Nearly 2000-mile record-setting contact on 433Mhz

Propagation is a fun thing — especially when you’re talking thousands of miles on UHF! On October 16, 2020 a 1,950 mile contact was made on 433Mhz FM between the Island of St. Helena (U.K.) and Plumstead, South Africa.

The two stations involved in the contact were Garry, ZD7GWM and Tom, ZS1TA in South Africa.

The power used for the contact was a mere 35 watts using a vertical antenna.

How a UHF contact like this possible

So how was this possible? Looking at predicted tropospheric conditions from October 16, 2020 — a marine duct is likely what allowed the two stations to log the contact.

Courtesy of F5LEN/EI7GL

Marine Tropo (MT) occurs when warm dry air overrides a cooler body of water. Marine inversions often extend the entire breadth of lakes and can extend for thousands of miles over the ocean, like in this case. It also spreads into coastal areas by way of sea or lake breezes.

Marine Tropo can become enhanced or combined with other types such as High-Pressure Tropo which can lead to even stronger signals over farther distances.

Tropospheric ducting is not unheard of between St. Helena and South Africa. However, it’s usually on VHF. During the past few years Garry has made numerous contacts on VHF with South African ham radio operators.

The incredible distance for this 70cm contact may be hard to conceptualize. It would be equivalent to a station in New York City having a QSO with someone in Salt Lake City. It doesn’t break the reported 70cm tropospheric record of 2,493 miles — but it ranks right up there!

Come on Bobbie you can break this….

New Drake Exhibit at the VoA Museum

FROM: Ham Talk Live

Jay Adrick, K8CJY and Lee Hite, K8CLI from the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting are here to talk about the new, revamped Drake Radio Exhibit now on display at the museum. We’ll take a look at the history of the Drake company, some interesting facts about the Drake line, and why this exhibit is a must-see for any Drake fan.

{Drake segment starts at timeframe 6:17}

Raspberry Pi * Ham Radio

Since 2012, the Raspberry Pi nano computer has become an increasingly important part of the DIY and « maker » community. The increase in power of the Raspberry Pi over the years offers very interesting possibilities for radio amateurs. Indeed, it allows not to permanently monopolize a PC in the decoding of frames with software like WSJT-X, FLDIGI, etc…, without forgetting the possibility to control the Raspberry Pi remotely and thus to be able to work outside the radio shack as I can sometimes do on my couch. Moreover, this nano computer is now widely used in any Hotspot (DMR or D-STAR).

So why in a club, so few OM use this tool?

I have often asked myself this question and I think it comes from the use of the operating system (OS). When you power on a Raspberry PI, the OS, called Raspbian is stored on a microSD card. This is a Linux distribution specially designed for the Raspberry.

When you want to install a software under Linux, you no longer have to double-click on a downloaded file like « setup.exe » like under Windows. Indeed, you often have to use the console and thus type « command lines » to install or configure a program. This can seem off-putting and frankly very tedious. We are so used to using a graphical environment that we feel like we are back to the early 80’s micro-computing.

Continue Reading:



Signup – KDKA Special Event Station


Sunday Nov 8th  from 10 am to 5 pm  –  We Will Be “K3D”
Please consider working this special event station and support the SCARC club. So let Bob know if you want to work an hour or two and when on Nov 8th

RSVP to Bob NU3Q  —>  nu3q {at} nu3q {dit} us

Our remote operating location – Click on Address for Google directions
Note on Sunday Nov 8th you do not need to feed the parking meters
You will most like bring a folding chair if you want to hang out.

Click Here For Directions To Site

102 West Pike Street
Cannonsburg, PA, 15317

Read The Latest Press Release Here

Thanks to John Rakoczky KA3SZO, a member of the Steel City club, for letting us use his commercial retail space in downtown Canonsburg to operate the KDKA special event station. He informed me the “COVID safe capacity” of his large retail space is fifty (50). In keeping with Governor Wolf’s 20% mandate, I recommend we keep it to no more than ten (10) people at his QTH and that we socially distance appropriately and use masks as conditions warrant.

The location of his building is 102 West Pike Street – Canonsburg 15317. It is located across the street from the Frank Sarris Public Library. There is limited parking in the lot across the street, otherwise you will have to park on the street. He has a bathroom in the rear of the space. I loaned John my 40 meter and 80 meter dipoles and my two 100 foot coax jumpers. He will mount the 40 meter dipole on the roof of his building and stretch the 80 meter dipole inside the attic. His building is 3 stories high and I have used my 40 meter dipole on his roof successfully before. John will get the PR out for us as well.

Please join the KDKA 100 mail list to stake your place on the calendar. Please note the calendar is filling up fast and keep in mind there are four (4) special event call signs available for use on any given day.

Ham Radio Deep-Space Network

The RV-750 joins its permanent siblings for testing at the N2QG antenna gardenSo you want to track NASA at Mars?  Here is an very interesting read from one amature work at receiving signal from NASA space crafts that are not only enroute to Mars but also in orbit around Mars.  Just some of the spacecrafts that he has received are Bepi-Colombo,  Mars Express, MRO, and OSIRIS-ReX to name some of the few.   He still hope to expand his system even more to pick up Juno that is in orbit around Jupiter.

So do you think you have an antenna farm just read his white paper what he has done to do this impossible task.

Read: “Amateur DSN Lessons Learned (so far…).”

IC-705 QRP Rig Review @ Zoom

ICOM IC-705 ZIC-705I am pleased to announce that Harry, W3YJ will give a talk starting at 6 PM on October 27 via Zoom. Harry will present his latest experience with the new Icom IC-705 QRP radio. He will also compare to his Elecraft KX3. Thanks to Harry, W3YJ.

Hosted By: Mercer County Amateur Radio Club
To Join Zoom MONTHLY CLUB Meeting:

Meeting ID: 563 685 301
Password: 73


ARRL Online Auction

The 2020 ARRL Online Auction is now live and will run October 15th -22nd, 2020 10 PM.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get in on the fun and bid on a variety of items at the Oct 15th -20th annual ARRL Online Auction to benefit ARRL educational programs.

We suggest you read through the “Help” section, listing bidding tips as well as the link to our Help Desk should you need assistance.

Link to the auction:


I will always remember leaving the club on Wednesday nights jumping in the car and reaching for the radio knob and tuning in 650 AM and listening to Stubbs talking about the songs and history of the songs. The man knew his Country Singers and history.

QRP Lab Zoom Meeting @ 9:00 PM Wendesday

NOTE! This is not the Steel City Zoom meeting.  The Steel City Meeting starts at 7:30 PM on Wednesday. This QRP Labs meeting is after our meeting.

This presentation is for kit builders and those that want to be. Due to the popularity of QRP Labs kits, we decided to have a QRP Labs presentation. In doing this, we have also opened our Wednesday Zoom sessions up to occasional hamfest style product presentations. Other products are being considered for future presentations.

Please plan to attend Wednesday October 7 QRP Labs presentation at 0100Z.
9:00 PM AST / 9:00 PM EDT / 8:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM MDT / 6:00 PM PDT / 5:00 PM AKDT / 3:00 PM HST

Topic: QRP Labs products and kit building discussion.
Speaker: Hans Summers, G0UPL – Hans will be giving this presentation from Turkey, 4:00 AM his time.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 212 888 4758
Passcode: QRPLABS
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Meeting ID: 212 888 4758
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