Trying microwaves

I notice that the UK Microwave group will loan out systems for various microwave bands if you want to try them out:

10 GHz is great fun from summits (and often works better than 2m SSB…).

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Not sure how suitable for SOTA this is, but as the article states, it has been used for contesting:

One for the QRP enthusiasts by the sound of it.


I found that the adjective in the thread title was accurate.

D’you mean in the same way your endless monologues about - errrrm, yourself, are trying? -

and so on…


I wonder how much interest microwavers would have in an app/site which could show elevation profiles between points (say, SOTA summits and/or QTH’s) on the map? - to see whether microwave comms are possible/probable between those points?

Many such sites already exist.

None. The requirement for a clear line of sight died when microwaves moved to narrowband modes.

No, but if you, Steve and Mike find them that way, please don’t read them. I won’t mind.

No, I meant that when I briefly tried some uW SOTA activating, I found it difficult and frustrating. Probably because I wasn’t very good at it.

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Forgive my ignorance of such matters, but could you explain this?

In olden times there were no devices that could ‘easily’ amplify at say 10GHz. So the receiver had no RF stage it was a mixer with the 10GHz straight into the mixer along with the LO of typically 30MHz. People used wideband FM because that was all that was easy to generate.

Now we have devices with gain aove 25GHz and highly accurate frequency generation so we can do SSB etc. and find the other frequency the QSO partner is using. The watts/hz is such that signals no longer have to be LOS, the signals troposcatter nicely and can be heard beyond LOS distances.

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OK, thanks for the explanation.

When you started out on CW that was also difficult and frustrating, probably because you weren’t very good at it :slight_smile:

Perseverance is what is required - microwaves can be very satisfying and technically extremely challenging


Sometimes you just know if something “isn’t for you”! I loved CW from the very start of my journey on it. Same with portable datamodes - so you stick at it. Microwaves had a similar effect on me as when I tried out geocaching - a big turn-off!

Sometimes you just know if something “isn’t for you”!

And sometimes you have to re-think. After a first euphoria I thought the same of 23 cm, as almost every contact was a sked. But to me, amateur radio is about making random contacts, just see where the physics take your signal. Giving it ‘a last try’ on the first October weekend (IARU microwaves conest) I made 7 random contacts in less than an hour with only the LZ xverter and its OEM antenna. Now I’m waiting eagerly for the next charge of LZ PA’s to get one. Have the microwaves changed or my skills?


PS: Oh, now I notice, I haven’t posted an activation report in the Delta-Mike-rowave thread. :astonished:

I agree with Richard. Microwave bands are different and results can be very surprising and fascinating. However it is not remotely similar to hf operation - though the current lack of a viable ionosphere is turning hf into something like a vhf band.

Those who are not enthused about it have other parts of ham radio to use. Thats fine and i think it is great that there are so many aspects to this hobby.

However the offer by uk microwave group is generous and should be taken up by anyone curious about what its like to make a crystal clear 100 km contalct on 10 ghz instead of struggling on an hf band. My profile photo is from a 10ghz contact made using borrowed equipment built by Dale vk1dsh.

It was in the uk microwave group mailing list that I first heard of SOTA. It was Richard writing about antennas for SOTA operation on 1296. So my interest in microwaves has led me here in a way.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH