28 Mar 2013

Amateur DX Europe to Alaska on VLF?

There has been some excitement over the last few days as Lawrence KL1X has seen a signal on 8.9700kHz when the noise was low that just could be coming from Uwe DJ8WX near Hamburg. He has tried to find out if this is a locally generated artifact, but it seems not.
KL1X grabber monitoring 8.270kHz for intercontinental amateur DX
In the coming weeks DJ8WX is moving his continuous carrier VLF transmitter (a long carrier is needed to be visible in the incredibly narrow bandwidths needed to see anything at all) down to 8.270kHz which is a clear frequency in Alaska. The Alaska VLF grabber is already active and, as soon as Uwe starts up, we hope to see a weak signal appear. If this happens this will be the very first confirmed reception of an amateur VLF signal from Europe in North America. The VLF receiver Lawrence uses is a small E-field probe antenna high up in a tree in a birch forest.

DJ8WX has been a very good signal on VLF here in the UK on my own receiving system (an 80m sq vertical loop feeding a preamp feeding a PC running Spectrum Lab with a special 424uHz bandwidth .usr file). I have not listened for Uwe recently as my loop is down but G3ZJO has copied him well in the last few weeks on his grabber.
DJ8WX's signal as seen on the G3ZJO VLF grabber
If you are interested in amateur VLF then visit https://sites.google.com/site/sub9khz/ and check out the various preamps, grabbers and DX reports. It is possible to check out activity by looking at the various grabbers (VLF receivers linked to the internet) around the world.

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