You probably haven’t read it yet, since I haven’t published my first ALE video, but two of the most amazing features about automatic link establishment, are the band-hopping & Channel Scanning.
ALE channel scanning allows the operator to cycle through a channel group. The group can be any combination of frequencies across any band. The limiting factor is your ability to tune your antenna (if necessary) for each frequency/band. Why is it important? Well unlike WSPR, JT65, JT9, FT8, … this system actually carries a usable amount of messaging data! It’s actually meant for real-world communications.
So, today like I’ve done every day for some weeks, the station was scanning & sounding on 80, 40, 30, 20, 17 & 15M ALE channels. Although I wasnt at the radio at the moment the link occurred, an ALE link-up came in from JH1ESB on 20m. JH1ESB is 7.48k kilometers or 4.65k miles from KP25QC at PM95UM. The most important part of this ALE Link-Up was the Broadband Terminated Dipole my ALE station is built around. That is the Chameleon CHA TD. The CHA TD is a Broadband terminated dipole which operates from 160 through 10 meters without a tuner. It also loads up pretty well on 6 meters. Currently it’s hung off of the Tower in an inverted-vee dipole configuration. One leg points Southwest the other leg Northeast. I suspect it was the NE leg which brought in the station from Japan.
There are also other flavors of Automatic Link Exchange antennas. There are the traditional military type options from the players like CODAN, Harris, Barker & Williamson, and other miltary and broadcast players. There is also an excellent resources on hflink.com compiled by Bonnie KQ6XA.
The contributing factors for the link-up were
- Channel Scanning and band hopping functionality of automatic link establishment.
Certainly JH1ESB requested the link up with my station, then our stations were left alone to negotiate the best band and channel to create the link. From the logs I see that only took about 2 minutes. Had I been sitting at the desk where my station is set up, I would having a nice keyboard to keyboard chat with JH1ESB.
- The Chameleon CHA TD Broadband Terminated Dipole.
The CHA TD is a monster! It’s big, it seems to be quite efficient, considering I normally use it at 5 Watts or so. This antenna can be set up in for writing of different ways. I’m working on a video about this on 10 right now I’ll try to include the various ways the antenna can be configured with in that video. I also have a page dedicated to this antenna, so please check that out.
So why are we talking about this since it’s from the ham Shack? Well we’re talking about it because everything I do, I do in the ham Shack before I try and replicate it out in the field. It’s much easier to make the mistakes here in the ham Shack, learning from those mistakes, without the difficulty and frustration of doing it untested, and in the field. It’s all about baby steps.
Why the sudden interest in ALE? It’s not so sudden really. There’s a plan and there’s a reason, unfortunately I’m not allowed to share the details about it because of an NDA. What I will tell you is, I hope the incoming tipi tent will be warm enough, and I hope I’m not going to be hunted and eaten by any polar bears!