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[VHFcontesting] Another "Great Winter DXpedition"...

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Subject: [VHFcontesting] Another "Great Winter DXpedition"...
From: Marshall-K5QE <k5qe@k5qe.com>
Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2013 16:36:56 -0600
List-post: <vhfcontesting@contesting.com">mailto:vhfcontesting@contesting.com>
Hello to everyone interested in FFMA and / or grid chasing on 6M. The K5N Grid Activation Group is planning another of our "Great Winter DXpeditions". This time, our eyes are set on EL08, just south of San Antonio.

Here is our proposed schedule:

Jan 2nd - Bill-N5YA and Marshall-K5QE drive about halfway to the site and layover in an RV park near Bastrop, TX. Jan 3rd - Bill and Marshall continue the drive to the Gracey Ranch, just north of Pearsall, TX. We plan to begin setup at about 1PM and hope to be fully functional before dark. We hope to run meteor scatter(MS) that night. Jan 3rd - George-NR5M and Dan-N5TM will drive to Gracey Ranch from the Houston area, planning to arrive about 1PM. Jan 4th thru 6th - We will operate EME when the moon is favorable. This will allow a few guys that are way beyond meteor range to get that grid. When the moon is not favorable, we will operate either Es or MS as appropriate. Jan 7th - Tear down and begin the drive home. Depending on how the group feels and on the activity, we MAY operate the early morning hours of Jan 7th. But, we will QRT and dismantle the station no later than 9PM. If we are beat down, we will QRT some time late on Jan the 6th.

I planned these dates based on the best moon times....only later did I realize that Jan 3rd and 4th are the peak of the Quadrantids meteor shower. This shower has a very quick peak, but it is very good during the peak. I looked at a couple of the Astronomy sites and they are predicting the peak to be the evening of January 3rd. During the peak, we may run SSB meteor scatter if things are really hopping. Usually, operating SSB meteors works best on very short sequences, so I am thinking that we would do 5 second sequences, K5N always first sequence(i.e. starting 12, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 seconds for 5 second periods). I know that the "standard" for SSB meteors is 15 sec sequences, but if we are calling CQ for 15 seconds, that can waste a lot of time. I will entertain emails telling me that I am completely out of my mind off the reflector.....HI. We will keep everyone posted as to what we are doing via the K5N private chat page, so look for us there.

Dan-N5TM will activate our K5N private chat page for us as usual. Just go to chat.n5tm.com, login with your Call, Name, and your grid. Then click the K5N tab. If you don't enter your grid, we will not know which way to point, so be sure to enter your grid when you login.

Also, those dates are during the peak of the Winter Es season. We certainly hope that we hit some good Es and will operate Es whenever we can, excepting only our EME schedules.

For those of you that like to play around with Google Earth, the entrance to Gracey Ranch is 28° 57' 13.8"N by 99° 04' 48.7"W. That is right off Interstate 35 just north of Pearsall, TX. You can see a road lined by trees on both sides leading in to the ranch complex. The Gracey Ranch complex is right opposite the Keystone Ranch LLC which has a small square marker on the map. Just put your mouse on the small square marker and the words Keystone Ranch LLC will appear.

The station will be essentially the same as we have used before. We will have 2 x 6M5XHP with full AZ / EL. We will have a full 1500W whenever we are running EME, but will probably hold it down to about 1000W for MS or Es. The amps are a combined pair of the M2 6M1000 amplifiers. We will have a preamp in line this time, just as we did when we were in EL84. That seemed to make a huge difference in what we heard.

We have learned that for Winter DXpeditions, using a frequency high in the band does not work well if Es occurs. Hence, we will operate on 50.128MHz for everything except EME. When we operate EME, we will be on 50.195MHz using JT65A and first sequence. Any changes will be posted on the K5N chat page, so you can always know what we are doing. That page is interactive, so you can talk to us there.

I can't think of anything else, but if changes occur, I will make another general announcement....

We really do love to work lots of guys when we go out on one of these things, so listen up for us and try to give us a QSO.

73 de The K5N Grid Activation Group

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