Following is the 1A0KM EME expedition story:
some days are gone since my 1A0KM activity. Well, what to say? It was rather challenging operation and I am still puzzled why things were going so bad (on EME) this time?! Maybe you have some idea?
We arrived at 1A0KM around 0800 utc on Saturday July 14th. We were not able to build up any antennas immediately as the "diplomat" was just coming in...So everything was kept QUIET until the early afternoon. We were looking around the QTH to find a place to build up the antennas. We decided to build up the antenna in the garden of 1A0KM. Unfortunately after a while we got the info that its not possible to build it up in the garden...
So the only place was on the parking area...
There was a van where the 6m antenna and a single 2m antenna was mounted. The van had an pneumatic mast. We got the OK to build up our antennas there. We removed the 6m and 2m antenna and build up the 2x17el M2. The 6m antenna was build up on another tower.
So the problem was now that we had the high building towards east and we needed about 45 deg elevation to see the moon. Another problem was the palm-tree to the south and another tree to the north. So it was very hard to rotate the antenna...We used 3-dimensional-rotations (elevation-azimut- up/down by the pneumatic mast) to overcome the problem...Everything was very difficult...!!!! 1A0KM is just too small DXCC!
We build up the array on saturday afternoon and got ready abt 16utc. We got alot of cross-modulation with preamp 1. So we changed to preamp 2 (not so sensitive!). First test with Jimmy, SV1BTR failed. Lots of noise on our side (from the city!) and no good condx towards SV. After 25 minutes we QSYed for an Es opening towards UK. The band was not really open that good but we worked about 30 stations, half of it on FAI...or whatever propagation on CW mode (G, GI, F, PA0)!!!
Anyway, next day we thought it will become our day...
It took us until 0850 utc until we got an reply from Jimmy, SV1BTR, as the moon was just behind the church and we needed 45deg of elevation. We heard Jimmy very loud and clear and QSO was done withhin a few minutes. Then EA6VQ was heard but lost in QSB. Afterwards IK3MAC was worked easily.
A few more CQs were sent out and several stations answered but lost due to fast QSB. The morning-moon-slot was not that long as very soon the palm-tree blocked us and one of the antenna touched the tree already. So we decided to go for lunch and started operation after 12.30 utc again. At 1315 utc KB8RQ was answering and we made a quick QSO. He was very loud and only one call was needed. At 1345 utc I heard Peter, SM2CEW, calling us. I had a lot of QRM at this time from our short-wave station. However, we were able to work Peter through the noise. Later IK3MAC called us again and we exchanged 559/529 reports. Graziano was really loud!
I also heard other stations with but only bits like V3S (F3VS?/SV3AAF?), A4J (???) , 7DC (SP7DCS?) and others but my personal deep search was switched off (hi).
Very loud was Marko, LZ2US. He called us and I replied with O-report. I never heard Marko coming back to us. Only a few minutes later I heard someone sending RRRRRRR and 73 to us but it was 400Hz higher of LZ2US-freq. Was it Marko or anyone else?? But sorry, no QSO as I never sent RO.
At 20 degrees of elevation I had to quit EME as one of the antenna touched the palm-tree...(again!)
I continously called CQ in hope of chance of conditions. But I had the feeling the conditions were just stack continously and did not change for the whole day. Also only one day after new-moon was not good but I had no other choice due to work and high elevation is needed at 1A0KM for EME.
Sometimes I called QRZ as I heard something but with quick QSB.
I was not even able to work W5UN. Jimmy, SV1BTR, told me that Dave was coming in totally vertical only at his QTH for hours. Perhaps the same at 1A0KM??
QRM situation was not that bad, however, sometimes there was some city-noise and local QRM by the active shortwave station at the side. So I still dont know why all this (EME-)activity resulted in such bad result. Was it just the poor conditions with continously vertical polarity? Did I loose some good conditons at times when I was not QRV (due to high buildings or this bloody palm-tree)? Or is it some kind of continous city-noise-floor, although I had the feeling QRM level was not that high? More(N=no)? How to explain that some stations were really loud while other big guns were even not heard at all?
Never had such an experience before. I think one day of operation is just too less for EME. It needs at least 1 week to see how condx are changing. Also if there is an technical problem you may find it out when more time. But this time everything seemed to be OK.
So my conclusion is:
- propagation was some kind of very poor and stack in one polarity for most of the time
- perhaps city noise floor (although not so bad) did hide some signals below the noise without realizing it
- maybe preamp was not "agressive" enough for EME (but otherwise too much QRM!)
- extremly high ionisation due to sporadic E (even Es in the artic circle area, like SM2)
- does the operator get deaf and old?
So many open questions this time.
We dismanteld antennas in the morning of the 16th of July. Temperature during this work was around 40c. Hard job!
Despite the poor results on EME we had a great time at 1A0KM and we have to thank very much our hosts for the invitation. At least the first EME contacts are done from 1A0KM and we made also some nice Es/FAI/TROPO and CW meteorscatter contacts.We met a lot of new radio friends, which is most important for me.
Sorry to those trying hard and we could not work due to conditions or other circumstances.
Personally, for me, its always interesting what a human is able to achieve (or not) also under difficult situations. Looking forward for the next challenge...
vy 73 de dl5mae Wolfgang
The above story was downloaded from email@example.com
OK2KKW note: we hope, that next time, when the standard digital EME operation mode will be used, such extraordinary opportunity will be not throw away again...