This is a first-summary of VE3ONT's "operation" this weekend. As it is being written (Sunday night), 222 MHz results are not known.
An outage of commercial power took us off the air about 2 hours before Moonrise. Everything was ready, tuned, tweaked, and polished for 144 MHz... then clunk. A power pole about 15 km from the site was burned in two by leakage through a bad insulator; this tripped the supply-side circuit brakers. Power was not restored until early Saturday afternoon, after moonset.
Consequently, we were not able to operate 144 MHz at all. Naturally, the VE3ONT crew expresses our most sincere apology to all the stations who listened and called. Believe us, it was depressing on *our* end too!
We were able to position the dish and remove the 144 MHz equipment and install 1296 & 50 MHz, but barely finished before sunset/moonrise. It was very close. Unfortunatley, we could not test/debug the system so problems arose that we could not fix. The worst problem was that 50 MHz wiped out 1296 whenever 50 MHz transmitted. Not only did it kill 1296's RX, but it also took the TX as well... 50 MHz was shutting down the 1296 transverter altogether (TNX Microwave Modules).
As a result, our 50 MHz operation was severely curtailed. We worked only 4 stations : OH2BC, W5FF, WA4NJP, and W5JKV. This represent a terrible disappointment for us and for the many 50 MHz stations who tried to work us.
1296 hardly benefitted... conditions were terrible due to aurora and we only worked 34 stations.
Altogether, a wretched weekend for VE3ONT.
A more complete (and more cheerful) report will follow after 222 MHz operation is complete and after I get some sleep.
73 to all,
Michael R. Owen, W9IP.
For Comments: W6/PA0ZN