SM4GVF on 144 MHz
1974 through 1990
now SM7GVF

Aurora propagation, FAI, Iononosphere scatter

  At our relatively northern latitude we have frequent Auroras. Normal back scatter is a well known propagation mode, but we also experience a forward mode that does not have the distorted, frequency spreading signal, but has a flutter. The mechanisms are not too well known (1980).
  I had a few contacts in late 1970 with SM4AXY and SM2BYA, but it all took off when UA1ZLC in Murmansk appeared.
  Alex and I made a large number of schedules in 1982 - 1985 to explore this very little known propagation mode. Very often, we could hear each other with weak signals, but some times the signals were strong. The distance is about 1450 km. We were both using EME equipment.

The sound files below are converted from old Compact Cassettes used at that time (to Real Audio in 2001, now, 2016, reconverted to mp3).

Some Aurora sounds:

 mp3   UA3MBJ Aurora back scatter, the "usual" mode

 mp3  UA1ZCL on Aurora-E or FAI and LA1K on aurora back scatter, in the same event! This is unusual!

 mp3 UA1ZCL SSB and CW

EME "Moon bounce"

  My EME activities started in ca 1980 when I put up my first antennas,  four 16 element Yagi antennas.

  I first got on the VHF net on 14345 kHz where I had been arranging meteor scatter schedules for some years, and joined the EME net during weekend evenings. I announced I had put up a larger antenna system, and had heard and worked K1WHS who at that time was the big gun on 144 MHz EME.

  It was almost an accident that I then immediately got a few schedules with some of the better equipped stations, through the help of Lionel, VE7BQH (with whom I think I had the first schedule). I never told i could not elevate my antennas...

  Well, I figured I had better show up on the schedules any way... My almanac (I did not have computers at that time) showed that the moon set was several hours after my schedule time...

  My tower was 20 meter high, I had a hinge at 10 meters, allowing the tower to be (manually) tilted down. The tower would come down in about south-southeast. I could aim at the visible moon by tilting down the tower 45 to 60 degrees. I completed several contacts, walking to the tower every 10 minutes or so. It was mid February, we had -10 degrees Celsius and 30 cm of snow, a struggle but fun!

  During the summer I improved the system, I added a motor control for elevation, I modified a car jack from my car...  Over the years I replaced the antennas with 4.2 lambda NBS Yagis, first 4 then later 6 of them. I iterated my design of the Yagi. I did tests to find out how much I had to correct for boom diameter with the element mounting method I used - the elements resting on top of the boom, held in place by plastic wire straps, the white lasted less than a year, the black ones are still going strong (1990).

  I hold VUCC  #12, first in Europe (100 grid squares) and WAC (all continents),  and I have 43 states verified for WAS.

Some EME sounds:

 mp3   SSB and CW echos from my own station

 mp3 QSO with K1WHS off the moon

Originally published on 2001-04-13 at algonet dot se that ceased around January 2016.

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