23CM EME - MORE FUN

 January 3, 2021

The 1296 Mhz EME fun continues - a fantastic pandemic distraction. It has been an open winter so far, so going out to the barn and operating has been pretty easy to do. The dish gets mounted on the tripod, unfurled, and cables connected in about 10 minutes.

I finished out December adding W1PV (-20), and GM0PJD (-29) to the log. So far the new year has been fruitful with plenty of first time contacts. The last two evenings I've completed with CX2SC (-27), RD4D (-14), OH2DG (-10), OM4XA (-24), DJ3JJ (-25), LA3EQ (-30), UA9FA (-22), G4YTL (-26), PA2DW (-29), and N5BF (-21). That brings me to 57 initials.

Some baseline figures: I'm hearing the ON0EME beacon on 1296.000 MHz right at a steady -18db. The efficiency of my amp has dropped off, but I can still easily generate 350 watts that ends up being 275 watts at the feed - a comfortable level for the hybrid device that generates the circular polarity into the patch feed. So we press on. 

I've traded the 1.6 meter dish back to Paul, W2HRO, and have purchased a 2.4 meter version of the folding dish from him. Who can resist almost 4db better on both TX and RX - it was the best use for my stimulus check I could think of! :-) 

 

2.4 meter folding dish on the test stand.

23CM EME Goal Set, Goal Met

 December 11, 2020

When I started the 23cm EME project a few months back I hoped to be able work down to the level of a twin to my meager station. I'm a 1.6M dish, with 275 watts at the feed. Today I completed a JT65c contact with W2HRO and his 200w, 1.8M dish station. Both of us were using folding, metalized fabric dishes with patch feeds, all of his design, which made it even more fun. 

I also completed easily this morning with AA4MD (-22) to make it 45 unique stations worked on 1296 MHz in just over a month. Three CW contacts have been logged so far. I hope this suggests to others what can be achieved on 23cm EME with a modest station.

 

1.6M to 1.8M folding dish contact. Click on image to enlarge.

ARRL EME Contest Nov 28 - 29, 2020

     I went out to the barn both evenings, fired up the 23cm station, the propane heater, and had an absolute blast. For a small 1.6M dish, 250 watts at the feed, and being at apogee I still managed a great result with 29 contacts. I felt like the little engine that could! After European moonset the second evening I ran out of "dance partners" and called it good. I discovered when aiming elevated and south I got some pre-amp overload/hash from a cell tower 1/2 mile away. WSJT-X 2.3 rc2 was flawless. All in all a fun weekend and very rewarding to have the station working so well.

Stations worked: DL3EBJ, SP5GDM, OK1DFC, KN0WS (2x), KA1GT, RA3AUB, PA3FXB, OK1IL, PA0PLY, DL7YC, W6YX, VA7MM, K7CA, WA3RGQ, N5BF, KD5FZX, K2UYH, WA3GFZ, OK1KIR, ON5GS, DL7UDA, UA4AAV, K5DN, SM5DGX, OK2DL, IK5VLS, DF3RU, NC1I, IK2MMB. 

Waiting for moonrise - a good look at the patch feed.

More 23cm EME Action

November 21, 2020 

I set the station up out at the barn south of town in anticipation of the ARRL EME Contest next weekend and even with low declination I worked three stations while noodling around adjusting my audio levels and getting the space heater aimed just right on my toes! I must say the WD5AGO 0.2db NF pre-amp really hears well!

I completed easily with KD5FZX (-12), K5DOG (-17), and N5BF (-20). W3HMS was heard several times as strong as -25, but he didn't hear me. The next evening I added KA1GT (-26) to make it 19 unique stations worked so far on 23cm EME.

The 1.6M dish looks small out there in the countryside.

 
My signal as received by K5DOG and his 4.4M dish.

It's Alive (23cm EME)

 November 7, 2020

The Tohtsu CZX3500 isolation relay finally showed up - it got waylaid in the election mail-in ballot  onslaught up in the Great Falls distribution center. Anyhow, I put the 1.6M dish up just outside my condo and when the moon cleared the spruce tree I was in business. It was a very successful night - I worked 16 stations in 2.5 hours.

On JT65C logged were HB9Q (-8), PA3CSG (-19), PA3DZL (-17), DL0SHF (-7), NC1I (-18), SP5GDM (-27), K2UYH (-17), DK3WG (-30), PA3FXB (-24), UA3PTW (-19), ON4QQ (-30), ES3RF (-28), G4CCH (-13), IK3COJ (-19), DF2VJ (-30). On CW I worked G3LTF (419) easily. I’m very happy to try CW anytime folks think we can make it work.

I had about 250 watts at the feed, and this was my fifth EME band to put on the air from Montana. I’m hoping to be 23cm active for both nights of the ARRL contest later in the month (weather permitting) and hand out the Montana multiplier. Improvements to be made going forward - I have a superb preamp from WD5AGO to try out, and a few coax adapters to eliminate in the receive path.

W2HRO's dish design is extremely well thought out, it takes longer to assemble and secure the tripod than to mount and unfurl the dish. This is going to be a fun portable set up to take to Wyoming.

A stealth, folding 1.6M dish, a perfect match for condo living. 


My first 23cm contact. HB9Q was in the speaker. Listen.


1296 EME Project

 October 30, 2020

I'm piecing together a small (1.6M) 23cm EME station for home and portable operations. It will be good to get Montana going on 23cm EME. The project is 90% complete. I already own an Icom IC-9700 with GPSDO so the exciter was not an issue. The key part of the project - the small W2HRO folding dish antenna with patch feed has shipped. Paul's design work and implementation is amazing, my bet is that it will allow many more folks to play 23cm EME going forward.

This morning I completed the amp, based on a W6PQL 600w pallet, set the idle 50 VDC VDD to 1.7 amps and gave it the smoke test. Given the power limitations of the Hybrid combiner used with the patch feed to generate circular polarity I'd call 2.7 watts drive for 300 watts out optimal. 

Bench test results @ 1296.70Mhz
Drive    Output
1W        110W
2W        205W
3W        350W
4W        450W

A pre-amp, and the isolation relay should be here in the next few days. Then I'm ready to try my fifth EME band!

A pandemic moves ham radio projects along nicely. 500w amp.

Setting the VDD idle current on the 23cm amp.

W2HRO dish being tested, now headed this way.

A good look at W2HRO's craftsmanship.

222 MHz Nevada Trip

Dates: October 13/14, 2020
Call: KB7Q
QTH: DN21qx, Jackpot, Nevada
Frequency: 222.080 MHz MHz KB7Q always first, EME JT65b/Meteor Scatter FSK441
Gear: IC-7300->Q5 transverter->800 watt SSPA -> WD5AGO pre-amp -> Long Yagi,
Full elevation and polarity adjustment.
Note: Internet should be available - HB9Q Logger for EME, PingJockey for meteor scatter.

EME start times (MR plus az/el to avoid casino noise):
October 12 - Evening Meteor scatter/tropo
October 13 - 1200z EME
October 14 - 1230z EME
October 15 - 1200z Meteor Scatter  

  Thanks to N9HF's donation  I've added a fiberglass top section to my mast so I can twist the Yagi's boom to vertical to combat Faraday rotation as needed.   

   We had extreme winds on the ride down from Bozeman, so we had to throttle back to 55 mph to stay on the road. There was less wind, and a lovely sunny day upon our arrival for setting up.

The trip was a great success, several folks added to their W.A.S. count. WA4NJP (-20), N9HF (-25), K5QE (-21), K1OR (-25), W4ZST (-21) and W5ZN (-25) all logged on a moonrise session. Later in the afternoon KL6M (-25) changed the feed for his dish and we worked in five minutes, then it took almost an hour but K7EME (-27) and I completed. K7ULS, and NJ7A were worked on tropo, and W9RM added on meteor scatter. Conditions were quite good and being able to twist my Yagi to change polarity really helped at times.

More big  winds on the trip back to Bozeman, MT, but we took our time, and camped our last night of the RV season an hour from home. LoTW fed.

Fall colors are where you find them. 15 el. M2 Yagi.

The location turned out to be very quiet to the east out over the airport.


222 MHz Activity Weekend EME/MS

September 19-20, 2020
DN45lo - Bozeman, Montana

 Time to scratch the 222 itch before the snow flies. I'll set the station up out at the barn for the weekend. I can do both meteor scatter and monnbounce. The station is a single long Yagi w/elevation, superb WD5AGO preamp, and a LDMOS amp with 800 watts. 

Moonrise + ridge clearance times:
September 19, 2020 1630z
September 20, 2020 1745z

I'll use the HB9Q Logger to coordinate EME ops, and PingJockey for meteor scatter. 

I discovered +20 db of local noise on my moonrise to the east, but elevated above 30 degrees everything was fine. I worked KL6M (-25) and K1WHS (-21) both on a setting moon September 18th. The next day I logged WA4NJP (-25), K5DOG (-27), and W4ZST (-17). On the 20th W5ZN (-28) was added. For variety W9RM was worked via meteor scatter, and W7ID on tropo to help him complete his 222 VUCC award. All in all a very good weekend for 222 Mhz operations.

K1WHS between the birdies.

Single Yagi to single Yagi 222 EME contact with K5DOG. Sweet!

6M Meteor Scatter From DN44, Montana

August 26-28, 2020

Joyce and I were going out camping with the truck so I threw the IC-7300 and a 6M beam aboard for some meteor scatter fun. The first location at Beaver Creek was excellent for camping, but ringed by mountains - a very poor choice for meteors. We moved over to one of our all time favorite campgrounds at Bakers Hole just outside of Yellowstone Park and scored a prime spot with no obstructions in any direction.

Generally random meteor scatter conditions were fine and I made 23 contacts via MSK144, and was especially pleased to help W9RM, KY7M, and N7IR close in on their FFMA goal. I must say the IC-7300 continues to impress - both as a 6M radio and as the IF for my 222 MHz station's transverter.

Simple, 100 watt 6 Meter station in DN44kq.

Wyoming (DN44lw) 222 MHz EME

Date/Time: August 22, 2020 Moonrise over ridge @ 1730z
Call: KB7Q
QTH: DN44lw, Yellowstone Park, Wyoming
Frequency: 222.080 MHz MHz KB7Q always first, JT65b
Gear: IC-7300->xverter->800 watt SSPA. Long Yagi
Note: No Internet, but will indicate I'm headed out on the HB9Q Logger.

Another attempt to help guys knock off Wyoming.

I worked all I heard, but I need to hear more! The ride down to Yellowstone and the set up went smoothly. It was very, very smokey from the various fires around the west. For the first 1.5 hours I called CQ and watched a blank screen - finally Faraday moved off vertical polarity, and I started seeing and working folks. John, K1OR went into the log for his State #43. K5QE was the champ of the day with a -13 signal. Of course being near new moon and with the smoke I never actually saw the moon.

The new generator, #10 power cable, and being 2,500 feet lower in altitude this time meant I could see just under 300 watts more out of the amp. It was fun shoe-horning the gear into the car and being able to assemble and erect  the antenna in under 45 minutes thanks to my new, ladder-less system. LoTW fed.

Worked: K1OR (-24), W4ZST (-22), K7ULS (-15 tropo), K5QE (-13), and VE6TA (-19).

Bighorn Pass Trailhead - There are actually mountains out there in the smoke.
 

Backseat station: IC7300->Q5 transverter->LDMOS amp. Power supplies on the floor.

Marshall is simply LOUD! Four minutes and done.


DN54fw Wyoming Perseids Push

Dates: August 9 to 12, 2020
QTH: Beartooth Plateau, DN54lw, Wyoming
Gear: 6M 4el. Yagi, 100 watts. 2M 9el. Yagi 600 watts. 222Mhz long Yagi 700 watts.
Schedule:    August 10, 2020 0300z 6m meteor scatter, also 1200z
                      August 10, 2020 0545z MR 222 Mhz EME
                    August 11, 2020 1100z - 1400z 222Mhz Meteor Scatter (FSK441)
                    August 12, 2020 1100z - 1400z 2M Meteor Scatter (MSK144)
Internet: none

Well that was a glass half full/half empty trip! Six Meter meteor scatter was great, I was able to nudge a few guys closer to their FFMA award from DN54fw @ 9,700', but my 10 year old, well used and abused Honda generator didn't like the high altitude.
 
I was only able to see 350 watts out on 222 MHz before the generator would kick off line - so even though I copied K1OR -28 off the moon under less than idea conditions, he only saw me at -30 with no decodes. So it goes. I'll re-group and try to get Wyoming up on 222 MHz EME soon.
 
The new acquisition - 10% more power and a fresh engine.

The camping was superb, and it was great to get out of the house again during these pandemic times.

Treeline at 9,700' Beartooth Plateau, Wyoming. DN54fw.
  

The 222 MHz Project

July 17, 2020
I was looking for a project to keep occupied during these strange times and taking up the 222 MHz challenge seemed like fun. It took a few months to get all the pieces to Montana, and to build up an amplifier, but I think I'm ready. Tomorrow I'll set the station up out at a friend's ranch, tune the Yagi for best SWR, and see what we've got.

Basically the station is a IC-7300 serving as the 28 MHz IF, a Q5 transverter, and a 800 watt LDMOS amp based on a W6PQL module. The antenna is a 20 element Yagi graciously supplied by N9HF. I'm missing a pre-amp, but the transverter has a decent noise figure, and I should have one soon.

Update: It's alive! The pre-amp arrived, I debugged the station and fixed a bad "N" connector and so far have worked five stations on a combination of meteor scatter and tropo out to 918 miles. On moonbounce K1OR, N9HF, and N0AKC have been worked.

Immediate plans are to haul the gear up to the Beartooth Plateau (WY, DN54fw) for the August Perseids meteor shower and make some noise.

My first 222 Mhz EME contact with K1OR.


The bench test was successful. 4 watts drive = 700+ watts out.

DN48/57/58/68 Grid Ramble 6&2 Meters

Date/Time: July 7 - 14, 2020
Call: KB7Q
QTH: Northern Montana grids
Frequency: 6 and 2 Meter bands,  normal FT8 and MSK144 calling frequencies
Gear: 6 Meters - 4 el. Yagi IC-7300  100 watts      2 Meters - 9el. Yagi, IC-9700, SSPA 500 watts
Internet: DN57 for sure, DN48/58/68 probably.

It will take us a bit of time to get to DN68 so we'll overnight in DN57gb near the Lewistown, MT airport and make a major 2M meteor scatter effort (MSK144) the evening of July 7, and the following morning.  I will come up on PingJockey. Then on to the grids of desire further north!

The general plan is that over several days we hit DN68 near Malta, MT, work west into DN58 around Havre, MT, and then southwest to DN48 at Big Sandy, MT before heading home.

  July 7 - Arrived DN57gb by noon, 6M was open to the Midwest and then double hop to the east coast for a while.The cold front caught up to us and I had to QRT for an hour of rain and lightning. A funnel cloud was spotted 25 miles to our southeast. The band got really hot in the late afternoon and I was working both coasts at the same time. This my second visit to DN57 this summer.

July 8 - 2M morning meteor scatter was very slow, but five stations worked before we packed up and drove a couple of hours up to DN68bi. I set up in the town park at Malta, MT and worked an easy 100 stations on 6M with great Es propagation, again to both coasts at the same time.
DN57 total: 
6M Contacts 95 2M Contacts 9

July 9 - I'm working 6M meteor scatter this morning with success from DN68bi. 2m meteor scatter tomorrow morning. Lots of Es around already. We'll see what the day brings. Six Meters is rocking and rolling again at mid-day. Worked into Florida easily, but making an effort to look and work west coast also. The opening tapered off in the early afternoon.

July 10 - Some 2M meteor operating in the morning to finish DN68 operations. Then west to DN58lo in the rain. Raining hard, and too nasty to go up on the roof to mount the Yagi so I took a snooze for a few hours. I finally got the 6m Yagi up and it was double hop to the east coast, so I jumped all over it and gave several FFMA chasers a new grid. Bonus - Japan was in and I swung the beam and worked six or seven JA's and KL7NC as well.
DN68bi Totals:
6M 169 contacts  2M 7 contacts

July 11 - Solid morning on 6M meteor scatter, 16 stations logged from DN58lo. Slow afternoon, not much in the way of Es so I pre-staged the station for 2M morning meteor scatter ops from a superior location up the road about a 1/4 mile. We'll operate from the side of the road up there.

July 12 - I worked 2M Meteor scatter in the morning before I vacated DN58lo, 14 stations worked out to 1250 miles. Sunrise was quite the light show. We arrived DN48va on the Missouri River and found the band open strongly to the west coast. Then basically the band opened to everywhere USA, and I even bagged another Japanese station. After supper worked two stations on 6M meteors.
DN58lo Totals:
6M contacts 161  2M Contacts 15

July 13 - Excellent morning 6M meteor session handing out DN48va, followed by plenty of single and double hop to the Midwest and East Coast. Around noon a strong opening to Arizona showed up so I could work stations I missed in this morning on meteor scatter session. I'll finish up 6M ops late this afternoon and pack up for the trip home in the morning.
DN48va Totals:
6M contacts 135

I made 593 contacts for the trip - the propagation gods were kind! I don't know how it all could have gone better, I know many FFMA chasers worked me for new grids as they closed in on that elusive 488 number. Murphy was kept mostly at bay, he only managed to send an errant rock into the windshield of the truck as we worked our way thru the construction on US Route 2 aka "The Hi-Line". LoTW has been fed.

A special thank you to the many folks who made a donation to help with the cost of this trip - it is very much appreciated.

DN48va - Missouri River at Coal Banks Landing, Montana

DN58lo - pre-dawn 2 Meter meteor scatter action.


Early morning 2M meteor scatter station. So many wires!

Wall to wall JA stations on 6 Meters. Click to enlarge.

DN58lo - Little Rockies Mountain Range out there on the far horizon.

6 and 2 Meter DN55/56/65/66 Confluence Effort

Date/Time: June 19 - 22, 2020
Call: 6M call W7GJ     2M call KB7Q
QTH: Confluence of DN55/56/65/66 near Pomeys Pillar, MT
Frequency: 6 and 2 Meter bands,  normal FT8 and MSK144 calling frequencies
Gear: QRO power and excellent beams
Internet: Yap

  Lance and I have permission to access private property on the north side of the Yellowstone River to active these four rare grids over several days at the height of the Es season with plenty of EIRP. Let the fun begin!

June 19, 2020 - We arrived midday and took the afternoon to set things up. We'll be QRV in the morning.

June 20 - Solid 2M meteor scatter session this morning, KB7Q logged 15 stations out to 1200 miles from DN65. W7GJ is cranking out Es contacts one after the other on 6M via FT8 from the four grid confluence. 6M conditions are quite good.

June 21 - W7GJ is working away on double hop to the east coast on 6M today. The band opened at 7 AM this morning and Lance was in the chair ready.  Later in the day after about 300+ contacts he seems to be running out of folks to work. KB7Q worked several more folks on 2M meteor scatter from DN65 including a 1223 miler to bring the total to 19 stations. KB7Q has moved to the DN56/66 line for meteor scatter tonight and tomorrow morning.

June 22 - 2M meteor scatter from the DN56/66 line was outstanding - what a location! 24 stations logged including W5EME in Louisiana. Lance continued to add stragglers to the ever expanding 6M log - EU was heard, but no contacts made. We went QRT at 1 PM local time, and by 5 PM after the dirt road dried out we were on the way home.  All contacts from both bands have been fed to LoTW.

W7GJ about to haul the 8 element Yagi up into place.


The grid confluence - click on the picture to get the full effect.


Rain? Rain! We don't need no stinkin' rain! W7GJ carries on.


W7GJ cockpit at the DN55/56/66/66 confluence. Lance out aiming.


The DN56/66 line - perfect for 2 Meter meteor scatter.

Historic Pomeys Pillar on the Yellowstone River.

Looking east from the KB7Q 2 Meter DN65 operating position.

DN57/DN67 6 and 2 Meter Activation

Date/Time: June 9 - 13, 2020
Call: KB7Q
QTH: DN57 (Lewistown, MT) and DN67 (Hell Creek CG, MT)
Frequency: 6 and 2 Meter bands,  normal  FT8 and MSK144 calling frequencies
Gear: Too much for such a small camper.
Note: Internet at times, but probably not in DN67

An Es and meteor scatter trip to to activate some rare grids on 6 and 2 Meters and do some quality camping while the weather is cooler.

June 9th - head out early to DN57 and set up, also operate the next morning.
June 10th - pack up and  head to DN67 for two days.
June 12th - back to DN57 for more operating.
June 13th - Back home late afternoon/early evening.

DN67 - Fort Peck Reservoir

It was a superb outing, the weather was perfect and the 25 miles of dirt road into our DN67 location had just been graded. Six Meter FT8 Es was excellent with several sustained coast to coast opening for 305 contacts. 2M meteor scatter was pretty slow, 10 contacts total, but a few were out to 1100 miles. Not bad for simple Yagis and no more than 100 watts. LoTW has been fed.

DN55 Quick Trip 70cm EME

Date/Time: May 30, 2020 Moonrise 2000Z
Call: KB7Q
QTH: DN55gl, Absarokee, Montana
Frequency: 432.089 MHz KB7Q always first, JT65b
Gear: 1x 13wl Yagi, 500 watts, WD5AGO preamp, IC9700 w/GPSDO
Note: Have Internet, and will come up on the HB9Q Logger

Social Distancing is not a problem in Montana.
 Well that didn't go exactly as planned. Joyce and I did roll out to the ranch site a day early with the camper and get the station set up on May 29th. Conditions were quite good and I completed easily with the following stations: DL9KR (CW 539), DL7APV (-13), UA3PTW (-17), and PA2V (-17). I figured I was sitting fat and sassy for the next day's operation, but Mr. Murphy had other ideas. We had heavy rain overnight and when I fired the station up in anticipation of moonrise on  May 30th I found I had 7:1 SWR.Yikes!

After swapping out all the coaxial cables and even the relay/preamp box with no effect on the high SWR my best guess was that water infiltrated the driven element block on the M2 432-13WLA Yagi. I was QRT. Still we had a great camping trip, and it was good to get out of the house.

Postscript - It wasn't water infiltration after all, rather the internal balun connection inside the aluminum housing on the driven element failed. A replacement part is on the way.

PJ2T Curacao 70cm EME operation

Date/Time: February 26 - March 8, 2020
Call: PJ2T
QTH: FK52kg, Santa Marta Bay, Curacao
Frequency: 432.090 MHz PJ2T always first, JT65b
Gear: 1x 9wl Yagi, 500 watts, WD5AGO preamp, IC9700 w/GPSDO
Note: Have Internet, and will come up on the HB9Q Logger

This special EME QSL card was mailed to all contacts. Santa Marta Bay.

I am care-taking the PJ2T HF contest station again this winter. A time permits I will be able to operate 70cm EME. This will be mostly a JT65b mode operation given my QRP status, but if called on CW I will reply on CW. The main operating window that works best with my schedule appears to be February 26 to March 8.

March 8 -
Mark, W7MEM (-23) rolled out of bed in the middle of the night to give me contact #50 and a great way to finish off the dxpedition effort. Time to rinse the salt off the antenna and pack for the trip home. LoTW is up-to-date, and I will send some special QSL cards to each and every station worked.

I would not have dreamed that my oh-so-modest station could make so many contacts - it's good to be the DX! :-)
73,
Gene, KB7Q

March 7 -
More is better! DL8FBD (-30), DG5CST (-29), DK4RC (-26), and UB4UAA (-25) worked to bring the total to 49 stations. DL2HWA heard quite well. It is very nice to have that near full moon to aim at.

DL8FBD view of our contact.
March 6 -
Basically I'm running out of folks to work, but DL6SH (-19) was a very easy contact at moonrise, as was DK0NHF (-26). DK5SO (-25) also worked a bit later in the evening.

March 5 -
A post-midnight session netted ZL3AAD (-28). N0AKC copied well for 20 minutes, but I ran out of moon before we could complete. On moonrise the next local day I worked DK3WG (-25), DF3RU (-28), G4YTL (-26), W5LUA (-24), DL8DAU (-21), and OH6UW (-26) for 42 stations worked.

March 4 -
Another tough time with Faraday V/H lock out, but then I got the bright idea to twist the Yagi's boom 45 degrees. Surprise, surprise! I worked five stations in the next hour. Logged: DF3RU (-22), UR7DWW (-27), W2HRO (-28), PA9R (-23), and YL2GD (-28). That bumped total contacts to 35. Now I have a tool to fight Faraday that seems to help.

The 45 degree twist seems to add +3db to EU.
March 3 -
JA6AHB (-25) worked easily for station #30.

March 2 -
Still lots of crossed up polarity, and very high winds, but PA2V (-23) was easily worked, and UX0FF (-26) came out of nowhere to bump my contact total to 29. I had a close call with DK4RC, but he didn't receive my "RRR".

View from atop Mount Christoffel (373m), Curacao's highest point.
 March 1 -
 A total bust! I chased W2HRO and PA2V for several hours but Faraday kept us at V/H crossed polarity.

February 29 -
After supper on a setting moon I added VK4EME (-28) and VE6TA (-26). Looking forward to MR around noon local time. Moonrise was an excellent session - worked ZS4TX (-27), ZS6JON (-27), DL8GP (-30), G4RGK (-25), ON4AOI (-28), DF3RU (-14), G4FUF (-27), PA0BAT (-27), G4EZP (-26). Log totals 27 stations. LoTW done. W2HRO (-21) and DK4RC (-26) copied many times, but no joy.

February 28 -
K5DOG (-23) was an easy contact after his pre-amp swap, and I chased XE2AT (-25) down to 3 degrees of moon before we completed. It is always good to have unlimited salt water out there for moonset. 13 station worked so far, looking for more activity on the weekend as conditions improve. After taking friends on an island outing for lunch I got back on and added DL7APV (-8), SM7THS (-25) and K2UYH (-25). G4FUF and ZS4TX heard but not worked as I ran out of elevation at 75 degrees when the back of the Yagi hit the deck.

DL7APV in full glory

February 27 - 
I tried for over an hour with K5DOG who peaked at -22, but no joy ... yet. LZ1DX (-19) was an easy QSO for his #100 country. ES3RF (-29) also logged before I ran out of elevation at 70 degrees.

LZ1DX was easy to decode.


February 26 -
Just past new moon, but worth a try. Moonrise is morning here right now, so of course I never actually saw the moon. Things kicked off with a nice CW QSO with DL9KR (529) once I found a paddle that would work, then it was JT65b and off to the races. Logged were UA3PTW (-20), DL5FN (-25), OH2DG (-23), OK1KIR (-28), UT6UG (-24), UT5DL (-22), HB9Q (-14), and UX5UL (-27). I'm off to a great start and will look later in the moon pass when I can for VK/JA stations.

Simple, but complete station.

9wl M2 Yagi works better than it should.