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LF: Re: MB7LF Remote receiver relay

To: [email protected]
Subject: LF: Re: MB7LF Remote receiver relay
From: "Derek Atter" <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 01:30:21 +0100
References: <[email protected]>
Reply-to: [email protected]
Sender: <[email protected]>
From Derek Atter G3GRO,
Many thanks for the many messages of support received via the LF Reflector
and also for the support given at the well attended sessions of the LF Forum
at the recent HF/LF  Convention at Windsor regarding the establishment of
the remote receiver system GB7LF.

I regret that one or two LF operators have expressed objection to the basic
idea of the LF relay. The derogatory response from G3KEV was predictable and
about par for the course and is just one more in a long line of similar
outbursts. I was however more sorry to read the views expressed by Steve
GW4ALG and Dave G3YMC with whom I have had many a enjoyable QSO. I hope
perhaps Steve you will on reflection not say farewell yet to the LF bands -
that would be such a pity. The 136kHz band can ill aford to lose such an
active operator and experimenter. To clarify things would like to emphasise
the following points :

(1) The system should not be regarded in the same light as a 2m FM repeater.
It is an experiment to provide a remote receiver whose main function is to
overcome the problems of local noise and not to act as an intermediate
repeater intended to extend the range coverage. A second objective is to
encourage more interest in LF activity locally and there are already signs
that members of other clubs have started monitoring activity on 136kHz via
the relay receiver. The fear that somehow this will encourage more "black
box" operation seems to me to be irrelevant since most of us use commercial
receivers already and a 136kHz transmitter and antenna system is still
needed to make a QSO.  We did not have in mind its use in achieving awards
or records when establishing the remote receiver but to avoid any confusion
as to the signal path, we will be encouraging the practice of adding "RX via
MB7LF" to outgoing signal reports on 136kHz.

(2) The licence is held by the RSGB and delegated by them to the relay
keeper. At the end of the first  year of operation we will review it and if
the general consensus of LF operators (perhaps after discussion at the next
HF Convention) is that it is not a good thing, then we will shut it down.

(3) The system is not yet optimised since it was put together in a very
short time in order to support the LF special event station MB2HFC at the HF
Convention at Windsor. As has been said elsewhere on the reflector, without
its use it would not have been possible to operate a viable demonstration
station as was found last year due to the local noise level. Or should we
have just sat on our hands and missed the opportunity to encourage more LF
interest among a wider audience?  We opted to use initially an active
antenna with only a 1.2m whip only 30ft AGL operating in conjunction a fixed
loop to null out Loran to demonstrate the potential of active receiving
antennas in support of the talk by Andre' N1ICK on the AMRAD antenna.
Although the antenna system maybe not yet be optimised, it was clearly
working reasonably well since we managed to work as far as Finbar EI0CF at
Malin Head at the northern tip of Eire and down to F6BWO in the opposite
direction in Chaumont, SE of Paris, both being in the region of  600km
distance. As part of the experiment it is planned in future as an
alternative to the active antenna, to patch in to the Crawley Club  360ft
inverted "L"  antenna which is up at around 60ft AGL. We also plan to
experiment with a very long terminated half-loop antenna similar to that
being currently being used so successfully by Laurie G3AQC  pointed at
Lessay to null out Loran.

Finally, it's early days yet. We believe that the project is in the amateur
tradition of experiment as several of the mesages posted on the reflector
have already said. We would also like to pay tribute to the UK Radio
Licensing Authority and the RSGB for the speed with which they  processed
the licence application and their helpful comments on the way

                   Vy 73, de  Derek Atter G3GRO




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