VA3TO 10GHz Portable Station

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Front | Internal | Mount1 | Mount2

Equipment details:

Dish: 24" prime focus Macom with integral waveguide crook feed.
Transverter: DB6NT/Khune MKU 10 G3.
LNA: Downeast Microwave W5LUA design 3-2 ULNA kit. 22dB Gain/ 1.1dB NF.
Driver PA: Downeast Microwave 3-3 23dB Gain/ 2.5 Watts.
Final PA: Downeast Microwave 3-8 >6dB Gain/ 8 Watts.
Sequencer: W6PQL 4 event sequencer kit w/ W6PQL latching relay driver kit.
10 MHz Reference OCXO: Bliley NV47A1282.
I.F. Rig: Icom IC-705 @ 144 MHz.

Accomplishments to date:

Distance (CW - Rain Scatter): 726km - VA3TO in grid FN03CN to K1RZ, AF1T, W1MKY & K3WHC in grid FN41EE.

Distance (CW - Airplane Scatter): 645km - VA3TO in grid FN45bc to VA3ELE in grid FN03DM.

Distance (CW - Tropo): 618km - VA3TO in grid FN35QI to VE3KH in grid FN03CG.

10GHz VUCC: 58 Grids from grid FN03CN, all analog modes (CW/SSB).

During the 2015 10 GHz & Up Contest my old dish was blown over and badly damaged by high winds. The dish was bent beyond repair so I decided to rebuild using a very efficient 24" Macom dish which is far more manageable than the unweildy 36 incher. I also put the electronics in a weatherproof NEMA box. My original dish used a speaker tripod that wasn't very stable so I bought a surveyor's tripod and adapted it to use a heavy duty Manfrotto 3-axis camera mount. The improvements from lessons learned resulted in a nice compact and weatherproof unit that quick-mounts to the tripod for relatively fast set-up and tear-down. The rebuilt station uses most of the same components from my original station with the addition of a Bliley 10 MHz OCXO which made a big difference. After an initial 3 minute warmup there is no perceivable drift and I'm always bang on frequency. I also added an 8W DEMI PA. The new system has been performing very well.

Some of my microwave QSOs were recorded and posted to Youtube: uWave QSO Videos


During the 2022 10 GHz & Up Contest I scored 2 new grids from my favorite portable location at FN03cn to reach the 50 grid VUCC mark.

Within 3 weeks in July 2023 I sucessfully worked 5 new grids to bring me up to the 55 grid level. Thanks to N8IUP (EM89), VE2UG (FN46). KC0IYT (FN42), N8IUP (EN75) and K9PW (EN62).

On August 12 /23 I worked the elusive K1TEO in FN31 and later N8ECI in EM79 bringing my total up to 57 grids.

Grid #58 !
On June 05/24 Rene VE2UG drove out to FN45ge in Saint-Malo, Quebec, near the New Hampshire border in attempt to give me and Kevin VE3KH the new grid via rainscatter. There were no good rain cells between us on after he arrived so we tried the direct path which was a longshot at 687 km. Nothing but a few short lived bursts of dashes, probably from aircraft scatter. We waited around and eventually a cluster of cells formed down near Oswego, NY that worked for us. A big thank you to Rene for making the 3 hour drive each way ! !

10 GHz VUCC (58 Grids).

Grids Worked from FN03CN

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