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WSJTx and Meteor Scatter for new users

Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

Hi All

VA3CW, VA3SK, and I just did a video on Meteor Scatter and how to get started.


  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    I received the following, so I thought I would share:

    Hi Mike, Andy & Ken!


    Just watched your video on meteor scatter (nice to see some faces). Nicely done, but a few comments…


    Mike – You are using “Sh” mode on 6 meters; nobody uses that on 6 meters. Having it turned on may cause you to not be able to complete QSOs. It is almost always used on 2 meters and up along with contest mode as the pings are much shorter the higher in frequency you go. Contest mode shortens the number of messages required to complete a QSO by eliminating the signal report messages. Those using PingJockey will usually tell folks what their best signal strength was upon completion of the QSO.


    You mentioned Peter (W4IMD) using the “RR73” shortcut. This is not a good idea on meteor scatter. That is intended for contacts where the signals are reliable (his usually is – LOL). I usually work Peter every morning and late at night.


    Around dawn is the best time for random meteors. That is due to the fact that your point on the planet is travelling at the highest velocity through the meteor paths (revolution speed + rotational speed).


    I was going to suggest that you talk about PJCLient, which you did at the end of the video; much better than using the PingJockey web page. Especially nice is the sub-window that shows you who all is on.


    You talked about antennas and the fact that some folks are using dipoles and halos. This article from Joe Taylor suggests that too sharp an antenna might be a disadvantage on meteor scatter and explains why.


    As for beam headings and elevation, notice on WSJT that it not only gives you the direct heading to the station (assuming you have a 6 character grid in the grid box), there is another azimuth labeled either “A” or “B”, which might be a better heading to use. It also recommends an elevation “El”. The alternate headings are also discussed in the JT doc I referenced above.


    During active showers (and there are almost always some active although not producing a large number of rox), the Virgo program will tell you the best direction to aim the antenna. I (and others) have never been able to get the web version to work correctly, but the downloadable program does work.


    The meteor trails are basically in the “E” layer of the ionosphere, thus the possible distances are comparable to those for single hop sporadic E. As we discussed the other morning. Winds at those altitudes are mostly responsible for the Doppler shift as the ionization trail moves toward or away from you.


    You mentioned the “Ftol”. I think 200 means +/-200, but you might want to double check that.


    Finally, I attached a little document that I and my friend Jerry (NV7T) put together that explains how to hook up all the digital mode programs (at least the ones we know about).


    Keep up the good work!




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