[Moon-Net] [Moon] ARRL contest Microwave leg.

Don Hawbaker donhawbaker at outlook.com
Tue Sep 24 04:14:53 CEST 2019

So how do we get some changes made?  Has anybody put together a list?  Who’s in charge of this activity?  In what forum would it be presented?  Unfortunately EME and Microwave seem pretty low on the priority list for the powers that be.  How do we get it on the agenda?  What agenda?  Can we appoint a working group?

Changing bands can be difficult depending on how your station is put together.  I cannot do it easily.  It’s not like throwing the bandswitch and going from 40 meters to 20 meters.  My 13 cm box is mounted on the counterweight arms and weighs about 90 pounds.  Not easy to move.  And then there are a lot of connections which must be made or else you blow out the preamp.  And then it would be good to check the sun noise to make sure the feed horn is peaked and to check your IF drive level.  A lot of things have to work just right, unless you are on two meters.  I’ve never operated there, but it seems a lot easier than the higher bands, but those lower bands are grouped in with 1296.  Why?  If you want to give extra points for CW, then extra points for higher bands seems logical.

But don’t get me started on CW.  What is this, 2019 or 1919?  Bring back sparkgap?  Young hams are not going to be attracted to such old fashioned technology.  Hell it would not even be attractive to old hams.  We are no longer novices with restricted operating privileges.  We’ve passed the test and moved on.  If you want more activity, where is it going to come from?  CW is a non starter, especially with libration.  The biggest boast in recent activity is FT-8, not CW.  I can work it, but why would I want to?  I’ve got a computer to help me do the work.  And especially at 3 AM, I can barely see the log sheet let alone try to unscramble garbled CW.  It’s not fun.  It’s work.  Hard work.  This is supposed to be a fun hobby.

Why are there two weekends for the lower bands?  As has been noted, I’ve already worked most everybody on the first weekend, but then I only go down to 1296.  I guess if you had lower bands, you could divide time between them.  But I can’t, so now the guys with the most money, the bigger systems, and the better operating locations get the bigger scores.  It has nothing to do with hard work, skill, or technical expertise.

Seems to me there are things that could be discussed.  WA3RGQ

On Sep 23, 2019 at 5:24 PM, <Mike KL6M via Moon-net<mailto:moon-net at mailman.pe1itr.com>> wrote:

There is a 'perceived' lack of activity on the ARRL Microwave segment.  I say perceived because I believe there were MANY stations active but the problem is they were on many different bands.  I personally only operated 13cm and 9cm.  I love the 6m band but there was no way I was going to change feeds at 4AM local in pitch dark and pouring rain.

The format of the ARRL EME contests is seriously flawed and needs to be modified? modernized? Renovated?  Even the two weekends of 50 MHz to 1296MHz is flawed.  If you operate 1296 both weekends, the second weekend is full of stations you already worked so you only pick up a mere additional few and spend most of your time trying to decide if you already worked that station.

The other problem I have with ARRL EME is digital vs CW modes.  I see on the 'logger' many stations who are CW capable but 'hang' out on the logger and JT modes, while CW is slowly dying.  This is pathetic.  A simple solution is to give JT contacts 1 point and CW 3 points (or even 2 points) which I believe would likely incentivize operation on BOTH modes.

It seems every time I present any of these ideas to ARRL they fall on deaf ears.  Any ideas?


Mike, KL6M BP51dc

On Mon, 23 Sep 2019 21:44:35 +0200, "Ingolf, SM6FHZ via Moon-net" <moon-net at mailman.pe1itr.com> wrote:

Hi all.
I was on 6cm only and I can second Peter's comment about activity from an 6cm perspective. 6cm seems to have lost popularity a lot from previous years. I managed to make the following QSO's; Sept 21: OK1CA, UR5LX, #VE6BGT and VE6TA, Sept 22: JA4BLC, G3LTF, UA6PTW and #F5IGK. All on CW, without any logger soliciting.
Great pleasure to work 2 new stations without any pre-notice. Very nice surprise, thanks a lot and warm welcome to 6cm EME! Hope you will enjoy it.
I heard no other stations on the band, but understand I missed a few. Maybe because I did not call CQ constantly on a empty band nor took a hound-hour pass Saturday morning (but I spent 45 minutes early Sunday morning and went back to resting after that).
No US stations heard in this ARRL contest, quite an surprise as well.
I understand running multi-band during this contest is a masterpiece in compromising, trying to satisfy all constraints with bands and Moon availability for all different stations. It turns out like all compromise, dissatisfaction in a lot of places :-)
At Least I got time for the final touch in painting the house done during the w/e. That satisfies me :-)
73 / Ingolf, SM6FHZ

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Den sön 22 sep. 2019 kl 23:10 skrev Peter Blair via Moon <moon at moonbounce.info<mailto:moon at moonbounce.info>>:
I started on 13cm and worked (all CW) UA3PTW, OK1KIR, RA3EME, SP6OPN, OK1CA, PA0PLY, SP3XBO, WD5AGO, G4CCH, K2UYH, OH1LRY, WA6PY, G4BAO, PA0BAT, and KL6M. I changed the feed to 6cm before the end of the 1st pass and worked VE6TA, K2UYH and HB9Q. At MR on the second pass I worked UA3PTW and JA4BLC and later SM6FHZ and VE6BGT #. I then changed the feed to 9cm  and worked WA6PY, OH1LRY, KL6M, SM3BYA, LZ1DX, K2UYH and HB9Q. Activity seemed down on previous years on these bands, especially 13cm but maybe because more were concentrating on 3cm. Conditions were good, near moon-set on 6cm , close to the doppler reversal point and with very slow libration, I was getting some amazing ssb echoes on the peaks.
Thanks to all for the nice QSOs
73, Peter G3LTF
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