Last Revision: 30 October 2008
Licensed in 1975 at the age of 20 as DB5YD (VHF license) I got operational on 2m first. In 1979 I added the Morse code test and got the callsign DF9CY. My station has been all the time on the farmyard of my parents. I became interested in moonbounce in 1979. I organized the famous EIMAC notes on "Almost Everything you want to know about Moonbounce". This was like an influenca - I hacked Lance Collister's (WA1JXN, now W7GJ) Fortran/Basic programs on cards in order to get moon data available. At that time you will have seen me with a bunch of paper running home. I tried to listen on 144 MHz with my IC202 and a BF981 preamp and a 10 element PA0MS/DL6WU antenna. Very soon I received K1WHS - what a thrill - in the morning at four. I had to build a PA and by the end of 1979 I had it running. A 4CX250B with 400 watts. Only 2 weeks later I called just for fun K1WHS after a CQ call and - I literally dropped of my chair then - he immediately returned with my call and we made the QSO. At that time very, very single yagi QSOs had been made before. It was one of the first ever made.
This is an image of my very first EME array in 1982. Those were a bay of 4 times 21 element F9FT antennas. I had my homemade transverter for 432 MHz behind my Yaesu FT7 and a homebrew CF300 preamplifier at the antenna. No electric rotator. I had to rush out every 30 minutes or so. The first station ever heard was N9AB, who "popped" out of a loudspeaker placed in the window. You could have seen my "jumping" through the garden, hardly believing what I heard. Unlike the signals I had experienced on 2m those on 70cm were incredibly strong, and within a few weeks I had more than 40 stations copied. I used this antenna for receiving only.
On 28 December 1982 I had put up this 8 yagi array. At first I had 200 Ohms open wire feedlines implemented. But for an - still after so many years - unknown reason only half of this arry worked. Nevertheless, Klaus-Dieter DK1UV kindly lend me his PA with a YL1050 (which is mine now since 2008) in August 1983 and I could make my first QSOs - still running outside every 30 minutes or so. By October 1983 I modified the feedlines to coaxial cable and added rotation electrics. For the first time ever I could hear my echoes. I made a number of QSOs until I returned the PA to Dieter in November. By May 1984 I had finished my own power amplifier with a 7650 tetrode. The first QSOs were made with only 300 watts out. I could improve this later to about 700 watts. The structure of this antenna was heavily bent by strong gale forces and I took it down by April 1985.
By October 1985 I put up a "reduced" array, which was much easier to handle. I had built a new MGF1400 preamp with a noise figure of ca 0,55dB (measured), which improved receive capability much. This antenna was operational until March 1987.
In 1989 I had moved 330 km north from my old location and settled at the Baltic Sea coast near Kiel (JO54al). Soon I had set up my station for the VHF/UHF terrestrial modes. In 1990 I decided to become QRV via moonbounce again.
Two single yagi contacts I made with DK3BU and DL9KR using a 3.3m 20 element antenna.
These 4*24 Element antennas were originally F20 antennas from Konni Company in Germany. They were modified by Harm, DK3BU. I got a package of six of these antennas in 1990, but finally put up an array of four of these yagies in March 1991. The first QSO was made with Lars SM4IVE; followed by a contact with Geert PA3CSG who immediately stated on the 20m VHF net, that my signal was very loud.
All feeder cables were H100 type and two preamps were cascaded to achieve a very low noise behaviour. Sun noise was well in excess of all I had experienced before.
Rig consisted still of my Yaesu FT7, homebrew transverter, 2C39 60w driver amplifier and a 7650 power amplifier with about 1200 watts of output. I achieved this power finally after making (milling) a complete new socket for that tube. Echoes were often very good audiable. In one occasion I received audiable echoes with ony 30 watts of output.
I made 117 EME QSOs with 61 initials with moonbounce stations on the 70cm band. The last QSOs were with SM2CEW and RG5LGX.
This antenna was operational from January 1991 to January 1993, when I had to dismantle it after a strong wind storm.
In 1997 I build a 4*17 element F9FT antenna with Soenke (now DL3LE) at his place (very close to my house / JO54al). I made a number of QSOs with this array, but I barely could copy my echoes. PA was a borrowed 4CX800 tetrode with 800 watts output. After the ARRL contest in 1997 and only 22 QSOs we dismantled the antenna and put up a big 10m antenna instead.
I bought a house in the neighbour village (JO54al) in 1997. There I became QRV on 2m again in 2004. On 6m and 10m I was QRV in 1997 already again. I had sold mostl my old stuff and got hold of an ICOM 820H transceiver and a Dressler D200S 400 watt PA. Since then I made many single yagi contacts in CW and in the newly "invented" WSJT mode JT65B. More about this I wrote in other articles on this site including a bunch of images.
The latest experiments are EME receiving tests on the 50 MHz magic band.