Date   

Re: Sept VHF

Mike WB2FKO
 

It was an interesting September VHF contest here.  Although participation is nothing like the summer contests, there was plenty to keep me busy trying to manufacture points.  For better or worse, activity has indeed migrated towards digital.  It was amazing to see short-lived 6m Es throughout the contest, as stations from almost every direction would pop in on FT8 long enough to decode and then disappear into the noise -- too short for FT8 and too weak for ssb or cw.  I benefited greatly from the WSJT-X automatic uploads to pskreporter, which provides a real-time reverse beacon, propagation, and activity map.  I did manage to snag W5PR in EL29 on FT8, but he was my only Es QSO.  I was surprised to see that W9RM did not make any Es contacts, as his callsign appeared prolifically in the FT8 spots, especially from midwest stations.  East of the Mississippi seemed to be lit up with FT8 spots for most of the contest, but spots don't necessarily mean a QSO took place.

There were about 5-6 stations at direct meteor scatter distance from me that were likely doing unattended monitoring of 50.260 and uploading spots.  To test conditions, I would fire off some CQs in their direction and watch the spots pop up about a minute later.  I can confidently claim that 6m meteors were there all weekend.  Many ops still seem riveted to FT8, despite the obvious pings they must see coming in that are far too short to decode.  A QSO might only be a mouse-click away on MSK144.  I made two dozen meteor scatter QSOs on 6m MSK144.  Also got one logged on 2m towards the end of the contest, when there wasn't much of anything else going on.  The points incentive on 2m does not warrant spending the better part of 30 minutes chasing a multiplier for a single-op.  There are well understood physical principles in play that make meteor scatter much harder on 2m than 6.  Under-appreciated and underutilized is 6m meteor backscatter.  This is a great way to work those miserable grids that are too far for tropo and too close for direct meteor scatter.  I heard many Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico stations on backscatter and even worked some of them.

I worked Arizona stations AI1K and N1RWY direct on 2m FT8.  The latter took two tries.  The first attempt he decoded me easily yet I saw not a trace.  We tried again a few hours later and he was loud enough to work ssb.  He has a 5000 ft mountain directly in front of him, so maybe there's some weird diffraction effect happening.

W0AMT/R covered the 90-mile path from DM55 to DM65 on 446.0 FM. That one is going into the NMVHF DX database.  Think I got Duffey from every grid except one.  Sorry I missed the El Paso guys; wanted to thank K5LA for elmering me on the superflex feedline replacement project.

On the digital controversy...  I think there are valid arguments on both sides.  WSJT was not designed to replace analog radio but to complement it.  I use it to great advantage for weak signal VHF and want to mention a few things that seem to get overlooked.  First, it's not plug-and-play radio like packet or D-star, for example.  Considerable skill and experience is required to use it to maximum effect.  Second, it allows QSOs to happen on otherwise dead bands, pretty much the situation we encounter every September on 6m.  Third, this software represents an extraordinary advancement of technology.  The cost to develop something like this commercially would be many millions of dollars, yet ham radio gets it for free.  I feel thoroughly honored and privileged to have the opportunity.  Finally, I find that making a difficult digital QSO is every bit as exciting and compelling as the traditional modes.  Try it yourself or at least get a demo before dismissing it.

73 Mike WB2FKO



On 09/10/2018 03:58 PM, Keith Morehouse wrote:
Not too much excitement during the September VHF test this year.  Conditions on pretty much every band/mode I have up seemed average to poor.  Maybe some of these comments will help someone.

Meteors were pretty poor after about 1300Z Sunday, although, a few hours earlier, they seemed to start well.  I was able to call CQ on 50.260, running split-mode and work a slow, steady stream of callers for about 45 minutes.  2M rocks didn't produce well, but I didn't really go at them aggressively or get too pushy on PingJockey, since I was mostly 'playing contester' instead of contesting.

Being September, there were no sporadic E openings on 6 that I noticed and even the be-all-end-all miracle mode of FT8 didn't produce any long-haul stuff.  Funny - I can recall working several stations in the 900-1100 miles range on ionoscatter using SSB or CW almost every contest.  One would think FT8 would be even better at that but there was seldom 'anybody home' on 50.313.  Hard to figure out what's really going on in the minds of the majority of FT8 mode users.  Also, meteor pings just play holy havoc with FT8 decodes - not as miracle as some make it out to be, 'eh ?.  My 6M go-to mode of choice for years in these conditions was always CW (you remember that mode, right ?)  I don't think that would get you too far now, unfortunately.

2M tropospheric conditions (if you can call them that in this part of the world) were average.  The rovers with decent antennas who got far enough east of the front-range foothills were easily workable.  Those that stayed close to I-25 ?  Not so easy.  I was able to work into DM89 and DN81 with good signals - both rover and fixed station.  The DM/DN-70's were not so easy.  Sunday mornings 2M "tropo" conditions were above average, with WE7L in over S9.  Unfortunately, there was hardly anybody else around.  Thanks to K0UK, who got on as promised, for the DM59 mult on 6 & 2, another hard to get one.

Rover station KK6MC once again showed how it's done.  I was able to work Duffy with relative ease on 2M from 5 of his 7 New Mexico grid stops and even a few on 6.  These Qs were 250-300 miles across a 14,000' mountain range 50 miles south of my QTH.  All but one QSO was on CW (you remember that mode, right ?)  Some 2M attempts were met with very bad QSB, but just sticking with it for a few minutes and waiting out the fade cycle, usually brought the signal back up to Q5 from in the noise.  This is a good point to remember if you're new to VHF or attempting a higher frequency band like 432 for the first time.  Stick with it - deep cyclic QSB is normal and what goes into the noise usually comes right back out again, although on 432, the cycle MAY take a few minutes (or longer).  This is not a western phenomenon - back in W9-land, it was very common for a long-haul attempt (400+ miles) on 432 to take 15-20 minutes and ultimately end up with Q5 signals both ways.  Whether the time spent is worth it or not in a contest situation is up to you, although the rules now allow even single op's to transmit on multiple bands at the same time.  That's something to think about when planning station architecture.

A new local showed up on 2M from about 3 miles south of me and proceeded to call CQ a bunch on 144.200, sometimes on top of the few front-range guys who were workable.  I worked him, thanked him for being on from my home grid, which is usually impossible to work and then we had a frank discussion on the why's and when's of 2M from the west slope.  Somebody gave him a 2M all-mode radio and antenna, then a few days before the contest, he caught one of those 'big' mornings into the front-range and worked WE7L at over S9 - then, he worked a guy up on Grand Mesa with a big signal (line-of-sight, of course).  So, armed with that 'knowledge', he was all ready to tear up the state on 2M SSB !  Hopefully, in the future, he will be more 'ear' then 'mouth', seeing he's down in the bottom of a canyon with 25W and a short beam fixed east.  Not much, but enough to be 40-over in MY receiver.  I guess I'm spoiled from having the valley pretty much to myself for the last 7-8 years :)

I worked George, AB0YM/R several times, including answering his FT8 CQ from DM89 on 6M for a new mult.  I again caution those who sign 'slash-R' with FT8.  What you think the program is sending might not be what actually goes over the air - I'll leave it at that as it will probably get fixed with the release of WSJT-X Ver 2.  George, if you read this, be advised you were S9 at the start of the contest on 2M, calling CQ in my face for 5 minutes when I was calling you.  I'm running considerably more power then you in your rover.  All I can figure is you were in motion and must have had a very high noise floor, either from the urban crud or from your own vehicle.  It Was VERY Frustrating :)

The biggest news is that the trash covering the entire 6M band, emanating from a local FM broadcast station, has been cleared up after a lot of tough work.  Many thanks to the responsible parties !

-W9RM


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


Re: Sept VHF

Bill
 

Keith, You're one of those beacon stations so eat your vitamins!

Bill W7QQ


On Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 5:26 PM Keith Morehouse <w9rm@...> wrote:
I really need to try harder to work the guys in AZ.  I know it's a haul, but I don't think it's that much farther from here then it is from W7QQ, although Bill's path (at least close in) is considerably better.  I was surprised during our June multi-op from W7QQ that AZ was so....workable.

I recall several years ago, working WA7JTM from his portable location near the Grand Canyon on 2M Sunday morning of the June contest.  He was VERY loud and very surprised to hear some W9 from DM58.  But, PHX and the bulk of AZ's VHF op's are a lot farther away.

Speaking of WA7JTM, readers may be interested in looking at his QRZ.COM biography.  Unfortunately, this is not an isolated opinion within the long-time VHF community.  We're losing guys and a lot of the guys we're losing are traditional BIG signals who are 'band beacons' and 'go-to' guys for all the small stations.  I had commented privately to several, earlier today, about the decline of VHF/UHF op's along the front-range and some of the reasons behind the decline.  I had wondered if it was due to the loss of big-time station W0EEA, who was always a beacon on any band, 6M to 47 GHz, who could work anyone within 200 miles, no matter how small the station.  I really believe this is true, and the loss of more and more of these guys, for whatever reason, is really going to hurt.

-W9RM

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

On Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 4:50 PM, James Duffey <JamesDuffey@...> wrote:
Keith - Thanks for the kind words. 

Although I made 7 stops, I only visited 6 different grids, so we only missed in one,. I visited DM64 at its extreme ends diagonally, DM64xx near Moriarty, and DM64bw in the Malpais National Monument. That turned out to be a good strategy as I worked several AZ stations easily from the west end of the grid that there was no way to work from the east end. I may do more of that in the future. There was  lot of activity in AZ and the trip through the three western NM grids paid off. 

I was really surprised to hear you come back to my SSB CQ on 2M in DM74.  That was a nice QSO and one that I will remember for a long time. 

I echo your comments on troposcatter QSB. The amplitude of the QSB is pretty well defined at about 15dB peak to trough. The time period varies a lot, with time constants from fractions of seconds to minutes and even hours. So the rule of thumb is that if you hear someone and it is not a ping, chances are their signal will increase and you can work them if you put in the time, are patient and follow some kind of routine like taking turns transmitting on the first and second 30 seconds of a minute. As you know, we have worked a lot of QSOs this way, some in excess of 300 miles if I recall correctly. I have a modest set up in the rover; 100W to a 8ft Yagi up about 11 feet. 

W0AMT/r was also out in NM and gave out a lot of QSOs. Although QRP he had a good signal when I worked him and gave out a lot of grids. He also hiked to the top of Mt Sedgwick and had a commanding signal from there. Things have changed since I first started roving in NM and was the only NM rover for several years. 

My first rove stop ever was DM55 near Prewitt in 2007. I think WB2FKO was the first QSO I made as a rover. So, it is always nice to work Mike from DM55. It reminds me of my origins. For many years my rover was the only VHF contest station in DM55. W7QQ/has since activated it, and now N5SJ is active with a well equipped 2M station. N5SJ and I were joined by W0AMT/r this contest for three active stations in DM55.  Who would have thought?

There were lots of AZ stations on, and I know that they were worked by many in NM up to Santa Fe or maybe beyond? For many years I have been trying to work AZ from western NM to no avail, but I think it was always an activity issue on the AZ end as I worked lots of AZ stations from the western NM grids this year, as did N5SJ. I also heard the AZ stations working W7QQ, N5SJ, and others. 

I rate the September contest this year high. Part of that was my laid back rove plans and allowing enough time on Sunday to try long haul QSOs to AZ.

It is always nice to hear people’s contest experiences. It helps all of us be better. 

Not sure if either of these groups allow attachments, but as have attached a picture of the rover in DM55 with Mount Taylor in the background. 

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM



Re: Sept VHF

Keith Morehouse
 

I really need to try harder to work the guys in AZ.  I know it's a haul, but I don't think it's that much farther from here then it is from W7QQ, although Bill's path (at least close in) is considerably better.  I was surprised during our June multi-op from W7QQ that AZ was so....workable.

I recall several years ago, working WA7JTM from his portable location near the Grand Canyon on 2M Sunday morning of the June contest.  He was VERY loud and very surprised to hear some W9 from DM58.  But, PHX and the bulk of AZ's VHF op's are a lot farther away.

Speaking of WA7JTM, readers may be interested in looking at his QRZ.COM biography.  Unfortunately, this is not an isolated opinion within the long-time VHF community.  We're losing guys and a lot of the guys we're losing are traditional BIG signals who are 'band beacons' and 'go-to' guys for all the small stations.  I had commented privately to several, earlier today, about the decline of VHF/UHF op's along the front-range and some of the reasons behind the decline.  I had wondered if it was due to the loss of big-time station W0EEA, who was always a beacon on any band, 6M to 47 GHz, who could work anyone within 200 miles, no matter how small the station.  I really believe this is true, and the loss of more and more of these guys, for whatever reason, is really going to hurt.

-W9RM

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

On Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 4:50 PM, James Duffey <JamesDuffey@...> wrote:
Keith - Thanks for the kind words. 

Although I made 7 stops, I only visited 6 different grids, so we only missed in one,. I visited DM64 at its extreme ends diagonally, DM64xx near Moriarty, and DM64bw in the Malpais National Monument. That turned out to be a good strategy as I worked several AZ stations easily from the west end of the grid that there was no way to work from the east end. I may do more of that in the future. There was  lot of activity in AZ and the trip through the three western NM grids paid off. 

I was really surprised to hear you come back to my SSB CQ on 2M in DM74.  That was a nice QSO and one that I will remember for a long time. 

I echo your comments on troposcatter QSB. The amplitude of the QSB is pretty well defined at about 15dB peak to trough. The time period varies a lot, with time constants from fractions of seconds to minutes and even hours. So the rule of thumb is that if you hear someone and it is not a ping, chances are their signal will increase and you can work them if you put in the time, are patient and follow some kind of routine like taking turns transmitting on the first and second 30 seconds of a minute. As you know, we have worked a lot of QSOs this way, some in excess of 300 miles if I recall correctly. I have a modest set up in the rover; 100W to a 8ft Yagi up about 11 feet. 

W0AMT/r was also out in NM and gave out a lot of QSOs. Although QRP he had a good signal when I worked him and gave out a lot of grids. He also hiked to the top of Mt Sedgwick and had a commanding signal from there. Things have changed since I first started roving in NM and was the only NM rover for several years. 

My first rove stop ever was DM55 near Prewitt in 2007. I think WB2FKO was the first QSO I made as a rover. So, it is always nice to work Mike from DM55. It reminds me of my origins. For many years my rover was the only VHF contest station in DM55. W7QQ/has since activated it, and now N5SJ is active with a well equipped 2M station. N5SJ and I were joined by W0AMT/r this contest for three active stations in DM55.  Who would have thought?

There were lots of AZ stations on, and I know that they were worked by many in NM up to Santa Fe or maybe beyond? For many years I have been trying to work AZ from western NM to no avail, but I think it was always an activity issue on the AZ end as I worked lots of AZ stations from the western NM grids this year, as did N5SJ. I also heard the AZ stations working W7QQ, N5SJ, and others. 

I rate the September contest this year high. Part of that was my laid back rove plans and allowing enough time on Sunday to try long haul QSOs to AZ.

It is always nice to hear people’s contest experiences. It helps all of us be better. 

Not sure if either of these groups allow attachments, but as have attached a picture of the rover in DM55 with Mount Taylor in the background. 

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

image1.jpeg


Re: Sept VHF

Bill
 

Nice write up Keith.  You're getting things churned up in western CO.  All good work.

I tracked Duffey and worked pretty much 50 through 1296 at every grid.

I worked several in AZ:
WA7XX, N7IR, K7KMR, N1RWY, K1IEB, KA7CVJ, N7DPX and N7GP/r (formerly WA8ZWG) on 2 meters
N1RWY N7GP/r on 222
N7GP/r on 432 (50ish watts here)

Also got the three guys in El Paso on 144 and 222: K5PHF, WA5FBM and K5LA and Floyd K5LA on 432 as well.

We tried hard to put 1296 in the log but were unsuccessful.  They copied me 559  but I could not complete a copy for a contact..... always missing some tiny bit: one grid square character (even though I know damn well what it is) or a rr.  I spent a lot of time on 1296 working long period QSB and didn't get much for my new 600 watts except Duffey in grids where we had worked before on 1296 with 10 watts.  Need a preamp of more antenna on that band.  I spent a lot of time with the AZ guys on 1296 as well with no results. Mostly hearing nothing except CW rock pings. When I started on 1296 I couldn't hear a damn thing then took a look and found I had put 28 dB of transmit attenuation on the receive side as well.  It was much better once I "redesigned" the station but not good enough.  Tough band for long Qs with moderate conditions.

Several guys were on the air locally that have not worked a contest in years. Newby W0AMT/r (QRP) did a nice job hitting high el op spots on foot with an FT-817 and a Ukranian 222 transverter. 50-432.  I'll turn him on to SG Labs for 902, 1296 and 2304; great for hikers.

Thx for DM58 Keith.

73 Bill W7QQ



On Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 3:59 PM Keith Morehouse <w9rm@...> wrote:
Not too much excitement during the September VHF test this year.  Conditions on pretty much every band/mode I have up seemed average to poor.  Maybe some of these comments will help someone.

Meteors were pretty poor after about 1300Z Sunday, although, a few hours earlier, they seemed to start well.  I was able to call CQ on 50.260, running split-mode and work a slow, steady stream of callers for about 45 minutes.  2M rocks didn't produce well, but I didn't really go at them aggressively or get too pushy on PingJockey, since I was mostly 'playing contester' instead of contesting.

Being September, there were no sporadic E openings on 6 that I noticed and even the be-all-end-all miracle mode of FT8 didn't produce any long-haul stuff.  Funny - I can recall working several stations in the 900-1100 miles range on ionoscatter using SSB or CW almost every contest.  One would think FT8 would be even better at that but there was seldom 'anybody home' on 50.313.  Hard to figure out what's really going on in the minds of the majority of FT8 mode users.  Also, meteor pings just play holy havoc with FT8 decodes - not as miracle as some make it out to be, 'eh ?.  My 6M go-to mode of choice for years in these conditions was always CW (you remember that mode, right ?)  I don't think that would get you too far now, unfortunately.

2M tropospheric conditions (if you can call them that in this part of the world) were average.  The rovers with decent antennas who got far enough east of the front-range foothills were easily workable.  Those that stayed close to I-25 ?  Not so easy.  I was able to work into DM89 and DN81 with good signals - both rover and fixed station.  The DM/DN-70's were not so easy.  Sunday mornings 2M "tropo" conditions were above average, with WE7L in over S9.  Unfortunately, there was hardly anybody else around.  Thanks to K0UK, who got on as promised, for the DM59 mult on 6 & 2, another hard to get one.

Rover station KK6MC once again showed how it's done.  I was able to work Duffy with relative ease on 2M from 5 of his 7 New Mexico grid stops and even a few on 6.  These Qs were 250-300 miles across a 14,000' mountain range 50 miles south of my QTH.  All but one QSO was on CW (you remember that mode, right ?)  Some 2M attempts were met with very bad QSB, but just sticking with it for a few minutes and waiting out the fade cycle, usually brought the signal back up to Q5 from in the noise.  This is a good point to remember if you're new to VHF or attempting a higher frequency band like 432 for the first time.  Stick with it - deep cyclic QSB is normal and what goes into the noise usually comes right back out again, although on 432, the cycle MAY take a few minutes (or longer).  This is not a western phenomenon - back in W9-land, it was very common for a long-haul attempt (400+ miles) on 432 to take 15-20 minutes and ultimately end up with Q5 signals both ways.  Whether the time spent is worth it or not in a contest situation is up to you, although the rules now allow even single op's to transmit on multiple bands at the same time.  That's something to think about when planning station architecture.

A new local showed up on 2M from about 3 miles south of me and proceeded to call CQ a bunch on 144.200, sometimes on top of the few front-range guys who were workable.  I worked him, thanked him for being on from my home grid, which is usually impossible to work and then we had a frank discussion on the why's and when's of 2M from the west slope.  Somebody gave him a 2M all-mode radio and antenna, then a few days before the contest, he caught one of those 'big' mornings into the front-range and worked WE7L at over S9 - then, he worked a guy up on Grand Mesa with a big signal (line-of-sight, of course).  So, armed with that 'knowledge', he was all ready to tear up the state on 2M SSB !  Hopefully, in the future, he will be more 'ear' then 'mouth', seeing he's down in the bottom of a canyon with 25W and a short beam fixed east.  Not much, but enough to be 40-over in MY receiver.  I guess I'm spoiled from having the valley pretty much to myself for the last 7-8 years :)

I worked George, AB0YM/R several times, including answering his FT8 CQ from DM89 on 6M for a new mult.  I again caution those who sign 'slash-R' with FT8.  What you think the program is sending might not be what actually goes over the air - I'll leave it at that as it will probably get fixed with the release of WSJT-X Ver 2.  George, if you read this, be advised you were S9 at the start of the contest on 2M, calling CQ in my face for 5 minutes when I was calling you.  I'm running considerably more power then you in your rover.  All I can figure is you were in motion and must have had a very high noise floor, either from the urban crud or from your own vehicle.  It Was VERY Frustrating :)

The biggest news is that the trash covering the entire 6M band, emanating from a local FM broadcast station, has been cleared up after a lot of tough work.  Many thanks to the responsible parties !

-W9RM


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


Re: Sept VHF

James Duffey
 

Keith - Thanks for the kind words. 

Although I made 7 stops, I only visited 6 different grids, so we only missed in one,. I visited DM64 at its extreme ends diagonally, DM64xx near Moriarty, and DM64bw in the Malpais National Monument. That turned out to be a good strategy as I worked several AZ stations easily from the west end of the grid that there was no way to work from the east end. I may do more of that in the future. There was  lot of activity in AZ and the trip through the three western NM grids paid off. 

I was really surprised to hear you come back to my SSB CQ on 2M in DM74.  That was a nice QSO and one that I will remember for a long time. 

I echo your comments on troposcatter QSB. The amplitude of the QSB is pretty well defined at about 15dB peak to trough. The time period varies a lot, with time constants from fractions of seconds to minutes and even hours. So the rule of thumb is that if you hear someone and it is not a ping, chances are their signal will increase and you can work them if you put in the time, are patient and follow some kind of routine like taking turns transmitting on the first and second 30 seconds of a minute. As you know, we have worked a lot of QSOs this way, some in excess of 300 miles if I recall correctly. I have a modest set up in the rover; 100W to a 8ft Yagi up about 11 feet. 

W0AMT/r was also out in NM and gave out a lot of QSOs. Although QRP he had a good signal when I worked him and gave out a lot of grids. He also hiked to the top of Mt Sedgwick and had a commanding signal from there. Things have changed since I first started roving in NM and was the only NM rover for several years. 

My first rove stop ever was DM55 near Prewitt in 2007. I think WB2FKO was the first QSO I made as a rover. So, it is always nice to work Mike from DM55. It reminds me of my origins. For many years my rover was the only VHF contest station in DM55. W7QQ/has since activated it, and now N5SJ is active with a well equipped 2M station. N5SJ and I were joined by W0AMT/r this contest for three active stations in DM55.  Who would have thought?

There were lots of AZ stations on, and I know that they were worked by many in NM up to Santa Fe or maybe beyond? For many years I have been trying to work AZ from western NM to no avail, but I think it was always an activity issue on the AZ end as I worked lots of AZ stations from the western NM grids this year, as did N5SJ. I also heard the AZ stations working W7QQ, N5SJ, and others. 

I rate the September contest this year high. Part of that was my laid back rove plans and allowing enough time on Sunday to try long haul QSOs to AZ.

It is always nice to hear people’s contest experiences. It helps all of us be better. 

Not sure if either of these groups allow attachments, but as have attached a picture of the rover in DM55 with Mount Taylor in the background. 

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

image1.jpeg

On Sep 10, 2018, at 15:58, Keith Morehouse <w9rm@...> wrote:

Not too much excitement during the September VHF test this year.  Conditions on pretty much every band/mode I have up seemed average to poor.  Maybe some of these comments will help someone.

Meteors were pretty poor after about 1300Z Sunday, although, a few hours earlier, they seemed to start well.  I was able to call CQ on 50.260, running split-mode and work a slow, steady stream of callers for about 45 minutes.  2M rocks didn't produce well, but I didn't really go at them aggressively or get too pushy on PingJockey, since I was mostly 'playing contester' instead of contesting.

Being September, there were no sporadic E openings on 6 that I noticed and even the be-all-end-all miracle mode of FT8 didn't produce any long-haul stuff.  Funny - I can recall working several stations in the 900-1100 miles range on ionoscatter using SSB or CW almost every contest.  One would think FT8 would be even better at that but there was seldom 'anybody home' on 50.313.  Hard to figure out what's really going on in the minds of the majority of FT8 mode users.  Also, meteor pings just play holy havoc with FT8 decodes - not as miracle as some make it out to be, 'eh ?.  My 6M go-to mode of choice for years in these conditions was always CW (you remember that mode, right ?)  I don't think that would get you too far now, unfortunately.

2M tropospheric conditions (if you can call them that in this part of the world) were average.  The rovers with decent antennas who got far enough east of the front-range foothills were easily workable.  Those that stayed close to I-25 ?  Not so easy.  I was able to work into DM89 and DN81 with good signals - both rover and fixed station.  The DM/DN-70's were not so easy.  Sunday mornings 2M "tropo" conditions were above average, with WE7L in over S9.  Unfortunately, there was hardly anybody else around.  Thanks to K0UK, who got on as promised, for the DM59 mult on 6 & 2, another hard to get one.

Rover station KK6MC once again showed how it's done.  I was able to work Duffy with relative ease on 2M from 5 of his 7 New Mexico grid stops and even a few on 6.  These Qs were 250-300 miles across a 14,000' mountain range 50 miles south of my QTH.  All but one QSO was on CW (you remember that mode, right ?)  Some 2M attempts were met with very bad QSB, but just sticking with it for a few minutes and waiting out the fade cycle, usually brought the signal back up to Q5 from in the noise.  This is a good point to remember if you're new to VHF or attempting a higher frequency band like 432 for the first time.  Stick with it - deep cyclic QSB is normal and what goes into the noise usually comes right back out again, although on 432, the cycle MAY take a few minutes (or longer).  This is not a western phenomenon - back in W9-land, it was very common for a long-haul attempt (400+ miles) on 432 to take 15-20 minutes and ultimately end up with Q5 signals both ways.  Whether the time spent is worth it or not in a contest situation is up to you, although the rules now allow even single op's to transmit on multiple bands at the same time.  That's something to think about when planning station architecture.

A new local showed up on 2M from about 3 miles south of me and proceeded to call CQ a bunch on 144.200, sometimes on top of the few front-range guys who were workable.  I worked him, thanked him for being on from my home grid, which is usually impossible to work and then we had a frank discussion on the why's and when's of 2M from the west slope.  Somebody gave him a 2M all-mode radio and antenna, then a few days before the contest, he caught one of those 'big' mornings into the front-range and worked WE7L at over S9 - then, he worked a guy up on Grand Mesa with a big signal (line-of-sight, of course).  So, armed with that 'knowledge', he was all ready to tear up the state on 2M SSB !  Hopefully, in the future, he will be more 'ear' then 'mouth', seeing he's down in the bottom of a canyon with 25W and a short beam fixed east.  Not much, but enough to be 40-over in MY receiver.  I guess I'm spoiled from having the valley pretty much to myself for the last 7-8 years :)

I worked George, AB0YM/R several times, including answering his FT8 CQ from DM89 on 6M for a new mult.  I again caution those who sign 'slash-R' with FT8.  What you think the program is sending might not be what actually goes over the air - I'll leave it at that as it will probably get fixed with the release of WSJT-X Ver 2.  George, if you read this, be advised you were S9 at the start of the contest on 2M, calling CQ in my face for 5 minutes when I was calling you.  I'm running considerably more power then you in your rover.  All I can figure is you were in motion and must have had a very high noise floor, either from the urban crud or from your own vehicle.  It Was VERY Frustrating :)

The biggest news is that the trash covering the entire 6M band, emanating from a local FM broadcast station, has been cleared up after a lot of tough work.  Many thanks to the responsible parties !

-W9RM


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


Sept VHF

Keith Morehouse
 

Not too much excitement during the September VHF test this year.  Conditions on pretty much every band/mode I have up seemed average to poor.  Maybe some of these comments will help someone.

Meteors were pretty poor after about 1300Z Sunday, although, a few hours earlier, they seemed to start well.  I was able to call CQ on 50.260, running split-mode and work a slow, steady stream of callers for about 45 minutes.  2M rocks didn't produce well, but I didn't really go at them aggressively or get too pushy on PingJockey, since I was mostly 'playing contester' instead of contesting.

Being September, there were no sporadic E openings on 6 that I noticed and even the be-all-end-all miracle mode of FT8 didn't produce any long-haul stuff.  Funny - I can recall working several stations in the 900-1100 miles range on ionoscatter using SSB or CW almost every contest.  One would think FT8 would be even better at that but there was seldom 'anybody home' on 50.313.  Hard to figure out what's really going on in the minds of the majority of FT8 mode users.  Also, meteor pings just play holy havoc with FT8 decodes - not as miracle as some make it out to be, 'eh ?.  My 6M go-to mode of choice for years in these conditions was always CW (you remember that mode, right ?)  I don't think that would get you too far now, unfortunately.

2M tropospheric conditions (if you can call them that in this part of the world) were average.  The rovers with decent antennas who got far enough east of the front-range foothills were easily workable.  Those that stayed close to I-25 ?  Not so easy.  I was able to work into DM89 and DN81 with good signals - both rover and fixed station.  The DM/DN-70's were not so easy.  Sunday mornings 2M "tropo" conditions were above average, with WE7L in over S9.  Unfortunately, there was hardly anybody else around.  Thanks to K0UK, who got on as promised, for the DM59 mult on 6 & 2, another hard to get one.

Rover station KK6MC once again showed how it's done.  I was able to work Duffy with relative ease on 2M from 5 of his 7 New Mexico grid stops and even a few on 6.  These Qs were 250-300 miles across a 14,000' mountain range 50 miles south of my QTH.  All but one QSO was on CW (you remember that mode, right ?)  Some 2M attempts were met with very bad QSB, but just sticking with it for a few minutes and waiting out the fade cycle, usually brought the signal back up to Q5 from in the noise.  This is a good point to remember if you're new to VHF or attempting a higher frequency band like 432 for the first time.  Stick with it - deep cyclic QSB is normal and what goes into the noise usually comes right back out again, although on 432, the cycle MAY take a few minutes (or longer).  This is not a western phenomenon - back in W9-land, it was very common for a long-haul attempt (400+ miles) on 432 to take 15-20 minutes and ultimately end up with Q5 signals both ways.  Whether the time spent is worth it or not in a contest situation is up to you, although the rules now allow even single op's to transmit on multiple bands at the same time.  That's something to think about when planning station architecture.

A new local showed up on 2M from about 3 miles south of me and proceeded to call CQ a bunch on 144.200, sometimes on top of the few front-range guys who were workable.  I worked him, thanked him for being on from my home grid, which is usually impossible to work and then we had a frank discussion on the why's and when's of 2M from the west slope.  Somebody gave him a 2M all-mode radio and antenna, then a few days before the contest, he caught one of those 'big' mornings into the front-range and worked WE7L at over S9 - then, he worked a guy up on Grand Mesa with a big signal (line-of-sight, of course).  So, armed with that 'knowledge', he was all ready to tear up the state on 2M SSB !  Hopefully, in the future, he will be more 'ear' then 'mouth', seeing he's down in the bottom of a canyon with 25W and a short beam fixed east.  Not much, but enough to be 40-over in MY receiver.  I guess I'm spoiled from having the valley pretty much to myself for the last 7-8 years :)

I worked George, AB0YM/R several times, including answering his FT8 CQ from DM89 on 6M for a new mult.  I again caution those who sign 'slash-R' with FT8.  What you think the program is sending might not be what actually goes over the air - I'll leave it at that as it will probably get fixed with the release of WSJT-X Ver 2.  George, if you read this, be advised you were S9 at the start of the contest on 2M, calling CQ in my face for 5 minutes when I was calling you.  I'm running considerably more power then you in your rover.  All I can figure is you were in motion and must have had a very high noise floor, either from the urban crud or from your own vehicle.  It Was VERY Frustrating :)

The biggest news is that the trash covering the entire 6M band, emanating from a local FM broadcast station, has been cleared up after a lot of tough work.  Many thanks to the responsible parties !

-W9RM


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


ARRL SEPT VHF

Jonesy W3DHJ
 

Saturday was grim. Sunday was probably grimmer.
My ONLY front range ("regional") QSOs were with
Ken, W0ETT, Duncan, WE7L, and George, AB0YM/r.
Those three folks made up 84% of my total contest QSOs.
Thank you fellas, for I would've given up and quit FAR sooner than I did.
Special thanks to Duncan, WE7L -- who spent a little time over the
weekend, trying to boost my spirits now-and-then.
My only other Colorado contest QSO was with Keith, W9RM.
Then there was Larry, N0LL.
THAT WAS IT!!!!!!!!!!!

I had "hopes" during the Broncos halftime - nothing.
I waited until a half hour after the Broncos game and gave up.
I monitored 2M during the 1 hour drive back home - zilch.
I should've quit at 2PM at my last QSO.
But for AB0YM/r, it was a waste of time to haul the 432mcs equipment
and put up the antenna at each stop.

I give up.
I've decided this is/was my last ARRL SEP VHF.
If most of the region's VHF operators think the ARRL SEP VHF
is not worth showing up for, who am I to buck the trend.

It's simply not worth the wear and tear on the equipment, the vehicle,
and me to spend Friday for vehicle setup, Monday for teardown, and waste
Saturday and Sunday listening to receiver static while swatting flies.

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


Re: KK6MC/r

Jonesy W3DHJ
 

On Sat, 8 Sep 2018, James Duffey wrote:

...., but September is usually a bust here unless we head for CO.
heh... I usually consider Sept a bust, and I only rove in Colo.

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


Re: W0AMT/R September VHF Contest Plans

Bill
 

RR Jon,

I'll track you as best I can.  I'll listen on 50.125 and 144.200 both USB.  We will set up 222.100 USB contacts from the 144 contact.  Will use CW as required by signal strength.  You may reach me at 505.205.4253 (voice and text) Good Luck to you and have fun!

Bill W7QQ
DM75ao


On Sat, Sep 8, 2018 at 8:22 AM Jonathan Fox <w0amt@...> wrote:
I will have 6, 2, and 432 via an FT-817 and 222 via a Ukrainian transverter. I will be barefoot on all bands except 222 where I will have about 20 watts via a RFC amp on loan from Duffey.

I will start the contest in Los Lunas in DM64.  I will probably be set up in the El Cerro de Los Lunas trail head parking lot. If I can get my act together in time I will hike to the top and activate the  El Cerro de Los Lunas SOTA summit W5N/SL-015 

I have family commitments from 3:00pm to 7:00pm. I will be on from my backyard in DM65 after 7:00.

I plan to activate Mt. Sedgwick W5N/C0-001 in DM55 on Sunday morning. Depending on the success of that my stretch goal is the Cerro Rendija W5N/CO-013 summit in DM54. 

73, Jon
W0AMT


Re: KK6MC/r

James Duffey
 

OK Bill. I don’t have 10GHz and 24GHz with me. I want to do a laid back rove for once. :^)=. I even debated taking 902MHz and 1296MHz, but did finally. I hope I can work the AZ guys from western NM.

Thanks for confirming the list. Hope conditions are good, but September is usually a bust here unless we head for CO. - Duffey KK6MC

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On Sep 8, 2018, at 10:03, Bill <bill4070@...> wrote:

Jim,

GL today.  Will track you. I confirmed the club list.

The big 6m amp isn't ready yet (waiting for 7-16 DIN feedline connectors) so I'll use the KPA500.  I have every band you have.  Sorry not to hanks for conget the 3 band 2.3, 3.4 and 5.7 GHz system ready in time. 

Do you have 10 and 24 GHz with you?

Bill W7QQ

On Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 8:16 PM James Duffey <JamesDuffey@...> wrote:
Sorry for the late notice, but I have been traveling a lot, just got back from a 4,000 + mile road trip and was not sure I was up to roving this weekend. I decided to, and with a limited route, so here is my itinerary.

I will start at the Moriarty convergence.

Saturday September
Time on         Grid                    Time Out
1800Z           DM75ba          1900Z
1915Z           DM74bx          2015Z
2030Z           DM64xx          2130Z
2200Z           DM65uc          2330Z

I will overnight at home, perhaps operating from the driveway if conditions warrant or if anyone wants a QSO.

Sunday  September
1400Z           DM54xq          1530Z
1615Z           DM64bw  1745Z
1915Z           DM55xh          2045Z

I will return home to DM65tc. I can stop in DM64 on the way home if anyone still needs that.

You can reach me at (505) 228-5491 . Text is best as I have a record of who calls when if I get busy.

I will have 6M to 1296 exclusive. On Sunday I have allocated some extra time to work the guys in AZ. It should be possible from DM64 and DM55, but DM54 is only a mediocre site and I doubt it will hold up.

Enjoy the contest! - Duffey KK6MC/r


James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM




Re: KK6MC/r

Keith Morehouse
 

Jim, I'll track you on APRS and try to work you on 2M from your stops.  If 2 is good, we can QSY to CW on 6M  - maybe 50.098 +/-.  I don't have antennas up for any other bands right now.

-W9RM

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

On Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 8:15 PM, James Duffey <JamesDuffey@...> wrote:
Sorry for the late notice, but I have been traveling a lot, just got back from a 4,000 + mile road trip and was not sure I was up to roving this weekend. I decided to, and with a limited route, so here is my itinerary.

I will start at the Moriarty convergence.

Saturday September
Time on         Grid                    Time Out
1800Z           DM75ba          1900Z
1915Z           DM74bx          2015Z
2030Z           DM64xx          2130Z
2200Z           DM65uc          2330Z

I will overnight at home, perhaps operating from the driveway if conditions warrant or if anyone wants a QSO.

Sunday  September
1400Z           DM54xq          1530Z
1615Z           DM64bw  1745Z
1915Z           DM55xh          2045Z

I will return home to DM65tc. I can stop in DM64 on the way home if anyone still needs that.

You can reach me at (505) 228-5491 . Text is best as I have a record of who calls when if I get busy.

I will have 6M to 1296 exclusive. On Sunday I have allocated some extra time to work the guys in AZ. It should be possible from DM64 and DM55, but DM54 is only a mediocre site and I doubt it will hold up.

Enjoy the contest! - Duffey KK6MC/r


James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM





Re: KK6MC/r

Bill
 

Jim,

GL today.  Will track you. I confirmed the club list.

The big 6m amp isn't ready yet (waiting for 7-16 DIN feedline connectors) so I'll use the KPA500.  I have every band you have.  Sorry not to get the 3 band 2.3, 3.4 and 5.7 GHz system ready in time. 

Do you have 10 and 24 GHz with you?

Bill W7QQ


On Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 8:16 PM James Duffey <JamesDuffey@...> wrote:
Sorry for the late notice, but I have been traveling a lot, just got back from a 4,000 + mile road trip and was not sure I was up to roving this weekend. I decided to, and with a limited route, so here is my itinerary.

I will start at the Moriarty convergence.

Saturday September
Time on         Grid                    Time Out
1800Z           DM75ba          1900Z
1915Z           DM74bx          2015Z
2030Z           DM64xx          2130Z
2200Z           DM65uc          2330Z

I will overnight at home, perhaps operating from the driveway if conditions warrant or if anyone wants a QSO.

Sunday  September
1400Z           DM54xq          1530Z
1615Z           DM64bw  1745Z
1915Z           DM55xh          2045Z

I will return home to DM65tc. I can stop in DM64 on the way home if anyone still needs that.

You can reach me at (505) 228-5491 . Text is best as I have a record of who calls when if I get busy.

I will have 6M to 1296 exclusive. On Sunday I have allocated some extra time to work the guys in AZ. It should be possible from DM64 and DM55, but DM54 is only a mediocre site and I doubt it will hold up.

Enjoy the contest! - Duffey KK6MC/r


James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM




W0AMT/R September VHF Contest Plans

Jonathan Fox - W0AMT
 

I will have 6, 2, and 432 via an FT-817 and 222 via a Ukrainian transverter. I will be barefoot on all bands except 222 where I will have about 20 watts via a RFC amp on loan from Duffey.

I will start the contest in Los Lunas in DM64.  I will probably be set up in the El Cerro de Los Lunas trail head parking lot. If I can get my act together in time I will hike to the top and activate the  El Cerro de Los Lunas SOTA summit W5N/SL-015 

I have family commitments from 3:00pm to 7:00pm. I will be on from my backyard in DM65 after 7:00.

I plan to activate Mt. Sedgwick W5N/C0-001 in DM55 on Sunday morning. Depending on the success of that my stretch goal is the Cerro Rendija W5N/CO-013 summit in DM54. 

73, Jon
W0AMT


KK6MC/r

James Duffey
 

Sorry for the late notice, but I have been traveling a lot, just got back from a 4,000 + mile road trip and was not sure I was up to roving this weekend. I decided to, and with a limited route, so here is my itinerary.

I will start at the Moriarty convergence.

Saturday September
Time on Grid Time Out
1800Z DM75ba 1900Z
1915Z DM74bx 2015Z
2030Z DM64xx 2130Z
2200Z DM65uc 2330Z

I will overnight at home, perhaps operating from the driveway if conditions warrant or if anyone wants a QSO.

Sunday September
1400Z DM54xq 1530Z
1615Z DM64bw 1745Z
1915Z DM55xh 2045Z

I will return home to DM65tc. I can stop in DM64 on the way home if anyone still needs that.

You can reach me at (505) 228-5491 . Text is best as I have a record of who calls when if I get busy.

I will have 6M to 1296 exclusive. On Sunday I have allocated some extra time to work the guys in AZ. It should be possible from DM64 and DM55, but DM54 is only a mediocre site and I doubt it will hold up.

Enjoy the contest! - Duffey KK6MC/r


James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM


Re: Ukrainian 222 Transverter Progress

Jonathan Fox - W0AMT
 

Hi Duffey,

That would be great. I will email you off the list. 

Jon

On Tue, Sep 4, 2018 at 9:11 AM James Duffey <JamesDuffey@...> wrote:
Jon - I have a couple of 20W 222MHz amps that I am not using. You are welcome to one if you want it. They are RF Concepts amps, RF actuated, so they should work fine with little work. They don’t have the preamps as they were used for repeater links, but the Transverters Store transverter should have plenty of sensitivity without it. Let me know if you want it and can make arrangements to get it to you this week before the contest. - Duffey KK6MC

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On Aug 31, 2018, at 20:36, Jonathan Fox <w0amt@...> wrote:

I finished the 222 transverter kit this past week and did some initial setup. Per the article on the NMVHF website by W7QQ and KK6MC I checked the gate bias and found it at 2.5 volts. I adjusted it up to 3.1. I did not have an opportunity to get an on-air report of the IMD improvement.

This past Wednesday I was able to make contact with NK5W on 222.110. However, I had some frequency stability issues. At first I was low by 2 MHz, after transmitting a few times I found I was  5 Mhz high. After ending the qso I went back to the assembly instructions and found that I had missed a detail. There are two mounting holes on the transverter board in addition to the mounting hole for the MOSFET. The instructions say to only use the #1 hole as using the #2 hole can cause oscillations. I missed that the first time. I am still using the #2 hole. I insulated the PC board from the metal mounting screw with a nylon washer.

I am hoping this change will improve my frequency stability issues. If not I will remove it completely and see what that does.

The WA5VJB 4 element cheap yagi I built for an antenna worked great for the QSO I had.

Is anyone available for a 222 qso this weekend? I would like to do another on-air check of the transverter. 

73, Jon
W0AMT


Re: Ukrainian 222 Transverter Progress

James Duffey
 

Jon - I have a couple of 20W 222MHz amps that I am not using. You are welcome to one if you want it. They are RF Concepts amps, RF actuated, so they should work fine with little work. They don’t have the preamps as they were used for repeater links, but the Transverters Store transverter should have plenty of sensitivity without it. Let me know if you want it and can make arrangements to get it to you this week before the contest. - Duffey KK6MC

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On Aug 31, 2018, at 20:36, Jonathan Fox <w0amt@...> wrote:

I finished the 222 transverter kit this past week and did some initial setup. Per the article on the NMVHF website by W7QQ and KK6MC I checked the gate bias and found it at 2.5 volts. I adjusted it up to 3.1. I did not have an opportunity to get an on-air report of the IMD improvement.

This past Wednesday I was able to make contact with NK5W on 222.110. However, I had some frequency stability issues. At first I was low by 2 MHz, after transmitting a few times I found I was  5 Mhz high. After ending the qso I went back to the assembly instructions and found that I had missed a detail. There are two mounting holes on the transverter board in addition to the mounting hole for the MOSFET. The instructions say to only use the #1 hole as using the #2 hole can cause oscillations. I missed that the first time. I am still using the #2 hole. I insulated the PC board from the metal mounting screw with a nylon washer.

I am hoping this change will improve my frequency stability issues. If not I will remove it completely and see what that does.

The WA5VJB 4 element cheap yagi I built for an antenna worked great for the QSO I had.

Is anyone available for a 222 qso this weekend? I would like to do another on-air check of the transverter. 

73, Jon
W0AMT


ARRL SEPT VHF contest -- W3DHJ/R

Jonesy W3DHJ
 

I plan on rovering in the ARRL SEPT VHF contest. For me the September
contest has always been the triumph of hope over experience. :-)

All operations will be close in to 38° N and 104° W.
I am a (very) Limited Rover -- 6M, 2M, 432/446 mcs.

Contest period: Sept 8-10, 1800z Sat - 0300z Mon


SAT #1: DM88bb: 1800z~2000z

SAT #2: DM87bw: 2000z~2200z

SAT #3: DM77xw: 2200z~2359z

SAT #4: DM78xa: 0000z~0200+z


SUN #1: DM78xa: 1200z~1530z

SUN #2: DM77xw: 1530z~1900z

SUN #3: DM87cx: 1900z~2230z

SUN #4: DM88bb: 2230z~0200+z


A wee bit more detail
at:
https://W3DHJ.net/vhfrover_plans.php
73
Jonesy
--
<pre> Marvin L Jones | W3DHJ | W3DHJ | https://W3DHJ.net/
Pueblo, Colorado | @ | Jonesy | __ linux FreeBSD
38.238N 104.547W | jonz.net | DM78rf | 73 SK


Re: Ukrainian 222 Transverter Progress

Bill
 

Hi Jon,

1:00 PM today sounds fine unless the lightning kicks up again from this weather system.  I'll look for you on 222.150.  Nice to see that you're on 222. It's a great band.

73 Bill W7QQ



On Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 8:04 AM Jonathan Fox <w0amt@...> wrote:
Hi Bill,

How does 1:00 pm Saturday sound?

222.100?

73, W0AMT

On Fri, Aug 31, 2018 at 9:35 PM Bill <bill4070@...> wrote:
Jon,

I’ll  be around this weekend. Set a date time and let me know. We’ll give it a try.

Bill W7QQ 



On Aug 31, 2018, at 8:36 PM, Jonathan Fox <w0amt@...> wrote:

I finished the 222 transverter kit this past week and did some initial setup. Per the article on the NMVHF website by W7QQ and KK6MC I checked the gate bias and found it at 2.5 volts. I adjusted it up to 3.1. I did not have an opportunity to get an on-air report of the IMD improvement.

This past Wednesday I was able to make contact with NK5W on 222.110. However, I had some frequency stability issues. At first I was low by 2 MHz, after transmitting a few times I found I was  5 Mhz high. After ending the qso I went back to the assembly instructions and found that I had missed a detail. There are two mounting holes on the transverter board in addition to the mounting hole for the MOSFET. The instructions say to only use the #1 hole as using the #2 hole can cause oscillations. I missed that the first time. I am still using the #2 hole. I insulated the PC board from the metal mounting screw with a nylon washer.

I am hoping this change will improve my frequency stability issues. If not I will remove it completely and see what that does.

The WA5VJB 4 element cheap yagi I built for an antenna worked great for the QSO I had.

Is anyone available for a 222 qso this weekend? I would like to do another on-air check of the transverter. 

73, Jon
W0AMT


Re: Ukrainian 222 Transverter Progress

Jonathan Fox - W0AMT
 

Hi Bill,

How does 1:00 pm Saturday sound?

222.100?

73, W0AMT

On Fri, Aug 31, 2018 at 9:35 PM Bill <bill4070@...> wrote:
Jon,

I’ll  be around this weekend. Set a date time and let me know. We’ll give it a try.

Bill W7QQ 



On Aug 31, 2018, at 8:36 PM, Jonathan Fox <w0amt@...> wrote:

I finished the 222 transverter kit this past week and did some initial setup. Per the article on the NMVHF website by W7QQ and KK6MC I checked the gate bias and found it at 2.5 volts. I adjusted it up to 3.1. I did not have an opportunity to get an on-air report of the IMD improvement.

This past Wednesday I was able to make contact with NK5W on 222.110. However, I had some frequency stability issues. At first I was low by 2 MHz, after transmitting a few times I found I was  5 Mhz high. After ending the qso I went back to the assembly instructions and found that I had missed a detail. There are two mounting holes on the transverter board in addition to the mounting hole for the MOSFET. The instructions say to only use the #1 hole as using the #2 hole can cause oscillations. I missed that the first time. I am still using the #2 hole. I insulated the PC board from the metal mounting screw with a nylon washer.

I am hoping this change will improve my frequency stability issues. If not I will remove it completely and see what that does.

The WA5VJB 4 element cheap yagi I built for an antenna worked great for the QSO I had.

Is anyone available for a 222 qso this weekend? I would like to do another on-air check of the transverter. 

73, Jon
W0AMT


Re: Ukrainian 222 Transverter Progress

Mike WB2FKO
 

Jon, I hope to have a new 222 feedline installed this weekend and will be wanting to do some testing. Shoot me a text and we can coordinate: 505 358 2990 Mike WB2FKO

On Aug 31, 2018, at 8:36 PM, Jonathan Fox <w0amt@...> wrote:

I finished the 222 transverter kit this past week and did some initial setup. Per the article on the NMVHF website by W7QQ and KK6MC I checked the gate bias and found it at 2.5 volts. I adjusted it up to 3.1. I did not have an opportunity to get an on-air report of the IMD improvement.

This past Wednesday I was able to make contact with NK5W on 222.110. However, I had some frequency stability issues. At first I was low by 2 MHz, after transmitting a few times I found I was  5 Mhz high. After ending the qso I went back to the assembly instructions and found that I had missed a detail. There are two mounting holes on the transverter board in addition to the mounting hole for the MOSFET. The instructions say to only use the #1 hole as using the #2 hole can cause oscillations. I missed that the first time. I am still using the #2 hole. I insulated the PC board from the metal mounting screw with a nylon washer.

I am hoping this change will improve my frequency stability issues. If not I will remove it completely and see what that does.

The WA5VJB 4 element cheap yagi I built for an antenna worked great for the QSO I had.

Is anyone available for a 222 qso this weekend? I would like to do another on-air check of the transverter. 

73, Jon
W0AMT

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