Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Indoor EME?

After reading the title, you may be having a hard time controlling your laughter. I know that the idea of working Moonbounce (also called EME) using an indoor antenna sounds a little crazy. But I've got proof of at least one instance when it was done successfully. And here's the kicker, the ham with the indoor antenna was only using 25 watts!

It took place on 14th of January in 2008. The contact was between Angus Young, MOIKB and super-station, KB8RQ. At the time, Angus was running a homebrew 7 Element Yagi, with 25 watts of power to the attic mounted antenna! The mode was JT44, from the WSJT suite.

You can read the full newspaper story at:

An amazing feat, though most of the work was done by the monster array at KB8RQ in Ohio, and certainly not by Angus's meager radiator. But in any event, it serves as "proof of concept" that such contacts are possible.

I've arranged to attempt to repeat the feat tomorrow night with Dave, W5UN, whose MBA (Mightly Big Antenna) has graced the cover of QST and many other radio magazines. Like KB8RQ, Dave will be doing all the work...but fingers crossed.

Since my antenna lacks any elevation control, I'm limited to working EME attempts only at Moon Rise and Moon Set. This is similar to a lot of other stations who've worked 2 Meter EME using single long Yagi's.

The problem is that my Yagi isn't long (6 Elements) and it's indoors. Being short means that it will "see" a lot of the sky and my sky noise level will be higher, since the reflector (moon) will occupy only a tiny space of the beamwidth.

In my favor is that I'm running 200 watts, and feeding the antenna with 1/2" hardline. I also have a mast mounted SSB Electronics pre-amp...but I think the contact remains a long shot. If successful, it would open up the possibility of working several other "big gun" EME stations and adding to my grid total which now stands at 47 on 2 Meters. Still a long way from VUCC.

Let's hope that The Man In The Moon smiles on us tomorrow! Fingers crossed & thanks to Dave, W5UN for the attempt.


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