[Moon-net] TZ6NS Status update - 30 November 2006

[Moon-net] TZ Status update - 30 Nov 
Od: aa7a@cox.net [+ do adresáře]
Předmět: [Moon-net] TZ Status update - 30 Nov
Datum: Thu, 30 Nov 2006 4:11:46 -0500
Komu: Moon-net@list-serv.davidv.net [+]

Mike (KC7V/TZ6MF) and I (Ned, AA7A/TZ6NS) had good success with the JT65 EME effort on 29 November. It started very slowly, however. As usual, our high noise level in the moonrise direction prevented us from seeing any signals for almost 3 hours of calling. We will continue to operate in that direction despite the noise in the hope that we can pull someone out for a new one. After the moon got to roughly 45 degree elevation, we worked our first station, which has been a consistent phenomenon throughout this effort.

Today, 30 November, is the last day of this operation. We will be operating our station with the two operators in a tag-team mode for every sequence from moonrise until moonset. We are tearing down the 160 meter and WARC stations today prior to today's moonrise and then will focus 100% of our attention on EME. This operation was a DX-pedition inside of a DXpedition. Over 30,000 QSOs were made in the TZ5A warmup and contest operation. And now, Mike and I are completing our little EME segment of the DXpedition. It is a grueling affair, but it is certainly a thrill for a couple of ham radio nuts like Mike and I. Tomorrow we will tear down the EME station and put it in storage for next year's operation in 3X or somewhere like it where the VooDoo Contest Group goes next for the 2007 CQWW DX CW Contest. If you want to see more about the VooDoo Contest Group, read the lead article in the Novemebr 2006 CQ Magazine writen by Lee Finkle, KY7M. It gives the full story of last year's eff
 ort in Mali (with no 2 meter EME).

Activity status update:

Initials to date (29 nOV): 58


Stations worked on 29 Nov (thru moonset): RU1AA, DL8GP, PA0JMV, F9HS, SM7GVF, F6FHP, DL2NUD, DL7FF, IK1UWL, K1CA, PE1L, EA3DXU, PA0ZH, K5GMX, S54T, AA9MY, FM5CS, KD3UY, G4FUF, K9KNW AND K7MAC

Stations copied but not completed: ON4DPX, WP4G and W7MEM (we think...odd decode, maybe?)

The equipment is being run hard. We have the peddle to the metal and are praying for no sudden event in the PA. The truss for the Xpol yagi fell apart while negotiating the antenna around a guy wire during a windy period. We are contemplating a repair but are thinking of leaving it alone since it is erect and working the way it is. It is always a gamble to repair a mostly working antenna.

During our preparation for this event, we were struggling with the system configuration but finally made a decision to go with the Xpol yagi. It was a good decision as it turns out. I am convinced that our complete QSO tally would be one half what it is with a single polarization antenna.

We will access the hotel's intenet when we start operation today in the "JA window" frequency (TZ6NS TX/RX on 144.084). And, we will access in the internet fo an update once again when we change the operating frequency into the "USA window" (TZ6NS TX on 144.149 and RX up 1 to 2 KHz). We would like to refrain from the use of internet through the day since it ties us up and it costs us money. We have to wait in line to get on a computer and then after getting a seat we have to type rapidly on a foreign (to us) keyboard to exchange information to the chat rooms. We will stick to our plan and hope that everyone who needs us simply watches the screen and calls us when we pop above the noise.

We will not take skeds on this trip. Coordination is simply too hard due to limited internet access.

CW operation is off. Noise is just too high. In addition, my CW copying system in my head is still broken after the CQWW DX CW Contest. I am still copying IK3's in the ceiling fan noise while trying to go to sleep. They are starting to get weaker, however.

A repeat of suggestions to work us:

1. Call all of the time that you see us. We can copy calls from another station while completing the current station. Do not be concerned about QRMing an ongoing QSO. We may skip a "73" message and continue with the next station as necessary. If we have no other stations ready to call, we will send a "73" message when completing a contact.

2. Be patient. We have watched the screen on every sequence from moonrise to moonset. If you see us call. If we see you, you can be assured that we will do all we can to work you.

3. Our local noise is severe on moonrise. The noise drops substantially when we get above 30 degrees. Working in the JA window will be harder due to this problem. We would consider a different QTH but we are at the edge of civilization where we are currently. Going to a more remote location is an interesting idea but not practical.

We will operate to our posted schedule today (30 Nov and into 1 Dec). We will not be QRV on 1 Dec moonrise. We will be packing the station for storage for next year on that day and then head to the airport to travel to the land of cheeseburgers and warm showers. Full details of the TZ6NS EME schedule can be found here:


This will be the last live update on this effort. My hope is that these notes give you all a feel for this side of the operation. The EME effort is harder than I had thought. The long walk out the the antenna every 30 minutes to re-aim is taking its toll on my feet. Trying to explain EME in English to the non-English speaking employees at the hotel must be interesting to an observer. I use simple words, wave my hands a lot and point at the moon. They nod knowingly and are undoubtedly convinced that we are crazy. My wife at home has similar conclusions but has explained it quite well to me using English. The need to keep awake and poised to click on the right part of the screen in a two second timeframe every 120 seconds is a unique skill that is only mastered well by the WSJT Dxpedition or contest operator. Having participated in several DXpeditions and many contest operations, this EME effort is as demanding as any other type of ham radio operation. You can rest assured that
  this team will try to put this effort on every year wherever the VooDoo Contest Group travels.

Good luck today for those who need us. For those that have worked us, QSL via AA7A. No IRC, stamps or $1 required. SAE would be appreciated.


Ned / Mike