Once again, thanks to all that have replied directly. I'm sorry but I
can't reply to you all directly because of time restrictions.
I must admit to be a little stirred up as it has become apparent from some
of the direct contacts to me that there are a significant number of
potential operators out there who are intimidated by the disparaging remarks
about modest installations to such an extent that they are discouraged from
entering the LF area of operation.
Be reassured that there is a silent majority out there that will encourage
you no matter how small your installation is. The LF bands are NOT DXCC
bands or an arena for seeing who has the biggest this or that - it is, in
most countries, allocated as an EXPERIMENTAL band. That is why you can use
modes on LF which are not allowed in some countries on the HF bands (so I am
As for the assertion about relative costs for masts and transceivers. I
obviously am not in the same monetary class as those who would say that a
tower costing over £2000 (over $5300 Aus) is an option. I do have a modern
transceiver which cost me nearly $3000 Aus but I saved for a long time (a
long time and much talking and justification with the XYL) for this, but it
gives me access to all bands to 70cm (including LF receive).
Another contribution carries the implication that those who are keen to
engage in DSP should remember that not everyone has a PC. Well, over here
a PC capable of running Spectrogram (and other things - logging, antenna
analysis, etc) will cost you less than $500 - one tenth the cost of the
suggested tower from the other contribution.
So to those that are thinking about getting on the air on LF - DON'T be put
off by the fear that your activity will viewed as not worth the bother.
The reason we have been granted the privilege of using these LF frequencies
is for experimentation (nowhere in the submissions for access to LF to the
relevant regulatory bodies will you find the purpose as being for DXCC,
biggest antennas or CW skills - but you will find the words experimentation
and investigation) and so if you want to experiment with a 6m pole and are
thrilled to make it over a 30km path - go do it!! If you do something
different from the accepted 'norm' then it could be argued that you have
made more of a contribution above what can be just copied from commercial
installations. If we just strive to mimic commercial installations what is
the point? How can we argue with our regulatory authorities that we are
worthy of access to LF if they see that we are just re-inventing the wheel?
Finally, to those of you that emailed me with indications of being
discouraged because of the modesty of their installations, I can re-assure
you that there IS a silent majority out there whose LF capabilities range
from the very modest to the top-most capability whose motivation is one of
the pure thrill of the challenge (whether 10km or 2000km) and are competing
with the physics, etc, not each other.
So in summary, there are plenty of us who just want to have a free exchange
of ideas while just a few want to mass debate :-)
Regards Steve Olney
(P.S. I was going to add more letters here, eg., two Degrees and one
Diploma, but I didn't want to appear to be a wanker, and they are totally
irrelevant to Amateur activities anyway :-)