It turns out the best way to play with radios is away from everyone else.

I tried to find if someone had made a map of noise levels around Melbourne, but couldn’t find anything. Instead, I used a light pollution map, with the idea being less light pollution = less background noise.

Last weekend I spent a couple of hours at night, at boat ramp 50km south-east of the Melbourne CBD. And my hypothesis seems to have checked out.

I took a 6m squid pole, a 40m EFHW (for 40-20-15-10) and an IC-705.

I sent out WSPR beacon on 40m @ 10watts (I think) to see how everything was working, and well, it seemed pretty good.

Call SNR Drift Reporter Rgrid Rdistance
VK3ARD -19 0 KM3T FN42 16,876 km
VK3ARD -16 0 N1IRO FN33 16,799 km
VK3ARD -15 0 WA2TP FN30 16,740 km
VK3ARD -16 0 K3FEF FN21 16,587 km
VK3ARD -17 0 WZ7I FN20 16,559 km
VK3ARD -21 0 VE3CWM FN15 16,532 km
VK3ARD -19 0 W3ENR FM28 16,509 km
VK3ARD -16 0 N2HQI FN13 16,485 km
VK3ARD -19 0 KD2CLR FN13 16,404 km
VK3ARD -15 0 KX4O FM18 16,298 km
VK3ARD -17 0 WB7OND FM05 16,093 km
VK3ARD -11 0 W8AC EN91 16,075 km
VK3ARD -5 0 WD4ELG FM06 16,050 km
VK3ARD -8 0 WA4DT EM94 15,909 km
VK3ARD -5 0 WA2N EM85 15,809 km
VK3ARD -12 0 KX4AZ/T EN74 15,780 km
VK3ARD -17 0 AG0X EL96 15,447 km
VK3ARD -17 0 W3PM EM64 15,405 km
VK3ARD -24 0 N5FOG EL29 14,459 km
VK3ARD -22 0 W5KCR EL29 14,414 km
VK3ARD -24 0 K5TR EM00 14,217 km
VK3ARD -14 0 TI4JWC EK70 14,214 km
VK3ARD -26 0 N0GQ DM79 14,103 km
VK3ARD -14 0 KA7OEI-1 DN31 13,613 km
VK3ARD -18 0 WA5DJJ DM62 13,609 km
VK3ARD -14 0 K5AZZ DM61 13,593 km
VK3ARD -15 0 K7GXB DM34 13,254 km
VK3ARD -18 0 KK6PR CN94 13,090 km
VK3ARD -19 2 N7XNX DM26 13,058 km
VK3ARD -23 0 KT7Y DM06 12,800 km
VK3ARD -19 0 KP4MD CM98 12,785 km
VK3ARD -20 0 NT6V CM87 12,663 km
VK3ARD -22 0 W6REK-66 CM97 12,657 km
VK3ARD -21 0 W6LPM/6 CM97 12,655 km
VK3ARD -25 0 K6JFZ CM97 12,652 km
VK3ARD -2 0 KFS CM87 12,630 km
VK3ARD -21 0 NH6XO BL11 8,945 km
VK3ARD -23 0 VK8TH PH57 3,148 km
VK3ARD -5 0 ZL2QF RF70 2,531 km
VK3ARD -4 0 VK4YA QG62 1,377 km
VK3ARD -15 0 VK4TDI QG62 1,373 km
VK3ARD -10 0 VK2CEL QF57 826 km
VK3ARD -16 0 VK2AMF/1 QF44 482 km
VK3ARD -12 0 VK7JJ QE38 395 km
VK3ARD -12 0 VK3GED QF12 145 km
VK3ARD -22 0 VK3KHZ QF22 20 km

I was also being heard all over the place on FT8 which was nice.

Only made a handful of contacts via FT8, but three in NA, and one in SA which was cool.

Took the time to listen to the new Shortwave Australia Broadcast on 4835 Khz too. Wasn’t perfect, but was still pretty damn good. Had very poor reception on 2310 Khz though. I assume it was my antenna setup?

I tried to send some SSTV too, but had tech issues (and people were talking everywhere on 40m).

I wish I could do this from home, but I suppose it gets me out the house.