In late March, Paul Kelley, N1BUG, of Milo, Maine, completed what may have been the first transatlantic 2200-meter contact by a US radio amateur under Amateur Radio rules. Signals in this part of the spectrum and lower previously have spanned the Atlantic in one direction, and Canadian radio amateurs have reported transatlantic contacts on the band dating back several years.
“To the best of my knowledge this is the first transatlantic two-way QSO from the US on 2200 meters under Part 97 operation,” said Kelley, who told ARRL that he gravitates toward the more challenging, “weak-signal” aspects of Amateur Radio and has been experimenting and DXing for 37 years now.
“2200 meters is my new passion, and I am having a lot of fun with it!” he said. I had been dreaming of — and working toward — a transatlantic QSO on 2200 meters for some time. Recently, I asked Chris Wilson, 2E0ILY, if he would be interested in trying to work me on DFCW60 mode. Chris and I have heard each other on WSPR, but he does not hear me well enough yet for a JT9 or other digital QSO. Chris agreed to try DFCW60 — dual-frequency CW, 60 second dit length.”
This was not a quick contact. It took four nights to complete, using night-by-night sequencing. Kelley called that “the minimum possible time” for such a contact, which included an exchange of complete call signs, signal reports, and acknowledgements. Kelley said they used the TMOR reporting system, borrowed from the moonbounce world.
“The QSO was completed at 0020 UTC March 28 when I received ‘R’ from Chris,” Kelley said.
He noted that the weather did not cooperate on his first night of transmitting, with snow squalls affecting antenna tuning. “Fortunately, I have a remotely controlled variometer at the antenna,” he told ARRL. “Otherwise, I could not have kept the transmitter going — or alive — that night. For over 2 hours, I had to tweak it almost every key down — roughly every 90 seconds.” Things calmed down to the point where he only had to adjust it every 10 to 15 minutes.
Kelley’s 2200-meter station consists of a QRP Labs Ultimate 3S transmitter, a home-built single FET 200 W class E amplifier, and a 90-foot top-loaded vertical antenna. “This gives me no more than 0.5 W EIRP, probably less,” he said.
For receiving, he uses a 30-foot “low-noise” vertical, homebrew band-pass filter, preamp, and a modified Softrock Lite II software-defined radio receiver kit, with the local oscillator modified for coverage on 2200, the front-end filter modified, and additional filter sections added.
Sweden’s Alexanderson alternator station SAQ has planned a Christmas Eve transmission on 17.2 kHz. The transmitter will be tuned up starting at around... Read more
New Black Retevis RT95Dual Band 200 Channels Mobile Car Radio Description: RT95 Mobile Radio has nice housing, stoutness & stability, advanced and... Read more
Vertical Dipole Bravo 7K 7 band coverage: 40-30-20-17-15-12-10 manual tune 20-17-15-12-10 meters are full size setting tubing lengths High Q... Read more
The receiver on the newly launched Fox-1Cliff/AO-95 CubeSat seems to have suffered a receiver failure that could render the satellite unusable, AMSAT... Read more
“Emily Calandrelli, KD8PKR—Science Explorer,” profiled by Jen Glifort, KC1KNL, in the January issue of #QST!
From Emily Calandrelli—host of Xploration Outer Space, correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World, and graduate of MIT—comes the first novel in a brand... Read more
Listen to Martian wind blow across NASA’s InSight lander. The spacecraft’s seismometer and air pressure sensor picked up vibrations from 10-15 mph (16... Read more
The 2017 ARRL Bill Leonard W2SKE Professional Media Award for Audio Reporting was presented in New York on December 6 to the producers and staff of th... Read more
The RS-BA1 remote control software gained popularity by allowing Amateur radio operators to operate selected Icom radios from a PC via IP. The RS-BA1... Read more