archiv~1.txt: Re: SETI-L: Would it be detected?

Re: SETI-L: Would it be detected?

Dr. H. Paul Shuch ( (no email) )
Fri, 19 Mar 1999 09:56:12 -0500

At 09:10 AM 3/19/99 -0500, Gerry Cavan wrote:
>
>
>Larry Klaes wrote:
>
>> They have detected the incredibly faint signals
>> of the Pioneer 10 probe at the edge of the Sol system:
>
>Yes but they knew where to look and the exact frequency!

Gerry raises a good point, which I would like to amplify with this lengthy
analogy, to which most hams will relate. (For the rest of you, please
pardon the jargon.)

When I first got involved with amateur moonbounce communications (EME)
almost 30 years ago (Wow! As I write this, I can't believe it's been that
long!) I had a memorable almost-contact. My neighbor Mike Staal K6MYC was
on the moon with a 160-element Cush-Craft collinear array on 2 meters, a
BIG GUN, and he was my mentor. I had built the Plumber's Delight
transmitter from the ARRL Handbook (a pair of 4CX250's in push-pull) driven
by an Ameco 6'n'2 transmitter on CW. I got 700 watts output, through
RG-17, to four Oliver Swan 12-element yagis on 12-foot booms, spaced two
wavelengths vertically and horizontally on a jury-rigged H-frame. My
azimuth rotor was a Ham-M, and my elevation rotor was taken off an old
clothes drier. The counterweight was a piston from my old 1956 Chevy. The
receiver was an early solid-state preamp (2 dB NF) and a W2AZL converter to
an RME receiver on 10 meters. All pretty crude stuff by today's standards.
But was I ever excited!
So much for the station. I had just lashed the mess together, pointed
toward the moon, and immediately started hearing weak CW on 144.010 MHz. I
fell into 2-minute sequences, listened and called, listened and called, and
after nearly an hour had pieced together all the elements necessary to
constitute a contact.
Not able to contain my excitement, I called up my mentor, and blurted out,
"Guess what, Mickey, I just made my first EME contact!"
"Congratulations," Staal replied. "Who'd you work?"
"WA2DFO," I replied excitedly.
"Congratulations," my neighbor repeated to my puzzlement, then added, "you
just *almost* made your first EME QSO -- with VE2DFO. Learn the callsigns
of the guys on the band. It gives you a 3 dB advantage."

So Gerry is right. When receiving the Pioneer beacon, The SETI Institute
has a 3 dB advantage.

(Above anecdote copyright 1999 by H. Paul Shuch, and pending publication in
my memoirs...)

-----------------------------------------------------------------
H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D. Executive Director, The SETI League, Inc.
433 Liberty Street, PO Box 555, Little Ferry NJ 07643 USA
voice (201) 641-1770; fax (201) 641-1771; URL http://www.setileague.org/
email work: n6tx@setileague.org; home: drseti@usa.net

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