Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Remote site issues and 2m FT8

The recent inclement weather in the UK caused a number of issues at the remote site which hosts the KiwiSDRs and other receivers.

I had originally listed here a number of issues which had to be overcome, such as the breaking of the 6m/4m mast in the wind, but recent events have made these points redundant.

I have taken down and dismantled the remote site antenna and all receivers due to the termination of the operating agreement by the site owner. The search for a new site will begin shortly.

The 2m antenna has been relocated to the home location (IO83LS).  The breaking of the mast was fortuitous as I was not happy with the performance of the antenna at the remote site and having retreived it safely I now had an opportunity to test it in a different environment. It was mounted on a pole about 3m above the ground, just below the 6/4m duoband Yagi.

Temporary VHF setup, 2m 4 Element Quad, 4/4 Element 6/4m Yagi

After reading the good results that G3XBM was getting on his blog, I tuned to 144.174 MHz,  FT8 mode, using WSJT-X 1.9 rc2.

F1DRN received QRB 1253 Km on 2m FT8

Given the modest antenna - a 4 Element Quad at 3m AGL, no receive preamp or power amp, and an IC7100 transceiver there is a surprising amount to be heard. I'm pleased I gave it a chance.

Aircraft scatter is common, and sometimes helpful:

GM4JJJ on 2m FT8, with Aircraft Scatter