KH6/KB7Q Summary

So what to think about an "ultra light" EME dxpedition using SSPA amps and single Yagis? I designed the operation around being able to have access to the extra gain of moon rise using the Pacific Ocean - I got to do that for two of the five operating shifts, enough to know that really helped put folks in the log and made my small station work great.

I did not have access to a western window for Asia and eastern Russia so those folks were left wanting. Remember I'm balancing family time with lunacy. :-) I may return at some point with total focus on ham radio and bigger antennas.

Losing access to the first QTH was a setback, but certainly not the end of the world. The second location right at our rental house worked fine once the moon was at 4 degrees and above for the last three sessions. As a bonus cold beer was just a flight of stairs away!

I'd guess that my 2 meters signal was  down 2 db compared to the 2x 9 element Yagis I use back home. Here was a 12 element M2 Yagi and 800 watts. I also substituted LMR400 coax for LMR600 for the feed line because of weight considerations.

On 70cm my lack of experience with the greater Doppler shift showed, and Faraday would really lock me out for hours at a time, but giving DL7APV his 50th State was an honor and a pleasure. When signals were there they were quite good. My system was 500 watts, and a single 28 element Yagi, again with an LMR400 feed of 10 meters. 70cm needs more activity too.

Bottom line:
It all worked out great and exceeded expectations. 53 2 meter and 13 70cm stations were logged, giving folks a new State, grid, and DXCC country. It proved what an "Ultra Light" EME station can do.

All contacts are up on LoTW. QSL cards to my home address as listed in will find me in about 10 days and I'll return a card promptly. QSL cards have been ordered.

A special thanks to Lloyd, KH6LC for his local knowledge and support, and Rick, N7WE for the use of his FT-897D for the 70cm station. Thanks also to W7GJ and PE1L, guys who's EME trips inspired me to try one myself.

Thanks for being there, it was a great adventure,
Gene, KH6/KB7Q


KH6/KB7Q 70CM EME Session #2

February 15, 2016
I managed to add a few more stations today before I start packing the gear away. OZ4MM (-20), OK1KIR (-25), OK1DFC (-23), K2UYH (-22), and best catch of the day K5DOG (-30). Not having that Pacific Ocean ground gain like the first QTH really hurt the QSO rate, but it was still great fun.

70CM total: 13 stations worked.

The 70cm station in all its sloppy glory.
All hail the moon, a fickle goddess indeed.
OK1DFC contact.

KH6/KB7Q 2M EME Session #3

Once the moon came up cleared a house and a big Norfolk Island Pine we were off to the races. Fifteen stations logged including two 2x Yagi stations - a nice way to finish out the 2M operating. One 70cm session to go and done.

Stations worked:
RZ3BA (-25), ES3RF (-25), SK5AA (-24), OZ1LPR (-26), OH3AAW (-27), OH4LA (-23), DJ2TX (-26), PA3FYC (-20), PA0JMV (-25), W2DBL (-24), DK4RC (-20), OZ4VV (-23), KF8MY (-27), KC3OL (-27 2x Yagi), AE3T (-26 2x Yagi).

53 2 Meter stations worked off the moon, I'd say that's pretty fair for a single 12 element Yagi and 800 watts.
LoTW has all the 2 Meter contacts.

Gratuitous picture of the local scene just a 5 minute walk from the house aka the "ham shack".

KH6/KB7Q 2M EME Session #2

February 13, 2016
I shall not be stopped! I went over to the ocean side QTH this morning and found that the house owner left for the day and inadvertently locked me out of access to mains power. I know she sets a house alarm so I was screwed. I pulled everything down, stopped at the hardware store and bought another power cord, and  drove back to our rental QTH and stuck the Yagi back up in time to worked several European stations and more. 18 stations logged.

I3LDP (-24), SM2BYC (-25), SM7GVF (-20), OK1UGA (-25), SM4GGC (-23), SM5DIC (-22), PA3CMC (-19), HB9Q (-19), WA4NJP (-22), DK9ZY (-21), EA2AGZ (-21), N9XG (-20), EA4CYQ (-24), N7NW (-23), EI6GF (-23), N7SC (-26), AH6LE (-26)

Running Total: 38 2M QSOs  8 70 CM QSOs.

New open air shack with Yagi behind.
Not a bad European pile-up for a single Yagi.

KH6/KB7Q 70CM EME Session #1

February 12, 2016
Today was decidedly a mixed bag. I had a nervous 30 minutes trying to get audio to the FT897D and see some power output - I eventually found the setting that needed to be changed and was ready in plenty of time.

 I only managed 8 complete QSOs.Signals were huge on my moon rise with several stations at -13. I was able to give DL7APV his 50th State so he could complete his W.A.S. award. Only 35 years for Bernd to nail it down! DK3WG completed for his State #47. Things went dead and after an hour of trying to defeat Faraday and work K5DOG and N0IRS I packed it in.

I think I'll maximize my 2M effort this weekend and try 70cm later in the month.

DF3RU (-23), DL7APV (-13 State #50), HB9Q (-17), DK3WG (-13 State #47), WA4NJP (-24), N4QH (-21), DL5FN (-18), and G4RGK (-25). Near misses with K5DOG, N0IRS, DL8DAU, OK1KIR.

DL5FN and G4RGK dancing down my screen.
432 MHz setup. 500 watts, FT897D, and 9wl Yagi.

KH6/KB7Q 2 Meter EME Session #1

February 11, 2016
I rolled out to the site and got all the gear hooked up with five minutes to spare. Just as expected the ground gain over the Pacific was a great help. It sure slowed down after I started to elevate, but still I logged 20 stations and had five near misses, so a single 12 element Yagi and 800 watts plus lots of patience works ok. I got the impression conditions were fairly soft today too.

Stations worked:
ZS4TX (-23), I2FAK (-20), PA5Y (-21), S52LM (-24), I3MEK (-20), W2HRO (-25 2x Yagi), G4SWX (-19 1X Yagi), K3JYD (-27), W1PV (-26 2x Yagi), KB8RQ (-19), K7MAC (-20), N1DNN (-25), K5DOG (-27), VE1KG (-21), W4YTB (-25), W4RBO (-25), K5LA (-21), ZL1HD (-26), VK5APN (-24), and WA7XX (-26).

Contacts were re-loaded to LoTW with the correct grid square.

Endless salt water horizon.
W1PV was a quick QSO. A great signal from Skip's two Yagi station.
Looking south from the operating QTH.
Sometimes you can go a bit too tropical. Like my sun shade? That's KH6LC's pet.