Friday, April 22, 2016

EP2A - New country from my station

I worked EP6T from the station of K4SV after I got desperate.   Having earned that contact took the pressure off and now EP2A is that much more "enjoyable".  The pileups on 30m were difficult.  I was using my 30m vertical loop.  The pileups on 20m during the latter days of the DXpedition were a bit easier - though not much more.    I made contact on 20m on 2059 UTC on CW on 4/22/16 on the Hexbeam.  I made another contact on the 30m vertical loop on 4/25/16 at 21:48 UTC

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The inspiration behind the 100 Day QRP DX Challenge

I have to admit that the inspiration for this challenge came from Chapter 16 of Don Keith's book "Riding the "Shortwaves".  It is about the fictional challenge between veteran DXer Clark W4OOU and Grace Wade KB4JJO - a newly licensed no code General Class amateur.  Grace wagered that she could work 100 countries in 100 days.  Now Clark was a crusty and opinionated DXer with over 300 countries confirmed and he was also convinced that with the poor propagation, and Grace's inexperience that she could not possibly do this.    Grace was a working mom with 2 children.   All that Grace had to work with was 100 watts, some wires and a wire beam.  Clark often belittled newcomers to the scene.  Grace did manage to work 99 DXCC with one day left.  She was desperate and realized she had not logged a US contact.  She logged W4OOU on 2 meter simplex for her final contact.  This was both an entertaining and memorable chapter.  From this chapter was born the DXCC QRP Challenge of 100 DXCC in 100 days.  Grace proved it was possible with 100 watts in a fictional account.  8 people have now proven it is possible with QRP power levels

N4MM 8 days - multiple yagis - CW and SSB
K4SV 23 days - 4 element yagi - all modes
N3CZ 33 days - 3 element yagi and GP - all modes
W2HTI 35 days - 3 element yagi and GP - CW
W4NL 44 days - 3 element yagi - all modes
NY4G 51 days - wire beam and wires - CW
W4KA 69 days - wires - CW and SSB - 
PE4BAS 79 days - 84m horizontal loop and home made HB9CV - all modes 

It is notable as well that the feat can be accomplished using a multi-band horizontal loop just 7m above the ground proven by Bas Levering PE4BAS.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Edisto Island

Made a few QSOs from the ocean - VE2PID and 8P6DR were the DX on 20m.  W0W was a special event station in MS.  N9ZXL gave a nice ragchew.   EA4BB came in loud but disappeared after a while. Propagation has not been very good the last few days.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

DXpeditioning Basics

I am a recent member to INDEXA - International DX Association.  While navigating their site - I happened to come across this great article written by Wayne Mills N7NG.  The URL is as follows:

DXpeditioning Basics by Wayne Mills N7NG

Another article worth reading is by Martti Lane OH2BH

It Takes Two to Tango - by OH2BH

Another really good book which should be required reading is the Complete DXer by Bob Locher W9KNI.  It is a 30 year old book but is still a gem and very readable and funny to boot.  It can be ordered from the ARRL at the following link

The Complete DXer - ARRL

DX University is also a very good resource for those who are either chasing DX or intend to become the DX

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hexbeam Now Camouflaged

Can hardly tell there is an antenna there.  Camo brown mast with camo green spreaders.  The centerpost is also camo green.  Just worked FT4JA on the delta loop - vertically polarized..

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Juan de Nova FT4JA in the log #291 DXCC

Some antenna maintenance work today - painted the. Mast camo brown to match the trees.  Painted the spreaders camo green and installed brand new center post from NA4RR.  I probably should have painted that green but ran out of paint.

I installed a 4:1 balance to the 30m delta loop and changed the feed point to the corner.

I decided to work FT4JA between chores and was able to get them on 17m 18087 CW after listening for a bit at 1913 UTC   There was a great op on the other end and was working the pile well.  I have just confirmed the contact through the Clublog on-line log.