Both myself and John (VE7BDQ) had the pleasure of working Toby on 473.000 CW on Thursday afternoon. Here is Toby's description of his station at present:
"I have put together a low-power 630m WSPR transmitter here. I have a USB-TG44A signal generator clocking a phasing-type SSB modulator with WSPR audio coming from a laptop. The modulator gives 45db suppression of the carrier and lower sideband. This drives a ZHL-32A 1-watt linear amplifier. I have a matching transformer and loading coil at the base of my 80-meter inverted-L antenna. Wire height is 10m.
Here is a short video of VE7CNF beaconing in QRSS mode before our QSO. The distance between us is approximately 53km (33 miles)...not bad for 1 watt!
It's great to see new activity. Both VE7PJR (Chuck, near Kamloops) and VE7CA (Markus in North Vancouver) are constructing rigs for the band at present. As well, VE6TA and VA5LF have expressed interest and both have completed crossband QSO's with me on 630m.
As I mentioned to Toby, I'm starting to believe that 630m is a very forgiving band when it comes to both skywave and groundwave as signals have always been much better than I had originally expected. Moving down from 2200m has been the difference between night and day as there is so much more potential for real-time communications on this band compared with 2200m.