Meteor Scatter


My interest in meteor scatter began in the 1960s on 144 Mhz.

You can do this with one yagi and 100 watts although power and big antennas help.

At that time we were all using CW since SSB was nonexistent. Now SSB is clearly preferred.

The proceedure was and is to use prearranged schedules with synchronized clocks.

Two meters for 1000-1500 mile meteor scatter contacts is open every morning of the year with peaks during meteor showers.

Recently I ran with K1RQG SK in Maine at 1000 miles using 15 second sequences and worked him almost every time we tried it. We only ran for 15 minutes in the AM about 7 AM. There were no special meteor showers in efffect. Just everyday random meteors.

 What you will hear is bits and pieces of words, calls etc with bursts long enough to get both calls. Once you hear your call and his, you start saying “K1RQG N4PZ S2″ Means you heard both calls complete.

Next you listen for the same from the other station and after hearing the S2 you can stop with the calls because S2 means he got the calls, and send “Roger.

Once you have exchanged “Rogers” the QSO is legal.


  Here is an example.

Station A  (w1aw n4pz  w1aw n4pz) (15 sec) then say break. You can say w1aw FROM n4pz but not necessary and takes up time.

Station B P(n4pz w1aw   n4pz w1aw) (15 sec) break.

Station A hears calls  and says (w1aw n4pz S2  w1aw n4pz s2 )(15 sec) break. If you’re hearing him say break maybe its a long burst so try one time saying calls and S2 and break to see if he’s still there. If not resume saying calls and S2 using the 15 second segments.

Station B. hears both calls and says (S2 Roger) since he has a report and the S2 means he copied both calls from station A.

Staton A hears S2 Roger so all he needs to say in Roger.

Station B when he hears roger and S2 he just sends Roger.

Both stations hear Roger and whe qso is done.

Often you will get a long burst that can last a minute or more. Don’t use it up repeating for 15 seconds if you suspect it’s a long one. Just give a quick report and break. Maybe you have a long one.

I have heard 2 minute bursts on 144. S2 is just what we used in the 1960s for a report. You can use grid locator or anything you want but make it very short.

It’s great fun and the meteors are there every day.


You may also hear a burst that lasts a minute or even longer. If that happens, which it often does, you can carry on a brief QSO.

The signals on that kind of burst will start way over S9 and  gradually fade away.

I have a 45 second burst on 432 from a guy in Colorado which is unheard of.

432 is much harder and takes lots of power and big antennas.

The bursts are much shorter and infrequent.

This is ancient technology but sure is fun. Yes I know you can do it on digital but it’s pretty neat to actually hear the guy.

Try it. It doesn’t take super power or monster antennas. It works best in the morning between 5 and 9 AM. I’m not sure why but rumor has it that the earth is sweeping up meteors and adding to their velocity. I only know from years of experience that it works that way. No idea why.

Ask me if you want to try it with me. I have 1500 watts and a couple of muchly modified Cushcraft yagis at 70 feet in NW Illinois EN52GB. No fancy antenna mounted preamp. I just point the ant at the guy. Way back in 1957 when it was first discovered there was a theory about pointing the antenna at a 7 degree offset from true bearing but I never found that to make any diffference.





  One Response to “Meteor Scatter”

  1. Hi Steve.

    Many years ago I heard a presentation from a UK research team testing MS from GM to LA. They said the optimum frequency was about 60MHz (I think), so the 4m or 6m amateur bands would be closest. They said something about the meteor trails being only a couple of metres across. I’ve heard MS pings from time to time when listening to local beacons on 10m that are usually in the skip zone but they are usually very brief – could even be aircraft scatter I guess, though we don’t have too many planes hereabouts.

    73 Gary ZL2iFB

    PS One of the 10m beacons I’ve logged is yours! Any chance of publishing some info about the beacon on your website pls?

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