19th Dec 2004, 08:51
I have a trans-oceanic adventure coming up shortly in a light single. Need advice on HF comms please.
Has anyone out there got experience of using a portable HF unit for contact with Shanwick and the like ? I am thinking of units like the ICOM 703 or Yaesu 817. These are relatively cheap but only 5 to 10W output. Portable sounds better than luggable but I do want it to be useful as well as satisfying the regulations.
Talking of which, there a rumour I have heard that a satellite phone can be used in place of HF radio. I have my doubts. What is the current position on this ?
19th Dec 2004, 10:01
Go with the Sat.
Do you really fancy the HF Antenna fit for your type of A/c which usually consists of a long trailing wire wound in and out from a drum
19th Dec 2004, 10:32
Having used low power (QRP) HF equipment as an amateur I can tell you that it does work. However, the secret is in the antenna which has to be electrically matched to the specific frequency you are using. You can use an automatic antenna tuner but you still need some kind of external antenna on the aircraft. To make a long story short I must agree with the other people and say that Sat is a lot simpler than fiddling with a transceiver and antenna tuner while trying to fly the aircraft.
Presuming you will not be in MNPS airspace, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking others to relay...except American Airlines, of course, with which you are unlikely to receive the time of day, let alone any relay.
Relay has worked for us in the past, anyway, and I personally was always pleased to return the favour, whenever possible.
Good luck on your flight!!
19th Dec 2004, 21:04
A light single in MNPS airspace??? Spaceship one maybe
20th Dec 2004, 00:23
Hardly a concern in a light single, but bear in mind from the NAT MNPS ops manual:
"Solely when flying in the Shanwick OCA, pilots of aircraft which are Satellite Communications (SATCOM) equipped, who have experienced total HF failure and are unable to relay by any other means, may, as a last resort, make contact with the Shanwick HF aeradio station at Ballygirreen on the special SATCOM number shown in the UK AIP and AIP Ireland for that purpose."
20th Dec 2004, 17:13
Thanks for responses folks. Interesting and helpful.
23rd Dec 2004, 11:24
This unit is probably the most valuable, and weighs under 1 kg:
Oceanic Ferry Accessories (http://www.farmgoodsforkids.com/ax-761b.html)