The Story of Ham Radio Moon Bounce

Story of ham radio moon bounce pioneer on ABC News

ABC News recalls achievements of Australian amateur radio moon bounce pioneer Ray Naughton VK3ATN who passed away in 2012

The ABC News story says:

You probably haven’t heard of Ray Naughton’s feat of science — not many people have. But 55 years ago, the quiet electronics store owner from Birchip, in western Victoria, successfully completed Australia’s first ever moon bounce.

The amateur radio fanatic had spent most of his time alone in a paddock, tinkering away on an antenna capable of bouncing a radio signal off the moon and back again.

Ray Naughton was told at the time that it was impossible with what experts said was limited equipment but he proved industry experts wrong, resulting in an all-expenses-paid trip to the US to share his knowledge with scientists.

Read the ABC story at

The first Amateur Lunar tests & contacts web site records Ray had decided to start with the 144 MHz band and his antenna consists of four rhombics with 342 feet on each leg. The individual beams are stacked roughly one wavelength apart with a mean height of 24.4 feet.

Apex angle for 144.090 Mc is 11 degrees 28 minutes. Calculated gain is approximately 34 dB with a main-lobe radiation angle of 4 degrees. This is approximately the performance one might expect from a 150 foot diameter parabolic reflector. The half-power beamwidth is 3.5 degrees which allows about 8 to 10 minutes of moon time at full gain. (Minus 1 dB points.)

On July 18, 1966 at 2259 GMT Ray received the first copyable signals from K6MYC in California. On November 28, 1966 he had a two-way contact with K32MWA/2 in New Jersey and on December 29, 1966 at 1146 GMT Ray and K6MYC in California finally completed a two-way contact after nine months of trying.

The first Amateur Lunar tests & contacts