Topband: Moon and the Ionosphere : YO3FFF

Nick Hall-Patch nhp at
Sat Mar 17 01:46:21 EST 2007

At 13:48 16/03/2007, cris blak wrote:
>  The broadcasting station from the MW should be OK but there is a 
> little problem with an carrier amplitude modulated signal. The 
> modulation could affect the measured amplitude of the carrier and 
> than, instead of a steady amplitude carrier, one will see an up and 
> down signal depending of the modulation. Only with the very narrow 
> band (less than 50Hz) one can achieve good measurements. Another 
> thing is to find a BC station which  is ON 24hours a day, 365 days 
> a year! You cannot control this fact. Also, in order to evaluate 
> correctly the propagation path loss you should know the EIRP of 
> that station and to be sure that parameter is constant. Another 
> factor that cannot be controlled.

Barring disaster, Cris, a MW broadcaster's signal should be very 
predictable, as their pattern and power is a condition of their 
licence, and in many parts of the world, the information is in the 
public domain.  They can't change such things randomly, but they may 
have a different power and pattern depending on whether it's night or 
day; it will be predictable, however.   And broadcast schedules are 
often 24 hours a day 365 days a year, much to the chagrin of medium 
wave DXers who might live near the transmitter. Again, schedules 
change rarely on these stations, unlike shortwave broadcasters.   The 
engineering staffs of the stations themselves can sometimes be 
helpful in describing  such parameters.

Getting the carrier strength out of a broadcast station used as a 
beacon can be a problem.  I've found that using a 400Hz IF filter, 
averaging the monitored signal, combined with corrections applied 
from monitoring interference from 1 kHz either side of the desired 
signal works fairly well.   Interference will always be an issue for 
beacon monitoring.   How would one handle summer's static crashes, 
random local electrical noise, or another amateur station interfering 
with a beacon on 160 meters?

best wishes,


Nick Hall-Patch
Victoria, B.C.


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