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Friday, September 21, 2012

SolderSmoke in the Red Light Zone

Hi Bill,

I've been a listener to Soldersmoke for several years, now and look forward to the podcasts and postings.

This past weekend our group of microwavers in the Salt Lake City area participated in the 2nd half of the ARRL "10 GHz and up" contest and, for the fun of it, we decided to get on the highest amateur band, the one marked in the rules as being "275 GHz and up."  In our case, it was around 478 THz - also known as "Red" - being emanated from high-power (20+ watt) LEDs.

Attached is a picture taken from my location at about 9300 feet elevation (grid DN40cx) taken from a location near a minor bump known as "Bountiful Peak" 10 miles or so north of Salt Lake City where I was accompanied by Gordon, K7HFV and Gary, AB1IP.  At the other end of the path (the red dot at the far end of the red shaft of light) was in DN31it was Ron, K7RJ and his wife Elaine, N7BDZ located at about 5700 feet elevation near the remote northwestern Utah community of Park Valley, over 95 miles distant.  While this isn't our farthest DX (that would be a bit over 173 miles) it was still fairly substantial and gave us the ability/excuse to test some new, updated gear that hadn't seen much light in the field.

In doing our testing, we needed an audio source other than our voices so I'd brought along an MP3 player so that I could step away from the gear and still provide a constant source of audio.  Among that which was played across the link - the quality of which was extremely good, by the way at about 50dB S/N at full LED power - was your voice from a Soldersmoke podcast.

FWIW, we also established 2-way communications using cheap, low-power laser pointers and while they did work, the link was very inferior owing to severe scintillation (fading.)  For a bit more info on what we did you can read here:


and if you want more, you can follow the link at the bottom of the page.

Anyway, I thought you might find that interesting, if nothing else...



Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

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