Some of John’s favourite Ham Radio contacts:
These contacts were made using my callsigns: G6LYU (my first “B” class call prior to passing my Morse code exam. (1982-1984)
G4XEN – “A” class callsign – which I had from 1984 until 1998, then again from 2016.
EA7IT which I had in Spain from 1998-2014.
Contact by tropospheric refraction to CT3DK in Madeira from Northamptonshire. The distance of 2537 km was my best ever using this method of propagation. The world record for tropo is 4754km! … So still some way to go..
This contact with DF5LQ was made during an intense aurora (Northern Lights) and over a distance of 750km. I used 50 Watts to a 48 element Jaybeam multibeam, beaming at the ionised layer, the signal being reflected back to Germany. UHF (432 MHz)
This contact with FK8CR, Eddy Szymanski was, and is, my all time longest distance contact by any mode of propagation. This contact was made using the Oscar 10 radio ham satellite uplink on 435 MHz (70 cm) and downlink on 145 MHz (2m). This is over 16,500 km. Eddy is now a “silent key” i.e. passed away.
I used Morse code for this contact with John, KP2A, on 22nd December 1988. Distance 6534 km.
The band used was the new 6 metre band, opened up in the UK after the closing down of Band 1 television. Now TV is all going digital, it could free up some UHF bands such as 900 MHz.
Notice here that LZ1KRB in Bulgaria was only using 10 watts to a 5 element antenna on 144 MHz, to make contact on SSB (speech) on 17th June 1989.
The mode of propagation was sporadic E layer ionisation which provides very strong signal levels. 2329 km (233 km per watt!)
Another aurora borealis contact, this time my best distance via this mode with Jussi OH5LK on 8th Feb 1986.
The distance was 1927 km. He was using 300 Watts to a 4 x 15 element array. My station was 100 Watts and a single 14 element antenna.
1328 km on UHF (432 MHz) to Czechoslovakia, before it split into 2 republics. Malacky is now in the Slovak Republic.
The contact was made by taking advantage of a tropospheric duct, which bends the radio signals back towards earth, during conditions of high pressure, when a temperature inversion occurs.
Great contact on 144 MHz with Peter SM2CEW using high speed morse code and a multi speed tape recorder. The contact was made using reflections from meteor trails. They only last for very short bursts so special techniques have to be employed and strict timing of transmit and receive periods.
Australia from the UK on 10MHz (short wave) using a wire antenna in the garden and morse code. There is always something special about a contact with Australia, and this was my first direct QSO on 8th Sept 1984.
END – revised 9th May 2016