The recent Market Reef OJ0B expedition resulted in 462 contacts via 2 meter Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) and meteor scatter activity with stations on all continents. The activity this month was a somewhat belated 50th anniversary celebration of the historic first 2 meter EME contact. More than 50 US and Canadian hams were among those that worked OJ0B on 2 meter EME. The OJ0B activity shut down on June 15 after making more than 8200 contacts on all bands and modes.
Project leaders dedicated the activity to VHF pioneer Lenna Suominen, OH1NL (SK), who had experimented with EME in the 1960s and made the first-ever 2 meter EME contact, as well as the first transatlantic (Europe-US) on any band above 50 MHz, with Bill Conkel, W6DNG, in 1964. OJ0B used JT65B mode, developed by Joe Taylor, K1JT. Former ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, was one of the lucky US stations to work OJ0B, and Harrison served as one of the pilots for the activity.
All contacts have been uploaded to ClubLog and OQRS.
Suominen, an early VHF pioneer, was deeply involved in the science of VHF communication and strongly believed that 2 meter EME contacts — dismissed by experts as being out of reach for radio amateurs — were indeed possible. His 2 meter EME contact with W6DNG in California proved the skeptics wrong, scoring more than one VHF “first.”
Departure from Market Reef was reported to have been “challenging.” It took six Zodiac trips to the boat to transfer all gear, antennas, and operators.
Market Reef (JP90nh) is located between Finland and Sweden. The Finnish Lighthouse Society has been restoring the Market Reef Lighthouse there, which is now fully automated. Dedicated quarters on the reef are available for Amateur Radio operation, with power from generators and solar arrays. — Thanks to Martti Laine, OH2BH, and Jarmo Jaakola, OH2BN