Lightning Scatter on 50 MHz
The South African Radio League (SARL) say
Lightning Scatter is another VHF propagation mode, but
that two-way contacts have never been tried in South
Many years ago, a FM broadcasting station
in Durban on the 88 to 108 MHz FM band was heard in East
London by ZS2FM during a lightning storm. Every time a
lightning flash occurred, from a distant thunderstorm in
the direction of Durban, the FM signal would pop out of
the noise at full limiting and last for about ten
seconds before it faded out.
Recently radio bursts from lightning on
144,300 MHz SSB, emanating from ZS6CBQ at Krugersdorp,
were picked up by ZS4A in Bethlehem, even though they
were of very short duration, the voice of ZS6CBQ was
recognizable. This suggests that brief two-way contacts
on 50 MHz should be possible on SSB, FM or Digital
during a thunderstorm.
The late afternoon thunderstorms,
normally experienced in the summer months around
Johannesburg, could be a wonderful testing ground for a
lightning project. Of course, only distant stations
surrounding Johannesburg area would be able to
participate, as all antennas will be grounded in the
area where the storm is raging.
If you are in Pretoria then beam at the
storm in Johannesburg area and give a brief call during
a lightning flash, while only listening during the next
flash. If you can't see the lightning flash then call
when you hear the static burst on receive. In theory, it
should be possible to make contacts as far south as
Who will be the first to a make a contact
via Lighting Scatter on 50 MHz?