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Who uses ALE (the mode)?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK5JY, Apr 10, 2018.

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  1. WB5BL

    WB5BL Ham Member QRZ Page

    ALE is used extensively for commercial and military operations. It automates HF operation by finding the best channel for communications and then automatically establishing a link. I used it extensively from my airplane as I flew around the world last year. The automatic sounding feature allows the stations to automatically track propagation so when you command the radio to call another station, it knows the best band/channel to use automatically.

    It does have a text-messaging feature called AMD (automatic message delivery). Some hams use that as a digital mode. It is not intended to be a weak signal mode like Olivia. It is intended to reliably establish a link when signal-to-noise ratio is good enough to maintain an SSB contact.

    Where ALE really shines is for emcomm using NVIS propagation.
    KQ6XA and KB1TTN like this.
  2. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Who uses ALE (the mode)?
    Answer: Military, commercial, terrorists and hams.
    KB1TTN and ND6M like this.
  3. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    My SGC tuner has an ALE mode. It only tunes on transmit and is straight-through on receive. It tunes very fast for memorized frequencies.
    KB1TTN and AG5DB like this.
  4. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    What's been your experience with MOBILE operations, if any? I've found that, in the absence of a very quick responding antenna, it really does not work well. It suffers from the lack of efficiency present in current mobile antennas, the lack of the rapid response necessary for it to work.
  5. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would think for NVIS amateur use, ALE would be very simple these days. There is usually only one band during the day that is available for high-angle work (80m), so a single-band antenna would be enough. During the high-sunspot years, a two-band resonant antenna would be enough, (80m/40m).
  6. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    My AT100 would do it--on a BASE station. With mobile, its another story. Tuners absolutely STINK on mobile (about as good as a hamstick) because of low efficiency coils and the sloppy radiators the antennas must be for ALE.:)
  7. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    My antenna is about 40-45 feet long. It seems to tune pretty well. Marine mobile is a bit better than auto-mobile ;)
    My experience with cars is 20 meters and up is good, below 20 meters not so much.
  8. NQ9L

    NQ9L Ham Member QRZ Page

    With an auto-coupler mobile setup, like any HF mobile antenna, efficiency is a function of how well it's installed and what kind of element it's feeding. The air-core inductors in wide-range single-ended auto-couplers (like the AH-4 and SGC models) have much higher Q than the loading coil of a hamstick, which behaves more like a lossy capacitor at HF anyway.

    One of the most worthwhile exercises of the mobile HF ham would be improving current distribution in the whip. In an unloaded whip, this tapers off on a cosine curve to zero current at the tip. A well-grounded auto-coupler driving a whip with a big capacity hat will likely trounce a hamstick.

    The only kind of tuner that stinks in a mobile is the wrong kind (one for coax fed antennas) or an incorrectly installed one.
    KB1TTN likes this.
  9. K4KWH

    K4KWH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, that might be true. Most anything beats a hamstick (below 20M) when ya think about.
    However, I've never had any success with a tuner on mobile. Maybe its because I'm just too stingy to SPEND the $$$ for a better one. Even at that, I prefer a larger antenna [large inductor, heavy wire OR a full-size screwdriver with a 3" dia] (or better) coil.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  10. W4RAV

    W4RAV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hopefully one's not still required to join a Yahoo! group in order to download the software (PC-ALE) from an "official" source. A bone of contention that got me thrown out of an ALE chat room. Fortunately, there's plenty of other choices, so it never stopped me from trying out the mode.... oh wait, "method". Gotta get my pedant hat on. :)

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