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.

Bighorn Pass Trailhead, just inside Wyoming.
 

 

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.

June 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.

June 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

June 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.

June 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

June 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.

June 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

June 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 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.

2M/70cm EME Trip Wyoming (DN74) South Dakota (DN83) & Nebraska (DN82)

Dates: October 15 - 20, 2019
Call: KB7Q
QTH:
South Dakota (DN83gh) and Nebraska (DN82gp)
Frequency:
144.138 MHz and 432.090 MHz, KB7Q always 1st sequence
Mode: Primary is JT65b, but will respond to 70cm stations calling on CW.
Gear: 2M - 2x 9el. Yagis, 800 watts, 70cm - 1x 38el. Yagi, 550 watts
IC-9700 w/Leo Bodnar GPSDO, WD5AGO pre-amps, Honda 2KW generator.
Internet:
Yes

October 15, 2019 - 70cm Keyhole State Park, Wyoming DN74
This was a bonus stop on the way out east. Condition were not great, Faraday rotation had me crossed up to Europe most of the time, but still I logged seven stations and gave K5QE another State as he closes in on his W.A.S. award.  The weather was quite good for this late in the year, but windy. I had a clear sky and was able to stay on the moon easily. We even had mains power! Life is good.

Logged: DL7APV (-25), OK1KIR (-22), K5QE (-22), SM7THS (-21), DK3WG (-26), DL8GP (-25), and DL9KR (CW 439).

We had the whole campground to ourselves and 30 amp mains power too
October 16, 2019 - 70cm Hot Springs, South Dakota DN83
Better conditions, 12 stations worked this session, but still V to H polarity issues to Europe at times. Fun to work DL9KR on CW again. Switching to CW from JT65b is a awkward, but well worth the effort when signals peak. I remembered the headphones this time! :-)


Logged: UA3PTW (-21), OK1KIR (-18), K5QE (-23), DL9KR (CW 429), DL7APV (-26), SM7THS (-18), DL8GP (-25), YL2GD (-22), PA2V (-29), DF3RU (-30), ZS4TX (-23), UT5DL (-29).

Always good to visually aim a 13wl Yagi. DN83, South Dakota
October 17, 2019 - 2M Hot Springs, South Dakota DN83 
It couldn't have gone better. 54 stations logged and conditions seemed great to me. RU3GX and I3EVK both worked me for State #49. I hear very well from these quiet locations, keep calling, it just takes me time to strip off layers of stations on top of each other. Folks in the know call me -600Hz and +800Hz. :-)


Logged: I2FAK (-18), DF2ZC (-23), RX1AS (-21), RU3GX (-17), PA9RX (-18), UA3PTW (-10), LZ2FO (-16), I3MEK (-19), IK1UWL (-26), ES3RF (-24), PA3FYC (-21), G8RWG (-30), YL2GD (-25), ON4AOI (-13), HA6NQ (-18), OH3AWN (-28), DK3WG (-17), DL8GP (-18), DK5AI (-21), ES6RQ (-29), DL8FBD (-20), PA0JMV (-18), OM4EX (-26), HA8CE (-21), I3EVK (-16), OH6UW (-28), R3PA (-23), S51ZO (-19), K0TPP (-28), DK5EW (-17), K7MAC (-17), VE6XH (-14), EW7AW (-22), HA0DU (-14), OH7PI (-28), S52LM (-18), YL2FZ (-23), DL8DAU (-20), DK5YA (-16), F6HVK (-24), LY2WR (-21), SM2BYC (-29), TI2CDA (-23), F5AQX (-20), OH4LA (-17), ON4GG (-15), IK4WLV (-14), ON4IQ (-16), G4SWX (-18), DK4TG (-20), SM5CUI (-28), I2RV (-19), DK4TG (-20), OZ1LPR (-17).

Sun going down, moon coming up, 2M array ready! DN83 South Dakota
October 18, 2019 - 2M Toadstool Geologic Site, Nebraska DN82
It was an unbelievable, bright sunny day of 80 degrees (26 C) so we quickly set the array up and went hiking thru the sandstone hills knowing that a big weather change is coming in a few days.

The amp acted up during this moon pass, it would key but not generate power a few times when I started my operating, then it was fine for several hours. Toward the end of the EU window it did it again and I heard some arcing. Hmm, a  very strange noise  for an SSPA.

After a good nights sleep I looked inside and it appears that after 5 years of hard use the power relay that controls the 48 VDC VDD to the LDMOS device  had developed bad contacts. I cleaned some carbon off and burnished the contacts as best I could and it should get me thru the my last 2M operating session in the ARRL EME Contest on this trip.

Conditions were in a word  SUPERB - from this ultra-quiet location out on the grasslands of  Nebraska I worked 58 stations, including I3EVK who completed Worked All States.

Logged: DF2ZC (-23), PA9RX (-25), ON4GG (-22), IK1UWL (-26), RX1AS (-19), I2FAK (-14), ON4IQ (-18), YL2GD (-29) OE3NEC (-25) LZ2FO (-25), I3EVK (-15), ON4KHG (-21), I3MEK (-23), DK3WG (-26), DL8FBD (-17), R3PA (-26), OE5KE (-26), PA0JMV (-15), SM5DIC (-30), DK5AI (-24), DL2HWA (-20), DK5EW (-25), ES3RF (-27), GW4ZHI (-25), UA4AQL (-21), ES6RQ (-28), HA6NQ (-16), OH3AWW (-26), F6HVK (-17), K1DG (-25), DL8GP (-20), HA8CE (-14), S52LM (-20), DK9WI (-23), OK2AB (-27), OE3FVU (-18), OH7PI (-20), SM2BYC (-26), S51ZO (-20), SM5CUI (-21), G4SWX (-18), DK5YA (-14), K0TPP (-24), OZ1LPR (-15), F5AQX (-24), SP8NR (-22), I2RV (-21), OH4CA (-21), IK4WLV (-17), DL8DAU (-22), TI2CDA (-25), DK4TG (-24), WO7R (-19), G4HSK (-26), DL7APV (-27), G8RWG (-27), IK2DDR (-23), DL6BF (-24).

DN82, Nebraska 12 miles (19 km) from a paved road, and civilization - no local QRN!
October 19, 2019 - 2M Fort Robinson State Park DN82, Nebraska
We moved south about 15 miles to a nice campground with mains power and operated a few hours in the ARRL EME contest until the need for sleep won out. The SSPA amplifier is back to working like the solid state "brick" it is. RU3GX was worked easily for his State #50.

Logged: HA6NQ (-30), RK3FG (-23), RU3GX (-20), LZ1DP (-20), G8RWG (-22), WA1NPZ (-16), RX1AS (-16), DF2ZC (-22), YL2GD (-23), OK1DIX (-12), S51ZO (-21), UR3EE (-16), K7KMR (-25), UX5UL (-23), UT6UG (-22), OH3KLJ (-27), UT5EL/A (-22), UA3PTW (-15), UA1OEJ (-22), W8KEN (-26), W7MEM (-19), VE6XH (-28), DK5SO (-22).

RU3GX going into the log for State #50. Congratulations Igor.
October 20, 2019 - 70cm Fort Robinson State Park DN82 Nebraska
The weather held off and I could even see the moon at times. I worked 20 stations before the reflector of the elevated Yagi started hitting the ground. PA2V wins the tenacity award, he chased me for three hours before we worked. Thank you Peter!

Bernie, ZS4TX worked me via remote from his cellphone while running north at 75 mph  in a car to join the A21EME dxpedition. Now that was an extra special contact! Jan, DL9KR made it 3 for 3 on 70cm CW to celebrate his 80th birthday.

The next morning we packed up just before the cold  front and a blizzard hit, we stopped 100 miles down the road  in Douglas, Wyoming and grabbed a motel room to wait out the storm as the Interstate Highway north was closed.  Just too many wrecks. I'm tickled that the trip was so successful on both 2M and 70cm and we had such a great weather window.  Thank you all for chasing me across three States.

Logged: DL1APV (-22), OK1KIR (-24), UA3PTW (-26), K4EME (-18), SM7THS (-24), ZS4TX (-21), OZ4MM (-12), UT5DL (-26), HB9Q (-10), DK3WG (-26), DL9KR (CW 339), PA0BAT (-23), W7MEM (-23), UT6UG (-30), PA2V (-30), LZ1DX (-20), G4RGK (-28), UX5UL (-21), N0AKC (-27), YL2GD (-26).

70CM EME Wyoming DN54fw

Date/Time: September 1, 2019 MR 1530z (>35 degrees of moon/sun separation)
Call: KB7Q
QTH:
DN54fw, Beartooth Plateau, Wyoming
Frequency:
432.090 MHz KB7Q 2nd
Mode: Primary is JT65b, but will respond on CW to stations calling on CW.
Gear: 1x 38el. Yagi w/elevation, 550 watt LDMOS amp, IC-9700 w/Leo Bodnar GPSDO, WD5AGO pre-amp, Honda 2KW generator.
Internet:
No
Quick and dirty antenna mounting, up and on in one smooth move between wind gusts.
Boondock camping at its best - sunset. Click on picture to enlarge.
Joyce and I camped our way over and up onto the Beartooth Plateau (DN54 Wyoming), and got the station set up a day early. A good thing, as I discovered I had a high SWR issue. I ended up replacing a brand new LMR600 vendor-made jumper cable with an LMR400 spare that runs from the feed point to the pre-amp box and all was right again. It looks like I have some connectors to lop off and replace.

Conditions at moonrise were not great, and a stiff breeze kept blowing the Yagi off the moon. PA2V could copy me well enough to see my signal going up and down until I improved my rope-craft! Of course being daylight and just after new moon I never actually visually located the object of my affection. Conditions came around to being quite good after 45 minutes or so.

Eighteen stations were worked on JT65b which I judge to be a fair outing for 70cm with 550 watts and a single 38 element Yagi. I saw CW callers a few times in the water fall, but nothing in the speaker I could copy. I need to add "headphones" to my packing check list.

Logged: DL7APV (-21), DK3WG (-26), PA2V (-25), G4RGK (-17), OK1KIR (-17), ZS4TX (-16), UT6UG (-20), UA3PTW (-13), UX5UL (-20), DL8FDB (-25), K4EME (-22), ZS6JON (-16), PH100KLM (-19), PA0BAT (-26), W7MEM (-18), K2UYH (-24), G4YTL (-27), DL8GP (-26). XE2AT was decoded, but we didn't complete. LoTW uploaded.

The weather up on the plateau at 9,500' (2,900M) was superb. It was 70 degrees F (21C) , sunny, and the breeze kept the mosquitoes at bay. Hard to believe this high country will be locked in snow less than a month from now.

So who needs Nebraska or South Dakota on 70cm for W.A.S.? Mid-October is looking good for a trip.

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

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 Mountains for company.

2M EME Wyoming JUNE 29, 2019

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

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
Call:
KB7Q
QTH:
DN44lw, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Frequency Change: 144.139 MHz
+_ QRM/Birdies KB7Q always first JT65b
Gear:
2x 9el. Yagis, 800 watts, K3S w/transverter, excellent pre-amp, Honda generator
Note:
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.

CURACAO 6M EME DXPEDITION PJ2T

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!

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