After my complainments about using the ON4KST chat in March Contest and the response I received from Claus, OZ1FDH, and Kjeld, OZ1FF, recommending the KST2ME tool, I added my homebrew prototype of a selective ON4KST client extension to my station control software. It communicates via telnet with the server. While working satisfactorily under normal circumstances, it was a desaster under contest load. When the software didn´t crash, it at least slowed down, by computing hundreds of posts in shortest time. Between 300 and 400 users have been logged to the microwave chat during contest time. During the first contest hours I tried to solve the problems with certain bug fixes, resulting in a huge loss of contest time. So I had to return to the classic style in using the web client of the chat.
QSOs on 23 cm
In total I logged 73 QSOs on 23 cm to 12 DXCC countries, spread over 39 grid squares (results). ODX was HG7F over 817 km. The use of the AirScout software, written by Frank, DL2ALF, has been essential. Most of the QSOs have been completed by assistance of aircraft scatter.
A nice example is the one with DJ5BV in JO30KI. The distance isn´t really far enough to do it via aircraft sctatter, but it seems, both antennas were pointing west and that resulted in effects of aircraft backscatter with significant dopplershifted reflections.
Dopplershifted reflections of Gerd, DJ5BV, caused by backscatter of aircrafts.
Jürgen, DK2AN phoned me tonight, to tell me, the new beacon DB0XY will be transmitting on 1296.910 MHz. It is located on the Bocksberg in the Harz mountains in JO51EU, about 750 m asl. The power is 10 W into a 4 times double quad, omnidirectional. The keying is in A1: callsign, locator, carrier, dashes, carrier….
In a first quick try it could be received here with 519 to 539 via tropo. When Planes crossed the path, the signal increased up to 559.
Another beacon will be installed on 13 cm soon. The intention is to provide beacons for monitoring via aircraft scatter.
Despite a lot of work in the garden and at the house I found some time to setup my old 16 element F9FT yagi. In the night from August 12th to August 13th and in the morning I logged at least 16 QSOs.
The list of sked requests became longer and longer during the night. Although I did my best to work all interested stations, it wasn´t possible to make QSOs with all of them. Sorry! The conditions weren´t too good, but improved a little during the morning of 13th.
I worked: 8 x DL, 2 x I, 1 x LA, 2 x OK, 1 x PA, 2 x S5 in 15 different squares. ODX was S51AT in JN61GW over 2,075 km.
I am located at the southern shore of Lough Mask with the mountains of Connemara to the south and the west (IO53HN).
For quite a while now I try to catch a signal of ISEE-3. Because of severe thunderstorms, there was no opportunity to check out yesterday. But today (July 30th, 2014) is the day to listen to this 36 year old bird.
The signal of the beacon on 2,270.414 MHz isn´t too strong, but clearly audible in the speaker. The actual distance is about 1.6 million km, the furthermost man made signal I ever received!
The downlink transponder A on 2.270.4 MHz uses an antenna array with a gain of 7 dBi, a beamwidth of 12° and circular polarisation. The nominal TX power is 5 W.
The equipment I am using, is just a FUNcube Dongle Pro with a 13 cm ATV converter (LO 916 MHz, IF 1,354 MHz) and a 13 cm LNA near the 23/13 cm dual band ringfeed at my 3 m dish.
Frequency calibration is performed on ordinary 13 cm beacons like DB0UX. The dish calibration is done by optimizing sun noise on 23 cm or the levels of SIRIUS satellites on 13 cm.
The rhythmical fading of the signal seems to be caused by the space probe´s spin of 19.76 revolutions per minute.
On July 24th, 2014 on 19:00 CEST I will talk about how to surmount the horizon on VHF and up at the local DARC Club in Bodenheim near Mainz.
After giving an overview over the classic propagation modes Es, Aurora, MS and Tropo, I will explain, how aircraft scatter and ISS bounce work. EME will be subjected too and the presentation will be completed by an introduction to “Visual Moonbounce” as performed by Daniela de Paulis.
Deutscher Amateur-Radio-Club e.V.
Haus der Vereine
Laubenheimer Str. 22
The admission is free, but please register via email to
DK2FQ wolfgang.beer (at) gmx.net or to me dj5ar (at) darc.de
German Funkamateur mgazine has published my article “Abenteuer Bakenbeobachtung von 144 MHz bis 10 GHz” in its recent issue July 2014. As many topics are related to posts on this website, some of them are compiled here. Links to certain other websites can be found in the link list to the right.
The destructive thunderstorm in the Köln/Düsseldorf area last night was intense enough to provide rainscatter even on 1.3 GHz. DB0AJA near Würzburg in JN59AS could be heard with the typical rainscatter sound when the dish was heading 325°. An awful lot of water must have been in the air. The total distance of the signal path was about 400 km (150 + 250).
The waterfall shows the spread of the signal. DB0AJA runs 20 W output into a 16 element Flexa yagi beaming northwest.
Since I will be back in Ireland in August, I plan to be QRV for the perseids on meteor scatter, activating my irish callsign EI8HH. The location is in Clonbur, Co.Galway, IO53HN. My equipment will be a FT-897 with 50 W into a 17 element yagi (F9FT) on 144 MHz.
My last MS QSOs dated back to 1989, when high speed CW was state of the art. To gather some experience with WSJT and FSK441, I watched the 144.370 MHz and worked YO9MN and GM6VXB randomly.
Another test with GM4ZJI couldn´t be completed, because we had to leave for QRL. But I got a nice burst from him at the end of our try:
One of my favourite beacons to be watched via aircraft scatter is PI7ALK in JO22IP. The beacon is running 4 W to a 4 times stacked omnidirectional antenna as described in DJ9HOs “UHF Unterlage V” on page 1001. The design of the antenna is by DC0BV. More details and the history of the beacon can be found here.
After about a minute first reflexions can be seen. The signal is increasing in strength, until the plane reaches the midpoint of the path. While other planes join, the signal will be spread by the doppler effect.