Saturday, December 10, 2011

10 GHz FAQ

  1. Why is 10 GHz becoming so popular and what FCC license is required?
    • Top 10 Reasons Link
    • Challenge: It used to be 10 Meters and then 1296 MHz and now 10 GHz has become the "must have" band for weak signal operators looking for a new challenge. Requiring only a technician license, you can work other "gigaheads" from a local hilltop, your tower or beside a road with moderately priced and/or surplus equipment that's become available.
    • Momentum: The ARRL and many local organizations have events that focus on 10 GHz activities which then attract an increasing number of participants.
    • Camaraderie: 10 GHz attracts a great bunch of guys and gals who will go out of their way to give you a hand!
  2. Will a 10 GHz DSS dish antenna meet there FCC CC&R antenna exclusions?
    • The availability of the DSS offset dish (used and often free from Directv, Dish, etc) has been a major stimulus and provides up to 30 dB gain on 10 GHz. This facilitates long range communications with relatively low power levels.
    • Often a modified DSS dish appears similar to a satellite TV dish and may be acceptable in antenna restricted areas.
  3.  Can I mount a 10 GHz antenna onto my existing tower and aim it correctly?
    • Yes but you'll need to deal with the relatively high transmission line losses at 10 GHz by co-locating your transverter and/or amplifiers near/on the dish feed point. 
    • You'll need to "plum" (relatively vertical) your mast (side or top mounted) with rotational accuracy of +/- a degree or two for proper dish aiming.
    • Elevation control is optional for local some rain-scatter opportunities.
  4. Will 10 GHz signals propagate beyond the visual "line-of-sight"?
    • Yes, you'll be surprised at the range that you'll be able to operate.
      • Building reflection/refraction -
      • Topo -
      • Ducting -
      • Rain/show/sleet scatter -
      • EME -
  5. How much RF power is required for the various 10 GHz propagation modes?
    • Barefoot transverters (without external power amplifiers) with up to 200 mW output on 10 GHz can propagate your weak signals 100's of Kms.
    • Combined transverter/amplifiers with up to 2-3 watts output on 10 GHz can be successful on 1000's of Kms.
  6. What is a 10 GHz transverter and will it work with my existing transceiver?
    • A transverter converts 10 GHz transmit and receive RF signals to/from an Intermediate Frequency such as 144 MHz transmit and receive RF signals.
    • Many popular multi-band, multi-mode transceivers already have 2 meter CW/SSB capability and will drive a 10 GHz transverter as long as you reduce the 2 meter power output to match the transverter drive requirement.
  7. What modulation modes are used for 10 GHz communication? 
    • SSB is most popular with FM used when signals are relatively strong and CW used when signals are relatively weak.
  8. What protocol is used to make 10 GHz contacts? 
    • Most contacts are scheduled in advance or coordinated on a lower frequency band. During contests contacts are possible by tail-ending other QSOs, as long as antennas are pointed in the right direction. 
  9. How do 10 GHz contests differ from the other VHF/UHF contests?
    • There are many operating events during which 10 GHz is popular: ARRL Jan., June & Sept.;  10 GHz & Up, SBMS 2 GHz & Up, Spring & Fall Sprints, MAD (Microwave Activity Days) and anytime when EME conditions are favorable.
    • During ARRL VHF/UHF contests you can transport multiple 10 GHz stations within a single vehicle. 
    • On the "10 GHz and up" event you can coordinate via any communications (cell, Internet, etc.)
  10. How can I get started on 10 GHz and what will it cost?
    • The best way is to contact your local weak signal organization and ask to use a loaner station for the next scheduled 10 GHz event! 
    • The biggest initial cost is a 10 GHz transverter. Used and kits range from $300 on up, depending on the model, power output and vintage. A DSS dish antenna can usually be found free of charge with minimal modifications required.
    • Once you determine your level of interest and what kind of station works best for you, you'll want to upgrade your equipment, over time.
 Please submit your questions for inclusion on this list.

  Click here to return to Contents and Navigation.

No comments:

Post a Comment