Friday, July 10, 2009

The WA1ZMS Transatlantic beacon

For as long as I've been interested in VHF Dxing, which is over 25 years (how did that happen?) people have been talking about the possibility of making a contact across the Atlantic on 144MHz.

It really ought to be possible, particularly if you look at paths from the Eastern Seabo(a)rd of the US to locations like the Azores, Spain, France and Cornwall. It will just take a combination of the right propagation and people trying out the path.

Good news, then from Brian Justin, WA1ZMS who has installed a high power beacon in Virginia, USA located on Apple Orchard Mountain in FM07FM at an altitude of 4200 ft ASL. The WA1ZMS beacon operates on 144.285 with an erp of 1400W.

No reports of the beacon being heard across the pond so far, but it can be heard 600 miles away on a flat band, so it's working well.

Pie in the sky? I don't think so. There have been various reports of Band I FM from North America being received in Europe and the 50 and 70MHz multi-hop Sporadic E paths are well known. Next time there's a good Es opening to North America on 50MHz, point your beam to North America and listen on 144.285.

History is waiting to be written.

1 comment:

g4ilo said...

Hmm, pity it's so close to the calling frequency. If conditions are good on 2m, chances are 144.285 will be busy.

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