Beginners Guide To Meteor Scatter Operating Click here to go back to the home page

With Reference To G4IJE Data Sheet/RSGB Operating Manual By GOJHC.

This short guide outlines the basic techniques to work MS. It is intended to give the complete beginner enough information to attempt a few SSB contacts on the 6-metre band.

Basic Station Requirements

It is difficult to specify the lowest power and smallest antenna that can be used for MS as during major showers contacts can be made with 10w and indoor dipoles. However, using the full 100w ERP (since changed Ed.) will increase your chances of success. Elevation is not necessary although it could be useful for short distance contacts (less than 400kms).The only other requirement is a accurate digital watch as you will need to know the time to within 1 second.

Ms Procedures

As MS bursts are often quite short, special procedures have been developed to exchange the information needed for a complete contact as quickly as possible. The exchange consists of both callsigns, a report and a confirmation that all has been received ok. As signals will only be heard intermittently there is great danger of doubling with the other station. To prevent this a strict sequence of 1 minute TX followed by 1 minute RX is employed. The reporting system used consists of two numbers unique to MS operating. The first number indicates the burst duration and the second the burst strength. Once you have started to send a station a report it is NEVER changed, even though the reflections may improve or deteriorate. The numbers used are as follows:



2- bursts up to 5 sec

6- up to S3

3- bursts 5 to 20 sec

7- up to S5

4- bursts 20 to 120 sec

8- up to S7

5- bursts exceeding 120 sec

9- S8 or stronger

Therefore if you hear short and weak bursts you will probably send “26”. Phrases such as “This is G9ZZZ calling G5XYZ” have no place in MS operating, only essential information is sent.



Pings but no positive ID.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Both callsigns only.

Small part of either callsign, Partial callsign + report, Roger report but calls incomplete.>>>>>>>

Both calls + report 2 times

Both calls + report.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Both calls + roger report 2 times.

Both callsigns + roger report rogers. > >>>>>>>>


During skeds, stations will call without the use of phonetics as both parties know who they are listening for. During random contacts use of the phonetic alphabet is recommended. At times when major showers are in progress it is recommended to “Break” every 15 secs in case a long burst is in progress.


The QSO starts with one station calling the other e.g. “G9ZZZ G5XYZ G9ZZZ G5XYZ".

 A report is sent when the operator has positive evidence of having received the correspondents or his own callsign, or parts of them.. The report is then given as follows “G9ZZZ G5XYZ 26 26 G9ZZZ G5XYZ 26 26“. As soon as either operator copies both the calls and the report, he can start sending a confirmation “G9ZZZ G5XYZ Roger 26 Roger 26 G9ZZZ G5XYZ Roger 26 Roger 26...” when either operator receives a confirmation message (e.g. Roger 26) and all other information is complete he must confirm with a string of Rogers usually for 2/3 periods. It is a good idea to insert “73” now and then in order to stop yourself cracking up!


In order to maximize the chance of success, skeds should be arranged at optimum times. The sporadic meteor rate peaks at 0600 daily but during showers it is possible to be more specific, computer programs and data sheets are available for this purpose.

There are two ways of arranging MS skeds the most convenient method is on the radio. Many 6m operators are also QRV on 2m and can often be heard setting up skeds on the vhf net (14.345 +/-). The 6m liasion frequency (28.885) depending on conditions can also be used to set up skeds and more Packet radio is also a good medium for directing sked requests to Europe. Alternatively one can write to a station heard arranging skeds if you do not have the facility to transmit.

When arranging an MS sked, a certain minimum amount of data needs to be exchanged:

A.    Date
B.    Time (start,finish)
C.    Length of periods
D.    Frequency
E.    Which station transmits first
f.     mode (cw/ssb)

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