[Moon-Net] TX5K initial summary

Lance Collister, W7GJ w7gj at q.com
Mon Mar 18 00:09:18 CET 2013


As I write the initial summary, I am on the Shogun on the return trip from Clipperton 
Island.  As you can well imagine, the trip was very exhausting, as I was essentially 
on my own to set up the 6m station as far away from the HF operations as possible, 
and then race to get things set up to operate EME all night.  Because we were a day 
late in landing on the island, it was struggle to get the 6m beam assembled and up 
before nightfall on the first day of March, but I did get the antenna up just after 
sunset, in time for moonrise on the second day of March GMT.  In addition to missing 
a good day for EME at the beginning of the trip, I missed most of the last two EME 
days, when cndx were just beginning to improve. That left me with the worst week of 
the month for EME.  Of course, I was very disappointed in the EME results, and the 
fact that I had no terrestrial propagation toward NA, aside from two contacts who 
apparently linked to an Es opening.

While the number of EME stations worked was not as high as my operation from Fiji, 
the results were surprisingly close, and suggests that another dedicated EME 
DXpedition to some rare place during the BEST week of the month for 6m EME could 
yield at least 50 to 60 contacts.  Despite all the difficulties encountered, the EME 
results were better than the Rarotonga, Samoa and Niue operations.  As it turned out, 
I had no access to any internet at any time, so could only tell if a station received 
my RRR, completing the contact, if I received 73's from them.  Below is a list of the 
6m EME contacts, along with stations copied through Saturday March ninth when I was 
forced to shut down at sixteen-forty UTC:

     TX5K 6M LOG FROM 50.190 MHz
NOTE: ? Under NOTES indicates RRR were sent but no 73's received

STN #   YR     MONTH     DAY    UTC     CALL    -DB MODE     NOTES
1     2013     MARCH     2     0536     G8BCG    21 JT65A
2     2013     MARCH     2     0544     ON4IQ    11 JT65A
3     2013     MARCH     2     0556     S59A     22 JT65A
4     2013     MARCH     2     0606     S57RR    22 JT65A
5     2013     MARCH     2     0612     ON4GG    15 JT65A
6     2013     MARCH     2     0622     K2ZD     17 JT65A
7     2013     MARCH     2     0636     OZ4VV    18 JT65A
8     2013     MARCH     2     0642     SM7FJE   26 JT65A
9     2013     MARCH     2     0427     WA4NJP   26 JT65A     ?
9     2013     MARCH     2     0652     SM7AED   17 JT65A
10    2013     MARCH     2     0740     N3XX     28 JT65A
11    2013     MARCH     2     0758     K6MYC    20 JT65A
12    2013     MARCH     2     0704     0K7XX    17 JT65A
13    2013     MARCH     2     0750     G4IGO    21 JT65A
14    2013     MARCH     2     0852     W6BBS    24 JT65A
15    2013     MARCH     2     0950     ZL1RS    25 JT65A
16    2013     MARCH     2     1002     N7NW     24 JT65A
17    2013     MARCH     2     1026     K7XQ     27 JT65A
18    2013     MARCH     2     1044     FK8CP    26 JT65A
19    2013     MARCH     2     1232     N3CXV    24 JT65A
20    2013     MARCH     2     1324     N8JX     23 JT65A
21    2013     MARCH     2     1554     K7CW     25 JT65A
22    2013     MARCH     2     1612     W7IUV    17 JT65A
23    2013     MARCH     2     1618     W6BBS    24 JT65A     DUPE
24    2013     MARCH     3     0632     IW5DHN   15 JT65A
25    2013     MARCH     3     0714     GW4WND   23 JT65A
26    2013     MARCH     3     0706     G5WQ     25 JT65A
27    2013     MARCH     3     0728     OZ1DJJ   28 JT65A
28    2013     MARCH     3     0748     S51DI    26 JT65A
29    2013     MARCH     3     0754     GM4WJA   22 JT65A
30    2013     MARCH     3     0831     OT1E     18 JT65A
31    2013     MARCH     3     0850     F6BKI    29 JT65A
32    2013     MARCH     3     1016     KH7Y     25 JT65A
33    2013     MARCH     3     1040     ZL3NW    26 JT65A
34    2013     MARCH     3     1242     VE3KH    26 JT65A
35    2013     MARCH     3     1318     VE3MMQ   26 JT65A
36    2013     MARCH     3     0712     K6QXY    26 JT65A
37    2013     MARCH     4     0756     HA8CE    26 JT65A
38    2013     MARCH     4     0806     OZ1DJJ   24 JT65A
39    2013     MARCH     7     1114     OZ7OX    27 JT65A
40    2013     MARCH     7     1142     OK1RD    27 JT65A
41    2013     MARCH     8     1110     ES6RQ    23 JT65A
42    2013     MARCH     8     1120     OH6MIK   22 JT65A
43    2013     MARCH     8     1140     LA8AJA   22 JT65A
44    2013     MARCH     8     1230     N6RMJ    26 JT65A
45    2013     MARCH     8     1336     W7MEM    27 JT65A
46    2013     MARCH     8     1358     N2TIN    24 JT65A
47    2013     MARCH     9     1206     UT7QF    26 JT65A     ?
48    2013     MARCH     9     1236     SP3RNZ   24 JT65A
49    2013     MARCH     9     1316     HA0DU    26 JT65A     ?


1     G3WOS
2     G8VR
3     JR6EXN
4     K4RX
5     K7TNT
6     K8SIX
7     K8WW
8     KJ9I
9     KR7O
10    LY2BAW
11    LZ2WO
12    N5DG
13    ND0B
14    NN7J
15    N7IP
16    OK1DO
17    S57A
18    S51D
19    SV8CS
20    VE1JF
21    W5UWB
22    W7UT
23    W9GA
24    YT1AR

We completed over 260 contacts via Es and TEP, and spent many hours beaconing when 
not on EME.  Very briefly, a few of the problems encountered were:

  1. Delay in landing by a day while searching for a place that would permit us to 
get through the reef
  2. My having to haul all the equipment, operating tent, sleeping tent, generator, 
fuel, water, etc. by hand cart south of the landing point and set it up before 
nightfall. This was very time consuming as well as exhausting.
  3. Gasoline rationing in the middle of the week forced us to only run barefoot when 
beaconing or working TEP - there was no EME on those days anyway because of the high 
Degradation, but it limited our ability to put out a big signal on terrestrial 
propagation on those days.
  4. The antenna location fifty meters from the pounding surf caused everything to be 
drenched in salt spray.  The result was that the antenna performance degraded daily, 
my K3 became inoperable at over 10 watts, the 6M1000 amplifier relays became 
intermittent on receive, and the number and a few other keys on my laptop computer no 
longer work - I have to copy and paste them from the station log in order to enter 
numbers into this email.
  5. My operation was forced to shut down earlier than planned because of anticipated 
difficulty in leaving the island on time, causing me to miss  valuable moon time of 
improving cndx.
  6. The consistently high winds made it difficult to move the antenna around - 
especially at night, because it had to be well tethered.
  7. All my clothes, along with my LMR600 coax were washed in salt water in the hold 
of the ship for 10 days en route to the island, and the cardboard boxes containing 
all my gear I had were destroyed.  The connectors on the 25' emergency extra length 
of LMR600 coax were all corroded, so I had to use jumpers in series with the 50' 
length so it would reach the operating tent.
  8. The 6m operating position was too far to connect with the wi-fi network that 
would permit real time posting of the 6m contacts via the DXA page and it turned out 
that there was no way for me to access the chat pages even via a low bandwidth telnet 
client.  At least on my other DXpeditions, I was able to get messages out by 
occasional internet connections.
  9. A number of large 6m stations were apparently not able to get on the air to work 
this rare DXCC
10. I had hoped for some terrestrial propagation toward asia, but did not have any.
11. Ground gain on moonset was not as good as I had hoped.
12. Unlike the situation for the HF operators, whose gear is being shipped home for 
them by the DXpedition funds, I will have to figure out some way to ship all my gear 
home from San Diegopier at my own expense.

A few of the unexpected positive events included:

  1.  Only a few storms dropped only a few minutes of rain
  2.  We were able to depart the island around noon on Monday despite the tidal 
extremes associated with new moon
  3.  Nobody was seriously injured
  4.  At least some people who made the effort to get on EME got a new country 
despite the poor EME cndx and the obstacles on my end
  5. It was possible to endure the extreme heat by cutting open the operating tent to 
let the wind blow salt and sand through, and generally the evenings were quite bearable.
  6. The French public TV crew got some great photos of the 6m EME operation, and 
hopefully we will be able to pass some of these on to you eventually.
  7. There was absolutely NO interference from the HF operations, so the effort to 
get down far to the south of them was successful.
  8. Ground gain on moonrise was outstanding, due to the proximity of the antenna to 
  9. I was very pleasantly surprised to get two USA stations in the log on 
terrestrial propagation.
10. I made the first contact of the group from TX5K, by working G8BCG on EME.

A more complete report with photos will be prepared as soon as Ican put something 
together from home with a computer keyboard that is not damaged. I also have a lot of 
photos to share, some of which are really GREAT.  I will try to post a number of 
these on my FACEBOOK page.

The Alpha 8406 amp that was very graciously loaned to me from RF Concepts worked 
great, until my K3 was damaged and could no longer drive it toward the end of the 
trip.  As soon as I get it back home, I will be soaking all the parts of the 6M8GJ 
yagi in a hot water bathtub to remove all the salt, and will plan to use the anti 
corrosion compound on ALL the connections next trip, even it it delays me getting on 
the air a day.  The K3 will also need some major repairs after the damage caused by 
the salt spray corrosion...

ManyMANY hanks again to all of you for your support and effort in watching for us.  
It certainly was a HUGE effort by everyone and I only regret that I could not put 
more stations in the log - including W7GJ. HOWEVER, it WAS the most successful 
combined HF/6m EME DXpedition to date.  Given all the difficulties I faced, though, I 
am inclined to stick with the solo operations in the future...

VY 73, Lance

Lance Collister, W7GJ
P.O. Box 73
Frenchtown, MT   59834-0073
TEL: (406) 626-5728
QTH: DN27ub
URL: http://www.bigskyspaces.com/w7gj
Windows Messenger: W7GJ at hotmail.com
Skype: lanceW7GJ
2m DXCC #11/6m DXCC #815

Interested in 6m EME?  Ask me about subscribing to the Magic Band EME
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