VHF & Above

V/UHF Weak Signal

The world of VHF & above, or frequencies above 50 MHz, is an area of the radio spectrum where I have spent and enjoyed numerous hours operating. These frequencies unlike HF, are less affected by the sun, sunspots or the ionosphere, but more affected by the weather and/or the troposphere, though meteors and auroras have also been known to enhance propagation there too. Another benefit of operating these frequencies is that the antenna sizes required to generate and detect radio signals are much smaller and easier to erect than comparable antennas for HF, or those below 50 MHz, . From home I’m active on 50, 144 and 432 MHz. During VHF contests I participate as one of the operators and designers of the K8GP Grid Pirates Contest Group, multi-operator station. This station is capable of simultaneous operations from 50 MHz to 75 GHz and laser using 8 separate operating positions and 9 towers. Follow the links in the menu bar above to more information about K8GP and that VHF contest group.

K1RA @ K8GP - 8x 432 MHz yagis K1RA @ K8GP - 4x 50 MHz yagis

Below is a Google Map showing the various grid squares contacted from K8GP in the June 2009 VHF contest on all frequency bands from 50 through 432 MHz. Drag the map left, right, up or down, zoom in or out and click on a grid to see how many and which stations we contacted there.

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V/UHF FM Echolink & APRS

I maintain and operate a V/UHF Echolink and APRStt (touch tone) gateway in the local Warrenton, VA area. The node is currently running through the W4VA FARA repeater on 147.165 MHz (PL 167.9). It operates and identifies under the call KW4VA.

Within the Echolink network it can be found as node # 473997 or KW4VA-R. Under the APRS network it can be found as ER-KW4VA and KW4VA-12.

To enable the Echolink node, always remember to ID first, then key in a 4, 5, or 6 digit node number. Use the pound key to turn off the Echolink connection.

The APRStt is currently disabled – To enable the APRStt gateway first key in 5# and wait for an acknowledgment. After that, the following touch tone commands are valid for spotting yourself on the APRS network:

For now click here to read the APRStt specification.

I’m implementing the A (callsign) and B1, B2, B3 and B4 (position) commands with the grid centered on my QTH 38°44’32” N 77°47’51” W – locator FM18CR48HC. Which means B155, B25050, B3500500 or B450005000 spots you at my QTH. Grid point 0,0 is referenced as the lower right bound of the grid scheme. Map overlay to follow here soon.

1 comment to VHF & Above

  • Nice clean easy to navigate website, Andy. I’m getting interested in HSMS on 2 m – I have a satellite antenna with 12 elements – that’ll be a start. I’ll be using just the ICOM 706 MkIIg with a laptop for a while to see if I can see anything. Then who knows. I have no idea whether the laptop sound card will work.

    BTW there’s a FARA club meeting at the Midland Methodist Church tomorrow night (Thursday May 9) starting as early as 6 pm. Hope to see you there. All kinds of food and stuff for free.
    Cheers! and 73,
    Neil, AB4YK.