28 January 2007

Hyperlinks in reports below are to Real Audio files... you can download the latest version of Real Audio Player for free at  www.real.com ... more clips to add later 

All contacts are on CW unless otherwise stated.

Quick Update

3rd January
1658 - 1704    VK7MO -16/R-15 on JT65c

4th January
0242 - 0252    C6ARI (Cay Sal Bank - Bahamas)  O/RO on JT65c... for Initial DIG
# 18, Grid and DXCC
First G to C6 Bahamas on 23cm

  C6ARI's stressed dish  

Bodo started out very weak, but improved to -24dB during our QSO. I had heavy winds, which confused my tracking system and caused the dish to be driving in the wrong direction... fortunately, I managed to spot the problem before the dish got too far off the correct azimuth heading.

Later Bodo's signal improved further to -18dB best, and I was able to copy text messages from him like:

To K2UYH          054400 6 -19 3.2 -304 9 * 1 PREAMP DIED 
To OE9ERC        060000 1 -18 3.0 -423 7 * -19DB PSE CW

1754 - 1800    VK7MO -17/R-18 on JT65c
1911 - 1923    PA3DZL R-14/-16 on JT65c
1923 - 1937    UT3LL O/RO on JT65c

5th January
1846 - 1850    VK7MO R-19/-16 on JT65c

6th January
0129 - 0134    DFØMFG R-16/O on JT65c for Initial DIG# 19... This was Seb's first 23cm EME QSO, using a 2m dish and 200W and OK1DFC Septum Fed.

  DFØMFG's 2m Dish   Swapping the polarisation in the rain... daring stuff  

2004 - 2010    VK7MO -23/R-19 on JT65c
2209 - 2219    UT3LL -22/RO(-20) on JT65c
2239 - 2244    RW3BP -10/R-09 on JT65c
2325 - 2334    DFØMFG -15/R-22 on JT65c

7th January
0556 SM6CKU 569/569, 0619 LA9NEA 559/559, 0625 LA8LF 569/569, 0700 LA8AV 569/569 and 0715 ON7UN 589/579

8th January
2258 - 2313    VK7MO -17/R-19 on JT65c... 60% of Rex's 2.3m dish was obstructed by his house, and signals were being assisted by knife edge diffraction from  his metal roof... amazing!

22nd January
1804 - 1838    DK3SE -28/RO on JT65c for Initial DIG# 20... This was Salvo's first 23cm EME QSO, using a 1m dish with a patch feed, and 100W at the feed point.

28th January
On an inspection of my dish after the recent wind storms, I discovered cracks in the back stays of four ribs close to where they attach on to the hub. These ribs also carry the feed support poles, so it was imperative to get the dish down and out of the wind to prevent further damage.




Unfortunately, I left a ladder up the tower after inspecting the dish, and on moving the dish it became jammed between the counterweight arms and the tower. The motor on the jack was stalled for 20 minutes or so, and the motor brushes overheated, this melted the plastic brush mounting plate... what a mess.  The jack is a SuperJack 24" Heavy Duty with a 2" outer - Model No QARL3024.


The following day, on ringing suppliers, I discovered that there were no jacks available for at least 2 weeks.

As I needed to move the dish to start work on repairs, I decided to try to repair the motor.

On looking at the old brush plate, I decided that it was not repairable, and my only chance was to fabricate a replacement.

A new plate was made out of fibreglass pc board... several hours work, but it seems to work OK, and hopefully it will last long enough to get the repairs done to the dish.









Currently, the the feed, cables and feed support poles have been removed from the dish to take load off the dish structure.

The tower has been tilted over with the dish facing upwards to get access to the back of the dish from ground level. I hope to start making repairs next week.




Re Meshing the dish



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