Wednesday, July 29, 2015

VY2AJ

Jeff Briggs - VY2ZM- just emailed me.  I went into the Industry Canada website and did a lookup under my expected call sign.  It appears - Industry Canada has processed my application and I am now a holder of a Canadian Call Sign.  This entitles me to all bands on HF with a 200 watt power limit.  I would have to pass the Advanced Qualification to get the full Canadian legal limit power of 1000 watts



Saturday, July 25, 2015

South Carolina Takes Top State in 13 Colonies

FP/NY4G Log Uploaded to LOTW

The first batch of direct cards have been mailed.    The first batch of Buro cards will be mailed this week.  638 confirmations were downloaded through LOTW.

Also a video slideshow about the recent travels to VY2 and FP  has been uploaded to YouTube





Many thanks to all who have supported team NY4G/VY2 and FP/NY4G

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

OQRS Direct Is Now Active for FP/NY4G

I actually prefer direct - though I neglected to turn on that option in Clublog

Update from Saint Pierre - Day 9 - Now QRT

The last upload has been made to Clublog and i am now enroute to Halifax

There were a total of 2024 QSO's

If you cannot find our QSO in Clublog please send me an email.  Perhaps it is just a recording error on my part.  The signals are very light copy and sometimes I hear the wrong prefix or suffix.

Thanks for the QSO's.  I am very pleased with how the French treated me in Saint Pierre.

Special Thanks:

(1) a Madame Josette Dodeman parce que elle est tres gentil avec moi que je puis mettre une antenne exteriure de maison tous les jour.

(2) Un nouveau ami Jean Pierre Carrere FP5CJ que il a m'aidez avec un "power supply" que marche and beaucoup des autre chose.

(3) To Bill, Tom, Matt, Paul  and Bob for the great moral support and for helping me find times to work difficult paths to JA and VK


Jusqua le prochaine fois - au revoir Saint Pierre et Miquelon

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Update from Saint Pierre - Day 8

In the log are 1803 including the late additions of W4HKZ and N4MMW.  Today I plan to break 2000 QSOs.  Today is my last full day on the island.

Band/Mode breakdown


BandPHCWRTTYTotalTotal %
401216021712.0%
300457045725.3%
203816982845.8%
1711238125013.8%
150570573.2%
Totals151784101809

DXCC by Band/Mode breakdown

PHCWRTTYTotal
40123024
30045045
20149249
17632132
15017017
Totals760260

Daily QSOs (last 30 active) [Clickable]

DateTotal QSOsUniquesUniques %
21-07-2015512956.9
20-07-201527618968.5
19-07-201528918463.7
18-07-201514511780.7
17-07-201513910273.4
16-07-201530625884.3
15-07-201528824986.5
14-07-201526223690.1
13-07-2015535094.3
Totals1809141478.2

Continent By Band


Band4030201715TotalTotal %
AF05520120.7%
AN0000000.0%
AS048481613.4%
EU562953461374387748.5%
NA155151466621384746.8%
OC2000020.1%
SA42310100.6%
Totals217457828250571809
Europe has overtaken North America



Jean Pierre Carrere FP5CJ to the Rescue

From my previous post you have learned that my Gamma Research power supply main board bit the dust.  No resettable fuse.  At least, the guys at Gamma Research promised to repair it for free when I return.  The little power supply at least did a yeoman's job of getting 1700 QOs in the log.

I did not have many options but to call Jean Pierre on the telephone.  He was having lunch at the time.  He answered "Ariel - how are you? in English".  I said "Jean Pierre- I have a problem - mon power supply n'est marche pas.  Can you lend me a power supply till the end?"  He said "I will bring a power supply after lunch.  About 2:00 PM, he promptly showed up and lent me his brand new Alinco DM-330MV.  The same that I have at home which has given me good service.

I stripped the power poles from one end and in 5 minutes I was back in business.  However, the moisture from the salt air and moisture was wreaking havoc with power line noise and there was a steady high pitched 1000 Hz hum that was S3.  I decided to get a late lunch in town to see if the wind can dry off the power lines a little later.

That came to fruition as 30m had dead quiet background noise.  I called CQ on 30m and there was a non stop pileup for 2 hours.  That afternoon and evening I was able to make 330 or so contacts between 30m and 40m bands

Later that evening, I just got in bed about 11:30 and I got a text from Paul W4FC.  W4FC said, "Ken W4HKZ and Jimmy N4MMW are QRV on 20m phone at 14277.  Their noise floor has dropped to S3.  Are you willing to give it a try" I texted back and said "Yes, I will go out into the wet and windy night, retune the antenna from 40m to 20m and will be QRV in 10 minutes."  So I put my goin outside clothes on and retuned the radiator and counterpoise for 20m.  Murphy always chooses the best moments to try to foil me.  The counterpoise wires got tangled in the reels.  I said to myself, don't panic and slow down.  Surely, I was able to untangle the counterpoise wire went back inside and turned the VFO to 14277 USB.  "CQ Whiskey Four Hotel Kilo Fox from Fox Papa Stroke November Yankee Four Golf - are you there?  I heard , "yes Ariel, you are about 5 and 5 hear in South Carolina, this is Jimmy N4MMW".  I said "Jimmy you are also 5 by 5 here - where is Ken?"  It turned out Ken was on the wrong antenna.  Then I heard "This is Ken, you are 5x5 here Ariel".  I answered back - "good Ken - you are also 5x5"  I also said "When the weather is good here in the summer in Saint Pierre, it is like late spring in South Carolina.  When the weather is bad here, it like winter in South Carolina about 40 Fahrenheit, windy and wet.  Tonight is one of theose nights.  I am going back to bed 73"

Later I got a note from Paul that I have a couple of happy hams from Taylors SC.  That surely made my day as well.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Four Strikes For Murphy

Strike 1:  The battery charger does not work.  Fortunately I had a full charge on the batteries allowing me to have QSOs at Langlade.

Strike 2:  The connector for the solar panel went MIA.  Looked in the bag - nope not there.  Where could it be.  I found it lying in the grass next to the picnic table after cleaning and taking everything down.  Too late - the boat will be arriving in a half hour.  It won't be enough time to charge the batteries anyway.

Strike 3:  Missing RCA cord for my keyer.  I left it at Prince Edward Island.  Actually Bill mistakenly thought it belonged to Ken.  I should have checked but did not.  450 QSOs were done the old fashioned way - by hand using a paddle.  I did find an RCA cord with 3.5 mm stereo plug on one end at the only electronics shop in the island.

Strike 4:  Something blew in my power supply while transmitting RTTY to Jan JJ2RCJ.  I heard a loud pop.  The radio appears to be working OK.  The powergate kicked in with the residual power from the batteries. On the bright side - he got the QSO.  On the dark side - I am dead in the water unless Jean Pierre FP5CJ can loan me a suitable power supply.  I have enough power to run QRP fr about 6 hours but that won't be much fun.  The propagation right now is terrible on 20m.

Hopefully Murphy is finished with me.

Update from Saint Pierre - Day 7

No great photos to share this time.  I was so tired from my trip to Langlade that I slept for 9 hours.  I always look forward to breakfast.  Josette always has a big basket of bread and croissants, a few cups of coffee and a small shot gas of orange juice waiting for me in the morning.

The day was spent mostly in front of the radio.  It was a rainy day.  I still got in about 6 thousand steps of walking trying to find some lunch.  Today is Sunday and everything is closed.  Sandwich shops open in the evening at 6 pm. Y'a t'il un sandwich shop pres de la maison s;appelle Frangals.  It is a small family run shop where they actually have cold sodas.  The general store has a huge rack of sodas but it is not refrigerated.

The one thing that stands out about the life in Saint Pierre by the locals is that revolves around the family.  You see them on Sunday riding their bikes with their children or taking a walk on the mountain despite the foul weather.

I took advantage of an opening on 15 meters and logged about 50 or so contacts.

30m was especially good today during which I had a good run of over 100 QSOs in a pileup

Hopefully I can muster generating pileups in my last two days

I managed to make a few QSO's on 17m phone and Bob ND7J also tried to make contact but was unsuccesful.  Bob did manage to make a QSO on 20m via a SKED before posting myself on the cluster.

I tried to do some 80m but the band noise was S3 even in Saint Pierre.  WM4AA said the band noise in the Carolinas was S4.  With my puny signal buried in the noise, no chance.  I had not really planned to do 80m and I published as such on my website in the operating plan but 80m is so rare for Saint Pierre that I had to at least try.  Matt WM4AA listened for me but could not hear my signal.  Bruce WA8IQF, listened and heard a couple of W1s trying to call me but I could not hear them.  I got an email from some Japanese hams requesting 80m.

The ideal DXpedition to Saint Pierre and Miquelon is to have a team erect some tall verticals near the ocean for the low bands in the fall and it would have to be in Miquelon.  An 80m inverted L and a 40m 4-square would be ideal.  The high bands can suffice with either CrankIRs or dedicated monoband SVDAs.   The Auberge de L'ile in Miquelon is a promising location.  Bill Rodgers K3HZP is staying there for the weekend and will ask the owner to host a future DXpedition team.  Bill and I shared some time together at the Dodeman B&B.  He brought along his PFR QRP rig and a random wire.  I even saw him posted on the cluster (even with his 5 watts) - so I know L'Auberge in Miquelon is a good site for propagation.  An operation in Langlade will have to be a tent and generator operation.  The only way to do the above is by car.  Drive all the equipment to Sydney, Nova Scotia and take the 8 hour ferry boat ride from Sydney to Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland and then drive all the equipment to Fortune, Newfoundland and then take the ferry from Fortune to Miquelon with all the gear.  This would only be possible with the help of the local hams like Jean Pierre Carrere and one would have to recruit them as part of the team.  It has not been since 2004 for the last major DXpedition (by VE7SV and team) to Saint Pierre and Miquelon when they generated over 59000 QSOs.

Band/Mode breakdown


BandPHCWRTTYTotalTotal %
40114601479.6%
300326032621.3%
201749975949.6%
1711232024315.9%
150560563.7%
Totals13150991531

Continent By Band


Band4030201715TotalTotal %
AF03520100.7%
AN0000000.0%
AS037461573.7%
EU301753101354269245.2%
NA112143434591376149.7%
OC2000020.1%
SA3231090.6%
Totals147326759243561531


 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Update from Saint Pierre Day 5


Set up on the beach on Langlade

This is perhaps the highlight of my trip - a DXpedition within a DXpedition.  Langlade is a most picturesque place especially for nature lovers, bicyclists, or just to enjoy a day away from civilization.  Miquelon is a 25 km bicycle ride.  The first few miles on the trail is rough with sand and rocks which then gives way to a paved road for most of the way.  The trip to Miquelon by bicycle is into the wind - so be prepared to do battle with a headwind.  If you come back early in the afternoon - the wind is at your back and one can cruise along almost effortlessly.


Above we are just leaving the port of Saint Pierre


It was a 2 hour ride in the Catamaran La Jeune France.  It was quite cold that morning with a brisk wind and I took shelter in the enclosed cabin below.  The ocean views were spectacular with the chance sighting of a whale blowing water  in the distance.  Here is a very unique rock formation on Langlade.  There are only a dozen or so families that live on the island - mostly to cater to the daily visitors.


The way to get on the island is via zodiac boat.  If you are not careful getting off - you will get very wet.


Here we are leaving the big boat La Jeune France - headed for the island of Langlade.  It is not a separate IOTA but still listed as part of NA-032


A chance meeting with Jean Pierre Carrere - a local ham - one of a handful.  His call sign is FP5CJ.  He and his wife were traveling to Miquelon by car to relax.


.
With my counterpoise radial pointed north - the 17m band exploded with S9 signals from Japan.  I got an email from JA1FNO courtesy of Paul Greaves W4FC stating that I was a strong 579 into JA land even with only 50 watts.  I was able to work 53 JAs in the short period of time I had battery power.  (I had lost my connector to the solar panel which would have extended my operation.  I found it a little bit later (too late) lying in the grass).  The propagation was so good into JA that when the wind blew my antenna down onto the beach I was still able to make QSOs until I relaized something was amiss.  Some JA stations are smiling now that they have FP into their logs which is quite rare for them.  Here is the breakdown by continent.

ContinentTotal QSOs%
Africa80.7
Asia534.4
Europe48840.9
North America63553.3
Oceania20.2
South America60.5
Totals1192100.

Daily totals.  Almost exclusively CW.  I was too tired from the trip to Langlade to partake in the NAQP RTTY Contest.

Daily QSOs (last 30 active) [Clickable]

DateTotal QSOsUniquesUniques %
18-07-201514511780.7
17-07-201513910273.4
16-07-201530625884.3
15-07-201528824986.5
14-07-201526223690.1
13-07-2015525096.2
Totals1192101284.9

Band/Mode breakdown


BandPHCWRTTYTotalTotal %
401930947.9%
300211021117.7%
200695970459.1%
170183018315.4%
Totals1118291192
According to the Clublog tools - I was a new DXCC for 48% of my contacts.  which makes me very happy.

Expedition Impact On Users' Totals (info)


Band1608060403020171512106TotalTotal %
New Band0004713100002528.7%
New Mode00000810000910.3%
New Band + New Mode0000220000044.6%
New Slot0000070000078.0%
New DXCC0005925300004248.3%
Totals000918555000087