Monday, October 21, 2013

MUD 2013

Thursday, 17 October around 11:40 AM, Zack-W9SZ arrived at my QTH and after a quick tour of my shack and tower projects we were on our way to the Microwave Update Conference (MUD) 2013 being held at Morehead State University in Morehead, KY which is located in eastern Kentucky.  After a few delays due to some road construction and one missed turn we arrived in Morehead around 9:10 PM; whereupon, we grabbed a bite to eat before checking into our hotel at the Hampton Inn.

We had originally planned to attend the BBQ put on by MUD organizer Jeff Kruth -WA3ZKR (Staff Electrical Engineer, Space Science Center at Morehead University) and his wife, but time and miles kept us from the party which I was told was very gracious and quite delicious according to Mel - K0PFX and Bob - N0IS!  It's probably just as well for I am a "hearty" eater and I may have ate Jeff and his wife out of house and home...

I stayed with and made a new friend with James - W8ISS at the Hampton.  James lives near Detroit and we hit it off immediately. Thanks James for making your room available!

Early Friday morning the fog began to lift and it promised to be a very beautiful, nice fall day!  More importantly, if wasn't going to rain which was great because I desperately wanted to get my 10 GHz offset dish and feed measured on the antenna range and the antenna range at Central States was a rain wash out.  My dish measured in at 31 dBi!  Woo-hoo!  While the antenna range and preamp measurements were occurring, Jeff and his undergrad students were conducting tours of the Space Science Center's facilities and of the 21 meter dish on top of a nearby hill!  I missed out on that tour, but I was later able to see Al Ward - W5LUA and Barry Malowanchuk - VE4MA attempt to hear Sergi - RW3BP's 78 GHz signals via EME.  Unfortunately they were unable to hear them, but I learned a great deal just by watching them late on Saturday evening around 10:00 pm.

The MUD Proceedings was well done and I am enjoying reading it still.  Of course the actual presentations were extraordinary and the folks at the Morehead State University Space Science Center could not have been more welcoming or accommodating.  Jeff - WA3ZKR and his boss, Dr. Benjamin Malphrus - KJ4HVE made this MUD an extraordinary event.  This was both Zack's and my first MUD conference and we both agreed that the work of Jeff and Ben with undergrads is something to behold.  This is a world class program, but without a lot of the politics and "stuffiness" that sometimes accompanies these types of programs at larger universities.  Kudos to Jeff and Ben for their "hands-on-approach" to theoretical and practical applications of space science!  Next year MUD 2014 will be held in Rochester, NY.

Kudos to Steve Kostro -N2CEI and his wife Sandra Estevez - K4SME and Ed Krome - K9EK with the Proceedings and presentations.  In fact, nicely done to everyone involved with putting on MUD. It is deeply appreciated!      

Of course, I'd like to thank Zack - W9SZ for his driving to and from MUD, but mostly for his company, keen insights  and pleasant conversation!
                                              ( A fog shrouded Morehead State University )

                                             ( The Space Sciences Bldg at Morehead )
                                               (Zack - W9SZ next to an astromical sculpture)

                                                          ( Welcome to MUD )

                                            ( Morehead State U's 21 meter dish )

                                                     (Fog is beginning to lift )

                                              ( James French - W8ISS on the antenna range )

                                                        ( Don and Kent at the range )

                                              ( Kent, WA5VJB getting ready to start 10 GHZ )

                                                        ( Don and Jerry on the range)

                                 ( Mel - K0PFX next to the sculpture.  Notice that it has rotated )

                                              (The Space Sciences Bldg lobby)

                                            ( Jeff Kruth - WA3ZKR on the right chatting with conferees )

                                            ( The dome above the lobby )

                                              ( The "white box" of 10 GHz fame )

                              ( Noise measurements.  I'd love to own that $400,000 Network analyzer)

                                   ( John Kraus, W8JR's original helix antenna for 1411 MHz from Ohio State U)

                                           ( Paul Wade - W1GHZ holding the mini hardline )

                                            ( A prehistoric fern tree fossil on campus )

                                            ( A 1.2 GHz feed being tested in the anechoic chamber)

                                           ( Morehead State U's anechoic chamber )

                                         ( The 21 meter dish stowed in the "bird bath" position. )

                                                        ( James-W8ISS holding the dish )

                                                (KO0Z pointing at the dish from the control room)

                                            ( James - W8ISS in the dish control room )

                                          ( Just some of the instrumentation of the control room)

                                     ( Tony -WA8RJF, Brian - WA1ZMS and others at the dish )

                                (Al - W5LNA and Barry - VE4MA looking for echos from the moon)

                                          ( Looking at the moon using 78 GHz to see Sergi's RW8BP signals )
                                                      (21 m dish looking at the moon)

                                            ( Paul - W1GHZ with Zack - W9SZ)