VA3TO 122GHz Portable Station

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#1 Rear | #1 Front | #1 Internal | #2 Front

Equipment details:

Antenna: Unit #1: 21 dBi round horn, Unit #2: Chapparal feed.
Transverter: VK3CV/VK2XAX transverter @ 0.5 milliWatts o/p (both units).
I.F. Rig: Yaesu FT-817 @ 144 MHz.

Accomplishments to date:

Horn to Horn Distance : 12.7km - VA3TO in grid FN03AL to VA3ELE in grid FN03CO.

In the spring of 2019 VK2XAX announced that he was going to make a VK3CV designed 122 GHz transverter board based on an automotive ranging I.C. available to hams around the world so he started a FundRazr page to gauge interest. The response was overwhelming and after some Covid-19 related production delays he started shipping in the summer of 2020. The offering was an assembled and tested p.c. board that still needed to be wired to I/O and put into an enclosure. I bought 2 of the boards plus one 21 dBi horn for standalone operation and one Chaparral feed to be used on a dish. I assembled both units then started testing the unit with the horn. The unit with the Chaparral feed will be installed onto a dish.

First Tests on 122 GHz:

During the first leg of the 2020 10 GHz & Up contest (August) I made my first official 122 GHz contacts with VA3ELE and VE2UG at 1km (all horn to horn).

On August 19/20 me and VA3ELE Peter successfully completed at 3.6 km. We set up on bridges with a LOS path over Highway 401 in Toronto, both of us using horns. First we used FM-CW then repeated the QSO using pure CW.

On September 06/20 we found a location that offered a 7.1 km LOS shot along Dundas Road southwest of Toronto. I was located atop the Niagara Escarpment. We first started 3.5 km apart to spot each other's frequency then Peter drove further down the road to a train overpass 7.1 km away. Signal were not very strong but we completed in CW mode, again both using horns.

On November 12/20 around 22:00 UTC me and Peter successfully worked 12.7 km in CW mode using our VK3CV transverters (500 uW) with 21 dBi conical horns at both ends. I was located on Steeles Ave. partway up the Niagara escarpment west of Milton, Ontario and Peter was set up on an overpass on 9th Line over Hwy.407.
WX: Clear skies, Dew Point - 2.9C / Temp +8C / Humidity 46%.
Video from Peter's end here: 12.7 km on 122 GHz - Horn to Horn."

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