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LF: Fw: Operation from ex-Decca station at Puckeridge 2

To: "LF-Group" <[email protected]>
Subject: LF: Fw: Operation from ex-Decca station at Puckeridge 2
From: "Dick Rollema" <[email protected]>
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 11:56:05 +0200
Cc: "Jaap Kroon, PA0IF" <[email protected]>, "Pieter Bruinsma, PA0PHB" <[email protected]>, "Koos Fockens, PA0KDF" <[email protected]>, "Hans Peltzer" <[email protected]>, "Ger van Went, PA0GER" <[email protected]>
Organization: Freeler
Reply-to: [email protected]
Sender: <[email protected]>
To All from PA0SE
This is an addition to my report of Sunday April 16, 22.13, here repeated.
The shape of a vertical aerial has a lot of influence on the reactive part of the impedance at the feedpoint but the real ("Ohmic") part only depends on the height of the aerial and hardly on its shape. This makes it possible to find the radiation resistance of the ex-Decca mast at Puckeridge by computer modelling, only using its height of 325 feet.
We find Rrad = 0.641 Ohms on 137 kHz and Rrad = 0.175 Ohms on 72 kHz.
The aerial current was given as 9A.
This results in a radiated power of:
Prad = 9 * 9 * 0.641 = 52W on 137 kHz
Prad = 9 * 9 * 0.175 = 14.2W on 72 kHz
This is within a few dB of the values found from field strength measurement by Geri, DK8KW and myself, assuming a radio path over perfect ground.
In the modelling no top loading was assumed. >From the description of the mast it seems some form of top loading is actually present: wires extending from the top of the mast down to the surface. When these are connected to the top of the mast that seems to be quite wrong as the current flowing via the wires is in opposite direction to the current in the mast, counteracting the field radiated by the mast.
But the boys at RACAL-DECCA certainly must have known what they were doing. It would be interesting if we could obtain some more info on this matter.    
The discrepancy between radiated power found by calculation and from field strength measurement is much smaller than in the case of amateur installations, as reported by SM6PXJ, DK8KW, M0BMU, PA0SE ans possibly others.
The same is the case for the measurements by Gamal and Geri of the field of DCF139.
This confirms the earlier expressed opinion that in amateur stations quite a bit of power is lost by radiation into the ground and absorption in surrounding objects.    
In commercial installations the situation - extensive earth mat, unobstructed view - is much more like the ideal one used for the CCIR curves: power radiated from a short vertical aerial over perfect ground.
73, Dick, PA0SE
----- Oorspronkelijk bericht -----
Aan: LF-Group
Verzonden: zondag 16 april 2000 22:13
Onderwerp: Operation from ex-Decca station at Puckeridge

To All from PA0SE
I only could monitor transmissions from the ex-Decca station today, Sunday April 16.
The result is:
Time (UTC) Call  Freq   ERP  Iant S-report  Fieldstrength 
1000        G3WSC/P 136kHz  50W   9A    S9 + 20dB        171 µV/m
1446        G3GRO/P  73kHz   ?    9A    S9 + 7dB          70 µV/m
The distance between Puckeridge and PA0SE is 317km, for the larger part over sea.
The CCIR curves show that for this distance at 136 kHz attenuation over sea water and "land" hardly differs from a path over perfect ground. Assuming perfect ground we can apply the simple rule that 1kW transmitted from a small aerial produces a field strength of 300 mV/m at 1 km distance and this decreases in a linear way with distance. Working backwards from the field strength measured we find at Puckeridge 45W was fed to the aerial on 136kHz and 7.5W on 73kHz.
This is EIRP and not ERP of course.
In order to enable the station receiver to be used as FS meter I measured the FS of DCF139 (138.83kHz) and DCF77 (77.5kHz) at two locations in open field, using a home made one turn screened loop of 1 m^2 area and a Wandel & Goltermann SPM-12 selective level meter, fed from the car battery.
I could have saved myself the trouble because the values measured at the two locations and the ones in my shack were exactly the same:
DCF139: E = 1.93 mV/m
DCF77:  E = 2.85 mV/m
It shows that the magnetic component of the field is not noticeable influenced by wiring, central heating system etc. in the house.
When using my home made portable FS meter, described on G3YXM's website, I had noticed that moving around outside over a small distance sometimes made considerable difference in FS measured. I attribute this to underground cables, pipelines etc. These extend over a great distance, pick up the signal as a long aerial and re-radiate it, interfering with the primary field. (On LF the field penetrates over tens of metres into the ground). The dimensions of objects inside the house apparantly are too small to show this effect to a measurable extent. (Inside an appartment block with concrete walls it may be different.)
When I measured the field of DCF139 and DCF77 I selected locations where no such visible and invisible field-disturbing objects were present.
I sincerely thank all those who took part in organising and performing this interesting experiment and in particular Walter Blanchard who was instrumental in making it possible.
73, Dick, PA0SE
D.W. Rollema
V.d. Marckstraat 5
2352 RA Leiderdorp
The Netherlands
Tel +31 71 589 27 34
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