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: 57 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.

10 GHz VUCC (57 Grids).

Grids Worked from FN03CN

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