Thursday, 25 July 2013

Some tests on 3cm

I have been operating my Yaesu G1000DXC mast rotator remotely using an ERC controller and PSTRotator Lite, over WiFI. I realised earlier this week that I could also use PSTRotator to control my Spid Ras az/el rotator remotely from the indoor shack.
With a bit of help from Cudrot, YO3DMU, the author of PSTRotator, I am now able to use PSTRotator to control the dish and PSTRotator Az to control the mast rotator.
With this capability in place I replaced the 23cm feed on my small EME dish with a selection of 3cm antennas, using a 1.2m length of Suhner low loss coax to the 3cm transverter, mounted on the rear of the dish.

This worked well, even over more than 70m of coax, to the shack 144MHz IF rig.
But, I found it difficult to hold the dish on the sun in order to get a meaningful sun noise to cold sky reading, although the less critical pointing at the ground and then cold sky proved that the system was indeed working and on some dish headings I could hear the nearby GB3MHX beacon signal by scatter off local buildings and structures.

The principal reason for doing this was to see if the EME dish could be used for rain scatter contacts.
My conclusion is that it can be done, but will be difficult because the dish is so sharp.

On 6m I have continued to add locator squares to the few I already had when I started this SpE season! I now have 163 locators and 49DXCC. Recent additions have been a couple of USA stations, including Dave Orleans, K1WHS, who I have met several times in the USA and from whom I have bought a number of antennas ( he only recently sold Directive Systems).
This evening I worked a CU1 station ( thanks for the heads up, Graham). Afterwards I was called by CT1DMK. Luis and I moved up the band and had a long chat. It was his first contact on the band with his new log periodic antenna and just 20W. As conditions on the SpE path began to deteriorate we signed.
That is three new locators on the band today!

Coming back to 3cm. Today I was able to test a number of surplus 10GHz, 10W SSPAs that had been donated to our group. Each produced a comfortable 14W indicated output, at 10368MHz, and one ( a keeper!) did an indicated 18W output. These outputs were achieved for 8mW input. Nice!

73 de Sam


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