Saturday, 19 March 2016

Life on 23cm EME

Last weekend I got the 23cm EME system back on line. A careful check of my log shows I had worked 62 'initials' ( first contact with a new station or #) up to May 2012, when I last operated on 2cm EME.
Since last weekend I have brought the initial score up to 74
It is quite clear that a lot of new stations have appeared in the last few years. I recognise a lot of the callsigns as those belonging to customers who have bought an VLNA23 from me. I find that very gratifying!  I think it should be possible to raise the number of # to 100 by the end of the year. At least it gives me a target to aim for and means I will have to keep the 23cm preamp and feed on the dish.
The majority of new contacts have been worked on JT65C and running MAP65 has allowed me to see who is on without sitting in front of the PC laptop all the time.
I can see that not withstanding last weekend's 23cm DUBUS CW EME contest, when up to 16 stations at a time were visible on the spectrum display ( P3 and SVGA card to 23 inch monitor), the move to digital on the band is seriously underway. I realise this will unsettle a good few of the old CW stalwarts, but King Catute showed the fallacy of trying to hold back 'nature'. In this case human nature.
I'm not a good CW operator and am always relieved when a CW contact has finished and in the log, wheras I actually enjoy the surety of digital contacts. It's not fashionable to say this, but I still can't see the attraction of CW when digital allows so much greater reliability of contact exchange information. And for me personally, far less anguish about not copying callsigns correctly or dealing with 'off sequence' information.
Sorry guys!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sam, I agree we can't turn back time, but personally I am glad I was around when CW was King on EME as there was something that really connected me with the Ether with the analog mode where we used our ear - brain and our brain - hands to make the contact. I miss the enjoyment of hearing my own echo, and hearing the special sound that EME CW has. I am not a great CW operator, never having been an HF operator though I was a shortwave listener long before I got my Class B ticket. I also get in a panic on CW too, but it lessens with practise and I can now send and breathe at the same time. For sure digital is more effective, and allows many more people to take part in EME with smaller stations and I was one of the first to take it up on 144 MHz, and still marvel at how it works so well, something I wouldn't have thought possible when I first started on EME. But I'll be sorry when the sound of CW is lost from our radios.
    73 David