Big Island ARRL News, 06 November 2017, 0125 UTC, Post #362.


Accessed on 96 November 2017, 0125 UTC.

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According to the South African Radio League (SARL), a significant amount of DX is shifting to the microwave frequencies, “where there are already a lot of microwave activities in the rest of the world.”

SARL says two factors are making microwave bands attractive to DX enthusiasts and contesters:

The minimum solar cycle and the rapidly changing conditions in the ionosphere are making reliable HF contacts difficult and tedious.

The evolution of high gain microwave antennas, relatively inexpensive transceivers, and sophisticated digital modes are allowing radio amateurs to experiment with the microwave bands without having to generate huge amounts of  power.

The SARL adds that some interesting results have been accomplished on the microwave bands with fairly simple equipment:

“When the digital era arrived, things started to change on Microwave EME. There was no longer a need for high power or large dishes. For example, Rex Moncur, VK7MO, tested a small portable EME station on 10 GHz JT4, using a 77-cm dish fed with 45 Watts and worked Charlie Suckling, G3WDG, over 17 410 km.
Then he tried a 47-cm dish on 24 GHz and copied W5LUA, but the latter could not detect the QRP 4-Watt signal.
On 5 March 2014, VK7MO established a new World EME record on 24 GHz with G3WDG. VK7MO used a 1,14-metre dish with 10 Watts and G3GWGB also ran 10 Watts into a 3-metre dish. Their equipment was GPS-locked and could cope with a wider liberation spreading on this band. All this will also open a new world for townhouse EME DX operation!”

Amateur Radio publications such as “QST” and “CQ” are now carrying more information on how to set up your microwave/EME stations.  I also see more advertising pitching microwave transceivers, antennas, and associated equipment.

Until the solar cycle  “bottoms out” and starts to support better HF conditions, the microwave spectrum may offer some fascinating DX possibilities for both casual operators and dedicated DX chasers.  It’s time to explore the uncharted frequencies above 2.4 GHz.

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Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.  Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de

Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Coordinator

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section