SM6FHZ 432 MHz Aurora

I have worked 432 MHz aurora from 4 different QTH'es, JO66EW, JO67AL, JO57XJ and JO67AQ. I have been using many different rigs, power and antennas over the years from 1978 up till now. 

Rig

From 1978 to 1980-08-20 I used a 2C39 amplifier delivering 50 W RF and from 1980-08-20 the 432 MHz amplifier was a SSPA using 2xMRF309 delivering ~100 W to the feeder.

Today (from summer of 2016) I am using a 4x9 el yagai array fully steerable in azimuth and elevation. Todays rig is an IC-706Mk2G driving a SSPA with an BLF184XR device delivering in excess of 500 W RF to the feeder. The yagi array is depicted below as well as an description of the yagi and array design in an pdf-document. 

SM6FHZ 4x9el 432 MHz yagi array


432 MHz 4x9el yagi array description


QTH

My present QTH in JO67AQ is unfortunately on the south side of a hill and only 150 m from the steep southern slope of that hill. This means that I am shielded from auroras from about 270 degrees azimuth over north and to about 80 degrees azimuth. I need to elevate the array at least 20 degrees to clear the peak of the hill. In order to be able to work aurora it need to be quite far south so I can use the elevation to beam at the aurora. In the picture below the array is elevated 20 degrees in an azimuth of 40 degrees.

SM6FHZ 70 cm yagi array pointin over the hill

Aurora features you will experience on 432 MHz

The aurora signals on 432 MHz show some more dominant features compared to lower bands. There are still a lot of exciting things to learn about aurora on 432 MHz. I would appreciate to get your feedback and if you share your experience on the 432 MHz aurora features.

Direction

For some reason I have historically had most 432 MHz aurora openings starting at about 45 degrees azimuth. It might be quite natural, but I do not know, I have no explanation for that. The aurora can be both quite narrow and quite broad in beam direction for a specific station as well as shift quite much during an opening. This is true for both azimuth and elevation. As seen in the table below the azimuthal beam heading can be anything from 50 degrees to due north and probably also going west towards 280 degrees. Different stations might be heard in different directions at the same time during a opening. You need to constantly search with you antenna for different stations in different directions. There are probably three facors that determines your best signal strength beam heading for a QSO between two stations; the ionization of the aurora, the position of the aurora and the beam heading of the other station. Quite an complex matrix of combinations to satisfy.

Doppler

The aurora signals on 432 MHz show both a Doppler shift and a Doppler spread. It is defiantly much more notisable on 432 MHz than on 144 MHz. For some reason I have most of the time experienced a positive Doppler shift, I have no explanation for that. It might be that negative Doppler shift does exist as well, I do not know but I have not experienced it. The Doppler shift on 432 MHz aurora seems to be in the order of 1 kHz to 2 kHz. It is difficult to say if the dropper shift one experience is twice the one way Doppler shift as the station that answers you will probably have the same amount of Doppler shift and they would the add up if not compensated for. The Doppler shift noted in the table below is my experienced Doppler shift on the station calling, might well be double the one way Doppler shift. If you do not use RIT or split the 432 MHz aurora QSO might "drift away" in frequency as you will experience that the other station always comes on a new frequency each over and you then move both your Rx and Tx frequency.

The Doppler shift seems to have the possibility to be different in different beam headings during the same opening and at the same time.

Beacons

I have not heard any beacons via aurora on 432 MHz recently. I think I have heard beacons at earlier times but I am not sure if I remember correctly. Beacons on 432 MHz are sometimes reported via aurora on the cluster but I am yet to hear one. Maybe we could make use of 432 MHz beacons specifically designed for aurora warning. What features would such a beacon need to have? Please come with your ideas!

Handy assets

I use the following web sites to get information about the probability for aurora on 432 MHz. 

Aurora Service, Finland: http://www.aurora-service.eu/aurora-forecast/

Solar Ham, Canada: http://www.solarham.net/

Geomagnetic Activity index, Tromsö Geophysical Observatory, Norway:  http://flux.phys.uit.no/cgi-bin/HistActIx.cgi?site=tro2a&site=nal1a&site=dob1a&month=01&year=2009&submit=submit&RealTime&Simple&

All three contain relevant information.  

QSOs

Below is a summary of all 432 MHz aurora QSO worked by me over time.

Call Square Old square Date Time Mode Sent RST Rec. RST Prop. Mode Field DXCC Distance QSL My Loc QTF Elevation Doppler [kHz] RF-power [W] Antenna
1 SK6AB JO57XQ FR30c 1978-05-01 14:15 CW 55A 53A Aurora 1 JO 1 87 JO66EW 50 15 el
2 SM5DWC JO89VK IT50g 1978-05-02 00:45 CW 53A 33A Aurora 424 JO66EW 50 15 el
3 SM0CPA JO89WH IT60j 1978-05-02 01:05 CW 53A 54A Aurora 418 JO66EW 50 15 el
4 SM4DHN JP60VD GU70f 1978-05-02 01:35 CW 57A 57A Aurora 2 JP 367 JO66EW 50 15 el
5 SM3FGL JP81FH IV53g 1978-05-02 01:45 CW 53A 52A Aurora 539 JO66EW 50 15 el
6 SM6CKU JO67CK GR42g 1978-05-03 15:45 CW 57A 56A Aurora 57 JO66EW 50 15 el
7 SM4FXH JP60UB GU79j 1978-05-03 21:40 CW 55A 57A Aurora 356 JO66EW 50 15 el
8 LA9DL JO59MX FT06h 1978-05-03 22:30 CW 55A 55A Aurora 2 347 JO66EW 50 15 el
9 SM6HYG JO58RG FS58f 1978-09--09 15:45 CW 52A 41A Aurora 159 JO66EW 50 15 el
10 SM3AKW JP82WP IW30e 1979-01-04 16:13 CW 55A 55A Aurora 705 JO66EW 50 15 el
11 SM3AKW JP82WP IW30e 1979-01-04 22:56 CW 55A 55A Aurora 705 JO66EW 50 15 el
12 SM3AKW JP82WP IW30e 1979-01-07 15:50 CW 56A 57A Aurora 705 JO66EW 50 15 el
13 SM3BYA JP81NW IV06j 1979-01-07 16:15 CW 53A 55A Aurora 617 JO66EW 50 15 el
14 LA9DL JO59MX FT06h 1979-01-07 16:35 CW 53A 53A Aurora 347 JO66EW 50 15 el
15 LA3VU JO59ER FT22b 1979-01-07 16:55 CW 55A 55A Aurora 332 JO66EW 50 15 el
16 SM5CUI JO89TX IT09h 1979-01-07 17:48 CW 53A 55A Aurora 456 JO66EW 50 15 el
17 OH3AZJ/1 KP10NH LU46c 1979-01-07 18:05 CW 52A 55A Aurora 3 KP 3 728 JO66EW 50 15 el
18 SM0AGP JO89FX IT70b 1979-01-07 18:20 CW 54A 54A Aurora 416 JO66EW 50 15 el
19 SM0FZH JO89VJ IT50f 1979-01-07 18:25 CW 55A 55A Aurora 421 JO66EW 50 15 el
20 LA8YB JO89FU FT13A 1979-01-07 18:35 CW 52A 53A Aurora 342 JO66EW 50 15 el
21 SM3FGL JP81FH IV53g 1979-03-10 23:20 CW 57A 54A Aurora 539 JO66EW 50 15 el
22 SM4DHN JP60VD GU70f 1980-12-19 22:00 CW 56A 55A Aurora 367 JO66EW 100 15 el
23 SM5AII JO88SV IS08d 1980-12-19 22:25 CW 53A 53A Aurora 376 JO66EW 100 15 el
24 SM6EUP JO57XQ FR30c 1980-04-12 00:25 CW 53A 53A Aurora 87 JO66EW 100 15 el
25 DJ5BV JO30MR DK26h 1981-07-25 13:00 CW 55A 55A Aurora 4 774 JO66EW 100 15 el
26 PA0FRE JO21FW CL03j 1981-07-25 13:53 CW 55A 55A Aurora 5 753 JO66EW 100 15 el
27 DB1BP JO33NO DN36b 1981-07-25 13:56 CW 55A 55A Aurora 496 JO66EW 100 15 el
28 PA0WWM JO22FE CM63g 1981-07-25 14:01 CW 52A 52A Aurora 735 JO66EW 100 15 el
29 DF3EE JO31LC DL75b 1981-07-25 14:04 CW 53A 52A Aurora 738 JO66EW 100 15 el
30 DL7QY JN59BD FJ61e 1981-07-25 14:34 CW 57A 55A Aurora 4 JN 880 JO66EW 100 15 el
31 DF1OH JO42PH EM57j 1981-07-25 14:50 CW 53A 53A Aurora 551 JO66EW 100 15 el
32 SM4IAZ JO79OF HT67h 1981-07-25 15:50 CW 57A 58A Aurora 305 JO66EW 100 15 el
33 UR2HD KO18FG LS53e 1981-07-25 15:55 CW 53A 55A Aurora 5 KO 6 621 JO66EW 100 15 el
34 SP1DSU JO73FK HN43j 1981-07-25 16:03 CW 55A 57A Aurora 7 412 JO66EW 100 15 el
35 OK1BMW/p JO70EI HK52b 1981-07-25 16:05 CW 41A 52A Aurora 8 744 OK JO66EW 100 15 el
36 DL3UZ JO53HV FN04f 1981-07-25 16:30 CW 55A 58A Aurora 356 JO66EW 100 15 el
37 UQ2OW KO26BW MQ01c 1981-08-23 14:55 CW 55A 54A Aurora 9 715 JO66EW 100 15 el
38 SM6EUP JO57XQ FR30c 1981-08-23 15:15 CW 53A 53A Aurora 87 JO66EW 100 15 el
39 DL3UZ JO53HV FN04f 1981-08-23 15:25 CW 55A 55A Aurora 356 JO66EW 100 15 el
40 DK3UC JO53IU FN14a 1981-08-23 15:30 CW 54A 55A Aurora 359 JO66EW 100 15 el
41 SM0FZH JO99HI JT54h 1981-09-18 22:28 CW 56A 55A Aurora 455 JO66EW 100 15 el
42 LA2PT JO59GU FT13b 1981-09-18 22:58 CW 54A 55A Aurora 341 JO66EW 100 15 el
43 SM4DHN JP60VD GU70f 1982-07-11 16:10 CW 53A 56A Aurora 367 JO66EW 100 15 el
44 DL7QY JN59BD FJ61e 1982-08-07 14:17 CW 55A 52A Aurora 880 JO66EW 100 15 el
45 OH0NC/OJ0 JP90NH JU56c 1982-08-07 14:30 CW 55A 57A Aurora 10 543 OK JO66EW 100 15 el
46 OH1FA KP10CL LU42h 1982-10-01 22:50 CW 52A 54A Aurora 691 JO66EW 100 15 el
47 SM3AKW JP92AR JW21h 1982-10-01 23:05 CW 59A 57A Aurora 717 OK JO66EW 100 15 el
48 SM0FZH JO89VJ IT50f 1982-12-18 14:40 CW 55A 53A Aurora 421 JO66EW 100 15 el
49 SM0FMT JO89VJ IT50f 1982-12-18 16:05 CW 55A 55A Aurora 421 JO66EW 100 15 el
50 DF5LQ JO44WK EO50j 1982-12-23 17:00 CW 57A 56A Aurora 318 JO66EW 100 15 el
51 DK3UC JO53IU FN14a 1982-12-23 17:10 CW 53A 57A Aurora 359 JO66EW 100 15 el
52 SM0DCX JO89XF IT70b 1982-12-23 17:15 CW 55A 56A Aurora 416 JO66EW 100 15 el
53 SM6EUP JO57XQ FR30c 1983-02-05 14:00 CW 55A 55A Aurora 87 JO66EW 100 15 el
54 DL7APV JO62QK GM47c 1983-02-05 14:08 CW 53A 53A Aurora 504 OK JO66EW 100 15 el
55 DF6LT JO54BH FO51c 1983-02-05 14:10 CW 55A 55A Aurora 323 JO66EW 100 15 el
56 SM0DME JO89VI IT60h 1983-02-05 14:14 CW 55A 55A Aurora 418 OK JO66EW 100 15 el
57 UR2RIW KO18DV LS02e 1983-02-05 14:19 CW 55A 55A Aurora 625 JO66EW 100 15 el
58 SM4PG JO79BH HT51c 1983-02-05 14:35 CW 55A 55A Aurora 284 OK JO66EW 100 15 el
59 UP2BJB KO15NV LP06d 1983-02-05 14:40 CW 53A 53A Aurora 11 673 JO66EW 100 15 el
60 SM5QA JO89VJ IT50f 1983-02-05 14:42 CW 53A 57A Aurora 421 JO66EW 100 15 el
61 DJ9BV JO43XN EN40c 1983-02-05 14:48 CW 51A 51A Aurora 405 OK JO66EW 100 15 el
62 LA5MK JP53FK FX43g 1983-03-12 22:58 CW 55A 57A Aurora 731 JO66EW 100 15 el
63 OH6NU KP22TE MW69g 1983-03-12 23:35 CW 52A 42A Aurora 945 JO66EW 100 15 el
64 SM3AKW JP92AR JW21h 1983-03-25 16:30 CW 55A 56A Aurora 717 JO66EW 100 15 el
65 DJ9BV JO43XN EN40c 1989-10-21 16:00 CW 55A 54A Aurora 405 JO67AL 100 15 el
66 OH2DP KP30KC 1989-10-21 17:10 CW 55A 57A Aurora 903 JO67AL 100 15 el
67 DL2NO JO43GN 1989-10-21 17:15 CW 55A 53A Aurora 488 OK JO67AL 100 15 el
68 DL8QS JO43KH 1989-11-17 16:55 CW 55A 55A Aurora 505 JO67AL 100 15 el
69 DK1KR JO53HW 1989-11-17 17:35 CW 55A 53A Aurora 404 OK JO67AL 100 15 el
70 PA0EZ JO22NF CM66b 1989-11-17 17:45 CW 55A 53A Aurora 699 JO67AL 100 15 el
71 SM0FMT JO89WK 1994-10-03 16:58 CW 55A 55A Aurora 413 JO57XJ 45 +2,0 100 22el
72 OZ6OL JO65DJ 2017-03-27 17:15 CW 55A 55A Aurora 12 255 JO67AQ 30 20 +1,2 500 4x9el
73 DJ2TX JO33SA 2017-03-27 17:19 CW 41A 55A Aurora 592 JO67AQ 30 20 +1,2 500 4x9el
74 PA0BAT JO31FX 2017-03-27 17:24 CW 55A 55A Aurora 729 JO67AQ 30 20 +1,2 500 4x9el
75 PA2V JO22IM 2017-03-27 17:29 CW 57A 57A Aurora 740 JO67AQ 0 22 +2,0 500 4x9el
76 OZ6OL JO65DJ 2017-09-08 15:37 CW 57A 59A Aurora 255 JO67AQ 50 15 +1,0 500 4x9el
77 OZ9PZ JO46LC 2017-09-08 16:03 CW 55A 52A Aurora 257 JO67AQ 20 15 +1,0 500 4x9el
78 DK9TF JO31NF 2017-09-08 16:22 CW 55A 57A Aurora 785 JO67AQ 30 20 +1,7 500 4x9el
79 PA2V JO22IM 2017-09-08 16:25 CW 57A 58A Aurora 740 JO67AQ 30 20 +1,4 500 4x9el
80 SP1MVG JO74JA 2017-09-08 16:27 CW 55A 55A Aurora 443 JO67AQ 30 20 +1,2 500 4x9el
81 DL1RNW JO62HG 2017-09-08 16:30 CW 55A 55A Aurora 604 JO67AQ 30 20 +2,0 500 4x9el
82 ON4IQ JO20AR 2017-09-08 16:35 CW 55A 55A Aurora 13 932 JO67AQ 10 25 +2,4 500 4x9el
83 OK7GU JN69QT 2017-09-08 18:08 CW 55A 55A Aurora 880 JO67AQ 40 15 +1,0 500 4x9el
84 DL1KDA JO30EP 2017-09-08 18:17 CW 55A 52A Aurora 866 JO67AQ 40 20 +2,9 500 4x9el
85 OZ6OL JO65DJ 2017-09-14 18:04 CW 55A 55A Aurora 255 JO67AQ 40 15 +2,4 500 4x9el



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Updated October 1, 2017.              http://www.2ingandlin.se/SM6FHZ.htm