630m Trans-Pacific Path Heats Up!

Courtesy: https://maps.google.ca/
It seems that the recent Trans-Pacific reception of WD2XIQ's Texan WSPR signal by VK2DDI has stirred up a lot of interest from the boys down under. Despite some recent geomagnetic disturbances, some of those that are taking the time to beacon or to listen are being justly rewarded. Sunday's overnight beaconing has produced four more confirmed reports of the U.S. Part 5 experimental stations being heard in both VK and in ZL.

Once again, John ("XIQ"), was heard on the other end....not in Australia but in New Zealand, by Con (ZL2AFP) listening in residential Wellington. Con also caught signals from Larry, W7IUV, in central Washington state, operating on 630m as WH2XGP. Not to be left out of the action, Rudy, N6LF, running as WD2XSH/20 made it down to both VK2XGJ and VK2DDI before the sun came up south of Eugene, Oregon.

Larry, W7IUV ("XGP"), was running a true backyard-size antenna system...just a 34' loaded vertical with a sloping zig-zag top loading wire.  His small wire radial system covers a 16' x 25' patch. His homebrew amplifier, constructed almost exclusively from salvaged computer parts, uses 8 switching MOSFETs in push-pull / parallel running in the rare linear mode! The fascinating description of his amplifier's design and construction can be found at the W7IUV website. With the small vertical, estimated erp is  ~ 10 watts.
Larry's station should be inspirational for anyone who thinks they need huge antennas to be successful on 630m!

Rudy, N6LF ("XSH/20"), runs around 20Weirp to a large top-loaded vertical. The center (radiator) pole is almost 100' high while the top-loading support poles are 80'. Full details of Rudy's fine system, along with much more about 630m, may be found at the Antennas By N6LF website.

N6LF/WD2XSH/20 630m Top-Loaded Vertical
It wasn't just the U.S. Part 5'ers who were on the ball early Sunday morning. ZL2AFP, set up with just a small PAØRDT-style miniwhip at 28' feet and an IC-746PRO receiver, managed to snag two of the northerners. John Simon, VK2XGJ, also listening from a normal-sized suburban lot in Dapto (NSW), with lots of nearby powerlines, caught "XIQ"'s Texas-launched signals on his venerable FRG-100 tied to another small active miniwhip at 20'. Interestingly, the U.S. signals were detected about four hours after local sunset in both ZL and VK. 

LF RX Stack at VK2XGJ
It seems clear that 630m has much to offer in the way of some exciting propagation opportunities and that experimenters do not require large amounts of room to take advantage of this unique part of the spectrum.
Hopefully conditions will continue to provide more long-haul reports in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, remember that Canadian amateurs now have free access to the 630m band, but much more activity is needed...VE6, VE5, VE4, VE3, VE2...who will be the first on 630m in those provinces?  It's time to start melting solder and stringing antennas before winter arrives!

Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

4 Responses to “630m Trans-Pacific Path Heats Up!”

  • Terry VE3XTM:

    Hello Steve

    Very interesting blog. I have been monitoring the LF band for about a year now and was very pleased when we Canadians got approval for working in the 630m band. I have been trying to get our local VE3/VA3s interested in this band and was wondering if I could post your blog in our local club newsletter. I am located in Guelph and we are the Guelph Amateur Radio Club.

  • Steve VE7SL:

    Yes Terry absolutely….anyhting to create some interest in the band! Tnx.

    Are you planning to get on 630m?

  • Terry VE3XTM:

    Many thanks Steve. It will go in this month’s newsletter.

    I am very interested in this new band and will consider getting on later this year or early next.

  • Steve VE7SL:

    That’s great to hear Terry….the sooner the better! Please keep in touch as I am trying to keep track of all interested or station-builders on my 2200/630m web page.

    73. Steve

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