UK Radio Amateurs extend 76 GHz distance record

Another new distance record of 129km was achieved on 76GHz Saturday 23rd November 2013, with contacts between Brown Clee Hill in Shropshire (IO82QL) and Winter Hill, Lancashire (IO83RO).

Operating on three mm-bands, 24, 47 and 76GHz, were Ian Lamb G8KQW and John Hazell G8ACE at Brown Clee Hill and also on the three bands at Winter Hill was Roger Ray G8CUB with John Wood G4EAT who was operational on 76GHz.

Contacts on all three bands were made using NBFM, signals on 76GHz were exchanged for one hour with some QSB at time primarily due to changes in atmospheric conditions along the path.

This tremendous success follows closely after the previous distance record was set by Ian Lamb and John Hazell on 14th September 2013 with a contact of 102km. Earlier in 2013 the existing 79km distance record had been bettered 3 times, this reflecting the increasing level of interest in mm-band operating in UK and the culmination of much hard work on-going to improve system performance.

By calculating the link budget and path loss of this path it was possible to predict what environmental conditions would potentially give sufficient margin for success. The weather forecasts (specifically the dew-point temperature) were carefully monitored during the preceding week to ensure the conditions on the day would allow the possibility to establish contact over the distance.

The team are indebted to Jim G8UGL and the Telford and District Radio Society, without their kind assistance in arranging access to Brown Clee Hill and support on the day, this would not have been possible.