[Moon-Net] EME QSL Etiquette question
Edward R Cole
kl7uw at acsalaska.net
Wed Nov 23 22:38:03 CET 2016
There are a few of us NASA folk or alumni. I was
systems analyst at the DSS-14 "Mars" tracking
station at Goldstone in the 1970's and worked for
DSN Engineering my last three years. You just
get to eat and sleep with dishes!
I watched the first episode of the Mars TV show
that is airing on Nat'l Geographic Channel last
night (actually watched it streamed on
internet). That really brings back to me the
excitement of working on those missions - almost
wish I were a young engineer, again. Show
illustrates Space-X very well. The Mars theme
brings back memories of being on the Viking-I Lander team. That was exciting.
73, Ed - KL7UW
At 11:49 AM 11/23/2016, Skip Macaulay wrote:
>Wow Courtney you said it all.. I couldnt agree
>with you any more as you have hit it right on
>the nose.. All this back and forth about the
>different modes and now the 73 thing at the end
>of a QSO, really.. I am with you, I have never
>had such a thrill as hearing my echo coming from
>the moon for the first time, and still love to
>hear it..Â My only question to you is how your
>not bored with this amateur work when you do all
>that fascinating work at JPL, I am really
>envious of you working there, har har..Â I
>guess I better get a QSL card sent off to you
>right away and dont worry about the time line
>getting one back to me... Skip, VE6BGT
>On Wed, Nov 23, 2016 at 12:10 PM, Courtney
><<mailto:courtney.duncan.n5bf at gmail.com>courtney.duncan.n5bf at gmail.com> wrote:
>I agree with Peter precisely on this point.
>We all know how difficult it has been, how many
>diverse subject matters we have had to learn and
>master, to put signals on the moon.Â It is such
>a thrill to work someone else, nearly anywhere
>else in the world, who has gone through the same
>thing to also be there.Â To hear the broken CW
>and after many tries, hear or piece together
>your whole callsign, or your whole name,
>reflected off the moon!Â To see a trace start
>up following your JT65 CQ, drifting ever so
>slightly down in frequency so you know itâs
>off the moon, then to decode the first block
>into the beginning of a contact, for you or for
>someone else.Â But, either way you and your
>highly sophisticated setup has decoded something
>from a ham that was reflected off the moon!
>Thatâs the thrill that I do it for.Â I
>havenât had so much fun since I was a Novice
>in the 1970s, torturing all those poor guys on
>40 and 80 meter CW with my poor but improving CW
>skills, but transmitting with a rig that I built
>myself (with significant help from an Elmer
>W5KRZ).Â I reached out on the electromagnetic
>spectrum with my equipment that I, at length and
>after many learning curves, more or less
>understood and barely had competence to operate
>and made contact with someone else who had done
>something similar to what I had done.Â Itâs
>amazing that we can even do that.Â And yes, I enjoyed the QSL cards then too.
>Thereâs no decline of amateur radio
>here.Â There isnât anyone on EME who hasnât
>accomplished a major technical achievement, who
>isnât technically competent in many different
>useful ways: Â mechanics, electronics, machine
>shop, computers, software, orbital mechanics,
>electromagnetics, leadership, statistics,
>scrounging, bargaining, coding theory,
>amplifiers, antennas I mean, I canâtt even
>think of all the things you have to know
>something about, a lot about, and have at least
>basic competency in to succeed here.Â And
>everyone else you work off the moon has done it
>too in some fashion!Â This is truly an elite group.
>So, you bet I donât mind sending and receiving
>QSL cards.Â Every time I make a contact, every
>time I review the contact in my log for some
>purpose (a contest or award entry, or just for
>fun) I relive the excitement of that QSO.Â Then
>I go out to the mailbox and thereâs a QSL with
>a picture of some fantastic station that some
>fellow ham has put together.Â I know what he
>went through to get there, all the challenges
>and setbacks and triumphs he experienced.Â I
>know exactly how he feels about all that
>equipment.Â I know why heâs proud of that
>picture!Â And, I look at that card and relive
>the QSO again.Â That card may have come from
>half way around the world or it may have come
>from across town but my station worked that
>station **off the moon**!Â Can you even imagine
>that?Â This is not merely the magic of wireless
>(astounding as that is in itself) this is
>âusing the moon as a passive reflector.â Â
>It doesnât get much more profound than
>that!Â The fact that hobbyists as individuals
>or in small groups can even do that is
>astounding.Â Then I take that QSL and check the
>log (and my screen shots and my ALL.TXT) and
>relive the QSO again.Â Then I fill out my own
>card and mail it off and relive the QSO again.Â What could be more fun?
>It has been on my to-do list for at least five
>years: Â Iâm going to start the process of
>getting myself on LoTW today so you and I
>donât miss any of those confirmations either.
>And no, these cards arenât just post
>cards.Â They are cards carefully designed,
>produced, and carefully filled out by operators
>who understood what we all have achieved,
>carefully enclosed in protective envelopes,
>sometimes with return envelopes and
>stamps.Â They really care about what weâve done here, and so do I.
>OK, so I havenât actually replied to any of
>the QSLâs yet.Â I was so busy getting my
>station on the air this summer that it didnât
>occur to me that I donât have any recent QSL
>cards, certainly not any that are EME worthy, so
>I had my daughter who is a graphic designer
>design some for me.Â Sheâs busy; Iâm busy;
>they arenât printed yet.Â I have a suspicion
>that sheâs going to give them to me for
>Christmas, so you guys who are waiting on
>replies, look for them early in 2017.Â Theyâll be there, 100%.
>But for this - I spent thousands of dollars and
>hundreds of hours putting together some
>equipment that will bounce signals off the
>moon.Â You bet Iâll spend a few bucks and a
>few minutes collecting commemorative confirmations of that!
>As you can probably tell, thereâs no ears vs.
>computers conflict in my mind.Â In all these
>cases weâve used electromagnetic signals that
>went into and came back out of space that my
>equipment and me together were able to make some sense of.
>Iâm the supervisor of the Reprogrammable
>Signal Processing Group in the Flight Radios
>Section at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
>here.Â We go to work every day and build custom
>radios that will fly to destinations in the
>solar system and even far beyond the solar
>system, that will receive commands up from earth
>reliably in a 3 Hz bandwidth when necessary and
>send science data back to earth across distances
>so great that the light times are getting up
>close to a whole day (in the case of Voyager,
>) and are always at least tens of minutes to
>hours.Â Tens of minutes to hours to nearly a
>day at the speed of light! Â (You thought two
>and a half seconds was bad!) Â Even to the 70
>meter Deep Space Network subnet with 30 Kelvin
>system noise temperatures, we donât get data
>back from Voyager at 137 astronomical units much
>faster than the weak signal JT modes do. Â (An
>astronomical unit (A.U.) is the distance from
>earth to sun, convenient for discussion solar
>system distances, 137 A.U. is 20.5 billion kilometers.)
>Itâs all digital of course, we couldnât do
>the ultra low rates or the sophisticated codes
>any other way, and thereâs no brains (yet) out
>4-5 times as far away as Pluto to help us, but
>we get that same thrill when we lock up on that
>signal that was transmitted sometime yesterday
>that can only barely be detected here today from
>a machine with a radio that we built over 40
>years ago that has been flying away from us at
>incredible speeds for all that time, and we sure
>believe the data that comes down on it.
>(Wouldnât that be a great 10 GHz troop contest
>contact?Â A few billion points for a few
>billion km.Â The QSO wouldnât fit into the 48 hour contest window, however.)
>But Iâve been a CW hound from the beginning
>too.Â If Iâd lived a hundred years ago I
>would have been on the CW side of the CW versus
>phone struggles (but yes, in the end would have
>done both).Â And those are both important parts
>of what amateur radio is.Â Pushing the
>boundaries of technology while at the same being
>the keepers of and honoring the very heritage of
>the technology of radio itself.Â Here we are on
>EME doing both at the same time.Â What could be more cool?
>Of course that doesnât mean Iâm not looking
>forward to my first SSB EME QSO!Â I just need
>to make a schedule with one of you big guys to give it a shot sometime.
>So, fellows, we share the greatest hobby there
>is, and what weâre doing here is pretty close
>to the best and grandest part of it.Â What we
>have the opportunity to do here makes our little
>corner of the world of the solar system a
>better place and Iâm prouroud to be part of it
>and share it with all of you QSOs, QSLs, loggeer, reflector, all of it.
>Time to go check my mailbox for QSLs!
>73 all and look forward to seeing you all off the moon Courtney, N5BF
>>Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:08:09 +0100
>>From: "PA2V" <<mailto:peter at pa2v.com>peter at pa2v.com>
>>Subject: [Moon-Net] EME QSL Etiquette question
>>To: <<mailto:moon-net at mailman.pe1itr.com>moon-net at mailman.pe1itr.com>
>>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>>To me every EME contact is very valuable.
>>It shows me that all I have made, the work I
>>did and study done let me made the contacts.
>>My QSO partner did the same and made us doing that moonbounce contact.Â
>>In my opinion it is all a ham can do at the edge. (some do even better)
>>So a QSL card is an award to me. And I like to get them very much.
>>When it is a DXpedition or new DXCC I most do them via the buro.
>>But when there is no buro or people want to
>>have it faster I don?t mind sending them direct at my cost.
>>BUT?. I do not get them all in return. So for
>>sure QSL policy did change quite a bit.
>>Even when I send one with dollars, euro?s or
>>IRC together with a SAE. I still need some valuable DXCC?s to get confirmed.
>>Up until now I keep the screen dumps? But is nothing like a QSL card.
>>73, Peter PA2V
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73, Ed - KL7UW
"Kits made by KL7UW"
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