Operating SSB and CW on the 144MHz (2 Metre) amateur band has always been my main focus of interest. For nearly forty years I have been enthralled by the many ways signals are propagated on this band, including Meteor Scatter, Moonbounce, Aurora, Tropo ducting, Sporadic "E", FAI and Ionoscatter, among others.
Distances that were once regarded as almost impossible are now worked quite frequently, thanks to advancements in equipment technology and the popularity of the V/UHF bands throughout mainland Europe, Northern Scandinavia, Africa and near Asia. The known boundaries are continually being extended. In addition, information is now more readily available informing of actual or anticipated activity, such as "Make More Miles on VHF" (MMMonVHF) or by providing forums for communication and real time feedback (ON4KST). Regularly working long distances is very challenging and requires dedication. Station equipment has to be improved continually and skills developed in order to "read" the potential of DX openings. Propagation warning sites such as Hepburn's "Tropospheric Ducting", OSWIN "Live Radio Meteors" and "Live MUF" by Dave, G7RAU provide valuable information, often with opening alerts. The excellent DX Summit provides up to the minute DX information with custom frequency options.
The integrity of the QSO is central to our activities and requires all information and confirmation to be exchanged via the RF path. There is no guarantee of success, which is the challenge. The nature of the band is such that someone only a few kilometres away can be working DX with 2 watts into a dipole while I hear absolutely nothing with my x8 fishing pole yagis and GS-35b PA at the ready. But when the propagation is favourable the distances that can be worked are often quite remarkable. Of course, possessing a large array provides opportunities to work considerable distances when there is apparently "no propagation" or activity. Operating Meteor Scatter via FSK441 is commonplace throughout Europe and forms a major part of daily 2 Metre traffic. In the summer month's I can enjoy Ionoscatter contacts up to 2000Km and Sporadic "E" at over 3000Km. The autumn often produces Tropo ducting with distances of up to 2,400Km and when we have significant solar activity, Auroral propagation of up to 2000Km. I find Moonbounce communication particularly exciting and get a great sense of satisfaction from actually hearing my own echoes and making CW contacts with other enthusiasts. It is a demanding mode. Indeed, I would want it no other way as it provides a significant challenge on so many levels, both technical and personal. Information on the Dubus sponsored CW activity sessions can be found on SM2CEW's excellent web site, which has additional EME material.
I am proud to be part of a wider community that shares a common interest in V/UHF long distance communication. The knowledge we possess individually becomes limitless when shared in an active community and is a tremendous resource. I still regard myself as a Novice who enjoys learning through operating and experimenting. This site illustrates the results of some of these experiments, which will also include designs for the 6 Metre and 70cm bands.
Last up-dated 07/02/11
* 60mph winds today have caused structural damage to the tower supporting the 70cms EME array even though they were luffed horizontal. This follows five days of continuous high winds. The antennas are undamaged but the cradle that supports the tower above the base post has twisted and so needs replacing. The entire array has to be dismantled to allow repairs once a new heavy duty support has been fabricated. I intend to be QRV again later in the year. I'm presently using a single 21ele on 70cms on a separate tower and working some excellent tropo DX.
* 17/01/11KP4AO QSL card scan uploaded for our 432MHz SSB EME QSO.
* Photographs of the new shack uploaded (QTH).
* 28/10/10 IC202 Modifications added (see IC-202 Digital Display).
* 23/09/10 The problem with the 70cm array elevation rotator was repaired today.
* IC-202 Digital Display added here
* 19/05/10 MGF1302 2M & 70cm Low Noise Preamp circuit added here
* 22/04/10 8x21ele 70cm yagi's with full elevation ready for EME here
* 22/03/10 70cm SSB EME (x2 yagi) QSO with KP4AO on 22/03/10 here
* Temporarily QRT due to building work, see here.
* 01/02/10 Tropo Log up-dated with the EA8BTV QSO in 1998, (144MHz DX Logs)
* Log for the Leonids Meteor Storm of 1998, (144MHz DX Logs)
* 18/12/09 Stations UT2XQ, OH1ND and EA8AVI added to the DX Audio Files section.
* TF & OY V/UHF Dxpedition Lists for the Five Bells Group up-loaded.
* December 2007 Super Tropo Log up-loaded.
This site was created on 1st October 2009
I have been inspired, guided and influenced by countless numbers in the amateur community who have given their time and expertise freely and generously over many years. This site is dedicated to them as a mark of gratitude and in the hope that others will find some of the information on this site useful.
I am always pleased to receive constructive feedback via my email address. firstname.lastname@example.org