Testing mobile radio meteor scatter equipment with Bill Watson 8/4/2017

I have been experiencing great difficulty detecting meteors by radio scatter. I took my mobile equipment to Bill’s house (Lichfield – Bill is experienced radio amateur) to test against his equipment. We were able to detect the 144.430 MHz amateur radio beacon located at BT Fairseat on the North Downs in Kent (www.gb3vhf.co.uk/) … Bill’s opinion is that if I can detect that then I can detect meteors. It is on a similar heading to Graves in France (which we use for radio scatter off meteors).

Lessons learnt:

(i) It is important to have the Moxon aerial Bill made for me outside

(ii) The aerial needs to be 3-4m high – I need to use my poles

(iii) The aerial is also quite sensitive to direction – I can use the beacon to determine the best direction to point the aerial

(iv) Bill used the aerial HORIZONTALLY

(v) My Yaesu radio is MORE sensitive that Bill’s radio – although his aerial is bigger and higher up!

(vi) At Bill’s house I could detect the beacon using my setup, although to hear the beacon audibly we needed to turn the gain up on the radio.

(vii) I must remember to use CW for the Beacon on 144.430MHz and Upper Side Band for Graves at 143.050MHz (although in past I have successfully detected meteors using 143.049MHz and other observers even report success as low as 143.048MHz – seems some change in frequency possible)

Andy

Video from testing sessions today – including video at Bill’s house and at my house later:

Photos of Bill’s radio shack and aerial, testing my laptop and Moxon at Bill’s house and also later in day at my house & the settings I used on Spectrum Lab to detect the beacon at my house:

 

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