My Beginning in 2m moonbounce
It was a teenage dream, I am now 48 years old. Achieving 800 000 Km QSOs is no easy task and it needs to be prepared.
Therefore I have been working for months to equip myself to do EME with very specific constraints: I live in a housing plan and I have very little space. The only available location for my antennas is in the corner of my property: I only have 3 meters radius available. My initial choice was naturally towards the 70 cm but I finally decided on a small compact grouping in 2m because there are a lot VHF stations.
The choice of antennas was very simple: It was out of the question to not trust Justin G0KSC’s LFAs’s LFAs, G0KSC. I fell in love with the 6m LFA and I won’t change my opinion for a while 🙂 With the small space available, my choice fell on 4 antennas 7 elements. The horizontal spacing being 2.71 m, I manage to rotate my antennas without them going into the neighborhood propriety so he doesn’t not file a complaint against me 🙂
I now need a support for these antennas and I feel that my 60 mm tube mast is not strong enough, so I have to make a make a small tower. In the end, I need a clearance of 6.50m at the rotor level. A few welds later and it’s done.
I took the opportunity to make a removable offset allowing me to position my ladder. We must not forget that at more than 6 m high, it is necessary to be able to fix remote antennas of 1.35 m. I have large arms, but still …
I then installed the H-Frame on my G-5500 rotor and then I was able to start mounting the antennas. In a rush, I managed to mount one of the baluns upside down. To be in phase, the antennas must of course be fed from the same side (thank you David HI8DL). A piece of colored tape on the correct side will help prevent mistakes.
The easiest is now behind me! Now is where the problems begin: You have to align the antennas with precision toward the Moon but as I have the good idea to start my activity in the New Moon, it is not really obvious, there is still the sun but it is is very quickly dangerous for my retinas …
Finally, here we are. LMR 600 coaxial and a very good Goran YU1CF mast preamplifier are installed. All that’s left to do is to open WSJT and … admire the extreme level of noise.
Angel WP4G advises me to use WSJT10 in “measure” mode, but there you go, I don’t have this version on Linux. So here I am forced to switch to Windows, sacrilege 🙂
Then, it will be necessary to track the local noises and it is not an easy task. Antennas pointed towards a quiet place in the sky, I disconnect the electricity from my house. IC 9700 and laptop running on battery, I repower the devices one by one. So I discovered that smartphone chargers generate a noise disproportionate to their size but that the air conditioning of my shack is problematic but there is worse, the control box of the rotor (an EA4TX ARS-USB) and the 50V power supply of my amplifier generate crazy noise. In the end, it is 8 dB of noise floor that I recover and I finally have an almost completely pure 144.100 / 144.150 band. Let’s talk about serious things !
I start at a time when the signal-to-noise degradation is the lowest, I can’t hope for better and as soon as I settle on a frequency, I decode signals, I let you imagine the joy … I start sending reports on the N0UK chat and … I’m getting harassed by everyone! Guadeloupe has not been active for several years because it was Philippe F1DUZ who activated the islands.
From the first day, July 19, I realize 10 Qsos. First one with IK4WLV. My dream has finally come true!
9 days later, I carried out 82 initial QSOs (duplicate qso with the same station does not count), contacted 25 different DXCCs and even though my antennas are currently dismantled due to the hurricane season, I do not have any doubts that these numbers will continue to increase.
My EME station :
– 4 x 7 elements 144 SUPER LOW NOISE fromInnovantenna
– 4 ports divider + Goran YU1CF mast preamplifier (1500W switch) + 10m LMR 600
– Yaesu G-5500 + EA4TX ARS-USB
– Icom IC-9700 + BLF188XR 1KW
– Windows 10 Laptop with MSHV 2.43 and WSJT 10 (spare decode), PstRotator (AZ + EL control)
I am using emechat.com Linked to NØUK chat and spot CQ on liveCQ.eu
Thank you to all the friends and my wife who have helped me from near or far. Many thanks to FG4ST and his wife for the grammatical corrections of this article. Very clearly, it is impossible to hope to achieve this kind of project alone because tons of skills are needed to achieve this kind of project!
“Alone on goes faster, together on goes further.”
See you on the Moon !