VHF/UHF - AN EXPANDING WORLD
Eric Jamieson VK5LP PO Box 169 Meningie South Australia 5264
Fax: 08 8575 1777
All times are UTC
V73SIX/b frequency is now 50.014 ... Tim V73AT
A note from Geoff GJ4ICD
Accompanying the last Internet Six News, Geoff GJ4ICD said: Please note that this is the last info that you will receive. I am leaving GJ to take up running SMC Ltd in the UK on 4/1/1999. I will not be active on the bands for sometime as I have to do a rebuild of SMC's retail dept. I'll keep the pages running and updated re 50 MHz for as long as possible, however, you will have to log in to the new url: http://www.radiosales.demon.co.uk/50dx.html There will be a new email address later. Thanks to all for the fun/help and friendship during the past years, and the 166 countries on 50 MHz! [Geoff's new callsign will be G4ICD.]
Geoff's parting shot from Jersey was to work E30GA in Eritrea on 15/11 at 1310. The station was not heard in the UK according to Ted G4UPS.
A note from Ted G4UPS
In retrospect, 1998 was not such a bad year. From here in IO80 with 25 watts to a 4 element yagi I had 1249 six metre QSOs, working 245 squares in 66 countries. I found December 1998 very poor with no winter Es at all; only OZ2LD, SM7AED and SM7FJE worked outside of the UK during the entire month!
I operated for three days with dipole only. Weather was horrific, continuous rain and 50-60 knot winds, withoput relief. As such I was unable to erect the yagi. No contacts completed on six metres, although I did have a few with JA op's on 28.885 MHz. My apologies to those who were looking for me, but I can't control the weather. So on my day of departure it was fine! ... Scott VK4JSR.
Gordon VK2ZAB advises to anyone interested that his station is active seven days per week for forty seven weeks per year. The exceptions are four weeks in July and one week in March.
His schedule is as follows:
Local times, Monday through Friday: Instant response to calls from 0730 until 0900 on 144.100 MHz. Instant QSY to 70 cm, 23 cm or even 6 m. Beam pointed north from 0730 until 0800, south to southwest from 0800 until 0900. Frequent CQ calling. After 0900 144.100 MHz is monitored most days until about 1630, with beam usually west. Allow a couple of minutes for a response and call again. Once may not be enough during this monitoring period.
Currently, sked with VK2TWR on 432.160 MHz at 1930. Would extend this to include any contacts from 1915 until 2000, but only on 70 cm. Currently on 432.150 MHz at 2045 until about 2115 for sked with VK4AFL and sometimes VK2FZ/4, Mondays and Thursdays only.
Local times, Saturday and Sunday: As for weekdays except that 144.200 MHz is used as prime frequency from 0730 until about 0915. 0900 to 0915 with the beam west to northwest before reverting to the same routine as week days until 1630. There is no operation at night.
Would be pleased to modify the current routine to suit any worthwhile contact attempts. If you have an idea, try me.
3/12: 0400 VK4APG, VK4KJL and VK2HO worked N0KE/KH6 during 15 minute KH6 opening. 2350: ZL3TIC worked N6XQ 5x9. Rick VK6XLR at Geraldton heard VK6RSX/b Exmouth on 50.304 and VK6RPH/b Perth on 50.066, both at various times, by meteor scatter. 12/12: 0100 VK3AMK reported worked TI5KD. No other details.
Steve VK5SFA in PF95ic writes: On 13/12 at 0345: 50.180 VK2BA 589 near Coffs Harbour. Proves that 100 metres of mountain from my QTH in the Adelaide foothills and VK2 doesn't mean a thing on sporadic E! 0415: 50.306 VK6RBU/b 599. No stations worked in VK6. 0425: 50.200 VK4PU 518 - 60 km north of Brisbane. Called me as I was beaming 270 degrees. Swung beam around to 45 degrees and signal 589. 0437: 50.200 VK6KDC 599 - 25 km south of Bridgetown. 0550: 50.306 VK6RBU/b 599. 0555: 50.200 VK6KDC 599.
From Tony VK3CAT: 4-5/12: 2350-0028 TEP opening from Melbourne to JA, call areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 worked. Signals up to 5x9. 4/12: 2250 VK4ABP/b 5x5; 5/12: 0235 VK8RAS/b 5x8.
On two metres worked Jim VK3AEF (Nhill) 29/11 at 0930 and 1930; 30/11 at 1930 and 2/12 at 1930. Signals into Melbourne 4x1 to 5x2. Jim has also worked VK3AFW and VK3AMH. It is believed that contacts with VK1MP have not been sucessfull.
Ray VK4BLK sends the following:
14/12: 0045-0100 XE1KK/b 539 19/12: 0004-0035 XE1KK/b 539 23/12: 0114-0129 FO5DR/b 549 25/12: 2334 W5VWB heard. Did not respond to call. 2359-0257 XE2UZL/b S7, in for three hours.
Six metre log from Jack Haden VK2GJH in Sydney
OOOO NZ TV 45.260/250/240 MHz plus 1O dB.
0013 ZL3SIX/b 50.040 MHz 539.
0014 ZL3NW 5x5 wkd.
0120 ZL2TPY/ZL3NW reported they worked TI5KD.
0209 VK7RST/b Mount Nelson 52.370 MHz 559.
0226 ZL4LV 5x7/8 wkd.
0228 VK4ABW 5x6 hrd. ZL2, ZL1 and ZL3 calling JAs. (no JAs heard at all in Sydney, one ZL worked many JAs on 50.11O MHz)
0328 NH6YK Ted 50.11O MHz, worked VK2DN, then VK2GJH etc; exchanged 5x5 report, pile up started, Ted moved to 50.120 MHz.
0345 FK8CA 599 on 50.095 MHz working pile up on VK.
0355 VK9NS Jim called CQ 50.11O MHz 5x9.
0357 Tried to ring 3D2CM Dick in Suva to get him on six meters but no answer.
0357 Tried to ring T2OAA Ian on Funafuti but couldn't get it to connect. 0358 KH6HME/b and KH6HI/b both 569 in Sydney.
0359 Someone announced on 50.11O MHz that VK/ZL contacts taking place on 144.100 MHz and 70 cms!
0400 KH6WU 5x5 wkd.
0416 Tried to ring C21RK Ruben on Nauru, no answer.
0420 KH7R Ken 5x5 wkd.
0425 VK4BRG/b surging up and down 529 then 579 etc.
0430 VKl, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK7 and VK9 worked in Hawaii by NH6YK and others.
0435 VK4BRG/b 589.
0436 VK7RST/b 52.370 MHz 579.
0440 VK7RR 5x9 wkd.
0500 Both KH6 beacons faded out, VK4 still coming through.
0503 VK7 has now vanished too, no beacon or stations about.
0557 VK2APG in Kiama worked 5x9 both ways, not bad for local DX!
0600 ZL TV on 45.240 and 45.250 MHz S9, 45.260 only S5 now.
0610 Amazing, watching WIN and PRIME TV (UHF) in Wollongong clear as a bell on my tiny indoor antenna! ABC-TV Canberra on UHF coming through on the UHF TV beam, great conditions!
0116 VK7RAE/b 559 50.057 MHz.
0137 VK7RST/b 529 52.370 MHz.
0138 VK5AYD 5x5 wkd.
0145 VK7RR 5x5 wkd.
0152 VK5VF/b 559 on 52.450 MHz.
0153 VK5PO John 5x9 wkd.
0208 VK7RAE/b 579 on 50.057 MHz.
0208 VK7RST/b 569 on 52.370 MHz.
0210 VK7JG Joe 5x9+ wkd.
0219 VK2YVG Phil in Broken Hill 5x5 wkd.
0225 VK7RAE/b 599+ 50.057 MHz.
0249 VK7JG/VK7GUN heard working NH6YK (not heard) on 50.11O MHz.
0325 VK9NS Jim worked 5x9 each way on 50.11O MHz; Jim abruptly told by a VK1 to move off 50.11O MHz as there was DX calling; Jim replied to the the effect "I am the DX old boy". Jim disappeared, no other VK worked him.
0342 VK4KK 419 wkd.
0345 VK7AB/VK2BGL chatting.
0410 VK7RAE/b faded to 519 on 50.057 MHz.
041l VK8RAS/b 429 on 50.046 MHz.
0422 VK7JG 5x8 working VK1MP (not heard).
4/12: Bob ZL3TY reported as follows: Many JAs worked between 0022 and 0300 in districts 1,2,4,5,6, almost all on 50.110. Also worked was HL5XF. At 0004 Asian TV on 49.750 was very strong, also VK TV.
Mike ZL3TIC reported similar conditions: 3/12: 2350 N6XQ 5x8. 4/12: JAs from 0200 to 0336 in districts 1,2,4,5,6 plus HL5XF. Indicators came from strong Asian TV offsets on 49.750 around 0030 to 0300. At 2230 XE1KK/b up to 599 with QSB - in for a half an hour.
Mike ZL3TIC also reported a very good opening into ZL on
0032 XE1/SM0KAK ZL2AG
0045 ZL2KT XE1KK/b 50.0225
0045 KL7SIX ZL1-TV 45.2396
0100 ZL3TIC N5JHV
0200 ZL3TIC XE1KK/b
0307 KH7R V73SIX
1016 V73AT VR2XMT
1945 XE2UZL/b 589
2016 ZL3VTV VK7GK
2030 55.250 American Samoa 5x9
2157 XE1/SM0KAK ZL3NW
2225 ZL3ADT XE1/SMOKAK
2232 XE1/SM0KAK VK7GK
2232 ZL3ADT KB6NAN
2310 XE1/SM0KAK ZL3TIC
2310 K6QXY 50.110 5x5
2312 XE1/SM0KAK 5x9 (He was in to ZL3 for 3 hours!)
0010 V31PC 50.110 5x7 Don.
0015 TI5KD 50.110 5x7 Carlos - into ZL3 for over an hour peaking 5x9. 0036 XE1/SM0KAK ZL3SIX/b 50.040
0044 ZL3ADT V31PC
0045 ZL3VTV ZL3TIC
0045 ZL3VTV VK7GUN
0101 ZL3VTV VK3AKK
0104 ZL3VTV VK7JG
0114 ZL3ADT TI5KD
0200 Heard KH7R HC2FG
0215 KH7R HC5K
0236 KH7R VK7GUN
0323 KH7R V73SIX/b
0341 NH6YK VK2VC
0352 KH7R VK9NS
0428 NH6YK VK1KED
0500 VK9NS working VKs. Very weak, did not work him.
0530 KH6HME/b very weak; VKs working KH6s - none heard here.
0600 Onwards - still wide open to VK.
2005 XE1KK/b 5x9
2210 XE1GE 5x5
2225 XE1/SM0KAK 5x9
2231 XE1/G3SVD 5x7
2300 46.170.240 5/9+ - many VKs.
Andy Hewitt XE1/G3SVD reports (via UKSMG News Page) that: On 14/12 we had the best opening on six metres that I have been able to participate in, between 2232 and 2350 I worked ZL3ADT, ZL3TIC, ZL2KT, ZL3NW, ZL2TPY, ZL1ADP, ZL3TLG, ZL4AAA, ZL3TY, VK7IK/7, VK3AKK and XE1/SMOKAK, W5UWB by backscatter. The HC2FG/b beacon was audible with me from 0038 until 0100 when I went QRT.
Steve VK2KFJ, who has been assembling a list of six metre repeaters, advises that ZL will have a repeater! Input 52.570, output 53.750 MHz. Located at Colonial Knob, near Wellington. It would have been operational now except for concerns over frequency.
Two metres and above
Russell VK3ZQB: Sporadic E on 2 metres. On 19/12 I worked VK8GF and VK8TM 5x7 0255 UTC. The band was open for about 2 hours extending to at least Melbourne where Allan VK3XPD worked the two stations as well. Jeff VK8GF reported that they were working VK4 prior to the band opening southward.
Gary VK5ZGC at Tarlee, 80 km north of Adelide reports that VK5RSE/b on 144.550 is audible most nights after 2000 hours local time. Locator PF95JR. He says: I am about 200 metres above sea level using an ATN 13 element beam up about 15 metres, fed with LDF5-50 and using a 20 dB pre-amp with an ICOM IC-251A.
The strength of the beacon varies between nothing and S2 most of the time although it has been up around S7. Have heard nil activity on 144.100 MHz. Distance about 415 km.
Ross VK2DVZ near Taree advises that on 23/12 from 0736 the following contacts were made on two metres:
0736 ZL2TAL Mt Egmont 5x3
0741 ZL2MQ Napier 5x3
0748 ZL2IP 3x1
0754 ZL2MQ Napier 5x6
0810 ZL2VAL New Plymoth 5x6-7
0812 ZL2IP Mt Egmont area 5x4
0821 ZL2VAL 5x7-8
0826 ZL3NE Auckland 5x7-8
Gordon VK2ZAB writes: Lest anyone thinks that things are not happening here, this is an update of activity as the 1998/99 summer season approaches.
1] Daily activity.
There is activity every day on the bands 2 m and above. This is centred on 144.100 MHz Mondays thru Fridays and on 144.2 MHz Saturdays and Sundays. Peak time is from 2030 until 2200 which is local morning. Some activity occurs at night as well.
2] Propagation events prior to weekend of 11-12-13/12:
[a] Early Trans-Tasman Duct
Notice of this extraordinary event seems to have been missed. It occurred on 1/10 which makes it the earliest duct in the season for at least the 20 years of my experience in the Sydney area. It resulted in 2 m SSB contacts from Sydney stations including myself to ZL2TAL and ZL2VAL both at New Plymouth.
[b] Auroral Scatter
This occurred on 7-8/11 and resulted in contacts from Sydney stations to VK3 and VK5. Guy VK2KU was the main participant here. I worked VK5NC on 2 m SSB.
[c] The Leonids meteor shower on 16-17/11
This was the most spectacular meteor event for VHF propagation in memory. Sydney stations were well and truly in it even though our location being in the middle of the other large areas of amateur population meant that the distances from here to those locations was less than optimum. I made contacts on 2 m SSB with VK4TZL, VK2FZ/4, VK3TMP, VK3AFW, VK3TDV, VK3AXH, VK4KZR, VK4JSR, VK4ZBH, VK3TMP/m, VK3XPD, VK4BRG, VK5NY, VK5ACY, VK7XR, VK7JG, and VK4KK.
3] The weekend of 11-12-13/12 (UTC) Perhaps the best way of reporting this is to simply list the contacts directly from my log. Repeat contacts are not shown. This illustrates the level of normal activity coupled with some non-routine events. All contacts are SSB.
1938: 2m VK2BRG 5x8
1939: 70cm VK2BRG 5x7
2029: 2m VK4TZL 5x1
2032: 2m VK4IC 5x1
2034: 2m VK2TEV 5x6
2038: 2m VK2FZ/4 5x5
2045: 2m VK2KU 5x3
2050: 2m ZL1IU 5x8
2102: 2m VK3BWT 5x8
2105: 70cm VK3BWT 5x1
2110: 2m VK1BG 5x9
2110: 23cm VK1BG 5x2
2111: 70cm VK1BG 5x8
2112: 6m VK1BG 5x3
2119: 2m VK1MP 5x8
2120: 70cm VK1MP 5x5
2130: 2m VK2AAS 5x9
2130: 2m VK2ANS 5x9
2131: 2m ZL1TBG 5x7
2200: 2m VK2ZRE 5x5
2225: 2m VK2TP 5x8
2255: 2m ZL2TAL 5x2
2257: 2m ZL3NE 5x2
2313: 2m ZL1UYJ 5x3
0002: 2m VK2TZ 5x9
0055: 2m ZL2VAL 5x4
0236: 70cm ZL2TAL 5x3
0347: 2m VK2DXE 5x9
0428: 6m NH6YK 5x5
0446: 6m VK7RR 5x9
0500: 6m VK7JG 5x9
2014: 2m VK2ZCV 5x5
2023: 2m VK2DVZ 5x6
2029: 70cm VK2FZ/4 5x3
2047: 70cm ZL1TBG 5x4
2041: 23cm VK2BE 5x9
2055: 6m VK2FHN 5x9
2113: 2m VK2FLR 5x9
2115: 2m VK1BUC/p 5x6
2128: 2m VK3DUT 5x1
2207: 2m VK2BIT 5x4
0201: 6m VK5PO 5x9
0327: 2m VK2QP 5x9
0533: 2m VK2DXE 5x9
There were, of course, umpteen repeat contacts which have been left out.
The contacts listed are the result of six clear propagation modes. There are two clearly different ionospheric modes, two clearly different tropospheric modes and two clearly different modes which do not inherently require use of either the troposphere or the ionosphere. ie - They would still be there in a vacuum. See if you can pick them.
Guy VK2KU reported that he returned from Adelaide and with perfect timing a duct opened to ZL at 2000 (11/12 UTC) and lasted at least until a violent thunderstorm at 0500 on 13/12.
Worked on 144 MHz: ZL1IU 5x9 many times, ZL2TAL 4x1, ZL2VAL 5x1, ZL3NE/1 5x2 several times, ZL1TBG 5x6 several times. The ZL1s were much stronger than those further south. Other VKs heard beaming/working ZL: VK2BIT, VK2ZAB, VK2TZ, VK2DXE, VK2DVZ, VK3BWT.
Heard on 432 MHz but not worked: ZL3NE, ZL2TAL. Nothing heard on 1296MHz.
From Gordon VK2ZAB: Sporadic E contact on 2 m SSB was made from Alice Springs to Sydney today 19/12/98.
There have been contacts between VK8 and VK2 and stations have been heard each way from Alice Springs and Sydney but that is all. No two way contact between the two centres is known to have occurred until now.
Sydney stations were aware of the Sporadic E opening on 6 m and VK2ZAB had been advised by Gary VK4ABW that the Alice Springs 2 m beacon was audible in Townsville. This information resulted in many 2 m CQ calls to the north and north west by VK2ZAB in Sydney, VK2KU in Springwood and VK2FHN in Blackbutt. The latter had learned via 6 m that Gary VK4ABW had made a 2 m contact to Alice Springs.
At about 0430 Adrian VK2FZ/4 advised VK2ZAB by telephone that he had just made 2 m contact with VK8GF in Alice Springs. Adrian had been alerted by Glen VK4TZL who, it is assumed, had also made the VK8 contact.
VK2ZAB returned to the shack where the Alice Springs 2 m beacon was heard at about S2. A few minutes later VK8GF was heard in contact with a VK4. A couple of calls resulted in contact at 0443. Jeff VK8GF was 5/3 and he gave VK2ZAB 5/5.
Guy VK2KU had disappeared at this time after having been in his shack for most of the day. He was alerted by telephone by VK2ZAB, returned to his shack and made contact with VK8GF. A few minutes later, Mike VK2FLR made contact with VK8GF also.
There may have been other contacts to VK8 from the Sydney area but these are not known to me as it was near time to take the dogs for their walk so I did. [You did, Gordon? ... VK5LP]
From Tony VK3CAT: On 19/12 at 0520 VK8RAS/b on two metres was 4x1 to 5x4. Slow QSB. VK8RAS/b on six metres 5x2 to 5x5 at the same time.
Heard VK3AFW and VK3TMP work VK8GF, no signal here at 0530. VK8GF heard here at 0535 with signals from 3x1 peaking to 5x7. Worked VK8GF prior to amplifier failure at 0538 signals 5x5 both ways. The 2 metre beacon peaked here at 5x7 and was audible until 0555. The 6 metre beacon remained at 5x2 to 5x7.
Barry VK3BJM was alerted by Alan VK3XPD on 19/12 that two metres was open to Alice Springs.
He said: I heard Jeff working David VK3XLD, then Mark VK3TLW, Tony VK3CAT, before I worked him at 0539; Jeff was 5x5 and solid to start with, but the signal started to get choppy towards the end. I was the last Melbourne station to work Jeff. This was my first Es contact on two metres.
Alan VK3XPD did a great job to get as many VK3s and VK5s on air as quickly as possible, especially as most of us seemed to be out or not near the phone at the beginning of the opening.
Grid Square Standings at 22/12/1998 by Guy VK2KU
VK2ZAB Gordon 56
VK3CY Des 45 (+3 EME)
VK2KU Guy 42
VK3CAT Tony 23
VK3BJM Barry 17
VK6KZ Wally 17
VK6KZ/p Wally 16
VK2TZ Dale 14
VK2ZAB Gordon 30
VK3CY Des 23
VK2KU Guy 11
VK6KZ Wally 10
VK3BJM Barry 8
VK6KZ/p Wally 8
VK2TZ Dale 3
VK2ZAB Gordon 8
VK6KZ/p Wally 5
VK6KZ Wally 4
VK2KU Guy 3
VK2TZ Dale 1
Additional rule inadvertently omitted: Contacts made via active satellite, or repeater do not count. Cross-band contacts should not be counted either.
Additions, updates and requests for the guidelines to Guy VK2KU, email@example.com, or by mail (QTHR 99).
John VK4FNQ has moved QTH west to a 200 acre block near Charters Towers. So far has only a 1/4 wave vertical on the roof for southern stations, and a 6 element yagi for six but it is stuck north. The only real conditions of note are on 19/12:
1945 VK8RAS/b 599
2240 VK8RAS/b 599 I checked the voice repeaters locally and was able to access VK4RRR 146.925, VK4RRR 146.975 linked to 146.925 and many others. VK8RCA - I first thought this repeater was VK4RCA Cairns.
2245 VK8RCA 539 144.484 - fade out 0010.
2325 VK4JSR CQ 50.110 59+.
0011 VK4ABW heard VK2ZAB 144.100, no 2 way.
0030 VK8RAS/b 559. VK4RGG/b 519. VK2RHV/b 519. VK2RSY/b 319.
0046 VK4TZL CQ 50.110 59+
0048 VK4AFL 5x9 wkd.
0056 P29PL 5x2 heard QSO with VK4AFL.
0120 VK5GA CQ 50.110 5x5.
0139 VK4DO 5x2 wkd.
0200 VK8GF 5x9+ heard QSO with VK4ABW.
0212 VK8TM 5x5 wkd. 0312 ZL2WNB 5x5 wkd.
At this time I decided to take a break away from the radio. Bad move. Gary VK4ABW tried to contact me via land line; he worked at approx.
0330 VK8GF, VK8TM and a VK8K? on two metres 5x9.
0400 VK5KK 5x5 144.110 wkd.
0403 VK5ZBK 5x3 144.110 wkd.
0404 VK5RO 3x1 144.110 wkd.
0450 VK3EK CQ 144.100 5x1 - I called no reply.
0457 ZL3TIC CQ 50.110.
0515 VK8MS 5x5 wkd.
0530 to 0535 Wkd VK5AIM, VK5RO and VK5UBJ 50.150.
1040 VK7RAE/b 419. VK8RAS/b 519.
1046 VK2GJC wkd and VK2IBT QSY FM 50.200.
1115 VK8RAS/b 519. VK8VF/b 519. VK2RHV/b 519. VK2RSY/b 319.
1230 All quiet.
1305 VK8RAS/b 519. During the day also heard VK4KK, VK2QF and VK2FHN CQ on 50.110 with 59+ signals.
2302 VK8VF/b in for a few minutes. Many east coast beacons in for most of the day.
0105 VK2AIF wkd - QSY FM 50.200.
0212 VK6RO 5x2 wkd - Graham called on 50.200.
0216 VK6YS 5x6 wkd.
0245 VK7GUN wkd.
0251 VK2AT wkd.
1210 VK8RAS/b 559. VK4RGG/b 529. VK2RHV/b 419.
2345 VK8RAS/b 559. VK4RGG/b 529. VK2RHV/b 419.
0008 VK4CWJ 5x7 wkd.
0016 VK4KR 5x9 wkd.
0035 VK4VV 5x9 wkd.
0045 VK2YHN 5x5 wkd.
0102 VK2ZAB 5x5 wkd. Tried 2 m, nil hrd.
0126 VK3FGN 5x5 wkd.
0040 VK8VF/b 559 readable until 0330.
Suitable propagation conditions have been available almost every day this month. Most days I hear the VK8VF beacon. For six metres all stations and signal reports to the south of 90 and 270 degrees were on a 1/4 wave whip on the roof of my QTH. Rig FT 847 100 watts. For two metres, all reports and stations worked were on a Slim Jim at 10 m. Rig FT 847 and Tokyo Hy-Power amplifier 170 watts.
Amateur radio to the rescue
Russell VK3ZQB sent information in relation to a request on 22/12 to help the Water Police locate an electronic position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) which had been activated in the Portland area of Victoria.
With help from the amateurs in Mount Gambier, the beacon was quickly located. Its a good story and you can read all about it in Ron Graham's ARDF columns in this issue.
World microwave records broken
New world distance records at 24 and 47 GHz were set this past September and October, according to accounts in the RSGB Microwave Newsletter for October 1998. JM3KMO, on Mt Norikura on Honshu Island, made a 24 GHz contact with JR3EDZ, on top of Mt Tsurugi on Shikoku Island, in early September. This distance was 402 km, which exceeds the existing world record of 397 km that had stood since 1993. The North American record of 267 km was set in 1997. JM3KMO used 100 mW to a 90 cm dish and JR3EDZ had 200 mW and a 60 cm dish. The contact took two hours to complete on SSB.
The new 47 GHz mark of 221 km was established on October 3 by F6BVA, operating from Mt Chian (JN33du), and F5CAU, on Mt Aigoual (JN14sc). The weather was wet and foggy with the temperature just above freezing. The previous record of 203 km was set in Italy earlier in 1998. In contrast, the North American record has stood at 105 km for more than ten years.
The previous record on 120 GHz was 0.7 miles set in July 1994 by WA1MBA and WB2BYW. They also hold the 144 GHz record of 2.3 miles. Bob Johnson KF6KVG and Will Jensby W0EOM have been working for the past six months on gear for 120 and 144 GHz. Both systems are based on Hughes harmonic mixers and 9 inch Cassegrain feed dishes.
On 2/10, a one-way contact at a distance of 2.9 miles was made on 144 GHz. Bob could hear Will, but his transmit power was lower, and no two-way was made. The sets were modified for 120 GHz, and on 16/11 a short-range test was made to calibrate the receivers and bore-sight the antennas. Contact was then made at 2.9 miles, exchanging information by slow-speed CW. The distance was later extended to 3.3 miles (5.3 km).
Russell VK3ZQB wrote on 11/12: The 1998/1999 microwave season is about to get under way with the arrival of the first significant high pressure cell for the summer. The small cell of 1024 HPa has moved slowly over the southern states and consolidated to give some short distance super refractivity. Contacts on 2 m, 70 cm and 1296 MHz from western Victoria to Melbourne yielded extremely strong signals.
Allan VK3XPD connected his mast head pre-amp to his HP spectrum analyser and could see the signal received on 1296 from VK3ZQB 300 km away, indicating the strength of signals received. The super refractive layer persisted from 0930 on 8/12 to 0000 on 9/12.
The aftermath of this slow moving high pressure system was to give the state of Victoria the hottest December day since 1953, 42 C. Perhaps the tropo season will be early this year and so the microwave group are frantically getting their gear ready.
Despite Es being somewhat patchy this summer, it has appeared often enough to be interesting, especially the good two metre opening on 19/12. That type of Es two metre opening only occurs about once or twice a season - will there be another in January?
Next month I should be able to report of the degree of activity during the Summer VHF/UHF Field Day Contest on 9/10 January.
Closing with two thoughts for the month:
1. When you want to break bad habits, drop them; and
2. Successful people not only take opportunities, they make them.
73 from The Voice by the Lake.