[pskmail] Re: [!! SPAM] Amateur radio for northwest passage voyage

  • From: Klaus Lohmann <dl4oah@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: pskmail@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2010 09:23:29 +0200

Hello Gavin,

on my 36 ft sloop I'm using IC7000, AH4 automatic tuner, insulated backstay as antenna, lead keel as ground. That works fine, although the distance between tuner and keel may be an issue (inductive component of the wire to earth). Seems to be ok up to 20 meter, no experience on higher bands.

Have also a hustler mobile whip installed at the stern. It works on small parts of any band without tuner, but is ALWAYS worse than the backstay. Probably simply because it is significantly shorter.

A BIG problem ist HF interference into board electronics, inkl. autopilot, USB hubs, USB GPS receivers etc. Of course you can work QRP, but that has a negative effect on the reliability of APRS beacons ;-)

Unless you are on a big boat with generator running all the time power consumption IS a problem. 1.5 ampere in receive mode (wheather fax, rtty, navtex) plus another 1.5 ampere for the notebook add to 72 amperehours (at 12V) a day. The short periods of transmit can be neglected.

For APRS beacons 300 baud packet and /or pskmail, both on 30m, give you a pretty reliable way of getting your actual position and short messages into the internet.
But I don't know, how it is in high latitudes.

You should be familar with all setups, equipment and operating modes BEFORE you go on board. I thought a couple of times, that there should be plenty of opportunity for experimenting during sailing. It never was!

73 de Klaus, dl4oah

Am 20.07.2010 15:14, schrieb Gavin Rogers:
Hi there,

I have been last-minute added to the crew to sail the Northeast passage starting this weekend. I am getting a local antennae pro to install a vertical dipole on the main mast, and I'm buying a good used IC706. I have a good quality laptop running linux, and I hope to (in addition to normal HAM operations and contacts throughout the voyage) send/receive APRS, minimal email, and ice charts/weather reports vial PSKmail.

I am hoping to connect to OH9KKH, but I think that as we continue eastward we might not have any PSKmail connection until we can source VE7SUN in British Columbia (my home). Any comments on this? No doubt we will be able to luck out with other PSK contacts, as well as SSB throughout the voyage. Can anyone comment on this? Are there any other stations in Asia coming online in the next month or two?

I am all ears as we are still getting ready to throw in the antennae and the IC706. I want to do an excellent job with this, I want to have great contacts throughout the voyage, as well as prove the ability of PSKmail. I am sick and tired of the WL2K garbage we've been putting up with in Canada for the past 10 years (not the least of which is horrid linux support). I am glad to have access to all the work that has been put into PSKmail.

Also, what is the yacht tracker on pskmail.eu <http://pskmail.eu>? How hard is it to sign up for that? I think it would be good for our families to track online, in addition to our onboard SPOTII device.

Please, give me any advice, I'm open to trying anything at this point.


Gavin Rogers

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  • » [pskmail] Re: [!! SPAM] Amateur radio for northwest passage voyage - Klaus Lohmann