Solar Data

Friday, April 10, 2015

6 Metre JT6M Meteor Scatter

Today I have been trying out MS (Meteor Scatter) on 6m.
Meteor Scatter propagation is when tiny dust particles enter into the earths atmosphere at a very high speed and burn up.
This produces very short durations of Ionisation in the E layer and can therefore act as a reflective medium for VHF Radio waves. 
Years ago the method used was very fast morse code signals that were transmitted over and over for 1min or more!
A cassette tape recorder's speed was modified to run very fast and record the bursts of fast Morse code being transmitted. The tape would then be rewound and played back at a much slower speed so the morse could be decoded by the Radio Ham.

Today however we use a program called WSJT Version 10. which uses multiple tones to represent letters and numbers and transmitted repeatedly for 1min or 30 seconds duration.
The software uses a computer soundcard and a transmit and receive interface to send and receive the tones and to decode them in real time.

Anyway having set up the program I connected my interface to my Yaesu FT290R running 2.5Watts, which then drives my R & L Electronics transverter converting the 144MHz signal to a 50MHz signal. The Transverter is quite low power and only runs 25Watts, so I have not done too much transmitting yet.

However today while I was monitoring 50.230 I copied a really good MS Burst from HB9Q who is located in Switzerland. He came through quite strong and considering I only have a lowdown Delta loop which is just a single loop of wire cut for 50MHz band, I was pleased to copy his Meteor Scattered signal.
Here is a picture from the WSJT program showing the captured signal.

You can see the Data stream in the top of the two signal traces.
While Switzerland isnt that far away I was still pleased to receive my first decodable MS Burst on 6m using JT6M Meteor Scatter mode.
So there you have it more radio fun to be had, although I do think I need a bigger antenna and a bit more transmit power for others to copy my signal, but you never know on 6Metre band surprise is the norm for the band nicknamed The Magic Band!
See ya next time
73 Mark G0NMY

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