Sunday, April 4, 2021

VO1FN : The 144 MHz Trans-Atlantic SDR Monitoring Station - Update 2021


Frank, VO1HP reports that the VO1FN 144 MHz Trans-Atlantic monitoring station will be reactivated by the end of May 2021!

This SDR receiver will be using SDR Console V3 and WSJT-x and will report to the PSK Reporter website as VO1FN.

The station will be located in St.John's, Newfoundland and will use two stacked 5-element 144 MHz LFA-Q quad style Yagis from Innovantennas.

The antennas will be pointing at western Europe and the receiver will be listening on 144.174 MHz which is the FT8 frequency.

Trans-Atlantic on 144 MHz: Is it possible??? ...As can be seen from the map above, the distance across the North Atlantic between Newfoundland and Ireland is just over 3000kms. This is well beyond the normal 2300km or so range for normal Sporadic-E or meteor scatter and it seems unlikely that it would be spanned a marine tropo duct going all of the ways across.

I emphasize the work unlikely but it's not impossible. The North Atlantic is not noted for its fine calm weather and there is nearly always some low pressure system in there stirring things up.

What is likely to happen a lot more often are shorter ducts that are in the region of 1000kms in length and these could happen at either end although the eastern end seems more likely. If there is a Sporadic-E opening or a major meteor shower at the same time as a good 1000km marine duct then it may well be possible.

It seems to me that the path from Newfoundland to the north-west coast of Spain as the most likely one even if it is a bit further away. The number of stable marine ducts in that part of the Atlantic are higher than further north closer to Ireland.

Updates... More news as it comes in!


1) VO1FN page on QRZ

2) F5LEN's tropo forecast


Photon said...

Agreed. Conditions at our latitudes are very rarely remotely right for the crossing, whereas in southern Europe, you can at least be justified in being a bit excited on many days about the possibility!

I wonder why the monitoring station is taking until the end of May to bring online? It needs to be ready a bit earlier, really.

John, EI7GL said...

They said it would be operational by the end of May so it may well be sooner.

Anonymous said...

I often point antenna towards St.Johns so perhaps like 2021 July the station will pick up my signal. Check the VO1FN QRZ page to see stations picked up back then. I was running 100W at the time but now run 1400W FT8.