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Re: AO-27 and MIR on an HT?



WA4ILO writes:
> Has anyone compared the Arrow handheld yagi with a quarter wave whip.  I'm
>  wondering if the performance difference is really significant.  I saw a
>  demonstration of AO27 in Orlando last year and didn't observe the yagi did 
> any  better than my whip.  I've held off buying the antenna worried over
whether 
> it was worth the difference.

Jimmy,
The "difference" all depends on your perspective.  If you can hear the bird FB
with a whip, then an Arrow won't improve your downlink any.  The "real" truth
is AO-27 is darn hard to hear UNLESS you have a good receiving setup.  That
setup may be a very sensitive receiver, or it may have a preamp if it isn't
extremely sensitive, or it may have a high gain antenna (like an Arrow, with 7
elements on 70 cm), or it may be any combination of the above.  What is
absolutely clear, however, is a CASUAL RECEIVING SETUP WILL NOT WORK
(reliably).  

I know there are countless articles in various publications describing how
easy it is to work AO-27.   What can I say.  That certainly is NOT my
experience.  I can use the magmount on my truck and get 3-5 min in the center
of a pass (with a lot of background hiss).  I can pull out my Arrow and get
full quieting from horizon to horizon.  For me, the difference is night and
day.

Uplink is a "whole 'nuther story," as noted earlier in this thread by N7SFI.
On a weekday you can work with 5 W into a handheld and be heard.  Lots of
guys/gals do it.  The weekend is a different story.  Last Sunday, on the
western pass over N.A. I heard somebody comment:  "we need a lion tamer
today."  The first 3 passes that weekend were pretty orderly (as commented on
earlier by N1JEZ), but that last pass was pure anarchy.  Think of it as VHF
contesting--15 minutes at a shot.  If you want to work AO-27 on an HT, I
recommend you sneak out of work for 15 minutes on Wednesday morning.  Don't
ruin your Saturday standing out in the yard with an HT when your chances of
success are greatly diminished.

73,
Jerry, K5OE
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