[Moon-Net] VE4MA 432 & 1296 ARRL Contest Report

Barry Malowanchuk ve4ma at shaw.ca
Sun Nov 27 18:43:19 CET 2016

I decided to get on 432 for the first weekend with my 3m dish and dual polarity dual dipole feed. There were more signals than I expected on 432....only worked one on CW but heard a few more. Several (3 or 4 stations) were peaking 20 dB/ N on Flex display. I did work W5LUA, DL7APV, W7MEM, SM4IVE 569 on CW, HB9Q, OH2PO, K2UYH. Had a miss on PY2BS ( -21 but he could not find me in spurious signals) ... I also had a problem with spurious the first weekend, found out later it was my US Digital encoders on my 2.4 m dish. I had some trouble with no decodes with JT10......not sure why? I had signals visibly 10 dB out of the noise on SDR and no decode???....thank goodness for the simple R, RO, 73 signal l formats. The second night was frustrating. It started with a loss of PTT.....big 12 V PS Buss fault and shut down with crowbar.....still not sure what it was...pulled 432 driver and PTT Circuits off and put on another PS. My main breaker did not like the long JT duty cycle...running a 115 V PA and running 600 W out key down in Class C it would occasionally trip the breaker. and then ran 4-500 W out no problem. I was again running JT10 and was getting no decodes regularly, when the signals were 6 -10 dB out of the noise on SDR screen!.....I was VERY frustrated! I would get a decode, call the guy, then no decodes, time was set OK and all the parameters that I recall were important. The polarity switching was very important later as polarity went twisting around with sunrise in EU and maybe some AU. EU stations reporting that echoes coming back vertical. I often had to TX Vertical and saw them H. I worked 6 more on JT and one on CW DL9KR...gave him 569. I spent a long time waiting for him as he was QRZing someone calling...I could have worked PI9CAM on CW when I heard him earlier but caught him later on JT. I was copied by many other small stations. I had switched to JT 9.7 on the second night, and seemed to have better decodes? So I ended up with 15 stations worked 

On the second weekend I had built a new PY2BS/ W5LUA 432 enhanced patch feed. It has much better illumination, but sun was too low to compare. I worked I2FHW & DL9KR (dup) 579/ 569! on CW, and then UT5DL, UT6UG, UA3PTW, UX5UL, S51ZO, ES3RF, WA2FGK, G4RGK, PA2V on JT for a total of 25 432 contacts. On the second night I was on 1296, and worked 24 stations with only 4 on JT towards the end. I did have a number of getaways, including some from a pileup, where 3 stations were on exactly the same frequency ! New Initials were SP6ITF, F5KUG, DL3EBJ, VE6BGT 9A5AA, N5BF, WA3GFZ and KN0WS. I will be going to AZ at the end of December, with activity probably on 1296, 2.3 and 5.7 

Best 73 
Barry VE4MA
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