Topband: Top Band Kids

OJ Lougheed
Sat, 28 Jul 2001 12:05:27 +0900


Imagine - ALL of North America 55 degrees beamwidth. Or forget the
Northeast coast of Newfoundland and split 50 into two 25 degree beams! The
West Coast beam INCLUDES all of the mainland of Alaska and Mexico. (Wish
more hams were in both places.) ALL of Europe is 37 degrees.

Then - imagine enough space for all of the (at least) horizontal antennas a
true topband addict could hope for... With hardy another transmitter of ANY
sort for 100 MILES! AND often with no local electric supply to create AC
QRM!! String those Beverages!

And then - an entry level "No Code" Amateur ticket with the only HF
priviledges on 1830-2000: CW, 1850-2000: SSB, and 1900-2000: AM!

And 300 school kids, many or them 8 years or older (minimum for a license),
bored out of their minds... Did I mention no distracting internet... or

Hence a Project - "Earth Station Olkhon" to
connect some kids to the World. (Good SETI site too! There must be some off
the island :-)

Olkhon Island is is the approximate center of Lake Baikal. It is the
sunniest place for the 56 degree latitude in the world. And since the
Russian Fourth Class license is limited to 5 watts (160 M, and 2 M and
above - satellite discussion for another list) this is ripe for solar and
at least listening... to start with this winter. The Beverages are simple!

My questions to the group:

1) Has anyone played with little direct conversion or regen rigs on 160? Or
converting any of the 80 meter kits? Converting a good digital readout AM
Broadcast car radio to work from 1000 to 2000, with an added 455KHz BFO and
audio filter seems another route which could include some AM DXing... with
the same antennas!

2) You can drive almost anything on Baikal from late January to late May -
including trains! Baikal has one of the lowest dissolved solids content of
any lake in the world. While not "distilled" it's close! The article about
Beverages working BETTER over poor soil comes to mind. Anyone with any
knowledge of laying antennas directly on ice? What about a topband version
of the "Really Long Yagi"
laid directly on ice? Or maybe something smaller ;-)

3) Who wants to play with "winter over the pole 160 M propagation"? We
might be able to set up a beacon. Need a suitable kit, although at 160 dead
bug construction would be just fine too. Good electronics parts house
locally in Irkutsk!

4) What's the smallest 160 antenna one could use for a really local "kid
comm net" from their houses in the dead of winter - short sunny days, long
cold nights, rarely any wind, extremely dry! I like it personally...

Thanks for the fanatacism,

OJ - ex-N5JXU

O.J. Lougheed, Founder
NerpaNet - Baikal Youth and Community Network
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