THE SORT-OF BLOG
PLEASE SEE ‘BLOG’ page from the main menu for updates, special events, etc!
After too long, I’ve decided to finish these pages and add semi-frequent content…now being April 4, 2015. Also, please check out John’s (KB5NJD/WG2XIQ) blog pages at
So, here we are. Since childhood (a bit of awhile ago) I have been interested in the frequencies below the 160M ham band…the AM band, and all those air and marine navigation beacons below 500 kHz. Many nights were spent listening, logging, wondering. Now, there is a very real possibility amateurs in the US will gain access to a band below the BCB, a segment between 472-479 kHz…most European countries are already operating there – our FCC has been petitioned by ARRL to open the segment allocated by international agreement, and hopefully this will happen in 2013.
A few US hams have been operating below the broadcast band for several years – the WD2XSH Experiment – see LINKS. Restricted to specific frequencies and modes, the experiment produced an extensive knowledge base concerning propogation, antenna systems, and equipment. However, the rest of us were and are locked out. After reading everything I could find concerning “the experiment” and “LOWFER” operations I was convinced that one did not necessarily have to have 120′ towers and acres of farmland for ground radials to succeed below 500 kHz.
The FCC allows application for a special “Experimental” license. If granted, the operator is allowed to conduct specific operations in specific areas of our spectrum. Most Part 5 licenses are granted to industry and the military to develop RF equipment, however, individuals have been licensed to operate in the LF and MF real-estate below 500 kHz. I decided upon this route to get on the air. The basic premise of my experiment is to develop usable antenna/ground systems and equipment capable of practical use in a very space constrained environment. My grant allows me to construct up to three transmitters for experimental use – and obviously not interfere with other services and stations. Thus WG2KXA was born and alive for two years!
I live in the most unlikely place to even consider succeeding at 630 meters! Surrounded by trees, shale/rock “earth”, small property, nearby cliffs, nearby outbuildings, did I say rocks? After reading all the papers, textbooks, and internet sites naming my offenses, I should have quit right then and there! But all is well…my sad little station with 48′ wire vertical next to a building and under the treeline has been heard nationwide and across the pond in Ireland. To use the old cliche, if I can get on YOU can succeed. This blog describes my efforts, homebrew gear and pretty much what it takes to build an operational station below the BCB. I hope you enjoy reading along, and I’ll see you on the band. You are hereby encouraged!
John WA3ETD / WG2XKA January 2013
WG2XKA at gmail dot com
4 Apr 15
Following a rather bland 2014-15 ‘high’ season, marred by the solar cycle, X-Flares, eclipses, and generally high noise, last night exploded with outstanding conditions and activity on WSPR2 at 474.2 kHz (dial). I was running low power (for me), about 150W to feedline, and using the 12′ shielded preamped loop on RX. Result was six T/A spots, including a bi-directional session with DH5RAE. John WG2XIQ suggest increased ‘illumination’ from a full moon, under investigation.