10,000 Kilometer Pedestrian-to-Pedestrian Shortwav...

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by Guest, Feb 24, 2001.

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  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    San Mateo, California USA

    18 February 2001

    Amateur radio sport got a boost today with the successful direct pedestrian to pedestrian communication over 10,460 kilometers (6,500 miles) of ocean via shortwave. In what is believed to be the longest distance voice contact without satellites between two pedestrian amateur radio operators, Max Pompe ZL1BK of Auckland New Zealand and Bonnie Crystal KQ6XA of San Mateo California USA, utilized miniature single sideband transceivers with homemade antennas.

    Bonnie Crystal KQ6XA comments, "This is an exciting example of what can be done with creative ingenuity and in the current peak of the solar cycle. This event sparks new enthusiasm for amateur radio and the spirit of friendship around our planet. World records are meant to be broken."

    The two radio operators were each hiking in rural areas overlooking opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean when contact was established at 02:15 Universal Coordinated Time on Sunday 18 February 2001 (Saturday sunset in California).

    During the world-spanning conversation, radio signals were bounced off the ionosphere and the Pacific Ocean several times, using a technique called multiple hop propagation. In the growing popular radio sport known as "HF-Packing", ham operators use hand-carried battery-powered radio sets to communicate with each other across thousands of miles while hiking, cycling, or camping. The transceivers used for the transpacific connection transmitted at a frequency of 28.337 MHz with 5 watts on the New Zealand side and 20 watts on the California side. Both operators are members of a worldwide email group of backpack radio enthusiasts called "HFpack", which keeps a database of so-called PM (Pedestrian Mobile) long distance records.

    Max Pompe ZL1BK adds, "I still can hardly believe we did it, but the Pacific gods smiled on us as we rode the airwaves today."

    For more information, contact:

    Bonnie Crystal KQ6XA



    Since publication of the original article above, Bonnie, KQ6XA
    has sent in the following additional info:

    The ZL1BK used a 1.8m homebrew telescopic whip mounted on his FT-817 with
    I used a fishing pole strapped to my aluminum packframe with 20Watts.
    Both of us used 3m insulated wire dragging counterpoises.
    Actually, we started our skeds on 15 and 12m. ZL1BK was able to hear me fine
    on those bands, but he was only Q1, so we couldn't exchange reports until we
    got on 10m, where it was Q5 when riding the crests of the QSB.
    There is a lot of background on this story on the HFpack group listserver
    site. Other stations in the HFpack group here in the US that had been trying
    to make a go of it, but ZL1BK and I just lucked out. There are other attempts
    being made for more distance, as we speak. HFpack now keeps a database of
    Pedestrian Mobile/Pedestrian Mobile and Human-Powered Mobile distance records
    on a Band/Mode basis. Things are really heating up in this pedestrian arena,
    with a lot of hams scrambling to get their walking systems on the air to take
    advantage of the recent conditions. I've had lots of emails and conversations
    on the air since the event, with hams coming out of the woodwork to say that
    it has invigorated them to get back on HF and try out new stuff. What a nice
    feeling. :)

    Bonnie KQ6XA
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