Sunday, November 12, 2017

The DX Continues to Come Via the Moon IF Everything Works Right

November 3, 2017, turned out to be another "good news - bad news" day.  The first "good news" is that I had been really worried about my ability to work to the East through the trees behind my house.  Well, at Moonrise (MR) tonight I pointed my antennas to 85° Azimuth and 0° Elevation.  When the moon was just at 86° Azimuth and 2.5° Elevation, I copied a CQ from YU7AA:

220900  0  -26  2.5  110 30 *      CQ YU7AA JN95             0  10

Boy, oh boy did this look good for being able to work stations THROUGH the trees.  I called YU7AA several times though and had no response.  But, on the Chat page, F8DGY asked if he could run with me as he was copying me.

Well, we ran for a bit with no luck.  Then another F8 station asked to run - no luck.  Then a DL - no luck.  Then my friend, N1NK from RI, and, you guessed it - no luck.  Later I ran with S56P - no luck.  I was beginning to thing that copying YU7AA was a fluke and maybe I could NOT work through the trees.

This inability to copy anyone after YU7AA went on for about 3 hours.  Finally, I when I was running with S56P (with no luck), I got a phone call from a high school friend in FL.  I stopped running with S56P and while talking to my friend, I was leaning back in my chair and I saw the elevation readout said 0° instead of 26° and the azimuth rotor was at 90° instead of about 125°.  WHAT?

It turns out that my "automatic" rotor turning software had failed. It was "thinking" that the rotors were turning but they had not moved since Moonrise.  Well, CRAP ON A CRACKER!

Once I rebooted the computer and started everything up from scratch, I found that I could not get any drive out of the K3S.  The short of that story is that during the reboot, M/S Windows graciously changed the device numbers of my USB Audio device for the K3S.  More CRAP! This time it was the M/S flavor!

Anyway, once I corrected these two bumbles, I managed an excellent QSO with LZ1KU in Bulgaria and DL8II in Germany.  WHEEE!  Back in the game!

Right after that, I saw IK4ADE was calling CQ and I copied him at -24 dB - - - - So, you can add one more New One to my score for tonight for THREE New Ones!  That makes my Digital EME QSO's now 10 in just two nights.  Would have had more if not for the bumbles!  It is simply amazing how little DX you can work if your antennas are NOT pointed at the moon!

That brings my country total up to SIX.  I can't wait to see what happens with the EME contest to see just what I can do on Digital EME.

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