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


Another run out to a rare grid. This one is to a superb site on the Yellowstone River three hours from home with a clear horizon. I'll go out the day before, set up, and be ready for my 0300 local moonrise.

DN66db - God willing and the river doesn't rise we'll be there.

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

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).