Tag Archives: Mainz

Opening September 21st 2013

September 21st, 2013

While performing a last beacon check before going to bed and all local beacons were quite normal, I took notice of a weak carrier 1 kHz up of F1ZBK on 1296.855 MHz. After optimizing the antenna and using a narrow filter I heard EA2TZ in IN93BF over 1073 km for the first time ever.

2013-09-21 20-50 EA2TZ

Left signal: F1ZBK/B, right signal: EA2TZ/B

 EA2TZ/B as received by DJ5AR over 1073 km on 23 cm

After posting this information in the ON4KST chat, Matej, OK1TEH sent the phone number of EA2TO and told me that Javier is currently QRV on 23 cm from IN83. After exchange of a few SMS he came back on my CQs and we could complete a QSO: A new DXCC, a new square and a new tropo ODX of 1173 km on 23 cm!
When closing down the station I had a quick look on 70 cm. There he was again: EA2TO in SSB. We had a nice chat and for me: A new DXCC, a new square and a new ODX of 1173 km on 70 cm!

Only 2 QSOs tonight, but I am very happy with it.

Rainscatter on 23 and 13 cm

June 20th, 2013

While performing my daily beacon check, a strange constellation around 1296.850 MHz appeared on the display of my SDR. The dish was turned to 254° at that time, to look for F5XBK.

2013-06-19 RS F5XBK F1ZBK ON0NR HB9EME

From left to right: F5XBK, F1ZBK, ON0NR, HB9EME

Combined with strong QRN and radar noise I could copy F5XBK in JN18JS quite normal via tropo but also F1ZBK in JN38BP, ON0NR in JO20KJ and HB9EME in JN37KB via a rain scatter point in JN39LP. Later DB0GP in JN48WQ and DB0AJA in JN59AS could be heard too.

Then I continued to have a look on 2320 MHz where DB0UX in JN48FX, DB0FGB in JO50WB and DB0MJ in JO31UB could be copied via a scatter point in JN39JR.

Beacons heard via rain scatter on 23 and 13 cm

The map shows the location of DJ5AR in Mainz (green marker) in relation to the scatterpoints (blue markers). The paths to the beacons on 1296 MHz are in light blue and on 2320 MHz in dark blue. For that time heavy thunderstorms with flooded roads and cellars were reported for the area of Hermeskeil in JN39.

ISS bounce III

April 30th, 2013

The doppler shift was the problem to be solved for performing further steps in ISS bounce. There are two practical strategies: If every station will compensate its own doppler component, so even random QSOs would be possible. The other solution is, when the whole compensation will be done by one of the stations. That would open ISS bounce to stations that are able to do antenna tracking on the ISS, but not to compensate the doppler. In this case it is required to arrange skeds, because the compensating station is required to know the coordinates of the other one.

Basing on DC9ZPs E-Book I extended the software, I use for station control, by satellite tracking. That opens the possibility to calculate the relative speed and the resulting doppler shift of the ISS pertaining to given locations and given frequencies.

DJ5AR-EI8HH Elevation DJ5AR-EI8HH DopplerAbove diagrams show the elevation with the according doppler components on 1296 MHz for a window between DJ5AR, JN49CV in Mainz (green) and EI8HH, IO53HN near Galway (blue). If the full doppler compensation will be done by one of the stations, the red line with a total span of 120 kHz will be relevant. The window in this example would open for about five to six minutes.

Beacon check

March 13th, 2013

There are some beacons I am used to check whenever I am in my shack. One of them is quite a special one: DB0LTG on 1296,745 MHz.

This beacon provides a very stable signal of normally 40 dB, usable for antenna calibration, especially when the sun isn´t available at night time. On the other hand the beacon is part of a linear transponder located on the Unnenberg near Gummersbach, Germany. The input is in the 432 MHz band and the output in the 1296 MHz band. In my SDR I can even see the noise floor of the transponder next to the beacon.


DB0LTG with noisefloor

When talking about the transponder, Rudi, OE5VRL/5 was the only one I worked on it until now. We had big fun in performing a QSO via DB0LTG in October 2012 when conditions allowed such a crazy test. While performing my daily beacon check tonight, I noticed some SSB signals on the transponder. So I prepared my (poor) 70 cm equipment and set it to the input frequency. My first call was heard and so I enjoyed chatting to the guys who were initially setting up and now using this nice toy every Wednesday night.

By the way: The distance from Mainz to Gummersbach is 135 km. For details of transponder and beacon visit the website of DB0LTG.

Review: Activity week Rhineland-Palatine 2013

January 14th, 2013

It was big fun working in contest for a whole week. I felt a bit like Phil Connors in the movie “Groundhog Day” (german: “Und täglich grüßt das Murmeltier”), in meeting most of the stations again day by day. My main activity was in the evenings on 23 and 13 cm, using 2 m, 70 cm and the ON4KST chat to arrange skeds. The conditions were slightly over normal but increasing on monday with a small opening to France. During the seven days I could work one new square on 2 m (JN15), two on 23 cm (JN09, JN15) and three on 13 cm (JN09, JO42, JO44). There were only two 4-band QSOs with DL7QY and DC1UR.

My top 5 of the most worked stations in this contest are:
DF8PR    16 QSOs on 3 bands (2 m, 70 cm, 23 cm)
DC8WPA   15 QSOs on 3 bands (2 m, 70 cm, 23 cm)
DK7UP    13 QSOs on 3 bands (2 m, 70 cm, 23 cm)
DL7QY    12 QSOs on 4 bands (2 m, 70 cm, 23 cm, 13 cm)
G3XDY     8 QSOs on 2 bands (23 cm, 13 cm)

Thank you all for your support and your patience!

        total      District K     DL ex K    France     I,OE,G,LX    Squares
Band    QSO Stn    QSO Stn DOK    QSO Stn    QSO Stn    QSO Stn      total new
 144    100  58     72  31  18     25  24      3   3      0   0        11   1
 432     65  31     54  22  15     11   9      0   0      0   0         6   0
1296     73  34     27   9   8     21  11     14  10     11   4        21   2
2320     28  15      2   2   2     14   8      5   3      7   2        12   3

Opening October 19th – 23rd

October 24th, 2012

The beacon check in the morning of October 19th gave me the impression of a strong inversion over southeast Germany. When looking for Stations on 23 cm on the SDR I noticed a big signal in CW: OE5VRL/5 calling to Hungary. I gave him a meep in the chat to tell him how strong his signal was here in Mainz, despite the fact that I was in the back of his 3 m dish. After turning the antenna to me he was stronger than many locals.

In the following days a lot of DX stations from OK, SP, HA, S5, OE, HB9, F, LX, G, PA, I and OZ filled the log while the inversion moved from east to west. All of the four OK beacons could be heard on 23 cm. Sometimes it was a little bit confusing when I was looking for new DX beacons and DB0AAT, DB0AJA, DB0GP, DB0LB, DB0FGB, DF0ANN, HB9EME and others could be heard in nearly any direction the dish was pointing to.

QSOs on 23 cm > 400 km

QSOs on 13 cm > 400 km

QSOs on 13 cm > 400 kmI am happy with a couple of new squares on 23 and 13 cm. Two new countries on 13 cm made it perfect: S51ZO in Slovenia and I1KFH in Italy. But I fear that it was more aircraft scatter than tropo.

Beacons heard on 23 cm


Contest results on 23 cm: 1990 vs 2012

October 11th, 2012

My operating conditions have changed quite a lot compared to October 1990. But my QTH is still the same in the south of Mainz, JN49CV. The most serious circumstance is, that we have internet and software defined radios nowadays. The possibility to arrange skeds and to gather information is revolutionary. It´s easy to find stations in the waterfall diagram, that are not on your frequency. No more CQs for hours and hours. Instead the chat must be watched and skeds will be arranged.

QSOs in October contest 1990

Rig: 1.2 m dish / 10 m RG213 / 120 W

Claimed result: 78 QSOs, 12000 km, ODX 404 km


QSOs in October contest 2012

Rig: 3 m dish / 3.5 m ecoflex 15 / 0.4 dB preamp / 10 m ecoflex 15 / 200 W

Claimed result: 53 QSOs, 18000 km, ODX 725 km


IARU-Region-1 UHF/Microwaves October Contest

October 8th, 2012

“Bad weather and bad conditions” that is, what most comments say about this contest. The weather here in Mainz was bad too, but I cannot compare the conditions with the contests in the last years, because my last participation in this contest was in 1990. This year it ended up in 50 QSOs on 23 cm and 19 on 13 cm. I am quite satisfied with these results.

QSOs on 23 cm


QSOs on 13 cm

My new ODX on 13 cm is OL9W in JN99CL over 720 km. A lot of new squares could be worked too. Many DX stations were nearly as strong as they were on 23 cm.

NAC 13 cm – September 25th 2012

September 26th, 2012

Because the NAC on the fourth Tuesday each month promises good activity on 13 cm, I installed the new 75 W solid state linear and turned the dish to Scandinavia. Despite the QRM on 13 cm around here (may be from WLANs) and the Taunus mountains about 25 to 30 km north of Mainz, I was very pleased to work DL1SUZ in JO53 (471 km), G3XDY in JO02 (547 km), OZ3ZW in JO54 (583 km), DL0VV in JO64 (538 km) and OZ1FF in JO45 (633 km) on 2320 MHz.

QSOs on 13 cm – QRB > 400 km