last updated: Tuesday, April 27, 1999 04:04:04 PM

Lets Talk Meteors to improve your grid totals

BY: W4VHF (aka WA4VCC )

OK, You're near or have reach VUCC and its on to endorsements; But you've worked most of the grid squares that can be worked via ground wave or temperature inversion. None of the reported Auroras reached this far south,Sporadic-E has been practically non-existent and tropo ducting spotty at best. So its a long winter nap until 1998 season. WRONG !!

Floating around in space are millions of rock in various sizes and shapes called meteroids. When one of these meteoriods comes too close to earth's ionosphere. It is pulled down by gravity and burns up as it travels to earth; few ever reaching earth. As this rock burn; I.E. The longer your signal is heard by the other station Meteorids are constantly entering the ionosphere and that's why you hear the number of half-syllables or whole word during the course of any one day. These are called random meteors and many dedicated meteor operators will schedule and complete QSOs via this method. If you wish to try random meteors, your best times are the early morning hours.

During the year, There are some 8 to 10 meteors showers which occur at virually the same time on the calendar--Give or take a day or two. So what is a Meteor Shower? This is when the earth passes through a cluster or a school of meteors located near a constellation; I.E. The ORIONIDS meteors shower gets it name from the mighty warrior--ORION. Of these showers, There are three which deliver some excellent contacts from 600 to 1400 miles out:

  1. Perseids,AUG 10-14 with 50-60 meteors burst per hour
  2. GEMINIDS, DEC 10-14 with 60+ burst per hour
  3. QUADRANTIDS, JAN 1-4 with 50 burst per hour.

Of course, during these showers there are best times and best beam headings to yeild best completion rates.

So lets say you're ready to join the world of the ROCK-JOCKEYS and try a few schedules during one of the showers. But who do I set a schedule with ?

Initial Preparation:

Next, lets run through the operating procedure.

Important..You must continue to give both calls with the signal report , because you dont know whether the other station has heard both calls yet. When you do hear your report come back to you---knowing he has both calls--you then go to "ROGER S2" over and over again during your sequence. You are acknowledging your report and still giving him his report.

Then when you hear ROGER 73s come back to you...you know he has his report and your roger. You immediately go back with a series of 73s which tells him that you heard his roger of your report and the schedule is over. Do this several minutes. The contact could take the full 30 minutes plus or be wrapped-up in the first 2-3 minutes. It just depends on the size of the meteor I.E the length of the burn. Burns can last to 30-40 seconds.

One final note...It is wise to stop transmitting and to listen for a second or two during your sequence, Just in case you're riding a trail which allow the other station a chance to jump in with his information. You'll finish many schedules sooner by following this guideline.

Finally, these comment provide you only the basic guidelines for meteor operation; but you'll be suprised how quickly you'll learn the INs and OUTs of this exciting form of propagation. Just close your eyes and jump in.

You'll have a ball !! Gud Luck !!

Use permitted by Author. Note that this is "the traditional MS way"; MS operation is evolving.

Most typos and grammar are the property of the originator... I fixed some of the "cringers". :)

Another link to this content may well be: http://luna.moonstar.com/~wa4pgm/

Copyright April, 1999 AMT ARC

Additions? Corrections? Comment? lemme know: w6mt@amt.org

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