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Join us for a portable adventure trying to send our 2.4 GHz (13cm) ham radio signal from Tasmania, Australia (VK7) to New Zealand (ZL).
On December 13th 2020, Hayden VK7HH and Richard VK7ZBX travelled out portable to try and work Nick ZL1IU at the top end of New Zealand. The Hepburn tropospheric data had good to very good predictions of a duct to carry VHF and above signals across the Tasman Sea.
The ultimate goal was to try and work the 2.4 GHz band, a band that had not achieved a contact over such a great distance before. Were we successful?
More on Tropospheric ducting:
Hepburn Duct forecast:
Last week at at the Radio and Electronics Association of Southern Tasmania's (REAST) DATV night, we had a wrap up of the Summer VHF/UHF Field Day with Justin VK7TW, Richard VK7ZBX and Hayden VK7HH. We covered trials and tribulations, learnings, scores and best contacts and funny stories.
Last Friday night (15th), I decided to do attempt some EME contacts with JT65. My station is quite modest to say the least, only 100W to 1 x YU7EF 11 element yagi.
However EME propagation was reported as excellent, with a degradation of -1.5 to as good as -1.3. The moon was at perigee (the closest point to the earth) and was positioned in the sky to my West, which is pretty quiet on 2m.
I started calling PA2CHR when the moon was around 20 degrees. I did an MMANA plot that predicted my main "lobes" over ground from my yagi sit at 18 and 6 degrees in elevation.
At 18 degrees, I started to copy Chris's signals. However he was unable to hear me. I kept calling, but nothing. The moon was too high, and I was not getting any help from ground gain.
I kept trying with Chris for a while. As you could see I was decoding at -23 which was relatively strong. In the meantime I was being called by JK station, but a contact was not made. He was about -20, and decoded without needing the deep search function. Chris was still not copying me, but Dmitry UA3PTW was. No wonder.... Look at this
We attempted a contact...
Dmitry's signal was quite strong. Notice too the elevation of the moon in both cases, very close to my calculation in MMANA, however Dmitry's signal was no doubt stronger due to ground gain taking effect. Contact was complete with sending RRR from my end after receiving Dmitry's RO.
Chris then appeared back on frequency, and we tried again. By this time, the moon was right in the main lobe of the antenna.
PA2CHR's trace was much weaker, and it took us slightly longer to make the contact. Best signal was -26 this time around with the 73 received.
I thought it would be very difficult, if not impossible to make any contact off the moon using the system I have. However as can be seen, the big stations can be worked with very modest setups. More info on PA2CHR's setup. He is the smallest station I have worked via EME.