March 11th, 2013
Despite all the discussions about using digital modes in moonbounce I want to gather own experiences. After installing WSJT last Xmas I could decode a couple of stations on EME without any problems. First TX tests resulted in an intolerable frequency drift, which could be limited with the installation of a crystal heater. Then I started with real tests, but in all skeds no one could decode me! I had no clue what went wrong. So I changed – quick and dirty – the PC producing the audio stream. Now OK1CS, HB9Q and G4CCH could be worked in JT65C. Last sunday morning I saw a big signal in the waterfall diagram of my SDR. It was JA6AHB and it was a question of a few minutes to put him to the log. All stations worked so far, have been audible in my headphones.
I think, in general it is nice to use digital modes to work others via EME. But there is much more skill in involving the ears to have success in completing an QSO. It´s always great to HEAR the final rogers. Despite that I will not deny the use of digital modes. Why not working someone digital and then, maybe after some improvements, top it in working him in CW again? As long as all information like callsigns, reports and rogers, necessary for a complete QSO, have passed the radio channel, it will be a valid QSO. This is my position.
I will continue to explore digital modes:
The TX signal will be processed on my FT-987 with a seperate PC. RX is done with my SDR and another PC. By not typing in the other callsign or using call3.txt on the RX side I am quite sure in ‘really’ receiving the callsigns.
June 26th, 2012
Tonight I had a sked with Howard, G4CCH. He was there on the tick. We met in the HB9Q chat to arrange the details. What shall I say: Within a few minutes he became my first initial on 23 cm EME! As he told me later in the chat, I have been his #365 on CW (wow). After the completion of our QSO Nando, I1NDP called me to be the #2 in my just created initial list.
I am very happy now. Tnx Howard and Nando!
June 25th, 2012
Tonight I added about 3 dB of power and – of course – directed the antenna to the moon to perform an echotest. I did not really expect to hear something but – what a surprise – there seemed to be a sound in the noise. I continued and after a couple of “dah-dah-dahs” it was sure, that there were my first echoes on 23 cm!
Unfortunatly the moon is setting now and so it´s too late for a QSO. I will have a whiskey and go to bed, looking forward to tomorrow.
73s & gn
May 26th, 2012
The DUBUS Contest was another opportunity to have a look at the moon. In the meantime I installed the preamplifier at the dish and the reading of PowerSDR showed me approx. 10 dB of sunnoise. I was surprised by seeing the tracks of not less than twenty stations in the waterfall diagram. After getting used to the special sound I could read the complete calls of OK2DL, SV1BTR, HB9SV, G4CCH, F2TU in CW.
May 3rd, 2012
Yesterday, as a matter of course, I had to direct the antenna to the moon after installing the software for controlling the rotator by my computer. I was lucky to hear the first signals off the moon: LX1DB was active and could be heard with 419 in CW. Today I tried again and heard HB9Q with S3 in JT65. Later DJ9YW was heard also with S2.
January 19th, 2012
After being qrt by family and business reasons for nearly twenty years, I started in July 2011 in activating my irish call sign EI8HH on 50 MHz. Since January 2012 I am qrv again as DJ5AR from my QTH in Mainz.
The way working on the microwave bands has changed. No more CQs for hours and hours, but a fine chat at ON4KSTs server to make skeds on the bands wich provides much more efficiency than the way, we tried to make QSOs twenty years ago. A SDR makes it possible to display a spectrum of the band on the screen in a waterfall diagram. What a huge comfort compared to the old times. So it is no problem anymore to find somebody for a sked on 23 or 13 cm. Soon after setting up the old equipment for 1296 MHz I managed to work a couple of new squares and had my first QSO ever over the alps to Italy. It was amazing to hear the strong signal of IK3GHY with my 1.2 m dish.