the woodpecker's roost

Frank Gentges metavox at
Mon Aug 27 10:47:11 CDT 2007


This is a very interesting set of pictures.  Thanks for the posting.

It looks to be a set of highly directional HF antennas.  A similar type 
antenna was used by VOA except this one looks to be more robust 
structurally, perhaps to withstand the ice loading.  The VOA design used 
two towers, one on each end and a complex bunch of wires to make up an 
array of phased dipoles.  The design is shown in Jasik's first version 
of the antenna handbook.  One of them was at the Bethany Ohio VOA site 
just north of Cincinnati and was demolished several years ago to make 
way for a golf course.

The woodpecker signal sounded like a simple pulse radar.  To work, it 
would need the gain of an antennas like these.  I suspect the smaller 
was for transmit and the larger for receive.

The US used more sophisticated signal designs that did not create so 
much interference and did not need so much gain.  However, the US system 
required computer signal processing that the Soviets may not have had 
available.  Or perhaps they had the computers but did not choose to go 
that direction.  After all, Soviet hams would just be told to not 
complain for the good of the state.

If those antennas still exist, they might be good for some QRP record 
setting.  With good propagation, a few microwatts should make a 
transatlantic path using QRSS with these monsters.

Frank K0BRA

Mike O'Dell wrote:
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