Sunday, August 18, 2013

ARRL 10GHz And Up Contest from another hilltop

Ron KO0Z nicely described his contest activities in his postings below. Congrats! Well done!

Group of SLAMS members attended this contest from our usual location at YMCA in EM48sq. We were able to make some long-range microwave contacts on 10GHz and we have almost made 260 miles contact with Bob WA5YWC in EN52sa early in the monring on Sunday. However, he was running 30+ Watts and our stations output barely 3 Watts which, multiplied by the dish gain, makes huge difference. Although we have copied Bob S8 in St. Louis, he didn't even see us on the "waterfall" of his Flex-1500 SDR radio.

We have worked Zack W9SZ on 10GHz in EN50rl on Saturday. That's a 160 miles QSO - one that you need a little support of propagation for. Speaking about propagation, we have worked Ron KO0Z in EM59ji across a distance of 81 miles on Saturday. His signal was quite strong, some of us worked him on SSB too. Quite different situation on Sunday - not a beep from him in St. Louis, not even after we moved Jim's (N5MU) station across the YMCA parking lot to a place with more open view towards Ron's location. We have also tried with Ron W9ZIH, heard his weak signal on Saturday but it was not enough for a QSO. Repeated the test on Sunday, but didn't hear a beep from Ron.

We have also used this opportunity for testing 24GHz between Herbert AF4JF and Harry WA0CNS on Saturday. Technical workshop continued on Sunday with Rich N0PQU adjusting LO injection for his 10GHz transverter and Mike N0OBI tuning his "plumbing system". Mike designed nice circular waveguide feed for his offset dish, all made from copper water piping elements.

Some pictures from the event follow:

Harry WA0CNS at his station

Harry calling on 24GHz

Rich N0PQU and Armand KD0PXF setting up

Mike N0OBI used a surplus box for his 10GHz
(very stable oscillator, works better than looks)

Mike N0OBI checking
focal point of his dish
(note the plumbing)

Jim N5MU checking his dish

N5MU (left) and AF4JF set up 10GHz stations
in a position with open view towards WA5YWC in EN52

Mike N0OBI (left), Jim N5MU and Herbert AF4JF

Waiting for 10GHz signals ...

Following two pictures are actually from different location - Harry WA0CNS and Herbert AF4JF moved to Chesterfield area to test their 24GHz equipment. Distance between stations was ~ 2 miles and AF4JF copied WA0CNS about S7 on 24192.1 MHz CW, but Harry didn't copy AF4JF. Herbert tested a bare mixer (DB6NT design) without any amplification. It received fine, but radiated power was too low even for 2 miles between us. There will be more power next time.

 AF4JF pointing 1ft. dish for 24GHz in EM48rq
towards WA0CNS located at Chesterfield Mall

AF4JF station for 24GHz located in EM48rq

Overall, very successful contest - some QSOs were made, some equipment tested and everybody has had a lot of fun! A local police officer stopped by and chatted with us for a while - he was a former radar operator and recognized dish antennas as something "less-than-usual" for ham radio operators.

73 Herbert

Sunday 18 August 2013 10 GHz and Up ARRL Contest

WB9PNU/b from EM59ji

Panaroma of Ohlman Cemetery Hill, EM59ji

Sunday 18 August.  Once again I woke up early to make the 45 mile trek to Ohlman Hill Cemetery in EM59ji.  This is a great microwave location.  I will attempt to post some videos of my visit there over the weekend.  Today the WB9PNU/b was again roaring in to my hilltop location.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to work Jim, N5MU at EM48sq today nor was he able to hear me.  I tried working Ron, W9ZIH, but we weren't able to hear each other.  It started to look a bit glum.  However at 14:00Z I was able to make a two-way with Bob, WA5YWC in EN52sa (192 miles)!  Debbie, KC9ULA and I again tried to work Jim, N5MU who moved to a different end of theEM48sq location .  Again no luck.  By this time the WB9PNU/b was able to be heard, but it was only a S-0.  Debbie and I went to lunch while Bob moved to EN51xr.  When Debbie and I returned to the cemetery we worked Bob at 18:00Z a distance of 175 miles.  I was also still able to copy the WB9PNU/b at S-0!  Wow what a great microwave day!  Tnx to Bob and his buddy for driving all the way from Dallas, TX to be a part of this contest!  In fact a big tnx to everyone who participated!


Me working Bob, WA5YWC from EM59ji to EN52 sa a distance of 192 miles!
Ron, KO0Z

Saturday, August 17, 2013

ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest, Saturday 17 August Round 1!

A fun day today!  I had a few glitches to overcome such as bad connections on my battery booster.  Gosh does that make a difference between making a Q and not!  From EM49sq I worked Harry, WA0CNS on CW and USB!  I worked Herbert, AF4JF on CW and Armond, KD0PXF on USB!  I later worked Zack, W9SZ from EN50rl.  I tried working Ron, W9ZIH (EN51nv), Garth W0GR (WM38ax) and Jim W9SNR from EN52xr with no luck.  The WB9PNU/b was roaring in the best I've heard it (outside of being next to it in DePaul's parking lot!) with S-9+ signals up until 9:30 am or so.

Perhaps Sunday will be even better with higher humidity levels predicted.

73 es GL,

Ron, KO0Z
 This is looking towards St. Louis from on top of Ohlman, IL Cemetery hill, EM59ji

 WB9PNU/b is roaring in!

 Looking towards the northeast towards Zack in EN50rl
 Looking East.  BTW, there is a geocache in the juniper tree on the left!
 Looking Southeast.
 Looking Southwest.
 Here is due west.  St. Louis and EM48qs is just to the left side of the picture.  81.5 miles away!
 Looking Northwest.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

ARRL 10 GHz Contest Round 1, August 17 and 18th.

I've either been really busy or suffered with some leg issues so I haven't been too "radioactive" on the microwave bands this year.  I am so looking forward to operating in the 10 GHz and up contest this weekend from my new microwave location on top of Ohlman Cemetery hill just outside of Ohlman, IL on IL Route 16.  It is between Nokomis and Pana.  It has a clear shot all around and it is about 40 feet higher than the surrounding terrain.  I look forward to putting EM59ji on the map.  I plan to be QRV by 6:00 am.  I hope to work some stations!  I will have my cell phone and 144.260 with me.  Good luck and may propagation be with us!
73, Ron, KO0Z

47th CSVHFS Conference

On July 25-27, 2013 a number of SLAMS members attended the 47th CSVHFS Conference in Elk Grove Village, IL.  It was a good conference with some very fine presentations.