6M EME WYOMING TRIP DN54


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.


Wyoming 2M EME Quick Trip

Date/Time: May 28, 2017 1600z until interest wanes
Call: KB7Q
QTH: DN44lw Yellowstone Park
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

A lovely day for EME in Yellowstone Park. 31 stations logged during disturbed conditions.
When I left the house for Wyoming the K index was 6 so I knew conditions would be challenging. Setting up was easy and I was ready when the moon cleared the eastern hills at 8 degrees elevation. At times signals were huge, and other times I'd go 30 minutes with a blank screen. Faraday rotation was fantastically fast at times - I've never seen 1 minute shifts before. I could only run 700 watts because of the high altitude effect on the generator i.e. less horse power. The second generator I borrow to put in parallel wasn't available. EA1YV showed great perseverance, we kept missing each other for over four hours until goddess moon smiled upon us.

OK1TEH and N1DNN were copied and answered several times, but no joy.

This trip I used WSJT-X v1.7.1 R7691 and thought it worked quite well. Decodes seemed faster, it just took a bit of fooling around to figure out how to make it pick the pile-up apart with the different control panel v. WSJT 10. My K3/transverter still seems to be high in frequency so I tried to compensate by dialing in a full KHz low - that works for me!

If there is interest I can do a Wyoming trip this fall to favor VK/ZL/JA etc. folks. Yes?

Making the contact with EA4CYQ for his 50th State. The pile-up was big time fun!
Stations worked: OH6UW (-25), OK1DIX (-9), OK1DIG (-9), OE3NFC (-18), EA4CYQ (-16), F6HVK (-17), LZ2FO (-17), G4SWX (-10), DL1KDA (-19), EA8DBM (-15), S53K (-12), RX3A (-13), VE1KG (-15), HA6NQ (-14), UT5ZN/P (-11), RX1AS (-16), F5AQX (-16), K2TW (-20), IK1UWL (-17), K9MRI (-15), HA8CE (-18), IK7EZN (-16), S51ZO (-19), DK5LA (-13), DK4RC (-15), LZ1DP (-15), W7JW (-20), EA8TJ (-16), DL1DWI (-10), EA1YV (-21), N7NW (-17).

Nevada (DN21) 2M EME - Moon Pass #2

October 16, 2016
Despite the wind and rain, and urban QRN I put 37 additional stations in the log during this pass. VK5APN motivated me to get back on after a brief nap for a sked and I'm glad he did as I worked three JA stations and XE2AT in addition. That made a total of 71 stations worked for the Nevada trip.

The noise blanker in my K3 really saved the day. The QRN was 12 db above my usual resting receive level, with some careful adjustment I was able to kill off the noise and keep going. I never knew that the noise blanker would work so well on JT65 signals. This is good to know going forward.

A casino RV Park is not the idea place for an EME effort, but with the high winds and rain the warm trailer looked like a better option with  the comforts of home and mains power. Operating in these conditions on the government land would have been wallowing in the mud - the clay in the west becomes "gumbo" when it gets wet! Who would have thought dry Nevada would get two big storms back to back.

I re-calibrated the K3 between sessions but it was still +700Hz in frequency, I'll have to figure that out - there is a quick mod to the ref. oscillator board I'll have to install.  The short term cure of course was to just compensate and set the VFO to 144.137.3 MHz.

Thanks to all the great EME ops for spreading out and to keep calling. I C U !

Logged this moon pass: VE1KG (-26), PE1L (-27), SM2BYC (-21), RW1AY (-26), OH7PI (-24), W4YTB (-22), PA5Y (-20), PA3FPQ (-27), DF2ZC (-24), W1PV (-21), DK3WG (-27), PA0JMV (-21), ES3RF (-19), DL8FBD (-25), DK5EW (-29), OK2PMS (-22), SM5DIC (-27), HA8CE (-25), PA3FYC (-21), I3MEK (-19), SK5AA (-21), DG0OPK (-22), OK1TEH (-23) single Yagi, DD0VF (-22) two Yagi, YU3CBZ (-20), DL7FF (-17), CT1HZE (-19), DL4KUG (-27), PA3CMC (-15), DL8DAU (-23) two Yagi, N1DNN (-23), KC4SW (-24), VK5APN (-22), JP3EXR (-19), XE2AT (-27), JA1PFP (-20), and JH0BBE (-27).

Signals were very good on this trip.

The station.


Classic basin and range country just south of Jackpot, Nevada between storms.

Nevada (DN21) 2M EME - Moon Pass #1

October 15, 2016
It was a long and challenging day, but it all worked out pretty well. I towed the RV trailer the 400 miles down from Montana in pretty high winds and occasional rain. I arrived at Jackpot, Nevada right around noon. Given the rain and wind I decided to keep all the comforts of the RV at hand and set the EME array up right in the RV park that is attached to the Cactus Pete casino. I was lucky to find a spot on the south side with a clear horizon and a nice grassy spot for the Yagis.

I did have some addition RF noise at times, but the K3's noise blanker really helped. It appears I was +700 Hz off in frequency also - I'll correct that for the second moon pass tonight. It rained most of the night, but thankfully the SWR stayed low.

34 Stations were worked with several being a new State for folks. Stations logged: I2FAK (-26), UA3PTW (-15), RX3A (-20), OE3NFC (-20), ZS4TX (-23), EA4CYQ (-23), OZ1LPR (-19), UT5ZN/P (-19), EA8DBM (-23), PA1GYS (-25), RX1AS (-23), K9MRI (-22), RU3GX (-24), ES6RQ (-14), OH2LHE (-20), PA3DOL (-24), RU3GX (-20), DL8GP (-17), W2DBL (-25), HA6NQ (-22), N0KE (-25), SM7GVF (-17), DK5SO (-25), SM7FMX (-20), N7SC (-19), NJ2R (-26), PA2CHR (-17), AA7A (-18), W7MEM (-22), N4QWZ (-22), W2HRO (-21), KK6FAH (-20), and KL7UW (-19).

Another storm with high winds and rain is predicted for tonight during the second moon pass. I'll do my best.
Between storms in beautiful Jackpot, Nevada DN21.

Wyoming (DN44lw) 2M EME Quick Trip July 2, 2016

All went pretty well this morning, signals were outstanding the whole six hours. I was a bit late out of the gate and was running less power then usual as I only had the use of one generator today. At 7,500 feet MSL the Honda generator is not making nearly as much horse power as at sea level, so I was down a full db on transmit. I couldn't get my GPS to time sync the computer so I had to do a crude manual time "hack" to get close. No worries - I called one CQ and there you all were!

 57 folks were logged from Yellowstone Park, Wyoming this morning. OH6LA gets the prize for tenacity, I probably called him 10x before we worked. I even managed to drop down a few kilohertz and work 6Y5AZ for a new country. It was also extra special to give Lothar, DK4TG, and Martin, OK1UGA their last State for the 2M W.A.S. award. How cool is that!?

I can't say enough good things about the new pre-amp WD5AGO built up for me. 

Worked:
 I2FAK (-21), PA3FPQ (-18), ZS4TX (-19), PA3CMC (-26), SM7GVF (-16), PA5Y (-22), DF2ZC (-27), RK3FG (-14), DK3WG (-18), PA0JMV (-18), RX1AS (16), EA2AGZ (-17), G4SWX (-21), RU1AA (-18), K9MRI (-25), S52LM (-20), DL8FBD (-20), OZ1LPR (-15), PE1L (-22), SM5CFS (-15), PA3FYC (-21), W2HRO (-21), I3MEK (-13), LA8KV (-19), DJ3VI (-22), HA6NQ (-18), DK5SO (-14), OK1UGA (-18 State #50), ES6RQ (-15), HB9Q (-14), SM2BYC (-17), F8DO (-19), DL8GP (-16), F1AFJ (-19), YU7XL (-25), SM5CUI (-23), DL4KUG (-26), DL7FF (-26), F5AQX (-23), DJ9MG (-25), OH2BYJ (-25), ON4KHG (-26), DK4TG (-24 State #50), F5LNU (-23), OH4LA (-22), DL8SCQ (-22), 6Y5AZ (-24), K5DOG (-25), N7SC (-17), KK6FAH (-21), F6APE (-22), AH6LE (-21), K1SCE (-23), KC2HFQ (-20), KB0PPQ (-21), AB1NJ (-19), and PY2GN (-23).

The new WD5AGO .25 db NF pre-amp really hears well..
Nice shady spot for the truck and not many folks around at the Big Horn Trailhead at sunrise.

Afternoon storms started rolling in and no response to my CQ's so time to pack up and get home.

South Dakota (DN85vs) - 2 Meter EME Session 4

Degradation was pushing 4.5 dB today and the moon skimmed my trees longer today so it was a tussle to work folks. I did work OE3NFC (-26), SP2FH (-26), and W2HRO (-20). This bumped the 2 Meter EME total for this trip up to 111 contacts. Tomorrow we'll tow the 500 miles home.

All the gear held up nicely and worked as it should.

A last look at some of the topography of the northwestern corner South Dakota.