Sunday, October 16, 2011

A very unexpected QSO

On Friday evening I was just heading up to bed and I did my usual check on VHF/UHF to see what was happening. The FM box stopped on 145.7375. The normal station there is GB3AL but the station I could hear seemed to be in France - or at least the stations using the repeaters were. Signals were fairly weak but seemed to be fading up and down. I kept listening and the box identified; F1ZPL. A quick Google search and I was amazed. The repeater is in JN24WB - over 500 miles from me!

Could I make a QSO through it? I disabled my CTCSS so that when I transmitted I wouldn't bring up GB3AL. I waited for a break in the conversation (in French) and dropped my call in. There was a pause and then I was welcomed in English!

Having had a short QSO, I was delighted to almost immediately get an e-mail from one of the group. It was also fun to get an e-mail from 2W0EAD, Alan near Newport, who could also copy the repeater.

I checked the details of F1ZPL and it is at(from memory) around 1600m ASL. The coverage area includes the Meditteranean coast. Amazing!

I'm sure this was my most distant ever 144MHz tropo QSO on FM!

3 comments:

VE3WDM said...

That is an excellent FM contact!!! What power were you running and what antenna were you using? I was thinking of getting the 2 meter module for my K3 but have been sitting on the fence.

Tim said...

Thank you! I was running 50W to a triband collinear at about 10m. We are about 100m above sea level. It's a reasonable station but nothing special!

VE3WDM said...

Thanks for the info Tim, if I do get the K3 2m module it max's at 10 watts and as for an antenna it will be a discone in the attic here.

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