Date   

Re: 6m Es opening - 2300Z

Ed
 

Not a very strong opening down here in DM65. But working a few. Take any opening in late fall.

 

Ed N5JEH

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Keith Morehouse
Sent: Tuesday, December 4, 2018 4:18 PM
To: nmvhf@groups.io
Subject: [nmvhf] 6m Es opening - 2300Z

 

Strong Es opening from DM58 to mid EM6/7/8 now.

1st good winter Es opening heard here this season

 

-W9RM


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

 


6m Es opening - 2300Z

Keith Morehouse
 

Strong Es opening from DM58 to mid EM6/7/8 now.
1st good winter Es opening heard here this season

-W9RM

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


2nd VHF Super Confernece: Call for Papers/Presentations #vhf #uhf #antenna

Robin Midgett
 

Call for Papers and Presentations for the second Super VHF Conference, April 26-28, 2019, in Sterling, VA, near Washington, DC.  

The the second Super VHF Conference is jointly sponsored by Packrats, NEWS Group, and SVHFS, and Hosted by the Grid Pirates Contest Group and Directive Systems and Engineering


details at http://vhfsuperconference.com/


Presentations or papers are welcome on VHF, UHF, microwaves, and higher.  All aspects welcome, technical and non-technical - operating, contesting, homebrewing, roving, software, EME, surplus, antennas, test equipment, amplifiers, SDR, 47 GHz superregen, whatever.  Your winter project might be a good candidate - take some pictures.


N2CEI and W1GHZ will be coordinating the proceedings book and CD.


submissions and questions to:

conferencepapers@...


New Mexico TechFest -- Call for Presentations

Brian Mileshosky
 

Greetings —

The fifth annual New Mexico TechFest, an ARRL-sanctioned operating specialty event organized by Rocky Mountain Ham Radio - New Mexico, will take place Saturday, February 23, 2019.  TechFest features a day of quality presentations and demonstrations provided by some of New Mexico and Colorado’s leading technical hams on a variety of emerging and relevant topics within amateur radio.  The event’s purpose is to help expand attendees’ technical knowledge, facilitate collaboration, and encourage the discussion of new ideas with one another.

TechFest is open to all interested hams and will occur at the New Mexico Veterans’ Memorial Event Center located at 1100 Louisiana Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108.  Admission is $10.  Online registration will open the week of January 6, when the event’s presentation lineup is announced.

Presentation-related prizes will be drawn throughout the event. Refreshments including coffee, water, and light snacks will be available. Optional lunch, catered by local small business, will be available at an additional cost.

*** CALL FOR TECHFEST PRESENTATIONS, POSTERBOARDS, AND DEMONSTRATIONS *** The New Mexico TechFest seeks presentations, posterboards, and demos on emerging and relevant amateur radio technical topics, techniques, and applications.   If you’ve been working on a special project, are researching a technical topic, or have discovered or adopted a technology or technique that you’re applying within amateur radio, TechFest is a great venue to share your knowledge with the amateur radio community in a casual and friendly environment.  Presentations will generally be 50 minutes in total length.  Shorter posterboard talks and demos will also occur throughout the day.  AC-powered tables will be provided to facilitate presentations and demos.  Hams interested in providing a presentation, posterboard, or demonstration are asked to submit a summary/abstract of their proposed topic for consideration by January 1st. Visit the New Mexico TechFest website for submission details and key dates.

Additional details about the New Mexico TechFest, for both attendees and potential presenters, can be found at http://www.rmham.org/wordpress/new-mexico-techfest  A printable event flyer for posting on ham listserves, your club’s website, or your club’s newsletter is attached.

We hope to see you at TechFest 2019.

73,
Brian N5ZGT



Damage to LMR-type coax - a lesson to remember

Keith Morehouse
 

This is certainly not a new discovery, but it's good to re-visit certain things once in a while.  One of the problems with using any foamed or micro-porous Teflon dielectric coax cable (like LMR and other modern, stiff, low-loss cable) is the hazard of having the center conductor push through the relatively soft dielectric when under temperature extremes or with rough handling.  Here is an example.

I have numerous 20' lengths of LMR-400 cable, terminated with crimp-on N connectors that were commercially manufactured.  You used to be able to get these things surplus on EBay, complete with test report and sealed in plastic for $10-15.  They were good for jumpers and anything else that didn't move too much.  If you had too much radial motion, the connectors would break off after a while.  A couple weeks ago, after sorting through a jumble of RF cables used for various things (roving, portable op's, ect), I came across one 20 foot LMR-400 unit that had a loose crimp connector.  I went ahead and cut off the old connector and replaced it with a nice, new-out-of-the-bag Andrew two-piece compression design and tossed it aside for test.  This morning, I got around to testing it (no use having a network analyzer siting on the test bench if you don't use it to test things...) and found it had God-awful return loss (bad VSWR).  Of course, I figured the connector had been installed improperly, but after disassembly, the connector looked fine.  Further testing showed no change to the return loss when actively pushing and pulling on the partially disassembled end.  Hmmm - maybe it's the OTHER end, so I punched up the TDR routine on the analyzer to try and find the fault.  Long story short, the fault ended up being about 400mm BEHIND the connector I replaced.  You can see why in this picture.

IMG_20181107_141517465.jpg

You can see that the center conductor has moved almost an entire diameter into the dielectric, but was not yet shorting.  The interesting part is there was NO OBVIOUS damage to the coax outer cover - no crimp marks or crush marks - only a few scratches.  I assume it was smashed under some large weight or run over by a vehicle or, maybe stepped on or subjected to less-then-minimum bend radius after laying in the hot desert sun.  Sometimes, you can see a mark from a zip-tie on the cable, but not here.  Whatever it was, the return loss was approaching 5 dB several places between 30 and 1500 MHz (and greater then 20 dB in the 432 MHz band).

Cutting off 18" and re-attaching the same connector gave me a cable assembly with >25 dB return loss through 1500 MHz, with insertion loss of approx 0.2 dB at 50 MHz and 0.5 dB at 432.  The take-away from this lesson is to always remember how unforgiving some high-performance, low loss RF cables can be when abused - even if there is no sign.  Pretty much the only way to track down this type of fault is with TDR techniques.  BTW, differentiating between the reference plane and the internal conductor attachment point of an N connector using a HP network analyzer is not a problem - there's plenty of room in there.

-W9RM

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


Re: 2 meter transverter up for grabs...

redarlington
 

It's all yours, Erik.     We just have to figure out how to get it to you.  Email me off list and we'll make arrangements.

-Bob

On Tue, Oct 23, 2018 at 10:47 PM Erik Nelson <erik.nels0n99@...> wrote:
Bob, 

If it's not spoken for I'm interested.

 73,
  - Erik, KE5ZBG

On Tue, Oct 23, 2018, 14:54 redarlington <rdarlington@...> wrote:
Hi guys,

I have a 2 meter transverter (28MHz IF) up for grabs if anybody needs one.  It's the current offering from transverters-store.com with the internal attenuator board.   Power cable with Anderson power pole attached.  Factory assembled.    And best of all, free.    I just installed an internal 2 meter module in my rig so it's surplus to my needs.

Pickup in Los Alamos or we can meet up sometime in Santa Fe.  Just let me know and we'll go from there.

Bob - N3XKB


Re: 2 meter transverter up for grabs...

Erik Nelson
 

Bob, 

If it's not spoken for I'm interested.

 73,
  - Erik, KE5ZBG

On Tue, Oct 23, 2018, 14:54 redarlington <rdarlington@...> wrote:
Hi guys,

I have a 2 meter transverter (28MHz IF) up for grabs if anybody needs one.  It's the current offering from transverters-store.com with the internal attenuator board.   Power cable with Anderson power pole attached.  Factory assembled.    And best of all, free.    I just installed an internal 2 meter module in my rig so it's surplus to my needs.

Pickup in Los Alamos or we can meet up sometime in Santa Fe.  Just let me know and we'll go from there.

Bob - N3XKB


2 meter transverter up for grabs...

redarlington
 

Hi guys,

I have a 2 meter transverter (28MHz IF) up for grabs if anybody needs one.  It's the current offering from transverters-store.com with the internal attenuator board.   Power cable with Anderson power pole attached.  Factory assembled.    And best of all, free.    I just installed an internal 2 meter module in my rig so it's surplus to my needs.

Pickup in Los Alamos or we can meet up sometime in Santa Fe.  Just let me know and we'll go from there.

Bob - N3XKB


Re: Congrats Duffey

Ed
 

Congratulations Duffey. You are so deserving of that adward.

 

Ed N5JEH

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: KC7QY
Sent: Friday, October 19, 2018 9:50 PM
To: NM VHF
Subject: [nmvhf] Congrats Duffey

 

Duffey,

 

Congratulations on NM Ham of the Year, announced tonight at the Socorro Hamfest, NM State Convention banquet. 

 

Jim KC7QY

 


Re: Congrats Duffey

Mike WB2FKO
 

Congratulations indeed! And well deserved. Will see you in Socorro on Saturday. 
Mike WB2FKO

On Oct 19, 2018, at 8:49 PM, KC7QY <kc7qy@...> wrote:

Duffey,

Congratulations on NM Ham of the Year, announced tonight at the Socorro Hamfest, NM State Convention banquet. 
 
Jim KC7QY


Re: Congrats Duffey

Bruce Draper
 

Wow! Congrats, Duffey!


On Oct 19, 2018, at 8:52 PM, James Duffey <JamesDuffey@...> wrote:

Thanks Jim!

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On Oct 19, 2018, at 20:49, KC7QY <kc7qy@...> wrote:

Duffey,

Congratulations on NM Ham of the Year, announced tonight at the Socorro Hamfest, NM State Convention banquet. 
 
Jim KC7QY


Re: Congrats Duffey

James Duffey
 

Thanks Jim!

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On Oct 19, 2018, at 20:49, KC7QY <kc7qy@...> wrote:

Duffey,

Congratulations on NM Ham of the Year, announced tonight at the Socorro Hamfest, NM State Convention banquet. 
 
Jim KC7QY


Congrats Duffey

KC7QY
 

Duffey,

Congratulations on NM Ham of the Year, announced tonight at the Socorro Hamfest, NM State Convention banquet. 
 
Jim KC7QY


6 mtr bbq presentations

Bruce Draper
 

Some good, some not (I’m sure they were much better in person). Here they are:


73,
   Bruce 


Round table

Bruce Draper
 

Tuesday evening, 8 pm, 50.133 MHz.

We've had a good run on 6 meters this summer with lots of interesting discussions and some occasional sporadic E openings, but we'll probably be moving back to 10 or 80 meters soon. Jump in on 6 while you can.


Re: Sept VHF

John Klem
 

I'd like to offer some comments on the Sept VHF contest from the perspective of a decidedly non-big-signal operator who typically has limited time and interest for contests. Although my interest factor was unusually high on this one, it was largely compensated by the time factor.

The high point of my contest, hands down, was working W0AMT/R in DM55 on both 6 and 2 SSB, QRP-to-QRP. There's something really inspiring about someone carrying all his gear on his back, going somewhere high and remote, and sounding like he's in your back yard.

My longest haul was K2AK, DM41, in southern AZ, on 6 m FT8.

My strangest contact was with WS5N, DM54, on 6 m MSK144, following a failed attempt at a meteor scatter contact with someone else. Perhaps this is not unusual for tropo scatter, but his signal had wild swings in strength, making me wonder if perhaps aircraft scatter was involved.

Not too surprisingly, there were several strong candidates for biggest disappointment. Topping the list was somehow never hearing KK6MC/R significantly above the noise, in any of the grids he visited.

Regarding the question of 6 m band openings, I'll mention that I “saw” a couple of FT8 stations (K6EU, WA6ZTY) in CM97 and CM98 with weak but persistent signals rising to a decodable level over a period of several minutes Sunday AM. These signals did not have the characteristics I normally associate with meteor scatter – they were relatively constant over 15-second periods, for multiple periods.

And of course, I'd like to weigh in on the FT8 issue. Keith, no offense, I have no doubt you are a beacon station, but I'm not sure I've ever heard you on the air. I have heard you here, however, and really value your insights and advice. As much as anything, I think this is the kind of thing that will help stem the losses to our community.

So why does it seem that everyone is fleeing the traditional modes to FT8? Presumably, they are not all idiots. I like to start with the understanding that basically everything we are doing in ham radio is really kinda nuts. Once you acknowledge that it makes no sense to try to bounce signals off meteor trails or the moon when you could just pick up the phone instead, it's really not that hard to see that a lot of people like FT8 or the next mode to come along simply because they like it, not because it helps improve their contest score or is in any sense the best tool for some job. And that is just fine. To preserve weak-signal and traditional modes, it makes sense to do exactly what I see is already happening in NMVHF. Recruit, talk about why THIS stuff is fun, show your enthusiasm, help those who need it, and avoid the mode shaming.

John, AA5PR


Re: Sept VHF

Keith Morehouse
 

Since I went into the contest as a part-timer with the intent of working as many "locals" as I could and helping out those guys running meteor scatter, I had a lot of not-in-chair time.  Most of that time, I parked the radio on 50.313, just to use FT8 and PSK Reporter as a 'reverse beacon'.  As Mike, FKO mentioned, there was a good number of random meteor bursts throughout the whole contest, including a lot of rather dense pings most all day Sunday.  So, a lot of the things I decoded (and subsequently auto-spotted to PSK Reporter, which passes them throughout the spotting 'system') were the results of meteor scatter bursts just long enough to allow WSJT-X to actually figure out who was there.  I think a stable signal needs to be present for a little more then 5 seconds to get a FT8 decode.  This is why a weak ionoscatter signal which keeps getting interrupted by a strong meteor burst won't decode using FT8 but might be readable on CW or even SSB and would be a quick QSO using WSJT-X's MSK144 mode.

Even with this apparently good meteor activity, I still had numerous failures on MSK144 runs between 1400 & 1600Z Sunday.  On some occasions, my run partner would have a page of decodes from me, with nothing on my end over 10 minutes and then, on the next run, my new partner would decode absolutely nothing in 10 minutes, while I had a page of decodes - go figure.  This was with stations that I've worked many times before using this mode.  The regulars call it "one-way rocks" and it's something that I've seen for many years.  I'm sure the actual reason is complicated :)

Another comment on the digital debate.  As Mike said, all the WSJT modes are simply part of the toolbox.  Smart contest op's (and weak-signal op's) know when to select different tools for the job.  However, this particular change (the introduction of FT8) is being very disruptive to the amateur community as a whole, not just us VHF/UHF op's.  Entire sub-bands are emptying, their op's moving from traditional modes and frequencies to channelized digital modes.  All of a sudden, many op's have "nobody to work", and this is where the problem lies.

Some small percentage of op's just won't accept any change, others are thrown outside their comfort zones and what happens with them depends on their ability to adapt.  Many others move en masse to the 'next new thing' without giving it much thought, kind of like life in general in the early 21st Century.

Others, like me, look at this change from a technical perspective and try to preach some sanity, such as, don't stay on a 40 QSO per hour mode when the band opens during a contest, move to a 200 QSO per hour mode like SSB.  I have no complaint about FT8, outside of it being used improperly and the wisdom of compressing many KHz of spectrum users onto one frequency.

WA7JTM seems to have followed the path of either the first or second group I described.  Is he right ?  Is there a 'right' and a 'wrong' ?  Who knows - but he will be missed if he follows through.  I can name another half dozen 'big signals' around the country who have much the same opinion as him regarding WSJT-X modes.  These guys run the 'beacon stations" - the "go-to" stations - the guys Who Would Be Missed if they stopped contesting.  MOST of them fall into my group, those who don't understand why people put up with 40/hour rates and massive single-channel QRM on FT8 during a band opening.

What do we, us dedicated VHF contest and weak signal guys, do about this ?  Do we petition to disallow digital modes during contests ?  Do we ask for a dedicated digital contest ?  Do we walk away ?  Do we do nothing ?  Or, do we teach by example, using the proper tools at the proper time (like we've always done), telling people why and how we do what we do and hope we can build momentum and a cadre of tool-using, thinking VHF multi-mode op's ?

-W9RM


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


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

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