It was a little cold that did not let me sleep. When I took a look at LiveCQ in the middle of the night I saw VP8EME (GD18bh) just calling CQ on 2m EME. The station was switched on quickly and the antenna turned to the moon. After 5 minutes the QSO was in the book. Thanks Mario for DXCC # 91 on 2m!
Just three days later on December 13, Kari OH2BC showed up on 2m from Madeira Island (IM12mm) using the callsign CR3EME. He uses 2x 9 Element Yagi and was received here with -28 dB in the peak. Kari was fighten against the noise produced by thousands of Christmas Lights but luckily he fished out my signal. DXCC # 92 on 144 for me could be celebrated.
The beautiful Zanzibar Island in Tanzania (AF-032 / KI93rv) was the target of Alex K2BB, Pavel UU0JR, Serg RT5D, Sasha UT7UV and Oleg US7UX. Under the call sign 5H3UN they were active on the Hf-bands, also using 5H3EME for 6m and 2m Moonbounce. For 2m EME they had two 10 element cross-yagi antennas with elevation, a Javornik II 144-28 transverter with dual channel RX – LNA, Odyssey II SDR transceiver and finally a 1kW solid state amplifier. After along night waiting for a signal at 01:10 UT 5H3EME came out of the noise and after two calls the QSO was in the log – DXCC # 90 on 2m. The goal is approaching …
Next step on the way to the 2m DXCC was the QSO with A21EME in Botswana (KG25wk) this morning October 21, 2019 on 2m via EME. The Team – Lins PA3CMC, John ZS6JON, Chris PA2CHR, Paul ZS6NK, Andrew ZS6AVH, Bernie ZS4TX, Sam HB9COG and Dan HB9CRQ activated 6m up to 10 GHz. The signal peaked up to -21 dB on my single 14 Element Yagi.
Another one in the bag. Well known SSPA-designer Jim, W6PQL, was again active on 2m EME from Pico Island in the Azores (HM58rn). He used a pair of 2m20xp and one of his own designed SSPA’s. His signal was easily copied up to -23 dB here.
Back in August 2016 Lee, WW2DX and a Crew started to activate St. Paul Island (NA-094) on Hf and 2m EME as CY9C. At the second day of the DXpedition unfortunately gale force winds destroyed the antenna array and the 2m activity came to an abrup end.
Now, from July 31 to 08, 2019, CY9C is back on Hf and EME on 6m and 2m. Today I was lucky to work Lee on 2m EME for a new DXCC #87.
Alain, TR8CA, from Libreville / Gabon, has been active via EME for quite some time with a single Yagi and 500 W output on 144 MHz. Several times I had received him in the past, but due to propagation and the small EME equipment on both sides, we never completed. On May 10, 2019 everything fit together and also Faraday was cooperative. With reports -23 dB send / -25 dB received another single Yagi – single Yagi QSO and of course a new DXCC #85 on 2m could be logged.
May 16, 2019 was another day with good sporadic E on 6m. It is just the beginning of this year’s season and already in the early afternoon stations from 9K2, A41 and EK could be worked. At 17:21 the signal from TR8CA popped in at 50 MHz. The QSO over a distance of 5,640 km (3 Hop Es) was easy and a new country #108 also on 6m. Great fun and many thanks to Alain for the quick confirmation via LotW!
This was another good EME weekend. Due to the VP2EMB-DXpedition the activity was very high and a total of 10 new stations were logged on 144 MHz over the moon. Especially worth mentioning is the QSO with XE2AT (DL81uv) in Mexico. His system consists of 4×10 element Yagis and just 400W Hf. Thanks Al for DXCC # 83 and the fast confirmation via LotW!
Another important step on the way to the 2m DXCC was the QSO with VP2EMB in Anguilla (FK88mg / NA-022) on Friday night. PA2CHR Chris and PA3FYR Jos were on tour again to activate this rare entity. After two long nights listening to the noise in front of the receiver and with the help of groundgain at moonset it was finally done: DXCC # 84 could be celebrated.
The new DX year started pretty well on 2m: At the end of March, EF9LZ from Ceuta & Melilla (IM75hv) was activated by the “X-Team” Bernd DF2ZC and Frank DH7FB. Due to many commercial broadcasters close to the site, they had to deal with interference and problems on the receiving side. Nevertheless, I succeeded on 18.03.2019 with a QSO via EME and thus DXCC # 81 on 2m.
Just two days later, on March 20, another new DXCC, # 82, came into the 2m log with TO2MB from Martinique (FK94). Peter DL1RPL and his team did an excellent job and so the QSO could already be celebrated on the first day of the DXpedition.
Also in 2018 there were again some outstanding EME-DXpeditions on 144 MHz which made the heart beat faster. Due to technical problems in the first months of the year and vacations later, unfortunately I missed several of them such as PJ2T, TD9FYC, CR2EME, 3B8MB, 4L/RM8A and 9N7AP – what a pitty. What does not make it easier is the fact that with just one antenna, you are always one of the last stations in the long long line of callers.
Nevertheless, at the end of the year a total of 12 new countries were in the logbook, and the overall standing is now up to 80 DXCC on 2m. These new were PJ6E, Z66EME, 7P8Z, C8T, BX4AP, WP4G, CX2SC, 4Z5CP, ZA5V, TI2SW, BA4SI and finally ZL2MQ.
Talking about stations worked for the first time (“Initials”) there were 124 new ones in 2018 and totally 302 via EME within 12 active moonphases since my start in 2017.
I do not want to forget the QSO’s with other single Yagi stations, which has always a special charm of minimalism. In 2018 these were: R3PA (17 el.), R7IV (14 el.), DL1VPL (12 el.), ND0B (12 el.), R1AY (15 el.) and UA6IE (14 el.).
It would be nice if the EME-business would continue in 2019 in the same way.
For many months I had been watching for stations from Oceania via EME. From Germany contacts to New Zealand for example are possible only in a small time window in which the moon is visible from both locations simultaneously. At my location mountains and buildings to the east reduce this window even further to a possible slot of abt. 20 minutes. In addition there is much groundnoise noise at those low elevation angles at moonrise. So bad conditions at all.
The moon was in a favorable position on this holy evening, December 24. Moonrise was around 19 o’clock and a very little activity from european stations. Watching the N0UK-EME-chat I saw that ZL2MQ from RF80km called CQ on 144.133 MHz. Let’s see if he could be copied with my single 14 element antenna. And yes, today everything fits: no big guns from Europe were on, low ground noise and also Faraday played along. To make the story short: Five minutes later the QSO with Dave was in the log and thus not only a new DXCC on 2m, but with 18.298 km also a new ODX. What a nice Christmas present and an evening to remember!