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Milnet.ca => Communications & Electronics => Topic started by: Radop on February 19, 2005, 14:49:08

Title: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on February 19, 2005, 14:49:08
HF is important in prividing distance comms where a RRB and or repeaters cannot be used or are inappropriate to use.  The parachute platoons still require it as they are ussually out of range for VHF and Satcom take a power source.  I believe it is still an essencial requirement to maintain comms in the battlefield of today although our reliance on it is less and less.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: DaveK on February 19, 2005, 15:01:59
There are no HF sets at the Pl level in a light Bn not even in the para coy.  The HF is at the Coy HQ and Bn HQ level.  HF dismounted with the PRC-138 is heavy and difficult to attain.  Even experienced operators have a difficult time with it.  Add the Crypto and use ALE and the difficulty is multiplied to the point that it is unworkable.  Iridium (secure) and tac-sat provide better solutions to the distance problem.  Believe me, I know, I use to carry the PRC-515 (30+ lbs with antennae, batteries, etc).  HF is dying because it is slowly becoming redundant in the satcom age.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on February 19, 2005, 15:13:49
There are no HF sets at the Pl level in a light Bn not even in the para coy.   The HF is at the Coy HQ and Bn HQ level.   HF dismounted with the PRC-138 is heavy and difficult to attain.   Even experienced operators have a difficult time with it.   Add the Crypto and use ALE and the difficulty is multiplied to the point that it is unworkable.   Iridium (secure) and tac-sat provide better solutions to the distance problem.   Believe me, I know, I use to carry the PRC-515 (30+ lbs with antennae, batteries, etc).   HF is dying because it is slowly becoming redundant in the satcom age.
Well 3 RCR is still using it as I know the last signaller there and he used it to talk with the Battalion CP during ex.  A few other pers have held that post and they say that it is still used.  I was just with November Coy and didn't use the HF at all there but do use it now at CFJSR and when I was with 2 Sigs.  It was one of the priority nets in Afghanistan as well.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: DaveK on February 19, 2005, 15:22:44
3 RCR and 3PPCLI and 3R22eR are using it from Coy to Bn, they are not found lower as there are not enough sets in a light Bn to outfit Pl signallers.  Do you mean the Coy Sig NCO used it to talk with Bn? Or a 031 Pl signaller used it?  Since this is the Sigs sub board we have to try to be more specific and accurate.

I am with 3VP and we do use it from the US back to Canada and other long hauls as well.  We mostly use it to keep the 215s proficient, satcom is generally a preferred method of long range comms for us and other light Bns.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on February 19, 2005, 19:11:54
What are you using for the satcomms, BT2s or Ottercomms?  HF is still more reliable but if you have a steady power soarce, satcomms are much clearer and easier to pass data.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Bert on February 19, 2005, 19:25:05
For the maintstream military, HF equipment may be less utilized because advances in
encrypted satcomms and nets or the need for more secure comms, especially where
equipment and location are available.  HF has its place given the situation.  The best
example is the Canadian Rangers and northern patrols.  Comms between communities,
patrols, and various parties are still served well by the orange Spilsbury HF radios.  It
serves as an easy back-up if other comms fail.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Navalsnipr on February 20, 2005, 01:08:30
HF is definitely becoming a lost art, but it should not be considered a lost cause.

There have been extreme technological advances with IT systems and satellite communications over the past 10-20 years that many have utilized.

There are still elements out there that will effect both Satellites and HF communications. The one difference is that if a solar flare knocks out a satellite, it may need to be repaired, whereas for HF you may just have to wait until it passes.

I've been in various ocean regions where HF wouldn't work and after some investigation, we determined through solar forcasts that the bands we were working were dead due to solar flare activities.

Some information on Solar Flares can be viewed at:

spaceweather.com/ (http://www.spaceweather.com/); space.com (http://www.space.com/spacewatch/space_weather.html) and hfradio.org (http://hfradio.org/propagation.html)

The HF Radio . Org Site has the HF propagation chart for the HF Freqs and is good for 2 hours and updated hourly:

(http://dx.dxers.info/hf_2hr.png)

I guess the main thing here is that the newer technology is great, but we have to maintain our ability to use HF in order to have a fall back. The only way this can happen is if we continue to use and train with HF.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: DaveK on February 20, 2005, 13:24:00
Another good HF freq prediction program is called PROPMAN.  You can plug in your freqs, Tx and Rx locations and the program will predict the best freq for both voice and data.  PM me with your DIN email and I will send you a copy.

Just for grins, HF has been used for outlook email transmission, text only but it worked.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on February 22, 2005, 21:36:17
Another good HF freq prediction program is called PROPMAN.   You can plug in your freqs, Tx and Rx locations and the program will predict the best freq for both voice and data.   PM me with your DIN email and I will send you a copy.

Just for grins, HF has been used for outlook email transmission, text only but it worked.

We also sent pics but they had a special compression program.  It was excellent tool though and used at the Harris Research Centre in Rochester, NY when I was on a course there.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Jungle on February 22, 2005, 21:53:05
Interesting discussion... if you don't mind an Infantry Soldier joining, from my experience on my last tour we definitely need HF. In East Timor I was a Recce section comder, and the 77-set was useless at anything more than 500m. So the Recce sections carried the 138 on patrols. We had to stop every 2 hours, set up the antenna (NVIS ?) and report to the CP. Not ideal, but better than no comms...
If I remember correctly, we were the first ones to use the 138 on ops.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: BulletMagnet on February 22, 2005, 21:58:29
In preperation for Roto 3 Recce PL(1RCR) did HF training as they had it done to O belive sextion level for comms back to BG HQ for possible OP's in the moutains outside of the 522's RRB range.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Navalsnipr on February 22, 2005, 22:28:22
HF is definitely not a field friendly set up if you are constantly on the move.

I always wondered if DND should go out a purchase some cell phone towers that we could possibly employ while deployed and have our own private cell phone service. Think about it, if we had a fleet of ships working together, or a unit on the ground in a foreign country that had no infrastructure, this could be set up and communications could be maintained at a good distance (as long as the tower can be located in a high area).

I'm sure that anyone that has been deployed would agree that HF comms must be maintained.




Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: George Wallace on February 22, 2005, 22:35:13
HF is definitely not a field friendly set up if you are constantly on the move.

I always wondered if DND should go out a purchase some cell phone towers that we could possibly employ while deployed and have our own private cell phone service. Think about it, if we had a fleet of ships working together, or a unit on the ground in a foreign country that had no infrastructure, this could be set up and communications could be maintained at a good distance (as long as the tower can be located in a high area).

I'm sure that anyone that has been deployed would agree that HF comms must be maintained.


Cell phones are very unsecure; ask the EW guys who recorded a three hour Cell call by a RCR Officer who thought it was a secure means to send his orders to his Coy Comds.  If you wanted that Technology, and, say, equiped every vehicle in the Forces with a relay installation and then used STU 3 then you may have something......but then the EW guys would just sit back and plot the locations of all your vehicles....back to lugging around towers.....  ;D
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Navalsnipr on February 22, 2005, 22:41:29
George,

Agree with your point 100%, but anyone with a radio capable of receiving the 2-30 MHz band could potentially receive a HF transmission world wide.

I'm sure that there are devices out there that could be easily implemented to make the transmission somewhat secure. Just looking at my cell phone here I noticed that it has a "Voice Encryption" setting. It isn't available in my area, but I imagine that it would be available in large city centres.

Who knows what the cell phone industry is capable of??
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Not a Sig Op on February 22, 2005, 22:45:29
It the age of digital communications, there's no reason what-so-ever that cell phone communications couldn't be encrypted... I mean, we can encrypt satellite phones easily enough.

That being said, as I understand cell phone networks (Which is a very loose understanding), cell phones could replace VHF comms at best, and that was ONLY assuming you were willing and able to install the infrastructure required, the infrastructure in turn would have to be maintained and protected... rather pointless endeavour.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Cpl Bloggins on February 22, 2005, 22:45:54
George,

Agree with your point 100%, but anyone with a radio capable of receiving the 2-30 MHz band could potentially receive a HF transmission world wide.


Yes, that's where the crypto comes in.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: George Wallace on February 22, 2005, 22:46:13
When I drove the Div Comd, we had two cells in the car, one was a STU 3.   One problem with it is the fact that any loss of code, etc. and you had to dial down to Texas for Mortorola (or whatever Coy that ran their security) to reload you.

GW
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: aesop081 on February 22, 2005, 22:46:40
Who knows what the cell phone industry is capable of??

Charging you exorbitant monthly fees to use over-priced phones on piss-poor networks ? Am i close ?
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: George Wallace on February 22, 2005, 22:48:16
Sat phones would probably be the better idea.

[EDIT]

And didn't we purchase all those neat Satellite arrays, but didn't incorporate them into TCCS.......
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Not a Sig Op on February 22, 2005, 23:05:16
I'm sure with a little tinkering, you can incorporate anything into anything... believe me... I used to work in community television ;)
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Luck881 on February 22, 2005, 23:22:39
There was supposed to be a cell system in TCCCS, it was one of the options we didn't buy.   SCRA, I think it was called... you remember that RadOp?
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Bert on February 23, 2005, 00:00:52
Due to the frequencies used, the propagation effects and the topology of the comms network,
the frequency band (HF, VHF, UHF, SHF, and beyond) has it own uses, draw-backs and capabilities. 
You wouldn't want to replace a "cell" network with a VHF system.

HF is hard to keep secure.  The frequency band used and propagaton effects doesn't lend itself well to
high bandwidth digital encoding/decoding, encryption, or managable mobile antenna systems.  Yet,
for reasonably low power transmission, unsecure voice comms can travel a good distance that doesn't
have to be near "line of sight" like other bands.  Cost of equipment is lower than radio systems at other
bands and can be easily modified in the field.  HF certainly has its place. 
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on February 23, 2005, 18:47:56
Interesting discussion... if you don't mind an Infantry Soldier joining, from my experience on my last tour we definitely need HF. In East Timor I was a Recce section comder, and the 77-set was useless at anything more than 500m. So the Recce sections carried the 138 on patrols. We had to stop every 2 hours, set up the antenna (NVIS ?) and report to the CP. Not ideal, but better than no comms...
If I remember correctly, we were the first ones to use the 138 on ops.

The first one to use the 138 was the mission to Rwanda/Zaire/Uganda in '96.   You might of been the first to use it in the man pack varriant.

NVIS = Near Verticle Incedent System (or skywave as we say).   The whip wouldn't work?   Did you try a longwire?

Did you know any of the NRL guys who deployed with you? (satallite guys)
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on February 23, 2005, 18:50:56
HF is definitely not a field friendly set up if you are constantly on the move.

I always wondered if DND should go out a purchase some cell phone towers that we could possibly employ while deployed and have our own private cell phone service. Think about it, if we had a fleet of ships working together, or a unit on the ground in a foreign country that had no infrastructure, this could be set up and communications could be maintained at a good distance (as long as the tower can be located in a high area).

I'm sure that anyone that has been deployed would agree that HF comms must be maintained.

I have used HF on the move with our bisons and the IRPVs.   I had to shorten the NVIS antenna to 5 sections but comms were fairly reliable.   I did this in afghanistan just to test to see if it was reliable.
Due to the frequencies used, the propagation effects and the topology of the comms network,
the frequency band (HF, VHF, UHF, SHF, and beyond) has it own uses, draw-backs and capabilities.
You wouldn't want to replace a "cell" network with a VHF system.

HF is hard to keep secure. The frequency band used and propagaton effects doesn't lend itself well to
high bandwidth digital encoding/decoding, encryption, or managable mobile antenna systems. Yet,
for reasonably low power transmission, unsecure voice comms can travel a good distance that doesn't
have to be near "line of sight" like other bands. Cost of equipment is lower than radio systems at other
bands and can be easily modified in the field. HF certainly has its place.
HF comms can be encrypted easily with a 99, 84 or 194a.  As long as the settings are the same, no problems.  Thats why we have SOPs.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on February 23, 2005, 18:56:13
There was supposed to be a cell system in TCCCS, it was one of the options we didn't buy.   SCRA, I think it was called... you remember that RadOp?

Correct but it was not "cellular" as in telephone system.  It was like a repeater for the 522 to the commander on the ground moving from trench to trench.  I was far too big and combersome and was dropped.  Funny enough, the Brits are thinking of buying it and incorporating it into the system they purchased from GDC.  Our Cellular system was called OPCAP 2.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Jungle on February 23, 2005, 20:55:10
The first one to use the 138 was the mission to Rwanda/Zaire/Uganda in '96.   You might of been the first to use it in the man pack varriant.
Thanks for the clarification; yes we used it in manpack, we carried it around on our backs and on ATVs. We used the 77-set for very-short range foot patrols, or when manning refugee arrival points, all within 500m of the camp.

Quote
  NVIS = Near Verticle Incedent System (or skywave as we say).   The whip wouldn't work?   Did you try a longwire?
The whip didn't work, and we didn't try the longwire. Comms were very problematic over there... so was the GPS for that matter.

Quote
Did you know any of the NRL guys who deployed with you? (satallite guys)
I knew them, but not personally... I believe one was from outside Valcartier, but I think the NRL guys were mostly from 5 CMBG HQ & Sigs.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on February 23, 2005, 23:02:55
I knew them, but not personally... I believe one was from outside Valcartier, but I think the NRL guys were mostly from 5 CMBG HQ & Sigs.
The NRL guys would have been from Kingston.  They had a satillite dish at one site and had BT2s at the other site.  They operated the commcen.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Jungle on February 23, 2005, 23:16:19
The NRL guys would have been from Kingston.   They had a satillite dish at one site and had BT2s at the other site.   They operated the commcen.
OK, the NRL guys were in Dili with the NCE. We never saw them... The BT2s were either at Suai (NSE co-located with NZ Batt SVC Coy) or Zumalai (CDN Coy main camp). I spent most of the tour in patrol bases, away from the main camps.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: CH1 on February 24, 2005, 01:10:57
Hey guys!

  Do they still teach RF & antenna theory at Kingston?  Part of the comms problem in mtn areas could be caused by iron like ore deposits or low level radiation, or ghosting from the terrain.

  Don't know what the syllabus contains any more, since it's been a long time since I did my courses.
  & yes I am RCCS, but have spent most of my time as 031.
 
  My own expierence with HF leads me to keep HF.  In the early 80's, I did some experimental work with an all band, all mode XCVR that was about the size of 2 packs of cigs with 9 volt batts.  Lo pwr out at 1 watt, with what at the time was experimental plessey chips.  It worked great when I used long wire for the antenna, in the Rockies.  Maybe the military needs to rethink the boat anchor theory again like when the C33/AT3 finally bought the bullet.

Cheers
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on February 24, 2005, 01:29:03
Very limited theory taught now in kingston.  They don't construct field expediant antennas or anything like that.  They are too busy teaching them LAN systems (over a month) when only 1% or less of the guys coming out of the school will go to an IS position.  I think it is sad how little time they spend on actual VP, Radio Theory/Practical and daily det routine.  That is more of the reason why our people don't know the radio systems and what to do if they break.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Ex-fusilier on February 24, 2005, 02:07:17
As for the discussion regarding the security of cell phones......no matter what the companies come up with for encryption or security, someone's usually figured out a way to intercept and decode it before it even hits the commercial market.  And the STU-III cells are useless, they're known far and wide as the "cone of silence".  IP phones are fairly secure and fast becoming the new fad in secure comms. 
Even if you put a piece of string between two cans, somehow we'll manage to tie a third string onto it and listen in without you knowing  :P >:D
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: jb12341123 on February 24, 2005, 03:19:40
Hello,

Just thought I'd add my two cents in here.

HF Comms - Essential in the Navy for intership and ship/shore comms.  Wether that be plainvoice, secure voice or radio teletype (RATT).  We use them all, and all the time at sea.  Although radio teletype for receipt and transmission of message traffic has been somewhat taken over by satellite, it is still essential in the case that satcom ceases to work or when in areas at sea where satcom is not an option (out of the footprint).

HF Voice (Plain/Secure) is essential for over the horizon communications with other units as UHF as we all know is line of sight.

-Ryan


Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: CH1 on February 24, 2005, 09:54:51
  Its too bad that they are not teaching enough of the "low level tech" stuff any more.  I realise the computer is taking over but basic antenna & propogation theory is still vital info.  From what I see, the eqt is supposed to be more operator freindly, but "appliance operators" are just that.  It still takes some basic knowledge to make even something like the dinosaur 19 set work to it's potental. 
  This rant is not intended to discredit the operators but to high light systemic problems.  You can only work with the equipment & knowledge you are given.  Years ago, even the grunt on the end of a PRC 26 or 510 received basic antenna & propogation theory. 

  It appears that the powers are caught in the tech trap. They can't see the trees for the forest.

  cheers
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: DaveK on February 24, 2005, 10:19:37
Anyone who takes basic comms is taught antenna theory and how to calculate length.  They are also taught propagation and the different types of radio waves.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on February 24, 2005, 19:07:36
As for the discussion regarding the security of cell phones......no matter what the companies come up with for encryption or security, someone's usually figured out a way to intercept and decode it before it even hits the commercial market.   And the STU-III cells are useless, they're known far and wide as the "cone of silence".   IP phones are fairly secure and fast becoming the new fad in secure comms.  
Even if you put a piece of string between two cans, somehow we'll manage to tie a third string onto it and listen in without you knowing   :P >:D

one word and 4 numbers for you

Iridium 9505

Intercept that 291er, lol
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Bert on February 24, 2005, 19:46:32
I guess one would have to define the course content for antenna, transmission, and propagation
theory and at what level is necessary for comms operators, technicians, or engineers.      As radio equipment
and servicability evolves, the military education system may be tweaked.   Alot of radio equipment is
puchased as a kit, from power supplies, transceivers, coax, to antennas; meaning this "radio" goes with
this "antenna" today.   Building field antennas like simple dipoles for HF radios are easy but constructing similar
antennas at 800 MHz impedence matched for medium power transmitters with acceptable coverage
and not blowing the PA is another thing.   Alot of field problems are servicable on-the-spot like broken
connectors, bad cables, swapping of defective equipment.   Replacing oscillators, tuning radios, fixing power
supplies, measuring field strength, SWR, or using a spectrum analyser takes parts, location, and more specific
knowledge.

As for the Iridium system, any intelligence service with the listening capability is monitoring the comms.   Whether
they get any content from encoded comms is another story, but a fair portion of the engineering of what
Motorola/consortium put into it is "public" knowldege.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Ex-fusilier on February 25, 2005, 00:54:20
Toucher Radop Toucher
However, if I can't break it, I am sure my secret squirrel brothers down south sure can hehehehe.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: signalsguy on February 25, 2005, 21:01:45
Toucher Radop Toucher
However, if I can't break it, I am sure my secret squirrel brothers down south sure can hehehehe.

Especially since the US DOD owns the system, don't they?
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on February 25, 2005, 21:11:23
I have one in my det, don't think I will turn it in when I leave.  I love it.  But alas, yes the US owns all our crypto except for the 522s.  We just have them on some agreement.  Look at the DTDs, they say government of US Property.

But, back to HF..... You can intercept the signal but with the 99s, it is hard to get intel other than DF the loc.  If you move every few hours, then you should be ok.  Better yet, use directional antennas.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: CH1 on February 26, 2005, 00:19:49
  Thx Bert, for the clearing the muddy waters.  Being assigned away fm sigs except the odd take charge of a det, has taken the toll.  Been 031 for along time now & have lost touch.  Most of my buddies have long  retired now so I don't get to keep in touch.

  As long as they are still teaching at least basic antenna & propogation theory, there is always a chance that a sig will figure a way to talk.

  1 trick I used on HF & VHF was to carry 2 foil space blankets, as portable directors.  Small & light.  Not good for a hide but worked good on the fwd CP.  Once or twice even used a tree for the antenna.  Short range but it proved the concept.  Terminal impedence was definetely a problem!

  Yep, I agree, the solid state finals do not like a mismatch.  Didn't see it personally, but from what I heard the C45's were real touchy in the finals.  Had the odd tendency to flame out. The old C42's were a little more tolerant but had other problems.

  There is a great demand on the functions of a radio, especially in mil use, but the engineers should have to use their creations in the enviornment.  Maybe some of the quirks would disappear.

cheers

 
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Ex-fusilier on February 26, 2005, 08:01:50
Some people seem to think HF is dead, but they tend to forget some of the countries that may not have the comms capabilities we do.  HF is still widely used in the world as it is relatively cheap and effective comms.  Plus when you get into things like tropospheric ducting and meteor burst, then we can increase the range.  There's all sorts of signals being propagated through the HF spectrum still, and I suspect there will be for some time to come. 
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on February 26, 2005, 11:09:12
For some reason, some of my colegues seem to think it is imposible to jam HF.  I asked them why they would think that?  HF can put out a lot of power so the jammer would have to put out a lot as well.  That could prove deadly for them the same as when were blasting out RF.  I talked to some of the new guys and they thought field expediant antennas were the b&w antenna.  When I asked how they build a multi-freq di-pole they looked at me like I had two heads.  Two of us were talking about a rombic antenna the other day and one of the young guys asked us if we thought he was born yesterday.  We both replied yes as he didn't know what type of antenna that was.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: elbarto on March 01, 2005, 17:18:04
I'm saying yes because:

1.  Last time I used any type of satellite comms, there was always a concern over the fact that the up link/downlink time had to be leased, rented etc.  The costs for using HF is still much more affordable in these days of fiscal restraint.

2.  HF is still likely  to be used in any type of joint operations with the other services.

3.  Even though they are apparently starting to become rare, a Rad Op might still find onself in a posting using HF - ie MACS. For an operator to go into a situation like that, a working knowledge of HF along with some hands-on experience makes life much easier than having to learn everything OJT.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on March 01, 2005, 23:46:14
Well said Art
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: signalsguy on March 02, 2005, 08:20:44
HF is still used all over the place, maybe not in a tactical setting, but definitely strategic. I even know of a long haul ADDN link that goes from Esquimalt to Aukland, New Zealand, using HF!

A lot of the eastern European countries are using HF based data comms sytems, even using gateways into the internet, and into their own wired networks. I have seen email sent from a laptop running outlook hooked up to an HF set, coming up on my system on a network that had the gateway connected. Very cool
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on March 02, 2005, 21:04:55
HF is still used all over the place, maybe not in a tactical setting, but definitely strategic. I even know of a long haul ADDN link that goes from Esquimalt to Aukland, New Zealand, using HF!

A lot of the eastern European countries are using HF based data comms sytems, even using gateways into the internet, and into their own wired networks. I have seen email sent from a laptop running outlook hooked up to an HF set, coming up on my system on a network that had the gateway connected. Very cool

I agree except that I think it is just as important in a tactical setting and less in strategic.  As an NCCIS Op, I have satcom back ups to my satcom primary and an HF backup to the backup.  We had to push for an HF exercise so that we could maintain the skill set
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Canadian Sig on March 03, 2005, 15:02:52
Howdy Radop... Just thought you might like to know that the Sqn is taking HF very seriously. Just came back from up north where we maintained an HF rear-link and used SAS via secure HF. Also did some testing with our Brit counterparts. It seems that those in charge of the Sqn these days like the HF system and plan on maintaining its usefullness through training of the new guys.  :salute:
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: signalsguy on March 03, 2005, 16:51:47
Did you have Inmarsat or Iridium systems as well, or did you just rely on HF. What HF system was used? MCT?
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Canadian Sig on March 03, 2005, 17:01:07
We were just using the 138 amped system out of a rad v ( with NVIS )  :cdn:
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on March 03, 2005, 18:15:33
Were was "up North", in the Yukon or NWT?  We were going to try HF SAS in Afghanistan but never got the chance with all the other things we tried.  Those wienies in Rover troop could never get that right even.  lol.  So how is the Sqn in Pet doing?  Tell Tracey congradulations on getting top cantidate on his TQ 5 course.  I just heard that he did very well on the course.

I did do some testing going up TV Hill with mobile HF.  I had also done it in the Regiment in the Late 90s as well (after 96 but before 98) with the IRPVs back then.  But that is a story for some time I am up there with everyone wearing helmets.  lol.   :warstory:
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Willy on March 04, 2005, 03:58:16
While I probably think that HF is more important than anyone else does on this whole board, Radop, I think you'll have to admit that current op experience dictates that despite doctrine, HF is NOT used as meaningful backup for NCCIS dets.  This is proved by the current status of NCCIS dets deployed on op ATHENA.  No HF resource is meaningfully depl/used/tested on that op, or at least not when I was over there last year.  Pls advise if current ops have proven me wrong. 

I think that HF is useful because we own it and it's reqr resources outright.  That said, we should take advantage of our ownership of such resources better than we currently do.  HF could potentially be used as a moderately reliable backup to other forms of NCCIS, but I don't think we're currently doing so effectively.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on March 04, 2005, 20:14:31
NCCIS Ops dictate that we use the inmarsat as the back up for essencial circuits which poses its own problems.   HF is suppose to be the primary backup for ADDN but when was the last time you saw that?   NCCIS course would probably be the answer.   You have to give the gateway notice before going live with them.   Some of the new regs are requiring 45 days advance notice.   Tell me how we will work that out and who came up with that brain child!!!

But I digress.   HF is more of a tactical necessity in a guard net or linking forward elements to NCCIS elements such as what was done in Bosnia.   I will give a total theoretical scenerio here before anyone talks about OPSEC.   We could have a central det in Kabul for NCCIS NRL.   Put a light det in Kandahar and deploy coys in the AOO would get QRTs to pass secure msg traffic.   This is not what will probably happen but is one option.   HF is a vialble option especially for forward units but 400 watts is not reliable back to a gateway from Afghanistan.   I think that if we had to do something with HF, too many people do not have the skill and we would risk falling on our face if tasked with that.   I would hate to go to the comd and tell him we could not do that because our people are not trained to do that even though we have the equipment.

In Afghanistan, we used it on the Tac Rad side of the house as a guard net only.   We could also use it to pass TMHS and other data circuits if we get more stable users with it.   We have to trust and have faith in the system and ourseves to use this asset.   That is only by utilizing the equipment and seeing what we can do with it.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: CH1 on March 13, 2005, 18:42:51
Now there is a lot of good ideas floating around.  If the powers that be would listen instead of going off half cocked, we would probably do the true Canadian thing.  Blow every body away with our own home grown technology & know how!

I guess one of my questions is now answered, judging by some of the detailed responses.  There is ppl out there that have advanced beyond their Trg.  Keep up the good work!  Be proud of the blue & white.
cheers
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on March 14, 2005, 09:56:54
We were at a trade fair the other day and someone asked us some questions about the HF systems that we use.  He was a ham operator and the young guys pointed him in our direction.  We talked with him for 15 min on our systems and how we use them.  He definitely pushed the limits of my knowledge but I answered him with what I knew and he seamed happy with the responses.  Unfortunately, the days are gone were we can go out and put two frequencies into our radios anytime we want and use the radios to find out how well they work.  Rather than getting people to sweep floors, maybe we should concentrate on teaching them the crafts as we know them.  All I have run into is obsticals when I have tried that.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: CH1 on March 15, 2005, 00:45:01
Dig out the Gin Palaces, C33 xmtr, & the Hro 60's. Seriosly though, I get the impression that the eqt is being utilised at the low end of it's capabilities. Has any one tried the old boys net work, to see if there is a reason (s) why.  At one time, it was not unusual to push the radios, & rad ops to their potential.  As I am familiar with only some of the "new" eqt (leaning heavily on the tech side), it does leave questions as to why the enhanced capabilities are not used.

May be part of the reason is our allies only use certain modes, & we follow our neighbours to a certain degree.  There also could be hidden flaws that prevent using certain modes, eg C45's toasting when not following the full tuning procedure.

It's definetly not my strong suit any more, but I can't see all the capability being built in & not utilised.  Maybe the wizards figure a rad op can only be trained to handle a couple of modes with the required software with out tieing his WD6 in knots.

So much for my un informed opinion!

Cheers

Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on March 15, 2005, 11:25:17
CH1, you remember LTACS?  How much did the military use it.  We proved that we could tactically extend an MM (now MT) det using the LTACS System.  Did they use the system?  No.  I think the different units and commands don't want to cross training and loose their sphere of influence.  It will only get worse as sig ops now only set up the equipment for others to talk on.  The users don't have the patience that HF requires and don't see the potential inherent in the use of this frequency band.

We are also very constrained in the frequencies that we use.  Frequency hopping is difficult to obtain permission and doing some of the more complicated system intergrations is expensive.  This is more the cause of the problem and we as sig ops have to find the way around it.  Further complicating matters is that the system is new and we haven't had time to look at what it can do.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: CH1 on March 25, 2005, 11:43:30
sorry for the delay Radop.
out of country for a short hop.  I do remember LTACS.  We never really used it that much. Every thing in CFCC at that time was in flux as CFCC was new.  There was eqt in our TOE's & EIS, but never made it to service, or the allotments were not accessible.  I remember being on the carpet, with the "old Man" (said with smile) because the sqn ended up with eqt, that wasn't supposed be brought into service for several years.  Can't remember the system, but it was replacing the C33's & primary mode was RTTY.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: CH1 on March 25, 2005, 12:35:21
Choices, choices.

As I was doing the last reply, I was being called for a real home made breakfast! First real food in 2 weeks.

There was probably 3 or 4 different systems in the LTAC time. They all seemed to quietly retire to the rear with out much hoopla or use.

As for freq hopping, you are probably restricted more because of my generation. Aside from tac split freqs, we used to jump into the ham bands & others to break the boredom in quiet times. This generated many a pink sheet from DOC, for out of band ops.  We also used to experiment more with our eqt, to find the limits & keep our skills sharp. All though the rules were explicit, we were always pushing the envelope, trying different ways to operate the radios.  The only radios, that we didn't mess with were the CPRC 26's, for obvious reasons. The 510 & PRC 25's were fair game as was every thing else.  I think we gave new meaning to split freq RRB, with some of our improvised nets. A lot of the playing invovled non auth eqt mods.

In the mid 80's @ Beaverlodge, we managed to get our grubby paws on some HT's, that were quite similar to the pilot survival radios. They were a lot of fun. Col Andrews (base CO) used to shake his head at his lead radar tech, rad det NCO, & sec offr (me). To this day I think he would dis avow any knowledge of our antics.

The HT's were interesting because my BDF team, could use burst mode for our field comms & the base rad det couldn't track us. Seems to me they were US issue on loan.

Short & long of it, was that we were never idle always playing with the equipment.

Cheers
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on March 25, 2005, 21:27:43
We use to go into the compound at E30 in Kingston and we would set up and practice.  We would just pick frequencies.  I remember racing other dets to tune the 106s and tx to the control station (the senior det on the ground).  We never got into trouble for that as far as I know or our bosses just ignored it.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: CH1 on March 26, 2005, 16:10:43
Radop

Most of the time we were ok until we received a pink sheet or somebody complained.  For some silly reason, I have spent 98% of my time in command positions, (both in Sigs & 031).  The brass was always amazed with how we were able to solve comms problems. I don't know if this had any bearing on having a free hand most of the time. To the best of my knowledge, I had the only heavy rad det that was able to do base line repairs in the field. Had a 3/4 PU set up with my test eqt in back.

Having commanded only several radio dets, since I went to 031 in the late 70's, I have lost touch with most of the eqt. Although some of the dets expected an NCO or Officer fresh out of school, there has been a few raised eye brows, with the grey haired OT, that had a working knowledge of some of the eqt.  It brought about a few funny situations.

Still can pull a few rabbits out of the hat, with my own rad gear.

At some point we will have to get together for a regimental & discuss the finer points.  When I was  with PPCLI, I stood out with the Jimmy on my head in charge of UCW section or weapons det. Wish I could have spent more time playing with radios, although I had to concentrate on my assigned position. I really have a thing for things that go bang in the night.  Been a long time since I taught @ Kingston.
Cheers
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on March 28, 2005, 10:35:02
Which battalion were you with as I spent 2 yrs working with 1 PPCLI as a reserve infanteer.  I was with them for RV 87 and courses on both sides of that ex.  I enjoyed working with them.  I spent more time with the regs while I was with the reserves than spent with my reserve unit. 

Up in Pet, I was in charge of the Rad Node and later the CP.  We were told by the Chief Comm Op to push the system but we seldom had frequencies.  They finally gave us three frequencies for vhf, one for HF and UHF and 3 pairs for SHF (one for band 1, band 4 and band 5).  It gave us a chance to play but not to test much.  We set up the systems though and got TMHS working through the WAS and over frequency hopping but we were across the compound from each other and never pushed the system for distance.  I wanted to have an exercise were we would slowly push the system out to the 80 Km range to see if we could get it to work.  Unfortunately, I was posted back to Kingston before we got to that.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: SigPigs on April 06, 2005, 11:45:22
Well let me get in my 2 cents!!  ;D   HF is an amazing medium that can do just about anything you ask of it. Problem is a lot of people don't know how to use it properly. Such as how propagation works for time of day and antennas etc. But that can be taught to the basic level very quickly IE: Daytime = high freq  Night = low  you get the idea. As for secure of course it can be secure! Sure it goes everywhere, but it's encrypted so it isn't a problem. You can transfer data at pretty good rate over HF actually, I was involved in a test for the Navy where we did 38.4K over HF for email systems, worked fine. Even if you are constrained to a 3KHz channel you can still do ok with data, I use a mode everyday where I send pictures with no errors and a 12K file takes only about 60 secs to transfer perfectly. If you do get a missing segment you ask for only that segment and the other station sends it to you to fill it in. Works awesome. Text messages can be sent in seconds, most of our traffic in th military is text so that's great.
Also once you acquire the kit for HF you can use it anywhere anytime, with no charges for airtime on a satellite.  ;D Use it for long haul around the world, which yes still works in the solar minimum, or use it for tactical comms in an NVIS role.
As far as training goes I could train someone to use the HF kit easier than running the Ottercom and setting up the friggin' cards and software. With a 138 during a walk I was talking to California on the whip, as I walked around Yellowknife. The rest of the guys on PT thought I was nuts...oh well I get that a lot!! LOL.. ;)
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: CH1 on April 08, 2005, 00:11:20
Sorry for the delay Radop. I keep skipping south of the border.
It was 1 Btn.  Don't know if you heard the scuttle butt about a few stray " rabbits" during a few of those ex's. I was working apart from the Btn, doing tac scenarios & BDF's.  More than a few groups were to ATC with renegades. Guess who I was. From some of the AA reports, there was a few surprised bodies. The only 1 I remember missing was in spring of 85, in the mountains. Had something to do with a wedding.

I worked with a couple of Edmtn 74 dets into about 92, on several occasions.

Don't know if you heard the CS "Bulldog" on those ex's. It wasn't even listed on the guard channels.
If you did & wondered who, you now know the answer to the unknown stn & why it wouldn't respond.
The other chatter you might of heard from a couple of the OT sigs, was about the old SOB, that wouldn't grow up. There was a couple of old Sigs Sgt's that I have history with on those ex's.

The only other possibility, would be if you saw a stray unidentified section about camp staying to them selves, away from the main body & doing their own thing.

Cheers
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on May 22, 2005, 15:11:06
I think that the more we change the way we do things, the more we will eventually go back to HF as a back up.  They are talking that HF is a Fourth line back up next to the MT, Inmarsat, Iridium then HF.  I still feel it is training well spent but lots of people disagree with me.  They are looking to remove it from our training something like Morris Code.  I think this would be a grave mistake.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Canadian Sig on May 22, 2005, 17:34:56
Still going strong at the squadron Radop. We just ran a two week course that included guys from out units ( some not even sigs ) and we also are still teaching it to Roto 4 guys.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Retired RadOp on May 31, 2005, 11:11:13
Hi RadOp - I agree with you that it would be a mistake to take it out of the system. I got out in 01. I spent 4 fantastic years as a Sgt in the Ops Supvr role in Det Great Village NS. The HF eastern link, 96-00. We were the backup for Yugo, etc. The technology was excellent. We ran lots of ex/test Voice/RTT, with Yugo and proved the HF over and over again. When I left it was being remoted to Trenton. So I hope its still in use. It should not go away, and needs to be taught to the young lads. VVV...
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Radop on August 19, 2005, 19:47:24
Well sorry for not responding to you gents in a timely fashion.

That is good that they are taking it seriously at the Bdes still.  We did some training on it in May as well but was too quickly thrown togeather.

As for teaching it to the young lads, the reserve trucks I saw this summer before going overseas had no HF on it as I could see save one or two.

sad!!
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: SigPeterGriffin on November 13, 2007, 17:30:10
Replace HF BITE YOUR TOuNGE.

The biggest problem with Sat comm for the Canadian Army or at least CFJSR, is that we dont own any sateliites. So we cant directly control them, We have to contract out foriegn or domestic Civilian companies to act as LES.  And if something on their end craps out we we have to rely on a civi whos on call to come in. (once it took 10 hrs for him to show up and rest his side of the system). Also, recently the org that handles all deployed MT's lost power. They had back up power but for some reason it didnt kick in. Im sure this has been corrected. But as a result deployed MTs could not call back into Canada trhough the main dish. BTS, Ottercoms etc were used and thats why the MTs have em.
Finally and this is least likely, a nuke can block out Sat comms in an area up to a month while HF will work after 6hrs to a day later.

Deployed HF Assests are the best way in my mind to act as back ups.
They do need to be smaller and lighter (QRT is just too big). But the operator at the end has complete control over the entire pathway right back to his zero or what not.
And people who complain about propagation are just to lazy to change the antenna their using. God forbid you may have to work your circuit
Also the 138 Manpack is the lightest radio out there of that size. I put untrained Comm research tps who never saw the radio before on an island by them selves with a programed radio in ALE mode and never had a problem the entire time. Well till they boke the antenna base. My biggest complaint about the HF manpacks, vehicle and larger is the constant lack of spare cables, and other componets. QRT, and LCT, blow amps, power supplies, like they are going out of style
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 14, 2007, 01:12:09
I used HF regularly in a dismounted role in Oman, Cyprus, Northern Ireland (various levels of encryption) and arctic Norway (winter and summer) with the British Airborne and Commando Forces. Clansman PRC 320. With a well trained operator, it was excellent. With bluffers, who pretended they knew all about how to use HF, it was awful. Being an officer, I was only qualified to carry my rad op's batteries and big steel thermos, but did so quite happily knowing that we could always get comms if required.

http://www.armyradio.com/arsc/customer/product.php?productid=2252&cat=0&page=

A colleague of mine, Gareth Wood, did the first self-supported walk to the South Pole in 1985-6  as part of the Footsteps of Scott Expedition. He ran the basecamp for a year following their hike using a PRC 320. He had comms from Scott base on the edge of the Ross ice shelf to London on occasion, and had regular comms with Chile and New Zealand. Morse comms was seldom a problem.

Nuff said....
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: 211RadOp on November 15, 2007, 11:04:54
Replace HF BITE YOUR TOuNGE.

The biggest problem with Sat comm for the Canadian Army or at least CFJSR, is that we dont own any sateliites. So we cant directly control them, We have to contract out foriegn or domestic Civilian companies to act as LES. 
Alright, it has been a number of years since you where at the Regt, so you no not what you are talking about.

Yes, the Canadian Military does not "own" any satellites. The Regt does own an annual lease on a sat, and the CCO has control over this lease. As a matter of fact, I am using it now for Ex IMAGE VIPER.

Quote
And if something on their end craps out we we have to rely on a civi whos on call to come in. (once it took 10 hrs for him to show up and rest his side of the system). Also, recently the org that handles all deployed MT's lost power. They had back up power but for some reason it didnt kick in. Im sure this has been corrected. But as a result deployed MTs could not call back into Canada trhough the main dish. BTS, Ottercoms etc were used and thats why the MTs have em...
Currently, the deployed MTs (not including the one I am in now on Ex, there are three) are using two different LES atleast, so the above statement is false. Not all the MTs would have been affected due to a power outage anywere along the path. Have you ever been to CFNOC or the SNOC at Intelsat? There are people there who can do a simple reset 24/7.

I have been doing this for 8 years now, and have never seen it take 10 hours for a tech to come in to do a simple reset. The only outage that took any significant time was an eqpt fault at the LES we used with MT2 in Kabul. This did take a few hours to fix, but certainly not 10 as you intimate above.


 
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: SigPeterGriffin on November 15, 2007, 14:55:41
I have been to CFNOC and dand It was in the news about the outage and it was restricted to canadian side of the net. the statements I made were due to actual events that happened to me while deployed on OP. The MT was using had 1 LES and through civilian systems tied into cfnoc.  The tech wasnt a military tech he was a civi who worked at the les in germany.   Im not bsing when I said  we where of the net for 10 hours . Out techs would do loop backs with the les and see them, but couldnt see ottawa. Techs in ottawa would do loops backs and see the les but not us. It took a few hrs to find out who to call and then get them to call the guy in germany and due to the huge time differences it was 3 am in germany and he was about an hr away from the les so 10 hrs is what the sitrep for the mt said that day. Im not making this up.                                                     
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: 1984 on December 15, 2007, 10:10:48
Please pardon a lowly LMN weighing in on the conversation, but, don't the Chinese and Russians (and by proxy their allies/partners) have anti-sat weapons? i.e. lasers and ground/air launched missiles.  Would the potential for anti-sat warfare alone not provide ammo for maintaining HF capability/skills as a backup.  I'm a little out of my lane so I've strapped on PPE and crawled under the table.  :warstory: INCOMING!

Cheers,

EDITED: for a double negative (don't not)  ;D
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: George Wallace on December 15, 2007, 10:14:59
Perhaps.  Perhaps not.  Have you done any research as to what altitudes the various satellites are in orbit?
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: 1984 on December 15, 2007, 10:27:32
Perhaps.  Perhaps not.  Have you done any research as to what altitudes the various satellites are in orbit?

No.  But what brought on the question was an article I was reading in Decembers Discover Magazine entitled, "How to kill a satellite" (sorry I don't have a link).  It lists the various threat levels of potential anti-sat weapons.  It lists lasers as a "medium" threat as they believe the Chinese may have already tested targeting lasers on US sats.  It lists air and ground launched missiles as "high" threat since capability already exists and is relatively cheap.  Anti-sat nukes are listed as "low" threat since the fallout and EMP would damage the attackers sats as well.

Cheers,
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: 1984 on December 15, 2007, 10:41:47
Found a link to the article I mentioned:

http://discovermagazine.com/2007/dec/the-8-ways-to-blow-up-a-satellite (http://discovermagazine.com/2007/dec/the-8-ways-to-blow-up-a-satellite)

Cheers,
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Ex-Dragoon on December 17, 2007, 22:01:51
Don't forget its more then the guys in the green that use HF, its also us Naval types who use it as well. We would be foolish to drop it.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: SupersonicMax on December 17, 2007, 22:06:44
And so does the Air component.  Used in Herc (that I know of) for very long range comms...

Max
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: aesop081 on December 17, 2007, 22:07:54
Aurora has 2 HF radios on board
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Navalsnipr on December 17, 2007, 22:29:10
Don't forget its more then the guys in the green that use HF, its also us Naval types who use it as well. We would be foolish to drop it.

Excellent point. All major warships have several HF transmitters and over a dozen receivers in order to have voice and data capabilities other Naval units, Maritime aircraft, AWACS and the Army during joint Naval/Army exercises life SCTF, MARCOT etc.

I will agree that with the abundance of Satellite systems that we do not utilize HF as much as we used to, however HF is still used especially with our aircraft. I can't comment on the Auroras, but I don't think the sea kings have any satellite ability. If you are a sea king pilot departing St.John's Newfoundland heading out to meet a warship on the Grand Banks around 150-200 nautical miles away and half way out to the ship the Aircraft beacon (distance & bearing to the ship) goes down for whatever reason, I'd want to be able to have HF Voice available so I can find my one and only landing spot in the middle of the ocean.

Satellite is easier when it works but is harder to setup and troubleshoot as there are many agencies (military and non-military) involved, however HF is more forgiving to a skilled operator.

The Amateur world current utilizes Pactor III coupled with computer systems in order to send/receive emails, images etc at a rate of 5200 Bit/sec.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: aesop081 on December 17, 2007, 22:32:01
I can't comment on the Auroras,

CP-140 has SATCOM both for voice and data
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Navalsnipr on December 17, 2007, 22:33:37
CP-140 has SATCOM both for voice and data

Good to know.... can you re-configure that during flight to get the hockey games??   ;D
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: aesop081 on December 17, 2007, 22:37:37
Good to know.... can you re-configure that during flight to get the hockey games??   ;D

We get our scores sent to us a CRATT usualy
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: George Wallace on December 17, 2007, 22:39:16
Don't forget its more then the guys in the green that use HF, its also us Naval types who use it as well. We would be foolish to drop it.

OK.....I'm 'Green', but I thought that the Navy was using UHF more often than HF, or do I have all my "HF's" confused........which wouldn't surprise me as I only use them and sometimes break them......never fix them.  
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Ex-Dragoon on December 17, 2007, 22:41:16
Depends on the ranges involved...we use HF, UHF and SHF all the time these days.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: aesop081 on December 17, 2007, 22:43:51
We (CP-140) need VHF-AM, VHF-FM, UHF and HF to do our jobs
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Navalsnipr on December 17, 2007, 22:45:29
OK.....I'm 'Green', but I thought that the Navy was using UHF more often than HF, or do I have all my "HF's" confused........which wouldn't surprise me as I only use them and sometimes break them......never fix them. 


HF - Pretty much world wide depending on current propagation
UHF - Line of Sight
VHF - Just over the horizon
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Ex-Dragoon on December 17, 2007, 22:48:27
Quote
VHF - Just over the horizon

If you are lucky.....

I hate HF, 7 hours on a headset on TG ReP HF and you want an ear drum transplant.....
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: SupersonicMax on December 17, 2007, 22:51:03
If you are lucky.....

I hate HF, 7 hours on a headset on TG ReP HF and you want an ear drum transplant.....

That's why aviation invented something called SELCAL :P

Max
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: NFLD Sapper on December 17, 2007, 22:52:06
Depends on the ranges involved...we use HF, UHF and SHF all the time these days.

shf? super high freq?
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: SeaKingTacco on December 17, 2007, 22:55:04
The Sea King has an HF set straight out of the 50's.  No SELCAL....just hours and hours of static.  Which is why we make the AES Op monitor it!  :D
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Ex-Dragoon on December 17, 2007, 22:56:00
shf? super high freq?

You are correct
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Navalsnipr on December 17, 2007, 22:56:17
VHF in my experience works up to 15-20 nautical miles. I've seen in certain parts of the world the range reduced and increased up to 30-40 nautical miles (Tropospheric Ducting) when we were operating in the Souther Mediterranean regions.

SHF = Super High Frequency, used in satellite comms which yields a good good bandwidth of up to 512KBps
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: SupersonicMax on December 17, 2007, 22:56:32
The Sea King has an HF set straight out of the 50's.  No SELCAL....just hours and hours of static.  Which is why we make the AES Op monitor it!  :D
Then you do have a SELCAL, it's just called an AES Op in your airframe :D

Max
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: aesop081 on December 17, 2007, 22:56:47
Which is why we make the AES Op monitor it!  :D

*cough*prick*cough*
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: George Wallace on December 17, 2007, 22:57:23
Squelch!

Turn on the Squelch.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: SupersonicMax on December 17, 2007, 22:57:29
VHF in my experience works up to 15-20 nautical miles. I've seen in certain parts of the world the range reduced and increased up to 30-40 nautical miles (Tropospheric Ducting) when we were operating in the Souther Mediterranean regions.

SHF = Super High Frequency, used in satellite comms which yields a good good bandwidth of up to 512KBps

It depends on the height above ground of the emmiting antenna and the height above ground of the receiving antenna.

Max
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Ex-Dragoon on December 17, 2007, 22:58:43
Squelch!

Turn on the Squelch.

A little is good too much and you can lose transmissions from a distance.....
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: aesop081 on December 17, 2007, 22:59:28
Squelch!

Turn on the Squelch.

Wish it were that simple
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Ex-Dragoon on December 17, 2007, 23:00:37
Then you do have a SELCAL, it's just called an AES Op in your airframe :D

Max

Geez maybe thats who we need in the Ops Room, a couple of Aes Ops. Gawd knows the Sea pigs don't fly that much anyways, might as well get the air crew doing something :D
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: George Wallace on December 17, 2007, 23:02:43
Let's see?  I've talked to Range Control in Dundurn, Saskatchewan from Landry Crossing in Petawawa.  I've talked to Range Control on their "Push" in Ft Benning Georgia from the top of the Lawfield Corridor in Gagetown.  All on HF.  Now that was good "Skip".  Now we are talking all kinds of things.  Harmonics.  Ionosphere.  Atmosphere.  Curvature of the Earth.  Weather conditions...........and the characteristics of Radio Waves and many other things I don't remember from my Math and Physics days.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Navalsnipr on December 17, 2007, 23:03:04
It depends on the height above ground of the emmiting antenna and the height above ground of the receiving antenna.

This is based on ship to ship communications with the VHF antennas placed up the mast at approx 75 feet. However due to sea state conditions (wave height), depending where the ship(s) sits on the wave (peak or trough) the range can be increased/reduced drastically.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: NFLD Sapper on December 17, 2007, 23:04:50
Let's see?  I've talked to Range Control in Dundurn, Saskatchewan from Landry Crossing in Petawawa.  I've talked to Range Control on their "Push" in Ft Benning Georgia from the top of the Lawfield Corridor in Gagetown.  All on HF.  Now that was good "Skip".  Now we are talking all kinds of things.  Harmonics.  Ionosphere.  Atmosphere.  Curvature of the Earth.  Weather conditions...........and the characteristics of Radio Waves and many other things I don't remember from my Math and Physics days.

WOW!!

Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Navalsnipr on December 17, 2007, 23:08:10
Before Satellite/Email, we in the Navy used to do a lot of CFARS (CANADIAN FORCES AFFILIATE RADIO SYSTEM) phone patches. With it local amateur radio operators would receipt the HF call and connect it to a land line phone so that personnel could call their families. Many patches were made in various locations in Europe from Norway to the Mediterranean we would contact a station in Vancouver some 5000 + miles away.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: SeaKingTacco on December 17, 2007, 23:18:11
Quote
Squelch!

Turn on the Squelch.

The Squelch (such as it is) on the Sea King HF set also kind of doubles as the volume.  Luckily, missions only last for 2.5 hrs.  And, most AES Ops are nearly deaf.  Hmmm....I wonder if the two are related?   ;)
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Dolphin_Hunter on December 18, 2007, 00:29:15
Only two ships are fitted with SHF (East Coast 280's for their command roles with NATO)   

HF Comms are essential in today's world, if you think otherwise, just head up the CCR on any Canadian ship when there is a UHF Satcom interruption or a Lease Line issue......
Take away the CO's ability to receive information from shore authorities and watch everyone spin.

Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Ex-Dragoon on December 18, 2007, 00:51:08
Only two ships are fitted with SHF (East Coast 280's for their command roles with NATO)  

HF Comms are essential in today's world, if you think otherwise, just head up the CCR on any Canadian ship when there is a UHF Satcom interruption or a Lease Line issue......
Take away the CO's ability to receive information from shore authorities and watch everyone spin.

Really....wow I was not aware of that....

Do you think I would mention a system if I did not have a degree of familiarity with it?
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Willy on December 18, 2007, 02:47:12
VHF in my experience works up to 15-20 nautical miles. I've seen in certain parts of the world the range reduced and increased up to 30-40 nautical miles (Tropospheric Ducting) when we were operating in the Souther Mediterranean regions.

All true, but it's worthwhile to note that over land it's completely different than over water.  Seawater has a high dielectric constant so it assists RF propagation quite a bit, meaning that you get more range over salt water than you would over land.  Also, since the ocean is flat, there are no obstructions to impede propagation i.e. mountains, large buildings, etc.

You may get 50Km out of an A+ set on the prairies, but you won't get that same range in the middle of the rockies- the mountains will get in the way.  Even in the Middle Eastern desert, which is pretty flat in places, you get a much reduced range because of the extremely low conductivity of the desert terrain.  So there are a lot of factors that go into this.
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Dolphin_Hunter on December 18, 2007, 08:51:30
Really....wow I was not aware of that....

Do you think I would mention a system if I did not have a degree of familiarity with it?

That was not directed at you, but I will answer your question anyway.  No.    You might have known that, but I sure that some others didn't.  Its no big deal, I didn't mean to ruffle any feathers or should I say scales?

I threw that out there for our non-naval/non-military types out there, yes we have it but it's only on two ships and we have to get permission from another country to use it.   
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Bintheredunthat-Muzzled on December 19, 2007, 10:52:24
You may get 50Km out of an A+ set on the prairies, but you won't get that same range in the middle of the rockies- the mountains will get in the way.  Even in the Middle Eastern desert, which is pretty flat in places, you get a much reduced range because of the extremely low conductivity of the desert terrain.  So there are a lot of factors that go into this.

A little birdy told me that he got comms from A to B at nearly 200km using one Rebro, in the sand nonetheless.   :warstory:

Certainly deserves a pat on the back - if only I could have witnessed it myself.   :(

I don't want to poke in here just to say something that's already been said, but I know for a fact that some CCO's show alot of interest in revitalizing HF and UHF as well.  But, perhaps that's just one of the "old guys" wanting to get back to his roots.  There are still a few of us who prefer to stay with what we know.

I'd like to meet anyone off their QL3 Sig Op who can honestly say they are confident with anything besides VHF.  Not likely to happen as I don't believe it's anywhere in the TP except perhaps a slide in one presentation.  I think it really all comes down to what happens outside of Canada.  A requirement will need to be established for someone to say, "Hey, we have to put this back into the forefront of our training" in order for us to see anything new......errrr.....old.......whatever.

I'll make a blind prediction and say, within 20 years, the CF will use HF more actively than we do today.  Not taking any bets though. 

Bin
Title: Re: HF - Lost art or Lost Cause
Post by: Willy on December 20, 2007, 02:38:59
A little birdy told me that he got comms from A to B at nearly 200km using one Rebro, in the sand nonetheless.  

I'd want to ask your birdy how he did it.  AE configuration, counterpoise, grounding, what sort of sporadic E was going on that day & if the 1 x RRB was mounted in an aircraft at 30 000 feet, but if the birdy did it, then my hat's off to him, no matter how he cheated.  ;D