Saturday, February 18, 2017

ARRL International DX Contest CW 2017


Day 2 Highlights

Fantastic conditions with low band noise allowed me to listen on the TX antenna.  This also allowed me to work 6 new stations.   Worked entities now stand at 92.  New ones include V43Z - Saint Kitts and Nevis, VP5K Turks and Caicos, CO8ZZ Cuba, RW2F Kaliningrad, D4C Cape Verde Islands, A45XR, Oman, and fill ins for previous stations that will not QSL Bonaire PJ4X and Slovenia S51V.  Had I been up and out of bed an hour earlier I would have caught Chile and Uruguay at their sunrise.  Oman A45XR, VP5K Turks and Caicos and Kuwait 9K2NO confirmed in LOTW.


Day 1 Highlights

I had planned only to work 160m but installed the 80m antenna with the FCP regardless.   It turned out that was a good thing.  I had never worked AK very well on 80m CW.  KL7RA (Rich now SK but call sign still lives as a club station) was active in the low bands and I was able to work him on both 80m and 160m.  Regarding the antenna installation, I had purchased 80 feet of 12 gage stranded THHN thinking I would need to prune a few feet.  It turned perfect without trimming.  How lucky can one get?  Resonance point was at 3530 and below 2 in SWR from 3500 to 3600 - so it had a 100 kHz bandwidth below 2 in SWR.  I also worked ZL3X - a contest station in New Zealand on 80m - a new band slot.

I did not work any ATNOs on 160m but I was able to work stations previously worked  that will not QSL - namely Slovenia and PJ4.  So they effectively became ATNO's.  I am still looking for a Cuban statioon on 160m - any mode.  I also worked Romania YO3APJ - which previously could easily have been a busted QSO.   I will work that entity again tonight to make sure I have a solid QSO.

Worked DXCC currently stands at 85.  The pipeline of cards is still full and I have 8 cards in hand with 60 more confirmed in LOTW.

Friday, February 17, 2017

I was wondering what happened to this certificate

Four of us went to Prince Edward Island and used the facilities of VY2TT to run the IARU HF Championship - consisting of N4IQ, AC4Q,  ND7J and myself.

The certificate finally made it to my home QTH.  We actually won the Maritime Section and ITU Zone 9


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Top Band Update



Feb 14-15, 2017
Worked 2 new ones OG1X Finland and FM/UT5UGR Martinique.   OA4TT confirmed in LOTW and the card from CT9/DK7YY came

Feb 13, 2017
Worked OA4TT early in the morning - band noise really low but no one on.   worked HR5 last night and confirmed in LOTW.

Feb 12, 2017
PACC contest was on and I needed PA for 160m DXCC - so I worked a whole bunch just to make sure I had one.   FM5BH was there again, get a pileup and runs off.   I worked AK early in the morning on JT65 for #77.  KL7J just confirmed me in LOTW.

Feb 11, 2017
G3PQA England confirmed for #58 via card, IQ9UI Italy confirmed for #59 via card.

Feb 10, 2017
SV3RF Greece confirmed in LOTW #57.  Band has been pretty dead of late and only regional contacts on JT65.  The only contacts made last night were UR0MC into the Ukraine, VO1HP into Newfoundland, and Alex HC2AO into Ecuador.

Feb 09, 2017
Belarus EU4A and Dodecanese SV5DKL confirmed in LOTW for #55 and #56.  JY9FC worked after a small window of propagation opened.

Feb 08, 2017
Was on JT65 for the first time in 2017.  New ones were on the waterfall like CO, OX, but I was asleep.  I did work KU4XO Matt who saw me calling CQ.  S9+ static crashes on the TX antenna.  Still high on the RX antenna.  No new ones today

Feb 07, 2017
No new ones today - TL8TT had a pretty good signal but could not bust the EU wall.  I did work Alex HC2AO who I have not worked since 2015

#54 VK3IO confirmed in LOTW

Feb 06, 2017
Only new one today is Malta 9H3WHX - worked him twice - but weak copy - WFWL.  K7BG Montana has confirmed in LOTW on 160m - giving me 48/50 states.  Only missing NE and AK.  I tried to work ZC4A on 80m for an ATNO but no luck - only 1 day to go on that DXpedition.  Band died after the Super Bowl finished and has not woken up yet.  No signals from Asia.  NA skimmers only hearing AA1K, K2AV and other US stations.

Feb 05, 2017
Only new one so far just before midnight is P3X Cyprus.   Tried to work an FM5 - no luck there.   Then EY8MM Nodir from Tajikistan started calling CQ on 19.5  and built up a pileup real quick - no luck there either.  Will take a break and do some work for work (real work - this is just a hobby).  After the break, I came back into the shack to work TA3D and 4X4NJ.  They were loud but can't hear. A bit later propagation improved and I was able to work both TA3D and SV5DKL.  In the morning VY2ZM, HI8A W0VTT (Zone 3), K3RS (Zone5) and ZF9CW (needed for 160m DX Marathon).

#53 LX7I has confirmed in LOTW

Feb 04, 2017
Worked 5 new ones today - OZ100DVI - Denmark, EU3A Belarus,  UK9AA Uzbekistan and in the morning grey line HL5IVL South Korea.  Then later around 4:45 UTC SV3RF Greece.  OA4TT was loud and workable, had a pileup but could not get through.   OA4TT faded as plenty of sun in Peru by 1100 - Jack replied to me on the top band reflector that he was only working JA's and ignoring W's.  Maybe tomorrow

Joe-san JA1LZR was loud and workable - and I was able to work him.  He and I exchanged pleasantries on the top band reflector.  Nice opening to Japan as I was also able to work JH1HDT.  I can hear JA8ISU real well 569 579 but he could not hear me - one way propagation to his QTH. JA7QVI was a different story - was able to work him as he was the loudest I heard this morning.

#51 DJ8QP confirmed LOTW
#52 JA7QVI confirmed in LOTW

Feb 03, 2017
Large pileup on TL8TT - an Iralian DXpedition to Central African Republic.  The Op working was very good in copying callers.  Unfortunately I could not get through.  They will be there until the 14th of  February.  I worked ZF9CW with 75 watts - he was really strong.  Alaska was seen on JT65.  JAs heard in the morning was only JA1LZR amd was perhaps 339.

#48 S01WS confirmed LOTW
#49 7Z1SJ confirmed LOTW
#50 EI4KF card arrived

HA8RM card sent

Feb 02, 2017
Finally a QSO with Hungary - Peter HA8RM.   Good conditions into Eastern Europe at 4:30 UTC.  I heard Peru OA4TT in the morning copiable for a bit then faded

Jan 30, 2017
Conditions tonight are pretty good with low local QRN and just worked F6ARC for grins.  Also tested the RBN to see how my signal is reported by various skimmers.

Received a couple of topband QSL cards in the mail which was a good surprise:

V26M - Antigua and GW3YDX - Wales,  This brings total confirmed in cards and LOTW to 47.  Also the western states of NV and WA confirmed in LOTW bringing my state total to 47.  MT was also worked but tat confirmation is pending.   That would bring my state total to 48

The following have either card or LOTW confirmations pending

CT9/DK7YY card received
SM5EDX card received
YV5JDP waiting LOTW
LZ1KFM card sent
FY5KE waiting LOTW


ND7J's Run to Challenge 1000

ND7J Bob was first licensed in March 2013 and his goal was to reach 5 Band DXCC and Challenge 1000 in 4 years.  As can be seen from the plot below, he achieved one of those stated goals - a clear run from zero to 1000 in less than four years.  Bob has been supplying me QSL information over the years and the green triangles are  his QSL confirmed data.   The blue and red circles and squares are my QSL confirmed data.


When do the 160m Fish Bite?

The following chart is data from KU4XO from over 100 Contacts

This is the data I have collected so far from about 95 worked entities and the list continues to grow.  I will update the chart below as time goes by.  The similarities are remarkable.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

ATNO #304 ZC4A UK Bases in Cyprus

DX Watch indicated that they started to come in on 17m at 18075.  Quickly ran down to the shack and worked the station.   They were barely above the noise at 1300 UTC.  They first copied me as NY4I but then came back with the correct call after a couple of exchanges.

ZC4A has just now confirmed in LOTW.

DXpeditions 2017 Which Plan to Transmit on Top Band - February

A5A Bhutan February 10-15, 2017 by Zoro JH1AJT
5J0NA San Andres and Providencia Feb 13-27
TX5T Austral Island Feb 13-March 3
V3 Belize Feb 15-21
SX5R Dodecanese Feb 24-26 ARRL 160m SSB
 Others to follow in March - will update then