Yes, yes….. And yes…To CB, VHF/UHF FM, and ham.
For short range communications, the two biggest issues is your terrain, and the antenna you are using.
If you are in a hilly terrain, and you are at the bottom of a valley, you won’t get out to local people no mater what antenna, or how much power you
use. Beyond that… one of the biggest mistakes mobile operators make is the antenna they use, and it’s placement. Base loaded antennas are absolute
junk. Stick with a center loaded, or top loaded antenna. Do not put the antenna on the bumper. It has to be above the top of the car. You put it on
the top, even if it means using a smaller antenna. That is because the bulk of the radiated energy comes from the bottom couple feet of the antenna.
The top mainly serves as loading to maintain resonance.
In base station installations, you need to select the height of the antenna to put the signal where you want it. The primary radiated signal and the
ground reflection will form an interference pattern and cause dead spots/peaks in the radiation pattern. Putting an antenna higher is not always
better. Moving an antenna eight feet higher may destroy your ability to talk to local people, but vastly improve your ability to operate skywave.
Using an antenna that has the same polarization (vertical/horizontal) as the antenna you are talking to will give you better communications than using
one that doesn’t match. A horizontal beam will not always give you the best reception. Depending on the person you are talking to, you may get a
stronger signal from a omni directional vertical dipole.
If you have poor soil conditions, then ground reflection will have less of an effect on signal at any appreciable distance.
The lower the frequency the better the ground wave signal will follow and bend with the terrain. The lower the frequency, the less it will be absorbed
by ground clutter and vegetation. 144mhz is better than 440mhz. 28mhz is better than 144mhz. 7mhz is better than 28mhz
At 7mhz, and below, ground mounted verticals are king.
If you live in mountainous regions, you want to stick to the lower frequencies for better propagation over the hill tops. CB, or MURS, over FRS/GMRS.
If you have the two side by side, running the same wattage, you will notice the difference.
Power is not the biggest factor at HF, Receiver noise floor on each end will have a bigger effect. And the same with propagation. If there is an S9
noise floor on each end, then you are going to have to have great propagation, and power to make the contact. If noise floor is running S1 or less,
then you can make contact with even marginal propagation and almost no power.
You can easily work anyplace in the world with 5 to 15 watts when the person on the receiving end does not have a ton of noise washing out his
receiver. Same with you hearing other people in the world. I have heard people running a single watt from Australia on several bands.
On VHF, and UHF, you will not notice any major improvement in coverage once you get past 15 to 25 watts. 100W or greater is a waste of time on those
frequencies unless you are running EME (earth moon earth). The only thing limiting your communications range at that point is antenna placement,
antenna type, receiver sensitivity, and ground terrain.
When you live in a mountainous terrain, then you ether live at the top of the hill, or you just get use to poor local reception and stick with sky
edit on 9-8-2013 by Mr Tranny because: (no reason given)