Today we had a break from the mid afternoon rains and I was able to do a dry run setup and get the folding 2.4 meter dish up and on the air for moonrise. This is testing for my upcoming EME expedition to KH6 in October. I ended up finding a relay problem off the sequencer board, so I focused on receiving signals, moving the dish, and decoding what I could on Q65 and JT65. I found the dish has about 3 degrees of play before I start to see a slight drop in signals from the large stations. I am running a 2.4m dish with 40’ of LMR400 into the preamp and 40’ of LMR600 on the TX side.
I used a 60# kettlebell to keep the dish grounded and a 10# sledgehammer taped to the counterweight arm as the counter weight. Simple setup for the test. Need to find a different solution for counterweight when in Hawaii.. Bags of sand?
XE1X was speaker quality and loud! Great signal off the moon.
Next test this week will be some transmit testing. All looking good so far!
UPDATE: Aug 17, 2020
With the help of K7AMB we found the service that is in the HP EliteBook that prevents using both the ethernet and wifi ports at the same time in W10. The trick was to turn OFF the HP LAN/WLAN/WWAN Switching UWP service. Now we can use WIFI for time sync and chat boards with the ethernet connected to the flex for CAT and DAX control. Cross that issue off the list!
UPDATE: Aug 21, 2020
Worked my first station off the moon with the portable dish.
Thanks Bil, K2BSA! Not strong by any means, but we made it.
After working Bill, I discovered that the mast is about 2.5 degrees LOW compared to moon elevation due to droop on the feed arm and the counterweight arm. Bill improved greatly to -19 once I made the adjustments. I made a few other cable tweaks as well to make it easier to place everything on the folding table.