ARRL 2020 EME Contest Results

Reported by Gary Agranat WA2JQZ.

DSES participated in the ARRL Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) moon bounce contest last autumn. The contest was spread over 3 weekends. We participated in the weekend segments of October 10-11 and November 28-29. The ARRL has now posted the contest results.

We operated solely the 23 cm (1296 MHz band) with our 60-foot dish antenna. We used CW Morse Code and SSB Phone on the first weekend, and CW and Digital JT65 on the second weekend. We made 50 contacts over the two weekends. However, for contest scoring, stations we contact again over both weekends only count once. Therefore for scoring, we were credited with 36 contacts. Our team consisted of several operators: AA0L, KL7YY, WA2JQZ, and KC0HPN. Glen Davis also was crucial for adjusting our antenna pointing system and ensuring we were operational. (WD0CUJ and Michael Namieka also came out, and made a moon bounce test transmission, but didn’t make contest contacts.) And so we submitted our contest log in the All Mode, Multioperator, 1.2 GHz category, with our call sign K0PRT. Worldwide we came in 4th place in this category.

ARRL posted the results on this PDF file. EME-2020-FinalQSTResults.pdf (arrl.org). They also have an interactive page, Contest Scores (arrl.org).

In addition, we were contacted last month by Rick Rosen, K1DS. He wrote an article for QST about the 2020 ARRL EME contest, and he included dedicated segment of the article just for DSES. The article is here: 2020 EME Contest – Final Results – Version 1.1 (arrl.org)

Our posts about our participation in the contest:

Our 1st DSES Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) Moon Bounce Communications – Deep Space Exploration Society

DSES Succeeds in our 2nd EME Moonbounce Communications Competition – Deep Space Exploration Society

Richard Russel presentation: The use of the Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance Radio Telescope to predict the signal and observe the North American 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Rich Russel will have a poster presentation this coming Saturday, March 21, 2021 at HamSci – Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation .

Rich will present his work about predicting the signal response of the 2017 total solar eclipse using the SID (Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance) radio telescope. The SID detects changes in ionospheric propagation of VLF signals due to solar activity. SID also measures changes at nominal sunrise and sunsets. Utilizing his historical data and geometry, Rich was able to predict what happened during the eclipse.

Please follow the links to read Rich’s poster presentation and to learn more.

The use of the Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance Radio Telescope to predict the signal and observe the North American 2017 Total Solar Eclipse | HamSCI

March 2021 DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting

2021-3-08 DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting Notes:                                                    by Bill Miller

We had 19 participants in the virtual engineering meeting today:  Thanks everyone for joining.

Participants: Myron Babcock,  Glenn Davis, Dr. Richard Russel, Gary Agranat, Dan Layne, Bob Haggart,  Floyd Glick, Ted Cline,  Jonathon Ayers, Bob Sayers, Phil Coker, Ray Uberecken, Don Latham, Don Savage, Jason Fazio, Dan Layne, Michael Nameika, Edward Currie, Bill Miller

See the Zoom Meeting Video at:  Topic: DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting

Start Time : March 8, 2021 05:30 PM

Meeting Recording: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/l0GCX7TOgGgV_n3PmbRoQAnhr8vwR3xsQdBpo3lr6yj0l0ucsz6IbJDWn_Z45aZO.Ss4jjTkK7xGK4LBu?startTime=1615249952000

See the Zoom Meeting Chat at:  https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/sdownload/2elha-Q4036MY2M1oScm7Po25AUGFDpa3GeWd9tXZzkf_XwPH-eGYTt0oBjl7Fi4WaX6fioS2MT-0BNI.g29uN2jJhHJoehg5

Agenda and notes.

  1. Check In
  2. Note on Zoom: Per new security guidelines, you cannot change this setting. Please contact your account admin for more information.  Require that all meetings are secured with one security option. Require that all meetings are secured with one of the following security options: a passcode, Waiting Room, or “Only authenticated users can join meetings”. If no security option is enabled, Zoom will secure all meetings with Waiting Room. Learn more
  3. Membership Dues are now due for 2021.  Please submit check or pay pal payment to Myron or on the link in the website. 
  4. If you order on Amazon use the Smile option for Deep Space Exploration Society and we get a rebate.  Gary will post a procedure form Myron on how to do this.
  5. Myron’s Treasures report: Ck 2469.79  Sav 5742.33  Dues for 3 renewing members outstanding.  Website DSES.Science, will auto renew.  UPS mailbox is $135/year. Power is nominal $60-$85.
  6. Photographers Don Savage and Jason Fazio would like to do a Wednesday night photography session on site this week.  Is anyone planning a trip?  Good weather until Thursday PM, then bad weather thru the weekend.  Don will teach any member who wants to come out how to do this nighttime and time lapse photography.
  7. BOD Election.  Where are we with returned ballots?  Need to do one final call and close out election.
    • We will elect or retain 3 seats turning over in 2021.  These seats are  Dave Molter at Large, Floyd Glick- Secretary,  Bill Miller – President,
  8. So far, we have these nominations.
    • Ray Uberecken from Myron. Bill seconded that nomination, 
    • Don Latham nominated by Ray Uberecken and Bill seconded
    • Floyd Glick self-nominated and Bill seconded.
    • Bill Miller self-nominated and Myron seconded.
  9. In keeping with the Bylaws schedule changes voted by the board in 2019 the rough schedule is  as follows;  hold nominations open we will need to modify these dates by the delay. 
    • Open nominations now, January 15th, and close in 20 days, on February 4th.
    • Released the ballot to the members by February 24th.
    • Hold board election in the following 10 days.
    • Decided to send one final notice to the membership and then close the balloting by March 12th.
    • The 4 BOD members not up for election shall count the ballots and make results known to the membership by March 17th.
    • We are a little behind on that schedule but want to give members a chance to vote.
    • Schedule the virtual “all-member annual meeting” in mid to late  March and in that meeting the Board votes for or assigns officers from the elected BOD.  Although we would like to have an in person meeting, because of the Covid-19 and our responsibility to keep our members safe, the all-members meeting will be scheduled and held virtually.
  10. We need to finish and post the new bylaws changes related to the BOD election schedule that was approved last year to our website. Bill sent the Ver 3.1 Bylaws markup to Gary and Floyd for review, incorporation and posting.
  11. April 3rd is  the SARA western conference with papers already submitted.  Deadline for papers for the August conference is the first of June.  The annual SARA conference is Saturday, July 31 to Sun Aug 1 and will be held virtually.  See radio-astronomy.org Pay $25 attending member fee to SARA and attend.
  12. DSES Aug. Open House: Plan for on-site open house in August but will watch the CDC for guidance on the Corona Virus guidelines and try to decide in June.
  13. The last pulsar trip was not too successful. Next pulsar trip?
    1. Need a long dwell time of 4 hr. per pulsar that we haven’t already captured.
    1. Have 13 of the easy ones.
    1. Could do this weekend but weather may be a problem.
  14. Do a moon bounce and EME distance measurement weekend at 1296MHz.  Look for a Moon view window.  Gary says, regarding trying an EME ranging test, on the weekend from next Mar 21 the Moon will be at first quarter.  So, the Moon will be up from about noon to midnight that weekend.
  15. We have 1420, 1296 and 408 MHz feed capability. 
  16. Skip’s 1420 SETI observation is in May and requires Steve’s 1420 Feed.
  17. Compare Scope in a Box Receiver and other receiver tests between now and the open house. Maybe do a runoff of receivers at the open house?  This would be a great Science fair project for a high school student with hooking up and affordable SDR to the big dish and getting actual data.
  18. The 2020 Virtual DSES Open House Presentation https://www.dropbox.com/s/zxpzj879iz7mt77/2020%20DSES%20Virtual%20Open%20House.mp4?dl=0
    1. Bill gave the presentation to the Front Range 6 Meter group https://groups.io/g/FrontRange6Meter last month, recorded and posted it to our site.
    1. Everett Curry, W6ABM Assistant Section Manager/Oregon ARRL, asked to present the recorded presentation to the General Interest Amateur Radio Club in North East Oregon Thursday, Feb 18th
    1. The Artic Armature Radio Group of which Myron is a member asked for a live presentation of  the Open House on Friday, March 12th.
    1. The Utah DX Amateur group would like the presentation on Wednesday March 17th.
  19.  The 1296MHz feed is now changed out to the 408MHz feed for continuing pulsar work.
    1. Need to learn how to use the B210 receiver. Rich has it set up as best as possible.  Would like to have a faster computer to handle the throughput.
    1. Need more dwell time.
    1. Need a 10MHz reference source for B210.
  20. See the Feed Change Schedule on the main website page.  This may need updating.
    1. 4GHz feed for aiming.
    1. 1420Mhz is on the table
  21. The HughesNet dish for internet service may be a dry hole. Ray and Rich had called the service tech to the site, but he showed up at Ray’s residence, so it didn’t get fixed.  We need to look for other alternative Internet providers Myron has started to investigate this.
  22. Don checked on Musk’s Starlink internet connection which is in beta testing and as yet sporadic connectivity.  It costs $500 for a ground station and $99/month for a beta test setup. Too expensive for us.
  23. Need internet for SuperSids and Radio Jove, Magnetometer, Security System, Power monitors, etc.
  24. Rich’s projects and presentations:
    • Call from Jason Outenreath who is a  documentary film maker that would like to do a film on radio astronomy.
    • Editor for the SARA journal.
    • 9 Ft dish in Rich’s yard generated a H1 full sky survey over the last year for H1 mapping.
  25. Jon Ayers discussion on the data reduction and method for reducing and using the H1 data from Rich’s setup. 
  26. Discussion on the Dicke-Switch
  27. Glenn Davis system 1 status
    • Mid to late April scan SW and field of view SW 
    • Phil Gage. Commanding and GUI interface and field of view
    • Lewis Putman working on Python interface for integration and to log the data off the SDR.
    • Glenn working SW interface to connect the system across the network
    • Phil developed a Geo Pointing SW that points to GeoSync satellites for mount calibration.  The scan pattern will hunt the field and log the output of the receiver and make a correction offset.
  28. Jon Ayers – Can you send a dual frequency beacon that can be used for range finding on the moon.  Like a frequency phase comparison range finder.
  29. Bob Haggart has the Radio Jove Dipoles ready to put up back.  Ray wants to us his Flex 1500 in the 54MHz band  and have it on
  30. Ted asks about the H1 data from the 9 Ft dish.  The data needs to be processed.  The Data off the receiver is raw signal strength and normalized and is not square law or power. Ted is ready to plot processed data.  Ted will post on drop box.
  31. Dan Layne using Gaussian fit to analyze the pulsar data.  SARA has data on Skynet on Greenbank 20 meter dish and the data.  Should look at that data from Greenbank.  We should learn and make use of the data sets from our national radio observatories to go deeper.   Note that EdX Radio Astronomy course starts March 14  https://www.edx.org/course/radio-sky-1  if you are interested.
  32. Things to  do
    • Check clean out and fix the Sump Pumps in the underground before spring rains flood the bunker. (Bill talked to Dave Molter and He said they had never been completely mucked out as far as he knew.) need to muck them out before spring rains.  Don suggested that we get a septic tank cleaner to come out and pump out the sumps.  He would even pay for it.
    • Cut off the 5 band vertical mounting pole and move the vertical base to ground level and reattach and add more radials and bury them for protection.
    • Repair the dish edge damage.
    • Clean out the tower and the pedestal base. Too much junk and clutter are accumulating there.
    • Align Ray’s HughesNet Satellite internet dish. Call HughesNet for reprogramming and support.  Find internet provider alternative. Couldn’t get DISH out to reset the microbeam position.  Bill asked the group if someone would donate a hot spot modem for a period of time and DSES will reimburse the plan cost.
    • Need to remove Tumble weeds have piled up in the ramp.  Does anyone have a small yard waste chipper/shredder we could try?  Bob Sayers has one at his cabin site that he will lend.   We can try it out as a way of quickly dispensing the tumble weeds.
    • Continue to look for more, higher (8 Ft) chain link fence to mitigate the tumble weeds in the ramp.
    • Clean the silt out of the Underground from the flooding damage.  Need a pass through vacuum with a long exit hose.
    • Nails on Road.  Several of Ray’s friends came out on the 10/3 trip and used metal detectors and magnets to clear the site of nail and metal on the road.  We’ve all had flat tires and need to continue to clear the road and site of debris as many of us have had tire damage.  Bill bought a new magnet roller and left it in the Comm. Trailer.  Please walk it up and down the road once whenever you’re on site.
    • Take down the Beam on the tip over tower and align the 3 elements on the  Yagi and re-enforce the element attachment on the beam with bolts.
    • The Ham Radio Equipment in the bunker needs some dust covers or enclosures to keep the dust out of the equipment.  Need dimensions of the equipment to sew tarps or by plastic covers online.
    • Need a program to combine logs for position and time and signal strength.
    • Need to modify the heater with sheet metal or plastic covers to provide safety  and the bracket needs to be reinstalled. Need 4  2 ½ inch drywall screws to hold the heater bracket to the wall.  Bob has this done and only needs to reinstall it.
    • Replace the rear window of the Comm. Trailer.  Complete: Bill bought custom window from Kent Glass for $81 and installed it.
    • Ray has 8 brackets to fix a railing around the scaffold for additional safety.  Needs some help to install.
    • Ettus Research B210 receiver from Don Latham. Rich has it working except for the GPS input.  Will work at  the site with the GPS.  Don says there is a 10MHz source in the electronics he brought down.
    • Retrieve Key for Battery Box from Ed Corn.
    • Clean up the DC Bus on the Comm./Operations trailer wall.
    • Find the perfect focal point and phase center of the dish. See: Ruze formula. Could we characterize the dish surface for problems and accuracy to determine the loss from damage and weathering. Or, could devise  measurement and reference system so we always place the feed in the exact phase center?
    • Ground the feed to the pedestal ground for lightning and static build up mitigation.
    • Fix old website to link to new one.
    • Facebook page link to new website.
  33. Miscellaneous discussion on various topics, see the Zoom recording.

A PDF copy of this meeting’s agenda is here: http://dses.science/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/2021-3-08-DSES-Engineering-and-Ops-Meeting.pdf

DSES Science meeting 2/22/2021

Welcome to the DSES Science meeting 2/22/2021

2021-02-22 DSES Science Meeting Notes:                                                                            by Bill Miller

We had 14 participants in the virtual science meeting today:  Thanks everyone for joining.

Participants: Dr. Rich Russel,  Ray Uberecken, Bob Haggart, Floyd Glick, Gary Agranat, Myron Babcock,Dan Layne, Brian O’Rourke, Dan Layne, Edward  Currie, Jerry Espada W7IEW, Jon Ayres, Tim Cline, Steve Williams W0ML,  Bill Miller

Also see the Zoom Video Recording for more detail:  

Topic: DSES Science Meeting

Start Time : Feb 22, 2021 05:27 PM

Meeting Recording:

We missed recording the operations and house keeping portion of the meeting, but this link includes all but the first few moments of the Science portion of the meeting.

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/kUiVcAAiyqMexQTmUzZSq4Y4Xs3CrEv5gFOKUQxHZA8_Iymu5gkL78_f2qF2NCt3.YvX6G2M_ZqKk_g1K

This meeting’s notes on PDF

Agenda and Notes.    

  • Myron’s Treasure’s Report:  Checking: $2716.09,  Savings:   $5792.29.   33 current paid up members that include 5-life members and 1-student membership.  Please pay your yearly $50 for full voting membership or $20 for interest only membership on Pay-Pal on the web site or by check to Myron at our Austin Bluffs address.

Mail: Deep Space Exploration Society

4164 Austin Bluffs Parkway #562

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

  • Science Fair: Gary and Bill reviewed he projects submitted to the 2021 Virtual Pikes Peak Regional Science and Engineering Fair.    The awards were as follows

Junior Division:

1. $100  Lily Sobers – Outstanding Science Project:  The Science of Spin 

2. $50 Shrey Rohilla – 2nd Place Science and Engineering Project: Battle of the Blades 

3. $25 Gurman Goraya – Honorable Mention Science Project: Stellar Endgame  

Senior Division:

1. $100 Kathryn Kummel – Outstanding Science Project: Investigating Atmospheric
Convection as a Chaotic System though the Lorenz Attractors using
Mathematical Modeling and a Lorenz Water Wheel 

2. $50 Alden Kruse – 2nd Place Engineering Project: Something in the Water – Creating an Origami Microfluidic Device for Developing Communities

3. $25 Sean Brooks – Honorable Mention: Separating Microplastics from
Beach Sand Using a Fluidized Air Bed

Bill made Parchment Award Certificates and Myron wrote award checks for our winners. The monetary awards were taken from money generously donated for the purpose by Rich Russell from proceeds of his “Mind Files” project.

  • On Saturday Feb, 20 Gary and Bill gave the 6 science fair award certificates and checks to  Carol Bach, the fair coordinator at UCCS, for distribution to the students.

If anyone wants to see the projects, Bill has a list and files

  • Call for BOD Nominations.  We need at least three nominations for the board to replace or retain BOD members, Floyd Glick, Dave Molter, and Bill Miller by Feb 3rd.  Bill called Dave Molter this week and he declined to be nominated for retention as he is too busy to serve.  Don Latham was nominated and seconded in the engineering meeting and Ray Uberecken and Floyd Glick were also seconded in the meeting.  Later Bill self-nominated and Myron seconded.
  • Bill moves that nominations after this meeting will close and he will send out the election ballots in Email.  This was seconded and Bill will send out the Ballots on Feb 23.
  • BOD Initiative

In 2019 and 2020 we accomplished a lot of the big goals that we had been working on for a number of years including (H1) Hydrogen Line mapping, Tropospheric scatter communications, Pulsar detection, and EME.  Now that we have those accomplishments and can replicate them at will, we should look ahead and decide what we do next.  Everyone should think of a radio astronomy or organization project that they think would be doable and important and get those into a list that we can review and go after with some more detailed plans.   The main categories  of interest would be:

  1. New observation initiatives
  2. Ham Radio capabilities, contesting and special events
  3. On site open house for Aug 2021
  4. Continued Infrastructure upgrade and maintenance.
  5. Instrument and electronics upgrade and additions.
  6. Scientific discovery, theory testing, and publication.
  7. Educational programs and events for members and students.
  8. Public outreach and member recruitment
  •  There is an upcoming Schriever STEM Day on April 23rd from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  This may be an opportunity to gain some new members and is an excellent outreach opportunity.
  • Our Site is photogenic!   Don Savage and Jason Fazio would like to do some all-night photography at the site. Andrew Miller, another photographer based out of Denver would like to do a project on the site as well as Marc Slover and Michael Rice who compiled the time-lapse videos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=HLrpsVmBchE&feature=youtu.be
  • Front Range 6 Meter  Group.  President, Paul Sobon sobonpaul@gmail.com asked for a DSES presentation on Wed. , Feb 10th .  at 7PM.  Please view Bill’s presentation of the “Virtual DSES Open House” recorded from the Front Range 6 Meter Group at http://dses.science/dses-presentation-to-the-front-range-6-meter-group.
  • If going to the site call Chad Carter to see if he would like to meet you there.  He often works on the camera on the large grain elevator in Haswell and other Eastern Colorado sites.  www.car-telenterprises.com 785-564-0118 cell. 
  • Planet Walk:
  • Dr. Rich Russel’s Science presentation. Click on to view.

Deep Space Exploration Society
Science Meeting

End of meeting

February 2021 DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting – Minutes and Video

Welcome to the February 2021 DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting

2021-2-08 DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting Notes:                                                    by Bill Miller

We had 16 participants in the virtual engineering meeting today:  Thanks everyone for joining.

Participants: Myron Babcock,  Glenn Davis, Jerry Espada, Dr. Richard Russel, Gary Agranat, Dan Layne, Bob Haggart,  Floyd Glick, Phillip Gage, Ted Cline,  Jonathon Ayers, Bob Sayers, Phil Coker, Ray Uberecken, Don Latham, Bill Miller

See the Zoom Meeting Video at:  Topic: DSES Engineering and Ops Meeting

Start Time : Feb 8, 2021 05:30 PM

Meeting Recording:

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/sx1UdhzZEdMfq5k5vnjvTTTFt36VEptQcOj7K_edCM6YvzuhpdX-R_F-Bilyerrh.mPzKtAnKn__fnJkB

See the Zoom Meeting Chat at:  https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/sdownload/kY_gXTy5O0ogjIsRjH1elZFw2rkc9NmfVNxPEiXiyebkYrni7ugAMBTq_f8CjMxkzNNE1fx6Ek3LezqY.e46qIxQNO41we6rh (This will send a text file to your Download Folder.)

Agenda and notes;

  1. Check In
  2. Membership Dues are now due for 2021.  Please submit check or pay pal payment to Myron or on the link in the website.  We started 2020 with 62 members and ended  with 52 members. Several members that we normally see at the open house and renew dues then did not do so this year because we did not hold the open house.  Myron has tried to contact them but have not heard anything back yet. 
  3. Latest Treasures Report from Myron Babcock.  The current checking is $2579.20  Savings Is:  $5742.29, Jan 978.25 income and $471.73 expenses. Bob Haggart was reimbursed $360.25,  Electric bill $83.77.
  4. If you order on Amazon use the Smile option for Deep Space Exploration Society and we get a rebate.  Gary will post a procedure form Myron on how to do this. Update: the URL for the Amazon Smiles link is now at the bottom of the DSES homepage after the PayPal link. Use the URL: https://smile.amazon.com/. The site will then guide you. Select “The Deep Space Exploration Society” as the non-profit organization/charity.
  5. Discussion on Phishing EMAIL.  Getting a lot of 1 liner emails.  Don’t open the attachments!
  6. Photographer, Marc Slover, Road Trip Ventures visited the site with Dan Lane, Ray Uberecken and Rich Russel on Jan 23 and took some more time lapse videos while the dish was chasing and tracking pulsars. https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=HLrpsVmBchE&feature=youtu.be
  7. Marc’s Videos from Previous trip
  8. BOD Election.  Need to Nominate 3 BOD members.
    • We elected 4 BOD positions in 2020.  Myron Babcock – Treasurer and  Gary Agranat – Vice President were retained.  Steve Plock – At large, and  Dr. Richard Russel-At large were replaced by Bob Haggart and Bob Sayers. 
    • We will elect or retain 3 seats turning over in 2021.  These are  Dave Molter at Large, Floyd Glick- Secretary,  Bill Miller – President,
  9. So far, we have these nominations.
    • We have received only one nomination for BOD by Email for Ray Uberecken from Myron. Bill Seconded that nomination, 
    • Floyd Glick self-nominated in this meeting and Bill seconded.
    • Ray nominated Don Latham and Bill seconded. 
    • That is Three but to have a little competition we would like to have more and will hold nominations open for a few more days.
  10. In keeping with the Bylaws schedule changes voted by the board in 2019 the rough schedule is  as follows,  To hold nominations open we will need to modify these dates by the delay.
    • Open nominations now, January 15th, and close in 20 days, on February 4th.
    • Release the ballot to the members by February 9th.
    • Hold board election in the following 10 days, completing Feb 20th.
    • The 4 BOD members not up for election shall count the ballots and make results known to the membership by Feb 26th.
    • Schedule the “all-member annual meeting” in early March and in that meeting the Board votes for or assigns officers from the elected BOD.  Although we would like to have an in person meeting, because of the Covid-19 and our responsibility to keep our members safe, the all-members meeting will be scheduled and held virtually.
  11. We need to finish and post the new bylaws changes related to the BOD election schedule that was approved last year to our website. Bill sent the Ver 3.1 Bylaws markup to Gary and Floyd for review, incorporation and posting.
  12. April 3rd is  the SARA western conference with papers already submitted.  Deadline for papers for the August conference is the first of June. 
  13. The SARA Drake’s lounge is on Feb. 21st at Noon.  SARA members should be automatically invited.
  14. Rich wrote a paper for the spring SARA conference. Check out Rich’s SARA paper on “An Arduino Controller for the Yaesu G5500D mount”.
  15. Rich is doing a MAX2870 RF signal generator paper for SARA and will post.  The unit has  a frequency range of 23.5MHz to 6GHz.
  16. Last Pulsar trip was not too successful.  Had some issues of the tracking SW driving into the electrical limit switches.   One failure was caused by a power glitch. The second failure was unplugging the Ethernet Switch and losing communication. Resetting the power, limit switches and manually driving the dish corrected the error but when moving the dish, you should always keep an eye on it with the CCTV monitor or out the window.
  17. To get beyond the 13 pulsars captured so far and find fainter ones, we will need greater dwell times and more bandwidth in the receiver.
  18. Bill to do a DSES Virtual Open House presentation to the Front Range 6 Meter Group on Wednesday Feb. 10th at 7PM.  This was completed and the recording will be linked on the website.   This picked up a couple of new members, Jim White who was part of the original Table Mountain DSES and Paul Sobon the president of the Front Range 6 Meter group.
  19. Late breaking news is that Everett Curry, W6ABM Assistant Section Manager/Oregon ARRL. Would like to present the presentation to the General Interest Amateur Radio Club in North East Oregon Thursday, Feb 18th.
  20. The 1296MHz feed is now changed out to the 408MHz feed for continuing pulsar work.
    • Need to learn how to use the B210 receiver.
    • Need more dwell time.
    • Need a 10MHz reference source for B210.
  21. See the Feed change schedule on the main website page this needs updating.
  22. The HughesNet dish for internet service may be a dry hole. Ray and Rich had called the service tech to the site, but he showed up at Rays residence, so it didn’t get fixed.  We need to look for other alternative Internet providers Myron has started to investigate this.
  23. Need internet for SuperSids and Radio Jove, Magnetometer, Security System, Power monitors, etc.
  24. Things to  do
    • Check clean out and fix the Sump Pumps in the underground before spring rains flood the bunker.
    • Cut off the 5 band vertical mounting pole and move the vertical base to ground level and reattach and add more radials and bury them for protection.
    • Repair the dish edge damage.
    • Clean out the tower and the pedestal base.
    • Align Ray’s HughesNet Satellite internet dish. Call HughesNet for reprogramming and support.  Find internet provider alternative.
    • Need to remove Tumble weeds have piled up in the ramp.
    • Continue to look for more, higher (8 Ft) chain link fence to mitigate.
    • Clean the silt out of the Underground from the flooding damage.
    • Nails on Road.  Several of Ray’s friends came out on the 10/3 trip and used metal detectors and magnets to clear the site of nail and metal on the road.  We’ve all had flat tires and need to continue to clear the road and site of debris as many of us have had tire damage.  Bill bought a new magnet roller and left it in the Comm. Trailer.  Please walk it up and down the road once whenever you’re on site.
    • Align the 3 element Yagi and re-enforce.
    • The Ham Radio Equipment in the bunker needs some dust covers or enclosures to keep the dust out of the equipment. 
    • Need a program to combine logs for position and time and signal strength.
    • Need to modify the heater with sheet metal or plastic covers to provide safety  and the bracket needs to be reinstalled. Need 4  2 ½ inch drywall screws to hold the heater bracket to the wall.
    • Replace the rear window of the Comm. Trailer.  Complete: Bill bought custom window from Kent Glass for $81 and installed it.
    • Ray has 8 brackets to fix a railing around the scaffold for additional safety.
    • Ettus Research B210 receiver from Don Latham. Rich has it working except for the GPS input.  Will work at  the site with the GPS.  Don says there is a 10MHz source in the electronics he brought down.
    • Retrieve Key for Battery Box from Ed Corn.
    • Clean up the DC Bus on the Comm. trailer wall.
    • Find the perfect focal point and phase center of the dish. See: Ruze formula. Could we characterize the dish surface for problems and accuracy to determine the loss from damage and weathering. Or, could devise  measurement and reference system so we always place the feed in the exact phase center?
    • Ground the feed to the pedestal ground for lightning and static build up mitigation.
    • Fix old website to link to new one.
    • Facebook page link to new website.
  25. Miscellaneous discussion on various topics, see the Zoom recording.

DSES Presentation to the Front Range 6 Meter Group

DSES President Bill Miller gave a Virtual Open House presentation about DSES to the Front Range 6 Meter Group on February 10, 2021. 

The presentation was also given live by ZOOM to the Arctic Amateur Radio Club Monthly Meeting on March 12th, The Utah DX Association on March 17th, and The Oregon Tualatin Valley Amateur Radio Club on March 18th.

Here is the video of the presentation:

2020 DSES Virtual Open House.mp4 (dropbox.com)

DSES Science Meeting January 25, 2021

Welcome to the DSES Science meeting 1/25/2021

2021-01-25 DSES Science Meeting Notes:                                                                            by Bill Miller

We had 14 participants in the virtual science meeting today:  Thanks everyone for joining.

Participants: Dr. Rich Russel,  Ray Uberecken, Bob Haggart, Floyd Glick, Gary Agranat, Lauren Libby, Myron Babcock, Robert Sayers, Dan Layne, Michael Nameika, Marc Slover, Phillip Coker, Paul Sobol NO0T, Bill Miller

Also see the Zoom Video Recording for more detail:  

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/4QX0KYVA-hEwRBuzXQOOWFATULWSDa1Om-BvlxFOdpIICmBVScbEnOn-f242PxYm.WmvPFXtfQNb75LwO?startTime=1611621114000

  1. Myron’s Treasure’s Report Checking $2533.03 Savings $5742.25 , We have 31 paid members. 23 yet to pay. Paul Sobon, Marc S.  Myron will pay the property tax shortly.
  2. Questions on ORION Meeting invite from David Fields.
  3. Call for BOD Nominations.  Need three nominations for the board to replace or retain BOD members, Floyd Glick, Dave Molter, and Bill Miller by Feb 3rd.
  4. BOD Initiative

In 2019 and 2020 we accomplished a lot of the big goals that we had been working on for a number of years including (H1) Hydrogen Line mapping, Tropospheric scatter communications, Pulsar detection, and EME.  Now that we have those and can replicate them at will, we have to ask ourselves, what else can we do and what direction(s) should we go in? In my opinion here are several key areas or categories that the org. needs to address with some more detailed plans.

1. Continued Infrastructure upgrade and maintenance

2. Instrument and electronics upgrades and additions

3. Scientific discovery, theory testing, and publication

4. Educational programs and events for members and students

5. Public outreach and member recruitment

6. New observation initiatives

  1. Science Fair:  Letter from PPRSF below.  The Science Fair will be on Feb. 18-20.

Hello Bill,

Please send us a list of your special award judges and their email contact information by February 10, 2021.

We will send you and your judges an email with the details and code to view projects in the virtual showcase.

The attached letter outlines the information for this year’s fair.

We are looking forward to your participation in the virtual science fair and are hoping that next year will be an in-person event.

Thanks!

Carol Bach, Karen Crosson and Lynne Williams 

  1. Our Site is photogenic!   Andrew Miller, another photographer based out of Denver would like to do a project on the site.
  2. Front Range 6 Meter  Group.   Paul Sobon sobonpaul[at]gmail.com The group would like an open house virtual presentation on Wed. , Feb 10th at 6:30 opening at 7PM. Bill is working on a general presentation.
  3. Chad Carter was in Haswell on Friday working on the camera on the large grain elevator.  Did anyone call him into the work trip Saturday. www.car-telenterprises.com 785-564-0118 cell.  Ray sent him email but he didn’t show at the site Saturday so probably had to return to home base.
  4. Planet Walk:
    • Bill will write an endorsement letter and have the DSES Board modify and approve for Planet Walk Colorado Springs. See https://www.planetwalkcs.org/ 
  5. Rich:  See all the notes about the site visit from Saturday Jan 23rd.
  6. See the DSES Science Meeting 1-25-2021 slides PDF from Dr. Rich Russel. http://dses.science/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/DSES-Science-Meeting-1-25-2021.pdfhttp://dses.science/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/DSES-Science-Meeting-1-25-2021.pdf
  7. Saturday Power Glitch: A Mains power glitch caused an upset of the system and that drove the dish to the electrical stops. Rich believes that we should have a UPS or backup battery power on the tower electronics, including the Raspberry Pie and Ethernet Switch and on the Ethernet Switch and computer in the trailer to prevent this.  Bill suggests that anytime the dish is active the operators should monitor its position on the CCTV and use the panel VFD switch to kill the drive if not in control.  In this particular case the watch dog timer in the controller didn’t stop the drive because the computer was still sending updates.
  8. Marc Slover took some pictures while at the site up until about 9PM when the clouds came in.                  
  9. Dan Layne came down for the first time and he and Ray had a good conversation about the systems and the site.
  10. Rich got his 27 KHz, SuperSids receiver and data collection working again and it agrees with Floyd’s data. See graphs in the presentation.
  11.  Floyd uses a 5 ft by 5 ft. loop antenna in PVC to hook up. About 20 Ft per loop.
  12. Rich’s H1 hydrogen measurement with the spectra Cyber.
    • The Sara $300 H1 receiver or Radio Scope in a Box can receive Hydrogen data similar to the Spectra Cyber instrument.
    • For Positioning Use Stellarium Program for Windows or Linux.
  13. See the Zoom recording that will be up for the next 2 months for more detail.

End of meeting

Work Trip Report, December 8, 2020

Text & pictures by Bill Miller.

On Tuesday 12/08 Ray Uberecken and Bill Miller traveled to the Plishner site.  We found that the gate chain lock was not properly attached to the post and could be removed without unlocking it

We replaced two of the coaxial cables running from the dish pedestal control deck to the upper deck just below the dish.  These cables had stretched from their own weight and from the elevation rotation of the dish. As a consequence the center pin pulled out from the mating connector, losing the conductivity. We added to the cable a loop over the elevation axis. Ray added a feedthrough connector attachment on the ceramic slip ring collar, in order to remove the rest of the hanging stress on the wires, and he re-added the swivel joints below that.  This arrangement completely eliminates the cables traveling up and down thru the collar as the elevation is changed, and this also virtually eliminates the coaxial cable wrap in the control deck area.  We redressed all of the cables there with tie wraps and tape to get them out of the way of personnel in the deck and to remove the mechanical strain on all the cables. 

At the top deck we removed the AC extension cord, which had been temporarily installed to a power amplifier at the feed for EME.  Its cord insulation might not have survived the winter, and the uninsulated cord could potentially short out to the structure.  A more permanent and reliable 120 volt power distribution is needed to the feed point. 

We also re-dressed all the wires and coax cable in the upper deck. We reused the pipe grommets as a weather shield for the cables going down thru the azimuth axes collar to the control deck level.

We then placed a ladder on the mount and proceeded up to the dish surface. There we continued to remove the  120 volt extension cord, and we inspected the surface and the support. This is a wide angle shot of the scene in the dish. It does give a sense of the surreal feeling of the view from there. 

Wide angle view from atop the dish.

We inspected the attachments and connections.  We discovered that the grounding cable connection on one of the legs leading to the focal box had been cut off.  Furthermore, the wave guide that is attached at the dish structure is not electrically attached to the focal point box. Therefore the only ground to protect from RF, lightning, or static is the coax shield and the low voltage control cable ground wire. This may be one of the causes of failures in the electronics. We should retrofit to provide a good DC ground connection between the feed box at the focal point to the pedestal. 

The ground cable cut, near the dish end of the support arm.

We also wanted to know how the fiber glass supports for the feed are adjusted.

The fiber glass supports are badly weathered after 60 years in the open.  We should derive a plan to rework the fiberglass surface, for the next time we rent a bucket lift to work on them.

Full view of one of the dish’s support arms that supports the feed.

Once we had inspected the dish, we tipped the dish down to the service elevation, donned climbing harnesses, and climbed the scaffold tower.  We removed the 1296 MHz feed and installed the 408MHz antenna using Ray’s quick-change mount.  This only took about an hour where before the process could take as much as half a day.

Lowering the 1296 MHz feed antenna from the dish focus.

We also reworked the connector attachments in the electronics box. Ray then reattached the additional 20db amplifier, and checked everything out with the TDR and Spectrum analyzer.  He reattached the cables in the pedestal to connect the correct coax lines to the Comm. Trailer.

Bill replaced the broken window in the back of the comm. trailer with the new one he purchased from Kent Glass and sealed it with RTV.  This provides a much clearer view of the dish from the trailer.

We parked the dish, turned off all the equipment, locked the site and left for the day.

DSES Succeeds in our 2nd EME Moonbounce Communications Competition

Text and photos by Gary Agranat.

On the weekend following this past Thanksgiving we participated in the second round of the ARRL EME Contest, which ran for 48 hours, on November 28 & 29, 2020, GMT hours. This time it was a cliff-hanger in that we almost didn’t get on the air. But with some dedicated effort we succeeded again. This time we contacted some new places. And we added JT65C digital mode.

Team members for this operation were Ray Uberecken AA0L, Gary Agranat WA2JQZ, Myron Babcock KL7YY, and Bill Miller KC0FHN. Floyd Glick WD0CUJ came out also for one evening, accompanied by our new member Michael Nameika.

For this weekend the Moon was at almost full phase. That meant that it would be up mostly during our nighttime, which therefore was when we would have to do our operations. The contest would start at 0000 Hours GMT, which for us was 5 PM on Friday evening November 27. The Moon was already rising at 3:19 PM, so it would be up high enough to begin operating right away, once the contest started.

The Moon above our horizon already at about 4 PM Friday.

Ray and Bill arrived Friday afternoon by 3 PM to set up and do last minute testing. I (Gary) arrived soon after.

In our testing, we found we could receive the 1296 MHz beacon Ray set up at his home in Peyton. But we couldn’t properly transmit.

We quickly slew the antenna to the service tower, and Ray retrieved the amplifier at the feed. The thinking was the problem might be there.

The 60 foot dish antenna lowered to the service tower, as the sun set.
Ray climbed the service tower and retrieved the amplifier at the feed.
Ray retrieving the amplifier.

Ray did some quick testing of the amplifier. But an initial check didn’t find anything wrong.

Ray quickly tested the amplifier in the operations trailer, but didn’t find a problem. Outside, the Moon was rising, and the contest was starting. But were were not operational.

Ray then climbed back up the tower to return the amplifier to the feed point. We thought about what else could be wrong.

We then checked how much power was being drawn by the amplifier in the pedestal. The power meter was reading about 30 Watts when we tried to transmit, when it should have been reading about 200 Watts. At that point the sky was getting dark. It would not have been safe to do any more climbing. And so for the first night of the contest we couldn’t operate.

Bill returned home, but was available the next day for coordination in Colorado Springs. Ray and I spent overnight at the site, to continue troubleshooting on Saturday. We would have the whole day in sunlight, until the Moon rose for the second pass at 3:47 PM.

Ray replacing the amplifier at the feed, as the sun set.

Pikes Peak was visible on the northwest horizon, as the sun set.
The frost on Gary’s car the next morning.
The bunker Saturday morning.

Before going to sleep I (Gary) made some HF ham radio contacts. So we got on the air still, but on HF. This weekend there was also another contest, the CQ World Wide CW (Morse Code) Contest. On 160 and 80 meters I made three contacts with Canadian stations. There were lots of US stations on, but for the rules of this contest, you have to contact stations outside of your country (or more precisely outside of your DX area, which for us is the CONUS). I afterwards made some HF FT8 digital contacts for the club, on 80 and 40 meters. On 40 meters we made our first DX contact with New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific, with station FK8HM. This was with our recently repaired vertical antenna, so this showed our vertical was working OK.

Early the next morning I made some more CW contacts for the contest, this time on 40 meters using the vertical, and on 15 meters, using both the vertical and Yagi antennas. On 40 meters, while it was still dark across the Pacific, stations in China, Hong Kong, and South Korea were heard, but I didn’t succeed in making contacts. I did succeed though in contacting two Japanese stations. Then on 15 meters, with daylight across the Atlantic, the band was wide open to Europe. For a few minutes while on the air, we made contacts with France, Spain, and Slovenia, and also one contact to the south with Brazil.

Earlier during the year, the 3-band Yagi antenna bank angle slightly tilted. The 5-band vertical antenna also was damaged, probably both from storms. Earlier in the fall we repaired a bent piece of the vertical antenna, and reconnected the radial wires that had been severed. The HF operating showed these were at least working OK again. The 160 and 80 meter contacts were made with dedicated diploe antennas, also lightly visible in the picture. The Yagi antenna on the tower is aimed towards the northeast, towards Europe.
This is an eQSL confirmation we received from VE7JH in British Columbia, Canada, for our 80 meter Morse Code (CW) contact on Friday night. The card came with this caption information: 08 Aug 2009 Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island HMCS Toronto navigates an iceberg HMCS Toronto navigates past an iceberg near Frobisher Bay off the coast of Baffin Island while conducting sovereignty patrols as part of Operation NANOOK 09. Operation NANOOK 09 is a Canada Command sovereignty operation conducted with the participation of personnel, ships and aircraft from the Navy, Army and Air Force, working under the command of Joint Task Force (North) (JTFN). The operation runs from 06 to 28 August 2009, in Canada’s eastern Arctic. Photo by: Corporal Dany Veillette, Canadian Forces Joint Imagery Centre, Ottawa, Ontario.
An eQSL confirmation we received from F6HKA in France, for a Morse Code (CW contact) Saturday morning on the 15 meter band. His card shows several Morse Code keys.

Ray and I had breakfast and resumed troubleshooting work at 9 AM. We retrieved the amplifier again, and this time did a much more thorough test. Ray found one diode was leaking current. But this was a circuit safety issue and not a showstopper for transmitting. Ray replaced the diode, and returned the amplifier to the feed.

Ray retrieved the amplifier again Saturday morning.
Ray doing a thorough test of the amplifier. Nominally it should boost our signal to about 200 Watts at the feed.
Ray tested the output of the amplifier by sending the signal through the disc cone antenna on top of the operations trailer.

We then considered what else could cause our problem. Ray tested the conductivity of our feed lines. We have two coax cables running from the operations trailer to the feed. Ray climbed to the feed, and connected the two cables there. Then we measured the conductivity going out and coming back, together at the same time. His software analyzer showed Coax cable #1 had a fault at 135 feet down the line, and Coax cable #2 had a fault 185 feet down the line. This corresponded with where there are swivel joints for the cables, where the fixed pedestal interfaces with the moving dish antenna structure. A signal test also showed there was more loss on the lines then expected.

The oscilloscope showed we didn’t have as strong as signal as we expected along the feed lines.

At first Ray wondered that the swivel joints might be the problem. However, on visual inspection those were seen to be OK. The problem was eventually traced instead to the weight of the cables at that location pulling on the centers of the feeds, causing those to slip out. 

Ray was able to repair Feed Line #1.  We then did more testing, with Ray’s beacon and the W0TTT beacon in Como, CO, and with an SSB tropospheric scatter contact with Myron in the Springs, and found we were working well. We were back in business.

Saturday, troubleshooting. The disc cone antenna is on the short tower on the left side of the trailer.

Myron drove out to the site, and operated with us the second night. While Myron was on his way, I slew the antenna for Moonrise, getting more practice with the System 1 automatic tracking.

As soon as the Moon rose we heard CW and digital signals. We again had to figure out the Doppler shift correction, using the WSJT 10 software. At the start we made several CW contacts with Europe: to Germany, England, Croatia, France, Poland, and Austria.

Eventually we also tried digital JT65C –for the first time. That was a learning curve, but we finally got it. One of the tricks for that was that the waterfall window on the JT65C has a bar at top designating where the sync pulse of the signal has to be, in order for the software to decode it. Another challenge was that operators were heard with JT65 weren’t using a consistent contact exchange format. And so I had to manually edit the exchange fields quickly, in the 10 seconds between decoding and transmitting.

We made 19 contacts altogether. 16 were with CW (Morse Code) and 3 were digital JT65C. Myron tried several times to make SSB contacts. But there were no takers to respond back to us.

Over the night, I generally made the CW and digital contacts, while Ray operated the radio, including keeping up with the Doppler shift offsets. I offered to let others make contacts too. But we were comfortable doing it this way.

Floyd came during the evening with his astronomy student Michael Namieka. Floyd showed Michael around the site, and I believe also made some HF contacts in the bunker. They watched our EME operation. They got into a good technical discussion about the component causes of the Doppler shifts. Myron had Michael send a voice CQ and test moon bounce signal, and Michael heard his voice come back about 2 seconds later.

Our CW contacts included our DSES member Skip, VE6BGT — he said we sounded much stronger this time. And we found several other stations we had contacted last month too. 

On JT65 we had QSOs with AL Katz K2UYH, W6YX Stanford University, and AA4MD in Florida (who last month we got on CW). 

New countries to Europe this time were France and Croatia. We got KL6M in Alaska, who built our feed. We got one Japanese contact JH1KRC, who we contacted last month. And this time we had one contact with Australia, VK5MC, probably our contact furthest away from us.  I am happy to report we had pileups on us.  At least some of our contacts already knew something about us and our capability.

This is a record of our contacts, from the Cabrillo formatted file we submitted to the ARRL for the contest. CW is Morse Code. DG is JT65C digital. 1.2 G is the 1.2 GHz frequency band. You see the date and times in GMT, our station with the signal report we sent, and the station we contacted with their signal report to us.
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-28 2312 K0PRT 599 DG5CST 599 Germany
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-28 2317 K0PRT 559 SP7DCS 589 Poland
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-28 2324 K0PRT 559 G4CCH 599 England
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0007 K0PRT 559 9A5AA 579 Croatia
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0020 K0PRT 569 DL6SH 579 Germany
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0040 K0PRT 569 VE6BGT 589 Canada
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0057 K0PRT 579 OE5JFL 579 Austria
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0216 K0PRT 569 WA9FWD 579 Wisconsin, USA
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0350 K0PRT 559 F2CT 569 France
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0403 K0PRT 559 KL6M 579 Anchorage, Alaska, USA
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0407 K0PRT 559 OK1KIR 569 Czech Republic
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0413 K0PRT 559 I5MPK 599 Italy
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0420 K0PRT 559 K7CA 559 Nevada, USA
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0430 K0PRT 549 KA1GT 559 Maine, USA
QSO: 1.2G DG 2020-11-29 0629 K0PRT -06 K2UYH -01 New Jersey, USA
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0750 K0PRT 569 JH1KRC 589 Japan
QSO: 1.2G DG 2020-11-29 0811 K0PRT -08 W6YX -08 California, USA
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0920 K0PRT 439 VK5MC 449 Australia
QSO: 1.2G CW 2020-11-29 0946 K0PRT 599 N4PZ 599 Chicago, Illinois, USA
QSO: 1.2G DG 2020-11-29 1006 K0PRT -09 AA4MD -07 Florida, USA

The automatic tracking system display, showing us tracking the Moon.
The WSJT JT65 display on my computer. The upper left shows a spectrum waterfall, where we had to position the signal for the software to decode. We also at times had to adjust the audio gain, to not overwhelm the display. The upper right shows the message exchange, in this case with W6YX in California. The lower window is our logbook.

We decided to stop operating at around 3:30 AM Sunday morning. We were hearing much fewer new contacts. But also the outside wind was picking up immensely. Forecasts for the region were for gusts up to 50 knots. We stowed the antenna back to the safe position. Ray, Myron and I then got sleep in the operations trailer. Outside the temperature dropped to the low 20s, but we kept warm inside with the heaters. Myron left early in the morning. Ray and I closed the site by 11 AM Sunday, and headed back to the Springs.

* * *

Some technical feedback: System 1 was working almost perfectly.  The one glitch again was that there was a discontinuity in elevation reading on Friday night as the elevation was brought close to zero (seen by Bill).  I didn’t experience that on Saturday or Sunday.  Otherwise, the System 1 is an immense help.  It makes the slewing and tracking easy and seamless.  

We had a learning curve figuring out all of the nuances and details (or the sufficient and necessary details) for running JT65.  We did eventually get JT65 working well. You do need to pay attention to its peculiarities.  It probably could use some guidance documents, like we have for System 1. 

I will note I did try to make a number of contacts but didn’t get responses. I don’t know why that was.  I am suspecting part of the reason might be due to not getting the Doppler shift offsets quite right at times. But we did get a number of good signal reports and explicit comments that we had good signals.

Later I did some research. One of our contacts KA1GT has some articles on the Doppler shift math and corrections. These might be helpful:

Bob Atkins – KA1GT – EME Doppler shift 101

CFOM Constant Frequency On Moon Doppler Mode – Bob Atkins – KA1GT

It was a somewhat intense weekend for the team — with not being able to operate Friday evening as it got dark, with the troubleshooting, the cold and windy weather conditions and staying overnight (for some for 2 nights) on site.  But we were very pleased we got our Moon communications back.  We had lots of good signal reports.   We apparently were doing better than in October with our signals. We probably had fewer contacts than last time as we were spending time figuring out the JT65 and Signallink.  And I suspect there might have been fewer hams on for the second night. But I think also we didn’t want to knock ourselves out, especially with all the work we did. We found a good balance that worked.

I think all of us involved were very pleased with what we accomplished this weekend. We spent the effort to troubleshoot, we got ourselves back on the air, and we made a successful second EME Moon bounce operation.

  • 73 Gary WA2JQZ

DSES Science Meeting Nov 23, 2020

Welcome to the DSES Science meeting 11/23/2020

2020-11-23 DSES Science Meeting Notes, by Bill Miller

We had 16 participants in the virtual science meeting today:  Thanks everyone for joining.

Participants: Dr. Rich Russel,  Ray Uberecken, Lewis Putman, Bob Haggart, Don Latham, Floyd Glick, Gary Agranat, Glenn Davis, Jay Wilson, Jon Ayers, Lauren Libby, Myron Babcock, Robert Sayers, Ted Cline. Jerry Espada, Bill Miller

Agenda and notes;

Also see the Zoom Video Recording for more detail:

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/3mwT_OSBrUV6KMi8GTTrcFaiG77Jmuuke72Jk1zmmUDpSrO2nAY3jFx49_muRz5I.7GK8PFSy5Vs-kL4R?startTime=1606177717000

Agenda and notes:

  1. Myron’s Treasure’s Report Checking $1774.28. Savings $5742.15. We have 49 paid members.
  2. Science Fair: 
    • Bill spoke with Carol Bach the coordinator,  she replied, “The Pikes Peak Regional Science and Engineering Fair will be held virtually on February 20, 2021.  We are hoping that the Deep Space Exploration Society will again sponsor a special award or awards at the fair.  In addition, we are hoping you or another member of your group will consider being a special awards judge.  We will send you a code to unlock a showcase with digital displays that you can view.  Virtual judging will take place between February 18-20, 2021.”
    • Bill to send board DSES Special awards criteria for approval.
    • “Please respond by December 2, 2020 to this email and confirm that your organization is planning to participate. Also, please let us know the name and contact email for future communications.”
  3. Planet Walk:
    • Bill will write an endorsement letter and have the DSES Board modify and approve for Planet Walk Colorado Springs. See https://www.planetwalkcs.org/
  4. Arecibo Failure:
    • See Bob Haggard’s repost on the Arecibo Radio Telescope status.
  5. Rich presented the DSES Science part of the Meeting:  See all notes in the DSES Science Meeting Power Point. http://dses.science/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/DSES-Science-Meeting-11-23-20.pdf
  6. Ray
    • Problem with the 1296 feed last trip.  Took down the Feed amplifier and found that the unit was stuck in the transmit configuration again due to a failed FET in the Relay driver.  Fixed this and added more gate protection circuitry to solve the problem. 
    • Also had a bad diode and a bad cable that had to be corrected.
    • The FT-736R Keyer connection failed on last trip but Ray fixed it.
    • Tried CW EME but couldn’t hear the echo.
    • Did receive Rays Home Based beacon bounced off Pikes Peak and verified pointing so the receiver chain is working.
  7. Gary Underground K0PRT  bunker station summary report.
    • FT8,  PSK Reporter website showed our station was received on 40 meters during afternoon in CA and TX.
    • 15M operation was hot
    • Our rare grid square (DM88) attracted many Japanese stations
    • Vertical working well on 15 and 40 meters. 10 meters was tried and at least had good SWR, but band was dead.
    • Yagi was also working well to Japan
    • PSK reporter showed good coverage on 15 meters all around the Pacific Rim.
    • See more in Rich’s slides above
  8. Glenn says that Phil is working on an elevation tracking update that will need some onsite testing when ready.
  9. Much discussion about the SDR receivers, GNU SW and the computer power needed to run them.  See the meeting recording for too much detail to capture here.