th International EME Conference 2014 (Pleumeur-Bodou)

The 16h international EME Conference was held at the Pleumeur-Bodou in Brittany near to the Atlantic coast within 25/26th August 2014. Conference, which has long tradition since 1968, was organized by ORPB group (Observation Radio Pleumeur Bodou, especially by F1GVU, F2CT, F3ME, F6DBI and Andree Gilloire) and REF (French hamradio association). The Conference was visited by more than 100 Moonbounce (EME) enthusiasts from 18 countries such as Australia, Brazil, Russia, Canada, Japan and EU, however total number of all visitors was close to number 180, because of the accompanying family members.

Few facts about Satellite Centre Pleumeur-Bodou

The EME lectures took place in the area of satellite center Pleumeur-Bodou, which was founded together with a similar center at Goonhilly in south-western Wales and in the USA - Andover city due to demand of the first telecommunication transmissions via satellite in 1962 and especially for the first ever oversee TV broadcasting by use of the first active TV satellite Telstar (RX 6,4 GHz/ TX 4,2 GHz, more). Due to an error with polarization set at Goonhilly station in Wales, Pleumeur-Bodou station was honored to establish the first transatlantic satellite TV broadcast between Europe and America. This milestone was done on 11th July 1962. By the way Michel Guillou, F6GBM told in his text about Telstar humorous remembrance to Charles de Gaulle's inauguration of Pleumeur-Bodou. Before his arrival at the place chief of station ordered to remove all labels with English text because the Pleumeur-Bodou station was national pride and president had to know that the key equipment isn't made in USA :) But back to description of Pleumeur-Bodou satellite center:

The Pleumeur-Bodou's site consisted of 15 big antennas however some of them had to be removed after CTS site's official  closure in May 2003. The biggest remaining antenna PB1 is (by some visitors unexpectedly) horn antenna with length of 54m and 57dB gain in the 4170 MHz band, weight 340 tons and reflector with surface cover 340m2. Radom around this antenna has incredible diameter of 64m and since 2000 it has been protected as the national technical monument. As the same HORN antenna in USA was destroyed some couple of years ago, PB1 HORN antenna is world-wide unique.

The second very large antenna has name PB3, which is a gigantic dish with diameter of 32 meters and accidentally it was staying just next to the area where the EME conference was held. Unfortunately the fate of this dish is uncertain, because since 2003 it's parked in safety position and the ORPB group haven't financial source for it's maintenance more. Nevertheless the visitation of this 300 tons giant  was a great impression for many of us.

The most interesting from operational perspective is the next  remained PB8 antenna, which is a dish with diameter of 13,5m. This dish was saved maintained by local hamradio ORPB group in 2007 year including it's cassegrain-feed  and waveguide relay for usage of EME operation on 5,7 GHz and purpose of radioastronomy. RF power at the feed was 80W, noise figure around 0,6dB, measured noise of the Sun with SF 148 K about 26dB, Moon noise 5dB, tracking accuracy close to  0,01° and 6cm echo is up to 45dB above the noise.

The PB8 dish was used during the conference for 6cm EME operation of TM8PB so visitors had the opportunity to listen to the live EME echo reflected from the lunar surface. Lucian, F3ME told me that feed's geometry is good enough even for 9cm band so it will be probably possible to use it for future 9cm EME activation as well, however if the 9cm band will be open for French hams. Except PB8 dish the ORPB group is trying to get finance even for renovation of PB3 32m dish and PB5 antenna. PB5 is dish with diameter of 16,5m and it was used for connection with INMARSAT satellite in L band (frequencies around 1,5 GHz). Thanks to that fact, the L band cassegrain feed will be very probably well operational for the radio astronomy observation around the hydrogen line at 1420 MHz as well as for 23cm hamradio Moon bounce operation. More about Plemeur-Bodou satellite center can be read at this page.

The conference program

But let's go back to the conference. The start of conference was dedicated to welcome speech of REF president Lucien, F1TE and ORPB president Andre Gilloire. By the way Lucien is also well known as 2m EME operator and he can be easily worked even with tiny 1 yagi station. Lucien took his 2nd small 2m EME station at the conference site, (2x10el Y and QRO SSPA), which was operated near to the PB8 13,5m dish. Unfortunately the weather was very  rainy and 2m RX suffered from strong local interference (probably from the large LED display & solar power plant installed on the roof of the conference house). As result the 2m operation was unfortunately far-less successful than Lucien planned.

The conference continued with short note about F2TU and then followed by the first lecture. The number of high quality lectures during 2 days was so enormous and more they used to started early in the morning and finished late in the evening so in addition it was very hard to attend all of them indeed. Except the lectures, visitors had possibility to visit near hardware room with big exhibition of various historical and contemporary VHF & microwave equipment. Our OK2KKW club presented the new 1kW SSPA for EME on 1296 MHz by OK1VPZ which use 8x MRFE6S9160HS. The next room was dedicated to various measurements of interested EME conference visitors in their LNAs, especially of Noise Figure and Gain. All measurements were held by F6CIS but unfortunately due to an failure, measurement wasn't possible on 13cm and higher bands. The result of contest for the lowest noise figure can be seen in this table.

The hardware hall was also used for smaller presentations, primary for Jan PA3FXB from PI9CAM club and Daniela de Paulis about the SSTV via EME and her art projects. If you are interested in details, I suggest you to visit her website. By the way Daniela invites all Czech and Slovak radio amateur to her artistic EME project which will be presented (after last year successful conference) at the 50th international festival of science documentary films in Olomoc on 14 - 15th April 2015.

A detailed and description of all EME lectures presented at the Conference 2016 are noted at the end of this page.

After the end of the lecture's part of conference, which by the way was unlikely to SM EME meeting opened to all EME radio amateurs including VHF bands, almost  all participants nearly unanimously decided that the next conference will be held in 2016 in Venice, Italy. And after that, all visitors enjoyed a celebratory dinner with excellent food and great wines. Within the celebration has been announced winners of Dubus EME SSB Contest (congrats to Franta OK1CA and Marek, OK2DL), result of the lowest LNA's NF contest (where I surprisingly won 70cm with my LNA, hi) and finally tombola. First price of tombola was a new IC-7100 and another valuable prices. The end of the evening turn to fiesta with funny atmosphere supported by Brittany's (bag) pipers and even dance competition, where the winner has awarded by the last edition of the Dubus Technik books (congrats to Dirk, ON5GS hi).

After a quick farewell with friends and delayed city tour we left Brittany started our 1700km long journey back to home. During journey we have visited several well known VHF/UHF radioamateurs, for example F8BRK, ON4KHG, LX1DB and LX2LA. I must say thanks to the conference's organizers and all other French friends, who professionally managed the EME conference and we hope - if the health and other circumstances permits, look forward to meet you at the next EME Conference 2016 in Italy.

73! de Matej, OK1TEH

The EME Conference 2014 as seen by OK1VPZ

We decided to visit EME conference in France some half a year ago - and since beginning we were planning this journey as such a summer trip, not only the hamradio event. Therefore we didn't hurry and weren't looking for the shortest available path. We left Prague on a Friday morning and after short stop in Luxembourg we crossed Sedan city, traveled near to Verdun (both well known battlefields from W.W.1) and late in the evening arrived in the medieval town of Laon, NW from Reims. Before our journey we considered to visit Franck, F5SE at his EME site near Reims but then we decided to postpone it for next opportunity, because he certainly will not be at home due to his earlier travel to EME conference. It gave us possibility to visit beautiful, 900 years old cathedral of Laon and medieval downtown, which is really very impressive and certainly we may suggest the visit for anyone - even from 1000km distance! On Saturday we therefore visited and took many pictures of this pearl of old architecture and continued our journey to Caen in Normandy (neighboring town is called St.Contest, hi), where we visited the museum of the D-day operation. Because Normandy is already quite West and the day light was longer than in JO70, we decided to make even late afternoon visitation of the Omaha Beach, where American troops landing on 6th June 1944 and suffered huge losses. We overlooked entire battlefield, took many pictures, refill fuel and arrived to St. Lo where we had hotel. On Sunday we took next longer visitation of the famous Mont St. Michel monastery and later we finally arrived at Brittany.

The town Tregastel, which was chosen to provide accommodation to the conference visitors, is situated just 100m from Atlantic coast with beautiful beaches and grounded granite boulders. We were only sorry that such a beaches can't be used for swimming because of too cold water ;). In the evening we had a nice dinner at a local restaurant on the beach, we had only some language problem as the waiter girl refused to understand English so we appreciated the arrival of our good friend Dirk, ON5GS (who twice supported us in May VHF Contest) with his friends from Holland.  Well, because Dirk is a Belgian (though not Valon) and therefore he speaks a bit French, we were able to get good meal and after arrival at hotel we had nice time with many other EME friends on the car park site supported by Jägermeister spirit, which was brought by Slawek DL6SH and by our genuine Czech Pilsner beer.

  Group of VHF radio amateurs from the region "east of the Rhine" - left to right:

Hide JH5FOQ, Anatoly UA4HTS, Matěj OK1TEH, Vladimír OK1VPZ, Sergej RW3BP

Our alarm clock had to be set for 6 o'clock in the morning because of the arrival of bus which took rest of participating hams from hotel to Pleumeur-Bodou conference site, some 5 kilometers away. EME hams were immediately interested in large parabolic antennas, one smaller 13 meters in diameter was available for EME tests on 6cm. In the operation room they had installed QRO amplifier and visitors were able to hear live Moon 6cm echoes, which were wonderfully strong even on SSB mode. 2m EME operation with 2x10el Y station was less effective because of strong inband QRM from near solar power plant. We met there John, G4SWX (who is incidentally British VHF manager) and he showed us via local Internet his fully remote controlled 2m EME operation at his home.

The lectures were interesting and thank to courtesy of the organizers and speakers you may see many of them in this report at the OK2KKW web. Therefore I will not describe those lectures in closer details. Near to the main conference room was situated smaller room which was dedicated to hardware exhibition of older and new equipment. We introduced there our kW SSPA for 23cm which was attractive for some visitors so we had nice talks about it.. I found some free time for the meeting with the British and French VHF and microwave manager (F4GKR) and we had nice chat about the future of 23cm band in EU, 3cm in OK, IARU conference in LZ and we asked for help with supporting our fight for 3cm band in OK. Nevertheless interesting was the social aspect of the entire meeting, where we personally met and talked with many well-know EME operators from around the world. For an example of few we met there PA0EME, K1JT, K2UYH, VE1KG, VK4CDI, F5SE, PY2BS, OE5JFL, I1NDP, RW3BP, people from PI4GN club and many others...

From the Czech Republic we met there only Franta OK1CA and Emil OK1CS (who received at the conference new nickname Mr.Obelix, hi) however we missed guys from OK1KIR as well as some next good friends from EME meeting in Cambridge 2012 as an example G3XDY, G4LOH, G4CCH, G3LTF, CT1HZE, VK3UM, JA4BLC, VK2KU.. Organization of entire meeting was professionally very well made, especially we appreciated luxurious food and drinks. The EME conference finished on 26th August by social dinner with tombola, award ceremony of the lowest LNA's NF contests (where we received unexpected result, hi) and in the end the discussion and vote about the future EME meeting 2016. Everyone received serious proposal by Giulio IW3HVB (son of IK3COJ) and because no other one offered so sophisticated idea, the absolute majority of present voters decided that next EME Conference 2016 will be held in Venice. Hopefully, we will be able visit such EME meeting again.

On Wednesday morning, after breakfast, I had the opportunity to had talk with a well-known Leif, SM5BSZ and I must say that we liked it because both of us we have some questions to some technical lectures - for example I had a bit defferent feeling to some aspects of HB9DRI's presentation of the usage of SDR for TX purposes. Due to my opinion Alex is a little bit too much business oriented and some of his technical conclusions I consider let's say as a little bit too optimistic. However Leif express later on different view to Alex product in his comment to Matej, but I still keep my conviction, that particularly VHF contest operation in Central EU has it's own specific technical categories and optimism with use of such "reverse SDR" from Alex is not the right way, how to manage a contest transmitter. Then we talked about the problems with VHF contests in Central Europe, fighting with phase noise, IF crystal filtering in transverter and discussed contesting on VHF during 70's of last century. I must say that this morning meeting was for me very appreciated!

And then I already look forward to the steering wheel and two-day journey back home ...

The EME Conference 2014 as expressed by OK1CA

The 16th International EME conference 2014 has been held in  25 - 26th August in the Northern Brittany, France. Conference participants had accommodation in a hotel Belembra in Trégastel. Couple of hams already met there in the evening of Friday (22.08). When dinner finished they met at parking zone on spontaneous meeting and enjoyed nice discussion with welcome drinks, The main program of the conference took place in the building of the Museum of Telecommunications in Pleumeur-Bodou. This museum was established on the place of former satellite communication center, which became operational in the year 1962 and took a part in history of telecommunications by receiving the first live transatlantic TV broadcast via the Telstar satellite.. In 90's this satellite center was full of variable antennas however the museum was able to save only few of them. Some of conference participants visited Pleumeur-Bodou on Sunday before official start of conference. The biggest exhibit was the giant HORN antenna with total length of 54m, which was using on frequencies between 4 - 6 GHz. Antenna weights 340 tons, it's fully mechanically operational and can be views only inside of the plastic cover (radom) with a diameter of 64m. Next big antenna in areal is a dish with diameter of 32m which is not used and dish with 13,5m diameter which is used by the TM8PB station for 6cm EME.

You look for more information about Pleumeur-Bodou Telecommunication Museum, try visit it's website: www.leradome.com. Except big antennas the P.B museum consist of nice planetarium too. Later we visited replica of the Gallic village where we had break for dinner followed by a friendly discussion.

Official program of the EME conference was started on Monday by speech of Mr A. Gilloire, president of ORPB group (Observation Radio Pleumeur Bodou) and then the conference continued with individual lectures sorted in blocks. On Monday the lectures were focused to the topics of EME propagation, microwave components, it's assembling and antennas. The program continued even after dinner with F2CT's lecture about EME history with help by OK1TEH. The long conference program was closed on Monday around midnight by discussion about collaboration of EME radio amateurs and professional institutions. On Tuesday conference lectures continued with topics of Large antennas available for EME hamradio, various digital modes, radioastronomy sources and space probes with amateur radio transmitters. Parallely to  the lectures conference visitors were able to see exposition of some new and old microwave and VHF equipment, such a 3kW SSPA made by F1TE with three RF AMP's modules or 1kW SSPA for 23cm, which was presented by OK1VPZ and OK1TEH. In next room F6CIS provided full measuring capabilities so interested hams were able to bring their LNA or transverters and measure parameters like Noise Figure or Gain. By the way at the conference was also discussed topics about new frequency allocation of 13cm band related to JA stations. JA station will use new 2400-2405 MHz frequency segment since 2015 which would eliminate present interference problem with WIFI operation on 2424 MHz. JA stations will specify more details about exact EME frequencies later on.

After the last lecture by RW3BP, program followed by the discussion about the next place for EME conference. Proposal for EME Conference 2016 in Venice was nicely presented by the Italian amateur radio association and was accepted by almost all of present participants. After that we joined ceremonial dinner program followed by a social evening and a tombola. During the evening Al, K2UYH proclaimed results of EME SSB contest 2014 and gave awards to the winners, which were 2 OK stations, me (OK1CA) on 432 MHz and Marek OK2DL on 1296 MHz band.


16 th International EME Conference 2014 (Pleumeur-Bodou) - the lectures  (with OK1TEH's notification)

Original CD with all complete lectures and the Proceedings can be bought via this website.


1) EME Radio Propagation
Hervé Sizun TM8PB

In the first lecture, Dr. Herve Sizun focused on the physical aspects of the EME propagation, which are for an example well known problems with depolarization of EME signal, changes of polarization because of Faraday rotation, EME path attenuation, the influence of background noise and some specific calculations and simulations.

This lecture used some data from K1JT's article written for ARRL VHF Handbook, 2010.




2) Understanding Doppler Shift
Al Katz, K2UYH

The main topic of this lecture was an introduction for the EME beginners in the problem of the Doppler shifts, especially on UHF bands and above. This lecture was well written and very useful, because lot of new stations suffer from the frequency problems, especially at 23cm, where Doppler (with the Moon's position near to the horizon) reaches values up to 2.5 kHz. The station should therefore know its exact frequency where to call CQ and listening (with RIT) on the frequency, where it's own echo moved thanks to the Doppler effect.

In this lecture I only missed a little mention about WSJT's operation on the SHF bands, where is common to use Doppler correction by continuous automatic retuning of transceivers. This is due to the fact that the signal Doppler shift is greatest when the Moon is near the horizon and how it is approaching the maximum point of its path across the sky, so this shift decreases, which also affects the rate of change of the signal. Drift signal is especially noticeable at higher frequencies, especially when WSJT may lead to worse decoding signals, in extreme cases, even up to several tens of dB, as is clearly shown even in this graph .


3) Ionospheric interactions with EME signals
Giorgio Marchi IK1UWL, Flavio Egano IK3XTV

In this interesting lecture, which was presented by IK1UWL & IK3XTV, were open questioning the possibilities of polarization rotation monitoring of of el. mag. wave's on 2m based on reported data from server LiveCQ.eu (using data from MAP65). At LiveCQ web are showed actual signal strengths of various stations and the current value of the computed polarization angle. Based on these data, authors presented extrapolation which is trying to determinate changes of future polarization's angle and effects of the ionosphere supported by live data from measurements of HF, which could bring prediction of the future Faraday rotation movement and determination of the best conditions. The measurements showed that there is evident clear daily variation, somewhat similar to the behaving of the librating spread as was written in nice article of G3WDG.

I must say that this lecture is somewhat controversial for me, because rotating of the polarization plane may be caused by many other variables that may affect these results. However, it is certainly an interesting idea and I'm looking forward to somebody who will continue with this topic. Maybe that somebody in the future will make even some software for prediction, we'll see.

4) 24 GHz TWTA modifications
Manfred Ploetz DL7YC

This lecture was dedicated to TWT's on 24 GHz. Manfred, DL7YC described details of RW1127 TWT tubes and their modifications. These tubes are primarily designed for 10 GHz band, where delivering 90W output, but they can be even adjusted for usage on 24GHz band as well for 40W power output. The lecture is presenting specific mechanical modifications, cooling and repeatability of such modification.




5) 10 GHz EME converter without SHF local oscillator
Yoshiro Mataka JA4BLC (
presented by Mike, JH1KRC)

At the beginning of this presentation, Mike, JH1KRC expressed his belief that the main reason of this lecture (the construction of the converter for the Japanese 10450 MHz band, which is different to a European for about +82 MHz) hopefully will became less important in year 2015 if the Japanese Telecommunications Authority allow for JA amateurs European 10 GHz frequency allocation just like it did with 13cm band. Then the lectured continue with the prepared text by JA4BLC about construction of converter for 10 GHz band, which uses a filter for mirror rejection, which improve the RX noise figure and thus the whole RX chain. Improving of reception JA4BLC documented in his presentation by comparing his EME signal strengths of echoes in Spectran.



6) Receiving 10 GHz EME with small equipment
Hans van Alphen PA0EHG

This presentation was for me as well as for big number of conference participants the most interesting lecture at French EME meeting. Hans, PA0EHG presented possibilities of receiving EME signals with subminimal setup for 10 GHZ band, which in this case was only 48 cm diameter dish with LNA at feed, transvertor and SDR RX for IF. This has been possible mainly thanks to DL0SHF's QRO beacon which is on air since December 2013 and use 7,6 m dish with 50W TWT PA including the possibility  (on request) to increase RF power output up to 550W (!) out. Hans introduced in the lecture program SpectraVue Ver 3.15, which he found to be the best program for detection of the weakest signals EME, played audio recordings of the tests with DL0SHF and prepare for the next day live demonstration of EME signal reception on DL0SHF's beacon in front of PB8 telescope. The weather finally got better for about 3 hours so everyone interested could listen to live 3 cm CW EME signals from a 48 cm dish by it's own ears. The most important conclusion of the lecture was that the biggest problem is the proper alignment of the antenna to the Moon. Hans used smart solution of this problem by using digital rotator unit, which is manufactured for automatic rotation of small astronomical telescopes, including GPS receiver. This small rotator can be bought for 200$ (a version without GPS for only 100 US dollars).

More at: http://home.planet.nl/~alphe078/receiving-dl0shf.htm

Lecture and successful demonstration of PA0EHG's small 3cm EME station in front of the conference house was met with great interest and it is likely that it could result in increase of the active EME stations on this interesting EME band.

7) 15 Watts on 24 GHz at reasonable price
Pierre-François Monet F5BQP

The topic of this lecture was problem how to get 15W at 24 GHz for the lowest possible price. Thanks to coupling the uW power transistors TGA4915-CP, designed to work up to 31 GHz with up to 8W power in saturation. PA with such transistors has been described in Dubus 2/2014 by G3WDG and PA with these transistors are used for EME by OK1KIR. Version of this PA with one transistor was described at he DL2AM's website. Mouser sell this transistor for about $330 (which is about 7000 CZK).




8) A modern 144 MHz transverter
Sam Jewell G4DDK                                               - http://www.g4ddk.com/Anglian144v1_1.pdf

Lectures by G4DDK are always very interesting, which you can see at EME meeting. This time Sam presented design of his new 2m transverter "Anglian", which works with the intermediate frequency of 28 MHz, the noise figure is around 1.6 dB, 24 dB RX gain, input IP3 + 0.5 to 1,5dB and suppression of mirrors at 88MHz over 70 dB. Output power around 22dBm. A comprehensive description of the transverter was published in the latest Dubus issue so it's not necessary to write more info about it. I only note that 2m kits can be purchased from G4DDK for £ 125 (the equivalent price 4375 CZK) + postage. Measurement results of transverter with TRX K3 can be found here.



9) Feedhorn analysis for parabolic dish G/T
Paul Wade W1GHZ

In his presentation Paul showed the feed analysis at microwave frequencies. It's known that on the range between 1 - 10 GHz frequencies is the lowest sky-noise, a noise figure of preamplifiers is generally low too and thus the inherent noise of the antenna play the dominant role of receiver's sensitivity. W1GHZ therefore provides information how to achieve the highest gain and lowest temperature, the G / T ratio, for different types of feeds. His conclusion is based on measurements of real feed used at WD5AGO. Paul also shortly talked about differences between the mesh and solid dishes.



10) Measurements on a small dish with septum transformer feed
Dave Powis G4HUP

G4HUP in his lecture described the measurement of his 2,4 m dish surface's accuracy with septum feed (RWST). Dave based his measurements on the assumption that the right surface illumination vary on some dish's points because of usage of the circular polarization. The results of the measurements were reported in close match with results of W1GHZ's simulations.




11) Homebuilt 7,3 m offset dish
Hannes Fasching OE5JFL

Interesting OE5JFL's lecture, where he described his reconstruction of round mesh dish to bigger offset type. The main advantage of the extension was in addition higher gain, well accessible feed and relatively simple mechanical construction. Hans said that after many years of experimenting with several kind of EME antennas he can say that if he had looked for simple construction of antenna for first steps on 23cm EME, he would definitely start with such a offset dish.

Indeed, the fact that this type of dish goes very well at 23cm, and  that it's not necessary to worry about the loss of the gain due to right illumination of the surface, is well evident at measurements of solar noise, where RW3BP with this type of antenna regularly achieves very good results, for an example, check out link:
http://www.do9bc.com/?page_id=632 and compare the measurement between RW3BP and OK1DFC.

12) The precise rotation mechanisms and directional indicators for EME
Michiaki Watanabe JH1KRC

In his presentation Mike, JH1KRC showed various photos of famous Japanese EME stations, where were presented details of various tracking system and antennas AZ/EL rotators. The most interesting were particularly photos of JA4BLC's station, JA6AZD, JA6AHB and others. Mike also spoke and showed how was managed expedition to JAXA's 18 m Katsuura dish (8J1AXA) in 2008, how it was necessary to control the preciosity of rotator's controller and what are the present plans for next activation. His talk has finished by a tour at his home EME station and description of his 4.4 m TVRO dish.



13) EME Communications: History and evolutions
Guy Gervais F2CT (helped by OK1TEH)

The lecture was unfortunately scheduled after dinner, which had take a little bit more time than expected, so I was asked if I could help to Guy, F2CT with his presentation about EME history. At the beginning I therefore reminded anniversary of the first EME QSO on 23cm from Europe in 1964 between HB9RG (+ HB9RF, DJ4AU, DL9GW, DJ3EN) and W1BU and 70 cm QSO between HB9RG and KP4BPZ in Arecibo. The lecture was introduced by 15 minutes historical film, which was made by HB9RG's group about their first EME attempts and which was first presented at the meeting in Weinheim in 1964, just 50 years ago (TNX to HB9HAL). Film is available for download here and additional English subtitles here. The film was followed by a talk of F2CT, which I complemented with pics from my presentations made for SP6 EME meeting in Zieleniec 2011 and 2013.

Unfortunately, due to late hour F2CT had to cancel planned phone-call to F8DO, who made the first EME connection in France with W6DNG in 1967.



14) Amateur radio and scientists: how amateur can help
Sylvain Azarian F4GKR + K2UYH + K1JT

The first lecturing day was completed by F4GKR even near midnight with summary of the possible ways of cooperation between radio-amateurs and electro-industry and thoughts what could be improved in the future. In the followed discussion Al K2UYH, and Joe, K1JT talked about their opinions - unfortunately due to so late hour present audience became very sleepy so more detailed discussion on this topic was soon stopped with disputed effect ..





15) PI9CAM, a new start
Jan Van Muijlwijk PA3FXB

Next day has started by morning's PA3FXB information about the renovation of the big 25 m dish in Dwingeloo, which was paid by the Netherlands government because it's a national monument. The whole renovation is beautifully documented in this photo gallery. On April 5, 2014 Dwingeloo telescope was officially reopened by Joe Taylor, K1JT. The first contact on 23cm after renovation was managed with H44HP and other renovations will not be necessary for the next 50 years. Furthermore, Jan talked about the role of Dwingeloo dish in rescue project of nano-satellite
Triton 1.

After Jan's lecture text the lecture was continued by Daniela de Paulis with her performance art project of visual SSTV via EME - check out http://www.opticks.info



16) The PB8 Cassegrain antenna revisited for L-band
Jean-Pierre Blot, Jean Pierre Daniel, André Gilloire, Lucien Macé F3ME

Next presentation was dedicated to ORPB team (Observation Radio Pleumeur - Bodou) and their description of future plans how to modify PB8 13.5 m telescope (which is currently used for EME on 6 cm) for L-band, i.e. for EME on 23 cm as well as 21 cm radio-astronomy. Realignment of the original system with cassegrain mirror was simulated in a special French software and SRSR + CST-MWS.




17) Analysing EME path loss at 77 GHz
This presentation was canceled, (Al Ward W5LUA cannot attend the conference)

This lecture unfortunately wasn't possible due to absence of Al, W5LUA, who could not attend because of health problems. Luckily Al sent us for OK2KKW website his presentation in PDF
(very appreciated TNX).


18) 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy spacecraft
Ghislain Ruy LX2RG

This interesting lecture was presented by LX2RG and the topic was upcoming project of amateur-radio beacon installed at small satellite which would be launched at the end of October 2014 and fly close to the Moon. The beacon will transmit in the 2m band at 145.980 MHz ± 2kHz Doppler with telemetry in analog mode and main signal in JT65B with 1W power output + lambda/4 antenna. If this mission succeed, there are plans how to place hamradio beacon on the Moon's orbit.




19) Optimized small-station EME: X-pol at 432 MHz
Joe Taylor K1JT

Nice conference talk prepared and presented by Joe Taylor, K1JT about his project of small 70cm EME station for Princeton Radio Club, W2PU. The design of antennas is based on 15LF-JT yagies from G0KSC, cross-pole design allow fix common problems with the Faraday's rotation. The array consist of 4 yagi antennas 3,5m long with gain of  22.4 dBi and boom made from fiberglass.

I must say that I found most interesting the end of this lecture, where Joe mentioned the measurement of Sun-noise. Sun-noise is used to determine the quality of the receiver chain, because it's invariant to polarization and except some eruptions it's relatively stable. Measured real level of noise is compared with the calculated noise due to station's performance and thus it is possible to determine how close we get with system optimization and how the city noise disturb.
These things are all well known and long time used for optimization and comparison of EME stations since 60s. Reason why I mention it were graphs which were presented by Joe and which described the proportionality between the frequencies and intensity of noise (2695 vs. 1415 vs. 410 MHz). Whilst the graphs 2695 MHz and 1415 MHz showed good coincidence by the axis, difference between 1415 MHz and 410 MHz was unexpected. After lecture I asked Joe what he think about extrapolation of Sun-noise values from 10,7cm data down to VHF bands which is used in EME Calculator by VK3UM. Joe confirmed my assumption that the extrapolation method (algorithm designed by VK5DJ and VK3UM) for low frequencies is very inaccurate and in bands around 50/70 MHz it shows wrong results. Therefore, the conclusion could be that many measurements and comparisons on 2m at http://www.do9bc.com/?page_id=632 may be quite unreliable (?).

20) A coherent digital mode for EME
Klaus von der Heide DJ5HG

DJ5HG's lecture was dedicated to his new coherent mode software as a possible future alternative to WSJT. Benefits of such SW has presented as significant, such as the elimination of the Doppler shift, increased sensitivity when you are working with EME signals up to 4 dB weaker than can be decoded in WSJT. Disadvantages were during and after the presentation discussed with K1JT who said that this system can work in theory, but it requires high computational power and very good signal stability, which is in amateur conditions very difficult, if not impossible.

More about DJ5HG's modes at: http://www.dj5hg.de/digitalmodes/digitalmodes.html

The lecture was followed by discussion. While
I appreciated work of DJ5HG on new digital modes I found problematic some points relating to philosophy of such project. First DJ5HG allow active option in SW which enable automatic mode for EME operation between two computers without presence of operator (for and example Joe K1JT said that he never will put such an option in WSJT). Second problem is with private messages between two stations which can't be decoded by anybody else. Some stations can be happy with such a possibilities but due to my opinion it's not with hamspirit sense... I put these question to DJ5HG in general discussion after his lecture and due to my opinion, sorry to say, he wasn't able to credibly defend his posture in that issue. Later I talked with several ops from the audience about it (who are well known CW and JT65 operators) and they said that they fully agree with me.

Maybe it would be wealth to put in next VHF C5 IARU Conference for discussion such new rule, that 2 way contact can't be considered to be valid if it was worked by software with option allowing automatic contacts without presence of operator, what do you think??

21) IQ+XT, 144 MHz SDR exciter
Alex Artieda HB9DRI

Alex, HB9DRI is particularly well known for his receiver IQ+, which allows for station with cross-pol antennas combine signal from both polarization planes and by such way eliminate the problems of spatial and Faraday rotation. In his presentation Alex discussed the potential problems of the signal quality from IQ+ XT's output (Switzerland's rules are very strict in this matter). He was also talking about parameters of transmitter which could cause potential QRM in case of usage of QRO which is common in EME world. What was interesting was mention that Joe, K1JT is going to add support of IQ+ XT into next version of MAP65 software. More at: http://www.linkrf.ch/IQ+XT.html

Personally I have to say that although I'm not so familiar with SDR problematic and I really appreciate the work of HB9DRI with SDRs, I'm a bit afraid that Alex didn't understand to all aspects of the QRO resp. QRM issue (which is by the way very different between HF and VHF because of different dynamic range) such as phase noise, etc. and if his new SDR IQ+ XT will be used for real VHF contesting in mid EU region it would create significant increase of QRM (everybody had similar problem with OL4A and their SDR used for TX on 2m couple year ago). The new SDR was also later on discussed between SM5BSZ and OK1VPZ, so perhaps OK1VPZ will mention about it something in his report.

22) Radio sources: useful data for EME equipment evaluation and optimization
Franck Tonna F5SE

For me it could be very interesting lecture but unfortunately I wasn't fast enough to be able listening to Franck's presentation due to some other personal meeting. Due to text in the conference's book his talk was about the topic of radio astronomy measurements of the strongest noise sources in the sky, such as Cassiopeia A, Cygnus A, and Omega nebula, the Great nebula in Orion, Virgo A, as well as the measurement of Moon noise and many more. Interesting was described detection of Venus noise at the 10 GHz, but this is possible only with the bigger dish with a diameter of 4.5 meters or more. Franck has at home 10m dish so he may provide such a measurements quite often.



23) Solar noise measurements at 76 GHz
Jean-François Lampin F4BAY

F4BAY in his interesting conference talk presented WA1MBA's LNA with CHA1077 MMIC followed by a diode detector used for measuring of the solar noise at 76 GHz. Gain of the LNA is about 30 dB and a noise figure close to 4,7 dB. As a antenna he used horn with dielectric lens with a diameter of 125mm and gain was around 38,4dBi. The lecture presents the results of measurements, as well as problems with the attenuation of the atmosphere depending on different elevation angles (with 50% humidity during good weather the atmospheric attenuation in zero elevation at 76 GHz is close to  0.5 dB / 1km).

In other part if his presentation F4BAY considered replacing of Sun noise by solid stable source of noise for measurement purposes (independent on the variable attenuation of the atmosphere) by the mercury lamp. At the end of the lecture he mentioned possibility of the next generation of MMICs which may allow move Sun-noise measurements up to frequencies around 400 GHz.

24) EME antenna and Jupiter noise at 77 GHz
Sergey Joutiayev RW3BP

Last lecture at EME meeting in France was presented by Sergey, RW3BP about his experiments at the 77 GHz band with his offset dish with a diameter of 2.4 meters (TWT and 60W (!) for EME). Due to attenuation of the atmosphere Sergey decided to optimize his dish by use of his beacon located on the twentieth floor of the building some 900 meters away. For these measurements he found that the radiation diagram of the uneven surface of his offset dish, is quite bad especially in the vertical axis, so decided to solve it by proposing a special dielectric lens on the feed (made from Teflon). Then he managed measurement of accuracy of the dish surface by special 3D laser scanner with 0,1mm accuracy, which enabled him to optimize the position of feed and by the result he shifted feed 11 mm closer to reflector and 32 mm lower. The result of adjustments of Dissipation lenses was reduction of first side lobe better than 6 dB and overall bigger gain +0,4dB.

The lecture is further describing noise measurement using Sun radiometer by CT1DMK and measurement of Moon-noise at its various phases, which are very well seen in the graphs of measurement. The lecture ends with a description of successful attempts of detecting noise from Jupiter, whose diameter was incidentally 9x smaller than the width of the first lobe of the antenna. Sergey's lectures in PDf were used from this link .




16 th International EME Conference 2014 (Pleumeur-Bodou) - the movies




Links to some other websites dedicated to this EME meeting:

By organisation group: http://www.eme2014.fr/spip.php?rubrique5

By HB9AFO: http://www.von-info.ch/hb9afo/histoire/20140825_eme2014/eme_2014.htm

By DJ5HG: www.dj5hg.de/eme2014_photo.zip

By G4DDK:  http://g4ddk.blogspot.cz/2014/08/return-from-eme2014.html

BY K1DS:  http://www.arrl.org/news/moonbounce-enthusiasts-enjoy-conference-brittany-coast

Our images can be viewed below, or (probably more comfortable) in these pages about:

http://ok1teh.rajce.idnes.cz/EME_Konference_2014_4den_250814/ (1st day of EME Conference 2014 in Pleumeur-Bodou)

http://ok1teh.rajce.idnes.cz/EME_Konference_2014_5den_260814/ (2nd day of EME Conference 2014 in Pleumeur-Bodou)


And even more - few pics from history of EME.

VHF hamradio milestones in OK.

QRPP EME - few slides by OK1TEH.

For final: go back to OK2KKW's home page.