14 Oct 2012

Best DX yet on 8.97kHz earth-mode: 6km QRSS3

Today I went out to my usual test sites to check the performance of my latest VLF earth-mode system. For the first time, my RX loop and preamp could be optimally tuned in the field. At 1.6km the 8.978kHz QRSS3 beacon signal was rock solid (see first image).
5W 8.978kHz QRSS3 earth-mode signal at 1.6km (STRONG)
5W 8.978kHz QRSS3 earth-mode signal at 6.0km (10dB S/N in 0.67Hz BW)
I then moved on to a number of other locations eventually arriving at a spot 6km from the 5W TX where previously I'd only ever managed copy with a constant carrier or QRSS30 (30 second dot CW). This time the signal was about 10dB over noise in 0.67Hz bandwidth on QRSS3, my best ever result at this range (second image).

In the coming week I'll be looking for a new RX test location around 7km or further from the home QTH in the hope of increasing my through-the-ground DX record.

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