the woodpecker's roost

Gerald Wolczanski jerrywolczanski at
Mon Aug 27 17:11:20 CDT 2007

In the early 1970's, I used to be able to chase the Woodpecker out of 
the 80 Meter CW band with my homebrew 15-watter, random wire, and a 
vibroplex (modified Navy TCS receiver was my receiver).  I would set 
the dot rate to equal the pulses, zero-beat the signal, and send a 
string of dots.  The signal would stop, move a bit, and restart.  I'd 
repeat the process, moving it out of the CW band.  Typically this was 
late afternoon in the winter.  In the later years, I was told this 
technique became ineffective - I don't know as I moved overseas for 
almost 10 years.
On Aug 27, 2007, at 8:47 AM, Frank Gentges wrote:

> Mike,
> 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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