Posts Tagged ‘Meteor Scatter’
In this episode, Linux in the Ham Shack takes you a journey into sight and sound. Well, mostly sound. Topics include operating below 500kHz, new stuff in WSJT-X, an open letter from a young ham to the curmudgeons in the room, Ham Radio Deluxe being nefarious again, Ubuntu 16.10 with Budgie, a useful Debian utility, contributing to Open Source as a newbie (or oldbie) and much more.
We also send our thoughts and condolences to the young daughter, family and friends of Matthew Williams, Lord Drachenblut, KD9BWJ. He passed away much too young on December 6, 2016, after a long struggle against cancer. We miss you, brother.
73 de The LHS Crew
Nowadays, using FSK441 WSJT software, a lot of good fun can be had most non-shower mornings on meteor scatter, just using random meteors. My experience when using the same software during an actual shower has been disappointing, as often the signals are too strong or too long for the software which is looking for shorter, weaker signals. During a large shower such as the Perseids, where typical burns can be quite lengthy, my own experience has given better results with good old SSB or fast CW.
I clearly recall my first-ever meteor scatter QSO, made during the May Aquarids, back in the early 70's. I had arranged a sked with Ken, W7JRG, in Montana. I had grown up reading about Ken's VHF exploits in both QST and CQ as a teenager and was excited about the possibility of finally possibly working him. My station was homebuilt, using a 6360 transverter driven from my Heath HW-100, and feeding a homebrew 5894 amplifier with 1/4" copper tube plate lines. The amplifier produced just a shade over 100W output. My antenna, also homebrew, was a 24-foot 13 element Yagi ... probably not the best for meteor scatter although it worked well enough for me to ragchew every night with stations in Portland, Oregon on SSB.
A few minutes before our sked, I decided to make one final check of my system. Our sked was to be on SSB, using 15 second sequences. I keyed down at full-power and did a final tweaking of plate tuning and antenna loading, and unkeyed, back to receive mode after about 30 seconds of tuning up. My receiver immediately sprung to life with a very loud SSB signal, slightly off-tune. Thinking it was my local buddy, VE7BLF, calling me before the sked, I was surprised to hear a different voice ... it was Ken in Montana at S9++ ..."I've been holding my breath waiting for you to unkey there Steve ... thought you would never finish!"
Needless to say I was just as surprised as he was. We talked back and forth for about another 60 seconds before the burn finally dissipated and signals were gone. What a great introduction to meteor scatter, with the QSO completed before the sked even started! Ken later told me that of all of the meteor contacts he had made, it was one of his best ... I guess we just hit it right.
Of all the showers, I always found that the December Geminids was the best, even better than the August Perseids, at least for the North-South path. Having said that, my longest meteor contact was made during the Perseids, with Arliss W7XU in South Dakota ... just a shade over 1300 miles while running just 40W SSB to a 9el Yagi.
Good luck if you are doing some meteor scatter tomorrow or even if you are just watching the shower visually ... conditions should be ideal, if the skies are clear, as the very new moon's sliver does not rise until near dawn.
If you have been itching for some meteor scatter to work, well, isn’t it a coinky-dink, that the Perseids with peak on August 12th, which is tomorrow. With luck, you could work a station 2000 miles away by bouncing a signal off the ionized trail of a meteor! How sick is that!The Perseids Meteor Shower is so named because of the direction of the meteors, which look to come from the constellation Peresus. This meteor shower has been observed for about 2000 years, so there is no guess work in knowing when it will come around.
Now I have never worked meteor scatter, so I checked the googles and found a nice webpage with some technical info and tips for meteor scatter on 2 meters and 6 meters. And for an added bonus, here’s a video.
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In this episode, we address listener feedback and comments, and then in a burst of inspiration invite listeners from the chat room to come onto the program for a lively and very fun roundtable discussion. Topics were varied, from portable antenna design, to life without Red Bull; from the HAARP VLF array in Alaska to D-STAR, PACTOR and other digital ham radio communication modes. And since I was on meds and Richard was off his, things got a little crazy towards the end.
We hope you enjoy this episode of Linux in the HAM Shack. Please leave us comments or questions on the web site or via voice mail at 888-455-0305. And send your best wishes to Bill, KA9WKA, who has taken on the responsibility of getting LHS's show notes out in a timely fashion. Thanks, Bill. You're a lifesaver!
73 de Russ, K5TUX