At 9AM on 15 August 2011 we arrived at Szechenyi-hill OMK telecommunication and broadcast station of Antenna Hungaria to set up our station on the ground level of broadcast transmitter building. We connected a 50ohm load onto the 32 radiating element antenna and measured with an SWR tester if any RF were present but fortunately no signals were detected so we connected the broadcast antenna to our FT847. We had an S3 level white noise but no video signals from the operating Nagykanizsa O1 transmitter. We were happy because we would surely not make interference to television viewers with our 700W power. Tuning out our ACAM 1000 to the broadcast antenna the SWR was just perfect 1:1 without measurable reflected power. We made a short test with HA5OB Zoli from Budapest downtown and his 5W transmitter made an unbelievable S9+20dB strong signal strength and confirmed that our transmitter was clean in spite of S9+60dB on his FT817.
Though we were set we did not start operation because Antenna Hungaria invited us for a short memorial ceremony. At noon the director of Tivadar Puskas Telecommunication High School dr. László Horváth HA5PTL showed us a video how the television transmitter was closed down 12 hours earlier. Then Dr. György Tormási and Dr. László Falus HA5PE former engineer managers of Antenna Hungary, who are on pension today, summarized half century long history of television broadcasting. Dr. Tamás Holman HA5PT reviewed six year HA amateur history on 6m and the magic band features why 50MHZ was better for ham radio operation than for television broadcast. Mr. Andras Toth, communication director of Antenna Hungaria finished the ceremony summarizing milestones of analog to digital transition and shared with us company’s vision about future terrestrial television broadcasting. Then guests were showed the switched off transmitter and the HG50MHZ Special Event Station. And finally we started our four day operation.
According to expectations we heard local stations extremely well. The most contacts were made by Hungarians and from neighbor countries justifying the radiating pattern of the broadcast antenna. Altogether we made 666 QSO from 37 countries and 127 pieces 1 by 2 degrees squares, all over Europe. Inside a 500km range we completed 279 Hungarian, 32 Slovakian, 33 Czechs, 25 Austrian, 25 Slovenian, 21 Croatian, 15 Serbian, 11 Romanian and 1 Ukraine contacts. Of course our radio signals did not stop at 500km but we reached
stations up to 2000km range.
We had unsuccessful EME sked and we tried also MS JT6M digital mode but without usable reflections. We had two propagation modes to achieve long distance DX contacts, tropospheric ducting and sporadic E. In the mornings the level of E layer ionization was still low but our signals were well copied in a 1000km range with tropo ducting, and additionally we saw comments in DC Cluster that MS made HG50MHZ signals loud in short bursts. This happened because of our high power and the very effective low angle radiating antenna system.
However, we hardy copied low power stations because our unidirectional antenna collected much noise from every direction and we were straggling with understanding weak signals covered by high noise, we had a feeling to communicate with only high power stations. In the afternoons we had short Es openings that provided additional experiences. Normally strong stations were weak now and we were surprised because with G4DEZ and some other stations we exchanged only 55-57 reports. We thought that our antenna having a narrow disc shape characteristics transmitted our high power just below the E cloud and our energy was ineffectively reflected by E clouds 300-500km away from us. We had several occasions that our low power friends inside Budapest made more contacts than us additionally they helped us to correctly log call signs that we hardly understood.
On Wednesday evening we discussed the strange phenomenon and we had an idea to compare broadcast antenna with a Yagi beam. We asked permission from Antenna Hungaria and they allowed installing a Yagi in the garden. On Thursday noon we erected a five element DK7ZB Yagi and we were lucky to have Es opening right away. The first CQ call was answered by IS0/IK1ZZN from Sardinia Island and then IZ1CBQ from North Italy by 59/59 with his whip antenna and 2W transceiver. We were happy to work a QRP station and then we wrote lots of stations into our log that we could easily reach with the high radiation angle and low noise Yagi antenna. It is very likely that we wouldn’t have copied most of them with the broadcast antenna. The final statistics of HG50MHZ contacts: http://www.ha5hrk.hu/files/hg50mhz_wkd_squares_and_DXCC.pdf
We had fun and learned new experiences. Thank you for management and employees of Antenna Hungaria for their support and hospitality. Thank you for experts of Information and Telecommunication Authority granting our special event station with appropriate permits for this historical event. We all enjoyed being part of HG50MHZ team where everybody contributed with equipment and knowledge in order to enjoy together with the international 50MHz community the noise free conditions of six meter band in Budapest and its vicinity.
Thank you for QSOs that we confirm electronically through LoTW and eQSL.cc and by direct QSL cards if needed. We wait your QSL cards on this address http://www.qrz.com/db/hg50mhz We appreciate all QSL cards and SWL report together with a SAE (Self Addressed Envelop) but USD bank note or IRC is not required.
73 es DX de HG50MHZ: HA1YA, HA2SU, HA2UF, HA5AO, HA5BBM, HA5JI, HA5OB, HA5OT, HA5PT, HA5SE, HA5TI, HA5TMK, HA5UK, HA5UY, HA5XA, HA7PL, HA7RY, HA8MT and HA9PP
The summary documentum is downloadable: http://www.ha5hrk.hu/files/HG50MHZ_summary.pdf