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

2019 Ham Cram

We decided to add an 8-hour Technician Class Ham Cram following the 2019 CERT Training. Overall it went well with 60% of the class passing the Technician test. We’re planning to offer this again in 2020 and working to put together a longer multiple evening class for those that are interested.

Alfred T. Moore Awarded to Jackson County’s CERT Coordinator

Jackson County EMA is very proud to announce that Patrick Gifford is this years recipient of the Alfred T. Moore Award which is given by the Alabama Emergency Management Agency to the EMA Volunteer of The Year.

Pat is invaluable to us, and is very deserving of this honor.

Pictured with Pat are JCEMA Director Felix Jackson, Alabama State EMA Director Brian Hastings, and Assistant State EMA Director Jonathan Gaddy.

K4R POTA Russell Cave Activation

The K4R, Russell Cave Special Event Station activation is now behind us. We consider it to be a successful outing with 11 club members present, 1 visiting amateur operator and 4 guests and a good time was had by all present.

We began the day at a disadvantage with two members absent due to sickness and a tragic death in the family and rain delays as well. We knew this activation would be challenging due to the location of Russell Cave in the shadow of the mountain and weather conditions and while we were not able to operate on all bands planned we did achieve 15 contacts on 20 and 40 meters.

Our dedicated radio operators were Mark Pierson, KN4JXL and John Hilliard, K4JCH.

Members present were:
Richard Arnold, K4NHA.
Gloria Arnold, Richard’s Wife.
Ben Lowe, K4QF.
Byron Lauderdale, KN4QVD.
Danielle Fuller, KN4SDJ.
Jerry Rossanno, N4JR.
Jim Clifford, NK3V.
John Hillisrd, K4JCH.
Kendall Mashburn, KN4KYX
Kendall’s Wife, Brittney Mashburn.
Kendall’s Daughter, Piper Masburn.
Mark Pierson, KN4JXL.
Patrick Gifford, KN4BRG.
Tanya Sparkman, KA4TLH.
Visiting Amateur was Chris White, KK4TLK from Whitwell, TN and his Father-in-Law Jerry Godsby that lives in the cove at the cave.

Thanks to all that turned out for this event and to my setup and tear-down crew.

Winter Field Day 2019

Winter Field Day 2019 was a huge success! We had a large turnout and a lot of fun testing our equipment and setups. Using both portable antenna platforms we had a 40m dipole and VHF/UHF dual band omni on one and a 40m-10m G5RV Mini on the other, both at around 30’ high. Both antennas worked flawlessly through the entire event. Ray Young KM4YCO brought his Icom IC-7300 go-box out and operated on 20m most of the day while Brad Arnold K4NHA brought his Icom IC-7200 which was used on 40m. Richard Arnold KB4RMA setup a full VHF/UHF digital capable station using his go-box with multiple radios. We had over 900Ah of DC power available as this was the first chance to operate on the large DC power system KB4RMA and K4NHA have been building over the past several months.

The highlight of the day was when the kids got on the air. Danielle Fuller’s kids Deo and Alix made a contact with a contest station in South Carolina and Brad Ivey KK4UWF’s daughter Marley contacted the ARRL Headquarters W1AW in Connecticut for the second field day in a row. Rumor has it 7 year old Deo may be studying for his Technician License Exam soon!

With Winter Field Day in the books we’re now looking ahead to our next events which will be the K4R Special Event Station at Russell Cave National Monument in May and ARRL Field Day this June. Thank you to everyone that came out and made this Winter Field Day such a fun event and a great success!