Monday, October 22, 2018

The Quest Begins

Some years ago I came across the "Worked All Bands" Award, presented by the North East Weak Signal Group. The goal for the award is to make a QSO of at least 1km on every band available to US Amateurs. The description currently lists 26 bands, but I expect that it'll shortly be updated to include 2200m and 630m to give a total of 28 bands. For the curious - that is 2200m, 630m, 160m, 80m, 60m, 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m, 10m, 6m, 2m, 1.25m, 70cm, 33cm, 23cm, 13cm, 9cm, 6cm, 3cm (I forget the wavelengths after this point and we usually call them by frequency so...), 24GHz, 47GHz, 78GHz, 122GHz, 134GHz, 241GHz and Light. As of this writing, only Brian WA1ZMS has completed the award.

When I initially came across the award, it seemed pretty unobtainable. Intimidating. In the intervening years, I became involved in VHF+ contesting. As part of the gear collected for the roving, I've accumulated bands up to 10GHz. Recent fortuitous purchases on eBay and discussions with other mmwave operators have given me bits and pieces to start building out a 78GHz transverter. I've also started building out light gear.

What does this mean? I'm actually only a couple bands away from having gear to get WAB. Granted, they are the most difficult of any of the amateur bands to work. But I think that means that I'm officially starting to hunt that award. It'll take years to get the rest of the gear required, maybe 10 or more, but I'm on my way. This'll act as my official declaration to myself that I'm now workin towards WAB.

I'm also going to try and work VUCC on the microwave bands while I'm at it.

Let's do it.

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