Monday, December 28, 2009

Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation

Reboot is equipped with a single sideband (SSB) radio.  This gives me the capability of talking much longer distances than the marine VHF (very high frequency) radio.  Since I live on “cruisers hours”; to bed when it gets dark, up at dawn, I have gotten into the habit of turning on the SSB radio as the sun comes up.  The SSB radio depends on ionization of the atmosphere for long distance communications.  At sunrise and sunset (the grey band) one can sometimes get amazing distances even though in general the lack of sunspots (think ionization again) has made long distance communication difficult for the past several years.  This morning without much effort I talked to a ham in Uzbekistan and two hams in the Russian Federation.  That is a distance of about 6,500 miles.  Not bad!

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