[CQ-Contest] CQ-Contest Digest, Vol 194, Issue 2

Doug Grant dougk1dg at gmail.com
Mon Feb 4 15:13:08 EST 2019

On Fri, Feb 1, 2019  N1EN wrote:

> Wasn't there a problem with and experimental Canadian Forces OTH radar
> intruding on 160m a few years ago, from someplace near Halifax?

It was December 2014. Big ugly signal appeared on 1915 +/-about 10 kHz.

Various reports on the Topband reflector pointed to the signal probably
originating in the Canadian Maritimes. Some additional Googling turned up
enough details to pin it down.

It was a high-frequency surface-wave radar (HFSWR) system, developed by
Raytheon Canada for the Canadian military. It seems to be a version of the
SWR503 MK2 HFSWR system. It is intended to detect ships up to 200 miles
from a country's coast (EEZ) to protect against terrorists, smugglers, and
unauthorized fishing vessels as well as locate vessels in distress. The
2014 system was  detected at 1915, 3250, 4400, and 5300 kHz.

It is located at Hartlen Point, NS, near Halifax (point Google Earth to  44
35 29.47 N  63 26 49.68 W  ) and if you zoom in you can see the 500M long
cleared area for the towers and the guy anchors.

The frequency band 1850-2000 kHz is a shared allocation in Canada, among
amateur, radionavigation, and radiolocation services so this was a
perfectly legal use of the spectrum. Not so with the recent 14000-14003
signal, since 14000-14250 is exclusively Amateur worldwide in the ITU
allocations (14250-14350 is also allocated to fixed services in some
central Asian countries). Note however, that individual government
regulations can (and sometimes do) override the ITU allocations.

I managed to get an email address for someone involved with the 160-meter
radar system and suggested that operating it during the peak of the
160-meter season was going to produce some unfavorable publicity for them
and bad feelings among the amateur community. I pointed to the CQ160
Contest weekends in January and February as good times to shut the system
down. I think it subsequently disappeared from the 160M band.


Doug K1DG

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