70CM EME Wyoming DN54fw

Date/Time: September 1, 2019 MR 1530z (at least 35+ degrees of moon/sun separation)
Call: KB7Q
DN54fw, Beartooth Plateau, Wyoming
432.090 MHz KB7Q 2nd
Gear: 1x 38el. Yagi, 550 watt LDMOS amp, IC-9700 w/Leo Bodnar GPSDO, WD5AGO pre-amp, Honda 2KW generator.

I've put together a 70cm EME station, so I thought it would be fun to put DN54 in Wyoming on the air and get some more use out of my new IC-9700 radio. DN54 is a very quiet location with a clear MR horizon. This is the station I'll be using from PJ2T this winter.

If you need Wyoming be sure to let me know.

Bonus Video: Heard in the speaker working HB9Q while station testing. Click here

IC-9700 and the LDMOS amp make a nice compact station.

A single M2 432-13WLA, 30 foot boom.

6M Meteor Scatter Trip To DN56ac

July 13, 2019
Jeff, K5WE needed DN56 for his Fred Fish Award, as his total stands at 482/488 grids. That central Montana gird is just a 1.5 hour ride east of me. So I put together a modest station to "get 'er done". I left the house at 4:15 AM, was in my favorite DN56 spot and ready to go by 6:15 AM, and Jeff was in the log by 6:20 AM. MSK144 rocks the rocks! Not bad efficiency for a 1032 miles contact to Oklahoma using just 100 watts and a four element LFA Yagi on my end. The K3S's internal preamps sure hear much better then my previous K3 ever did on 6M.

Others worked were K7MAC (+7), W0VTT (+20), AC0RA (+9), W0LGQ (+12), W9RM (+15), AG0N (+10), K7ULS (+13), AA7DJ (+3), N7IR (+9), KY7M (+7), N6EQ (+15), W7MEM (+11), KB7ME (+12), K7KQA (+24). LoTW done.

DN56ac sunrise with the Crazy Mountain for company.

2M EME Wyoming JUNE 29, 2019

Date/Time: June 29, 2019 @ 0930z
Call: KB7Q
DN54qv, Deaver Reservoir, Wyoming
144.139 MHz +_ QRM/Birdies KB7Q SECOND JT65b
2x 9el. Yagis, 800 watts, K3S w/transverter, excellent WD5AGO pre-amp, Honda generator

Moonrise is out across the reservoir. A very quiet location, I was hearing quite well.
Yes! In the bag, a done deal, fait accompli, put a bow on it! OK1TEH competed with me to achieve his 2M Worked All States Award. The third time to Wyoming was the charm. Ultimately after 3 hours OK1TEH peaked at -25 and we completed five minutes later. Matej worked all of the 50 States from his suburban QTH with a single 10 element Yagi and 800 watts. It "only" took 15years. Yippee!

How cool is that!? Click to expand.
 In addition, I worked 38 other folks - conditions were excellent. RX1AS (-20), IK1UWL (-19), S51ZO (-18), G8RWG (-24), UA3PTW (-30), EA8DBM (-24), I3MEK (-17), I2RV (-18), DL8FBD (-26), SM5CUI (-23), OK1TEH (-25) single Yagi, LZ4OC (-16), PA2CHR (-20), DL8YHR (-25), F6HVK (-25), DK4TG (-17), OK1DIX (-17), LZ2FO (-21), PA2FYC (-24), DL1VPL (-25) single Yagi, KF8MY (-25), AA5C (-22), OH4LA (-29), ON7UC (-25), K0TPP (-18), ON4KHG (-27), WA4PGM (-29), EA4CYQ (-20), K2TXB (-22), WA1NPZ (-15), F5AQX (-23), OH6UW (-27), EA1UU (-25), HA8CE (-24), G4FUF (-26) single Yagi, G4SWX (-19), F4DJK (-24), K5LA (-21), DL1KDA (-26), I2FAK (-19).

Wyoming 2M EME Quick Trip June 8, 2019

Date/Time: June 8, 2018 1800z start Weather Delay, now Sunday,  JUNE 9, 2019 @ 1915z
DN44lw, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Frequency Change: 144.139 MHz
+_ QRM/Birdies KB7Q always first JT65b
2x 9el. Yagis, 800 watts, K3S w/transverter, excellent pre-amp, Honda generator
No Internet

Scenery on the way to DN44. Those are the Spanish Peaks near Big Sky, Montana.
OK1TEH is on the verge of completing his 2 Meter Worked All States award with his single Yagi station, so I'm going to Wyoming to see if we can complete for State # 50. Of course I'll work all callers while I'm there.

I gave it my all, but OK1TEH had relentless QRM from OK2DE who would not help the cause by moving more then a kHz away or changing sequence. We did not complete. Grrr! As I had no Internet I had no way to know I should flip sequences. I copied OK1TEH well many, many times times.

I did use my time in the field to wean myself off WSJT 10, and commit to using WSJT-X ver 2.0.1, I set my TX audio to 1271 Hz and carried on. I also got to break-in a new, very fast laptop computer with a solid state hard drive. Both changes worked well. 

I did work several callers: RX1AS (-13), ON4GG (-14), UT5ZN/P (-16), DK5YA (-13), VE6XH (-19), S51ZO (-20), K2TXB (-21), VE1KG (-19), S56P (-17), W5ADD (-25), ON4IQ (-13), ES3RF (-27), PA9RX (-18), S57M (-24), K2ZJ (-23), W8TN (-25), EA8DBM (-29), ON4KHG (-13).

June 10 - Back to Wyoming for another try with OK1TEH. No joy, Matej had a big thunderstorm with hail roll through during our moon time so he couldn't decode me sending "OOO". We will try again in July! I did work UA3PTW (-22), G4SWX (-20), PA2FYC (-23),  ES6RQ (-26), F8DO (-23), IK4WLV (-17).

Bad weather at OK1TEH's QTH, much thunder, lightning, and hail.


Date/Time: February 19 - 22 and March 16 - 20, 2019
Call: PJ2T
QTH: FK52kg, Santa Marta Bay, Curacao
Frequency: 50.195 MHz MHz +_ QRM/Birdies PJ2T always first, JT65a
Gear: 1x 5 element M2 6M5XHG Yagi, elevation, 500 watts, K3S
Note: Have Internet, and will come up on the ON4KST chat

6 Meter EME for minimalists. All that's needed and not a db more!

I'll be care-taking the PJ2T contest station again this winter and I'm happy to try some 6M EME this trip. This is a definitely a QRP setup, but I should have fantastic ground gain on my moonset over unlimited salt water. There is a ridge on moonrise, but I try once the moon clears it around 5 degrees.

First moonrise session on February 19/20 resulted in one contact with OH6MIK (-25). ZS4TX and G8BCG were decoded nicely but the moon elevated out of my pattern before I could complete. I lost about 15 minutes tracking down nasty QRN. Turned out to be the house owner's bedroom A/C.

February 20 - moonset was better. I worked W7JW (-24), JG2BRI (-26), JA7QVI (-24), and KG7H (-25). Heard: VK3DUT, VE1FJ, W6UC.

February 21 - moonrise was a big fat zero, I was heard, but I didn't decode a soul. Moon set was better, I easily heard JS2CQA, N7NW, VE1JF, and worked W6UC (-21) for contact #6. WP4G in Puerto Rico worked easily on meteor scatter after moonset.

February 22 - Moonrise I only heard S59A, no contacts. Moonset was again much better, I worked JS2CQA (-23) and VE1JF (-24) to bring the count to eight stations. Also heard K1SIX, NN7J, JO1PSX.

March 16 - Moonset was a heart breaker. I saw both NN7J (-25) and N7IP (-21) well, responded to both, and was sending N7IP "RRR" for 20 minutes before I lost the moon, but no contacts completed. Degradation was above 3 db, so we'll see what the better conditions bring going forward.

Moonrise had good conditions, I heard ES6RQ (-19) in the speaker, OH2BC (-25), ZS4TX (-24), and ZS6NK (-24). Worked S59A (-22) and S57RR (-23) to bring the total contacts to 10.

Roberto, S57RR using his skill to complete with me. My 500 watts is EME QRP!
March 17 - Moonset started with great expectations, N7IP was loud peaking at -20, but it was not to be. I also heard and called N7NW and NN7J with no response.

Moonrise produced two  more contacts. ZS6NK (-27) was the easiest QSO yet, and OH7KM (-21) was almost as fast. ZS4TX was heard and called, as was ES6RQ. ZS6NK was extra special as Paul had driven 300 KM today to get a replacement amplifier in time for my moonrise. 12 stations worked to date.

March 18 - Only N7IP (-23) heard and worked. The wicked local, intermittent  QRN that started last MS session has become continuous. Grrr. The K3's noise blankers can knock it down, but I fear distorts the signals to impend decodes with the aggressive settings required. I was able to use the Yagi to pin-point the source as a power pole out to my northwest. This does not make it look good for more MS contacts. Moonrise produced another contact, K2ZD (-27) logged and SP7VC was heard well at times. That makes 14 stations worked to date.

March 19 - Moonset was an awful date with more local QRN, I did hear VK3DUT (-29) and NJ6P (-30). Moonrise did get me another contact, G8BCG (-31) makes 15 contacts in the log.

March 21 - I elevated to 50 degrees once I figured out how to clear my guy ropes and worked ZS4TX (-29), who knew you could elevate a small Yagi and make it work?! To finish off the operation I worked W7GJ (-21) at elevation 60 degrees. A fitting end to the operation as Lance lent me the 5 element Yagi I've been using. PJ2T is QRT 6M EME.
Stations worked: 17

Lance, W7GJ did all the heavy lifting on this contact!


Date/Time: October 4, 2018 0800z MR start
Call: KB7Q
QTH: DN54is, Hogan Reservoir near Cody, Wyoming
Frequency Change:  now 50.195 MHz MHz +_ QRM/Birdies KB7Q always first JT65a
Gear: 1x 7 element LFA Yagi w/elevation, 600 watts, K3S, Honda generator
Note: No Internet

Joyce and I poked along for two days enjoying Yellowstone Park on our way south to a spot I picked out with great ground gain out east to moonrise over the rolling prairie. We set up in sunshine, but then a cold front rolled in. The new homebrew LFA Yagi worked great, and the W7GJ erection tips made getting the Yagi up in the air a snap. I reaffirmed 600 watts is just not enough smoke on TX, going to 900 watts, the maximum my generator can sustain, would add a critical 1.7 db! This was a "run what ya brung" trip!

I worked nine stations easily and heard four others well, so surely worth the effort, especially as the contact with Roberto, S57RR was his 50th State for the 6M W.A.S. award.

Another more significant storm was forecast to roll later in the day and dump 6" of snow and turn the dirt access road into "gumbo", so we packed up and made tracks for home soon after my attempt with GM3POI.

As a bonus I worked AC0RA and W0VTT on meteor scatter just before the moon came up.

Logged: S57RR (-18), OH6MIK (-22), UR0MC (-19), K4PI (-19), SM6LPF (-20), ZS6NK (-20), W7JW (-20), EA8DBM (-20), SP4MPB (-21). LoTW done.

Heard easily, but not worked N1DG (-25), YL2AO (-21), CT1HZE (-17), GM3POI (-19).

A brief traffic jam going through Yellowstone Park on our way to the operating site.
This bald eagle greeted us when we pulled into Hogan Reservoir at DN54is.
Just in case you've never been to Wyoming - Looking north from our spot.
The Yagi is pointed at expected moonrise. Joyce was a great help getting the beast in the air.
Best DX was Paul, ZS6NK

Nevada 2M EME Trip DN21

Dates/Time: September 6, 2018 MR 0930z 
Call: KB7Q
QTH: DN21pw, Jackpot, Nevada
Frequency: 144.135 MHz +_ QRM/Birdies KB7Q always first JT65b
Gear: 2x 9el. Yagis, 900 watts, K3S w/ internal transverter, excellent pre-amp, Honda 2kw generator
Internet: Yes

A little night music in the Nevada sagebrush.  You can see the quarter moon.
Success! The prime directive on this trip was to work Thomas, DL1VPL. 50 minutes after moonrise we completed for his State #50. This is extra outstanding when you realize he achieved this award using 800 watts and a single 12 element Yagi from a suburban setting. Wow!

DL1VPL going into the log.

K8DIO also completed with me for his #50. Lloyd tells me it "only" took 50 years!

Despite really rapid and ever changing Faraday rotation I made some challenging contacts completing with OH3AWW when he had 0.9 degrees of moon left, and getting G4TRA into the log after about an hour of cat and mouse.

I made some station improvements that got tested out this trip. A new cross-boom that breaks down into smaller pieces for travel worked just fine, and re-jetting the generator's carburetor for altitude meant I had enough power to run the amp at 850 watts. I brought two 500 watt work lights for setting the array up in the middle of the night - it sure beats the heck out of using the truck's headlights. :-)

43 stations in the log: DL8FBD (-18), SM7GVF (-12), I3EVK (-15), I3MEK (-15), DK4RC (-23), DJ9MG (-27), S52LM (-19), DL1VPL (-20), ON4AOI (-16), EA2AGZ (-22), OH7PI (-16), G4DML (-18), K8DIO (-19), OH6UW (-25), ON4KHG (-19), DK4TG (-22), G4SWX (-17), W8KEN (-22), RX8XR (-22), DK5YA (-19), K9MRI (-17), UA4AQL (-21), W7JW (-22), ON7UC (-22), DM2BHG (-24), HA0DU (-23), W5ADD (-22), LZ2FO (-26), OH2BC (-17), SM5CUI (-19), W7MEM (-15), N4HB (-23), F6HVK (-20), S57A (-23), F1TTN (-26), N5TM (-27), SM6NOC (-20), DK5EW (-18), WA1NPZ (-15), K5LA (-16), SM2BYC (-28), OH3AWW (-26), G4TRA (-28). LoTW updated.

Wyoming 6M EME Quick Trip

Date/Time: August 4, 2018 0630z start
Call: KB7Q
QTH: DN54fw, Beartooth Plateau, Wyoming
Frequency: 50.193 MHz MHz +_ QRM/Birdies KB7Q always first JT65a
Gear: 1x 5 element Yagi, 600 watts, K3S, Honda generator
Note: No Internet

A good look at the Beartooth Plateau.
Conditions were not great with very rapid QSB, and degradation was -4 db, but mission accomplished - both G8BCG (-24) and DL8YHR (-23) completed with me to finish their 6M W.A.S. In addition, I worked S59A (-20) and ZS4TX (-25). I heard and called both S57RR and ZS6NK several times, but no joy.

Not a bad result for a "pop gun" station. Thankfully I had excellent ground gain, and a ultra quiet location, and my "dance partners" were all big guns.

Sorting the gear above treeline, note the enhancements for grizzly bear protection.

What Peter, G8BCG saw as he completed W.A.S.
A DN54 denizen - yes, snow remains even in August.

Wyoming 2M EME Quick Trip June 17, 2018

Date/Time: June 17, 2018 1700z start
Call: KB7Q
QTH: DN44lw, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Frequency: 144.135 MHz +_ QRM/Birdies KB7Q always first JT65b
Gear: 2x 9el. Yagis, 800 watts, K3S w/transverter, excellent pre-amp, Honda generator
Note: No Internet

Thunder and lightning … all very frightening! Thankfully the rain stopped for an hour when I first arrived in DN44 so I could set things up and not have to worry about getting water in the coax connectors. Murphy blinked and only made my GPS/Compass stop working after I calibrated my azimuth ring. Phew! Then the big rains came. The accompanying picture tells the story.

In spite of +10 db rain static at times, and some close in lightning I worked both G4YTL and DK5EW for their 50th State. It took a while to locate DL1VPL and his single Yagi station, but Thomas and I completed for his State #48. The whole trip was well worth just those three contacts, I worked a total of 48 stations, many needing Wyoming, before I started thinking about dry socks, hot coffee, and home. 

This was probably my most challenging EME field trip, with heavy rain, 4 degree C temperatures, extremely rapid Faraday, and a balky generator that would only let me have 700 watts from the amp. I never actually saw either the moon or the sun. But as the Bard said, “Alls well that ends well.”

Warm and dry in Wyoming. Completing with G4SWX (-17).
In the log: PA9RX (-22), I3MEK (-16), DK5EW (-19), SM6NOC (-20), RK3FG (-15), OZ1LPR (-16), UA3PTW (-25), WA1NPZ (-16), W8KEN (-26), ON4AOI (-17), G4DML (-23), ES3RF (-21), RX1AS (-29), UX5UL (-23), G4CDN (-21), PA2CHR (-24), G4PZL (-23), G4YTL (-26), PA4MS (-20), I3EVK (-16), F6HVK (-23), G8BCG (-22), ON4KHG (-24), LY2IJ (-27), S52LM (-22), DL1VPL (-25), OH3AWW (-28), HA6NQ (-18), G8RWG (-22), LY5E (-24), I2SVA (-23), DM2BHG (-20), SP8NR (-22), LZ2FO (-23), G4URT (-25), G4SWX (-17), DL2HWA (-16), DK4RC (-18), NJ2R (-24), I2FAK (-16), NH6Y (-24), N4QWZ (-24), VE1KG (-17), K2ZJ (-22), W7MEM (-22), W8KEN (-19), JH0BBE (-27), JR3REX (-20). LoTW upload done.

PJ2T Curacao 2M EME Dxpedition

Date/Time: February 19 - March 3, 2018
Call: PJ2T
QTH: FK52kg Signal Point, Curacao
Frequency: 144.135 MHz +_ QRM/Birdies PJ2T always first JT65b
Gear: 1x 12 Element LFA Yagi, 900 watts, K3S w/ internal transverter, excellent pre-amp.
QSL Manager for PJ2T is W3HNK

I finished this operation with 242 EME contacts - amazing for a single Yagi station. 

 February 13, 2018
Progress! All luggage arrived just fine, I had a few hours this afternoon to put the Yagi together and amount it up on the sun deck. This elevated location gives me a much better MR horizon, and gets the antenna out of everybody's way. No worries, four guy ropes keep it from blowing over.

February 19,2018
Not great conditions with very rapid QSB, and the sun near the moon, but it got better as the day went on. The ridge to my east seems to be about 7 degrees, and I have a tree out there also. Once the moon cleared the obstacles I had plenty of callers. I logged 40 stations before I reached my maximum elevation of 75 degrees. I'm working on a better system of ropes to keep the Yagi on the moon in brisk trade winds. All in all a great start.

Stations worked: ZS4TX (-21), I3MEK (-21), ZS6JON (-21), EB5EEO (-19), ES3RF (-20), SM2BYC (-20), G4SWX (-22), SP4KM (-19), SM5DIC (-22), SP4K (-20), UR3EE (-23), YL2GD (-22), SM7GVF (-21), S52LM (-26), G4CDN (-20), ON4AOI (-22), EA8DBM (-19), PA3FYC (-23), PA9RX (-19), G4DML (-20), DL8II (-23), IK4PMB (-21), DL8FDB (-19), G8BCG (-23), UA3PTW (-18), PA5Y (-20), EA4CYQ (-24), HB9Q (-12), UX0FF (-20), PA2CHR (-21), DL2HWA (-20), DK5SO (-20), K1CA (-16), VE1KG (-21), WA3PQX (-20), RZ3BA/1 (-21), S55OO (-26), PA3CMC (-20), OH8MGK (-24), SK5AA (-22)

February 20, 2018
Winds were strong, I finally had to quit and tie down to protect the antenna. I did get back on in the evening and worked several more stations. Still dealing with rapid QSB, but 40 additional stations worked today.

In the log: UX5UL (-24), DK3WG (-21), I2FAK (-13), RX1AS (-21), OH2LHE (-23), S51ZO (-21), DL5OCD (-22), LZ1KU (-19), S56P (-23), OH3AWW (-25), EA5SR (-18), OH3KLJ (-25), I2RV (-18), S57M (-27), PA3FPQ (-24), DK5EW (-22), I3LDP (-26), OH7PI (-22), K9MRI (-23), YO5BIN (-26), PI9CM (-19), F6GRB (-23), W0XG (-30), DK5YA (-22), UX5UL (-18), LZ2FO (-22), F5AQX (-23), G4PLZ (-20), DK5LA (-21), OH4LA (-22), HA8CE (-27), YL2GC (-22), HA0DU (-25), K2ZJ (-24), FK8CP (-22), NC2V (-22), JR3REX (-17), NH6Y (-22), JH0BBE (-23), ZL/YU7AA (-18), JA5EEU (-19), W7JW (-21).

February 21/22, 2018
Condition were about the same, still with very fast QSB, and crossed TX/TX polarity, but still made progress. I'm pleased at the number of 2x Yagi stations I've been able to work.

Total contacts so far 110. Stations worked: DA0Y (-25), RW3PX (-26), UR3EE (-20), DM1CG (-17), IW4ARD (-22), DF7KF (-15), RW3QJA (-21), DL9MS (-18), OH6ZZ (-26), PA5MS (-25), DL9DBJ (-26), W2HRO (-22), PA1GYS (-23), DK4RC (-21), F5GHP (-23), PA0JMV (-18), GW3XYW (-26), ON4KHG (-24), DK4TG (-26), F4DJK (-23), RX8XR (-19),  K7MAC (-22), VE2JWH (-24), JH2COZ (-25), N0AKC (-24), JE1TNL (-16), W8KEN (-21), JP3EXR (-23), W7OJT (-20), KF8MY (-26).

February 22/23, 2018
Twenty six contacts added to the log for a total of 136. Faraday rotation is still a challenge with cross TX/RX polarity, but still working 2x Yagi stations at times. I appreciate everyone's tenacity to keep chasing me!

Worked: SM2A (-23), EB1DNK (-18), OE3FVU (-25), EA5CJ (-15), ZS5LEE (-22), DF2ZC (-22), ES6RQ (-18), IK6CAK (-27), EA8TJ (-22), AA4SC (-27), OK1IL (-22), ZS1LS (-21), SM5KWU (-20), OK1RD (-14), DJ8MS (-22), DM1AC (-24), OK1NI (-25), SP1JNY (-23), SP2FH (-23), OK2DE (-23), OE3NFC (-27), AH6LE (-25), K8DIO (-30), WA7XX (-30), ZL2MQ (-25), VK3BJM (-27).

February 24, 2018
You know it is a great EME session when you make not one, but two single Yagi to single Yagi QSOs. Thank you DL1VPL and R7LP! Very nice to have steady conditions and crank out more contacts. W7GJ was -12 here with a huge signal. 163 stations logged so far.

Worked: OK1UGA (-18), SV6KRW (-19), LY2IJ (-25), DL1VPL (-23), UA4AQL (-19), DL1KDA (-24), DL8SCQ (-26), DK0KK (-15), G8RWG (-23), DJ4TC (-25), SP8NR (-20), DL9LBH (-22), OE5KE (-23), DL6BF (-21), F6EGD (-22), LZ4OC (-21), PA1BVM (-21), R7LP (-26), OK1DIX (-19), EA1PVC (-20), SM6NOC (-25), W7GJ (-12), DK3BU (-15), N8HF (-25), YO9HP (-27), OH6UW (-27), N9LHS (-21), IK1UWL (-19).

February 25, 2018
More success today, being able to see the moon makes aiming a snap. Twenty five stations worked to bring my total to 188. I'm stunned at what a single Yagi station can do from a semi-rare spot. Lots of folks all calling at +100, it is much easier for me if you spread out some.

In the log: HA0HO (-25), DG0WA (-23), SV6KRV (-23), ON7UC (-22), S53K (-22), YO4GJH (-27), SV8CS (-16), RK3FG (-15), OZ1FDH (-22), G4URT (-26), DL8YHR (-20), UA4LC (-18), OZ1CT (-20), G4FUF (-22), EB5GP (-18), D9YC (-26), OK1VRY (-24), S50EME (-24), IK7EZN (-26), W2DBL (-20), PA4VHF (-25), OZ1LPR (-16), SM5CUI (-20), S57A (-25), DF9UX (-25).

February 26, 2018
Two more single Yagi stations worked G4IDR, and R3PA. 209 stations so far.

Also landing in the log today: PA3DOL (-26), DM5WL (-21), DM5TI (-18), PA7MM (-19), DL1HYZ (-18), YU7XLO (-28), SM2IZO (-19), PE1LWT (-22), DF9KX (-22), OK1CU (-15), W8TN (-24), GM6JNJ (-20), WA1NPZ (-18), K5QE (-15), PG2M (-21), N4QWZ (-21), W5ADD (-23), W9JN (-26), XE2AT (-26).

February 27, 2018
Even though conditions were very good last evening things are slowing down. With 224 stations in the log that's probably not unexpected. OK1TEH was worked as my easiest single Yagi to single Yagi contact to date.

Worked: TA2NC (-23), DF7AP (-23), LZ5GM (-27), S50P (-24), G4RGK (-28), OK1TEH (-27), AE3T (-24), S55OO (-26), W8PAT (-27), DK9ZY (-16), UN9L (-20), W8WN (-23), N4HB (-24), TF3T (-23), EA5DF (-26).

February 28 - March 1, 2018
Just a few more stations in the log to make 233 total contacts. I got up for my moonset to work ZL/VK. Logged: DL5OCD (-23), S52LM (-20),  SM5CUI (-22), N5LJC (-23), VK4CDI (-19), ZL3NW (-19), VK5APN (-14).

March 1-2, 2018
A few more in the log including the Guatemala EME DXpedition which I've been chasing over the past few days. This brings the total EME QSOs to 238. Logged: OE6V (-16), OH2BC (-22), UZ5DX (-20), S56P (-23), TD9FYC (-23).

March 3, 2018
W5ZN (-21) worked well after moon rise, and the next morning JH3AZC (-16), and JJ3JHP (-27) logged at as the moon set over endless salt water. That bumped the total contacts to 242. Conditions are going downhill fast now so QRT.

The single 12 element LFA Yagi worked surprisingly well.

Station mascot, Iggy the Iguana.
Open air ham shack.
Leaving Montana for PJ2T. Turns out the snow shovel is optional in Curacao!

DN55 2M EME Grid Activation

 Date/Time: Saturday - November 11, 2017 0700z moonrise start
Call: KB7Q
QTH: DN55gl Absarokee, Montana
Frequency: 144.138 MHz +_ QRM/Birdies KB7Q always first JT65b
Gear: 1x 12 Element LFA Yagi, 800 watts, K3S w/ internal transverter, excellent pre-amp.

Oh what the heck! I tried  one more grid adventure right as winter is setting up here in Montana. I wanted to check out the configuration I'll be using in Curacao (PJ2T) come February, 2018. Todd, WA7U let me park on the family ranch and use the a/c power mains so I could run the gear and a small electric heater in the truck. I set up in the dark using the truck's headlights, and then crawled onto the back seat for a three hour nap until the moon came up at 0700z.

Then it was off to the races. Having an antenna mounted horizontally meant I could take advantage of ground gain for a change. Boy did it work, there were even a few signals at -10. Heavy wet snow finally arrived just before sunrise and the SWR started edging up so I stopped with 54 stations logged in just over six hours.

The highlights for me were working OZ1LPR immediately just before he had to run out the door on a business trip, and making a single Yagi to single Yagi contact with DL1VPL.

Stations worked: OZ1LPR ( -17), IK1UWL (-17), UA3PTW (-16), DF2ZC (-12), ES6RQ (-10), OH6UW (-23),  DK8GP (-18), I2FAK (-16), PA3FPQ (-18), EA8DBM (-17), PA9RX (-14), I2RV (-16), IW4ARD (-12), LZ2FO (-19), DK5SO (-23), RX1AS (-17), DK3WG (-27), RK3FG (-22), W2HRO (-21), S52LM (-21), UR3EE (-18), I3MEK (-24), SM7GVF (-23), HA6NQ (-19), PA2CHR (-25), HA8CE (-18), PA0JMV (-25), OE3NFC (-23), HB9Q (-10), OH2LHE (-20), I3EVK (-19), DL1VPL (-25), ES3RF (-24), G4SWX (-24), PA1GYS (-21), ON4KHG (-21), RZ3BA/1 (-20), UX5UL (-17), DK4TG (-20), UT6UG (-17), SM2BYC (-16), OH6ZZ (-21), DK4TG (-20), DL9DBJ (-19), YU7XL (-24), EA4CYQ (-20), DL8II (-18), G4PLZ (-20), OH2BYJ (-21), SM5CUI (-24), EA2AGZ (-21), OH3AWW (-25), PA3CMC (-21), N4QWZ (-25).

Baby it's cold and dark out here! I operated from the cab of my pickup truck. Tight but functional.
For the first three hours I had a visual moon, and plenty of ground gain.
Now that is a crazy number of callers, and one killer birdie. What a wonderful sight!

DN46 Activation via 2 Meter EME

Date/Time: Saturday - October 7, 2017 0200z moon rise start
Call: KB7Q
QTH: DN46fj Canyon Ferry Lake
Frequency: 144.138 MHz +_ QRM/Birdies KB7Q always first JT65b
Gear: 2x 9el. Yagis, 800 watts, K3 w/ internal transverter, excellent pre-amp, 2KW generator

 One more grid activation before the snow flies!

Any easy, quick outing to DN46 just 80 miles northwest of my house. I had great weather for setting up and a very quiet location. Once the moon cleared the Big Belt Mountains it was off to the races. I went hard at it until 4:30 AM local time when my body shut down. After a long nap I added several JA stations, and VK5APN  to the log to bring the total contacts up to 52 before the moon dipped behind the Elkhorn Mountains on the west side of the valley.

Packing up after moonset was easy and I beat the strong winds that were forecast home.

Stations Worked:
I2FAK (-15), DF2ZC (-22), HB9Q (-13), IK1UWL (-16), EA8DBM (-18), DK5EW (-19), DL1KDA (-21), OZ1LPR (-11), RX3A (-19), RX1AS (-13), HA8CE (-21), LZ2FO (-19), I3MEK (-18), HA6NQ (-22), SM6NOC (-24), PA3FYC (-24), DK3WG (-15), PA0JMV (-20), UX5UL (-12) K9MRI (-17), ES6RQ (-13), RK6FG (-13), UT6UG (-17), DL8FDB (-15), PA9RX (-16), DL1VPL (-20), ES3RF (-10), UT5ZN/P (-11), W7JW (-19), SP8NR (-21), HA6NQ (-17), SM5KWU (-30), PA2CHR (-17), OZ1CT (-19), EA2AGZ (-17), LY2IJ (-18), EA4CYQ (-22), PA3CMC (-15), ON4KHG (-19), PA5MS (-18), W0XG (-22), K1DG (-22), KL7UW (-21), NJ2R (-22), WO7R (-14), VK5APN (-22), JH0BBE (-23), JR3REX (-17), XE2AT (-28), JH2COZ (-25), 7K3LGC (-20), JF3MKC (-25).

DL1VPL knows how to rock n roll with his single Yagi station.
All set up and ready with three hours until moonrise. No other campers around. Yippee!
The Big Belt Mountains across Canyon Ferry Lake. The moon came up just to the right of the highest peak.

2 Meter EME Trip to DN66db

Date/Time: Saturday - September 16, 2017 0900z start
Call: KB7Q
QTH: DN66db Captain Clark Fishing Access Site
Frequency: 144.138 MHz +_ QRM/Birdies KB7Q always first JT65b
Gear: 2x 9el. Yagis, 800 watts, K3 w/ internal transverter, excellent pre-amp, 2KW generator

You just never know how these trips will go. The first fall storm was moving through Montana when I rolled east to the operating spot on the Yellowstone River out past Pompey's Pillar. I figured this trip might turn out to be a soggy bust as it rained hard and even snowed on Bozeman Pass while traveling out. It rained a bit while I was setting up, but I'm pretty organized so there was no wasted motion and before long I was inside the warm camper setting up the radio and amp. I was concerned that heavy rain would cause my SWR to shoot up. Nope, never happened, which was a relief.

From my 0900z moonrise for the next four hours I had a - 600 to +700 Hz pile-up going. What fun! When the dust settled 10 hours later 70 stations were in the log. This was my best one day effort ever - what I thought was going to be a slog turned out to be a maximum fun outing even with a Kp index of 4.

The only glitch was that my K3 transceiver (internal 2M transverter) would sometimes produce no transmit power when going from RX to TX, I'd have to reach over to the radio and turn the power knob slightly to get the RF drive flowing again. Hmm, that K3 is getting long in the tooth, probably time to pull it apart and re-seat all those edge connectors.

Anyhow, a great outing for a cool, rainy fall day. I never saw the moon or the sun for that matter so it was all best guess aiming with my GPS/compass, and inclinometer.

Stations worked:
S52LM (-20), I2FAK (-10), DF2ZC (-14), SM7GVF (-16), PA0JMV (-19), DL1KDA (-19), EA2AGZ (-16), DK3WG (-18), PA3FYC (-19), RK3FG (-24), OZ1LPR (-19), RX1AS (-19), EA5CJ (-15), OH6ZZ (-19), SM5CUI (-20), PA9RX (-16), LZ2FO (-21), SM5KWU (-19), HA6NQ (-18), DL8GP (-14), DK5SO (-19), DK5EW (-21), F5LNU (-19), PA3FPQ (-17), HB9Q (-19), DL6SH (-15), OH3KLJ (-23), ON4KHG (-19), DL8FBD (-21), DL1VPL (-25), I2RV (-26), OH6UW (-24), FK5YA (-16), EA8DBM (-16), PA2CHR (-17), DL7FF (-20), DK4TG (-22), LA8KV (-16), HA8CE (-17), UX5UL (-13), UR7DWW (-18), G4FUF (-22), OH4LA (-17), I3EVK (-19), IK1UWL (-21), DK4RC (-15), RX3A (-20), DL4KUG (-27), OH3AWW (-26), PA3CMC (-24), W5ZN (-160, SM5KWU (-26), OH7PI (-25), KB7IJ (-18),AA4SC (-19), OK1DIX (-15), OH2BYJ (-17), K1DG (-21), N4QWZ (-26), W8KEN (-27), K7MAC (-19) KB0PPQ (-22), W7MEM (-24), JR3REX (-17), KG7P (-18), JF3MKC (-21), JH0BBE (-25), W9JN (-24), ZL2MQ (-24).
That's the Yellowstone River. The site is extremely RF quiet.
A nice way to start the day! I2FAK was -10.
All the comforts of home.

2M EME Trip to DN56

Date/Time: July 26, 2017 1600z start
Call: KB7Q
QTH: DN56ac north of Big Timber, Montana
Frequency: 144.138 MHz +_ QRM/Birdies KB7Q always first JT65b
Gear: 2x 9el. Yagis, 800 watts, K3 w/ internal xverter, excellent pre-amp, 2KW generator

Chris, KA1D and I rolled out early to DN56ac. Even a K index of 4 didn't dampen our spirits. We got to our what was expected to be a quiet sand pit well off the highway only to find an accident between a big semi-truck and two pick-up trucks had just happened right there. There were no injuries, and the deputy sheriff seemed to have the matter in hand, so we eased past the wreck into into our spot and set up.

It was just our luck that the single power line for miles in any direction had really leaky insulators. The K3's two noise blankers knocked it down to reasonable level. Phew!

The moon came up right at 1600z and we were off to the races ... slowly. When I2FAK is "only" -20 you know things are going to a bit of a challenge. Conditions did improve and HB9Q proved to be our King of the Hill station with a -11 signal. Best DX was an easy QSO with ZS4TX.

At one point we went 62 minutes without a contact and then had a mini pile-up before things tapered off for good as Faraday locked us out to Europe. At one point we tried with SM7FMX for quite a while until he lost his moon, Mog peaked at -18, but no joy!

All and all a fun outing to show KA1D what this EME addiction is all about. Half way through our operation Chris was driving WSJT 10  like a pro and logging a contact every four minutes.

Contacts are up on LoTW and all direct QSLs are answered the same day I receive them.

Stations worked from the sand lot:
I2FAK (-20), EA8DBM (-23), OZ1LPR (-21), DL1KDA (-25), S52LM (-19), G4DML (-17), PA3FPQ (-19), UX5UL (-14), DK5YA (-16), DK3WG (-24), UT6UG (-18), HA8CE (-23), ES6RQ (-13), PE1L (-16), ES3RF (-20), DK3BU (-22), PA1GYS (-20), DL8FBD (-25), DF2ZC (-23), PA0JMV (-24), DK5SO (-22), DL8GP (-23), PA3CMC (-20), EA2AGZ (-19), ZS4TX (-22), RK3FG (-16), LZ2FO (-23), UA3PTW (-21), HA6NQ (-21), G4SWX (-26), UT5ZN/P (-21), DL8II (-24), I3MEK (-19), W5ADD (-20), HB9Q (-11), VE1KG (-24), G4FUF (-17).

Being tall helps! Packing up after 36 EME QSOs.

Even with disturbed conditions there were times with good action.

DN65/DN66/DN85 6M Grid Trip June 19 - 24, 2017

Equipment: Elecraft K3, pre-amp, KPA500 amp, 4 element Yagi and Honda 2kw generator.

Have camper will grid! Joyce and I spent a week kicking around eastern Montana and the very northwest corner of South Dakota. We were able to complete with several folks needing these rare grids. I'm glad I took my digital interface as there was plenty of action on JT65 and MSK144. CW was spotty, although I did get one decent opening where I could run 'em contest style for about 30 minutes.

Highlights: Working K1TO (Florida) on what appeared to be a dead band, and bumping K1TOL (Maine)  FFMA grid total up to 485 by working him from all three grids. Of course working IT9TYR made my whole week!

It was great fun to kick around this country before it got way too hot.
DN85 - The high lonesome. North Cave Hills, South Dakota
Out of nowhere comes K1TO!
DN65 - Red Shale Campground looking past the truck camper east.