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Author Topic: The best way to work meteor scatter on 6m is.....?  (Read 14988 times)
W3HKK
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« on: August 13, 2012, 01:01:22 PM »

My first attempt:
-100w to a 5 el yagi pointing NE ( general direction of the Perseid meteor shower.)
-listened on 50.125 usb
- from 7 am EDST-10:30 am EDST.
Contacts: worked a 2 station in Albany NY (ssb) and a 1 station in MA.( cw)
Heard:  maybe a dozen other stations between 5x1 and 5x5, for periods of 20 seconds to 90 seconds. Most were  in 1 and 2 land.  I also heard a couple of loud 4 stations that I assumed were Es.

So what advice would a pro in MS propagation give to improve results.

Also which meteor showers besides the Perseids are worth the effort?

Any advice on antennas, polarization,  other tips to maximize a good experience?
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N2RRA
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 09:44:18 PM »

I'm no pro, but I've been successful!

My previous setup was a 6el. Yagi (500 watts) on 6 meters, 18el. on 2 meters (200 watts min.) and 22el. on 432 Mhz (200 watts). Six meters is the band more commonly used for Meteor Scatter day or night where on 2 meters and 70cm late evenings to very early mornings is commonly used to run M.S. All though M.S. can be done running SSB/CW morse code would be the preferred mode.

The most commonly used mode to run M.S. and primary choice of mode is digital using K1JT software. JT65 and FSK441 is where you will benefit from the wonders of meteor trails. A web site called www.pingjockey.net will help you find who's active, where and how to schedule for a contact.

The software is free download and takes a little learning curve to set up ,but is really cool and fun. Just need a little patience till you get the hang of it. 

73!
N2RRA
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KA4POL
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 09:58:53 PM »

You can get the WSJT software at: http://www.vhfdx.de/wsjt/
ARRL has some information if you are a member.
http://www.pingjockey.net/cgi-bin/pingtalk would be a site for ensuring contacts.
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W3HKK
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2012, 09:16:29 AM »

Thanks guys. What freqs do you make your contacts on? Any specific listening freqs?

Regarding  ssb and old fashioned  cw, what are the most highly monitored frequencies   to listen on?

I had some success on 50.125.  I also read that 50.260 is another MS freq for ssb/cw.
Are these equally  utilized or  is one more active than the other? Any other  listening freq's for ssb/ms MS?


And that 50.260-290 is used for the digital modes..k1jt etc. which Im now considering.
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KA4POL
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2012, 10:38:57 AM »

Mostly used are frequencies between 50.240 and 50.310. I good writeup is at http://www.qsl.net/w/w8wn//hscw/papers/hscw-sop.html
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N2RRA
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 05:28:35 PM »

Thanks guys. What freqs do you make your contacts on? Any specific listening freqs?

Regarding  ssb and old fashioned  cw, what are the most highly monitored frequencies   to listen on?

I had some success on 50.125.  I also read that 50.260 is another MS freq for ssb/cw.
Are these equally  utilized or  is one more active than the other? Any other  listening freq's for ssb/ms MS?


And that 50.260-290 is used for the digital modes..k1jt etc. which Im now considering.

On the Pingjocky web site link I left you will answer your questions. You'll find on 2 meters 144.130-.150 M.S. is common.

Good Luck!
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KS1G
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2012, 09:12:24 AM »

I recently started on 6M & 2M MS as well.  So not expert but learning a lot here.  My set-up: Moxon @ 22 ft for 6M, FT857 @ ~75W (throttled back for duty cycle), 6 el WA5VJB "cheapyagi" for 2M, 100W+ (TE systems amp with additional cooling).  LMR-400 coax on both, and optional 6M preamp @ base of mast (seems to amplify local noise as much as signal so not using it much).  I've made 6-12 (forget how many) total QSOs on 6 & 2 over several days preceeding Perseids and over the weekend (mostly Sat nigh & early Sun).  Max distance just under 1,000 mi.  All contacts using FSK-144 with WSJT 9.0-something (whatever is latest).  Have PSK2K installed but no completed QSOs yet.  Use the pinjockey site to look for someone at a reasonable distance who can walk you through 1st digital-MS QSO.  Or find someone really close and go terrestrial to work out the bugs and learn the protocol.  Helps if you already know you have a working PC-radio setup for any digital/soundcard modes - you can copy a lot of the settings into to WSJT software. 

Digital MS is on/around 50.260 & 144.140 (FSK144), 50.230 (PSK2K, they are on a separate chat server, & forgot which freq for 2M!).  Also terrestrial JT65A (JT65-HF software and the WSJT package) on 50.276 (lots of activity during the June-July E-skip season).  Best operating time of day is morning around local sunrise +/- a few hours.  WSJT software will show where to point antennas for best performance (usually slightly off the direct bearing because of the geometry of MS propagation) if you enter your 6-char grid and the other station's.  QSOs can take most an an hour to complete using random (non-shower) meteors.  (Hence the need for additional airflow to cool equipment running on a 30 sec full-on, 30 sec off cycle.)  I've had some (not much) success trying to monitor the 6 & 2M calling frequencies and QSOs in progress per pinjockey - unless one (rarely, both) stations are in the right geometry with mine, I'm not going to hear anything. 

In addition to the excellent materials on the W8WN qsl.net page, also check out the WSJT group site http://my.ykc.com/wa5ufh/default.htm (somewhat more current) and read the WSJT software docs.  Good luck, hope to work you!
73 Steve KS1G
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KA7NIQ
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2013, 06:41:12 PM »

Does 10 meters have scatter modes too ?
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K5TEN
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2013, 12:40:46 PM »

Does 10 meters have scatter modes too ?

Yes!  There is Meteor scatter on 10M as well.  The BEST times to take advantage are (obviously) during the larger meteor showers--hower, decent pings can be had days before and days after (although far far less pings per hour).  There are, in nature, pings daily but are less predictable.  Ping-jockey is a great online source of info.

During the HIGH years of the solar cycles "backscatter" can be heard and worked. Actually it happens at tother times of the cycle, but during a cycle peak is more common.  This allows you to work "close in" states and places that are just too close for regular "E-Skip".  10meters is open a LOT more than most folks think!!
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2013, 02:10:55 PM »

FSK441 etc are very good but sure take a long time to complete a contact.

I complete them much faster on SSB, if there are any good burns to work.  SSB MS QSO start-to-finish can take less than 30 seconds, and I don't bother with timing sequences if there are obvious burns to work (I don't think anyone else does, either).

I've also never found it particularly useful to aim the antenna anywhere other than where the other station is actually located.  Meteors fall everywhere, every day; during a "shower," there's just a lot more of them.  Either an ionized trail will occur along the desired path, or not, but you still have a "desired path."

Obviously, a lot of power and big antennas work better than less and not.  Even pretty narrow beams (in the 13-15 dB gain range, or above) illuminate a huge chunk of sky at distance.  I doubt I've ever "missed out" on an MS contact for having a beam that was "too big" (meaning, too narrow beamwidth).
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2013, 08:48:00 PM »

I'm running 100w and a 3el m2 yagi on the roof fed with 1/2" heliax. I've had some success with fsk441. I'm definitely a little pistol compared to many but it does work! I'll probably end up adding a little "heat" and a pre-amp to the mix at some point. It's cool to see that "ping" on the waterfall and hear that blip of fsk441 in the headphones. The longer burns are neat too.

Rewind about 25 years I had my first experience with the perseids on 10m. My friend and I were both fairly new and enthusiastic hams and we setup the tent in my parents front yard (we were both about 14 or 15 years old at the time). I forget what I had as an antenna.. I think a 10m vertical that was hot glued to my parents roof (that wound up costing me some money to repair the roof later on!) I can remember hearing someone down in the noise and all of a sudden his signal comes way up for 15 seconds and then faded back. It was amazing! I can't remember if I made any qso's that night or not.. it was either the summer of 1988 or 1989.
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N4KZ
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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2013, 12:51:43 PM »

Leonids, Geminids and Quadrantids are decent showers too.

November, December and January, respectively.

I spent a number of years chasing MS on 2m SSB. Lots and lots of fun. Most pings very short on 2m but occasionally you would get a Blue Whizzer where the trail would last 1-2 minutes. I remember working a Vermont station on a sked when a Blue Whizzer crossed our path and suddenly we went from getting occasional pings to a path that lasted so long we ran out of things to say. We signed clear and two more guys who'd been listening jumped him and they both worked Vermont too -- all three of us on one meteor. 

Now, most of this on 2m has gone over to WSJT, which works very well but I think takes some of the sport out of it because the computer is doing practically all of the work. But you will make contacts and probably more of them and without going hoarse like I used to. But on 6m, the meteor reflections last MUCH longer and you can easily make QSOs on SSB.

73, N4KZ
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