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 .