K7SGP had just recently received her ham license and was interested in seeing how a portable setup worked, and W7GJ was interested to field test the portable station he was planning to use on upcoming 6m EME DXpeditions, so we decided to set up a portable 6m station in DN34. Field Day Contest weekend was chosen because it is during the prime week of the year for 6m Es. We participated in the Field Day Contest, but did not enter a log, since our primary objective was to activate DN34, which is a relatively rare grid needed by a number of stations on 6m.
The 6m station was essentially be the same as that used on the W7GJ 6m EME DXpeditions, except that the antenna was only an M2 6M5XHG yagi mounted on a homebrew 24' mast. Also, for the first time, the transceiver was an Elecraft KX3. The KX3 worked great on the JT65A and FSK441 digital modes on 6m, and also was very convenient, since we could monitor for band openings without turning on the generator! What a neat feature to have a battery powered receiver in the field!K7SGP very proficiently handling her first pileup on 6m Es!
To our great surprise, there actually WAS a bit of cell phone coverage from the operating site, so we could check the map on the ON4KST REGION 2 CHAT page from time to time to see what direction to be expecting some propagation. We just set up on the tailgate of the car, using a tarp to provide some shelter from the sun and wind. Fortunately, we did not have any rain during the trip (other than a brief sprinkle one evening just after we had gone to our tents).
We drove down to Lemhi Pass via Tendoy, Idaho on Friday June 26, 2015 and were set up by evening. We began tearing everything down and packing up early on Monday June 29. We were able to operate 6m for 3 evenings and 2 full days. As Murphy would have it, the best opening was after the Field Day contest was over, on Sunday evening June 28!
6M QSL INFORMATION
Please QSL direct with SASE directly to the operator you worked:
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
W7GJ logged 184 stations, and K7SGP logged around 45 stations on 6m. Although we did have HF capability with the IC706 and hamstick whips for 75 and 20m, we dedicated our efforts to 6m. We both operated JT65A mode on during moonrise, FSK441 for meteors in the mornings, and USB during the Es openings later in the day. We consider the operation to be a great success, and thank everyone who was watching and waiting for us. We were glad to be able to hand out this rare grid square to so many folks! Best wishes to everyone for success in collecting those rare grids and working DX on 6m!
LINKS TO VIDEO CLIPS CAPTURED BY K7SGP ARE SHOWN BELOW
Raising the 6M5XHG on 24' mast, using falling derrick to lift the mast off the prop
Panoramic view of the operating site toward the east
W7GJ operating 6m Es
W7GJ operating 6m Es under the tarp
W7GJ operating double hop on 6m Es
K7SGP picking calls out of the 6m pileup
Taking down the antenna on Monday morning