Crazy Part 15 DX

Ken Norris's picture

After taking (and BTW passing :)) an Amateur Radio test this morning, one of the three test admins said he would try to get my station on the South end of the island ... that's 11 miles away!!

He called me late afternoon, about 4:30pm PDT, to tell me he heard my station. I was so much in shock I almost fell off the dock!! I happened to have my little $2 (rummage sale) multiband radio with me (not sure why, I just sometimes carry it around to check if the STL computer is still running the stream), and sure enough, he was indeed hearing my station. Nothing you'd want to listen to for very long, but he punched in a filter and it got even better.

Here's why: He has a triple conversion all-band very high-end ICOM communications receiver in his shack hooked up outside to a longwire Rhombic antenna pointed in my general direction.

Just goes to show ... great reception gear makes a lot of difference when it comes down to it. Still, 11 miles is a long ways for puny 100mw into final ...


11 miles with only 100mw. WOW. What transmitter are you using? What type of antenna are you using and how high is your antenna?

His magical setup

He's Broadcasting from a sailboat.

To be clear ...

1) It's just a power boat, 1967 Owen 28' classic cabin cruiser. The TX is a TH unit with custom built ATU system on a 8' mast. The tip of the antenna is maybe 18' above SL. The system is grounded to the sea. Took three days of strenuous work and patience for 3-4 hours each day at different TOD to get overall peak resonance. I'm going to have to do it again soon and reseal everything (not looking forward to the work, but it will pay off).

2) The range is not so much about my transmission as it is the quality of the receiver. Not everyone can invest $2000 in an ICOM triple-conversion receiver with filters and preamps, nor enough property for a long-wire antenna. When I told my friend Dick Rich about it this morning at church, he wasn't surprised ... he says optimizing a receiving system like that can receive and isolate surprisingly weak signals.

... but still ...

All the best, Ken N. KF7PLC

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