Saturday, May 12, 2018

EME is Not Always Easy

There is currently a DX'pediton to Mozambique, C8T, (http://dxpedition.c8t.cc/) and they have a 2-M EME station.  As that would be a New One for me on EME, I made plans to be at the radio to try and work them.  They are not a large station as they are running two 11-element yagis mounted horizontally and 1.2 kW of power.  Very similar to my two 13-element horizontal yagis with 1 kW.

However, Mr. Murphy did not just pay a visit to C8T, he actually moved in it seems!  On their first morning they found they did not have the electrical power they were promised.  They only had one 10-amp circuit instead of the three 80-amps they were supposed to have.  The owner of the lodge did fix that though and the electric company came the next day with the new circuits.  But, Internet access wasn't stable enough for them to use their pre-programmed software to upload their QSO's every minute.

However, the problems did not stop there.  When they connected all their systems to the power, ALL the laptop power supplies, one laptop and a K3 DIED because of the high voltage!

Problems continued for a bit with their RTTY software changing frequency unexpectedly.  And, they then decided to move the EME station down to the beach where they could see the moon from horizon to horizon.

The next day just after the grey-line they started well on HF but the entire city had a power failure!  The lodge owner brought them a rented generator but it was not big enough to run their amps.

Because of their location on the East coast of Africa, we only have about 3-1/2 hours a day of "common moon" between Mozambique and West Virginia.  The first day that was from 2:20 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. my time.  I did not really plan to be on for that moonpass because the Degradation was 4.3 dB and would get better on subsequent days.  However, I had a case of Montezuma's Revenge so I turned on the station and monitored for about 3 hours between trips to the Porcelain Facility.  Nothing was seen on my screen from C8T.

The red marker on the map shows their location in Praia Do Bilene, Mozambique.

Then after reviewing their logs they saw it was very difficult to work NA on HF even when conditions should have been favorable.  They felt this might be because they were on the south-side of a hill so they got permission from the property owner of the hill to move their 5-band Spiderbeam to the top of that hill.  This location was 120m further away and 50m higher.

 The next night (Monday) I could not be on because my wife and I were going to be Poll Workers for the primary election and had to be at the polling location by 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Thankfully ON4AOI was sometimes in telephone communication with the DX'pedition and could post on the EME Chat Page information like the following.  Each line is an individual post over a few days.

Correct Petter. Marc his radio jumps sometimes 30-40 hz up/down after every seq, must be heat
wind is playing with ant at C8T
looks wind is blowing them of moon now
C8T has power cut in all village. just got Marc on phone
Just got the news that they have qrm from HF stations so patience sometimes is needed
qrm from HF today is a problem
I cant reach them either now not even via cellphone
not cfg yet but think C8T again powercut
they are aware of the shift but no solution found yet
They will cool down the kx3 with ice now looks a thermal problem

As you can note above, C8T was having trouble keeping his TX on frequency.  Possibly due to the heat at his location he would jump 30 to 60 Hz up or down after each sequence and sometimes it could be 200-300 Hz different from his last transmission.  Many of the people who had copy on him were complaining of the difficulty of finding the "moving target."

After a 16-hour day at the election on Tuesday, I hit the sack early and got up at 3:25 a.m. Wednesday to look for C8T.  By 6 a.m. I had not seen even a trace from C8T and this was due to the city-wide power failure.  It was beginning to look like a serious problem because I could see on the Chat page that C8T was indeed working stations - I just could not see him.

On Thursday, I set my alarm for 3:55 a.m. but did not actually "come to" until 4:30 a.m.  Rats!  Still I was on the moon in just a couple of minutes and was looking hard for C8T.  It was not until 2 hours later that I decoded the following:

JT65B 102600 2 -26 dB 2.8 s -840 Hz 4 W Freq 430 Hz > WO7R C8T KG64 OOO

WOW!  I had actually copied C8T on 2-M EME.  But, that was the ONLY decode that day.  I stayed on the radio until 8 a.m. with only that one decode.

By this point, I have invested 9 hours (over three nights) in front of the radio with only a single decode to show for my effort.  Plus, I'm getting a little punchy from lack of sleep.

During my EME operations on Thursday morning I noticed I was having problems with my Elevation rotor.  Turns out the crossboom had slipped in the rotor.  Tim, K8RRT, came by at 7 p.m. and we managed to re-position the system and tighten down the rotor clamps.  We did this once before so maybe I need to "pin" the rotor to the crossboom.  In any event, thanks to Tim's help, I was ready to get back in the hunt for C8T.

Thursday night I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. to try again for C8T.  Again, I saw nothing until just over three hours later when I got my next decodes from C8T:

114600  1  -25  2.0  283  1 #      W8KEN C8T KG64      OOO   1   0
114700  0  -33 -0.3  261 28                                       
114800  3  -29       284  2   RRR                                 
115000  2  -30       321  3   RRR                                 

Since I was copying him, I started calling C8T at 1149 GMT just after he sent W8KEN the first "RRR" above. 

Seven minutes later when I copied my call and "OOO" report from C8T, I nearly wet myself!

115600  0  -28  2.0  277  3 #      W8TN C8T KG64       OOO   0  10
115800  1  -31       277  5   RRR                                 

WHEEE!  I really did manage to make a QSO with C8T for a New One! 

This QSO took a little more than 12 hours of my time in front of the radio to complete!  Part of the problem was knowing that C8T had such difficulties on his end that I never knew if my monitoring was useful or if he was off the air due to power failures.  Part was the size of his station and mine and that we were both horizontally polarized. 

I continued to stay on his frequency for a half hour after our QSO and decoded NOTHING more!  But, what I did decode was enough.

Also that morning LA8KV and WP4G were on the moon.  Both would be New Ones for me but I did not see them the times I looked.

Besides working a New One on EME, this QSO taught me something about my EME capabilities.  In looking at the fact that I only saw C8T Thursday when my Azimuth was 127° and not at all on prior days, I think the trees to my East are now blocking a good bit of my EME signals and the antennas now have to nearly clear them for me to copy weak signals.  At 132° Azimuth (where my antennas were pointed when I copied C8T calling W8KEN Friday), one antenna can see the moon clearly and the other is still partially blocked by limbs and leaves.

When I began EME operations on November 1 of 2017, the trees were bare and the sap was gone.  Now that summer has come and things have "greened up", the trees are severely limiting my ability to work EME toward my East.  Unfortunately, that is where most of the EME stations are located.

There are no new DX'peditions on my radar until August 31st when PQØF is scheduled to start up from Fernando de Noronha.  I will have plenty of moon past the trees to work them.  But, other DX'peditions might surface during the summer.

Still there are many entities in Europe that I have not worked.  Hopefully the tree blockage won't cause me to miss too many.

But, today is a HAPPY DAY with DXCC No. 53 in the log!

From the C8T Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/C8T-Mozambique-DXpedition-2260834114136813/), here is a photo C8T posted this morning with these comments:
Day 7: 13000+ qso's in the log now. C8T will not break records, we realise. However, big pile-ups on 15 and 12m to JA now, so catching up... Enjoying a beautiful sunrise in the mean time

 The day before they posted this:

Day 6: nearly 11000 qso's in the log. Propagation is not with us, some rare openings towards EU and JA this afternoon, NA and SA still difficult. FT8 expedition mode is helping us out😉. EME on 2m on the other hand is a big success , nearly 200 contacts so far, the vast majority ATNO! By tomorrow morning, the 300 mark will be made.
Another try on 160m tonight - watch the cluster.

Packing up EVERYTHING you will need for a DX'pedition and traveling thousands of miles to fight the weather, bugs, power outages, and all the other problems takes a HUGE amount of effort.  Please remember that when you are having trouble making a QSO with people who are doing so much to provide you with the opportunity of a New One.

Saturday morning, I was able to copy a CQ from C8T at an Azimuth of 106° which is pointing fully through the trees!  I would need to move the Azimuth a good 20° to the right (West) to get at least one antenna clear of the trees.  However, I listened for another 2 hours and did not decode anything else.

104200  0  -28  2.1  401  3 *      CQ C8T KG64               0   9
This may have happened partly because C8T overnight changed the polarity of their antennas from Horizontal to Vertical.  Plus, the moon might have been in a bit of a "gap" through my trees at that particular time because I did not get another decode.

Still, it shows what difficulty you can have working small stations via EME from another small station.  I spent 12 hours looking for him when he was horizontally polarized and only managed to decode him 6 times!  Of course, most of that 12 hours was spent looking through the trees.

GOOD NEWS!  My call showed up in the online log as the last person C8T worked Friday!

IK4ADE,-23
GW3XYW,-24
W8KEN,-22
W8TN,-24

By changing the polarity of their antennas they are doing all they can to see that they work the most people.  As of my QSO Friday, they had logged 244 stations on 2-M EME. 

C8T UPDATE & NEWS
They are trying to solve the freq jump by adding an external blower on top
of the open Rig (: 
Marc told me that it seems to be better (tests were done after MS) but in
full sun at 35C it still is unpredictable.

35°C is 95°F.

Here is a photo that shows their 2-M EME operating position! Yes, that is a BOAT where they are operating the moonbounce station. 

We can only imagine what the operators at C8T are going through to put this entity on EME.  It is Africa after all, they are close to the coast so there have to be bugs, mosquitoes, lizards, spiders, oppressive heat and humidity, rain, storms, wind, etc.  This "operating position" for their EME station is interesting to say the least.  All I can say is WOW!  Since I have done a few DX'peditions myself I have some first-hand knowledge of their situation.  This makes my QSO with them worth so much more.

Click on any photo to see a larger image.

This QSO brings my 2-M EME totals to the following after less than 6-1/2 months on the moon:

203 EME QSO's
193 Initials (New Stations)
156 Grids
53 DXCC Countries Worked / 42 Confirmed
U.S. States on 2-M
41 Worked / 36 Confirmed
        (30 worked via EME)

Saturday, April 28, 2018

2-M Worked All Continents Completed

My 2-M Digital EME activities started on November 1, 2017.  Less than 4 months later, on February 21, 2018, I managed to make my first QSO with South America by working PY2GN.  There are not very many EME stations active in South America so this was a "big deal" for me because it was the last continent I needed to work to be able to apply for the Worked All Continents (WAC) award.  The WAC is sponsored by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), and isissued for working and confirming all six continents. These are North America, South America, Oceania, Asia, Europe and Africa.

The very next day after that QSO, I sent PY2GN a self-addressed envelope with $2 U.S. to cover the return postage.  I also emailed him and told him how excited I was to work him and how much I would appreciate his QSL.  Just a few days over 2 months later, on April 27th, 2018, I received his QSL which you can see on the right (click on any image for a larger view.)

In order to not let any grass grow before I applied for that WAC award, I downloaded and prepared the WAC application and asked WVDXA Member, Hal, W8HC, who is an ARRL Card Checker, if I could drive by his house and get those 6 QSL's checked.  Hal was most gracious and said, "Come ahead!" When I got to Hal's QTH, it was really easy to see where I was going to get my cards checked!  (See image at the left.)  THANKS, HAL!

So, I have managed to complete the requirements for the Worked All Continents Award including making QSO's on 144 MHz with the six required continents, acquiring the necessary QSL cards for those contacts, completing the application, and getting the QSL's checked.  The application is now in the hands of the U.S. Post Office on its way to Newington, CT.  Once I receive the award, I will post a photo of it here. 

As of the date of this Post, I have now worked 52 DXCC Entities on 2-M (by EME) and have 39 of those confirmed.  That puts me well on the way toward the DXCC Award but, as you all know, the first 50 are by far the easiest!

Below are my totals as of 2018-04-28, after less than SIX Months on the moon:
Total EME QSO's  -  200  /  Initial Contacts  -  190
DXCC's Worked  -  52  /  Confirmed  -  39
Grids Worked via EME  -  154
States Worked via EME  -  30

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

EME QSL's Received

WOW!  Yesterday was a VERY good day at my mailbox.  I received THREE QSL's confirming EME QSO's with New Countries:  F5AQX, V31EME, and HSØZIL.  This brings my 2-M Country Totals to: Worked / Confirmed  :  34 / 29  –  As of 31-January-2018.  I still have QSL's outstanding from Alaska, Asiatic Russia, European Russia, Australia and Romania.

Here are images of two of the QSL's that came in yesterday.  The first is from HSØZIL which was a total surprise for me to work.  I did not think I had a chance to work him and was not even ready to transmit when his CQ was decoded on my screen.  Click HERE to see a Post on my Blog for the details and read the section titled "UPDATE."


The next QSL shown is from my first EME DX'pedition, V31EME.  Click HERE for the DX'pedition web page.  Uwe Danzinger, DG8NCO, traveled from his home in Muenchberg, Germany, to Belize, Central America, with antennas, computer, radio, amps, rotors, etc.  He set up a portable EME station and managed to work 330 stations on 2-M and 70cm EME while he was there.  Prior to his travels to Belize, he shipped his amplifiers and got stuck with paying over $687 in Custom Duties!  His total trip cost over $4,200.  Just to work Moonbounce!  AMAZING!  Thank you, Uwe, for giving me my first EME contact with Belize and my first EME DX'pedition worked!  Below is the front and back of his beautiful QSL.  Click on any image to see it larger.

During the month of February, I have a shot at working FOUR New Countries via EME DX'peditions: CR3EME (Madeira Is.), 3YØZ (Bouvet Is.), PJ2T (Curacao Is.), and TG3MB (Cuba.)  I am READY!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Year-End EME Report

2017 turned out to be a VERY good year for me on EME!  I finished the year (after only 2 months on EME) with better results than I thought I would have after a FULL YEAR on the moon!  AMAZING!

Here are my totals as of 2017-12-31:

Total EME QSO's  -  121  /  Initial Contacts  -  116
DXCC's Worked  -  33  /  Confirmed  -  23
Grids Worked via EME  -  99
States Worked via EME  -  22
These results make all the work I did to get this station operational totally worthwhile.  Below are the countries I have worked so far:
 1. DL1KDA  Federal Republic of Germany
 2. EB5EEO  Spain   
 3. EA6VQ   Balearic Islands
 4. EA8DBM  Canary Islands
 5. ES3RF   Estonia
 6. F5AQX   France
 7. G4CDN   England
 8. GM6JNJ  Scotland
 9. HA6NQ   Hungary
10. HB9Q    Switzerland
11. HSØZIL  Thailand
12. IW4ARD  Italy
13. JHØBBE  Japan
14. K9MRI   USA
15. NH6Y    Hawaii
16. KL7UW   Alaska
17. LY2IJ   Lithuania
18. LZ1KU   Bulgaria
19. OH4LA   Finland
20. OK1UGA  Czech Republic
21. ON4KHG  Belgium
22. PA5Y    Netherlands
23. RX9AT   Asiatic Russia
24. S52LM   Slovenia
25. SM4GGC  Sweden
26. TF3T    Iceland
27. UA3PTW  European Russia   
28. UX5UL   Ukraine
29. V31EME  Belize
30. VK5APN  Australia
31. YL2GD   Latvia
32. YO3DDZ  Romania
33. ZS4TX   Republic of South Africa

I am SOOOO looking forward to what the New Year will bring!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

One MORE Good Night on EME

Well, the degradation was -1.8 to -1.9 dB last night and I thought I would like to see how that affected my EME activities.  It did seem to have an effect but did not stop me from making 16 EME QSO's between 0510 and 1130 GMT.  That meant I did not get INTO bed until just after 7 a.m.  I need for the moon to be good during my daytime once in awhile so that the DX has to stay up all night!

Below you can see a screenshot of my log covering last night and a couple of days before.  The Green Highlight on G8BCG indicates that I sent him a paper QSL.  Click on any image to see it larger.


I looked for TF3T a couple of times while he was calling CQ but I saw nothing.  I did copy LU7FA quite well and called him several times but all I got was a single "QRZ" from him.  That would complete my Worked All Continents (WAC) by giving me South America so I'll keep watching for him.

During most of the night, a lot of the stations I worked or tried to work would say they were copying me but I did not copy them.  Or, the reports I got were several dB better than those I gave by as much as 12 dB.  This one-way propagation can be frustrating for sure.  Like when I ran with SINGLE yagi station OK1TEH for more than 1/2 hour and I copied him FOUR times as strong as -22 dB:

JT65B 093600 1 -27 dB 3.2 s -194 Hz 3 W Freq 1076 Hz > W8TN OK1TEH JO70
094800  0  -27  3.2 -205  2 *      W8TN OK1TEH JO70          0  10
JT65B 095000 2 -22 dB 3.2 s -206 Hz 10 W Freq 1064 Hz > W8TN OK1TEH JO70
100000  2  -27  3.3 -215  4 *      W8TN OK1TEH JO70          0  10


But, he got zippo from me.  He said he was seeing my trace but did not get it to decode. He told me he had trouble with "city noise" at low elevations.

At times I did feel like I was rare DX with all the traces I could see from stations answering my CQ's:


Even with the higher degradation, it turned out to be a productive night on the moon in terms of making Initials and Grids but no new DXCC's happened.  Last night I raised my EME totals by 16 more QSO's, 16 more Initials, and 10 New Grids to:

116 EME QSO's, 111 Initials, 95 Grids, 21 States, & 31 DXCC's

Amazingly I have averaged 2.9 QSO's per Day since I got on the moon 40 days ago!  Before I got operational, I would have bet big money that would not be possible.  Heck, I didn't even know there were as many stations active on 2-M EME as there seem to be.  I keep expecting to "work out" all those who want to work me but right now, this is so much FUN!

At MR (MoonRise) tonight the DGR (Degradation) is 3.0 dB and continues to rise for the next week.  It doesn't look reasonable again until Christmas.  So, I guess it's time to get caught up on other things for the next two weeks. How will I stand it by not being able to make more EME QSO's?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Another GREAT Night on the Moon!

For about a month I have been trying to work a station in England (G4TRA) who is running a single 11-element yagi and 400-watts.  Now that's what I call a Pretty SMALL station for EME.  Still, he has had a good deal of success.  On 2-M he has achieved WAC, and worked 62 countries and 473 Grid Squares since 2014, using a 30 year old TS790E and that little 11 element antenna.  NOT TOO BAD!  That just shows what you can do with perseverance.  With that small antenna and no elevation provision, he is limited to working at his Moonrise (MR) and Moonset (MS.)

Over the last month I have run schedules with him about 3 times and have watched to see if I could copy him while he was running with several others.  On November 10th I copied a full CQ from him and tried to answer but we did not complete although he copied me quite well.  So, I looked at the Sked Maker part of the MoonSked program and determined that this morning, Thursday, December 7, from 0930 to 1110 GMT looked like a very good chance for us to work.  Degradation was shown to be only 0.7 dB and the Maximum Non-Reciprocity (MNR) between the two of us moved from 2 dB down to 0 dB.  That made me think we could possibly work under those conditions.  So I told G4TRA that I would be looking for him at that time.

Once my moon came up last night, I got on the air to see how the conditions were.  First I saw YO3DDZ calling CQ and worked him easily for a New DXCC.  I also made contact with ES3RF for another New DXCC (which has already been confirmed on LoTW.)  Then, I ran two or three different times with F5AQX and he copied me fine but I never got a peep from him.  He copied me as good as -17 dB and I could not even see a trace from him.  Finally, when his Ground Gain kicked in, we made the QSO.  That's another New DXCC for me for a total of THREE New DXCC's last night.  Also, yesterday morning I had gotten up a little early to run a schedule with VK5APN and worked him for a New DXCC as well.  That's FOUR New DXCC's in one day!

That success pumped me up and I kept operating until the point where I realized there was no use in my going to bed if I had to get up at 4:30 a.m. EST (0930 GMT) to run the schedule with G4TRA.  As it turned out, I stayed up for a total of 23 hours to continue playing with the Moon.

During the night (not counting the 3 QSO's I made on Friday morning) I completed 17 EME QSO's.   Among those QSO's I worked DL1VPL who was running a SINGLE 12-L yagi and 750-watts, G8BCG who was running a SINGLE 12-L LFA Yagi and a kW, and I DID complete with G4TRA and his SINGLE 11-L yagi and 400-watts.  That contact with G4TRA is certainly the SMALLEST station I have worked via EME.  All together, that makes THREE Single Yagi stations I worked last night!  It looks like the calculations in MoonSked are pretty accurate when planning for working EME.

 Below is a list of the 17 stations I worked last night.  Click on any image to see it larger.

UPDATE:

That evening (Thursday) I did not plan to stay up all night again [grin!] but I had seen that HSØZIL from Thailand had been on the moon before I turned on the station Wednesday night.  I saw that he was supposed to come back the next night and I figured I would watch what happened with the pileup I expected to occur.  Just before my moon came up, HSØZIL announced that he was calling CQ on 144.120 MHz.  I tuned to that frequency and looked up what MoonSked had to say about conditions between him and me.  It said there was a Maximum Non-Reciprocity (MNR) of 9 dB between us which is a LOT.  Add to that I saw that he was running 2x9-element yagis horizontally polarized.  That pretty much (to my mind) said there was not a chance I could see him.

Well, imagine my TOTAL SURPRISE when just before my moon elevation reached 1° (that's ONE DEGREE above the horizon!) that I copied: 

025800  2  -26  2.5 -409  3 *      CQ HS0ZIL OK16            0  10

Say WHAT?  Because I just KNEW that I had no hope of hearing him, I had not even turned on the amp.  I about broke a fingernail snapping on the amp and waiting for the DC supply to power up.  I started calling him about 20 seconds too late so I didn't figure anything would happen.  His next transmission I did not decode anything but I still called him the following minute.  
Then, I nearly fell out of my chair when he came back to me!  My moon elevation was just 0.72° at that time!  Since the moon is about 1/2 a degree wide, this means the moon had just barely cleared the horizon for me.  AND, at that heading, I'm shooting directly through the trees behind my house!!

030200  1  -25  2.5 -415  2 #      W8TN HS0ZIL OK16    OOO   0  10

The QSO proceeded in straight sequences and in just FOUR minutes, I had snagged a New DXCC and THAILAND at THAT!  I'm shaking just typing this.  Below is the screen shot of the QSO:


Finally, just to put the icing on the cake, I woke up early on Friday morning for a bathroom visit, checked the Chat Page, saw G4PLZ calling CQ and managed to easily work him for another New Initial.  Then, I got a report from a VERY small station, GM4VVX, who had copied me when I was working G4PLZ.   We decided to run and very quickly I copied calls and his grid.  Two periods later I copied the "RO" and I started sending "RRR."  But, I never decoded anything again even though I saw the very faintest of traces where the "73" should be in the waterfall.  I kept sending the "RRR" as once GM4VVX received that, it would complete the QSO even if no "73" were sent or received.  I never saw anything from him on the Chat Page so I continued sending "RRR" until his moonset.  I sent GM4VVX an email and got his response a few hours later that his Internet had failed due to heavy snow showers and frost at his QTH.  He did indeed receive the "RRR" and sent me the "73" so the QSO was complete.  Clive, GM4VVX, now becomes my smallest station I have ever worked as he runs 400-watts into a SINGLE long spaced 10-element yagi with a SSB2000 masthead pre-amp and no elevation!  WOW!  Simply amazing to me that I can work stations that small under good conditions.

This activity over the last 2 days has brought my 2-M EME numbers up to 100 EME QSO's, 95 Initials, 85 Grids, 21 States, & 31 DXCC's in just 37 days on-the-moon.  This has turned out to be so much more fun than I ever really imagined it would be that I just can't stand it!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The EME QSL Cards have ARRIVED!

I felt that I needed to create a special QSL card for my EME contacts.  In the past I have used Gennady, UX5UO, with great results so I sent him an email with my idea for a QSL and he cleaned it up nicely and emailed me a proof in just over FOUR HOURS!  WOWZER!

I made the PayPal payment the next day and TODAY, a mere 22 DAYS later, the Postman brought me a package with 1,000 exquisite QSL's direct from the Ukraine!  What service!

You can see the Front of the QSL on the left.  The "Diamond Ring" photo was taken by me on August 21, 2017, in Sweetwater, TN, during the Total Solar Eclipse.  I felt it would make a nice EME QSL so I put that photo on the QSL along with the photo of my antennas.

You can see the rear of the QSL on the right.  The blank space at the upper right is where I will computer print the QSO information.

Click on any of the photos to see a larger image.

You can visit Gennady's web site by clicking on this link "UX5UO Print".  I am not connected with his company in any way but am definitely a VERY satisfied customer.

Now to start printing QSL's and get them in the mail.  As of today (6-December-2017) I have completed 80 EME QSO's with 75 Initials, 69 Grids, 21 States,and 27 DXCC's.  All of that in the last 36 days!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Can You Spell - PILEUP? And, on EME no less!!!

Well, it sure is nice to have an Elevation Rotor that is not frozen.  I left the heat tape running all night and had not one single issue with the Elevation Rotor.  On November 12, 2017, the outside temperature was 38°F at 8 a.m. so probably not a really good test since it did not get below freezing but I'm happy it worked.

I got on the moon about 2 a.m. local time and did not see a lot of activity.  I saw UA4LCF calling CQ and I answered him.  We had an easy QSO.  Then, I3MEK on the Chat Page asked to run with me.  After I worked him, IK7EZN called and it soon became a "love fest" on my frequency!  I soon found out that many, many stations could hear me off the moon.  I received the following on the chat page from S52LM:

12Nov 10:23 W8TN Clark, you have now 8 callers ====== {S52LM/4X28XP/KW Milos xx JN65tx}

WHOOO, HOOOOO!  An actual bonafide pileup!  On the left is my log of the TWENTY-FOUR (24) stations I  worked today!!!

Check out the 0900 hour - NINE QSO's in one hour!  Now THAT is some serious RATE on EME!

When I started this project I figured that I would be able to make an "occasional" QSO off the moon with my little 2-antenna setup but NEVER - NEVER - NEVER did I think it would be like this!

And, today, I set a new record for completing a QSO with a VERY weak station.


I decoded Calls + OOO from K1DG at -31 dB -
   Nov. 10, 2017, DGR=0.8 dB - 135100  0  -31  2.2 -285  3 #      W8TN K1DG FN43      OOO   0  10

This system truly is out-performing what I had expected it would do!

New DXCC Countries worked today are:

Republic of South Africa
Balearic Islands
Finland
Hungary



My STANDINGS on EME over the last 12 days are:

72 QSO’s
68 Initials
62 Grid's
25 DXCC’s


You know in the movie "Jaws" where Roy Scheider, who played Brody in the movie, says, "You're gonna need a bigger boat!" ??  Well, it seems that now applies to me in that "I'm gonna need MORE EME QSL's!"  22 of those 72 QSO's have already been confirmed on LoTW giving me 12 countries confirmed on 2-M already!