Z3 & 4O / OK1DFC - EME pedition

432 - 1296 MHz  -  Jun 2008

Rig:

432 MHz - 3,2m dish + LNA NE325 - 0,3dB - PA K1FO design 2x3CPX800A7 -1,5kW RF - SPID rotator and GM4JJJ tracking SW

1296 MHz - 3,2m dish + LNA NE325 G4DDK - 0,2dB - PA YL1330 DJ3FI design 800W RF - CW / JT65

JT65 interface - MicroHam

 

Following pictures are showing where we were QRV

Locator: KN11BS

Very good take of to East and West.

 Courtesy of Ranko 4O3A we have nice locality and place to install our EME station.

Monte Negro

Locator: JN92HJ

Very good take of East and West

Our EME pedition progress

So, this is framework of our EME pedition dish. Dish has perfect parabolic shape and we are expecting good efficiency. My previous work with 3,6m dish in JO60 loc up to year 2000 is giving me lot of experience with this small size of antenna. Diameter 3,2m and just we are working with Zdenek OK3RM how to make a dish lightweight. Zdenek will do special holes in the ribs and expecting decrease of weight of 40% down. Frame will be cover by RF welded mesh 6x6mm for good use up to 5,6 GHz but in Z3 and 4O we are planning to be QRV only 432 and 1296 MHz. 2320 MHz is already tested and working great, see my page 2,3GHz, but we will be there in big time pressure.

Today I have tested SPID rotator in combination with my note book and SW GM4JJJ. All working great. Cables for connection between rotator and control unit are going trough ferrite rings and blocked by capacitors to eliminate potential QRM causing by DC engines. System looks good, and I am expecting that will move with the dish easy. I received also special white steel feed point keeper. For feeding of dish, we will use my 23cm and 432 MHz feeds. They are already tested in my 10m dish and working great. All other units we will have same which I am operating here at home for EME. Last what we need to do is flexible dick coaxial cable connection to feed point by H1500 coaxial cable. We are expecting maximum length of cables 15m and need to be as close possible to the dish.
Today I have tested SPID rotator with PC and GM4JJJ SW. System worked great whole day and Sun was all the time visible through pipe. During evening come Zdenek OK3RM and bring final version of dish. You can see holes in ribs, what decrease weight of each rib 0,8kg. Dish is now very stable and handy. I am expecting also good electrical parameters. Tomorrow we need to final cutting mesh and couple mechanical things. All will be wrap up on evening and ready to go. Good news is, that we have confirmed Internet connection in both QTH and will be possible to working according expected plan above.

Another sunny day. We have finish all mechanical parts and also dish has cute mesh triangles. Last parts of installation to the rotator were finish and now we will load all things to the car. Tomorrow I will test LNAs and feeds and on Monday Morning we can go. Following pictures showing how we were with Zdenek cutting mesh. It is painful work as you know if tested. We have also new contra weight for balancing. We will use my weights from Astronomy telescope for while will be produce original one for dish. Total contra weight for dish and feed is 20kg.

We arrived to Monte Negro at 01:00 UTC. Short sleep and morning we started build a station. First we build dish and installed cables. Because everything tested at home, we did not have any problem and at 12:00 UT we tested Sun noise and rectified antenna. All was o.k. and than at 12:45 we worked Jan DL9KR on 432 MHz as his #99 DXCC on 432 MHz. After tested QSO with G4YTL.. Copy him O, peeking 339 but David had problem with electro-static rain and QSO was not completed. So we are expecting to be QRV on 4th of Jun according our plan above. Here is also couple pictures from our portable QTH. Pity is that hill is using also by professional communication services and lot of noise on the 432 MHz. We decrease noise S3 down thanks to switch to vertical polarization, that is mean, that we will be always transmitting vertical. So hope that it will help and we will be able to work many of you.

Start trip at 07:00 from JN79GW

Visiting also Dodo from MicroHam which repairing in last minute or MicroHam box where I destroyed one relay, Sorry and Big Thanks Dodo!!!

Short stop over in Austria

Where we are?

How we will follow up?

In mid night we passed Dubrovnik 1345 km from home

At 01:00 UT in coffee bar with Ranko 4O3A right and YU1OL Ferry to peninsula of Boca Kotorska
Monte Negro 4O/OK1DFC

Building dish, feeds and cables installing - sorry Zdenek OK3RM is not visible, making pictures :-)

Feed for 432 MHz - contra weight on dish - many 450 MHz Yagi antennas around producing terrible noise

During QSO with Jan DL9KR Me and Boca Kotorska bay

Here is Information from first activity day on 432 MHz. Firstly I have to apologize for our deaf in couple of directions, because the hill where we were is full of TELCO services. So today we worked: VK3UM good copy, Doug peeking in QRM to 539, OK1CA "O" but we finale done, DL7APV 539 peeking and OZ4MM 539 peeking as a strongest station of the day. PA3CSG "O", F2TU "O", OH2DG "O", SM2CEW sorry for "M" only, because a lot of QRM during QSO, HB9Q good copy peeking 539, G3LTF solid "O", SM3AKW "M", UA3PTW "M" G4YTL "M" and K2UYH with "M" copy CW. JT65 was not possible to use because of strong digital interference.

In couple directions we had QRM S9 like 270į and above. For this reason please call us tomorrow as soon as possible. We are expecting some noise problems on 23cm too, because of many WiFi antennas on the mast. This will also unable us from activating 13cm from this QTH. It will be necessary to find some no electric smog QTH. Ranko 4O3A is using this QTH mainly for HF contesting and he does not know how it looks with QRM on higher bands.

Tomorrow we will be QRV 1296 MHz. Mainly I will call CQ on 1296,045 and will keep 2 min periods again. Because the time is squeezing our schedule, immediately after Moon set tomorrow, we will wrap up and continue through Podgorica, Pristine - Kosovo to Skopje and Stip Macedonia. Than we will build station and go to sleep. Saturday morning start 432 MHz. I will be again on HB9Q and ON4KST chatting for possible skeds. I cannot promise any message from our 4O 23cm activity day, because we will be in hurry. So keep crossed fingers for us and see you on 1296 MHz morning. One of main noisy mast is on the picture below. Hills on the horizon are 2000m a.s.l. high.

Zdenek OK1DFC & Zdenek OK3RM

Mast behind of dish is producing terrible QRM -  mast on left side is covered with WiFi antennas and we will se tomorrow what is worse. You can see vertical polarized feed for 432 MHz because 3S lower QRM :-)

MACEDONIA - Z3/OK1DFC

After 650 km of night driving we arrived on the 6th of June to Macedonia - KN11BS. Immediately we started to build the station to be QRV as soon as possible and have a chance to work according our plan from Saturday morning. So approximately at 13:00 UT we were able to start rectifying the dish with Sun noise and testing how looks the noise floor. First result was great, comparing with 4O QTH we were hearing only velvet noise :-). This result was great and encourages us to ask Jan DL9KR for some signal beacon via Moon. How we expected, his signal was great 579 and very good readable. So we immediately installed also driver and PA with 2x 3CX800 for echo test. When we finished the installation Jan DL9KR was still testing echoes and we were ready to call him. After he finished one series of test I had switch on all units to TX position and started to call Jan. Jan immediately answered to our call and has given us first "O" and after 549 report. We started jumping end dancing around the dish like crazy because after his RRRR series was clear that our main issue of mission was done. Jan DL9KR is first HAM in the world reached 100 DXCC on 432 MHz - all CW. Guys from Stip radio-club Z37M Dime Z35Z and Kris Z35X did not trust that signal which they are hearing is bounced via Moon. Jan was really strong and immediately readable also for them from loud speaker. So we opened bottle and each of us drank a glass to cheer Janís excellent result. After a couple of QRZs we didnít have any takers and turned station off. It was time to go for dinner and sleep, because in that time I did not sleep continuously more than 24 hours. When we came back from dinner, we did not trust our own eyes. During that time passed through our location big thunderstorm which twice hit 10kV power line and all fuses there where blew out. There wasnít any piece of ceramic, where were the fuses installed. That was shock. Thanks to great relationship of our friends with people from Power Company who started to work on reparation immediately in the night and recognized that there wasnít problem only with fuses but something else. They promised that at 08:00 in the morning, local time, will be everything o.k. On Saturday morning they came again and really turned on line in our location. It was in the last minute because time for VK guys was about to close and Moon set was coming. We worked with Doug VK3UM in his last couple of minutes. Even if another storm is passing over us just now, I have time to send you this message. Hopefully when it pass over, we will be still QRV.
Dish and car where we are working Working Jan DL9KR Repairing HV 10kV line
Z3/OK1DFC running 432 MHz Dish ready for 1296 MHz Zdenek OK3RM and Dime Z35Z building dish
We are leaving Z3 from left Zdenek OK3RM - Dime Z35Z and OK1DFC

Table of worked stations:

4O / OK1DFC - JN92HJ Z3 / OK1DFC - KN11BS
432 MHz 1296 MHz 432 MHz 1296 MHz
DL9KR VK3UM DL9KR VK3UM
VK3UM OK1CA VK3UM VK3UM - SSB
OK1CA OZ4MM UA3PTW OK1CA
DL7APV JA6CZD HB9Q OZ4MM
OZ4MM G3LTF OZ4MM HB9Q
PA3CSG G4CCH PA3CSG HB9Q - SSB
F2TU LX1DB DF3RU JA4BLC
OH2DG ES6RQ SM3AKW JA6CZD
SM2CEW OK1KIR OK1CA ES6RQ - JT
HB9Q ES5PC SP6JLW SM5LE - JT
G3LTF F2TU DK3WG G4CCH
SM3AKW SM3AKW G4YTL DF3RU
UA3PTW ES6RQ - JT SM2CEW F2TU
G4YTL HB9Q OH2DG OK1KIR
K2UYH n.c. OE9ERC F2TU OH2DG
DF3RU G4RGK - JT G3LTF
G4RGK - JT G3LTF RD3DA - JT
RD3DA - JT K2UYH - JT ES5PC - JT
HB9BBD K2UYH PA3CSG - JT
SM5LE - JT PA3CSG
DJ9YW - JT PA3DZL - JT
K5SO JA6AHB - JT
PA3CSG OE9ERC - JT

K2UYH

OE9ERC

VE6TA

SM2CEW

W5LUA

SM3AKW

OH2DG

G4RGK - JT
OZ6OL
G4DDK - JT
LX1DB
K5JL
W5LUA - JT
W5LUA
SM3LBN
GM3SBC - JT
K5SO
K2UYH
G4DZU - JT
VE7BBG - JT
ES5PC
14 27 19 40

 

We are together with Zdenek OK3RM very proud that our small station helped in last two DXCCs to Jan DL9KR achievement this great result. Congrats Jan !!!!

Links and info - thanks to all for sending:

Video from Z3 - Jan confirming his last DXCC to #100

MP3file send by Willi LX1DB - QSO with OK1KIR

SM2CEW hearing with SSB filter  4O/OK1DFC - 432 MHz

MP3 file send by Howard G4CCH - CQ Z3/OK1DFC

 

Jan DL9KR worked 100 DXCC - 432 MHz - Zdenek had asked me to give him a beacon and when pausing to listen to my echoes he suddenly appeared with a 549 signal thus giving me DXCC entity 100 after more than 30 active years of CW rpt CW EME on 432 MHz. A huge thanks to OK1DFC and OK3RM!!! Z3/OK1DFC is NOW QRV on 432,045 until 1500z. Any takers? Things look good for tomorrows announced Z3 activity. 73 Jan DL9KR.

Doug VK3UM comment - Congratulations Jan .. a brilliant achievement from a suburban back yard through walnut trees and the like. I know our old mate Rainier (SK) will be similarly pleased that you have achieved the Holy Grail of 70cm. Words can not convey the effort and dedication of your achievement but simply .. well done. 73 Doug VK3UM

Jan DL9KR - answer to e-mail senders - Gentlemen, I was deeply moved by the multitude of your congratulations and kind words! It's me who has to thank all those wonderful QSO partners and especially the DXpeditioners over 3 decades now. What to apply for? There is no 70cm DXCC at ARRL (yet?). BTW, Rainer DJ9BV & Co were among the worthy providers of new countries for me. Forgive the negligence of omitting this fact in my obituary for him. Yes, it's been a unique day and I'll have another sip from the half empty Champaign bottle now in the hope of finding some sleep. THANK YOU ALL and cuagn off the moon! 73, Jan DL9KR

Jimmy SV1BTR - Dear Jan You have my utmost respect for DXCC #100 on 432MHz CW. This is a REAL achievement. In the eyes of all analog EME Community, myself being inspired & mentored by you in 1994 and having my 1st 70cm cw EME QSO with DL9KR. What you have accomplished in 30 years, ALL analog - hard & challenging way - has IMMENSE value. Despite the fact that sadly this is not distinguished in DXCC award, as due to the like of some who for years purposely ruin the real sense of moon bounce achievement, no stickers are provided by mode. Thank You for showing to all of us what patience - dream - quest for technical knowledge and operational skill, means on EME. Thank You for leading by example in the EME path of GREAT ACHIEVEMENT, out of the empty jt65 deep search & logger modernities of our times. 73 Jimmy SV1BTR

 

SM2CEW hearing on 23cm Z3/OK1DFC - 1

SM2CEW hearing on 23cm Z3/OK1DFC - 2

SM2CEW hearing on 23cm Z3/OK1DFC - 3

SM2CEW hearing on 23cm Z3/OK1DFC - 4

 

I will follow as soon as possible with full story here. I am also preparing DVD disk with whole DX pedition to 4O and Z3.

QSL - my home address OK1DFC - QRZ.net

Our QSL cards for 4O and Z3 / OK1DFC EME DX pedition - just in the print

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