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VHF/UHF/SHF Contest May 2017 – Record breaking again!

May 7th, 2017

After the unexpected good result in March on 13 cm, I had a special focus on this band in May contest. Last year I marked my new record in the number of stations worked on 23 cm, this year I improved the new record from March in worked stations on 13 cm. Particularly in the last hour I had the ambition to log at least 40 Stations. So I had QSO #40 in the last 5 minutes with Detlef, DJ3AK, in JO52GJ, 322 km, using aircraft reflections on planes just 50 km from my location, elevating the dish up to 10°: Power Aircraft Scatter 😉

QSOs on 13 cm

With QSOs to Poland, Hungary and Belgium three new countries could be added to the 13 cm list. HG7F (817 km) is my new aircraft scatter ODX. Also some new grid squares could be logged.

And again: After the contest is before the contest! A lot of ideas are in my mind, what has to be improved for the next competitions!

Moon Bounce on 13 cm

April 28th, 2017

Sometimes you hear words that hurt. Especially if they are true: Some years ago I tried 13 cm EME with Dan, HB9Q, and couldn´t copy anything of him. His comment after the test: “There is no way, not to hear me!” This is frustrating.

So I forgot Moon Bounce on this band and had fun with other activities, mainly on 23 cm. But the over 30 year old equipment caused more and more problems. So I started collecting parts and modules for a new transverter system covering 23 and 13 cm. It had been finished for the last VHF/UHF/SHF contest in March and was tested with good results. In the end of March I tried EME again after 2 years of absence. On 23 cm it worked fairly, but on 13 cm the drift was a serious problem. In a test with Alex, ZS6EME, I could decode his strong Signal, but not vice versa. So I added 10 MHz Double Oven Controlled Oscillators as references to stabilize the transverters.

PY2BS in WSJT-X Wide Graph

Today I tried with Bruce, PY2BS, and heard him strong in the speaker during his prior test with Toshio, JA6AHB:     1131  -6  2.5 2305 #* JA6AHB PY2BS GG66
At this time his elevation was -1.7° and the moon still under the horizon. After the moon set in Japan, we started:

1155  -8  2.9 1184 #* DJ5AR PY2BS GG66
1157 -13  3.6 1157 #* DJ5AR PY2BS GG66
1159 -10  2.7 1137 #* DJ5AR PY2BS GG66
1200  Tx      1500 #  PY2BS DJ5AR JN49 OOO
1201 -10  3.1 1114 #* DJ5AR PY2BS GG66
1202  Tx      1500 #  PY2BS DJ5AR JN49 OOO
1203  -9  3.3 1089 #* DJ5AR PY2BS GG66
1204  Tx      1500 #  PY2BS DJ5AR JN49 OOO
1205 -10  2.9 1066 #* DJ5AR PY2BS GG66
1206  Tx      1500 #  PY2BS DJ5AR JN49 OOO
1207  -9  3.1 1043 #* DJ5AR PY2BS GG66
1208  Tx      1500 #  PY2BS DJ5AR JN49 OOO
1209  -9  2.7 1019 #* DJ5AR PY2BS GG66
1210  Tx      1400 #  PY2BS DJ5AR JN49 OOO
1211 -10  3.0  994 #* DJ5AR PY2BS GG66
1212  Tx      1400 #  PY2BS DJ5AR JN49 OOO
1213 -11  2.2  969 #* DJ5AR PY2BS GG66
1214  Tx      1400 #  PY2BS DJ5AR JN49 OOO
1215 -22 -2.5  946 #  RO
1216  Tx      1400 #  RRR
1217 -10  3.1  919 #* RR -20 DB
1218  Tx      1400 #  73 BEST -8

As he switched his RX from 2304.070 MHz to my TX frequency 2320.070 MHz at about 12:14, we completed very fast. I am very pleased now with my first initial on 13 cm, a new grid square, a new ODX, a new DXCC and a new continent! After setting up a new Initials List for 2320 MHz and writing this blog entry, I enjoy my “Radio Operators High”!

HB9BBD Beacon on 13 cm

March 22nd, 2017

The other day I had a look on Dominiques QRZ.COM page and saw, he claimed to have a beacon on 13 cm as well. The frequency seemed to be quite strange: 2308.037 MHz

It´s because the situation in Switzerland is different, than in other european countries:

  • 2300 – 2308 MHz  with special permission only
  • 2308 – 2312 MHz  License classes 1, 2 and CEPT
  • 2312 – 2400 MHz  with special permission only

My new Kuhne MKU 23 G4 transverter covers certain segements of the band. so I switched to 2304 – 2306 MHz and tried to listen on an IF around 148.037 MHz and was disappointed: nil. I expected a strong signal as the same beacon on 1296.050 MHz ist up to 40 dB above noise under normal conditions.

A weak trace can be seen at the IF of 1392.032 MHz (LO 916 MHz)

I contacted Dominique and he assured, the beacon should be on air. So I tried with the setup, I received ISEE-3 quite a time ago and monitored the path for airplanes. So after a short while, there was a trace to be seen on 2308.032 MHz. Even the keyed carrier could be heard deep in the noise, when larger aircrafts crossed or flew along the path.

Characteristic “hook” at the begin of the carrier after keying the call

So I proudly added beacon #23 to my 13 cm list.

HB9BBD/B: 2308.032 MHz, JN47GA, 1662 m. asl, PWR 8W, ERP 100W beaming north

 

March 23rd, 2017, Update

I had a second try with the MKU 23 G4 this morning and was able to receive the beacon with this gear as well on 2308.032 MHz.

Reception of Live Video from Space: Thomas Pesquet, FX0ISS

February 13th, 2017

Today another ARISS contact has been established between Thomas Pesquet, FX0ISS aboard the Intenational Space Station and Collège André Malraux, Chatelaillon-Plage, France. As expected, the onboard DATV transmitter (HamTV) was in operation.

Blank transmissions have been received earlier, but today I could receive the TV pictures for my very first time. There was a lot of fading, but I managed to record a couple of sequences.

As the pass went overhead, I lost the signal, when the ISS approached the zenith, because the rotor had to turn 180° and it is too slow to catch up the bird again (full length video here best quality from 2:50 to 4:50).

The frequency used was 2.395 GHz. The equipment installed for reception is a 3 m dish with linear polarisation, a Kuhne MKU LNC 23 converter and a TT S2-3200 DVB-S receiver card in my PC with Tutioune3200 DVB-S software by F6DZP.

 

Compilation of European VHF/UHF/SHF Activity Contests

January 16th, 2017

Most of the VHF/UHF/SHF enthusiasts will know very well about the activity contests in Europe. But there is a number of just interested radio amateurs, who would like try on these bands. They will find dates and times as well as links to the rules of certain contests in my list. If there are any monthly activity contests, not listed, please let me know.

Surprise, Surprise!

January 12th, 2017

When looking for the annual results of the Italian Activity Contest 2016 on 1296 MHz yesterday, I was really surprised, to be the winner. I haven´t expexted this, as Giorgio, IK3GHY, had a higher score in total all the time. But as he won in 2015, he was out of competition in 2016. I have to respect his success and congratulations for your extraordinary score, Giorgio!

2017-01-12 09_24_44-2016_IAC_Annuale_1k3-7.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Reader DC See the full 23 cm results here.

But anyway, it was great fun to work the italian lads every 3rd Tuesday in month. Hopefully, there will be enough time to be QRV in the 2017 events. I am also looking forward to go to Italy in October, meeting friends in Venice and at the Alpe Adria meeting near Udine.

Steve, IU1EAF, will be the contest manager in 2017 and the rules have changed too (english version online now). Thank you to Alfredo, IK2FTB, for all the work in the past year.

 

Nice Tropo this Afternoon

December 20th, 2016

There is some nice troposheric propagation this afternoon. It looks promising for the NAC, IAC and UKAC this evening on 23 cm. When looking for DB0XY I saw this situation:

2016-12-20-14_00-23-cmHopefully it will last for some hours!

Testing the new Kuhne MKU 23 G4 on 13 cm

November 22nd, 2016

Today I configured the MKU 23 G4, I ordered from Michael in Friedrichshafen to perform a RX test. Via aircraft scatter it was no problem to receive the beacons OZ7IGY in JO55WM over 670 km and OK0EK in JN89VJ over 689 km. The sun noise is at a level of 6 dB.

ra-maps-jn49cv89kf-2016-11-26-07-21Beacons regulary receivable on 13 cm (green: TR / blue: AS)

The motivation is high now to configure the TX line as well 😉

November IAC/NAC/UKAC on 23 cm

November 17th, 2016

I have been very short in time for this activity evening, but managed to work 10 Stations within one hour. The first three were the three Johns from UK: G4BAO, G3XDY and G4ZTR.

dj5ar-iac-nac-ukac-2016-11-15The activity was very moderate this time.