VHF/UHF - AN EXPANDING WORLD
Eric Jamieson VK5LP PO Box 169 Meningie South Australia 5264
Fax: 08 8575 1777
All times are UTC
The following beacons are now operational:
50.000 GB3BUX IO93
50.040 ZL3SIX RE66
50.052 PY1AA GG66
50.064 GB3LER IO90
50.090 LW5EJU GF05nm 12 watts to dipole, also runs on 28.226 MHz.
Colin VK5DK advises that the VK5RSE 70 cm (432.550) beacon is back on air after minor repairs following water damage. A power module was replaced and power set to 25 watts feeding two phased antennas, one facing east and one facing west. Both antennas are 8 elements of the DL6WU design, mounted 16 metres up a self-supporting tower on Mount Graham, 5 km east of Millicent and about 45 km north west of Mount Gambier, same location as the VK5RSE two metre beacon.
With respect to VK5RSE/b on 144.550, Colin VK5DK reports: The beacon has 4 x 4 element DL6WU design yagis connected via a 4 way power divider. One yagi beamed west, one towards Adelaide, one north east (VK2/VK4) and one east.
Colin would be interested in any reports of how the beacon's signal is now compared to previously when a turnstile was used as the antenna. E-mail Colin at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Ron Graham VK4BRG reports on 3/9 that TEP signals from stations to the north had been heard for two weeks. He reports:
2/9 1019: JR1RJU/JD1 in QL17 who said he would be QRT from 3/9.
1034: JA1WLO 5x9 each way with other JAs heard at good strength.
1038: V73AT 5x4 each way. Tim also reported working VR98 (Hong Kong), VK8, VK4, KH6, JD1, JA and on 1/9 a good one in A45ZN in Oman.
Tim also mentioned 28.885 being next to unusable in the evenings due to Asian QRM. Ron wonders if this will become a problem in VK as conditions improve? He and some others are using 21.445 for liasion.
Steve VK3OT/VK6SIX/KL7SIX supplied the following from the JA Cluster:
3/9: 1343 VK8AH - JA2POK 50.110 SSB
1339 VK8AH - HL1LTC 50.110 SSB
1300 VK8VF/b - JL4GTO 50.057
1250 VR98LC - KH2D 50.110 CW QSO RST 559
1216 VK8AH - KH2D 50.109 SSB QSO
1114 VK8AH - V73AT 50.110 SSB heard
1109 VK8AH - C21JH 50.110 SSB QSO
1015 VK6JQ - JE4JFP/4 50.0959 CW 579
1011 VK4AFC - V73AT 50.106 SSB QSO 5x3
0936 VK8VF/b - V73AT 50.057 heard
0935 V73AT - YB0ARA/9 50.110 CW QSO
0841 V73AT - 55.2498, 55.2498 video/TV American Samoa
0655 V73AT - JA5FDJ 50.110.8 CW
0703 V73AT - JA2IB 50.106 CW
0702 V73AT - 49.750, 49.750 video/TV
0330 ZL3TIC - 49.750, 49.7480 strong video/TV
Steve VK3OT reported that on 3/9 sun noise was very obvious at 2100 (sunrise) with bursts and pulses. He believes that the Pacific path is going to open early this year possibly first or second week in November.
He says: My contingency plans for operating from KL7. Take a note of my phone number 1 970 373 5435. Sunrise is 1400 approx and sunset 0200 on 21 September. I think my maths are right. It is 6 hours ahead of east coast VK and is on Alaska DST at moment. Please don't call before 6 am or after 1000 pm AKDST OK?
I will monitor the 48 MHz TV from Europe and have the frequency list. Beacons I'm not so sure about. Let's hope for a chance between September and December. VK path will be 0000 to 0130 just before my sunset in Wasilla. Location is 850 feet asl and take off to Pacific is good.
From VK5KK: Time to get your six metre gear working. This morning's (29/8) MUF is peaking to about 35 MHz on the NE path to USA. Usual peak is about late September. JA openings are just starting to happen again. For more MUF predictions see the map at - http://holly.cc.uleth.ca/solar/www/realtime.html
From Mike ZL3TIC: I have received many emails seeking the 45/46/55 MHz TV and offsets in ZL and VK. A list of all the offsets and TV stations in the Pacific can be found at: http://www.radioinfo.co.nz/6mfreq.htm
22/8: Bob ZL3TY had a brief opening to VK. 0141: VK7RAE/b 539, 46.240 MHz VKTV S2; 0150: VK3TMP 5x5, 0157: VK3XLD 5x3, 0204: VK3ZYS 3x1, 0208: 46.240, 51.740 MHz TV carriers up to S9; 1045: 45.250 MHz TV carrier auroral from south.
Jack Haden VK2GJH/T30JH/C21JH
A letter dated 6/9 from Jack Haden VK2GJH reports that he has just returned from Nauru and Tarawa where he had been active as C21JH and T30JH over the past three weeks.
Nothing was noted on 5O MHz from Tarawa due to severe solar activity which took place during the 18-25/8. However, JA4, BG7, BG5, BV6, KH8, VK4, WB5, WB6 and KHO were worked on 29 MHz FM.
The solar disturbances followed me to Nauru but things started to pick up on 31/8 with the solar figures 172 17 and 2, there was NZ TV 45.260 MHz at S9 from 2255 while 45.250 was up and down at the same time. Despite many calls on 28.885 and 50.11O MHz SSB not one ZL was raised.
On 2/9 the figures were 177 15 and 2, nothing from the VK/ZL area all day. At 1O1O I heard CW around 50.108 MHz and at 1012 Phil YB0ARA/9 was worked at 5x2-7 SSB report. V73AT in the Marshalls came on around 1017 and spoke with Phil, however V73AT could not hear me nor I him despite the good propagation to YB. At 1037 found VK8VF/b at 552, many calls on 28.885 and 50.110 but no one raised.
On 3/9 the figures were 163 8 and 2 and the first indicator to come through was VK8VF/b at 519 from 0405 to 0409, again no one raised on 28.885 or 50.110 SSB. Even tried 29.600 FM as I had worked VK8ZMA/4 Thursday Island and VK8RH in Darwin just days back on 29/8 but no luck. VK8VF/b again at 1009 519, rushed to 28.885 and 29.600 FM but no one about, many calls placed on 50.110 with zero result. At 1100 VK8VF/b 539 and made a long CQ on 50.110 SSB, this netted VK8AH 11O1 5x6, YB0ARA/9 at 1104 at 5x1 and VK8MS at 1112 3x1.
After working those three I checked the indicators and found beacon JA2IGY/b 519 at 1114, again many calls placed on 28.885, 29.300 FM (JA call spot for 29 MHz FM) but not a soul heard. JA2IGY/b finally faded out at 1159 with not one JA heard.
On 4/9 the figures were 163 8 and 2 and 29 MHz FM was very lively during the day. At 1026 JA2IGY/b was 419, Malaysian TV was very strong at 1048 at S6 peaking S9, nothing raised on 28.885 or 50.110. At 1050 YBOARA/9 heard on CW 50.105 MHz 569 and he was still there at 1245.
Not a single station worked so I returned to HF to work the hordes in Europe. The 29 MHz FM band performed well, VK8, VK4, VK3, VK2, ZL1, FK8, 5W1, KH6, KH8, BG4, BG6, BD7, JA3 and JA6 all worked. Heard VK5, ZL3, KB4, W6 and N5 but not worked. Like six meters, no chit-chat on the DX call channel 29.600 FM.
As the six meter beam was left in Tarawa due to the poor conditions all the mentioned notes from Nauru were derived from the IC-736 HF plus six rig and a Emtronics ED-52C trap dipole 80 to 10 meters through a Yaesu FC-901 ATU to make it work on six. Better than nothing and contacts were made, I am sure more contacts would have been made if people were about.
Ruben C21RK will repair his six meter antenna when he finds some spare time, also Norman C21NJ expressed interest in six meters after seeing my set-up.
Is anyone willing to donate a decent five element six metre beam for Nauru, not a heap of junk as they corrode quickly with the salt air up there. I could go back there any time before Christmas, not sure.
50 MHz station at Seanet 98 Convention
The special station to be set up at the Seanet 98 Convention Hotel will include a 50 MHz operation. The station will operate as follows:
Call sign: 9V8SEA
Rig: Yaesu FT620B
Power: 10 watts
Tx frequency: CW 50.085 MHz
SSB 50.115 MHz
Rx frequency: 50.000 to 51.000 MHz
Antenna: 6 element rotatable yagi
Commencement: 0200 UTC 13 November 1998
Shut down: 0700 UTC 15 November 1998
Hotel rates have now been reduced to $140 per day for both single and double occupancy. Additional perks such as free breakfast will hold.
For more information contact Mr S Sasaki 9V1YJ - e-mail <email@example.com>
Internet Six News from Geoff GJ4ICD.
4/8: JA1VOK reports: Heard VK8VF/b 539 at 1129, and worked Andrew VK8AH on 50.110/50.130 SSB 5x7 at 1135 probably for the first time from eastern JA this summer.
6/8: Alan 3C5I reports: Very strong signals to Europe. Managed to have 41 QSOs in the hour the band was open. I will always continue to work split - Tx on 50.130 and Rx on 50.180-190 during major openings. 7/8: No strong signals - all QSOs were CW and weak. The strongest was 559. I had 25 QSOs.
10/8: PY5CC reported a good opening to Europe. The band open 1843 until 2004 and he worked 101 stations in 19 countries. Worked into EA, 9A, I, T77, DL, S5, YU, US5, OE6, ON, F, IS0, HB9, G, CT1, 9H, OZ, GJ and GU. The good news is that it was the first time he had worked the Ukraine with US5CCO, new zone, grid and country number 159. Lost YO and HB0/HB9QQ.
12/8: JA1VOK worked VK4DO 5x6 at 0835, VK4FNQ 5x9 at 0909 and heard VK8RAS/b (PG66) 569 at 0812 for the first time this season.
28/8/98: 1810: ZS6AXT heard in GJ 539.......remember this? 10 years to the day! Earlier comments de GJ4ICD.......ZS6 this month? 10 years coming up! I have been doing some checking on the openings last cycle, on 28/8/88 at 1716 ZS6XJ was into GJ for the first ever ZS6 worked on six. From then on there were numerous openings to South Africa until 31/10/93, that's 5 years of ZS6s, so don't panic when you hear your first ZS station on 6 metres, there will be many more. Watch the band later this month for ZS6 and VK in October.
Dave N5JHV has won the 1998 Challenge with the QSOs to Japan at 10,263 km, the best DX for 17 years! ... de GJ4ICD.
Ted Collins G4UPS for his August report covers from 16 to 31 August. In that period Ted worked 9A, 9H, CN, CT, DJ, EH, EH8, EH9, ES, F, GB3, GI4, I, IS0, LA, LY, OD, OE, OH, OK, OM, ON, OZ, PA, S53, SM, SP, SV, UR5, YU and ZB for a total of 31 countries. Where are stations in EI, HA, LZ, YL and YO? I'm just curious ... VK5LP.
UK Six Metre Group (UKSMG) announcement page
Chris G3WOS reports: Cycle 23 is upon us with sunspot counts up to the 165 mark, so don't forget to visit the UK Six Metre Group "announcment page" daily at http://www.uksmg.org/notice.htm
Emil W3EP from The World Above 50 MHz in November QST
50 MHz and 144 MHz Sporadic E
The most interesting openings for July involved the western states, whose loyal VHFers often feel left out of the exciting events that seem common in the rest of the country. Six meter operators as far east as New Mexico had two chances to work Japan. Those in the Pacific Northwest found Hawaii on 50 MHz via sporadic E. Stations from Washington to southern California enjoyed several days of tropospheric ducting into Hawaii on 144 MHz and higher.
Two unusual double-hop openings linked Hawaii and the western states for the first time in many years. On July 4 at 0341, Lance Collister, W7GJ (DN27) in Montana, completed a contact with WH6XM for his fiftieth state. There were no other reports during this event, but plenty from the opening to Hawaii on July 15. As early as 2315, Colorado stations were working KH7FV and others in Hawaii. N5JHV in New Mexico made the grade by 0130.
There was sporadic E on the band somewhere in the US and Canada on more than 20 days of the month - at least 5 with double-hop conditions, but many reports complained that openings were generally scarce and of short duration. Spicing up the rather ho-hum conditions were a number of DX stations that could be worked via single hop, including ZF1DG, CO2OJ, KG4AU, KG4GC, VP5JM, and XE1NVX (EK09).
Two metres and above
Ron VK3AFW reports that on 2/9 there was a strong opening from Canberra to Adelaide on two metres. Most contacts were by FM and mainly via repeaters. It started at around 0000 and remained until 0300.
It was probably was an E's opening, although it is a bit early for such on two metres. The footprint apparently extended into the Barossa Valley (VK5) and along the south east region of NSW, from the eastern end of the Victorian border to Wagga. (info from Rej, VK1MP).
David VK5KK comments: Further to Ron VK3AFWs observations on the Adelaide/Canberra path on 2/9, this may have been tropo as we had reasonable conditions the previous night from Adelaide to central and western Victoria on the tail of the earlier VK6 opening.
I gather from comments this end that VK5RBV (146.825MHz, also 438.425) was the repeater accessed. This repeater has recently been relocated to a new site east of Tanunda about 90 km NE of Adelaide. Height is about 550 m ASL. It has an absolutely perfect eastern look out (better than Mount Lofty VK5VF, or any of our other repeaters to the east). Quite a few VK3s have accessed both inputs over winter, sometimes well past mid morning.
The repeater site tests have been so good that plans are progressing to locate a beacon on the same site (432.455 MHz) beaming 80 to 150 degrees. This should be of interest to central VK2 and VK3. I'll keep the reflector informed as to when it will be available.
Gordon VK2ZAB says that most daytime activity occurs at weekends. However, that doesn't mean that there is no activity during daylight hours Monday through Friday.
He reports: From this location the following stations have been worked on two metres and/or above on recent weekdays :
VK4AFL Birkdale, Brisbane, VK2KU Springwood, VK3BWT Mallacoota, VK4TZL Hervey Bay, VK2TWR Nimmitabel, VK4IC Caboolture, VK4ZOW Pittsworth, VK2EMA Tottenham, VK2FHN Shellharbour, VK2TP Wellington, VK2AAS/p Mollymook, VK2 FA/m Newcastle, VK1MP Canberra, VK3TMP Somerville, VK2ZW Stroud, VK2ZT Mount Pleasant and VK2BE Earlwood, Sydney.
Others sometimes heard include VK1BG, VK2BZE, VK3AJN, VK3AMH, VK2APG and VK1DA/m. Apologies to those missed.
The point is that there is activity. Most active time is from about 2115 until about 2300. Most participants are retired, some get on before they go to work.
Chas VK3BRZ adds: I heartily concur with Gordon VK2ZAB. There is a surprising amount of activity, and propagation, even through the winter. But we want more especially on 70 cm.
At this time of year we have great inland tropo to central VK2 from the Melbourne/Geelong area. There is also consistently good propagation to VK7, and occasionally to Adelaide. But where is everybody? Is Tasmania still there? Their lights are on, but there's never anybody home.
We are also coming up to a period of increasing auroral activity. My experience from the last sunspot cycle was that very few auroral events were exploited by VHFers. Most of the time all I could do was sit and listen to beacons. Lest you think that auroras are of interest to southern dwellers only, I point out that I have worked several Sydney stations, as well as VK2MZ and VK2DVZ at Forster and Taree. Signals have even been heard as far as southern VK4.
Any evening after about 1100 it is likely that David VK3XLD and I are either listening on 144.100 or gasbagging on 144.300. We always leave breaks between overs for callers. If anyone wants a sked they can call me on (03) 52823 167.
Glenn VK4ZTL adds his bit: Good on you Gordon ... How many two metre SSB rigs are out there collecting dust? I listen every evening from 0800 till late, and make an effort to be on air on Tuesday and Thursday mornings (plus the weekends) from 2100 ... if you put in the time you will get results!
Spring VHF/UHF Contest
Rod VK2TWR sends these preliminary notes, which were just too late for last month's issue: The inaugural VHF/UHF Spring Contest has become a reality. The contest will take place on the weekend of 14-15 November over a 24 hour period.
The rules of the contest will be the same as the contest held at the end of January each year. It will be for six metres and above but operators must operate above 50.150 MHz. The Contest Manager is John Martin VK3KWA.
Depending on the success of this contest it may become a permanent fixture on the WIA Contest Calendar. Any enquiries contact Rod VK2TWR by e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> or John VK3KWA (03 9580 2620 phone, 03 9580 1724 Fax.)
Since the above initial message Rod has advised the following changes:
Contacts every two hours rather than three hours - I think that will make us busy portable stations as two hours will be better. The contest commences at 0200, giving stations more opportunity to get onto their hills and set up if they are working all day Friday.
Trevor VK4AFL advises that: Whilst in the US recently I visited the worlds largest radio telescope located near Socorro, New Mexico. The self-guided tour included a theatre presentation, a visitor centre and a close-up of one of the dishes. I thought a few facts about this impressive facility might be of interest to readers of your newsletter.
Completed in the late 1970s at a cost of $78 million, the array, aptly named the VLA (Very large array), is comprised of 27 x 82 foot dishes each weighing 230 tons and spread out over 32 km. A 28th dish is used as a spare and is housed in a 150 foot high shed.
All the dishes are moved on a railway track system so the shape and size of the array can be configured to suit different applications. At optional points along the track each dish is connected via a small flexible waveguide to the main 60 mm waveguide and complex computer software combines each output correcting for variations in dish spacings, ie. the delay.
There are six feed options which allow reception of weak signals between 400 MHz and 40 GHz, some gain on the latter, - pretty good on the former too! Each preamp is cooled to -430deg C. Unfortunatley I was unable to obtain gain figures but sensitivity is such that remnants of the big bang can still be heard and most everything else in between. I wondered what sun noise might be like! Just one of those dishes would help my 432 signal along! ... thanks Trevor.
David VK5KK reports on changes at VK5RLZ 12 cm ATV repeater site.
From 22/8 the north beam antenna on the VK5RLZ 2.415 GHz FM TV transmitter has been removed leaving the south beam antenna only. This is a temporary change, for reasons explained further.
This will have the effect of increasing the signal going south by ~3 dB e.g. in a direction of 110-270 degrees from the Water Tower. The down side is the 10-20 dB reduction to the north. Any feedback on signal increase/decrease will be appreciated. If you have lost the signal, please let me know.
As of 23/8 tests will commence from the Churchitt Rd, Anstey's Hill site of the North East Radio Club on 2.439 GHz FM TV (VK5GRC). The tests will be between 6-12 pm (local) each night, test pattern only. Equipment 5 watts into a single slot antenna (i.e. the one removed from VK5RLZ), beaming from 200-360 degrees, covering the Central and North Eastern parts of Adelaide. Again, any reports on the Anstey's site will be appreciated.
David VK5KK briefly with a concerning announcement: Panasonic introduces Gigarange, the first cordless phone to take advantage of the 2.4 GHz frequency. He wonders how the ACA will go type approving these?
It is with regret that I announce the passing of Don VK5ADC. Don suffered a fatal heart attack on Friday 14 August, 1998.
Don was an active member of the Port Adelaide Club and a current serving member of the VK5 Division WIA Council as Minute Secretary. ... de VK5KK.
Sidney James Smith VK6SJ died 28 April 1998. Sid was a foundation member and Life Member of the WA VHF Group. Sid was involved in the radio scene for nearly 50 years. He worked first as a baker, then joined the PMG Department Broadcasting and worked at country radio and TV sites at Dalwallinu, Wagin and Bunbury.
A full list of Sid's contributions to life are contained in the August 1998 issue of MHZ to GHZ, the Official Bulletin of The West Australian VHF Group Inc.
By the time you read this you should be watching six metres very closely. Ten years ago activity was rapidly increasing especially to the US and not long after to Europe.
Closing with two thoughts for the month:
1. There's a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking. Its called marriage, and
2. If you indulge in self-pity, the only sympathy you can expect is from the same source.
73 from The Voice by the Lake.