Saturday, 5 January 2013

The aridity of 2m

When you're a data aficionado who doesn't own a mic, 2m can be a bit of a desert. We propeller-heads inhabit the bottom 500KHz or so of this band. In the wilds of the borders, this can be a long and lonely existence, punctuated only by SOTA calling from the local hilltops

Anyway, to cut a long and common story short, Santa bought me a 6m portable mast for Christmas. The aged Sandpiper 3 element delta beam sits beautifully on it, and I made up a westflex cable some time ago for 23cms (currently no antenna...)

So, it all fits together. What to listen for? There was the excitement of the Quadrantids. I capured these on a collinear:

160200 13.6 4230 12 37 -197 EA3AXV CQ EA3AXV CQ EA3AXV CQ EA3AXV C

And, a little later,

232400 14.4 400 10 26 -20 S!CQ 352 OK2PMS CQ 352 OK2PMS CQ 352 OK2

Both of which are quite gratifying on simple kit. No chance of replying, of course.

Anyway, back to the beamlet. It's been pointing towards London today. Been trawling down in the 144.135 ish region with PSK31 - no takers there, nor, indeed, anything on JT65B which is, if you read the internet, flavour of the month digitally for 2m - though I suspect all the activitiy occurs either as EME or during openings

But I did manage to pick up GB3VHF. This is located SE of London and, rather sweetly, beacons in JT65B if you set your QRG to 144.42850 USB. Today, in Shropshire, this has been a lovely -6dB, easily audible and well above the noise floor

So, still no QSOs, but at least I know I can reach to Kent.

I did try F5ZAM after that. It's a 10W beacon, probably CW, on 144.425. Pas un saucisson on that one...

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