07/12/2015 16:09

Operation Forest


Finally we got Mr. Hartley operating his Paradox wireless set in the mountains, during his vacation. This day has long been expected and has been preceded by extensive experiments over the Shortwaves during the night, from Fall 2014 up to Spring of this year.

He was in a valley, very well surrounded by high mountains. How his signal could have got out frome there ? How a short antenna could have performed ? Noworries. Our brave agent did not fear nothing !

The Paradox has been laid over the grass, and luckily a cut tree has been found in the vicinity, where Mr. Hartley conveniently plugged in a fishing pole to sustain the antenna wire.

The technicalities of the QSOs are the following:


On 8.1 MHz, he was delivering 8W into 8mt of radiating wire, and others 8mt laid over the grass. 6mt were on the fishing pole and the remaining ... to some branches. I was operating 50W into a 20 mt dipole. QRB was 300 miles. QTR was around 12:30 local time. Reports were excellent for both: he was peaking 579-589 into my receiver ! Wow ! Only 8 mt of wire well hidden between trees and in a deep valley.


At 15:30 local time of the same day, the propagation conditions changed markedly. We initially switched down to 6.5 MHz but no contact has been possible. Then, we went back on the former QRG on 8 MHz band and then we made some traffic with signals in the range of 539-559.

Those who practice outdoor Radio activity, do know well how every piece of the equipment has to be thought and tested thorougly. When you are in the field, every additional piece of equipment might put you in some troubles. Despite the 'retro' approach of Mr. Hartley, for which the above operation has been possible by bringing in high mountains an EL86 tube along with batteries and inverter !, the same holds now. It has been possible to bring over there such a heavy device in a hand luggage because everything has been conceived and optimized accurately. We are talking about radio that are not taken out of a shelf. Don't forget dear Reader.

Our Radio activity is for fun. 'How they made their QSOs those secret agents in the war time ?' This is our curiosity. We are learning many things by imitating the technology and the approach of those days.

For sure, a YELLOW fishing pole and a YELLOW wire antenna ... and a metal bright hand luggage are not ... mimetic ! But we do this for fun (luckily we are not in war time ! :-) ...)

Mr. Hartley was receiving me extremely strong. The relatively short QRB has been easily covered due to some NVIS feature of the overall resulting radio link between us. And the 8 MHz QRG has been accurately chosen in view of JUST THIS QSO. No QRM, silent band, no crowd of signals around. Initially we thought there wasn't any propagation at all ! By chance, during those hours, in 25 kc from our QRG, there where a couple of other CW QSOs, both very likely held by some military forces in other countries. For the rest, the band has been quite empty.

Wasn't that fun ?



Mr. Hartley & Radioman, July 2015

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