More FT8-Awards by FT8-DMC

Because the weather in the last months did not allow any work on the antennas outside, so some time was left for QSO’s on the shortwave bands. Especially in FT8 mode many interesting DX stations could be reached.

Almost every day, the FT8DMC-Club launches new colorful diplomas for contacts in the FT8 digital mode. The application is made simply via the “Ultimate AAC” software. Mostly, the certificate can be downloaded after a few hours in the download center of the EPC-MC.

2018_FT8_WAGCC 2018_FT8_WAJCA
2018_FT8_WASA 2018_FT8_WAIP

1296 MHz: First signals off the moon

Yesterday the 1296 MHz EME-Project reached a new milestone: After mounting a waterprooved box with preamp and protection relais close to the Septum feed during the past days I tried to listen off the moon for the first time. I asked Dan, HB9Q, if he could transmit some minutes for me with his 10m dish. And so he did. Holding the feed out of the basements window, pointing to the moon and HB9Q was copied easily with -26 dB in JT65c mode. Whow, what a feeling! Now I’m waiting for better weather for further setups. 

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Christmas Presents

The weather before Christmas was quiet and suitable for maintaining antennas. So I improved the matching of my 160m inverted L-antenna to get some more DXCC entities during the days off. Conditions on Top-Band were very good at a K-index of 1 and the signals, especially from Asia, were very loud in times. The following 6 new countries have been logged: Mozambique (C93PA), Azores (CU3EQ), Mongolia (JT1CO), South Korea (HL5IVL), Taiwan (BV1AP), Mexico (XE1TD). Also four new Zones for 160m WAZ (03 / 06 / 23 / 37) and seven new US-States for the 160m WAS were worked: Arkansas (K5GO), California (K6RW), Colorado (K0RF), Michigan (K8TLC), Minnesota (K0TT), Montana (KM7W) and Utah (WA7LNW). It was interesting to see how the terminus of the greyline correlated with the higher signal strengths (see picture).

2017-12-24_160_JATalking about 2m I concentrated to EME during the days between Christmas and New Year. The moon was in good position with low degradation and finally 43  initial callsigns, several new WW-locator and two new DXCC entities found the way into the log. After several tries I was very happy to work Ricardo, LU7FA, on Dec. 27 for DXCC #67 and Bing, YC2MDU, on Dec. 31, 2017 for DXCC #68. It is interesting to mention that LU7FA has just 2 antennas and YC2MDU using just 400 W output. Two great belated Christmas gifts and a happy ending 2017.

Nice Surprise: WW 160m DX Contest Results

Today I got the result of the 2017 “World Wide 160 Meter DX Contest CW” were I participated in the Low Power Category with just the K3 barefoot. Finally it ended up in 6th place in DL out of 84 participants and I am quite satisfied, because operation was just 50% of the total Contest time. The SSB-part endet up with ranking 19 out of 34, but that one was just for fun.

2017-12-30_ARRL160CW 2017-12-30_ARRL160SSB

FT8-Awards by FT8-DMC

Normally CW is my favourite mode, but but from time to time I use digital modes on Hf like PSK31/PSK63 for example to complete the white spots for my DXCC-Award. Talking about HF-bands I never saw any use of JT65-modes here because for me it is much too slow compared to a nice CW contact. With the availability of the new mode FT8 things changed. The software based on a FSK 8 tone code, an occupied bandwidth of 47 Hz and a 15 second tournaround! This increased the activity dramatically and even rare DX-stations appeared and uses FT8 mode.

These days Joe, OE4VIE, has initiated the FT8-DMC Club and offer some very nice and colourful, free of charge pdf-Awards. They pushed the activity right again, not to say there is a real FT8 hype now. The WAC Award (Worked all Continents) is not a challenge at all, because it could be worked within an hour by a well equipped station. The DXCC Award is even more difficult and issued for contacts with 100 DXCC entities, like the original by ARRL.

2017_FT8_WAC 2017_FT8_DXCC100

144 MHz: International Space Station on SSTV

From December 06-08 the ISS again send SSTV pictures. The images are always transmitted in SSTV mode PD 120 on the frequency 145.800 MHz in frequency modulation. The images were decoded with the MMSSTV software. More information about amateur radio on the ISS can be found on the ARISS website.

Pictures received Dec. 07, 2017 between 17:27 – 17:32 UT

2017-12-07_iss1 2017-12-07_iss2

Pictures received Dec. 08, 2017 between 16:32 – 16:42 UT
Last picture was received while ISS was between Crimea Peninsula and Caspian Sea, abt. 2.500 km away.

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2017-12-08_iss5  

Great Weekend on 144 MHz EME

Since I was not active on 144 MHz EME over the last 2 months due to vacations and other commitments, this weekend was a real goal. Conditions were excellent all weekend and Faraday was mostly cooperative.

At moonrise on Friday evening I completed a QSO with Australia, a very problematic direction from my location because of manmade noise at low elevation angels. Wayne, VK5APN, gave a new DXCC, new ODX with 15.528 km and finally the last missing continent Oceania. The second new DXCC this night was RA9CHL in the asian part of Russia.

On early Sunday morning, a QSO with the German one-man DXpedition V31EME and another new country, DXCC # 65, succeeded. Not easy to fight against so many well equipped multi-antenna-stations. Uwe, DG8NCO, did a really very good job and catched also weak signals out of the pileup.

Another highlight was a QSO with IK1FJI, Walter, who also works with only one Yagi. This completed my first 1 Yagi – 1 Yagi Moonbounce contact.

A total of more than 40 QSO’s and 38 initials were logged, a really great EME weekend. Listed details are here.
2017-12_v31eme

144 MHz EME: Back in business


There was a lot of work to be done in the garden during the last weeks: No, not only mowing gras, but also a larger hole had to be excavated and filled with concrete. Then mounting a stable metal pole on it, a rotor and, of course, another antenna. An 8m long 12 element DK7ZB Yagi was the choice, 14.1 dBd gain. Not much at all for a 2m EME system, but we’ll see what’s possible. 

On Saturday afternoon everything was ready to go for the first test. The automatic tracking system worked perfect and turned the antenna exactly to the moon, who was almost in the south. Just only 30 degrees elevation and almost 2 dB additional pathloss – not very promising. Will this be enough to hear someone?

It was enough! UA4AQL was easily detected in the waterfall, calling cq in JT65 mode. One periode calling and he came back to me – whow, what a good feeling! After this initial contact, four more QSO’s followed with LZ2FO, RX1AS, OH4LA and F4DJK.

Listed details are here

2107-08-26_eme_ua4aql

2017_09-01_144ant

19th SP VHF/UHF/SHF EME Meeting 2017

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SP8XXN, SP6JLW, SP5QWB, SP5XMU, SP9CP, SP2IPT, SP5CCC, SQ2LX, SP2IQW, SP8UFT, SP1CNV, Kosma-son of SP6LB (left to right)

On August 18 – 20, 2017, the 19th Technical Convention and Meeting of the EME + Microwave Amateur Radio Group Poland was held in the new Hotel Morawa (JO80KG64LV) near the small town Stronie Slatskie. Stanislaw SP6ASD, SP6JLW and SP6OPN and Team organized a perfect meeting with interesting lectures and more than 100 guests.

Presentations by OK1DFC (“1 kW SSPA for 23cm”), OK1UFL/OK1FPC (“47 GHz Transvertrers”) and OK1AIY (“24 GHz Transverter”) were only some of them. Practically Zdenek, OK1DFC, shows very impressive live 10 GHz EME activity with his portable 1.8m dish setup. A Flea market and Gala dinner were also important parts of this meeting. It was a great pleasure for me to meet old and new friends. Thanks for organizing this very nice weekend!

Some more pictures and impressions are here.