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EME Moon Bounce on 40 meters?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K7FE, Apr 11, 2011.

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  1. K7FE

    K7FE QRZ Lifetime Member #1 QRZ Page

    Rick Shepherd, KA8ERS and four other Amateur Radio Operators, K9JCM-Jim, KE5RJX-James, KC2ZUR-Rich and KA1FFY-Ron operating 40M SSB claim to have bounced their signals off the moon.
    "Can you hear me now?"
    If not wait 2.6 seconds and you will.

    On April 11th 2011 at 12:05a.m. Rick, KA8ERS asked the guys to stand-by, He thought He heard another station trying to check-in. It turns out it that it was an echo of His signal. To travel long-path around the earth it takes 134 milliseconds. It takes 1.3 seconds to get a signal to the moon, another 1.3 seconds to receive the signal back (2.6 seconds total) once a successful bounce has been accomplished. Rick and the other four radio amateurs in the QSO confirm that there was a considerable delay of all their signals. They measured it to be just shy of three seconds.

    The echo's were recorded by K9JCM-Jim. The moon was in the N.W. sky at about 50 to 60 degrees from Rick's location. They were operating on 40 meters 7.190MHz between 12:05 and 12:20AM EST. Other stations that have confirmed hearing the echo are KJ6LJB-John and KF5KJE-Robert.

    Anyone who has experienced echo's on HF or has other information about long delay echos is encouraged to contact Rick at: rsheph (at)

    If you have recordings of this QSO or similar echos, please share them with Rick, KA8ERS.

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  2. W1YW

    W1YW Subscriber QRZ Page

    I regret that I do not see that this attribution to moonbounce is credible. My recollection is fuzzy, but I believe that the path loss to the moon is of order 180 dB. With low gain antennas and low EIRP's, it is extraordinarily unlikely that this was moonbounce. Especially since the HF absorption is non trivial and the MUF was far in excess of 7 MHz.

    Occam's razor does not invoke this as the most likely explanation.

    LDE's are always interesting but HF moonbounce is not viable with ham setups at 7 MHz.

    Chip W1YW
  3. N4UJW

    N4UJW Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. W7CI

    W7CI Ham Member QRZ Page


    Others as well as myself are quite curious to know the exact parameters and conditions for this alleged contact or signal detection effort. Since any EME contact is a direct function of an RF budget for a given EME path loss, it is necessary to know what each station is using at each circuit end in order to determine, signal detection thresholds (NF/RX sensitivity), EIRP, etc. Further significant factors enter the path loss problem and that are not easily determined, are the high absorbtion values and very rapid faraday rotation phenomena that would be encountered at 7 MHz. It is assumed that the signal detection was completed via normal and common analog SSB auditory means. Another significant factor considered to make such a contact valid, are the 2X exchange of signal report information as well as station call signs in a normally accepted analog SSB format.

    The probability of such a valid contact being made on 7 MHz is extremely low.

    de W7CI
  5. W4HUF

    W4HUF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was there and made a contact with Rick KA8ERS When the *MoonBounce* Happened.. dunno if was moonbounce or LDE but it was kewl to say the least.. other operators may have been in or around 7.190 when it happened.. so may have a more accurate description or what went down.. but i was talking with rick when the echos happened
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  6. AC8EO

    AC8EO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have experienced LDE's twice over the years.

    I was monitoring all this excitement last night, but was only hearing static crashes.
  7. KA8ERS

    KA8ERS Ham Member QRZ Page

    All stations had 59 copy including a station in the UK (call sign coming).
    In doing my homework months ago I determined that it would be too costly to attempt this experiment on the HF band. But the knowledge I gained showed that it is possible to achieve a moon-bounce on HF if all conditions are optimum. We did experience what sounded like the Doppler effect / phase shifting with severe distortion at times, if fact a couple of times guys did say “what was that”. But most of the calls were readable. This condition lasted fifteen minutes or so and several watched our clocks and the echo did arrive just as the 3 second hand was ready to strike each time. We all are sure that it was not a Long Path echo due to the time interval and the fact that there was only one Echo. LDE’s are just that- Long Delayed Echo’s, key letter being the ‘s. At no time was there a second, third or four echo. Occam’s Razor would (quickly) invoke this as a “long-path” communication. In this case Occam’s Razor is overruled. Confirmations are coming in today via QRZ and e-mail.

    I run a modified Alpha Delta LB Plus as Inverted-V at 53 feet configured so that I have a dual four leaf clover patterns which gives me two launch angle’s of radiation. The lower launch pattern is about 20 degrees and the upper launch pattern is about 45 degrees. The moon at the time of the event was just above 45 degrees. And I agree, the probability of making this type of contact on 7MHz is low, however five of us made the contact, we all tried and all parties heard and witnessed the same. There were other stations that did not have optimum conditions as the rest of us that have confirmed the event.

    In closing: There are always naysayers who say it can't be done.
    Ha-Ha-Ha, “The Telephone”, “who are going to call
    Mr. Alexander Graham Bell?”
  8. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Was the sation in the UK hearing the same thing?

    I would estimate the probablity of this being moonbounce at very close to 0%. Something was probably occuring, but it was not EME.

  9. VE1CZ

    VE1CZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I remember years ago one night a friend of mine and I were checking out our beam patterns on 10 meters and had the same thing happen.Don,t know what it was but it was cool none the less!
  10. AA1VX

    AA1VX Ham Member QRZ Page

    The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Project (HAARP) folks did an EME test in January 2008 on 6.792 MHz CW.

    However, they were using 3.6 MEGAwatts and 180 turnstile antennas :)

    Dave AA1VX
  11. G4LHT

    G4LHT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some years ago in North Scotland, when I was in the RAF we noticed a very large return on the Radar screen many checks later head scratching etc The Chief Tec who was also Ham and arrived later from onsite explained that it was in fact the Moon, that was my 1st experience of the phenomenon.
  12. VE3DGX

    VE3DGX Ham Member QRZ Page

    How about twice around the world , and no Doppler Shift ???
  13. K8CXM

    K8CXM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was able to hear the HAARP test. They were actually quite loud. I have a nice recording of that test, and a QSL. I agree that conventional gear isn't nearly enough to make that trip. More about HAARP on their web page.
  14. N0WYO

    N0WYO Ham Member QRZ Page

    What sounded like Doppler may have been the RF energy in contact with a plasma wave. It would sound similar to what you hear on 6 meters during a good aurora event.

    There are also theories of plasma ducting. This would send a signal around the world several times.
  15. W1YW

    W1YW Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am sorry that I wasnt clear on my first post: it is impossible that this was moonbounce. I have no doubts that you experienced an echo. If it was not man made (prank) then it was plasma ducting. the phenom is produced analogously with metamaterials in the lab.See my bio for avideo link.

    Chip W1YW
  16. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The thing he is pointing out is that the path loss is just too high for the amount of gain and power possible on 7MHz, for a ham. It is impossible from a physics standpoint, at that power level, and given antennas that hams are likely to be using. It is not impossible at 1000 times the ERP that a typical ham station could run.

    So, if you take EME off the table, you look at other possibilities. Some have been mentioned, and linked to.

  17. KB4QAA

    KB4QAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If all involved heard signals as 59, then it could NOT have been EME. Do a link budget! I accept that you heard a delayed echo. I've experienced that myself. I also copied the HAARP EME, and they needed a helluva lot of power and gain.
  18. K4WGE

    K4WGE Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is from W1YW's post: "If it was not man made (prank) then it was plasma ducting. the phenom is produced analogously with metamaterials in the lab."

    I would like an explanation of how it could be a prank and who the prankster(s) might be. And what does it mean that the phenomenon of plasma ducting "is produced analogously with metamaterials in the lab"?

    I'm sure Cecil will chime in here shortly.:)
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  19. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    since the thread has devolved anyways, I thought I would point out to the "Chief Editor, QRZ.COM"

    echo's and "echos" -> echoes
  20. K4WGE

    K4WGE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Grammar and Spelling Police (GASP)

    It should be "devolved anyway.":)
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