The 1st EME QSO from OM on 6m - OM3RRC & OK1TEH

For a long time I wanted to try for a 6m EME contact. However, to make an EME QSO on this band isn't as easy as it looks. Even the first EME QSO on the 6m band (between W5SXD and K5WVX) was done on 30th July 1972, long time after first QSO on 2m, 70, 23 and 13cm band. The main reason is that 6m band is very sensitive to local interferences, especially in middle Europe, which still allows 6m TV. Another problem is size of the antenna array and necessity of good power, which is in many EU countries forbidden due to potential TVI. On this band is also (compared to 2m), higher sky noise, on the other hand the attenuation of EME path is the smallest of all EME bands and it's "only" 242 dB in perigee and 244 dB in apogee. Since 6m EME isn't easy, I liked the challenge (more so after using the new WSJT - JT65 mode).

Unfortunately, in Prague, 6m operation almost impossible because of (compared to neighboring states) old analog TV in 1st television channel. It seems to be ok, you can suppose that in short time period will be analog TV broadcasting turn off and digital TV will move to UHF band. However on 1st TV channel (in OK1) is still broadcasting TV Nova and this station has license till the end of 2017 and it doesn't seem that analog TV will be turned off any earlier. It's because of TV NOVA would lose majority of viewers in Posazavi area, where is reception of terrestrial TV broadcasting very poor and slow building-up of DVB-T net play up to using of 6m band. More before the end of 90's the hardware of TV tower Cukrak was completely reconstructed and today there is in operation, a modern solid-state transmitter. So the TV Cukrak keeper hasn't any serious problems with it so there isn't reason to turn it off. For better understanding, I note that Cukrak is 400m ASL and the ERP is about 150kW in horizontal polarization. For contact via Es with very strong signals is enough to turn round polarization, unfortunately 6m EME isn't possible. Only chance is go out of Prague and try it from some valley.

   W7GJ's antenna for 6m ->  4x 6M9KHW

So I exchanged a few emails with Lance, W7GJ. Lance is one of the biggest 6m EME propagators. In the past he was well known as WA1JXN, he has 2m/6m DXCC (his outstanding web page can visited at However, even if "magic band" allows us to make a contact via Es thanks to multi hops, eventually via F layer (around Solar maximum), Lance has QTH in the west part of USA a bit far, so he was looking for OM as a new DXCC. With OK country he already worked EME contact with OK2POI from JN99AJ. So I exchanged with Lance several emails and I recommended a few OM stations such a Rasta, OM3BH. Unfortunately, very few hams have any experience with EME. When I found that during summer holidays I'll visit my Slovak grandma in Povazska Bystrica, JN99FC, in the same city where is placed radio club OM3ROM (OM3RRC) and friends Rasto, OM3BH and his brother Vlad, OM3CLS (the most active Slovak 6m/3cm ham), it was clear that this holiday won't be boring hi :-) I was little bit afraid of QRM from OE TV tower Jauerling near to Kremze, Budapest and mostly from very near Ostrava- Hostalkovice, where is again broadcasting TV NOVA on 1st channel with ERP power of 100kW... Luckily compared to Cukrak's area is west part of Slovakia and OK2 covered by numbers of hills. So I said: well we'll see. If it's too bad, we'll make a car trip to some of the nearby valleys.

First I thought that my FT847 with 100W power would be enough, but not so according to Vlad, OM3CLS. Thanks to zero OM 6m TV broadcasting they have no power restriction by the local PTU so Vlad, OM3CLS has at his home a PA with GI7b tube. With antenna it's a bit worse, because OM3CLS only has a 2el HB9CV on the roof with very long coax cable.

Question was, what kind of antenna should we use? During our journey to OM we stopped in Kovoplast company in Chlumec nad Cidlinou town. We thought that it isn't necessary to build a professional antenna while is in OK wide spread for over 40 years 5el Yagi for the first TV channel! In antenna specification is written that SWR should be about 1,8 and gain 6,5 dBd and input impedance classical 300/75 Ohms unsymmetrical. Advantage of this antenna consist of easy assembling and transport (5el antenna should be enough, anyway the longer boom wouldn't fit into our car :-) Disadvantage is that holders of elements are weld fixed to the boom so there isn't chance for any kind of experimenting. So me and my dad, OK1VPZ start a 500km journey with new antenna to Slovakia. We brought FT847, equipment for WSJT, LNA MGF 1302 for 2m (I wanted to try make some MS and EME 2m qso), power supply and undefined numbers of other stuff.

After our arrival in Slovakia I got good and bad news. The good one was that Rasto, OM3BH well known as "Bohovsky Hrnko" (before his departure to IOTA expedition in 9A) searched in his garage and finally found new packed 5el yagi by I0JXX, TNX! This antenna has gain by technical specification a bit bigger then a TV antenna from Chlumec so I preferred it. The bad news was that I forgot at home in Prague service cable between FT847 and power supply. But I didn't give up so I make a trip to several electronic shops in city. The contact plugs for the power supply weren't problem but how to improvise special service cable for the FT847, except the right wiring connection?

place where I planned to make a dozens of DX was QTH of local radioclub OM3RRC (this radio club should use primary callsign OM3ROM but because the other stations in CW contests ever received it like a OM3R, so I chose from more secondary callsign - OM3ROM, OM3KNS, OM3RRC and OM3RDX - for this occasion OM3RRC). Povazska Bystrica is, how I already wrote in text above, in square JN99FC, so just a few kilometres from OK/OM border. The city is placed in the valley of Vah river and it's surrounding by couple of hills around. Above a city is hill, where is situated the local bloom of socialisms in 70's, the block of flats named Rozkvet. And on the top of the hill, 391m ASL (surrounded by blocks of flats) chapel St. Helen from 18.century. And near the chapel on the ridge of the hill is school, where is placed local radioclub with workplace for HF and 16el F9FT yagi for 2m (without elevation of course). Inspection of radioclub was fine, mostly when I realize that near houses are situated on the East and North side of hill so the position during Moonset should be over school playground almost without and obstacles. More in radioclub was fast Internet connection so had to just bring my equipment and start the show. On the other hand the 2m thin coax cable was 40m long with connectors type contact plug (my "favorite" anfenol). On the table was R2CW transceiver, crunched rotator controller Sever (later I found that it's "exact" about +- 20degrees) and above the whole equipment was old CRT monitor, which will be surely producer of many "nice" birdies on the band. Summarize: equipment old more then 20 years. But I had my FT847 set up for EME, LNA and lot of optimisms :-))

And then, with excited support of other club members, we started with building up the station. First we put on the table the tube PA, equipment and LCD monitor. But where will we install the 6m antenna? The 5el I0JXX yagi is fine, but installing it on the 30m high roof with very long coax cable was unreal. In the end we solved it by putting the antenna on 6m high contest telescopic mast (tnx guys!) and we secured it. The horizontal rotation and elevation had to be manually. Advantage was that we only needed an 8m long CCA cable between the PA and antenna. The first measurement of SWR showed value of 1.4, which isn't the best due to 6m resemblance to near HF we considered it as suitable hi. And then I turn on the radio and suddenly appeared unbelievable pile-up. Luckily there was in the same time Es on the 2m with scatter point somewhere above JN89, which was too near for us on 2m. However on the 6m band the situation was quite different because of ufb short-skips into densely populated area, into DL :) And now try to imagine that you have on 6m almost 300W (PEP) PA and 5el antenna turned in that direction. Vlad, OM3CLS like it very much because we made such a DX like LX2LA, what is on Es for the small distance quite rare. So we tested 6m equipment and fully satisfied. The only problem was local QRM, I'll mention about it further. However I found another problem. Because I was in the past operator of Czech D class converted into A class, I haven't CW exam (even if I used to run CW quite often). So thank to old Slovak license rules I had in OM the same rights like in our old D class in OK. It meant that I was allowed to operate on 2m - up with maximal power of 100W and was prohibited 6m band at all. So contacts on 6m I had to let to Vlada, OM3CLS while I was standing behind his back and we decided to use call sign OM3RRC. But let's back up and talk about the antenna. We couldn't put it in front the windows of radio club and go home because of wild night life, robbers and so... So it was clear that we had to dismantle the 6m antenna after each EME test.

And how about conditions? While we were building up equipment EME conditions were very bad with high signal degradation and high sky noise (it's compared to 2m on 6m was much higher). Another problem was with W7GJ. The distance from Montana to Prague is like that when the Moon is rising in Montana we usually have in OK just few degrees before our moonset. The consideration was that even when the Povazska Bystrica is from W7GJ about 360km further then Prague, our EME window will be shorter but not rapidly. Contrary was the case. In fact on the break of July and August 2007 was Moon in such a position the we have in OM no window into W7 at all. But anyway we suffered from high level of QRM just from the moonset direction (from the high voltage line). Lucky that friends from radioclub helped me again. They took old "Dolphin" for ARDF with mounted HB9CV and started looking for the QRM source on the 22kV high voltage line. They succeeded and after agreement with the high voltage keeper they solved it very fast, VY TNX!!!

the breaks between house work and waiting for the W7 EME window, I was running MS on 2m. In that time was slightly coming MS shower Perseids so conditions were getting better and better day by day. During my stay in OM between 26th July - 5th August I worked on 2m like OM3RRC about 45 completed MS contacts. What I found interesting was that I was for plenty of stations, mostly from PA, their new square (JN99). As a ODX I worked contact with Charlie, EI5FK on distance of 1929km. During my enjoyable 2m operation visited OM3RRC radio club lot of young hams, mostly that younger ones who I tried to dedicate to VHF DX as far as it was possible. And how about 2m EME? Even without elevation and several meters of long RG213 cable we managed together with OM3CLS 15 EME contacts in JT65 with stations: RK3FG-25, OZ1LPR-23, RU1AA-19, PA0JMV-21, S52LM-26, DK3EE-18, UA9YLU-29, WA4NJP-26, LY2BAW-25, ES6RQ-24, RA3AQ -23, HB9Q-19, EB5EEO -23, W5UN -26 a WQ5S-24dB. Unfortunately we didn't make a 2 way contact with ZL3TY, K9DX, K7XQ, SM5CUI and mostly with Jozef, OM3BC what would be the first 2m EME contact OM-OM. Unfortunately even if we saw each other the tropo signal was too strong to decode. Interesting was discover completely different to premise that I'm not able to work with this antenna up to 15 degrees of elevation. However I was able in hot operation work more then until 30 degrees. Maybe it was caused by a tin roof just a few meters below antenna, hi. And the best in the end: Ground Gain effect. When Moon was rising, it was rising through 100m far and 20m higher block of flats which caused extensive noise. But when Moon was setting and we have window into W, the Ground Gain effect worked very well. Why not when antenna was some 20m above terrain and and in front of antenna was the ridge of the hill with soil and grass without any trees with length more then 1km followed by the small valley and then meadows and meadows. It was very important for the further 6m EME tests. But will be 6m antenna for the Ground gain high enough? Because the Ground Gain can amplify signal about +6dB however the height of the antenna is very important. But we haven't any time for such a theory.

During our first 50MHz test with W7GJ we had for the contact just 10min long window. When he got Moon on the moonrise we had it just 2 degrees before moonset. We passed the night at radioclub and very early in the morning we met with others. They come to look if we make it for the first time. More during assembling 6m antenna we found in the boom 3 mummified misses which tuned up the SWR before :) So one advice for the future assembling the 6m I0JXX antenna: you can blow into boom but don't try to suck up :o))

In the mean time W7GJ was ready on the chat in case we did not make it. We set up frequency 50,190 and JT65A. Yes that's true, on 6m band EME operation uses JT65A, contrary to 2m in JT65B. Outside was clear sky, almost full red Moon was setting down to the horizont, just 1 degree left and still nothing. First test wasn't successful. So we were a bit unhappy but as we have Czech saying: "There isn't village-fair every day". The next day the distance between Earth and Moon will be better and EME window should be a bit longer. I was a bit afraid about oversleeping the sked, so I stayed wake up the whole night till the sunrise.

Even one note: we let antenna stay outside from last day, luckily night was quite with sky without any clouds and harvester Moon was shining bright. And one more change from the yesterday sked, we identificated remaining source of 6m QRM. Never put a switch mode power supply next to the transceiver! Scattered magnetic field of ferrite transformer can produce a nice 6m interference.

The clock showed 04:19 UTC what was 06:19 h local time. We had just 12 degrees left to the moonset and in 8418 km far Montana starting moonrise, so: go go go! And then suddenly at 04:39 UTC, when we had Moon some 8 degrees high and Lance, W7GJ about 2,5 degrees, appeared out for the first period weak but then stronger and stronger and then even super-strong signal, loud enough on speaker: OM3RRC W7GJ DN27. Signal is tune just 43 Hz up from the expected frequency! Doppler was only 16 Hz and degradation -2,5 dB. Why I say only? Because during moonset or moonrise is Doppler maximal thanks to phase velocity. On 2m would be in the same time about 300Hz but on 6m it's just that 16 Hz, a bit unaccustomed, hi. Next to radio is Vlado, OM3CLS and I run outside to correct antenna direction. Vlado in the mean time trying the 150% power from the PA. I have to restrain him. With burn out PA we'll not to make it! And then when Moon rise to 3,5 degrees in Montana we heard laud melody from our headsets, signal got over incredible value -16dB and it's still getting better, I love you dear Ground Gain! But most important was then W7GJ sent us couple of "O". Then RRR. 73 and first Slovakian 6m EME QSO became true. Then we tried make with Lance CW contact as well however our power is too small for that, we heard him FB but with our one GI7b tube when is Moon over time moving behind horizont it isn't enough.. Lance saw us in peek some -28dB. But never mind, CW QSO would be nice indeed but even with digital contact we entered in history annals of Slovakian EME operation, hi.

The sound record of W7GJ's signal at time when he sent us in JT65A "OM3RRC W7GJ DN27 OOO" you can listen (best about at 23.seconds)


The final RRR are


And what equipment was used during the first EME QSO? On our side it was 5el I0JXX with gain about 9dBd (, short 8m long coax cable and PA with GI7b tube, cca 180W out in WSJT. On the W7GJ's side it was 4 times M2 antenna 6M9KHW and 1500W.

I'd like to congratulated to our friends from radioclub OM3ROM / OM3RRC on the common success and especially thanks to Vlado, OM3CLS, Rasto OM3BH, Ruda, OM4TQ, Vlado, OM3BY and to other club members, especially to Raman OM4ATY, Lukas, OM4ACK and Palo OM4AQM who helped us during setting up the antenna.

I believe that EME 6m (but 2m too) operation with my departure in OM3RRC will continue.

And how about year 2008? On 6m are also active stations from ZL, we'll see :-)

73 Matej, OK1TEH

PS: On the only one common (not so good) photo you can see main hams involved in this 1st QSO. From left OM3CLS, OM4TQ and OK1TEH.



MS LOG OM3RRC JN99FC (CS = complete on sked / CR - complete on random)
26.07.2007  18:50  144.390  UU1DX     R37    27  KN74BW  1274  Perseids #001  1843-1850 CS
26.07.2007  19:33  144.360  RZ3AED    R26    27  KO86RD  1498  Perseids #002  1930-1933 CS
26.07.2007  20:18  144.360  F6DRO      26   R26  JN03TJ  1440  Perseids #003  2002-2018 CS
27.07.2007  18:40  144.3??  PE1GNP    R26    26  JO31IX   891  Perseids #004  1845-1840 CS
27.07.2007  18:54  144.3??  RX1AS      26   R27  KO59FX  1433  Perseids #005  1845-1854 ??
27.07.2007  19:47  144.360  PA4PS     R26    26  JO33GH   954  Perseids #006  1940-1947 CS
27.07.2007  20:25  144.355  IT9CJC    R36    26  JM76GS  1406  Perseids #007  1958-2025 CS
27.07.2007  20:40  144.347  IK0BZY     26   R26  JN61GK   968  Perseids #008  2033-2040 CS
27.07.2007  21:33  144.361  RX3AGD    R26    27  KO85UR  1495  Perseids #009  2108-2133 CS
27.07.2007  21:50  144.360  PA4EME     26   R27  JO20WX   923  Perseids #010  2147-2150 CS
27.07.2007  22:12  144.378  YL/DL1RNW  26   R27  KO07TL   955  Perseids #011  2159-2212 CR
27.07.2007  22:30  144.360  EB3JT      26   R26  JN01UI  1567  Perseids #012  2222-2230 CS
27.07.2007  23:00  144.360  OH2HEJ    R26    27  KP20ME  1303  Perseids #013  2244-2300 CS
27.07.2007  23:12  144.3??  PE1OPK     26   R26  JO23UE   999  Perseids #014  2307-2312 CS
28.07.2007  17:21  144.360  PA3FPQ    R26    26  JO22XE   946  Perseids #015  1712-1721 CS
28.07.2007  18:06  144.3??  SV2JL      26   R26  KN10LO  1009  Perseids #016  1732-1806 ??
28.07.2007  18:23  144.360  OH4LA     R26    26  KP20LG  1310  Perseids #017  1813-1823 CS
29.07.2007  00:04  144.370  LZ3RR/P    27   R27  KN32AS   915  Perseids #018  2358-0004 CR
29.07.2007  00:36  144.380  YO9HP     R26    26  KN35BA   737  Perseids #019  0027-0036 CR
29.07.2007  01:05  144.360  LZ4KK     R26    26  KN23XU   819  Perseids #020  0048-0105
29.07.2007  01:24  144.362  PE1GUR    R26    26  JO22TH   972  Perseids #021  0120-0124 CS
29.07.2007  04:32  144.360  RX3QFM    R36    26  KO91FM  1445  Perseids #022  0422-0432 CS
29.07.2007  04:55  144.360  ES3RF     R26    27  KO29IF  1197  Perseids #023  0444-0455 CS
29.07.2007  05:10  144.360  UA1ALD     26   R26  KO49KO  1300  Perseids #024  0444-0510
29.07.2007  05:51  144.3??  EA6FB      26   R26  JM08PV  1776  Perseids #025  0532-0551
29.07.2007  07:46  144.3??  F6GRB      26   R26  JN26KP  1094  Perseids #026  0740-0746
30.07.2007  16:01  144.363  UT5JCW     26   R26  KN64SN  1253  Perseids #027  1549-1601
30.07.2007  23:19  144.370  LZ1KJ/P   R26    27  KN32          Perseids #028  2313-2319
31.07.2007  00:37  144.3??  SM5CUI     26   R27  JO89WW  1207  Perseids #029  0031-0037
31.07.2007  01:20  144.360  G4DEZ      26   R37  JO03AE  1361  Perseids #030  0116-0120
31.07.2007  01:45  144.3??  ON4PS      26   R26  JO20KQ   989  Perseids #031  0124-0145
31.07.2007  02:01  144.360  SK2AT     R26    26  KP03DU  1646  Perseids #032  0140-0201
31.07.2007  02:11  144.3??  PA3COB    R26    27  JO32MF   877  Perseids #033  0208-0211
31.07.2007  23:33  144.370  I8KPV      26   R26  JN70KO   986  Perseids #034  2322-2333
31.07.2007  05:09  144.360  TK5JJ      26   R26  JN41JW  1095  Perseids #035  0453-0509
01.08.2007  00:03  144.360  EI5FK     R26    26  IO51RT  1929  Perseids #036  2350-0003 CS ODX
01.08.2007  00:29  144.360  RN6DJ     R26    26  KN96VC  1633  Perseids #037  0013-0029
01.08.2007  01:02  144.360  RA3LW     R26    26  KO54MQ  1063  Perseids #038  0037-0102
01.08.2007  22:23  144.360  G6HKS     R26    26  IO92OB  1398  Perseids #039  2302-2223 CS
02.08.2007  07:50  144.3??  OH6KTL    R26    27  KP02OJ  1490  Perseids #040  0726-0750
02.08.2007  19:47  144.379  YL1XW     R26    26  KO36SH  1009  Perseids #041  1020-1947 CS
02.08.2007  23:49  144.359  GM4CXM     26   R26  IO75TW  1715  Perseids #042  2319-2349 CS
05.08.2007  02:37  144.365  RA1AY      26   R27  KP50EA  1433  Perseids #043  0215-0237 CS
05.08.2007  03:06  144.370  UT6UG      26   R27  KO50EI   869  Perseids #044  0254-0306 CS
05.08.2007  07:11  144.363  SM2ILF     26   R26  KP04NP  1738  Perseids #045  0652-0711 CS


0400   16.1     -3.1
0410   15.0     -1.5
0419   13.9     -0.2
0430   12.4      1.7
0440   11.9      3.3
0450    9.7      5.0
0500    8.3      6.6
0510    7.0      8.3
0520    5.5      9.6
0530    4.0     11.2
0540    2.7     12.5
0550    1.3     14.0
0600    0.1     15.5
0610   -1.2     16.8


OM/OK1TEH/P JN99FC                                     km
01.08.2007 1754 144305 OM/OK1VVP/P 59    59    KN09CH 130 vaclav
01.08.2007 1817 144290 OM3WKX      59    59    JN98CF  99  10W + 9el f9ft
01.08.2007 1824 144290 OK1IA/P     59001 59001 JN89EJ 155  Veseli na Morave

OM3RRC JN99FC                                          km
25.07.2007 1859 144305 OK1NMP      59    55    JO70XD 215  Belecko
25.07.2007 1903 144305 SP9EWO/9    59    59    JN99LP  70
25.07.2007 1926 144305 SP9AI       59    59    JN99MT  89  Rudi
25.07.2007 1929 144305 OK2MV       59    58    JN99CT  81  krc na balkone
28.07.2007 1946 144290 YO2LEA      59    59    KN06WK 392 350W 17el f9ft
02.08.2007 1908 144230 I4XCC       55    53    JN63GV 736
04.08.2007 2055 144285 T77NC       55001 55    JN63FW 736

QSOs worked by OK1TEH on 2 m :
Mode: JT65B
Loc: JN99FC

   Date    | UTC      |  QRG  | Call  | TX/RX |RCVD dB | Loc  |  km | ANT  + PWR  |init| WAS | WAC
28.07.2007  2022-2032  144.111  RK3FG    0 R0  -25>-26  KO86HP  1477  4x12el Y + 1200W  01#         EU
28.07.2007  2148-2154  144.111  OZ1LPR   0 R0  -23>-2?  JO44UW   883  4x20el Y + 1000W  02#
30.07.2007  2048-2054  144.135  DK3EE   R0  0  -18>-21  JO41GV   769  4x24el Y + 1500W  03#
31.07.2007  2101-2103  144.127  RU1AA   R0  0  -19>-2?  KP40XD  1432  4x15el Y + 2000W  04#
31.07.2007  2140-2148  144.138  PA0JMV   0 R0  -21>-28  JO21PM   975  4x10el Y + 2200W  05#
31.07.2007  2239-2236  144.131  S52LM   R0  0  -26>-30  JN65TX   512  4x17el Y + 1500W  06#
01.08.2007  2012-2014  144.126  UA9YLU  R0  0  -29>-    MO92EO  4116  4x15el Y + 1000W  07#         AS
02.08.2007  0617-0621  144.148  WA4NJP   0 R0  -26>-28  EM84DG  8011 16x11el Y +  400W  08#    GA   NA
02.08.2007  0633-0635  144.122  W5UN    R0  0  -26>-    EM23MG  8767 32x17el Y + 1500W  09#    TX
02.08.2007  0707-0709  144.122  CT1HZE  R0  0  -23>-27  IM57NH  2559  4x11el Y + 1500W  10#
02.08.2007  2016-2018  144.114  LY2BAW  R0  0  -25>-26  KO25KA   791  4x18el Y + 1000W  11#
04.08.2007  2141-2145  144.149  ES6RQ   R0  0  -24>-22  KO28WA  1106  8x17el Y + 1500W  12#
04.08.2007  2152-2156  144.118  RA3AQ   R0  0  -23>-17  KO86JE  1464  6x36XP Y + 1000W  13#
04.08.2007  2202-2206  144.115  HB9Q    R0  0  -19>-22  JN47CG   789  8x19el Y + 2000W  14#
04.08.2007  2238-2242  144.138  EB5EEO  R0  0  -23>-26  IM98PG  1950  6x18el Y + 1000W  15#
05.08.2007  1003-1007  144.146  WQ5S    R0  0  -24>-27  EM13RC  8872  4x12el Y + 1000W  16#
The sound record of Tom, DK3EE 2m EME signal is here.

hrd only, or not completed by final RRR:

K9DX  -18, W0HP  -27, ZL3TY -29, SM5CUI -26, K7XQ -24, UA4AQL-23, RA4HCN-26, ES5SE -25, DJ9CZ  -27, I2RV -27
Next photos

The horizont - 360 view (for more details pse click on the photo)

The North view to the city

The West  - path for Ground Gain

The Dolphin for ARDF with HB9CV - good tool for QRM searching

The view to the Povazska Bystrica city and Povazsky Castle founded in 13th Century