Monday, September 23, 2019

Round Two, 2019 ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest; Our I-70 uW Odyssey

Once again, rainy weather threatened to dampen our plans for the second weekend of the 2019 ARRL 10 GHz and up contest.  By daybreak on Saturday, September 21, Herbert AF4JF, Harry WA0CNS and Ron KO0Z decided to "risk the elements" and to go for broke.

By 9:30 am, KO0Z was QRV from Eagle Roost scenic lookout at Pere Marquette State Park, EM48rx near Grafton, IL and Herbert AF4JF and Harry WA0CNS were QRV from western St. Louis county EM48sr.  This scenic overlook offers of a 120 degree, unobstructed, panorama which covers western St. Louis county, MO, half of Calhoun county, IL, all of St. Charles county, MO and most of the adjoining western, Missouri counties.

Our contest strategy involves one station to be stationary in a high location and the other ops to employ a "shoot and scoot" by ten miles from the last location.  Hence, the I-70 uW Odyssey as part of this blog's title.

We made contacts from every spot.  Eagle Roost is an excellent location.  Rainscatter played a significant role in the contest by extending our range.  From Eagles Roost, my unobstructed view extended to 265 degrees.  However, Harry and Herbert were able to go to sites 270 degrees and still work me due to passing T-storms and rainscatter!

We are including a few photos from our odyssey here, but for a more detailed description and photos please visit the BARS Blog site:  Herbert has an excellent narrative on the site:

73, Ron KO0Z, Herbert AF4JF and Harry WA0CNS

                       KO0Z QRV on 3 cm at Eagles Roost, EM48rx, Pere Marquette State Park, IL

                                                               KO0Z's 3 cm rig


         The T-storm to my west threatened rain, but it did provide good rainscatter propagation.

                            Harry WA0CNS & Herbert AF4JF at one of the I-70 sites.

RadarScope screenshot of some of Saturday's T-storms.  The park is north of St. Charles, MO and west of Godfrey, IL

The WB9PNU 3 cm beacon as heard at Eagles Roost on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019

Monday, September 16, 2019

ARRL VHF Contest - September 2019

Herbert AF4JF and Harry WA0CNS decided to participate in the ARRL VHF Contest as Rovers. We have selected 144-220-432-1296-10368 MHz HAM radio bands for this contest.

Herbert posted an Article on the BARS blog site.

We have picked locations in Winfield area just North of St. Peters in Missouri this time, because the line between EM48 and EM49 grids goes right through that area.

Herbert's Rover (AF4JF)

Some pictures of the dam:

Everything considered, this area worked well for VHF contacts, despite its location in the river valley. We shall return here with more microwave equipment next time.

73 Herbert

Sunday, August 18, 2019

2019 ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest August 17, Round 1

Saturday morning, 17 August awoke Harry WA0CNS, Herbert AF4JF and Ron KO0Z with deafening thunder claps and torrential rainfall.  Looking at the NWS radar, we surmised that the heaviest rainfall would pass the gob site, just east of Farmersville, IL by 9:00 am.  All three of us converged on EM59ek around 9:15 am and made our way up to the gob's summit.  EM59ek offers unobstructed 360 degree views in all directions.  It is an awesome VHF-uW site!  A big shout-out of thanks to RECC for giving us repeated permission to use their site!

                           Entrance to the gob know, EM59ek just east of Farmersville, IL

                      Gravel roadway up to the gob summit.  Note the RECC wind turbine.

Although the weather forecast called for overcast skies, it turned out to be partly cloudy as attested to by Herbert and Harry's sun burnt faces. 

                                                Herbert AF4JF set-up on top of the gob.

                              Harry WA0CNS listening for 10 GHz signals from Ron KO0Z.

"Shoot and scoot" map.  The yellow ring has a 20 mile diameter and the red one is 40 miles from the gob site.  Yellow pins are prospective rover sites.  Ron started at Pin 1 and worked counterclockwise.

    This shot of KO0Z is at Pin 5 just outside of Taylorville, IL EM59io about 21 miles from the gob site.  

All in all, it was a great microwave dxpedition.  The shoot and scoot idea works.  It would work even better if we can get a couple of teams to rove.  One going clockwise and the other counterclockwise.  We made great two-way Qs from every location except for Pin 6 (New City, IL) just north of the gob.  We were getting tired, sun burnt and ready to call it a day so we skipped activating Pin 6.  We did work Pins 7 and 8 before we finished up around 6 pm.

For a more detailed description of the August 17 microwave  dxpedition please check out the BARS BlogSpot at

73, Ron KO0Z EM59ck

Monday, January 21, 2019

SLAMS Breakfast Meeting

Breakfast at Denny's on Dorsett Rd. next week on Sunday January 27th starting at 8:00 am. 73 Herbert AF4JF

Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy 2019

                                                        Happy  New Year 2019 to all!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Bob Gormley WA5YWC SK

It is with profound sadness that I post the following news from Al Ward W5LUA:

Hello microwave community
It is with great sadness that I am informing you that Bob Gormley WA5YWC
passed away in his sleep on Saturday night. He was 74.
Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly and they will be locally in
the DFW area.
Bob was a great person and a great friend and I will miss him.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Transmitting from the Gob

It's still dark at 6:30 am on Saturday, October 20th.  Winds were brisk and temps in the forties.  KO0Z made a coffee run and by the time he and AF4JF made it to the gob pile entrance, there was enough light to unlock the chained gate and make their way up the gob to the wind turbine (EM59ek) and aim their antennas towards Zack W9SZ 97 miles away on his hilltop location (EN50rl).

Ten GHz wasn't productive, but Ron's rig appears to be more frequency stable with his GPS 10 MHz oscillator and new batter booster.  Herbert did make a two-way QSO with Zack on 1.2 GHz.  All-in-all, not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning.

                                            Sunrise on the gob, EM59ek

                              Herbert AF4JF setup for 1.2 GHz and 10 GHz

                                          Wind turbine at Farmersville, IL EM59ek

                                                       AF4JF's 1.2 GHz yagi.

                                Looking towards Zack's W9SZ hilltop location EN50 rl 97 miles away.