Can't help feeling some of the reaction to MB7LF is premature. It isn't a
fixture; it's experimental only; you don't HAVE to use it even if you're
within range; and if QSO's through it are thought to be "not playing the
game" then so be it. We can easily say that no QSO's through it reckon for
But it wasn't set up for DX'ing. A lot of amateurs, some known to me
personally, don't have huge antenna farms and don't live in the nice quiet
countryside but would like to have a go at LF anyway. They can't hear much
because of all the tellys and SMPSU's and haven't the space for more than a
little inverted-L so anything they put out is only going to be in the
milliwatt, probably microwatt, range. There is still a lot of interest to
be had putting even that out, as I've been finding myself lately, but
nobody much will hear it. A repeater can at least confirm you're putting
out something, which is nice.
It also helps considerably fiddling about with coil tuning and aerial
layouts. You're very lucky if you know a co-operative ham who has nothing
to do but listen to your weak transmissions for hours on end reporting
slight changes in strength. Meters in the shack don't tell all. Yesterday
I put my microwatt squeaker on the air and although all the indications in
the shack were normal I could see from the repeater I wasn't getting out.
My aerial feeder had blown into a large and very wet bush and when I pulled
it clear all was normal again. And the difference between low and high-Q
coils can be seen in seconds.
I only wish there were a lot more repeaters around me so I could get the
sort of signal-strength measurements Jim MBU has been doing lately without
having to spend days driving around the countryside.