Many Ham's but also many microwave professionals, are
convinced that microwave frequencies cannot be used for other than line of sight
What is then all
the fun of Ham radio on microwave
Don't believe this
silly idea that using microwave frequencies we cannot work more than line off
sight distance With ham equipment on microwave there are many ways to make contacts over large
Especially on the microwave bands below 40 GHz distances over several hundreds
of kilometres are possible
On bands below 30 GHz even Earth Moon Earth contacts are possible
I can assure you there are many ways of having fun as a Ham on
You can have fun in making DX contacts or discovering the different propagation
possibilities but also you can have a lot off fun
building your own equipment and getting your system operational.
Being QRV as Ham on the microwave bands gives you many ways off learning and
improving your skills and last but not least
many microwave HAM's have learned that much, that they can easily meet or even
Contacts are possible using different types of propagation and
on most microwave bands, QSO's over much more than line of sight, are always
During most of the time contacts over several 100 km's are possible.
During good tropo conditions contacts over more than 1000 km are possible even
when using a marginal system
World records on microwave Ham radio contacts prove that these
bands are very interesting and challenging
Building and improving equipment can also be quite
Using modern technology and high tech components it's nowadays possible to
realise equipment which were not possible 10 or more years ago.
Average Ham equipment has become more state of art with higher sensitivity
levels, larger antenna's and more power output, resulting in more and much
bigger distances as in the early days.
My personal fun in microwaves for many years now, is building
and improving my equipment, discovering propagation possibilities.
Since I was first QRV on microwave, 1980's learning the possibilities and
improving and discovering new unknown propagation was my big fun, learned a lot
and still learning new ways of having fun on microwave.
Last years introduction of Software Defined Radio improved the way of operation and opened up new
challenges in making two way contacts.
If you get bored of
local QSO's over your local or wide area repeater network
you should join the world of microwave Ham radio.
You will enter a world with many new challenges.
It's up to you what you prefer to do, but be sure your hobby will never be a dull moment.
What are the most used Ham radio microwave
The HAM frequencies above 1000 MHz,the microwave bands
A very interesting band with lot's of activity and very good
dx-possibilities is 23 cm as the first microwave band.
with 1296 MHz as centre of narrow band activity
On this band it's not very difficult to build equipment and
even commercial equipment is available for Ham's not willing to build their own
Antenna's are also available commercial but for high antenna
gain ones, best choice will be to build or buy a dish reflector
and using it with a single band or multi band feeder.
I have been using a 2.5 mtr dish for almost 20 years now,
mounted on 10 mtr above ground in an area with not so many high trees.
Mechanical constraints in Dutch climate close to the cost must be encountered,
my dish survived wind force 11
so be careful not to appeal to the well known statement
"did your antenna survive the storm, then it was not big enough"
It's far more challenging to build the antenna system to have a big system
surviving the storm
In my years as HAM I lost my antenna system now 2 times, now a build heavy
constructions and use 10 mm thick steel gay wire.
It's no fun losing an antenna system just because it was too weak.
Its important to have the antenna at a height that it can
radiate clear from nearby obstacles as buildings or trees.
The more free air your antenna can see the better your take off.
The activity on SSB and CW on the different microwave bands in Europe
My Best guess activity in
World record using tropo
EME, tropo, AS
EME, tropo, AS
EME, tropo, AS, RS
EME, tropo, AS, RS
EME, tropo, AS, RS
EME, tropo, RS
For latest info on world records also on EME and digital modes take a
look at this page
So it is clear that working DX over distances more than line off sight is even
possible on the bands up to 76 GHz.
Building own equipment for microwave is sometimes a challenging task.
Do not start with the most difficult projects but start with a project which
suits your experience and possibilities.
Most modern designs use small SMD components and especially for the MM wave
bands often even much smaller components.
Being a microwave Ham for more than 40 years I experienced a change in
building microwave equipment. First off all it has to do that microwave parts
and components were very hard to get 40 years ago. One had to build from
scratch, making own designs, design a circuit board and getting all components
together and build it and tune it to the used frequency.
Nowadays building own equipment is much more block building were different
modules are build together to realise a modern system. There are many modules
available on the market as new modules or as surplus available via Ebay.
Another reason for more module building than component building for me
personally is that by getting older it's more difficult to see and handle the
small components. In my early days I was able to glue the very small beam lead
components onto millimetre design boards. Also it was no problem soldering small
SMD components without magnifying glasses and much light. Now I need a big
magnifying glass and much light to be able to handle the SMD parts. I am still
able to work with these but it's much more difficult as before and with the
available microwave modules it's the best way to continue building microwave