Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Receive Antennas at NY4G

Some really interesting references:





At NY4G's Station are two reversible beverages on ground (RBOGs).  Both a re 200 feet long. with RG6 feedlines.  These replace the K9AY that I used to have.  These use the KD9SV feedline and reflection transformers.    The antenna switch will be the receive antenna switches from HiZ and the pre-amp for 160m and 80m are from KD9SV

A short video showing the performance of the beverage against the transmit antenna - inverted L.  One can hear that with such a weak signal, on the inverted L, the signal is buried in the noise and indistinguishable.  It is a much better copy on the beverage.

New Ones on 80m and 160m

March 20th Update

3B8XF Mauritius - Nigel Cawthorne confirmed for #160 on 80m

Also worked 3C0W  and PJ5/SP2GCJ Saba and St Eustatius on 160m.  Without internet can't confirm whether the 3C0W is a good QSO

March 14th Update

80m continues to be a productive band.
#154 3C3W Equatorial Guinea on 03March
#155 Z2LA Zimbabwe on 05 March
#156 XR0YD Easter Island 05 March
#157 TY7C Benin on 09 March
#158 TN5R Republic of the Congo on 10 March
#159 3C0W Annobon 13Mar

On 160m - CU2DX Azores confirmed in LOTW for #115.

Got new ones on 160m
#116 XR0YD - Easter Island
#117 TN5R - Republic of the Congo.    Solar wind effects killed 160m propagation.  It took all kinds of tricks - diversity receive and audio peaking filter to dig the really weak signal out

March 3rd Update

Was able to get 3C3W on 80m CW on the evening of 03March for #154.

3D2EU Rotuma Island DXepedition  is underway - was able to get them on 80m and 160m on consecutive days on the early morning grey line #114 on 160m and #153 on 80m on 27Feb

Thursday, March 15, 2018

New ATNO #309 4B4B Revillagigedo, More New Ones on 80m and 160m

Interesting DXpedition - appears to be only SSB and only one Op.   I was able to make contact on 20m 14.225 on March 6 at 23:39.  This was one of those times where I had to dig for a microphone buried in my junk drawer.  I had to wipe the cobwebs off of it.

80m continues to be a productive band.
#154 3C3W Equatorial Guinea on 03March
#155 Z2LA Zimbabwe on 05 March
#156 XR0YD Easter Island 05 March
#157 TY7C Benin on 09 March
#158 TN5R Republic of the Congo on 10 March
#159 3C0W Annobon 13Mar

On 160m - CU2DX Azores confirmed in LOTW for #115.

Got new ones on 160m
#116 XR0YD - Easter Island
#117 TN5R - Republic of the Congo.    Solar wind effects killed 160m propagation.  It took all kinds of tricks - diversity receive and audio peaking filter to dig the really weak signal out

Friday, February 23, 2018

Back to Making QSO's While Mobile

One thing about CW is that it is a perishable skill.   If you don't use it enough, you get rusty in decoding code in your head.  So I put the TS480 back in the truck.  This morning I had a QSO with K1PUG - Hank from CT, N2KOF, also from CT and K4LNN in Florida.  I also listened to several ongoing QSO's.  It makes for a short ride to work when you are ragchewing at 15-20 words per minute.

Friday, February 16, 2018

ATNO Possibilities for 2018

I already realized an ATNO for 2018 with Z60A for #308

The following are the projected ATNO's if I can get them all:

#309 4B4B Revillagigedo March 1 to March 15
#310 3B7A Agalega and Saint Brandon Islands April 5 to April 17
#311 KH1 Baker Island June 1 to June 30
#312 VP6D Ducie Island Oct 20 to Nov 3

Thursday, February 15, 2018

ATNO #308 Z60A

Z60A was booming in South Carolina this Valentines Day - connected at 22:35 on 14Feb2018 on 80m CW 0n 3527 kC.

CT8/RW7K Azores was a new one on 160m.  Made contact on 1828.5 Kc on 22:57

RA0FF Asiatic Russia - New One on 160m 1145 UTC 1823.5 on 15Feb2018

CN2DF Morocco at 00:02 15Feb2018 on 3504 kC.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New Ones on 80m and 160m

Canary Islands EA8/RW4RW was calling CQ on 1819 kC with a lot of callers working it simplex.  Finally got throughat 2337 UTC.   ZC4A is on 1820 but too weak to copy

ZC4A was really strong on 80m though and I was able to get him at 0202 UTC 26Jan2018.  A couple of days later - finally got him on 160m.  I also connected on 40m and 17m.  All 4 QSOsare now confirmed in LOTW.

Monday, January 8, 2018

6O6O - Somalia - ATNO #307

Tried working on 7023 on 2124 UTC on 8Jan2018 - weak copy - no luck
Finally got him on 7023 on 0355 UTC on 09Jan2018 - workable - not to strong on my dipole.
The Log is updated almost real time and I was able to get instant confirmation in Clublog

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018 DX Marathon - Operating Focus will be 6 Meters

I will use the 2018 DX marathon to keep me focused on 6m DXCC for 2018.  I expect this will be tougher than the 160m effort as the band openings are fewer and far between.  I plan to build a 4 element Moxon beam for the effort.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 DX Marathon - Summary

My entry has been turned in to the DX Marathon manager.  I will find out on January 18 what the high claimed scores are and whether I made top 5 in the claimed score (prior to adjustment by the DX Marathon checkers).

Current Countries 107
Current Zones 26
Current Score 133

Friday, December 29, 2017

New Milestone For 80m Band - Reaching 150

2017 has been a banner year for the low bands - with the emphasis on my operating having been exclusively 80m and 160m for the past year.    It has taken me 4 years to reach DXCC on 80m and another 3 years to get to 150 DXCC.  To be fair, however, much of that time was spent in other pursuits - which extended the elapsed time.  For example - all of 2016 was focused on QRP DX Marathon.  In 2015, 1  took advantage of the sunspot cycle to go after DX in the high bands.   It would have taken much longer had I not been focused in the low bands in 2017.  The slope of the curves will certainly be shallower in 2018 - but it is nice to end the year with a couple of bangs -DXCC on 160m and 150 DXCC on 80m.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Low Band Update - Run Up to 100 Confirmations on 160m

December 2

ZA1WW just uploaded to Clublog.  The 80m QSO was confirmed but the 160m QSO was not.  One more day left - so I still have a chance - so if I don't get them max entitlement is 107.  It has been a good ride.  I will now close this post now that 100 has been confirmed.

December 01

Worked Austria OE3DIA for #108 at 0358 UTC.   Unfortunately he does not upload to LOTW. YN2CC confirmed in LOTW for #100.  The award has been applied for.  I am hoping the worked and confirmed lines will converge by years end.  I have written off a few stations that will not QSL despite having sent cards to.

November 30

It is now horse race for #100 before the end of the year.   I now have 7 horses in that race VK9MA 2:1 odds, OX/OZ1LXJ 5:1, LZ2WO 10:1, FG/F6ARC 3:1 (he says he will upload after CQ WW), same with YN2CC about 3:1 , 9Y4/VE3EY at 3:1,and the TK is about 5:1.   I emailed N7QT and he is thinking mid December before he uploads to LOTW on VK9MA.

November 28

J5T just confirmed in LOTW.  I also worked Albania ZA1WW last night on 80m for a new one for #149.  Worked ZA1WW on 160m as well for #107.

November 24
Worked a new one upon coming home after Thanksgiving dinner - 9Y4/VE3EY for #106 -  a short pitch shot into Zone 9 - and he was loud too.  There will be a lot of stations on tonight before the start of the CQ WW testing their rigs and setup.  It will be a good time to be on the air and listening.  Incidentally my "watched pot" just burped a big bubble - H40GC just uploaded to LOTW.

November 23
Worked three new ones for DX Marathon and two new ones for DXCC - YN2CC - Nicaragua at
0402 on 23Nov17 - for #104 and TK/S53CC - Corsica for #105.  Now it is just a waiting game waiting for confirmations to roll in.  They say "a watched pot never boils".   It is absolutely true.   No matter how many times I check LOTW - it does not seem to change - stuck with the same old numbers.

November 20
Worked FG/F6ARC at 0102 UTC on 1829 kHz for #103

November 17
Worked J5T at 0238 UTC for #102.  The log is real time so there was immediate confirmation.  An hour later - was able to work J5T on 80m for #148

November 11
Worked LZ2WO Bulgaria during the OM/OK contest.  Here is another chance to get a confirmation ahead of OX/OZ1LXJ for #100.  So with  97 QSLs in hand - just need LOTW uploads from VK9MA, H40GC and LZ2WO is my best bet for right now.   It is just a pure guess on when OX/OZ1LXJ will send his card.  But there are now 2 paths to 100 which is better than none.
On the 80m front, was able to work VK9MA on 11Nov at 12:01 UTC.  Propagation was good that morning and it was not as hard as the 160m QSO.  This brings me closer to the 150 DXCC mark at #147.

November 10
Slovenia station S51V finally confirmed via a card in the mail for #100.  H40GC promises to upload to LOTW by 11/26/17 for those that sent QSL requests via OQRS.  VK9MA expects to upload to LOTW shortly after arriving from the expedition - Nov 17, 2017.   FP/G7VJR's card is also on hand.  The wild card is OX/OZ1LXJ.  I have sent away for his card.

November 8
Almost worked VK9MA - came back to me several times with NY?  but the callers were all calling UP3 - he was working all of NA on one split..  Almost haad to leave to go to work as he was peaking.  Finally got through at 1150 UTC for #99.

November 7
Worked Per LA7FDA.  Per immediately confirmed in LOTW - WooHoo #98.   During the evening, the 160m band was wide open to EU.  I was able to work OH2, LY.

November 5
So far no luck on 3C1L on 160m.  There were a couple of days when the DX was strong.   Now trying VK9MA on 80m.  VK9 peaked between 0730 -0745 local time but no luck.  At least PZ5K confirmed in Clublog and I have now sent OQRS.    OX/OZ1LXJ has not posted to LOTW sent email when he might upload to LOTW.

October 31
Just worked PZ5K on 80 for #146.  Chatted with him and thanked him for both QSOs on 160 and 80 which were both new one in the ON4KST chat room. RI1ANO South Shetland Is. just confirmed in LOTW for #147 on 80m

October 30
Just worked PZ5K at 0911 on 30OCT at 1.828 MHz for #97

October 25
RI1F Franz Josef Land just confirmed in LOTW for #96.  Saw CT1 and TZ4 in the cluster, both needed entities, also Uruguay but nothing active on the RBN that I need.

October 23
Gee whiz - 3COL was loud last night but the dog pile was deep.  No luck.  Guess 3CO will have t wait for 80/160 - doubt I will get through the pileups.  OX/OZ1LXJ is still working top band.  I worked him again for insurance.

October 19
The pileups on 3C0L have been merciless on 160m.  The DX operator is very good but I can't figure out his pattern.   They are not on the air tonight near 0000 UTC.   But who knows they might be on later.  OX/OZ1LXJ is on 160m working simplex - a needed entity.  This is for #96.  QRZ says that he will have a log search option later and he looks to be uploading to LOTW.   It was a clean QSO though so it should be good.

October 15
160m antenna is down.   Need the weekend for repairs.  RI1F/EU-190 has confirmed in Clublog and a QSL card has been requested.  This is for #95

6 October
Worked RI1F at 0156 UTC on 160m on 07OCT.   He has not uploaded any logs yet into Clublog.   Hopefully this is #95.

3 October
H40GC worked as a new one on 160m on 1.822 at 11:09 on 01OCT17, Count is now up to 94.  Now also confirmed in Clublog and QSL requested

26 September
5T5OK and FP/G7VJR both confirmed in Clublog and QSLs have been requested.   Count is now up to 93.  Finally got 5T5OK last night on 160m.

24 September
5W0RA is lurking out there.  AA1K heard him this morning way past my sun rise.   He might be stronger just at my sunrise. Intelligence says 1123 is near peak for sunrise - as AB4I spotted him with a 559 signal in SW VA.

23 September
Not much luck tonight.  Saw Mali being spotted TZ4AM - he was able to work some Europeans.  Lots of callers from NA - but he was so weak.  He sounds like he is there buried in the static crashes - not copyable though.  Better luck next time.  5T5OK is out there but resorted to FT8 after not really hearing anything on CW.  Jeff TZ4AM switched over to 40 CW.  I needed Mali on that band.   Switched over to the the vertical and was able to get Jeff.

Friday, November 10, 2017

2017 Field Day Results - Drum Roll Please

The 2017 Field Day results are to be published in the December QST.

This is how our club did ..........  12th place overall in the 2A classification, tops in SC and 2nd in Roanoke ARRL Division.   We got beat by another NC station.  We beat the station that beat us in 2016 but another NC took the leader position.  The margin was only 244 points.   We did better than last year's overall position (16th) versus this year (12th)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

New ATNO #306 Burundi 9U4M

I am not sure they have amplifiers yet because they are not that strong - esp. on 20m.  I did get lucky on 30m.    It took a few repeats for him to copy my signal.

This is from their website:

"Hallo everybody

So, despite any more difficulties we are on air. As the world of hams knows we arrived in Bujumbura with all the permissions and licences signed and approved but the local authorities of customs  stop all the equipments (antennas and radios) tho check one by one and this formal step take time, much time..hi

Anyway we made our best, believe us, put up  3 home made antennas, switch on 3 radios and startend already Monday Evening to made many qsos.

The latest news are quite good and we are very confident that all the equipments will be out from the custom deposit tomorrow,Wednesday in the late morning

Keep on touch ad listen listen,all the 9U4M waiting for you!!

Ciao de Antonio and Gab"

So apparently they have a makeshift operation until Wednesday when their amplifiers and antennas arrive.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Back in the Saddle - Lowband Update

It has been a while since I worked DX.  Mauritania 5T5OK is on the air running only 100W.   I was able to get them with just a few calls on 80m CW.    They were loud at my QTH this evening.  They were much louder than FP/M0BLF at the moment.   I need both for 160m but my 160m antenna is showing high SWR.  I need to inspect the matchbox/balun - I suspect there is water inside from Irma.  The 80m balun appears to be well behaved.

Well after the inspection, a tree limb took down the antenna.  After the repair, the antenna is back up and running again on top band

I was able to work FP/DH5FS on 80m but could not bust the pileup on FP/M0WUT.  Still waiting for FP to get back on top band.  They appear to be on coffee break.   5T5OK I can hear even when they only have 100W but they can't seem to hear my KW.

Finally got Michael FP/G7VJR on 160.  This brings the 160m total to 92.     Still working on 5T5OK.