Moonbounce – You can do it!

If you have a 70 cm rig and a small hand-held 70 cm yagi antenna (you can build one using a wooden broom handle or a piece of 2″X2″ lumber) you can be among the few who have actually worked another amateur radio station via moonbounce.

How is that possible? After all the photos we see of the arrays needed for moonbounce are immense. Moonbounce is one of the esoteric of all ham radio activities.

Well that’s all true but it’s also true that both stations don’t need arrays this size. Let’s say the other guy was using a really big antenna and lots of power, then it stands to reason the antenna and power at your end doesn’t need to be so huge!

So how about if the antenna at the other end was Arecido Observatory dish located in Puerto Rico? Is it big enough? You bet.

On April 16 (from 1645 to 1030 UTC) and April 17 (1740 to 2020 UTC) and April 18 (1840 to 2125 UTC) the Areceibo Observatory Amateur Radio Club using the callsign KP4AO will be operating on a TX frequency of 432.045 MHz and a receive frequency of 432.050 to 432.060+ MHz with a TX power of 400 W. The array gain of the observatory radio dish is 60 dBi!

KP4AO can be heard with a small hand-held yagi pointed at the moon connected to a good receiver (good here means quiet). A 15 dBi antenna and 100 watts should do the job on CW. And you need to be able to figure out where the moon is (in case it’s a cloudy night at your QTH).

Here’s more operating info from QRZ.COM about this special event.

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