June’s EME Moonrise Window

With the QSL's from spring's EME activity gradually showing up in the mail, June's EME moonrise action should keep the postman busy next month as well.

Dmitrij - UA3PTW - Initial #60

Vlad - RZ3BA/1 - Initial #61

Oleg, UX5UL - Initial #72

Val - UT6UG - Initial #73 ...both Oleg & Val are in the same city

Jorg - DK3WG - Initial #74

Bernie - ZS4TX - Initial #75

I have about five days of favorable moonrises directly over the ocean in front of my antenna (9el m2 Yagi), and a couple of hours each day before the moon gets too high for my antenna as it lacks any elevation control. After five days the moonrises usually move too far to the south and I am pointing into too many RF-absorbing Douglas Firs on my neighbor's property.

I started on Tuesday morning, which according the EME data graph shown below, should have been the best of the week since the moon was as close as it would get and the skynoise was low but unexpectedly, no signals at all were heard!

courtesy: http://www.mmmonvhf.de/eme.php

On Wednesday, things should not have been as favorable since the moon was another 5000 miles further away, but the magic of radio did not disappoint ... my first CQ, with the moon barely 1 degree high, brought something that has never occurred here before ... three replies!

I soon completed three new initials with my QRP (140 watts) station ... RW1AY (# 76 ), DK3BU (#77 ) and DK5SO (#78 ). I have no idea why Tuesday was so poor or why Wednesday was so good, but I'll take it.

Today's conditions were also good again, with my first CQ being answered by N2CV in Florida, for #79.

Barry - NC2V - Initial #79  4 x 20 el array

About an hour later, the strong CQ of YU7AA was heard who responded to my first call. After that his signal faded for some time and eventually returned to speaker quality level and the contact was completed for #80 ... I keep wondering if or when I'll run out of stations large enough to work.

Jozef - YU7AA - Initial #80

Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but as the moon climbs further away and rises further to the south, working anyone will be a nice surprise. I've usually avoided summer EME work, as often the best moonrises are very close to the sunrise, making it difficult for bigger stations to hear me when pointing near the sun. After June's good luck, it seems that summers might require more attention ... the next few months might be more interesting than I had thought.
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “June’s EME Moonrise Window”

  • Lowell KM4QEQ:

    “When did 140 watts become QRP ???”

    When the path loss is way above 200db.

  • Lowell KM4QEG:

    Mistyped my call above.

  • Lowell KM4QEG:

    What most know and seldom talk about is the serious EME crowd pretty much ignores the 1500 watt PEP rules. You pull off a 140 watt QSO and you’ve proved the other guy has a receiving setup that is right on the edge of state of the art. I’ve seen path losses right at 250 db that were surmounted.

    EME antenna arrays that have 30 db or more gain are common with the big boys. Amplifiers that can drive them with 5KW and better, in a few cases, much better are also out there.

    The US Navy, in the ’40’s, had a RTTY link from Washington to Hawaii that was moonbounce. It had a 100KW transmitter on each end. It wasn’t very reliable.

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