Bonus Round from the Montana Mountain Cabin DN45me

Joyce and I took an overnight run up to our friend's cabin expressly to try and work OJ0B via 2M EME. Not only did I get that done I added 32 other stations to the log. OJ0B was right there at my moonrise and was worked in about 15 minutes. The cabin is a very quiet radio location which really helped.

I learned that the Meanwell 48 volt switching power supply I'm using for the SSPA doesn't like running off my 2KW Honda generator. When I'd first start a transmission the generator  voltage sags a bit while the generator tries to speed up to handle the load. The power supply switches itself off much below 105 vac killing the amp. The generator speed up, the power supply comes on, the amp comes back on and the process repeats. A wild, scary ride!

The solution was to cut back the drive and lower the  VDD  to 45 volts to keep the output power of the SSPA around 700 watts for less initial load on the generator. Even then things were on the bitter edge.

Honda makes a cable set to parallel two 2 KW generators that will be the solution - that should get me back up to 900 watts output as I can borrow my friend's Honda generator for trips that go off mains power. I need that 1 db of extra power. :-)

Anyhow we had a restful time in the mountains and worked the following stations:
ES6RQ (-17), OJ0B (-25), EA4CYQ (-20), G4ZFJ (-22), OK1IL (-22), SM5CUI (-16), W5ZN (-15), PA3DOL (-25), K3RWR (-16), OH3KLJ (-24),  UX0FF (-15), YL2GD (-24), UX5UL (-22), DK1CO (-20), UT6UG (-19), OH6UW (-26), PA1BVM (-23), F6HVK (-20), W1PV (-23), DL1VPL (-24), I1ANP (-20), PA0JMV (-17), SM4GGC (-25), F1DUZ (-25), DG1VL (-31), OK1RD (-19), DK3XT (-27), G4SWX (-24), KL7UW (-21), K5DOG (-19), N7NW (-25).

Looking south toward Yellowstone Park. Those two Yagis are small!

That laptop computer never did hit the floor. A cozy ham shack.
One generator for the amp, the other for the rest of the equipment.
Nice signal from DG1VL.

Wyoming - Fifth Moon Pass

Last operating session from Wyoming - great expectations as the degrdatation is quite low. A cold front with strong winds came through just before moon rise so I had to use ropes to tied the array onto the right heading. The wind quit after an hour or so. Signals were very strong, but I ran out of steady callers after two hours, then it was lots of CQ'ing and working some smaller stations which was neat. Plenty of SM and OH stations tonight too. 

I managed 113 EME QSOs on this trip, not too shabby for a small two Yagi system with fixed polarity and 900 watts.

In the log: SM5CUI (-23), UT5DL (-18), DK5LA (-16), PA3FPQ (-23), SM2BYC (-13), SM5DIC (-12), UR7DWW (-15), OE6IWG (-24), SM7FMX (-18), SK5AA (-16), YU7AA (-14), ZS1LS (-17), DL7FF (-20), OH3AWW (-18), OH2LHE (-22), UT5ZN/P (-20), SP4K (-18), DK5SO (-23), PA3CMC (-15), PA5MS (-18), OH7PI (-21), KB8RQ (-13), DD0VF (-26), W5ZN (-25), AE3T (-25), F1DUZ (-24), KC3OL (-27).

Wyoming - Moon Pass four

Off to a superb start - for the first two hours I was logging a contact every four minutes. Signals were simply outstanding! I know I missed a few stations - one more day of operation I'll be QRV moonrise 0830Z June 10th, then back home.

The contact with Ray, N3RG gave him State #50 and 2M W.A.S. 

I tiptoed down to 144.124 MHz and worked the C6ANS dxpedition which was the "cherry on top".

Logged: ES3RF (-24), YO3JR (-17), ES6RQ (-15), N3RG (-24), UX5UL (-24), S52LM (-20), IK1UWL (-20), UT6UG (-20), HB9Q (-17), I1ANP (-24), OK2PMS (-23), SP2OFW (-14), OE3NFC (-22), OK1CU (-13), DK9ZY (-16), SP4KM (-16), DK5YA (-19), SV6KRW (-18), DL8II (-25), OE3FVU (-23), DJ9MG (-24), DM1CG (-17), DL1RPL (-22), DM1AC (-16), PY2GN (-22), C6ANS (-25), W1PV (-20), WA3QPX (-20), AA4SC (-25), K1SCE (-25), N9HF (-25), W7IUV (-24), VE2JWH (-22)

The little SSPA that could. :-)


Time Away From the Radio

Joyce and I went off exploring the Big Horn National Recreation Area/Wild Horse reserve today. I'll share a few views with you to give you an idea of the area.

I'll be back on the moon my moonrise June 9th at 0730Z. Better declination these days means more time to work European stations. 144.140 MHz.

Devil's Canyon

Big horn sheep working out their pecking order.
Wild horses from the Pryor Mountain herd can be traced back to Spain.

Wyoming - Third Moon Pass

Excellent conditions tonight - many very strong signals during the European window. I tried to work all eastern Europe stations I heard first because of their limited mutual time. Some QRM from stations on top of each other, but really sharp operators made it fun, fun, fun!

It was especially rewarding to make a contact with ZL1ADU later in the day, I knew someone was there, but it took about 10 minutes for his signal to peak.
 Stations logged: DK3BU (-18), OK1RD (-17), YO3DDZ (-11), HA6NQ (-16), OK1IL (-22), HA8CE (-18), I1ANP (-23), DL9MS (-11), YU7XL (-15), DF7KF (-12), ON4KHG (-22), HA0HO (-19), EA2AGZ (-16), PA2CHR (-15), EI4DQ (-20), HB9MEY (-25), G6PHH (-27), G4IDR (-22),
AD4TJ (-26), NJ2R (-23), N8PR (-26), W2DBL (-25), VE1KG (-20), ZL2ADU (-24)
That microHam Digi-Keyer II has a superb sound card, and the 2 port sequencer is a bonus.

Everybody in 650 Hz. :-)

Wyoming - Second Moon Pass

As soon as the moon cleared my 3.5 degree mountain range on moon rise at 0640z it was off to the races with European stations. I logged 13 stations in just over two hours of mutual moon. Best effort was working UX0FF during a very short window, now Nikolay only needs Iowa to complete W.A.S.

I saw nobody after the European window so back to bed for a few hours. Back up and calling CQ by 1130z and attracted some folks. It was really nice to work VK5APN easily on the other side of the world.

Stations logged: I2FAK (-20), UX0FF (-26), PA0JMV (-22), OZ1LPR (-19), PE1L (-20), I3MEK (-19), PE1DAB (-20), DL8GP (-24), DK3WG (-21), CT1HZE (-17), IK7EZN (-22), EB5EEO (-21), G4SWX (-18), W8PAT (-25), N7NW (-22), NC2V (-22), N0KE (-24), XE2AT (-26), VK5APN (-19), NT0V (-21), and N0LWF (-22), JP3EXR (-25).


This is dry country, we're in the rain shadow of the Pryor Range.
Please s p r e a d o u t! Not many folks calling me lower in QRG. I'm looking +_ 1 KHz.

Wyoming - Moon Pass #1

It was an easy 210 mile tow over with the trailer from Bozeman, MT to Big Horn NRA, WY. We got here early enough to get the second best camping spot for moonbounce i.e. on the south side of the campground with few neighbors. Later in the afternoon the "weekend warrior" campers piled in.
The station setup went flawlessly until I plugged in the 48 vdc power supply for the SSPA. Poof! Turns out the common and ground side of mains power here are wired strangely, and the power supply was trying to protect itself. Finally got that resolved.
Solid Internet access is 3 miles back up the road, which is actually good in a way. I'm not distracted when operating. :-)
We had occasional rain and lightning for hours last night so that combined with low declination made for some slow going. I ran out of callers quite early. The folks I did work all had excellent signals.
In the log with a Wyoming QSO: K9MRI (-25), DF2ZC (-21), W6BBS (-20), ON4AOI (-20), N5TM (-25), W7MEM (-23), and wonderfully loud EB5GP (-12).
I'll be QRV at 0700Z June 7th for more.
ON4POI made the most of limited common moon to Europe.
More thunderstorms in the forecast.
The shack, I brought a big screen computer this time.