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Author Topic: Propagtion to Heard Island  (Read 1526 times)
AF5CC
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« on: March 23, 2013, 08:28:09 PM »

Assuming the solar numbers stay about the same as they are now, what are probably the best bands to have a chance at working Heard on from the middle of the US?  It is a 165 degree beam heading from here, so it will skirt the southern polar zone for part of the path.

I will be running 100 watts, so it is little pistol stuff here.  I have a Cushcraft MA5B I might have up by then, but might not have it up either.  Is there any chance of getting them with 100 watts and a fairly low dipole?  I expect the pileups to be huge, and that they might not be on again in my lifetime.

73 John AF5CC
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KY6R
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 08:48:33 PM »

I recommend that you plug in your variables into this interface:

http://www.voacap.com/prediction.html

and you will at least have some clue. I've actually had great success with this tool - but on a few occasions (ZL9HR) it was just not right at all. But for maybe 90% of the time it was "close enough" . . .

Check the short and long path.

73,

Rich
KY6R
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 09:03:39 PM by KY6R » Logged
W6GX
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 10:14:02 PM »

I made a post a while back saying that the Heard operation will have two separate operating sites.  This is done to optimize the paths to NA.  I assume they will do everything within their powers to make sure Heard will be heard Grin  Whether they will hear you or not is within your control (i.e. your antenna and the amount of power).  I would highly suggest that you run the maximum power allowed by your mini beam.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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K2DC
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 03:40:43 AM »

If it's any help, Heard is right next door to Kerguelen.  I worked FT5XO in '05 on 30M, 20M and 17M all within about an hour between 1100Z and 1200Z from the East Coast.

73,

Don, K2DC
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KY6R
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 06:43:35 AM »

I made a post a while back saying that the Heard operation will have two separate operating sites.  This is done to optimize the paths to NA.  I assume they will do everything within their powers to make sure Heard will be heard Grin  Whether they will hear you or not is within your control (i.e. your antenna and the amount of power).  I would highly suggest that you run the maximum power allowed by your mini beam.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

Yes, Dean Straw, N6BV ran HFTA on the two possible sites - Atlas Cove (where VK0IR operated from) and Spit Point. I posted a graphic in this blog:

http://dxccsleuth.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/vk0h-heard-island/

I will be going over that HFTA research in my IDXC and Pacificon presentation this year, but in a nutshell, Spit Point is much better for the US and Atlas Cove for other parts of the world. I am guessing Dean will also mention it in some of his presentations as well.

I worked FT5XO easily using an MA5B on the high bands with 200 watts and a short hatted vertical dipole with remote auto-tuner on 80, 40 and 30M - also 200 watts.

I worked Crozet easily on 20M as well - can't remember what I was using at the time - probably a 2 element SteppIR yagi - and 200 watts.

When VK0IR activated in 1997, it was the absolute bottom of that cycle.

Conditions in 2005 were similar to what we had in 2011 - just a little bit down from what we have now.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2013, 06:51:16 AM by KY6R » Logged
NU1O
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 10:09:47 AM »

Why are you worried about propagation to Heard which is about a year off?  A lot can happen between then and now.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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AF5CC
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 11:50:32 AM »

Why are you worried about propagation to Heard which is about a year off?  A lot can happen between then and now.

73,

Chris/NU1O

Trying to start to make station plans now for the DXpedition.  Also, I am too neurotic-worry about missing a ATNO that I might never get a chance for again.

John AF5CC
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KY6R
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 01:28:29 PM »

Quote

Trying to start to make station plans now for the DXpedition. 


And excellent answer - but here are a few other variables you might to think about.

After being stuck in the doldrums with my previous antenna "farm" I used VOACAP, HFTA and EZnec to ensure that I could work every ATNO that came along. This was over a year ago - and my research and upgrade of antenna farm was 100% successful. I did not miss one ATNO last year - which ended up being the most critical year in my DX-ing "career".

I would say HFTA was the most critical - because I wasn't hearing what others in the SF Bay area could hear - and so - the problem was my extremely hilly terrain. See my QRZ.COM page to get a real graphic idea on what I had to do to get to the "success zone".

If you live on flat ground or are on the top of the hill, then you won't have to worry about terrain. But you still probably want to put up the best antennas you can as high and in the clear as you can.

I don't think Heard Island will be hard - but the pileups will be brutal. Using DX Atlas could also be your best friend - you can capitalize on the high bands when EU is in the dark and low bands when EU is in the light - hi hi.

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NU1O
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 03:21:07 PM »

Why are you worried about propagation to Heard which is about a year off?  A lot can happen between then and now.

73,

Chris/NU1O

Trying to start to make station plans now for the DXpedition.  Also, I am too neurotic-worry about missing a ATNO that I might never get a chance for again.

John AF5CC

That is not a hard path from my location in New England.  Your biggest obstacle is going to be your "minimalist station."  I would not want to try and break the Heard pileups running barefoot to a G5RV.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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AA9RN
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 06:02:26 PM »

Well if they stay like they did in 97 he should be able to work them if he can hear them. I did it on 40m with a R7 and 100 watts near the end of the operation. I think they will be more lids/nut cases out there now than back in 97.
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AF5CC
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2013, 06:57:40 PM »

I think they will be more lids/nut cases out there now than back in 97.

That is what I worry about as well.  Back then fewer people were on the cluster, fewer people used CW readers, and there were just less DXers in general, and most of them had a clue back then.

John AF5CC
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NU1O
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2013, 09:36:50 PM »

I think they will be more lids/nut cases out there now than back in 97.

That is what I worry about as well.  Back then fewer people were on the cluster, fewer people used CW readers, and there were just less DXers in general, and most of them had a clue back then.

John AF5CC

I'm not sure about there being less DXers then but we didn't have a lot of hams relying on code readers which can really slow things down.  I'm also not sure there are more Lids. The hobby has had Lids since I've been a part of it.

I don't know if you have antenna restrictions but why can't you just add a kW amp and pickup a quick 10 dB over your current station?
That's the fastest way to pickup a lot of gain.  Of course, if you're still using the dipole and can't hear them it will not make any difference.

73,

Chris/NU1O

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W2IRT
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2013, 10:18:42 PM »

More code reader, more lids in general, everybody on the planet connected to the cluster and CLUBLOG GREENIE Collectors. And Yes, I'll be after whatever I can get from Heard. Will probably be my last chance in this lifetime. Hoping the array stays up and the linear stays functional for another year (and that my health allows me to be here and DX).
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