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

Marshall-K5QE k5qe at k5qe.com
Mon Dec 2 17:36:56 EST 2013

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 

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 
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 

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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