Date   

W3DHJ/R DM77, DM78, DM87, DM88

Jonesy W3DHJ
 

I will be active as Rover in the 2020 ARRL SEP VHF Contest
-- basically solo grid circling around 38 N and 104 W all weekend.

Sat in seq.: DM88, DM87, DM77, DM78

Sun in seq.: DM78, DM77, DM87, DM88

More at
https://w3dhj.net/vhfrover_plans.php

73
Jonesy
--
Marvin L Jones | W3DHJ | W3DHJ | https://W3DHJ.net/
Pueblo, Colorado | @ | Jonesy | __ linux FreeBSD
38.238N 104.547W | jonz.net | DM78rf | 73 SK


Re: 900 MHz antenna for sale

Brian Mileshosky
 

Hi Bill —

Sorry, it’s been spoken for, much quicker than expected. Thanks for your interest.

Brian

On Sep 8, 2020, at 05:19, Bill Schwantes <bill4070@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Brian,

How much?

Bill W7QQ

Sent from my iPhone

On Sep 7, 2020, at 11:34 PM, Brian Mileshosky <n5zgt@arrl.net> wrote:
Hi Everyone —
I have for sale a Kathrein Scala MF-900B 900 MHz half-parabolic antenna. A heavy duty antenna that is perfect for amateur radio, broadcast, or experimental uses. Bandwidth: 890-960 MHz, Gain: 16 dBi. Price is firm and a steal...brand-new antenna costs upwards of $800. No longer needed and just collecting dust...
Datasheet and picture attached.
73,
Brian N5ZGT

<IMG_3980.jpeg>
<mf-900b.pdf>


Re: 900 MHz antenna for sale

Bill
 

Hi Brian,

How much?

Bill W7QQ

On Sep 7, 2020, at 11:34 PM, Brian Mileshosky <n5zgt@arrl.net> wrote:

Hi Everyone —

I have for sale a Kathrein Scala MF-900B 900 MHz half-parabolic antenna. A heavy duty antenna that is perfect for amateur radio, broadcast, or experimental uses. Bandwidth: 890-960 MHz, Gain: 16 dBi. Price is firm and a steal...brand-new antenna costs upwards of $800. No longer needed and just collecting dust...

Datasheet and picture attached.

73,
Brian N5ZGT




<IMG_3980.jpeg>
<mf-900b.pdf>


900 MHz antenna for sale

Brian Mileshosky
 

Hi Everyone —

I have for sale a Kathrein Scala MF-900B 900 MHz half-parabolic antenna. A heavy duty antenna that is perfect for amateur radio, broadcast, or experimental uses. Bandwidth: 890-960 MHz, Gain: 16 dBi. Price is firm and a steal...brand-new antenna costs upwards of $800. No longer needed and just collecting dust...

Datasheet and picture attached.

73,
Brian N5ZGT


AA5PR/R contest roving plans

John Klem
 

I'm heading northeast for the upcoming contest next weekend.  As usual, 6/2/432, 100/100/50 W, gain antennas.

Cell service at all sites looks marginal, so I plan to send updates via Slack NMVHF when I pass through an area between sites that is more likely to have service.

I'll point toward the ABQ/SF areas with FT8 on 50.313/144.174/432.174 and CW on 50.125/144.2/432.1 occasionally. When I was up in the same area in July, I left my severely terrain-challenged home station antenna looking in that direction and decoded myself at home on 6 m FT8 just fine, so no excuses!

Saturday 9/12
1800-2000Z DM86ab
2130-0000Z DM85av
0200-bedtimeZ DM76tb

Sunday 9/13
1200-1800Z DM85av
1930-0000Z DM86ab

John, AA5PR/R


Re: ARRL September VHF contest

John Klem
 

I'm thinking I might try DM76/85/86 (near the convergence) next month, if I can figure out stuff like where I would sleep and what I would eat.  If I do that, I too would love to work someone in DM74.  Or anywhere else....

John AA5PR

On 8/17/2020 1:44 PM, Keith Morehouse wrote:
We're about 3 1/2 weeks out from the September contest.  I'm hoping I can talk someone into visiting both DM74 & DM76 with 6M and WSJT capability (just in case..).  Of course, we can work on 2, 222 & 432 also !

I need a 6M confirmation for DM76 .  That's one of the last handful of grids I need for FFMA (that's all 488 domestic grids worked on 6).  I also need a 6M DM74 contact for another award.

Both these grids have easy access to known good locations and we shouldn't have any trouble at all working, as long as you have at least a Moxon (or better..) and 100W (or more - more is good !)  I have worked rovers from DM74 in the past on CW or SSB and DM76 is a far better site.  Having WSJT capabilities will cover us if things are "bad".

What say, anyone ?

-W9RM

Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO


Re: ARRL September VHF contest

James Duffey
 

At one time there was a rather large, ominous, and fairly lengthy and specific No Trespassing sign at the gate, which,  oddly enough, was left open every time when I was there. If I recall correctly, that land was a joint UNM/NMGFP field research facility, but I am not sure of that.  I have operated from the gate, never ventured beyond It.If it is BLM land, the public should have access to it though. 

The dump site isn’t bad and on weekends there is not much traffic. But, there are some kooks who live in the area who on one or two occasions consumed a large amount of my time when they stopped by, as well as the occasional irate person who stops by and demands to know why the dump isn’t open. But there are no smells or anything. 

There was a good site by the gravel pit south off Stagecoach and Martinez, which, when I first started going out I operated a lot from. It was fairly clearly marked on maps as a county road, but about 10 years ago the gravel pit put a gate across the road and it is no longer accessible. 

In DM76, the Truchas overlook/picnic area is pretty good and there is at least one nice high spot with a scenic overlook on the normal road to Taos. - Duffey

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On Aug 17, 2020, at 21:57, John Klem <klemjf@...> wrote:



Using k7fry.com/grid/

DM74CX59LK :  I have operated from this spot 2-3 times.  If you need more space to put up antennas you might be able to go slightly further east beyond the gate on Martinez Road.  I was told by a NM Game and Fish guy that the gate is not locked, but I've never tested that.  My impression is that land to the east is BLM or other public access, but the horizon to the east degrades slowly as you go east.  Watch out for rattlesnakes.  Good cell coverage and not much traffic.  Horizon looks slightly worse than the DM74bx dump site (I have never been there)...but no dump.

John AA5PR


On 8/17/2020 2:39 PM, Michael Daly wrote:

Does anyone know a good portable set up location for either of those two grids. We could possibly deploy 2 meter and 432 beams and a 6 meter dipole from one of these grids.

Mike, n5sj

 

From: main@nmvhf.groups.io [mailto:main@nmvhf.groups.io] On Behalf Of Keith Morehouse
Sent: Monday, August 17, 2020 1:44 PM
To: nmvhf@groups.io
Subject: [nmvhf] ARRL September VHF contest

 

We're about 3 1/2 weeks out from the September contest.  I'm hoping I can talk someone into visiting both DM74 & DM76 with 6M and WSJT capability (just in case..).  Of course, we can work on 2, 222 & 432 also !

 

I need a 6M confirmation for DM76 .  That's one of the last handful of grids I need for FFMA (that's all 488 domestic grids worked on 6).  I also need a 6M DM74 contact for another award.

 

Both these grids have easy access to known good locations and we shouldn't have any trouble at all working, as long as you have at least a Moxon (or better..) and 100W (or more - more is good !)  I have worked rovers from DM74 in the past on CW or SSB and DM76 is a far better site.  Having WSJT capabilities will cover us if things are "bad".

 

What say, anyone ?

 

-W9RM


Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO


Re: ARRL September VHF contest

John Klem
 

Using k7fry.com/grid/

DM74CX59LK :  I have operated from this spot 2-3 times.  If you need more space to put up antennas you might be able to go slightly further east beyond the gate on Martinez Road.  I was told by a NM Game and Fish guy that the gate is not locked, but I've never tested that.  My impression is that land to the east is BLM or other public access, but the horizon to the east degrades slowly as you go east.  Watch out for rattlesnakes.  Good cell coverage and not much traffic.  Horizon looks slightly worse than the DM74bx dump site (I have never been there)...but no dump.

John AA5PR


On 8/17/2020 2:39 PM, Michael Daly wrote:

Does anyone know a good portable set up location for either of those two grids. We could possibly deploy 2 meter and 432 beams and a 6 meter dipole from one of these grids.

Mike, n5sj

 

From: main@nmvhf.groups.io [mailto:main@nmvhf.groups.io] On Behalf Of Keith Morehouse
Sent: Monday, August 17, 2020 1:44 PM
To: nmvhf@groups.io
Subject: [nmvhf] ARRL September VHF contest

 

We're about 3 1/2 weeks out from the September contest.  I'm hoping I can talk someone into visiting both DM74 & DM76 with 6M and WSJT capability (just in case..).  Of course, we can work on 2, 222 & 432 also !

 

I need a 6M confirmation for DM76 .  That's one of the last handful of grids I need for FFMA (that's all 488 domestic grids worked on 6).  I also need a 6M DM74 contact for another award.

 

Both these grids have easy access to known good locations and we shouldn't have any trouble at all working, as long as you have at least a Moxon (or better..) and 100W (or more - more is good !)  I have worked rovers from DM74 in the past on CW or SSB and DM76 is a far better site.  Having WSJT capabilities will cover us if things are "bad".

 

What say, anyone ?

 

-W9RM


Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO


Re: ARRL September VHF contest

Jonathan Fox - W0AMT
 

The website has some great rover location suggestions.


The DM76 location sounds excellent.

73, Jon
W0AMT


On Mon, Aug 17, 2020 at 2:39 PM Michael Daly <arrowengineering1@...> wrote:

Does anyone know a good portable set up location for either of those two grids. We could possibly deploy 2 meter and 432 beams and a 6 meter dipole from one of these grids.

Mike, n5sj

 

From: main@nmvhf.groups.io [mailto:main@nmvhf.groups.io] On Behalf Of Keith Morehouse
Sent: Monday, August 17, 2020 1:44 PM
To: nmvhf@groups.io
Subject: [nmvhf] ARRL September VHF contest

 

We're about 3 1/2 weeks out from the September contest.  I'm hoping I can talk someone into visiting both DM74 & DM76 with 6M and WSJT capability (just in case..).  Of course, we can work on 2, 222 & 432 also !

 

I need a 6M confirmation for DM76 .  That's one of the last handful of grids I need for FFMA (that's all 488 domestic grids worked on 6).  I also need a 6M DM74 contact for another award.

 

Both these grids have easy access to known good locations and we shouldn't have any trouble at all working, as long as you have at least a Moxon (or better..) and 100W (or more - more is good !)  I have worked rovers from DM74 in the past on CW or SSB and DM76 is a far better site.  Having WSJT capabilities will cover us if things are "bad".

 

What say, anyone ?

 

-W9RM


Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO


Re: ARRL September VHF contest

Michael Daly
 

Does anyone know a good portable set up location for either of those two grids. We could possibly deploy 2 meter and 432 beams and a 6 meter dipole from one of these grids.

Mike, n5sj

 

From: main@nmvhf.groups.io [mailto:main@nmvhf.groups.io] On Behalf Of Keith Morehouse
Sent: Monday, August 17, 2020 1:44 PM
To: nmvhf@groups.io
Subject: [nmvhf] ARRL September VHF contest

 

We're about 3 1/2 weeks out from the September contest.  I'm hoping I can talk someone into visiting both DM74 & DM76 with 6M and WSJT capability (just in case..).  Of course, we can work on 2, 222 & 432 also !

 

I need a 6M confirmation for DM76 .  That's one of the last handful of grids I need for FFMA (that's all 488 domestic grids worked on 6).  I also need a 6M DM74 contact for another award.

 

Both these grids have easy access to known good locations and we shouldn't have any trouble at all working, as long as you have at least a Moxon (or better..) and 100W (or more - more is good !)  I have worked rovers from DM74 in the past on CW or SSB and DM76 is a far better site.  Having WSJT capabilities will cover us if things are "bad".

 

What say, anyone ?

 

-W9RM


Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO


ARRL September VHF contest

Keith Morehouse
 

We're about 3 1/2 weeks out from the September contest.  I'm hoping I can talk someone into visiting both DM74 & DM76 with 6M and WSJT capability (just in case..).  Of course, we can work on 2, 222 & 432 also !

I need a 6M confirmation for DM76 .  That's one of the last handful of grids I need for FFMA (that's all 488 domestic grids worked on 6).  I also need a 6M DM74 contact for another award.

Both these grids have easy access to known good locations and we shouldn't have any trouble at all working, as long as you have at least a Moxon (or better..) and 100W (or more - more is good !)  I have worked rovers from DM74 in the past on CW or SSB and DM76 is a far better site.  Having WSJT capabilities will cover us if things are "bad".

What say, anyone ?

-W9RM

Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO


Giant Sunspot on Betelgeuse

James Duffey
 

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-53218658 >

If our sun had spots this size, The MUF for F2 propagation would probably extend to 500MHz or so! - Duffey

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM


Re: FT8 performance (or, lack of) on 432

Keith Morehouse
 

John, sometimes one signal, sometimes 2.  I'm familiar with what aircraft look like on 432 beacons and this is sure what I remember.  Good idea about FT4.  The guys I couldn't work were NOT weak - FT4 would have done it easily.

And yes, the old standby of CW would solve all problems but good luck with getting the 'new breed' to QSY to that mode.  They won't even go to SSB...

-W9RM

Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO


On Sat, Aug 1, 2020 at 7:56 PM John Klem <klemjf@...> wrote:
Do you see just one (shifting) FT8 signal on 432, or more than one?  I'm
wondering if you also see a stationary signal.  If it's aircraft, I'd
also expect that it would eventually disappear, or sometimes you might
even see more than one.  There are ways to track planes online so you
might be able to correlate what you see with what's flying.

I don't know enough about ISCAT to guess about the utility of that,
but...don't shoot...have you considered FT4?  The TX period is nearly 3x
shorter, and tone spacing about 4x that of FT8.  This suggests the
decoder could be a lot more tolerant of frequency drift, if you can live
with the S/N penalty.  At that point you're probably also in the
ballpark of being able to use CW, right?

John AA5PR






Re: FT8 performance (or, lack of) on 432

John Klem
 

Do you see just one (shifting) FT8 signal on 432, or more than one?  I'm wondering if you also see a stationary signal.  If it's aircraft, I'd also expect that it would eventually disappear, or sometimes you might even see more than one.  There are ways to track planes online so you might be able to correlate what you see with what's flying.

I don't know enough about ISCAT to guess about the utility of that, but...don't shoot...have you considered FT4?  The TX period is nearly 3x shorter, and tone spacing about 4x that of FT8.  This suggests the decoder could be a lot more tolerant of frequency drift, if you can live with the S/N penalty.  At that point you're probably also in the ballpark of being able to use CW, right?

John AA5PR


Re: FT8 performance (or, lack of) on 432

James Duffey
 

Well, there is a major E-W flight path between you and Phoenix.I guess you probably have planes on that path one way or another every 10 minutes or so. If you look at the slope of the frequency shift and know the frequency, you should be able to calculate the velocity of the aircraft pretty accurately. 

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On Aug 1, 2020, at 18:09, Keith Morehouse <w9rm@...> wrote:


So far, the 222+ contest has convinced me (or, I have rediscovered) that FT8 on 432 is unusable on paths with lots of Doppler shifted multi-path, such as my paths to DEN and PHX.  These paths are heavily influenced by aircraft scatter which causes various Doppler shifted signals.  The rate of frequency shift I'm seeing is in the range of 25-100 hz over a 15 second FT8 sequence, which is, apparently, too much for the decoder algorithm to handle.  If you calculate how much Doppler shift you are likely to get on 432 MHz from an aircraft traveling at various tangential paths and speeds, it roughly matches what I'm seeing (and what the other end of the path also sees).

I'm thinking a mode such as ISCAT (specifically ISCAT-A, which was designed for microwave rain scatter paths) might be a vastly superior mode for this situation.  FT8 certainly sucks wind under these conditions and proved it repeatedly today.

I have verified to the best of my ability that my system is stable.  My transverters are reference locked to GPS and I have another, independent, reference locked source which I can monitor on the air at whatever frequency I set it to.  I have also completed at least one 432 Q on FT8 that showed no 'drift'.  Evidently there are fewer aircraft on this path (DM58 to SLC area) or they are moving on a course which does not cause Doppler shift on any reflection.

Comments or further discussion welcome !

-W9RM

Keith Morehouse
via MotoG


FT8 performance (or, lack of) on 432

Keith Morehouse
 

So far, the 222+ contest has convinced me (or, I have rediscovered) that FT8 on 432 is unusable on paths with lots of Doppler shifted multi-path, such as my paths to DEN and PHX.  These paths are heavily influenced by aircraft scatter which causes various Doppler shifted signals.  The rate of frequency shift I'm seeing is in the range of 25-100 hz over a 15 second FT8 sequence, which is, apparently, too much for the decoder algorithm to handle.  If you calculate how much Doppler shift you are likely to get on 432 MHz from an aircraft traveling at various tangential paths and speeds, it roughly matches what I'm seeing (and what the other end of the path also sees).

I'm thinking a mode such as ISCAT (specifically ISCAT-A, which was designed for microwave rain scatter paths) might be a vastly superior mode for this situation.  FT8 certainly sucks wind under these conditions and proved it repeatedly today.

I have verified to the best of my ability that my system is stable.  My transverters are reference locked to GPS and I have another, independent, reference locked source which I can monitor on the air at whatever frequency I set it to.  I have also completed at least one 432 Q on FT8 that showed no 'drift'.  Evidently there are fewer aircraft on this path (DM58 to SLC area) or they are moving on a course which does not cause Doppler shift on any reflection.

Comments or further discussion welcome !

-W9RM

Keith Morehouse
via MotoG


222+ contest this weekend

Keith Morehouse
 

Anyone planning on running WSJT modes this weekend need to remember that WSJT-X FT8 mode does not play well with the required 6 character grid square report REQUIRED for distance scoring in thai contest.

As a work-around, you can select the CONTEST MODE exchange for the EU VHF contest and simply ignore the serial number generated.  Your exchange will be a 6 character grid, but you will still be CQing with a 4 character square.

For meteor scatter on 222, most of us western ops are using the older FSK441 mode, which requires the "pre-X" version of WSJT.  WSJT 9.7 is the version of choice for most of us.  Even with that version, you will need to manually edit your grid in the message template box to send the required 6 character report.

-W9RM

Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO


Re: CQ WW VHF Result

Mike WB2FKO
 

Like just about everybody, I experienced rapid fading throughout the contest that made most of the FT8 QSOs a real struggle. Or not complete at all. Many others have suggested that getting ops off 50.313 was needed for these conditions, but we just couldn't seem to get a critical mass. I was monitoring and calling on SSB and FT4 with very little success. This was certainly not the case for the June contest, perhaps because propagation was clearly much better and activity higher.

NM stations worked: AA5B, WD5COV, AA5PR/R in DM63, KC7QY, and possibly KK6MC. QSB prevented me from hearing an acknowledgement of my RRR on FT8, but I logged it anyway.

163 QSOs, 104 grids, 16,952 points claimed. Single band, low power.

Same setup as in June: 6M5X on 15 ft mast in front yard. Armstrong rotor. Had two extended shutdowns for T-storms, but such is life in Florida.

Mike WB2FKO EL89


CQ WW VHF Result

KC7QY
 

Band   Mode     QSOs   Pts  Grd  Pt/Q
          50  FT4      1       1        0   1.0
          50  FT8     76      76     55   1.0
          50  MSK1    1       1      1     1.0
       Total  Both    78      78     56   1.0


            Score : 4,368


Not the best of times but an interesting time none-the-less. Started out in the hole, had a video conference that was supposed to end at noon local, went over by about 20 minutes. Quick lunch and then on the air. Had WSJT talking to N1MM+ on Friday. Communications failed Saturday morning. When I did get on I checked SSB and CW first. Heard two weak CW stations but no  contacts. Went to FT8 and found really tight spotlight prop. 7 of the first 9 Qs were in EM34/35. Slogged along most of the day with few decodes breaking +0. Conditions went up and down very rapidly,had stations call at +15 and the next call at -10. Saturday afternoon I got shutdown by a slow moving T-storm (didn't get enough rain to care about but lots of lightning). 

Had 2M on all day Sunday and never heard anyone. Disappointed with MSK Sunday morning, just one AZ QSO. Continued with FT8 and a single FT4 through Sunday. Late Sunday had another spotlight opening but this time into North Florida. Whole flock of CM89/89/98/99, etc with a few EM60's in between. That included our friend Mike, WB2FKO, in EM89. Missed John up in DM67 on Saturday, one decode only but did get him in the log on Sunday from DM63.

Highlight was my only new grid, 15 minutes before the contest end with W8ZN in EM87. Better yet, he's gong to put his Qs up on LoTW.

Jim KC7QY


AA5PR/R CQ WW VHF

John Klem
 

Half the battle was just keeping equipment and operator cool enough to get through the weekend.  The only major failure was the battery booster, which popped under the stress Saturday afternoon.

Propagation on 6 m was in and out, but overall pretty good.  I need to remind myself to occasionally look at the S-meter to accurately judge signal strengths when in low-noise locations, but it seemed that there was often plenty of margin for SSB (or FT4, at least) yet people were pretty seriously stuck to FT8.  I had to work for exactly 1 SSB contact.  He seemed grateful too.

The high points of the contest for me included:

Every contact I had on 2 m
Working K7KQA (who was hoping for DM76),  Mike WB2FKO in Florida, and an EA8 station
Seeing for the first time the canyon that the Canadian River flows through east of Wagon Mound

Total contacts 124, multipliers 87, score 11,397.

John, AA5PR/R

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