Radio Location

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Re: Radio Location

Postby CaveGimp » Aug 26, 2009 2:22 pm

OK, I'll pipe in here with my $0.02, but its likely worth much less. As to the question of someone with basic eletronics knowledge and soldering skills building a cave radio, yes it is possible. In fact I am doing it right now. I am building a 75M QRP (low power) DSB (dual side-band) transciever for 2-way voice communications in cave. If you were at the ICS you may have heard Paul Jorgenson (KE7HR) speak on his work with cave radios in the HF HAM bands, like 75M. The gear used in his lattest study was all commerical off the shelf stuff that could easilly be bought in any major city or through the internet for around maybe $700. The radio I am building will end up costing me abotu $150 when I am done, but that is going from now stock of parts or even a soldering iron, and i will have lots of stuff left over when I am done for other projects.

See Paul's latest report here: http://members.cox.net/caveradioat/CACA_radio_testing_report-01.pdf
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Re: Radio Location

Postby Mark620 » Aug 26, 2009 8:19 pm

NZcaver wrote:PS Mark - if you happen to see this post, I was at the CE section gathering at the ICS this year and got to see Brian's latest cave radio which he designed for an Antarctic expedition. Very impressive!


I saw it in pictures. Brian asked me if I had any more of my green ring material left, but decided it was too late in the game to use it - I guess. I believe he tuned my unit around the time he built those...I know those bike rims that he used are very expensive and are not the best material to use(aluminum).
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Re: Radio Location

Postby NZcaver » Aug 27, 2009 1:53 am

CaveGimp wrote:As to the question of someone with basic eletronics knowledge and soldering skills building a cave radio, yes it is possible. In fact I am doing it right now. I am building a 75M QRP (low power) DSB (dual side-band) transciever for 2-way voice communications in cave.

I misspoke earlier - I was referring to the skills required for designing and constructing your own equipment. Which isn't to say I have those skills, just that the work involved in developing and scratch-building this stuff is a little more than your average Joe know-how. So you were at the section meeting too? I imagine we've met, but your baby avatar photo doesn't look familiar. Have fun building that DSB radio. It's an interesting design that Paul came up with, and it seems to work well - at least in the desert.
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Re: Radio Location

Postby CaveGimp » Aug 27, 2009 9:19 am

NZcaver wrote:
CaveGimp wrote:As to the question of someone with basic eletronics knowledge and soldering skills building a cave radio, yes it is possible. In fact I am doing it right now. I am building a 75M QRP (low power) DSB (dual side-band) transciever for 2-way voice communications in cave.

I misspoke earlier - I was referring to the skills required for designing and constructing your own equipment. Which isn't to say I have those skills, just that the work involved in developing and scratch-building this stuff is a little more than your average Joe know-how. So you were at the section meeting too? I imagine we've met, but your baby avatar photo doesn't look familiar. Have fun building that DSB radio. It's an interesting design that Paul came up with, and it seems to work well - at least in the desert.


Nope I wasn't at the ISC. With my two little kids and not enough vacation time to head out there. That is a pic of my dauchter (now 3) on her first cave trip when she was 4 months old. I know what Paul presented and was part of his team. He is the guy helping me get my radio working. I hope to test my radio out on a dig over Labor day. With my knee issues and surgery a few weeks away I can't cave, but I can at least listen in and celebrate the break through. :) For the low cost, my radio is perfect for caving as if it does get damaged I am not our much.

Yes, we are on the same page, that deisgning the circuit takes quite a bit of knowledge and experience, but building it is sort of like building with Legos, or a desk from Ikea. :) Just follow the directions, put the pieces in the right place and your done. Well not that simple, but close.

Interesting you say out in the desert Paul's concept works well. I think he may have tried a few things a bit further east, but not sure. Yes, once we get everything dialed in in the desert it would be good to take it to a nice wet TAG cave and see what contacts we can make. It sure beat the heck out of a field phone. Sometimes more clear communication, no dragging cables over and breaking formations, and a heck of a lot lighter and smaller.
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Re: Radio Location

Postby NZcaver » Aug 27, 2009 11:58 am

CaveGimp wrote:Interesting you say out in the desert Paul's concept works well. I think he may have tried a few things a bit further east, but not sure. Yes, once we get everything dialed in in the desert it would be good to take it to a nice wet TAG cave and see what contacts we can make. It sure beat the heck out of a field phone. Sometimes more clear communication, no dragging cables over and breaking formations, and a heck of a lot lighter and smaller.

I'm not sure if that equipment has been tried further east yet. I was part of the 2005 southern AZ experimentation process with Paul, Ray, Brian and others when I was living down that way. We also had a cave radio field day in AL during the 2005 convention. It was all SSB and data on 75m, and SSB on 185kHz. No DSB. And no radio location either - apologies to Mark for going off-topic!

I certainly agree cave radio has the potential to replace or at least be used in addition to field phones for cave communication - especially for rescue. It would be nice not to be shackled to that wire every time. As you can imagine, reliability is the key issue. What works in one region, may not work in another. Atmospheric noise on the surface can be a problem, and requiring licensed operators can be a burden too - especially during a rescue. The BC Canadians and one of the TAG rescue teams seem happy using the Drummond 185kHz radios, but the latter also use field phones too.

By the way, there is now a newer generation of field phones which are available in limited numbers by special order. They are a third the size and weight of the old crank phones, waterproof, much better voice clarity, great battery life, and the cost is pretty reasonable. They're even backwards-compatible with the old phones. But you still need to run phone wire. And now I'm way off-topic.
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Re: Radio Location

Postby Mark620 » Sep 4, 2009 8:39 am

NZcaver wrote: And now I'm way off-topic.


So ban yourself for a while :p

Anyone seen this?

The PED System is an ultra low frequency through-the-earth communication system used for paging,control and centralized blast initiation. PED is the only commercially available, and proven, through-the-earth (TTE) mine communication system available, having been installed in over 150 mines since the first installation in 1990.

http://www.minesite.com.au/coal_mines_ped_system
"People who really believe that global warming leads us to a doomsday should be treated as mentally ill." Quote : Luboš Motl
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Re: Radio Location

Postby CaveGimp » Sep 4, 2009 12:05 pm

That PED system looks cool, but I just have to assume expensive given that huge 19" rack and everything else involved. That is definantly not something that can be built at home. :) Cool for the mines though, the ability to have open communication to all personal is huge, and increases the safety.
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Re: Radio Location

Postby Mark620 » Jun 14, 2015 8:58 pm

Radio is still working!

I have an updated transmitter loop system.
about 5# and fits in a pack...
"People who really believe that global warming leads us to a doomsday should be treated as mentally ill." Quote : Luboš Motl
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Re: Radio Location

Postby Mark620 » Jun 16, 2015 7:42 pm

I am looking to use this system.....let me know....I want to find a "NEW" cave opening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"People who really believe that global warming leads us to a doomsday should be treated as mentally ill." Quote : Luboš Motl
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