QRP Station: Construction is underway to install 1296-MHz equipment on the 4.9 meter dish. The dish will be fitted with a W2IMU* feedhorn, G4DDK VLNA, and 60w solid-state power amplifier. This permits running less expensive LMR-600 hardline to the dish. *Previous feed was a septum; Go here for information about the Septum Feed. New mw EME QSL. QRP plans using the 60w amplifier mentioned above will likely be the first 1296 MHz EME operation on the 4.9m dish. I am half-way toward builiding a 300w solid-state amplifier kit. Go to 1296 Amplifier for details and photo's documenting construction and testing of this kit. I should soon have the first of two 150w modules complete and ready for testing and installation on the dish. Five watt drive from the transverter is expected to drive that to about 100w. When that is achieved I will remove the 60w amplifier for use on terrestrial 1296. Eventually a 30w amplifier kit will be constructed to provide full drive (16-20w) to the completed 300w amp. The dish mount permits az-movement in three stages: 057-159, 159-259, and 259-340 degrees stepped in roughly 100-degree increments. Elevation is from 0.5 to +52* degrees (*limit to protect actuator). October- 2013 Update: Ground/sky noise tests of new feed horn indicate Y(gnd/cs) = 7.7 dB Ground and Sun noise tests of dish indicate Y(gnd/cs) = 6.15 dB, Y(sun/cs) = 15.9 dB Receive port isolation from the transmit side measures -22.5 dB with approx. 1/4w at the relay. This may be improved by adjusting the feed focal distance. Return loss measures approx. 32-dB on both ports of the W2IMU feedhorn. This was measured with a 40-dB MECA directional coupler with 10w (+40 dBm) test signal and measured with a HP-432A power meter. The feed measured 2-3 dB better return loss than my test load. The MECA directional coupler will be installed on the output of the 300w sspa to monitor reflected power. On Sept. 26 the new elevation actuator was installed and concrete block counterweights re-installed. Elevation encoder was recalibrated. The new acutator has a limit switch for maximum movement and it was set to trip at 52-degrees (correlates to +23 degrees declination at my latitude of 60.675N). February - 2013 Update: In 2012 the surplus 28v power supply failed and two new Astron 28v PS were purchased. This was installed on Feb 7, 2013. Photos: 88vdc power supply for the two 48v fans. Interior of box showing auxiliary 12v PS and two fans in the floor. Top view of the power supply box (converted truck bed tool box) with Astron PS. Detail view of AC outlet, 12v aux PS and fan fuse. Detail view of DC terminal strip and 1296 PA 28v control relay. view of air exhaust vents in the box. View of the wx shield for the exhaust vents. view showing vents and wx tight cable fittings. View of plenum formed by plywood and concrete blocks. Box installed on plenum under the dish. A paper describing the construction of the dish was presented at the 2010 International EME Conference in Dallas, Texas. (2.4 Mb pdf) I have 50w running at the dish. I am in the progress of revising the design of the Feed mount structure (completed Oct. 2nd): Views of new W2IMU Feedhorn on the dish (click image for larger view): Views of the horizon profile (click image for larger view): AZ=060-090 AZ=090-125 AZ=180-230 AZ=230-290 Trees at AZ=290 AZ=300 View Some photos of the dish with detail of support (click image for larger view): The 4.9 meter dish (16-foot) Assembly completed September 21, 2008: Link to Construction history photos. Calibrating digital encoders with a Sun Shot: NOTE: The following photos are archival of installation previous to Fall 2013. Photo showing new pyramidal horn installed on the septum feed and new support for the 432 feed: Views of the horn before installation Front Top Side Three views of the LNA Layout for 432 and 1296: Photos of new feed support, March 3, 2013: Return for updates on station progress!
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