Friday, 17 August 2012

Reflections from D64K Part 2

I was in the shack at 03:30 AM local for another attempt this morning. The band noise was exceptionally low in the direction of Comoros. After 1 hour of FSK441 I gave up. Nothing was heard or seen from D64K. To be honest I have a feeling there was no one on the other side. I guess they needed sleep more than I needed the MS QSO.

Since my first posting we have had several further attempts at completing a QSO via meteor scatter without much success. The accumulated time most likely exceeds 6 hours of WSJT FSK441 of rapid “machine gun fire”

To succeed with stretching the distance requires the following:
Heightened meteor activity such as provided by Perseids MS, well equipped stations with high ERP and lots of patience. A shower with a radiant south of the equator would also be most beneficial.

I discovered a very interesting web site that shows real time data of radio reflections from meteors. Using this info it clearly shows that the prediction for the peak activity for Perseids was spot on.

The best decode I received from D64K and the record breaking (South African) QSO that took place between Braam ZS6AYE and Comoros took place at the peak of Perseids MS on 12 August at 11:30 UTC. If only we tried 10 hours earlier........

With regards to the best mode to used, that is pretty much a contentious issue. I am a bit old school I think FSK441 still is the best IMHO. Better still if we were not so dogmatic that a QSO must consist of the exchange of calls and a report (or other bit of information) it would be much easier. Anyone that has ever played with WSJT software will know just how effective the ST- Single tones are. If the only requirement was to positively ensure that a two way radio path existed then using the single tone or the dual tones “railway tracks” would be most effective. It is uncanny to see how well that works compared to all the other high speed modes.

Some you win some you lose……

Josep EA3AKY the 6m operator on the D64K DX expedition has excelled at his task.
Thanks for the opportunity of trying to do the impossible and your patience and willingness to try.


 Congratulations to Braam, ZS6AYE, and D64K on Comoros Island for establishing a new 50 MHz digital record in the early morning of 14 August 2012.  The new record of 2011 km was accomplished on FSK441 during the current Perseids meteor shower, and broke the old record of 1929 km set up in 2003 by ZS2BWB and TO4E.

MS activity Perseids peak 12 Aug 2012

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