Monday, 28 March 2016

Local Lightwave Activity / A New 630m Resource Site

Toby, VE7CNF, has sent me some mail indicating that his new lightwave system is ready for a two-way test!

His system is very similar to the ones built and deployed by myself and Markus, VE7CA, in late 2013. The culmination of that activity is described here, in 'On Making Nanowaves - Part 6'. Our lightwave QSO and homebrew gear were later described in a 'how to' article in the 'The Canadian Amateur' as well as in the newest edition of  'The Radio Amateur's Handbook' (2016).

Toby describes his most recent pre-QSO backyard testing:

The lightwave gear appears to be working well. Focus looks good and the
finder scopes are doing their job. There's a reflective sign high up on a
hydro tower 170 meters away that's handy for testing. It lights up bright
when the transmitter's on it.

Back scatter off the clouds above my house worked too. I heard my CW beacon, audible 339, off a patch on the clouds about 1 degree wide. I don't really know if it was clear air scatter from closer by, or scatter off the clouds, but the spot was small. That's with the tx on the front deck, and rx in the back.

I used Spectran to check the noise from city lights in my area. At QRSS10
speed there are spectral lines at 540, 600, and 660 Hz. They aren't too
strong, but those are some frequencies we should avoid.

VE7CNF's lightwave system - TX (L) & RX (R)
As well, Mark, VA7MM, is also putting together a similar system to join the fun ... it's great to see new local activity!

Hopefully the weather will co-operate enough to allow us to make a two-way QSO later this week. Plans call for Toby to set up near the same location in West Vancouver used by VE7CA as it offers a clear LOS path to Mayne Island, 54km to the southwest.

54km Georgia Strait crossing (courtesy:


Rik, ON7YD, has set up a new website devoted to information specific to 630m. His site looks as if it will be a valuable resource for those looking to get information and a start on our new band. At present, there is some really great information regarding transmitters, antenna systems and calculating E(I)RP levels. Have a look!

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