Monday, April 15, 2013

A Few More EME Contacts on 144 MHz

This weekend was a good one for EME (earth-moon-earth) contacts with my small two-yagi station!  On Saturday I managed to make 19 EME contacts, 16 of which were stations I hadn't contacted before.  Almost all of the stations contacted were 4-yagi stations.

UA3PTW KO93 Russia
KB8RQ EM79 USA - Ohio
RT4I LO43 Russia
ES3RF KO29 Estonia
RA6A KN96 Russia
UY0LL KN79 Ukraine
G4ZFJ JO01 United Kingdom
DL1RNW JO62 Germany
DK4RC JO60 Germany
DK2PH JO41 Germany
DL9GS JO31 Germany
DL4KUG JO64 Germany
DJ9MG JO52 Germany
SP4KM KO03 Poland
CT1HZE IM57 Portugal
VE2JWH FN35 Canada - Quebec
N7NW CN87 USA - Washington
WA3QPX FM29 USA - Maryland
JR3REX PM94 Japan

One thing that helped to make contacts this weekend was the presence of a 2 meter EME DX-pedition on 144.134 MHz: station 9G5EME has set up portable operation in Ghana.  This brought out a lot of EME operators, so with more people watching the moon this weekend, there were simply more out there to make contact with.  Conditions for EME were also pretty good:  the moon's elevation is fairly high above the horizon, and the moon comes up early enough (late morning here in California) that the European stations are still awake and active.

Some screenshots of the contacts are below.  Going clockwise around the desktop, in the upper left is the MAP65 spectal display, showing activity on the entire EME band from 144.106 MHz to 144.166 MHz.  To the right is the MAP65 stations window, showing what stations have been heard by that software.  Right of that is the astronomical data window, showing the position of the moon for my station and the DX station.  Below that is the spectral display for WSJT9 software, displaying a high-resolution spectrum on the frequency I'm actually operating on.  To the left is the MAP65 main window, showing stations decoded.  And to the left of that is the WSJT9 window also showing stations decoded.  The MAP65 software listens to the FUNCube Dongle Pro+ software-defined radio (SDR), and the WSJT9 software listens to the FT-817ND analog radio.  By using two separate radios (one SDR, one analog) it's possible to view the entire band activity at once, and still have high-quality decodes.

Here's KB8RQ, a very large station with 24 yagis:

And ES3RF, a 4x18 yagi station:

And CT1HZE, a very strong station:

Finally, I've updated the EME station block diagram:

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