Keypounder sent me this question and wanted to pose it to all of you.
There’s a lot more to being an effective RTO than knowing how to key a mic, or even calculating a simple equation for antenna length, and one of the very serious reasons to get a license now is to start building that base of knowledge before it’s go time and you’re up the creek. This realistic scenario should make you think and point out holes in your working knowledge, that is, if you don’t wanna be renditioned off into the night. If you’re new, it’s gonna shine a light down the path you need to travel.
Post your responses or RFIs in the comments section.
You are a spy for the World Wide Freedom Forces and you want to minimize the likelihood that your signals, containing critical information to the Resistance, transmitted from the capital of Slobovia to your spy base in one of the provinces about 300 miles away, can be intercepted by the Slobovian Security forces (SS) who have alarmingly effective direction finding equipment. If the Slobovian Security forces catch you, you will die a gruesome death, and so will all of your contacts in the Resistance.
Not only does Slobovia have an excellent SigInt section, but they have agreements with neighboring countries to provide DF lines of position to Slobovia. To counter this technology, you have been instructed to use the 1.8 mhz amateur band and have been given an antenna and transceiver set for this frequency. You intend to use Near Vertical Incidence Skywave communication during time periods when the D layer of the ionosphere is ionized by the Sun, to keep signals from traveling any farther than they have to go in order to reach your base 300 miles away. The D layer is found 35 to 50 miles above the Earth’s surface. Assume Slobovia is on the Equator. Assume that the D layer is instantly ionized by the Sun.
How many minutes before sunrise and after sunset is the D layer of the ionosphere fully illuminated by the Sun? (Assume only direct light from the Sun; neglect atmospheric scattering effects)
How many minutes before sunrise and after sunset do the Sun‘s rays just start to illuminate the D layer?
If there are thunderstorms ( which cause extremely loud noise and make communications impossible) 1500 miles to the west of you, and the ionized D layer is capable of damping that noise completely out, are you going to operate after sunrise or before sunset? What is the minimum time after or before; how much of a window do you have?
I’ll add – what modes may you utilize and what should be your PEP?