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2 Meter EME Moonbounce
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I decided after quite some time to get involved in EME Earth-Moon-Earth Moonbounce communication.It was always a facet of ham radio that intrigued me so I thought it time to see what it was all about. The ultimate in DX I would say. A QSO would take place that round trip would be nearly a 1/2 million mile trip to the moon and back. So, to get started I had lots of questions so I joined the moonbounce reflector group and asked my questions. It didnt take long and I had numerous answers to filter through.Originally I had wanted to just start out as simple as I could since I read you can work moonbounce qso's with just 100 watts and single beam. After lots of conversations I decided to go with a 2 beam horizontal stack to be able to work more than just the big guns. I have started with 2 beams built by
Steppir Big IR
2 Mtr EME
I decided to "dry fit" the antennas in the garage to the crossboom and tower before installing them on the roof of my detached garage. I'm using a 5 foot tripod roof mount tower. The crossboom is built with 2" fiberglass tubing slid over a 3 foot piece of electrical conduit leaving a foot of the conduit exposed for the elevation rotor. I beefed up the crossboom fiberglass and conduit with the appropriate size wood dowels for added strength and to keep from crushing them when tightening any clamps.
A little closer view of the center section of the crossboom using the electrical conduit for mounting the elevation rotor when I get one. My beams are Serbian built and optimized for EME 2 meters. They are available from
Closer look at one of the antennas mounted on the fiberglass crossboom. These antennas are 15.6 feet long with 9 elements.
These are the switching relays for the preamp, transmit, and receive. I had 2 of these electrical boxes which worked quite well. I have the preamp and low power relay in the right box for receive and the high power relay for transmit in the left box.The relays are fed with 12 volts from the Demi 2 meter transverter which does all of the sequencing .
Im using a 1.5 KW amp built by W6PQL which is doing a nice job for me. I managed to make 5 DX qso's my first day on the moon. It is paired with my FTDX5000MP and being driven with 35 watts for 1500 watts out.
Im using a Down East Microwave Inc transverter with my HF radio to get on 2 meters. It is rated 50 watts output.
It has been quite a learning experience since I have never been on the vhf bands let alone EME. Setting up an EME station is not a place to try to save money. Everything must be good in order for you to get good results. The antennas are about 60-65 feet away from the shack. I am feeding them with 1/2" Andrews Heliax and all cables have N connectors. All jumpers are LMR400 on the transmit side and Im using LMR195 for the jumpers on the receive side. The rotator is a Yaesu-5500 AZ/EL.My next project is going to be building an interface so my rotator will track the moon automatically from the settings in the WSJT-10 software. So, now that I am up and running, I hope to see you on the moon.
http://www.antennas-amplifiers.com
Antennas-Amplifiers
UPDATE!
After using the antennas for a couple of weeks I decided to move them in order to avoid the trees that you can see in the background. I was only able to get a few hours of moonrise moontime before getting into the trees. I now have nearly a full pass visible to the moon now. I had to mount them high enough to clear the antlers on the numerous Elk that travel through our yard on a regular basis. They are mounted 14ft above ground level now.
V31CO