CQ World Wide DX Contest 2023.

My favorite annual CW Contest! As well as for many other CW-lovers HAMs in the World!
As usual, low power class, and, as usual! – the same time with ARRL EME Contest. It’s not so easy to sit on the “two chairs” at the same time. It’s good that the Moon is not 24 hours a day! in the sky!! 
The result, of course, is average. But for a long time now I have only been taking part in competitions, but not competing. 548 QSO total and I am happy! QSO MAP and short statistic is below:

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ARRL EME Contest 2023.

First Leg (28-29, Oct.2023)
Plan was to participate only on 23 cm, because all was perfect: RIG and the dish.
My 70 cm array (2×19 el) was damaged  2 weeks ago by a strongest storm.
But Mr. Murphy was waiting for me this time!
After the first 9 QSO, I heard an unpleasant sound inside my 1 KW SSPA, similar to the sound of a welding arc. That’s all. PA died…
After a couple of hours I grabbed from the shelf a spare 200 W SSPA and tested my echo.
On average, I’ve got -21 dB (it was -11 dB before) and continued. Before  the Moon was hided behind the trees, I completed 29 QSO. All were digital. No one CW QSO, because I couldn’t hear my echo. Big stress…When I open my PA (this is not a home built, but Kuhne, (MKU PA 23CM-1000W CU), I saw a terrible picture.  And absolutely inexplicable: a lot of dead insects inside!
How they could get inside a completely closed amplifier is impossible to explain. But they were there! 
However, later I saw a small hole (2mm) in the lid. Why was it made? Who made it? I did not purchase this amplifier new. The previous owner had it located outside, next to the parabola, but in a completely closed box. Of course, the box was not hermetically sealed. This amplifier worked for me for a year and a half in light mode . No more than 20A at 50 V.  The SWR (cable + septum) was 1: 1.17 (checked immediately after the accident).
Could these insects be the cause of the accident? Maybe… I have no idea whether such extensive damage to the board can be repaired? Need to ask any advise from the EME community. 
The result after the 1-st Leg: 48 QSO, all Q65 mode. Much less, than 1 year ago…

2nd Leg is finished (25-26, Nov, 2023).
Added  21 QSO more (+3 CW). Total  result – 67 QSO only on 23 cm. Sure, to work with only 150 W at the feed is not the same, as 700W@feed… But still possible! I was happy to get new DXCC – 4W8X (Timor Leste) during this contest. This is the big DX-Pedition to Timor-Leste. They are on the all HF bands + EME on 50,  144, 432 and 1296 MHz! More information regarding to this great DX-Pedition is here.
And below my ARRL EME Contest 2023 QSO-Map:

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Another new DXCC on 23 cm (#67)

9H1BN, Mark Farrugia from Malta is a new EME callsign on 23 cm band! 3 meter mesh dish and 100 watt is enough for very solid QSO. New DXCC (#67) and new grid (#305).
Thank you, Mark!

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OJ0EME – EME DX-pedition to the Market Reef

SebasPicture the courtesy of OJ0EME blogtian DG5CST, Roland DK4RC and Norbert DL4DTU plan from 18.6. 2023 to 24.06.2023 QRV from loc. JP90NH Market Reef with the call OJ0EME.  As we knows, this rare country has never been presented on 23 cm EME!
“Finish SARL told Sebastian, that’s the first ever license they ever published for OJ0 and sadly it will be be the last!”  – this is a quote from the expedition blog
The expedition’s equipment for 23 cm band is 3m dish and 150W SSPA.
It was easy QSO. They are answered me from the first my call.
So, new DXCC (#66) and a great fun!
The Team is also QRV on microwave bands: 13, 9, 6 and 3 cm.
The expedition page with a pictures and log is here.

I worked with OJ0EME one more time by my second callsign ES1RF on the last expedition day. It was  just for the fun. And below is the final expedition’s result. I took this table from the expedition’s site for the analysis purposes: 

Band            Total QSO     Init.        CW QSO 
432 MHz        35 QSOs     INITs 33      cw    1
1,296GHz    151 QSOs  INITs 127  cw   15
2,3GHz             19 QSOs    INITs 17       cw   4
3,4GHz             22 QSOs   INITs 15       cw   9
5,7GHz           36 QSOs INITs 25    cw   13
10GHz             51 QSOs INITs 42    cw   10
24GHz                 2  QSOs  INITs  2        cw   1 SSB 1
47GHz                  1 QSO     INIT 1           SSB 1

Seems, they did not worked on 144 MHz.  But the most popular EME band is 1296 MHz, next 10 GHz, and next 5,7 GHz.

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Back to 4 meter band.

After 6 years of silence on 4 meter band I decided to back on this “# two magic band”. My antenna for this band was dismantled and PA disassembled.
6 years ago I used for this band my old and trusty YAESU FT-847 s modified for 70 mhz. Now I have YAESU FTdx 101MP  with output 50 Watts on 4 meter. So, I started again on 26th of May. 2023 with a new RIG and 7 el. YU7EF antenna. Not surprised, that the “analog” (CW and SSB) part of band was empty, as well, as on 6 meter band. But FT8 frequency was full of stations! Nothing interesting, but good for start after 6 years break!





So far my achievements on 4 meter are:
DXCC – 47, Squares – 262, Fields – 15.
Hope to add my results during tis season.

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ARRL WAS Award 23 cm band is completed!

Last night was a “historical” event for me:
I completed ARRL WAS Award on 23 cm EME!!
It means, I worked all 50 USA states on 1296 MHz. On this band it was possible only EME.

Last state, OREGON (OR) was activated by Peter, KA6U. He is a fantastic guy! Travelling across the Unated States  from the East to the West and from the North to the South with a well equipped portable station, he gave to us, the WAS Award chasers, the greate opportunity to get a rare US states on 23 and 70 cm bands.
Some people told, they were hunting for all states during 27 years, some told 18 month… For me personally, it took 2 year and 8 month. From all 50 states I’ve got 23 thanks to Peter (KA6U) and 8 thanks for Gene (KB7Q). I.e. 31 state from 50 only thanks for those two guys!!!
Below copy from HB9Q Logger:

23:20 @ES3RF: Gennadi great news! 4 new 23cm WAS today! @ KA6U

On 70 cm I have only 33 US States worked and confirmed. How long time I need to get all 50??


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ARRL EME Contest 2022 – Results

Participated only on 23 cm band,  all modes.13 QSO CW, 103 QSO DIGI (Q65C). 575000 points – this the best result for me on one band. But it was enough only for the 6th place in the world.  Tha ARRL EME Contest 2022 results are here.
Look like 23 cm band on EME become the most popular: over 6500 QSO on 1296 MHz compared to 3300 QSO on 144 MHz (total in the contest logs). Dave, KJ9I graciously provided a bar graph analysis of QSOs per band. 23 cm leading other bands came as a surprise to many!

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PJ2T (Curacao Isl.) and JD1YCC (Ogasawara Isl.) on 23 cm EME

Great news: Gene, KB7Q going to visit Curacao Island for 23 cm EME DXpedition. His portable setup: 1.8 meter folding dish (W2HRO construction) and 350 watt @ feed. Usually he traveling with a 2.4 m folding dish, but this time he will use PJ2BR’s dish. for me – this setup is enough for quick QSO. But, not this time: He there and me here have a very bad weather condition – strong wind! Gusts of wind up to 30 km/h are rocked my parabolic antenna, which gear was damaged around 2 weeks ago during a heavy snowfall and subsequent icing. But anyway, after 1,5 hour of my struggle with antenna and wind we completed QSO with Gene. I’ve got his signal at -28 db, and he hear me on -21 db. It gave me DXCC # 64 on 23 cm.

And another deal: today and tomorrow on 23 cm will be activated the Ogasawara Island (JD1/O). WW-Loc: QL17cb.  The EME operator is Kay-san, JH3AZC. And again it could be a problem for me, because still strong wind and short common EME window. And they are only 2 days on 23 cm. Let’s see…


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Bad weather

Couple of days ago we had a huge snowfall + ice rain. After that the temperature dropped down to -7 degrees C. As a result, all antennas were cowered by thick lay of ice and snow.
But the worst of all with the parabola. Due to the thick layer of ice and snow, its surface has slightly changed. So I lost about 4 db listening to the noise of the sun. Very unpleasant!


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Year 2022 results and new equipment.

Total QSO score (HF & VHF): 5082
VHF &UP: 1348, including by bands:
 – 50 MHz: 496 QSO
 – 432 MHz: 32 (+11 EME initials) QSO
 – 1296 MHz: 402 (+63 EME initials) QSO
 – SAT (QO-100): 417 QSO
Thanks to Peter – KA6U- and his expeditions, I have to work only with 3 states of United States of America to get a diploma WAS on 23 cm band EME. I missed yet: Colorado, Kansas and Oregon.

On 23 cm I stopped to use the FT-736R, although this very nice and stable radio. The reason – this old radio has not modern CAT system, so no possibility to use COFM style, when using WSJT-X software on EME QSO. Now my setup consists from transverter DEMI 1296-28H2 + FT-2000 as IF RIG.
The power amplifier, instead of MKU 13200A (200W output) I use the
MKU PA 23CM – 1000W CU. I running only 800 W on digital mode. And this PA never heated over a temperature of 32 -35 degrees during 60 seconds cycle. Because of big heatsink and two fans. But noisy!  

My plan for year 2023 – to start EME on 3 cm band. 
I want to hope that I have enough strength and health (and finances, of course) to start working in this perspective band.

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