This site is here to provide information about weak signal work on the VHF and higher amateur radio bands in Arizona. The intent is to provide a central location where new hams and old timers alike can exchange information, ask questions, plan eyeball QSOs, or just discuss any aspects of this segment of our hobby. There is a chat room available for use during contest events, scheduling long haul QSOs, or simply connecting.
There are special challenges to operating on these bands and many modes of operation from communicating directly over long distances using traditional modes like ssb or cw, to the new and developing digital modes that allow our point to point signals to reach far beyond normal distances. These challenges make the reward of a completed QSO much more special.
What is so exciting about VHF and above communication?
It is hard to describe the rush you get the first time you hear your own signal echo coming back after reflecting off the Moon’s surface 2.5 seconds or so after you sent it! Or “bouncing” a signal off of a Sydney bound A380 jet over north central Arizona, so a station located in Las Vegas can hear your signal and reply with their own signal. Or bouncing a signal off a meteor as it burns through the atmosphere, streaking across the night sky. How about directly working someone in Seattle or Chicago on 144 MHz when there is a sporadic E propagation opening in the summer? Yes! It is possible! Or working simplex, 200 miles with an FM handheld from the San Francisco Peaks by Flagstaff to southern Arizona? Or operating with a dish in the microwaves portion of the ham bands to work stations in California! There are many radios out there that have vhf/uhf capabilities and all you may need is a horizontally polarized antenna in the clear to get started!
Who we are and what we do
In the following pages you can take a look at the various modes of operation used on the 50 MHz and above frequencies. See the various stations, look at screen shots of some of the digital modes, read articles and post on antennas, sequencers, radios, amplifiers, portable operations and even mobile, (called a ROVER in VHF contests) and just get a feel for what happens on these bands. You can find a list of Arizona SSB nets and round tables on the 50-1296 MHz. Yes! We have an on going net that covers the entire greater Phoenix area and south down beyond Tucson on 1.2 GHz! During the summer, when we have sporadic E’s stations check intthe 50 MHz net happen from all over the country! These nets are a great way to get your feet wet, see what’s happening and get answers to any questions. Feel free to post questions in the chat or join our AZVHF list to get more info on what is happening here in Arizona!