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Bill Dzurilla
Extra Class
NZ5N United States

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Other Callsigns
WN2YRD in 1967 in New Jersey, then WB2YRD. Moved to Florida in 1969, call WB4RSF. Moved to Louisiana and became WD5HRO, then KF5DD, then NZ5N. Retained NZ5N after returning to Florida in 2004. Summer call OM9ACA, Slovakia. DXpedition calls C91NZ, HQ8R

My Ham Radio Interests
DX, EME, VHF/UHF in general, satellites.

ICOM IC-756 Pro II for HF and 6 meters
ICOM IC-7000 for satellites and local repeaters
Yaesu FT-847 for EME, meteor scatter, satellites, 2 meters and 70 cm terrestrial

ACOM 2000 1.5kw for HF
Lunar Link LA-200 1.5kw for 2 meters

MFJ 1793 vertical for HF (modified to add 17m, 15m, 10m)
M2 2M9SSB 9 element yagi for 2 meters
Elk 2m/70m dual band log periodic for satellites
Homebrew 12 element yagi for 70 cm (K1FO design)

KL6M mast-mounted preamp for 2 meters
ARR mast-mounted preamp for 70 cm
Dell Optiplex desktop computer for WSJT and other digital modes
Donner interface

Other Interests
Star Trek

South Florida DX Association

OM9ACA Slovakia 2010

From NZ5N

7/29/2010 4:32:22 PM (0 comments) Add a commentAdd Comment

Just returned from my annual summer trip to my European QTH in Bratislava, Slovakia. OM9ACA was QRV from June 3 - July 27, 2010, with a record 648 contacts on bands from 40m to 70cm. Highlights of this year's trip included EME and meteor scatter contacts on 2 meters, trans-Atlantic satellite contacts on AO-7 and HO-68, and my first contacts ever on the 4 meter band (70 mhz). Equipment: Yaesu FT-847 transceiver, Drake L-7 HF amp, homebrew GS-35b amp for 2m, SP7GXP 40m-10m vertical antenna, 5 element ECO 6 meter yagi, homebrew 3 element 4 meter yagi, 10 element DK7ZB 2 meter yagi, 8 element DK7ZB 70cm yagi.

The radio highlight of the trip was my EME single antenna "miracle week." Here in Florida, I've been on single antenna (2M9SSB) 2 meter EME now for a couple years with only moderate success, have about 60 contacts, running about 500 watts and a mast-mounted preamp, manual elevation rotation. With the exception of a few super stations, most of my contacts have been quite difficult, with audio rarely heard. I had thought this was the norm for single antenna EME.

In Slovakia, I had 400 watts on 2 meters into a single 10 element 3wl yagi, no elevation rotation, Landwehr mast-mounted preamp. Had not thought much about EME until the weekend before last, when several people emailed about skeds for the CQ WW VHF contest. Unfortunately, on both days there was bad weather when the moon was below 20 degrees, and I was unable to work anyone during the contest.

The next night, Monday, July 19, I flipped on the radio at 2120Z. The rig just happened to be tuned to 144.149 and the antenna by chance was pointed roughly in the direction of the moon, which was at 5 degrees elevation. I immediately heard in the speaker the loudest JT65B I have ever heard. It was K9MRI, whom I quickly worked. Then I heard DK5LA who was even louder, -5, and it wasn't tropo. I worked him and a third station before my moon set. An English single antenna station said he was decoding me, but we did not have time for a try. The following evening I got started a bit sooner and made 5 more EME contacts, all easy and several audible, even though degradation was over 5 db. One of the stations I worked had only a 2x antenna system (in Florida I don't think I've ever worked anyone with less than a 4x). Activity was down on Wednesday, with degradation at 7 db, but I still picked up 3 more. On Thursday, with degradation at 11.3 db, almost
no one was on the N0UK chat, and that was the last of my Slovak EME.

To me, my results on 7/19-21 seemed near miraculous, in comparison with my results from here in Florida, where I have comparable equipment and have had several opportunities during contests and during periods with much more favorable EME conditions and more activity. My 3WL antenna in Slovakia is probably a slightly better performer than my 2M9SSB, and my quieter hilltop location in Slovakia was surely a factor, but the difference was striking. Is this the way it should be for a single antenna station or was I just lucky?

Can't wait until summer 2011 to try EME again from Slovakia. I have another DK7ZB antenna ready for stacking, so the EME may be even better next year.

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