you already have one for yourself.

    The club will be looking to pick up an HF base station for the net control. I will be investing my hard earned money in my personal mobile HF.

    Let me know if we can work something out with you on this antenna.

  • 06 Sep 2017 9:37 AM
    Reply # 5065959 on 4968034
    Deleted user

    That is really just an inverted V antenna. You really don't need anything you don't already have. If you put a dipole on the mast you use for the VHF antenna you would have the same thing.

    There are a lot of things out there labeled as NVIS, but they are just regular antennas. A flat dipole would be a little better than an inverted V. Similar to what we did at Whiskey Falls although I have serious doubts that we were actual communicating via NVIS up there.

  • 07 Sep 2017 9:51 AM
    Reply # 5068606 on 4968034
    Jim Biram (Administrator)

    I still have my 40 meter Dipole I made for Monache Meadows a couple years ago, and you/Land Ops are welcome to use it.  I recall that I got the info from Emmanual, and I've posted the link below, as well as a photo of the finished antenna.  I added an alligator clip on one end so it can attach easily to the truck as described in the instructions.  The Meetup site no longer supports files, unfortunately.

    Simple NVIS Antenna

    40/80 M Antenna

    Last modified: 07 Sep 2017 10:41 AM | Jim Biram (Administrator)
  • 02 Oct 2017 1:25 PM
    Reply # 5291416 on 4968034

    I've been looking into setting up a mobile HF station in my Wrangler. It is strongly recommended to do some bonding. All vehicles will benefit from it, but especially vehicles that are body-on-frame, like the Wranglers. At least the muffler (in several places), hood, transfer case and bumpers.

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