Nevada Field Trip, Day 4 – The Search Continues, but Nevada has a Monsoon Season as Well.

We processed our data from the previous day and noticed that the high band antenna had considerable radio frequency interference (RFI), but that the low band was much quieter. To view the antenna response, we plot the antenna temperature (basically power) vs frequency. An ideal plot would be a smooth curve, but when RFI is present, there will be occasional narrow RFI spikes at various frequencies.

The frequency of FM radio is in the range of 88 to 108 MHz. Despite the lack of FM reception on our car’s radio, the low and high band antennas picked up a forest of spikes in the Radio Band. It appears one can not escape FM radio.

Other than FM radio, the low band interference was not that bad. We decided to use day 4 to search the area for other locations which were good in the low band, by using our small biconical dipole antenna and measure for 10 minutes for a NS orientation and 10 minutes for an EW orientation.

We traveled a 180 mile loop around the area, stopping in various (4) places. The loop took us 9 miles north of the ranch on Nevada Hwy 21 (Grass Valley Rd) and then 21 miles westbound on another road (name unknown) to Hwy 278. Going south on 278 for 41 miles brings you to Eureka, the first decent sized town in the area. The next part of the loop is 69 miles of Hwy 50 (westbound), which meets up with Hwy 21. 40 miles of the gravel road Hwy 21 brings us back to Gund Ranch.

We tried 4 locations. The first location was on the road whose name we are uncertain of. We were able to get in a full measurement. The second location was a few miles south on Hwy 278 near the Alpha ranch. Our measurement there was cut short by about 5 minutes due to a rain cloud that popped up suddenly. Our third measurement was 30 miles into Hwy 50. That measurement was called off due to rain before we could even set up. The fourth measurement was also off of Hwy 50, but about 5 miles north of there on a side road.

We did get in some measurements on day 4 despite the rain. However, lightening did add spurious RFI to our data, and the data might not appear as clean as it should actually be.

At the end of the day, the Ranch Manager, John, paid us a visit and confirmed an earlier invitation to us to have dinner with him and his wife at his house the next day (steak from his cattle), but there would be additional guests because his wife had reminded him that it was his birthday tomorrow!

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