Welcome to Flip and Bob's Excellent 1.2 GHz adventure.
Well a while back Flip N9AZZ and Bob KA9UVY decided that they were going to try 1.2 GHz FM TV. This is a totally new idea in our area. We were lucky enough to see some of it working in St Louis on a couple of visits there. John KD0LO and Dale NI0D are having great luck with this mode and frequency. So why shouldn't Flip and Bob do the same? Well for one the path in St Louis is only about 6 miles. The vast area between Bob and I is 26.5 miles. But still John said NO PROBLEM, it'll work. HA HA.
I purchased a Bensat receiver. A "Cops" 100 MW exciter. A 3 watt brick, and a 20 watt brick. I assembled all of this, and was happy to report that I was in deed getting 20 watts out of the setup. But alas, after a month of disappointments there were still no video being received at Bob's QTH. The problem has been bounced back and forth. I have always had a SWR that was to high for my liking. Antenna work. Feedline work. Antenna replacement. Nothing seemed to work.
We had made a couple of mobile experiments in the Mt Vernon area. At one point I got video back to Bob at 3.98 miles running 1 watt into a dipole antenna stuck on the roof of the car on a magnet.
Finally I was to the breaking point. I gathered all of my handy work and placed it in the garage. And put out a general call that it was for sale. This FM stuff won't work at 26+ miles. That's what I said.
Bob and I both work midnight's. Last night Bob and I were both off. We got bored. We worked on 70CM TV. 15, 10, and 6 meters on SSB. I kept looking at the spot that the 1.2 stuff had occupied, and somehow that ol' ATV spirit raised its head and said come on Flip, lets give it one more try.
I loaded the complete station in the car. Complete with a small 16 element yagi, 10 foot of 9913, 20 watt transmitter, color camera, and GPS. I drove about a half mile east of my QTH. This is a small hill that is about 45 feet higher than my tower. While holding the antenna on a two foot piece of pipe out the drivers window, I threw the switch. and BINGO Bob had video. We were able to get video up to P5 at Bob's QTH. I drove around the area and found a spot that worked best, and this location was figured to be only 20 feet higher than my tower. We also determined that all of the other bands were fairly flat enhancement wise. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. Spirits once trampled are re-vitalized. Look at our screen grabs below. And stay tuned for more on this most excellent adventure.
After several months of inactivity on the 1.2 GHz front a first was recorded on 03-26-00. The first P5 pictures received at KA9UVY from N9AZZ at his home station. The band stayed open all night, with P5 and P4 pictures being the norm. The below pictures were recorded with a video camera at Bob's QTH, then transmitted back to Flip via 439.250 AM. Flip made a VHS recording, and then captured these shots from that tape. Who said this stuff wouldn't work !!
This shot was recorded by Bob on a VHS VCR, then sent to Flip again on 439.250, where it was then captured
During the summer months, things slowed down on the ATV front. With 1.2 FM being completely forgotten. Flip sold his entire system to Bob, KA9UVY. Now as Fall approaches we are getting the 1.2 FM bug again. Flip has obtained his receiver back from Bob, and we are happy to say that Bob is being received at AZZ fairly regularly. Here are a couple of screen grabs that were taken on October 1 2001 around 8:00 AM
Latest screen grabs from the evening of October 1 2001
As you can see, it was great! Its a shame Bob had to work and we couldn't work all night with it.
Now some might think that these contacts are nothing special. I am sure around the country that people are using 1.2 FM for longer haul contacts. But let me explain the working conditions. Bob is running over 125 feet of 9913 feedline on his station. And Flips antenna is only at 35 feet, also with 9913, albeit a much shorter run than Bobs. Terrain works against us, with the distance being 26 miles this I think is a real accomplishment. We are going to work on improving both stations. So look back here for more progress reports.
Oh look, no mustache !!
Well, well The 1.2 situation has picked up again. Bob now has 45 elements at 75 feet, fed with 7/8 inch hardline. He is being seen regularly at N9AZZ, snowy but seen. As a matter of fact a full duplex TV qso was held recently with P5 signals on both ends. It's Flip's turn to get back on the horse again. A 45 element antenna has been ordered, as well as a low noise pre amp and another 18 watt brick. Also a major antenna project, with his tower going up 30 feet, with the 1.2 actually going up 40 feet higher. We hope to have a semi solid path going after these improvements.
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Last update to this web was on 02/24/03 09:16:38 PM
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