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Building a Radar for the Ham Bands

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KK5JY, Jan 12, 2018.

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  1. N2UHC

    N2UHC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh yeah, like that old urban legend about the police radar tracking the Harrier.
  2. K4PIH

    K4PIH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Or the nearest Scoot-Around dealer. Might help you find a copy when you ne
  3. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is my main question when I read the title. Do you realize the equipment, resources required to set up a "lab" to experiment with radar on the ham bands.

    Just curious, are you thinking about the utilizing the common doppler effect or another technology.

  4. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Meanwhile........over on the boating forums people have discovered some new radars essentially contain the entire radar in the scanner and the lead to the display is power and Ethernet. Several of them have been reverse engineered and you can skip the display part and connect the radar antenna to a computer. This may not be on a ham band, but it is IMHO very much in ham tradition :)
    WZ7U likes this.
  5. WA4ILH

    WA4ILH Subscriber QRZ Page

    I worked on several shipboard RADAR systems a number of years ago in the Navy. We actually had a shipboard RADAR that transmitted in the vicinity of 218 MHz. I cannot remember the military designation ( AN/SPS ???) This had a very long range but the return echo had poor resolution ( a “large blob” on the repeater screen as compared to a more defined “spot” on our higher frequency RADARs. Return resolution will likely be a problem on any RADAR below 2 GHz.
    Assuming that it is legal to operate “one way” pulse on the ham bands, I would look for a surplus magnetron for the 5650 MHz band. Some TV stations in major markets have (had) weather RADARs in this band which is shared with amateur radio, part 15 and ISM.
    Tom WA4ILH
    KK5JY likes this.
  6. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    I have a friend, although not an amateur radio operator, who was in the two-way radio business, who was also a graduate Electrical Engineer. He lives in a city about 50-miles south of Dallas, Texas.

    In the late 1980s, he decided to build a Doppler RADAR and started acquiring surplus assemblies for this purpose. By 1990, he had a working system and installed the equipment in a small building that he owned on the outskirts of the city. His system was so accurate that several of the Dallas / Fort Worth television stations contracted with him to use his RADAR system in the preparation of their weather forecasts. One, possibly two, stations actually arranged to remote the display to the studio so that it could be displayed during the news programs.

    Often, when showing the display during a telecast, the weatherman would actually reference the source as "Lloyd's Doppler RADAR" giving credit to the experimenter who was providing the service.

    Eventually, the television stations got their own Doppler RADAR equipment and stopped using my friends system. But, for a number of years, his Doppler RADAR was "the" system in the Dallas / Fort Worth area.

    Glen, K9STH
    KK5JY likes this.
  8. WA4ILH

    WA4ILH Subscriber QRZ Page

    Another point to consider if a RADAR operating in a ham band might be legal is that the FCC allows “pulse modulation” in certain bands. A (simple) RADAR uses what is called MONOPULSE meaning that it produces an RF pulse with no modulation.
    If the OP is serious about building a RADAR, he (or she) might be better off applying for an experimental license.
    Tom WA4ILH
    KK5JY likes this.
  9. W4KYR

    W4KYR Ham Member QRZ Page

    You might use radar in the amateur bands for testing knife edge refraction
    KK5JY likes this.
  10. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, I'm just asking the question theoretically. Perhaps you could provide some insight on that question?

    I was asking the group what they would use.

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