Sunday, September 22, 2013

#174 Tonga A35JP

40m is a great band for gray line propagation.  For a half an hour between 7 and 730 EDT he was so weak for good copy.  At 0735 he became much clearer - of course this is with the attenuators on to bring down the static and improve the signal to noise ratio, He finally answered and copied my call and returned a thank you 599.  I was running the linear at about 1200 watts of TX power.

Monday, September 16, 2013

#173 Svalbard JW/DL55E

Well this was one of those DX I should not have seen.  It was not supposed to be receivable based on the spots.  Hence, it pays to listen.  He was working a small pileup on 20m, frequency 14006 and was easily copiable if one were to turn off the preamp and dig him out of the noise.  The call sign was JW/DL55E.  This needed the linear as well just to make sure I can be heard.  The DX was working split - listening 1 kHz up.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

# 172 YB0AI INDONESIA and #171 V6G Micronesia

Saw the spot first thing in the morning and not to many callers on 40m SSB on 7130. I promptly turned on the linear. Called him first at 1030UTC. Wow - the power meter was peaking at 1500 watts. That L4B is a quite the horse. I thought he heard me and gave him a 5-5 report but I did not hear my report. He was getting louder 6 minutes later and I decided to call him again at 1036 UTC. This time he gave me a 5-5 also and confirmed my call sign. Texted WM4AA and N0TR and posted a spot into the spotting cluster.

#171 was another early morning QSO when 40m is really long into the South Pacific.  I had to go to work and I had merely minutes before my deadline to leave for work at 1047 UTC.  He finally heard me in the pileup on 9/10/2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Camping in the North Carolina Mountains

View from the Fire Tower - clear shot into the 146.610 repeater and made contact with Stacy N4OVQ using a handheld transceiver

Friday, September 6, 2013

Great Day on the Blue Ridge Parkway with Folding Hexbeam

WM4AA and I set up for HF DX contacts on the portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway just north of Pisgah Inn by about 3 miles. As can be seen in the photos, we set up the folding Hexbeam right next to the ridge drop off.

It was a great public awareness tool for amateur radio. One out of every 5 cars stopped by to inquire what we were doing. They were so surprised to find out that people still use Morse Code. Even the state park ranger stopped by. He was a ham himself. We got asked some really strange questions like "Are you guys with the NSA?

We made some good contacts to fill out our DXCC slots in the high bands. The 15m and 17m bands were good at making contacts. We even called CQ DX and were answered by many stations.

Our station consists of a K2/100 with LDG ZLPro ATU running 100 watts and a single lever N3ZN paddle and worked exclusively CW.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Interesting DX the Last 2 Weeks

Ever since acquiring the Drake L4B Linear - I have added 24 new DX entities.  All these new ones were worked using the K2/100 transceiver.

I got the Drake on August 7, 2013.  I could not really employ it effectively on multiple bands until I got the high power tuner.  But no problem - my antenna is resonant on 40m CW and close to being resonant on 20m.

#145 - On August 9 I added Saudi Arabia HZ1TT on 20m phone - I just ran this barefoot on the K2
#146 - same day - added Faroe Island OY/DL3UB on 40m CW - again still barefoot on the K2
#147 - August 10 - early in the morning before work - found El Salvador YS1/N3PJ on 30m - barefoot on the K2
#148 - August 13 - in the evening East Coast time - bagged Jordan JY5HX on 20m CW -100W on K2

After this point I have the Palstar AT2K 1.5kW tuner
#149 - August 15 - found 9K2GS on 20m phone - first time to use the amp and ran it at the legal limit 1500W
#150 - August 17 - late evening on 30m - found Bahrain A92IO.  Running barefoot K2 on the 45ft EFHW.  He also confirmed me on LOTW
#151 - Same evening - heard Anguilla VP2ETE on 20m CW - ran the linear at 1000w to get him fighting against QRM.  I contacted him again 2 weeks later on 10m phone.
#152 - same evening - 8/17 was a great day - heard French Polynesia (Tahiti) and ran 500w to get him
#153 - Were not done on 8/17 just yet - found New Caledonia FK8CE on 20m CW (He later confirmed me on LOTW)
#154 - Still not done with 8/17 - found New Zealand on 20m CW - ZL6LH - I have worked New Zealnd 3 times before but this is the first time I got confirmed in LOTW - so this was as good as the first contact
#155 - August 17 - final one for a very productive day  - found Armenia EK6TA on 20m phone running 600W

It was not until a couple of days later for the first time new contact.
#156 - On August 19 - heard Kryzgystan in a pileup - on 20m CW - worked him with 500 watts
#157 - Minutes later it was Qatar A71CM on 20m CW just a couple of clicks away on the band scope

It was a few days later till another new one turned up.  This time it was a one man DXpedition into Palestine E44PM.  The pileups were huge.  He was working this DXpedition with a K2/100 and a KAT100 which is a basic rig.  A fine CW rig but it does not have the DSP technology of today's modern rigs.  Regardless, he worked 19700+ QSO's by himslef over the period of about a week.  I managed to work him on 40, 30 and 20 and confirmed me in Clublog and LOTW.  I consider myself lucky.  My first contact was on 8/21.  That was #158.

August 22 - finally got Guam on 20m CW KH2L.  He also confirmed me on LOTW (a double bonus) That was #159

August 23 was another good day as I managed to bag 3 new contacts on the same day.
#160 - Chad TT8/US3EZ on 20m CW again running about 500 watts
#161 - Ceuta and Mellilla EA9UG on 20m CW running 500 watts
#162 - Ivory Coast TU5DF on 30m CW running about 75 watts

The next day I heard Guernsey MU0FAL on 30m CW and worked him with about 100w.  That was #163

The following day I worked Lebanon on 20m phone OD5ZZ running about 1000w to make the contact.  That was #164

On August 27, I saw Falkland Islands on the cluster spot and worked hin on 20m phone - running about 1000watts.  #165

On August 29, I worked the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador VP8LP on 20m phone - which was #166

On August 30 worked Samoa 5W1SA - very early in the morning on 20m CW - about 9 AM UTC (that was 5 am EDT) and very faint and in the noise floor - we managed to make contact - I was running 1000 watts and he gave me a 339 report.  That was #167

On Labor day playing with the KX3 on the Hexbeam - with the beam pointed Northeast towards Europe.  I was in the truck with the KX3 and the litlle Hardrock50 was pushing about 25 watts from the 3 watts drive I gave it and the station in San Marino was loud calling CQ with just a few takers - and was working simplex.  I gave a him a couple of calls with the KX3 and with my 6 dB of gain - I probably sounded like a barefoot rig - 100watts in power.  I gave my call NY4G.  He returned with NY? a couple of times.  He decided to pass me over and proceeded to call CQ.  Well I said to myself, if I am gonna get a new one - I will need to run some power.  I ran inside to the basement shack and fired up the K2 and the linear.  With the right hand dialing in the frequency 14023 dot 3 and the left hand turning on the wall switch to the linear.  I found him in about 30 seconds flat - still calling CQ.    I switched the tuner to the dummy load and proceeded to peak the load at about 800 watts.  FI flipped the tuner switch back to the band and gave him a couple of calls. He replied back NY4? agn? I gave my call a couple more times and he gave me 539 report and I gave him a 559 report thank you and 73.  Well that was #168.

#169 was Market Reef near the Philippines OJ0W on 9/8/2013. Another early morning QSO on 40m at near 1100 UTC

#170 was Bolivia CP4BT.  I was trying to make a phone contact in pileup on another station when I saw the spot on Bolivia pop up.  I quickly switched to the CW portion of the band on VFO B and I was able to work him simplex.on 9/9/13

Please stay tuned as the count to 200 continues.