KB7Q’s another big 23 cv EME expedition to rare states and grids

(All pictures are borrowed from http://kb7qgrid.blogspot.com/) and belongs to Gene.
I copied images just to remind to myself this great trip.

April 16, 2021 – EM45dh, Arkansas

kb7q_arcansasThrough a big pile-up I complete my QSO with Gene (EM45DH) at 15:53 utc.
1549 -24 2.8 776 #* KB7Q ES3RF KO29
Mode JT65C. As usual. he used his great portable setup, consists from 2.4M dish, 300 watts at feed, IC-9700.
Next event on 19th of April. State Mississippi.

April 18, 2021 – EM53cu Grenada Lake, Mississippi
First day of Gene’s expedition to Mississippi brought me a disappointing: 2.5 hour of calling him  – and never once did Gene answer me! But on the second day he started working on the Q65-30B and I managed to get it!
171930 -22 3.2 1028 : KB7Q ES3RF R-15
Below the screenshot of our QSO:


After 55 minutes in Q65-30B Gene compete 14 QSO and returned to JT65C mode.
Of course, a called him again and immediately got answer! Gene’s best was -14 db! Much stronger, than yesterday:
1842 -17 2.7 1146 ## ES3RF KB7Q EM53 OOO
Now I was completely satisfied!

His next stop in Alabama (EM64) – April 21 Start 2000z.
Let’s see!



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60-th anniversary from the first flight to the Space

From April 10 to April 18, 2021, the Russian Radio Amateurs Union is holding Activity Days dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Yuri Alekseevich Gagarin’s flight into space.
  I tried a bit also to celebrate this event and and fulfilled the conditions of several
diplomas dedicated to this event.

First in Space60 Space Years

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Back to QO-100 satellite.

I started on QO-100 in the March, 2020. After 6 month of more/less activity and around 550 CW/SSB/DIGI-mode QSOs and 4 new countries for DXCC award, I decided to stop and sold all equipment (full set from DXPatrol), excluding 1.5 meter dish. 
But 5 month later, my interest to this satellite “woke-up” again. But this time I decided to take the most cheapest way.
I have 2400/430 MHz high quality transverter for 13 cm band from SG Laboratory Ltd. So, 2W output into 150 cm dish should be enough. And for receiving on 10 Ghz just to use WEB SDR. I found the best (in my opinion) IS0GRB SDR.

150 cm dish for uplink

Easy 4 turns helix feed to the dish. The transverter as close, as possible to the dish  and in one day of a small efforts I was again on the satellite. It was on 4th of March, 2021 – exactly 1 year after my first start!
During 20 days of not very active operation I’ve added 48 new calsigns to my logbook of 82 total worked QSOs.
Of course, this is not so suitable, regarding to a real cross-band operation without computer. With the old setup I used YAESU FT-847 in satellite mode, as a station transceiver + SDR console V3, connected in parallel to RX port and using tranceiver’s CAT system. Very comfortable! Now only YAESu FT-817  for uplink…
The worse – you must manually adjust TX frequency, make a few attempts just looking to the trace on WEB SDR’s waterfall and listen to own echo. But after several days of operation I found a simple and quick way to fine tuning. Better, than nothing and cheap!
Probably, in the nearest future I will restore my real satellite operation. Who knows…
       Just one remark: on this satellite I’ve meet many people, who I met earlier on the EME and HF bands, especially on 6 meter. And many says that, like for me, this is a great opportunity to maintain and diversify your activity on the air. 

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Year 2020 review and statistic.

I don’t know why, but for almost a year I haven’t updated my page.
While many interesting events have taken place, I would like to highlight a few of them.
Of course, this is only about amateur radio.
So, first of all, these are year statistics.

Total (HF + VHF and UP):  2654 QSO,
VHF (50, 144, 432 and 1296 MHz) terrestrial + EME:  912 QSO,
Satellite (QO-100) : 530 QSO.

 “DXCC Progress Report 32-Dec-2020” from my DSKeeper logging software:

           Mix Ph CW  DIG  160m 80m 40m 30m 20m 17m 15m 12m 10m 6m 2m
Wkd: 311  210  289  234    125      148     191     187    219     196   206  176    203  116   187
Cfm:  296  179   267  225   110      128     158    157     190     167   187   141    166  101    185

Yes, I decided to back to satellite, especially  to QO-100.
So much talking about this satellite! And I ordered all necessary converters, LNB and PA from DXPatrol (CT1FFU). Antenna  – 1.5 meter prime focus dish with dual band feed. Other detail of my setup on the pictures are here.

dual band feed

QO-100 dish

Easy and Quck decision.

I started on QO-100 on March, 2020 and was very satisfied of a big pile-up! Probably, not many stations from Estonia, espesially from KO29 were before on satellite. But after about 10 days the pile-up passed and normal work began. And ffter about half a year, working via this satellite became so routine and uninteresting that I stopped (hopefully temporarily) to work via this satellite. 530 QSO, 56 new grids (797 total via SAT) and 9 new DXCC (total 128 via SAT). 
Рowever, if ещ count only ещ QO-100, then total worked 63 DXCC and 226 squares .
Not bad!
I think, I will be back on QO-100 soon. As a target – to get 150 confirmed DXCC via satellites and get lapel to my DXCC Satellite Award.
After all, my main goal was to investigate the 13 and 3 cm bands for  EME on these bands. 
Unfortunately, not so much knowledge I’ve got…

Also, in 2020 I intensely worked EME on 23 cm (76 initials, 8 new DXCC, total 51). This band is still new for me on EME. Also starting preparing for 13 cm band EME . But no one knows, how long time we can use this band for amateur purposes…

The most bad thing – the 2 meter band become noisy and noisy! Sometimes, the noise level  rise up to S9 +5 db from some azimuth. Hard to work MS and EME, even tropo/ES is a problem! I am very close totally stop any operation on this band! Thanks, stil 70 and 23 cm bands are clear enough. Pity…

So, as far as I am mainly VHF and UP – man, look the summary results here.

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FJ/WW2DX- St Barthelemy island. New DXCC # 185 on 144 MHz.

WW2DX, Lee, and the group of HF enthusiasts made a nice trip to a rare country. Set of equipment for HF bands (160 to 6 m) and active the rare country on 2M EME. From 15th to 22nd of February are the most worse EME conditions in the month. And it was true. Plus huge wind in me place! I was seriously worried about my antenna farm. Moon was very low above horizon on these days (maximum 7 degrees) and big signal degradation (up to -11!!). And common window was short:  1 hour 40 minutes on the beginning and 2.5 hour at the end of expedition. Let’s say, I spent 4.5 moon passes before got FJ/WW2DX to my log! More info on the Lee’s blog here
And below is a shot screen from my computer (MAP65 interface).

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C21MB – New DXCC (#184) in the log!

New great DX-pedition of Kay, JH3AZS together with Taka, JP3EXR. This time to Nauru (IOTA OC-031). Call sign C21MB. Equipment the same, as theirs previous expeditions.
They successfully  started on 5th of February. And I started to monitor QRG from my Moon rise. After my Moon rise, I started to see C21MB’s trace on the screen and shortly, after SP4KM, UR3EE and SM3GVF we completed QSO.  

Next two pictures are the courtesy of the C21MB Team, which were copied and pasted from the site http://mmmonvhf.de/latest.php
Very simple, portable and effective  system! Congrats, Team, and thanks for a new DXCC.
Good luck in DX-pedition!



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Year 2019 statistic

Total 1453 QSO on HF and VHF bands.
560 QSO on HF and 893 QSO on VHF and up.
A bit bigger than last year. Less CW, but more digital QSO.
Why? Because if you want to find new stations, you should find themes on FT8, unfortunately… Very often, seems, no propagation and band is totally empty on CW and SSB segments. But FT8 frequency is always alive!


But, for sure, the most important year’s event was my start on 23 cm EME.
3 meter solid dish with VE4MA feed + G4DDK LNA. Separate TX/RX lines. TX line is a 16 meters of 7/8″ coaxial + 3 meter 1/2″ flexible jumper.
I started with 500W SSPA in the shack, but for an unexplained reason 2 of 4 transistors were burned after first 2 QSOs. I replaced damaged PA by MKU-13200-A and was surprised, that even stations with 4 long yagis can hear me! Now I successfully using this setup during last 5 months. And looking for possibility to repair burned PA.
All results of my VHF and UP activity are here.



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The Meteor Shower Gemenids 2019

Strong shower and many MS initials in this year!
Worked totally 53 QSO, 19 DXCC, 41 grid squares.
Best ODX 2018 km with F1NZC. Interesting that this time were many MSK144  mode participants referring to the last year 2018.  I did not participated in BCC. Was looking mainly for MS  initials. and DXCC. Thus, 34 initials from 53 worked stations. Not bad! 


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EME QSO with 18 meter dish on on 23 cm

Info from Paul Andrews (W2HRO) on Facebook (Eart Moon Earth (EME) Radio Communications group):
“On Friday, Dec 6, 2019, I’m going to the (www.n2mo.org) EME Site (https://www.projectdiana-eme.com/) to help activate the 18m dish on 1296 MHz. This is my first visit and I’m bringing equipment to run WSJT JT65C. We hope to be QRV soon after local moonrise (3 pm ET) in Belmar, NJ. This should be fun. We will also have CW and SSB”.
Of course it was interesting to hear signal from 18 meter diameter dish and tried QSO. And it was easy! Just wait, than some “Very Big Guns” completed QSO with Dan (K2QM). Interesting story regarding to DIANA Project can be read on links above.

The dish is beautiful!

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Meteor shower Perseids, August 2019

I was more or less active during one of the most powerful meteor streams of the air. Statistic  says, I was in the air 5 hours and 33 minutes from 8th to 12th of August.
The summary: 36 QSO, 29 squares and 12 countries. Best ODX – 2270 km (EI9E).

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