Monday 14 July 2014

VE7 630m CW Beacons Report

Saturday night's CW beaconing by myself and VE7BDQ on 630m CW produced a number of interesting heard reports from various directions. It seems as though most receiving stations were bothered by the high level of thunderstorm QRN, very common at this time of the year and usually the limiting factor in reception. The Vaisala lightning map indicated various pockets of lighting in the PNW and a solid wall further to the east. Being located near any of these cells would make it difficult to hear anything at all and all but impossible nearer the wall.


Nevertheless, reception reports, often of both beacons, were received from Washington, Oregon, Utah, British Columbia, Alberta and as far east as Saskatoon, SK. It seemed like stronger signals were reported from the east rather than from the south or south-east which is more often the case. I suspect that the lower level of lightning in this direction, rather than enhanced E-W propagation, was the main reason for the nice 'over the Rockies' reception.

Thanks to the following enthusiasts who were kind enough to listen and to report on Saturday night's activities, hopefully I haven't missed anyone:

KK7UV (Steve) MT *
W7SWL (Bob) AZ *
VE6TA (Grant) Alberta
AA7U (Steve) OR
VA5LF (Sean) Saskatchewan
VA7JX (Jack) British Columbia
WY3B (Mike) HI *
W7WKR (Dick) WA
K7WV (Tom) WA
KU7Z (Mark) UT
W7OIL (Dan) WA
G0NSL (Brian) UK *
Colin Newell, British Columbia
* stations reporting no reception

It appears that even under fairly severe conditions (mid-summer QRN), small backyard antenna systems and 100W can propagate well enough for CW contacts on the 630m band. The band is certainly much more prop-friendly than 2200m and quiet winter conditions will be even better. In the meantime I hope to make some crossband contacts with anyone that might like to try that mode.

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