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“Brendan Quest” Team’s 2 Meter Signal Copied in the UK

07/07/2014

A group of Amateur Radio operators from Atlantic Canada is operating from Pouch Cove, Newfoundland, until July 12 in a bid to complete a 2 meter transatlantic contact and claim the Brendan trophy. The "Brendan Quest" team is on the air as VC1T from grid GN37os on 144.155 MHz. The group activated on July 4, and a couple of days later, on July 6 at 1341 UTC, G4SWX was able to completely decode an FSK441 transmission from VC1T.

 

“They attempted to complete the QSO for 4 hours, but were not successful,” the team reported. “However, this reception should qualify for the Brendan Plate.” The team said a station in Ireland was able to copy parts of three transmissions. Because of the initial success, the group now will use FSK441 exclusively in its Brendan bid.

VC1T had been concentrating its efforts on JT65B, but it has CW and SSB capability, which the team will try if it is able to achieve an FSK441 two-way. Part of the WSJT software package developed by Joe Taylor, K1JT, FSK441 was primarily designed to detect very brief “pings” from meteor trails. VC1T is running 750 W into a rope-supported 43 element, 100 foot long Yagi directed at Europe. It has a gain of more than 23 dBd. When driven with 750 W, the effective radiated power (ERP) in the center of the major lobe should be about 150 kW, the group estimated.

Members of the expedition include Fred Archibald, VE1FA; Roger Sturtevant, VE1SKY; Helen Archibald, VA1YL; Rich Pieniaszek, VA1CHP, and Al Penney, VO1NO. The Brendan Trophy is a series of awards offered by the Irish Radio Transmitters Society (IRTS) to the first Amateur Radio operators to complete a 2 meter transatlantic contact. According to the IRTS, the Brendan Trophy is awarded for the first “traditional mode” two-way contact — ie, SSB or CW capable of being copied without machine assistance. The Brendan Shield is awared for the first “nontraditional mode” two-way contact, ie, digital modes and high-speed CW. The Brendan Plate is given for the first verified reception of a transatlantic signal in any mode.

The goals of the Brendan Quest team are to complete at least one contact on 2 meters using “terrestrial propagation modes” or on both CW and SSB and “non-traditional” modes, such as JT65B. The group plans to operate continuously for the entire period, transmitting on even minutes, and receiving on odd minutes. The Pouch Cove site is 3040 km from the Irish coast and just 23 km from the Cabot Tower site in St Johns, Newfoundland, where Marconi copied the first transatlantic signal in 1901..

The group has a Facebook page, where it is posting updates. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service, Brendan Quest 2 Meter Transatlantic Attempt

 



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