23 Feb 2012

Failed cloudbounce 481THz optical test (7.6km)

Possible weak 481THz reception at 7.6km NLOS
This evening I tried a 7.6km non line-of-sight (NLOS) path between Burwell and Newmarket Heath with the 0.7W input red LED beacon running QRSS3 on an 820Hz subcarrier (at home) and modified KA7OEI receiver at the RX end, both with 100mm optics. My PC was running Spectran.

The best I can say is reception was very doubtful:  the screen capture above shows a signal at the correct subcarrier frequency in the right direction, but too weak to identify CW characters. The recent 3.6km NLOS test produced good 10dB S/N signals in 0.67Hz bandwidth - much easier.

With a largely clear sky, few clouds and a slight haze, not ideal conditions for cloudbounce testing. This test will be repeated when cloud cover is better and visibility is clearer. QRSS30 would give me another 10dB so this may be worth a go if QRSS3 doesn't work on a second try. There are several variables that make weak signal forward scatter detection difficult: (a) what vertical angle to use at both ends, especially with few clouds (b) amount and height of cloud cover, (c) horizontal direction of aim.  With QRSS3/30 modes it is a case of small aiming increments and wait to see if a signal appears on the screen. It is quite hard work.

The result is disappointing, but there will be plenty of other occasions to repeat this test and do others. All good  fun.

1 comment:

Bert, PA1B said...

Hello Roger, it 's great fun to follow your experiments. But I think, no result is also a result. You can work from the earlier successes forward or from this point backward.
From my lowest possible power experiments I learned, that working on the edges, also brings you over the edge. hi
I wish you many successful trips.
73, Bert