Saturday, December 26, 2015

QRP DXCC Challenge - 100 DXCC in 100 Days

Participants So Far

W4NL  Lynn
N1DAY  David
VY2AJ/W4 Ariel
N3CZ Vlad
N4LAG Andy
KF4BY Stan
W2DGJ Dave
KW4JM Scott
K4SV Dave
W4KA Dave

Starting January 1st 2016, We will be embarking on a Challenge to work (not confirm) 100 DXCC entities in 100 days or less.


(1) Power is to be no more than 5 watts in whatever mode you choose.  Most modern rigs will allow the power to be turned down to QRP levels

(2) Modes:  Any mode, JT65, CW, PSK31, RTTY or Phone (VHF, UHF, SSB).  Cross mode CW in SSB portion of the band is allowed.  However, be careful as some consider this to be QRM and let your ethics rule here.  Example:  If one party is calling CQ on SSB and you answer on CW by giving your call - and he answers your call - this is OK.  Vice versa SSB on CW band will not work and may be considered deliberate QRM.  Only certain rigs can do CW on SSB - e.g. KX3, KX1, HB1B, FT817   etc.

(3) Bands - Any of the amateur bands - including 160m, 2m are at play.  Propagation is direct skywave with no use of repeaters on VHF/UHF.

(4) All amateur antennas, homebrewed or commercial are allowed.  No restrictions.

(5) Time limit:  There is no time limit.  However, the elapsed time based on your log will be posted on your certificate.  The goal is still to do it in 100 days or less

(6) Logs:  Use of the ARRL QRP/DXCC record sheet is encouraged.  However, a spreadsheet that contains the same information will also do.  The first log entry will have a date as early as 1/1/2016 but not earlier.  Please submit your logs to me either electronically or by snail mail upon completion of 100 DXCC entities.

(7) Spotting assistance, use of the cluster is also allowed.   Being QRP, this is not to your advantage, since by the time they are spotted, and even if it is semi-rare, you will have difficulty breaking the pileup.  DO NOT TURN UP THE POWER KNOB.  Use of dedicated QRP rigs with power limited to QRP levels is encouraged.

(8) If you are using a special QRP rig, key or antenna for this purpose and wish to incorporate that graphic into your certificate - please submit a JPEG of such items:  Examples Argonaut 515, Heath HW08, K1, K2, KX3, FT817, Magnetic Loops. etc.

(9) Awards:  A framed and matted certificate - 11x14 see example below will be given to each participant who reaches the 100 DXCC entity goal.  If you wish to get the ARRL QRP DXCC Award, in addition send me a check for $10 payable to the ARRL to cover the ARRL processing fee, along with the ARRL DXCC QRP Application form - signed and dated.  You will get your ARRL Certificate in the mail.  Subsequently you will be added to the list of QRP/DXCC holders which is updated yearly in December


(10) Eligibility:  You don't have to be a member of SCDXA, NCDXCC or Greer Amateur Radio Club to join.  Any reader of this blog who has a radio amateur license is free to join.  However there is an entry deadline of December 31, 2015.  Certificates for any DX entries, or any radio amateur outside of SCDXA, NCDXCC or GARC will be mailed electronically as a PDF file.


The NCDXCC, SCDXA, and Greer Amateur Radio Club reflectors can be used to post any interim progress.  Tho progress reports will be posted on this blog.


David Day's - directional and gain magnetic loop

Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 Year in Review

PIt is Christmas Eve and I decided to put some time in for reflection over things that happened in 2015.  Of course there was much anticipation for the summer as we were scheduled to go to Prince Edward Island for the IARU HF Championship.

I worked 24 new DXCC entities in 2015.  It is smaller than previous years but still significant.

Since I first received my HF privileges in 2010 - 2010 was slow
2010 - 9 New DXCC
2011 - 84 New DXCC - this really was my first year trying to accumulate DXCC
2012 - 30 New DXCC - things slowed down as I tried to get my QRP-DXCC
2013 - 81 New DXCC - the year of the linear amplifier over 100 watts
2014 - 55 New DXCC
2015 - 24 New DXCC

Field Day June 28 from Holden Beach with Mat WM4AA  - mae about 300 QSOs

July 4th Week - Our State Team won the 13 Colonies with 15624 QSO's - I contributed a mere 917

July 8 to July 13, 2015 On to PEI -  Scored 633000 points for the IARU HF Championship as a team N4IQ, ND7J, AC4Q and NY4G.  Our call was NY4G/VY2.  All in all 1755 QSOs were made with this call sign..  Worked 80 countries and confirmed 61

July 14 to July 20, 2015 - On the St. Pierre and Miquelon - 2025 QSO, Worked 66 countries and confirmed 57

October 13-28, 2015 - Went to Turkey and had one day to make QSO;s - made 11 QSOs as TA3/NY4G.  Only had a couple of hours to operate.

December 2 to Dec 9 - Went to Turkey a second time and made 50 more QSOs during the one free day that I had.

Going by the numbers to close out the year 281 confirmed - with 3 more in the works.

New LoTW QSLsLoTW QSLs in ProcessDXCC Credits AwardedTotal
Mixed *40275279279
CW *60264270270
Phone *10122123123
80M *00115115115
40M *10157158158
30M *30129132132
20M *20200202202
17M *20132134134
15M *30147150150
12M *30110113113
10M *10132133133
Challenge *1501156---1171
5-Band *---------------
5-Band 17M *---------------
5-Band 30M *---------------
5-Band 12M *---------------

* = Award has been issued

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

100 DXCC in 100 Days QRP Challenge

It can be done.  Dave Anderson proved it by working 100 countries inside of 2 months with 1/10 the power.    Here is the note from Dave Anderson from 2014:

"Hi Everyone,

As you know a challenge has been thrown before you work 100 DXCC countries using any mode or band.  There is no time limit since this is a personal challenge between yourself and the elements.

I completed my personal challenge today.  I learned how to crafty, cunning and cleaver in the way I had to work the DX stations.  With only 500 millawatts you can not waste them.  I think the tactics that I learned to get the other guy to hear my signal will help when I use higher power levels.

The log has more than 100 DXCCs in it because I made some duplicate country contacts and I had to run 12 watts for two stations 9M6 and BD to work them.  There is at least 100 good 500 millawatt QSOs.

I trust all of you are doing well.

Best 73
Dave Anderson, K4SV
Tryon, NC"

In fairness, however, Dave was running a very powerful SteppIR at 90 feet.  I am guessing a DB36 which has a gain of 7 dBi on 40m to 10dBi on 20m which I also assume is from free space.  Ground reflectance will probably boost this another few dBi.  A dipole is about 2 dBi in free space.  His 1/2 watt is still close to 2 watts in free space and perhaps closer to 4 watts with ground reflection.  His accomplishment is still impressive all things considered since we would still be running higher ERP effective radiated power with our dipoles and beams with 5 watts.  With ground reflection on a hexbeam - 5 watts is closer to 40 watts ERP.   Our dipoles will be running close to 20 watts ERP.

So as the old saying goes, the best way to improve your station is antennas, antennas, antennas, high and in the clear.

Monday, December 21, 2015

K1 Filter Board Complete

Passed all resistance checks.  I did initially put the X1 crystal in the wrong place and had to unsolder it.  That was the only Snafu.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

New QRP Rig Project

This was a nice little 2 hour project.  It transmits in 20m, 30m, and 40m.  30m TX requires a jumper mod.   It has remarkable sensitivity.  The paddle (not part of the kit) is a Palm Mini Paddle semi permanently mounted to the side with double sided adhesive.  It is CW only and weighs 300 grams.  Audio is by headset only.  It has 10 memories.  The build instructions are not the greatest but if you are an experienced kit builder - no worries.  With a small lithium iron phosphate battery, the whole thing weighs in at about 2 lbs.  everything fits into my little bag including the headset.  I have gotten out into NM and Puerto Rico with it RF wise (no not physically silly).  My first contact was AG4T.  With an Alexloop - you can climb mountains with it and not carry more than 4 lbs antenna included.  Just lash the Alexloop to your hiking pole. The video shows both the audio and the RF out on the QRP wattmeter.

Solution to Balancing DX and Chaser Audio in a Pileup

The solution involves purchasing a 2 line mixer.  The input are the channels of VFO-A and VFO-B which are streaming simultaneously.    The output goes to a Bravo headset amplifier which amplifies both signals.  The inputs can also be balanced with gain controls on the mixer,  Furthermore you can adjust the EQ on both signals for better inteligibility.   When the chasers gets too loud I just move the slider to squelch down the audio from that VFO.  Once I home in on where I think the DX is listening, I just leave the chasers squelched down and concentrate on the DX audio.  This way I can hear him clearly when he answers me.  While searching for the QSX frequency, I up the volume of the chasers to hear clearly which station answers the DX.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Maiden Voyage of EK1A QRP Rig

am surprised this worked at all with such poor instructions - parts list not matching the build and photos not matching the kit.  Photo had one less relay.  But I have built several kits so that experience paid off.  The connections for the toroids was lacking and I had to guess which holes to put the leads in.  But it worked surprisingly well.  I had a QSO with AG4T.  Wattmeter says 5 watts out.  The rubber feet are missing.  The nut for the final FET mounting to the heat sink is also missing.  

Saturday, December 5, 2015

DXing as TA3/NY4G


As viewed from the 28th Floor facing the Aegean Sea from Izmir, Turkey.    Sunday propagation was decent and made about 50 QSOs including 4 Qs across the big pond into the eastern US including Dave Stansell W4KA.  With 10 watts on a vertical dipole - it is not easy to make it across.  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

ATNOs #283 and #284 Mount Athos and Guinea Bissau

I had been monitoring the cluster for J52HF.  He only operates in his spare time and sometimes for just a few hours a day.  There were days when I missed him for about 30 minutes after he had gone QRT.  I got lucky on the 28th as he gave 15m a second try and I was sitting by the rig when he started calling CQ.   Only a few callers later and he QSYd to 10m.  He was too faint on 10m to copy.  I heard him for a few minutes but before I got the band tuned on the amplifier - he was gone,

Fighting the pileups on Mount Athos was something fierce.  Monk Apollo is a good CW operator and he made a lot of QSOs. Bernie W3UR gave us a heads up that he would be operating for a couple of days.  I finally made it into the pileup on the last day,  WM4AA and I were texting each.

other the whole time.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Rwanda 9X0NH ATNO #282

At 1909 UTC on 20m CW 14.025 MHz  - Great Op

Just confirmed in LOTW 11/23/15

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Willis Island VK9WA In the Log - ATNO #281

Along with others in my immediate circles - VK9WA is in the log.  This is ATNO for me and #281 on my DXCC.   Here is an image taken by a drone.

This DXpedition has been a tough one for me - seems like whenever they are workable from my QTH they are working some other region of the world.

Other news:

DXCC Desk completed my application so I should be getting a sticker for 275 - Mixed Mode and 200 for 20m

Friday, November 13, 2015

Propagation to Willis Island to Maidenhead EM85

Expedition is now sailing for Willis Island from Australia and will be MM for the next 30 hours.  I hope to hear them this weekend sometime.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Back Home Again - TT8AMO and 3W3MD in the log - both ATNOs

It is nice to be home again - the march to 300 begins now that the 275 milestone has been reached

#273 Comoros D67GIA Card received in the mail and confirmed in LOTW
#274 Brunei V85TL Card received in the mail
#275 ST2NH Sudan Card also received

This leaves the following pending receipt of a card

#276 T2GC confirmed in Clublog and card requested
#277 Cocos Keeling JA0JHQ/VK9C Card received
#278 TX3X Chesterfield Islands confirmed in the TX3X website
#279 TT8AMO Chad - worked him twice this morning (both confirmed in Clublog)
#280 3W3MD Vietnam - worked him once and heard my call sign confirmed clearly (also confirmed in the DXpedition on-line log)

That leaves me having missed the United Nations expedition 4U70UN while I was away in Turkey.  I am hearing 3B7FA on PSK63 bu I am not set up to transmit on PSK63 - so I will have to miss this one too - too many irons in the fire.  I am happy to get Vietnam and Chad for the time being.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

This will make McGyver proud - DXing as TA3/NY4G


I was told the windows in my 19th floor hotel room did not open so I did not bring a wire antenna.  Lesson learned here is never believe what other people tell you and always have a backup plan.

To a hammer everything looks like a nail.  To a ham anything that has metal in it looks like an antenna.  I repurposed a 25 foot extension cord into an antenna.  I stripped off the outside insulation and pulled out all three wires.  I connected the two of the three wires together into a 41 foot radiator and connected it to the center conductor of a BNC adapter.  I strung the 41 foot radiator out the window.  I then took the green wire, cut it down to about 16 feet and connected it to the shield of the BNC adapter as a counterpoise.  What I have now is an instant random wire that is tunable with the KX3 ATU from 40m to 10m.  It is actually near resonant on 20 and 40m.  I used the door as measuring stick.  I used the door handles for leverage in stripping off the thick insulation.  I used the band aids from my first aid kit as electrical tape to keep the wire joint together after splicing.

I then managed to work several Russians and one Slovenian.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Chesterfield Islands TX3X approaching QRT

The following members of the SCDXA are in the log

WM4AA - 15m ATNO
N0TR - 12m ATNO
NY4G - 15m and 17m ATNO
KU4XO - 8 slots ATNO
N4IQ - 6 slots
W4KA - 5 slots
N4BAF - 3 slots

Bob ND7J did not make it because of his work schedule.  Everybody I know tells me they were easier to work on SSB

I heard them last on 40m 7023 at 10:03 UTC on 11OCT.   The last update from their Facebook page is below:

UPDATE - Last night we experienced even stronger winds than what is now typical. One op reported his bed was moving during the night from the wind that was lifting his tent. We think he was dreaming as it was really several hundred hermit crabs carrying him to their nesting area.
Last report we have shows: SFI=80, A=56, K=3, the quality of the signals on this end have been marginal. We know that you are hearing us better than we’re hearing you. With the A having been as high as 77 it’s a miracle you hear us at all.
Last night we opened to NA on 40 SSB while competing with an “Over the Horizon Radar” that was about the same signal strength as most NA signals and atmospheric noise. This continued for about 2 – 3 hours before NA started building. Similar situation with EU, weak signals and radar interference. We appreciated Asia standing by during the NA and later EU openings. We had similar weak signal challenges on 30 meter CW, with signals out of EU mostly in the noise. We had good openings on 80 CW. We also had excellent openings on 20 CW to the UK, Nordics, and other northwest EU countries. Until now there’s been very little to no propagation to that region.
The ops are reporting working these long hours under the current conditions is very tiring and not much fun.
Since we’re in Asia’s back yard they have propagation the vast majority of time. They have about 44% of the contacts because we hear them during your propagation lulls, its a simple choice, work Asia or work nothing. While some of you think we’re ignoring NA and EU in favor of AS, the reality is propagation is erratic. Openings are not as obvious to us while we’re working what we can hear. We always call for NA – EU when we hear an opening to those geos.
All equipment and the generators continue to work very well. The Evohe crew has been very helpful with guy inspections and maintenance.
With 2 operating days remaining we’ll continue to look for NA and EU, and ask all geographies to call if only an All Time New One on any band.
Team Chesterfield Island DXpedition

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Trial of the Alex Loop

Band conditions were terrible. The  A index was 76 and Kp index was 7.  The only signal I can find was that of N6SL out of Florida.  He still heard me at 5 watts from a distance of 414 miles. Will have to try again when band conditions are better.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Chesterfield Islands

Here is an update from the Chesterfield team courtesy of Bernie W3UR

"The wind continues to blow. If you imagine being in a wind tunnel with a wind speed between 20 - 30 knots, and occasional stronger gusts you'll understand the challenges. Wind and tent noise makes it difficult to hear, even with cans, so we apologize for repeats. Sleeping is difficult because the tents are shaking. The pile-ups are energetic and orderly, THANK YOU. The team continues to be in good spirits and dealing with the situation as you would expect.

Safety is a priority - we're being overly cautious when it comes to taking chances with antennas. Today we installed the 2 SteppIR beams and tried to install the Battle Creek Special but the winds were too strong to complete the installation, The SteppIR are withstanding the wind and working well.

The tents are holding up well, the very deep sand requires us to pay constant attention to all guy wires and ground stakes.Placing 50 pound (22 kg) sand bags at the most critical guy points has helped immensely. Because of the rough seas the skipper will bring supplies to the island 2 times per day until the sea calms down. We are hoping for a break in the weather in 24 hours. Being on a tropical island you may not think about it being cold, but tonight it is cooling down and we're all wearing layers and jackets, however there has been very little rain.

The bands are in good condition, with excellent runs to all geography, we've had excellent openings and hope propagation continues to be favorable.

Team Chesterfield"

Sunday, September 27, 2015

W4DXCC 2015

Reunion with Krish W4KUV.  Krish gave a talk on the VU4KV expedition to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Krish with W4FC Paul Greaves. Paul hanging on to his prize - a Windows Tablet.

Me with fellow Swamp Fox Ted McDonald K7OM.   Ted has many radio amateur accomplishments - including #1 Honor Roll, 5 Band WAZ, 5 Band DXCC.

Vladimir N3CZ with his home brew loop for 20m.

The gathering at Calhouns.  Everybody had a blast.  In the group are Tom Witherspoon K4SWL, Howard W4PH, Phil AC4Q, Scott Carter KW4JM, Vlado N3CZ, Bob ND7J and Bill N4IQ with me taking the picture.

The whole thing was a blast.  Here are just a few highlights:

(1) Ed Benkis W2HTI (and fellow NCDXCC member) was the last man standing when it came time to honor the person with the most DXCC at 391

(2) Bernie W3UR (Of Daily DX fame) was the last man standing when it came time to honor the person with the most Challenge points at 3195

(3) Phil Florig W9IXX won a $700 discount towards an Expert SPE Linear Amplifier.

4) I won an Elecraft cap - kind of apropos to the Elecraft junkie that I am.

The contingent from the upstate included Fred K9PIN, George W4BUW, Paul W4FC, Bill N4IQ,  Bob ND7J, Phil AC4Q, Scott Carter KW4JM, Tom K4SWL, Howard W4PH, Dave Anderson K4SV, Sue Anderson, Ed W2HTI and Eileen KO4DI Benkis, Vlad N3CZ, Phil W9IXX, Gary Wise W8EEY, Lynn W4NL and Rosie Lamb KA4S, Jeff K4JAB, and Ron K4SSM,  I am quite sure I forgot a few.

Aside from Phil, none of us won anything big but we contributed towards future DXpeditions.  The boot camp was great and so were the presentations.  I also met Bob Barden MD0CCE from the Isle of Man (who I worked many a time from W4 and also  FP) who gave a talk with Alex Bartshore GD6IA  on "Working the World from EU".

Current DXpeditions Status

E6GG - 8 Bands
T2GC - 7 Bands - One on 20m in a big pileup - coming in long path loud into SC with beam pointed due east
Z21MG - 6 Bands - last one on RTTY in the contest
JA0JHQ/VK9C - 1 Band Only on 20m CW

22 band slots - so far - still hoping for 160m on E6GG

Friday, September 25, 2015

#277 In the Log - Cocos Keeling

This took a bit of work finding his pattern.  He was on 20m CW on 14.016 moving around in a somewhat predictable pattern.  Being a solo operation at 200 watts with not the biggest antennas - this was really a lot of work.  Hearing him answer clearly with my call was well worth the work

JA0JHQ/VK9C has gone QRT as of today 9/27/2015.  The information below is from his blog:

Sep/19  18MhzCW=154
Sep/20  21MhzCW=519 , 21MhzSSB=1  ,18MhzCW=1 : Condition was "FAIR !"
Sep/21  21MhzCW=418 ,14MhzCW=82 , 21MhzSSB=1, 14MhzSSB=2 
Sep/22  18MhzCW=325, 14MhzSSB=5 , 14MhzCW=3 ,10MhzCW=1
Sep/23  14MhzCW=93 , 14MhzSSB=2
              18MHZCW=278 : Condition was not good for 18Mhz before noon
Sep/24  10MhzCW=1 india !   18MhzCW=1
              24MhzCW=119 , 21MhzCW=159 14MhzCW=164
              SN=98  : Condition was  good for high bands !
Sep/25  24MhzCW=71,21MhzCW=197,28MhzCW=91,14MhzCW=281
Sep/26  24MhzCW=2 ,28MhzCW=1

I am glad to be one of the 281 20m QSO's on the 25th.  55% of the QSO's were to JA stations.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Have Tuvalu T2GC in the log - First Day

Tuvalu will be #276 for me.  I found them peeking through the greyline at 6:00 AM this morning on 30m CW on 10.105 MHz.  Things got really rolling at 7 AM as the pileup had grown as most of the east coast can hear them loudly.  I was glad to get them before the pileup got to be too big.   Tuvalu is an atoll in the Pacific.  It  is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa and Fiji. It comprises four reef islands and five true atolls.

I have since added 40m and 17m to the log.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Have Niue E6GG on 8 Bands - Most Since Navassa

The shoreline of Niue 

#8th Band - 80m 22Sept2015 CW 10:12 UTC confirmed in Clublog and LOTW
#7th Band - 10m 21Sept2015 CW 0:58 UTC - twice - confirmed in LOTW and Clublog
#6th Band - 40m 19Sept2015 CW 11:08 UTC -  confirmed in LOTW and Clublog
#5th Band - 12m 18Sept2015 CW 21:39 UTC - confirmed in LOTW and Clublog
#4th Band - 30m 18Sept2015 CW 11:04 UTC - confirmed in LOTW and Clublog
#3rd Band - 17m 17Sept2015 CW 20:24 UTC - confirmed in LOTW and Clublog
#2nd Band - 15m 17Sept2015 CW 20:19 UTC - confirmed in Clublog
#1st Band - 20m 17Sept2015 CW 20:18 UTC - confirmed in LOTW and Clublog

With 7 good operators - these guys are tearing up the bands and they are doing such a great job - they might run out of callers.

Z21MG - Zimbabwe - All Time New One

Time 18:42 UTC Band 17m  Mode CW 18.069
Time 20:40 UTC Band 20m  Mode CW 14.025
Time 18:10 UTC Band 10m Mode CW 28.030 24 Sept
Time 18:14 UTC Band 12m Mode CW 24.892 24 Sept

This is #275 WooHoo - Now Confirmed in Clublog

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Brunei - All Time New One

Made Contact 14:11 UTC on 40m 7.023 with V85TL

#266 XW1IC Laos confirmed in LOTW
#267 YB4IR/9 Indonesia 30m Confirmed in LOTW
#268 TI9/3Z9DX Cococ Island  Confirmed in LOTW
#269 ST2NH Sudan QSL Card Received
#270 E6ZS Niue Confirmed in LOTW
#271 JG8NQJ/JD1 Minami Torishima Confirmed in LOTW
#272 ET3AA Ethipia - Confirmed in LOTW
#273 D67GIA Comoros Island  - Now 3 Bands - confirmed in Clublog
#274 V85TL Brunei - ATNO and QSL request sent

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Comoros Island - All Time New One

Made contact #1 today on 20:15:06 UTC 15Sept2015 on 20m CW Mode
Made contact #2 on 20:44 UTC 16 Sept 2015 on 17m CW Mode
Made contact #3on 22:27 UTC 16 Sept 2015 on 15m CW Mode
Made contact #4 on 22:33 UTC 16 Sept 2015 on 20m CW (insurance)
All 4 contacts are now confirmed in Clublog

#266 XW1IC Laos confirmed in LOTW
#267 YB4IR/9 Indonesia 30m Confirmed in LOTW
#268 TI9/3Z9DX Cococ Island  Confirmed in LOTW
#269 ST2NH Sudan QSL Card Received
#270 E6ZS Niue Confirmed in LOTW
#271 JG8NQJ/JD1 Minami Torishima Confirmed in LOTW
#272 ET3AA Ethipia - Confirmed in LOTW
#273 D67GIA Comoros Island  - Now 3 Bands - confirmed in Clublog

Sunday, September 13, 2015

New Home for TS50

The audio filter arrived and everything just fits inside.  It was kinda fun comparing the audio from all three rigs - selectable via the Stationpro2.  The filter really works in getting unwanted QRM on CW.  The narrower filters clarify SSB as well.  The marble wood mic hook was a nice touch. Ther hardwood trim was all mahogany

Monday, September 7, 2015

Main Operating Station

Position 1 is the K2/100
Position 2 is the KX3/KXPA100 combo
Position 3 is the TS50 with its own dedicated power supply

Three amplifiers can be mixed and matched with any of the rigs through the StationPro2 master controller.  The 3 amplifiers consist of an Elecraft KPA500, a Drake L4B, and a Dentron ClippertonL.  All three rigs can be keyed from a single Winkeyer USB via the StationPro.  Paddle duties are carried out by an N3ZN single lever paddle.  There are 2 external speakers driven by the StationPro.  The main powersupply is a PowerWerx which supplies DC power to the K2 and KX3 and the peripherals.  Thre is a 4 position remote antenna switch, which switches between the Hexbeam, the Vertical and the Inverted V.  Position 4 is a spare on the switch is occasionally used for experimental or portable antennas.   The headset is a Heil Pro 7 through a tube headset amplifier (glowing blue tube.  The K9AY is on full time but only the KX3 and the K2 have receive only ports.   There are dedicated autot,users for each of the 3 rigs up to 100w but 99% of the time the big Palstar handles the tuning duties.  Everything has been turned on except for the Dentron.  I still have to recap the power supply capacitors on it - in time for the 160m season this winter.  That will be a fall project.

Drake TR4C on the Operating Desk

The Drake TR4C connection to the main station is via a three way switch.  With the Astatic D104 microphone and the Navy straight key - still great for late night ragchews on 40m 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

TS50 takes 3rd Position in the Shack

Nice to have 3 generations of modern rigs with several generations of amplifiers.  I like the Kenwood audio.  But nothing beats the modern filters when things get really tight.  50 watts for a default setting works great as it keys up the L4B with just enough drive so the L4B is loafing.  The KPA500 is better integrated with the KC3.    The K2 is the all around champ.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Carrington Event Anniversary

Today is the anniversary of an historic solar storm, the Carrington Event. On Sept. 2, 1859, a CME struck Earth's magnetic field with such power that telegraph stations caught fire and people in Cuba read their morning newspapers by the red light of the aurora borealis. If a similar storm struck our planet today, it might cause trillions of dollars of damage to society's high-tech infrastructure. Could the Carrington Event happen again?  It almost did just a few years ago. Extreme solar storms--past, present and future--are highlighted on today's edition of .

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

QuEST for #275 Continues

There is nothing magical about #275.  But you do get another sticker from the ARRL at this milestone.  After 275 it is a long slog.  The ARRL recognizes this and issues stickers after 300 every 5 DXCC entities.  Even 5 DXCC can take years to get at this stage.I consider myself fortunate to having line of sight to 275 after 5 years of DX Chasing

#266 XW1IC Laos confirmed in LOTW
#267 YB4IR/9 Indonesia 30m Confirmed in LOTW
#268 TI9/3Z9DX Cococ Island  Confirmed in LOTW
#269 ST2NH Sudan QSL Card Received
#270 E6ZS Niue Confirmed in LOTW
#271 JG8NQJ/JD1 Minami Torishima Confirmed in LOTW
#272 ET3AA Ethipia - Confirmed in LOTW

The only other new ones will come from

A52EQW/M Bhutan Aug 28, Sept 3,4,5 published operating schedule
DG7GIA Comoros Island September 14-23, 2015
VK9C Cocos Keeling September 19-25, 2015
RI1FJ Franz Josef Land - will be there for a year starting in August
TX3X Chesterfield Islands in  October 2015
3W3MD Vietnam October 2015
VK9WA Willis Island November 2015
T2GC Tuvalu September 2015
Z21MG Zimbabwe September 2015
3C7GIA Equatorial Guinea November2015
3Y0F Bouvet Island December 2015

2016 brings a whole bunch to the fore

KH5/p Palmyra Islands in January 2016
VP8SGI South Georgia Islands also in January
North Korea (a long shot for me as this is a single person SSB only)
VP8STI South Sandwich
FT/j Juan de Nova in March 2016
VK0EK Heard Island in March of 2016
CY9 Saint Paul Island July 2016

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Operation from Cape May - International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend


EA7TG. 18:26 UTC 20m CW
N5URL 18:29 UTC
K8LGY 18:36 UTC 
KD8PJP 19:28 UTC 30m CW
WZ9B 19:57 UTC
K0CDJ 19:59 UTC
EA5DNO 20:11 UTC 20m CW
N8OO 20:38 UTC
EA5IM 20:44 UTC

Just to note here .... propagation was really poor this weekend with two geomagnetic events causing radio blackouts.  I was lucky to get the QSOs I had.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend

As part of the ILLW Special Event - the Cape May Lighthouse US-0011 will be activated by NY4G as either K2L or as NY4G/2 on Saturday August 15, 2015

Since this weekend is the NAQP SSB - then I will be mostly in the WARC bands 17m phone on 18.156 and CW on 18.076 and 30m CW on 10.126.  I hope to hear you in the bands.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Worked All Zones

A fitting end to an otherwise productive month of July

1) Participation in 13 colonies as K2L - 917 CW QSO's - outcome 1st Place for SC
2) NY4G/VY2 IARU HF Championship - #33 World #11 #5 Canada - 1755 QSO's
3) FP/NY4G Solo DXpedition 2024 QSOs

Total QSO's month of July is 4799
Confirmation Rate on FP/NY4G 51%
52 DXCC for NY4G/VY2 and 44 DXCC for FP/NY4G

Sunday, August 9, 2015

All Time New One - ET3AA Ethiopia and Rare Zone 1 Contact with VY0M

New ones are hard to come by these days as the DXCC confirmed count approaches 275.  This will be #271 once confirmed.  The station was working split on 30m when I found him and was rather loud and working a steady tempo of callers up around 1.2 kC from his transmit frequency.

On the same evening VY0M was working split on 20m CW.   VY0 is in a rare zone - Zone 1 - shared with AK.  There are not many hams (if any) in that part of Canada.   He in is the border with Zone 2. I actually thought he was in Zone 2 initially until AB9CN kindly corrected me.  (Thank you Jim). Careful examination of the CQ Zone map indicates this to be so.  This is also an IOTA NA-248 Melville Island.   It is an island in the middle of nowhere.  George Dewar VY2GF alerted me that this was going to take place.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Comments from Folks Who Worked FP/NY4G

Heartwarming to say the least ....... Most are from cards.  Some are from emails.   As I get them I will keep adding to the list.

TU Ariel for the new country - Good DX!  Great Job ! FB DXpedition 73 Ron

Thank you for the contact 73 Mike W5SIY

Looks like you have been practicing RufZ.  Great Job! 73 Tucker KK4UNZ

Hi Ariel, many thanks for this 40m QSO with FP 73 Fred DL4DZL

73 Ariel, Tnx New Mode / FP /17m! Ralph K4MIJ

Ariel, Tnx for the QSO from NA-032. God Bless and Vy 73 Bill WA1LJC

73's and Thank You Rick N2ENM

Thank you for my first QSO with St. Pierre and Miquelon 73 Randy KK4BNC

Dr. OM For the QSL Card in advance many thanks.  I have my license since 1973 and my age is 80 years.  For me UR QSL

from Saint Pierre and Miquelon is very important! All the Best EA3YY

You are 1st FP station GL 73 Tnx FB QSO JH1SOD

Ariel:  Great expedition! I enjoyed the QSO, also your video on your blog site.  You are a good radio operator and hope to CUAGN 73 Chuck NI0C

Tnx Ariel for QSO on 40m.  Great signal looking to work you on other bands, Good DX Bill WN8QGV

Thank you so very much for the "fine business" QSO on 20m from St. Pierre and Miquelon Islands.  You are my first contact there.  I am working on my second DXCC-CW endorsement and you have helped.  We previously QSO'd when you were on Prince Edward Island...hi hi.  I am retired orchestra teacher who loves to fish.  God bless, AL KD8DEU

Thanks for new one! Best 73 and Good DX! Matt W1MRH

Many thanks to you for my first QSO to Saint Pierre and Miquelon  - Matti OH1LAR

Thanks for eyeball and French 73 Jean Pierre FP5CJ

Today I received your QSL-card.  Many thanks for all.   All the best to you and your family, with best regards   Gerd   DJ9JD

ARIEL - GOT YOUR CARD TODAY - ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!!! Thanks for the  confirmation.  Bill N4IQ

Wow! Great video on your expeditions. I hope to hear more when the Swamp Foxes meet next month. 73, Gil - KS4YX

You did a fine job Ariel. Have been listening out for you yesterday. Saw you spot yourself on 10 and 17m. But nothing heard. Later on 20m saw on the cluster that you did work europe but still nothing here. Hopefully I'm lucky next time someone in St.Pierre&Miquelon does a DXpedition. 73, Bas PE4BAS

Nice to work you on 40 tonight. Vy bad QRN here but copied you fine. Congrats on the 2K plus. Bill N4IQ

Great job Ariel, when I saw on clublog you were at 1800 I figured you might try and break 2000 on your last day.......that's awesome!   I say that's a successful trip for sure.  Matt KU4XO

Thanks Ariel for the 15m QSO today. Your signal is stronger than usual for FP to Maine, so either you are using QRO and excellent antennas or we are lucky with condx! By the way, what is your location on St. Pierre?    Again, thanks  very much for enabling an FP 15m QSO in 2015.   Perhaps I should revisit and operate again from St Pierre again?  Vy 73, John W3NA

Hi Ariel   TNX QSO on 15m cw  2015/07/19   13:15 Z  on 21026  you were  very strong  as 599  Many JAs worked JAs,  Will looking for you on the band.   73  Hiro JA4DND

Hi Ariel,  it was really nice catching you on 7mhz CW. Signal was not stable with poor  propagation but was strong almost S5 in my S meter. I am sure that you enjoy  super FP-land with great community. I was there in 1992 with my wife SP5XAB  for almost three month. We visiting our friend Ron VE1KM who was FP4KM on  that time. Our radio which we taking with us from Europe is still on the  island Saint Pierre in FP5CJ home(Icom IC751A) hihihi Our callsign's was FP/SP5SS and FP/SP5XAB include FP9SPM for a while. I hope we can meet someday on the air to discuse experience form the  islands.  Greetings from Poland!   73 Andy SO5S ex SP5SS

Hello Ariel,  Nice photo's of your trip.  Glad you have had a good time as DX.  73s Roger GY3BO
Hi Ariel, NY4G  Thank you for nice QSO 20m CW/RTTY  We will try for other slots later or tomorrow.   Please CQ 14026 for JAs. I will spot you.    CUL de Kan, JJ2RCJ

You made 2 guys happy in Taylors tonight -- thanks for coming up.  Ken was on the wrong antenna when he tried to work you earlier.  Paul W4FC

Hi. Ariel.  From what I have heard and seen, you are doing a great job, and keep up the good work.  Appreciate the 30m QSO this PM....dunno if you plan any 10/12/17M work but those are my open sppots for FP.  That would complete my quest for FP 160 thru 10M.  Have you been at 10 at all, or is the band prop nix there?  Anxious to hear your comments and see photos... 73 de George W4BUW

I hope you have recovered from your voyages!!  Sounds like you have a great trip and lots of QSOs.  Thank you for your FP card!  Very nice and I am sending you a return card plus my FP card from our March QSO.  As you now know, FP is a very special place.  The people are very kind and the islands are beautiful.  I have had nine trips there and always am looking forward to my next trip.  Of course the WX can be a bit challenging in February/March!!  But the propagation made up for it.  Eric Williams KV1J

Ariel, I received you QSL from FP this week.  A new DXCC country for me!
Thank you, 73 an I hope to meet you soon.
Sebastian dl1axx

Thank you very much for your QSL I received yesterday, and a new Country work CW and QRP.
I've been looking on YouTube for our contact but nothing, and perhaps you could send me the link. It would be very helpful.   I hope other contacts from other exotic places wherever you are.
All the best.

Thomas EA8YV

Right now I found the link to the video of his DXexpedicion in your blog. Thank you very much for recording me. Really my little KX3 sounded great in thepileup hi hi 

Thanks again and 73's of EA8YV