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 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).

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).

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 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).

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.

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).

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).

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).

All fun and games until the weather goes a bit "western".
RU3GX achieving State #50 and 2m Worked All States Award. Yippee!
Great camping spot in DN74, Keyhole State Park, Wyoming
DN82 Nebraska grasslands 12 miles (19km)  from a paved road.
2M array ready for moonrise DN83 South Dakota.

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 Mountain 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

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.