Fantastic Sporadic-E opening!

Wow, what a great 2 m ES opening today! Already when driving between two of our QRL locations around 8z this morning I had this gut feeling. Checked around 8:30z and saw things evolving. Unfortunately I had to be back in the office for another meeting but when done around 12z and looking at the MUF map again I saw those big red colored squares all over the place! Luckily no other meetings scheduled for today so I rushed into the car to drive home and was QRV by 12:30 local time. And my first QSO was already a new one! 😎

Worked a number of Russian and Ukrainian stations. Had the feeling activity was not that high but that might have been due to the fact we were not optimally located, it was even better further south west. As you can see on the map (big thanks to Gabriel, EA6VQ, for his great service!) there were at least 3 different clusters of high MUF E-clouds. So it was not astounding that around 12z while 2m was still wide open into UA4 it also opened into south-west France. But only one station hrd/wrkd here (again much better about 100 km south). Although no additional QSOs in the log the band was still open until about 12:30z overhere, the usual UA4’s from LN29/LO20 were still pounding in but no fresh meat anymore … Speaking of UA4’s: RX4CQ provided a new square, too. Had tried with him on MS in the past without luck so even more happy to catch him on ES now. 🙂

Also worth mentioning is the QSO with UT3BW at under 1.000 km which is a sign for an extremely high MUF, must have been in the 170 MHz’s or so …

10:30  UA6LNS        LNØ7KM # 59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1980
10:37  UA4AQL        LO2ØQB   599   599    2 m.   CW    ES    2161
10:38  RA4A          LO2ØQC   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    2159
10:41  UA4ALU        LN29LA   55    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    2178
10:54  UR5LX         KO7ØWK   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1514
10:55  UR4LSK        KO8ØCA   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1552
11:05  UT3BW         KN29UA   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES     925
11:09  RN3ZU         KO7ØTA   59    59     2 m.   FM    ES    1514
11:11  UW5EDK        KN78MH   59    59     2 m.   FM    ES    1555
11:13  R3WW          KO81DF   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1514
11:14  RL3QDD        KO91OQ   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1694
11:19  UA3QIN        KO91NP   599   599    2 m.   CW    ES    1689
11:21  RX4CQ         LO3ØLV # 59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    2234
11:25  UR5GKD        KN66RU   55    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1538
11:30  UR3GS         KN66QR   59    59     2 m.   FM    ES    1541
11:31  UR5GKD        KN66RU   59    59     2 m.   FM    ES    1538
11:31  US1GCH        KN66RU   59    59     2 m.   FM    ES    1538
11:33  UA4ALU        LN29LA   599   599    2 m.   CW    ES    2178
11:35  URØGE         KN66RT   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1541
11:38  UR3GS         KN66QR   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1541
11:39  UR8GZ         KN66RT   59    59     2 m.   FM    ES    1541
12:04  F4ARU         JNØ3QL   55    55     2 m.   SSB   ES    1432

After the band had closed here, meaning we were too close to the clouds then, F2CT worked far into Russia on double hop ES with distances > 3.800 km! I’m quite sure he opened a bottle afterwards … 😉

All in all 2 m was open for 4,5 hours continously! Glad I at least caught 2 hours of it. Doesn’t happen very often. And it really sounded like 20 m at times. 😎

Posted in Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Fantastic Sporadic-E opening!

4O – Montenegro, DXCC #32 on 4 m

Not much worked recently, missed most of the fun due to QRL and other commitments. But good to catch this late night opening today and even work a new one with Dule, 4O6AH. 😎

19:28  9H1PI         JM75FW   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1918
19:36  SV2JAO        KN1ØDN   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1530
19:51  9A6R          JN83FM   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1087
20:11  4O6AH         JN92PL   559   559    4 m.   CW    ES    1249
Posted in Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on 4O – Montenegro, DXCC #32 on 4 m

Double hop on 4m, triple hop on 6 m

Good to see 4 m open via double hop today. Unfortunately EA8ACW didn’t know that DLs are only allowed between 70.150 and 70.180 MHz and despite a few hints on the DX cluster he didn’t QSY away from 70.200 MHz. A real pity, so still no IL28 wkd. 🙁 Unfortunately I was once again too close to the E-clouds into Finland thus only 2 contacts made. Much more was possible a little further south … but was lucky enough to catch TY2AC on triple hop ES on 6 m later on. Had worked him on CW in the past already and wouldn’t have called him now again if he would have had any callers …

10:37  EA1UR         IN53TF   59    55     4 m.   SSB   ES    1993
10:38  EA8DBM        IL18OH   59    59     4 m.   SSB   2xES  3747
10:39  EA1BFZ        IN81SS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1774
10:54  EA2BCJ        IN91MP   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1710
13:23  LZ2WO         KN23AL   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1298
13:24  OF1XT         KPØ1UK   57    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1020
13:27  OH1TM         KPØ1VJ   57    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1018
13:32  DL7PV         JO62NL   569   559    4 m.   CW    TR     107
14:21  OK1DIG        JO6ØXJ   579   579    4 m.   CW    TR     311
16:07  TY2AC         JJ16EI   55    55     6 m.   SSB   3xES  5316
Posted in DX, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Double hop on 4m, triple hop on 6 m

Japan on 6 m

Before packing everything this morning (yes, my yearly “ES holiday” is over again, sigh) I took advantage of a quadruple hop ES opening into Japan. CW sigs were all too weak but there was plenty of activity on JT65! Unfortunately only one QSO made as I’m currently only QRP on 6 m. Saw decodes from about a dozen different Japanese but couldn’t make it through the JT65 pileups. 🙁 Nevertheless glad to catch my only 2nd ever JA opening on 6 m and to at least have worked another new square. 😉

07:39  JHØRNN        PM97OV  -03   -05     6 m.   JT65  4xES  8588
Posted in DX, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Japan on 6 m

Two new squares on 6 m …

Not much VHF propagation today in JO73. Although there were a few openings and even 2 m Sporadic-E again it was all too far away from here. Only made a handful of 4 m QSOs in the late morning. But it was great to catch two new squares on 6 m in the afternoon. 😎

Also tried with OJØJR via Meteor Scatter on 4 m in the evening but reflections were sparse. While I heard him okay he didn’t copy anything from me despite only a 3 dB power difference. Well, he’ll be back on Market Reef in August so maybe better luck then. Just for fun I caught him afterwards on 60 m CW (matching our 80 m dipole, hi) for a new one which is not that difficult as I didn’t do a lot of ops on 60 m yet. 😉

08:52  EA1SI         IN73DM   59    55     4 m.   SSB   ES    1812
09:44  EA6VQ         JM19HN   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1751
10:15  EA3AQJ        JN11BI   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1596
10:26  EB5YF         IM99SL   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1887
15:04  7YØA          JM16MT   59    59     6 m.   SSB   ES    2015
15:08  7X2KF         JMØ6PM # 57    57     6 m.   SSB   ES    2106
15:40  TF3ML/P       HP93KU # 59    59     6 m.   SSB   ES    2325
20:44  OJØJR         JP90NH   599   599    60 m.  CW           846
Posted in DX, Meteor Scatter, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Two new squares on 6 m …

Another great evening on the VHF bands …

Who would have believed that? 6, 4 & 2 m were completely closed all day. It was just late afternoon that the bands opened in western Europe (G to EA) and early evening finally overhere, too. This time into the south-west, starting with EA6 on 4 m, then moving over to EA mainland. After 17z the MUF rose quickly above 100 MHz and reached 144 MHz an hour later. Clouds were once again too far west from here but the reflection zone moved a bit then allowing QSOs between southern DL and EI. As common with these openings our reflections from the E-clouds then land between northern Spain and the Normandy in the big blue ocean as can be seen on the left hand picture (blue line). But this time the luck was with us as UT1FG/mm was sailing exactly over there! Can you imagine how surprised I was when he answered my CQ call? 😀 IN54 was of course another new square and that one QSO really made my day. 😎 Looking at the path and the to be expected symmetry it certainly also included some 3-400 km tropo extension on his end …

I made a small recording of Yuri afterwards when his signal had already dropped again:

4 m was still hot afterwards but again between south DL and the UK. We were simply to far north to take advantage of that opening (DJ5MN made over 200 QSOs on 4 m today!). But it was very interesting to hear a few G stations on sidescatter beaming into the ES reflection zone! Later 4 m opened slightly into the UK & Ireland direct path but all very spotty. While writing this blog entry (almost 21z) EA1HRR is still audible on 4 m so the MUF is still high. This might be an indication for another great day on VHF tomorrow … keeping fingers crossed! 😉

16:36  EA6VQ         JM19HN   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1751
16:45  EA5/GØKSC     IM97PX   57    53     4 m.   SSB   ES    2042
16:47  EA5TT         IM99SL   559   559    4 m.   CW    ES    1887
17:06  EA3WD         JNØ1XK   59    55     4 m.   SSB   ES    1595
17:10  EB5YF         IM99SL   55    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1887
17:27  EA2BCJ        IN91MP   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1710
18:11  CT1HZE        IM57NH   579   559    4 m.   CW    ES    2504
18:20  UT1FG/MM      IN54   # 59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1936
18:44  G3SHK         IO9ØDX   59    57     4 m.   SSB   ES    1112
18:47  G7RAU         IO9ØIR   55    57     4 m.   SSB   ES    1094
18:49  EI4DQ         IO51WU   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1512
19:11  G8BCG         IO7ØRK   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1320
19:40  EA1HRR        IN83JJ   529   559    4 m.   CW    ES    1679

Posted in Audio recordings, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Another great evening on the VHF bands …

More 4 & 2 m Sporadic-E :-)

Another great day on the VHF bands! 😎 MUF was high all morning already. Lots of 6 m activity and cluster spots from Russia hearing Europe. Won’t imagine what happens if Russia is ever allowed to transmit on 6 m … 😉 2 m opened again via Sporadic-E between SP8 and UA6 as well as YU and UA4 but clouds were to far away to be usable from here. Had strong OIRT signals on 4 m from UR and UA6. The band was open in parallel also to SV as well as EA6. Good to catch EA6SA on 4 m after having worked him on 2 & 6 m in the past. 😉 Was not sure where to point the 2 m antenna to. Would the clouds enabling the QSOs in Southeastern Europe move westwards and be reachable from JO73? Or would the MUF direction south rise any further? Decided to keep it straight south …

Luckily I did as a quarter past 11z the following happened: 😎

I quickly QSY’d a few kHz up and called CQ myself and was very lucky to be called by Chris, expeditioning as IK8/PA2CHR in South Italy making my day providing square #545 on 2 m with JM79! 😎 Great stuff after I had missed him in JM87 the days before.

It seemed the MUF would rise up to 2 m again during the afternoon. Indeed it did but once more not reachable from here. While monitoring 144.300 MHz for additional openings I had some more fun on 4 m, too …

09:45  EA6SA         JM19LO   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1734
09:50  EA6FB         JMØ8PW   599   559    4 m.   CW    ES    1865
11:13  IK8XLD        JN7ØVO   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1404
11:19  IT9BDM        JM77NE   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1780
11:21  IK8/PA2CHR    JM79VQ # 59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1505
14:49  SW8YA         KN2ØHS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1587
15:14  SV1DH         KM18VA   59    51     4 m.   SSB   ES    1839
15:24  SV8CS         KMØ7JS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1787
15:32  SV1QT         KM17UW   59    58     4 m.   SSB   ES    1846
15:43  9H1FL         JM75GT   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1932
15:59  9H1PI         JM75FW   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1918
17:38  9H1ES         JM75FV   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1922

Also heard were SV5BYR (too weak) and SV9GPV who took too long to recognize the band was open to DL and to QSY into our “sub-band”. A pity, both would have been new ones on 4 m, too. Also monitored Henri, OH3JR, who’s currently active as OJØJR from Market Reef via Meteor Scatter but reflections were not very favourable. Keeping fingers crossed I can catch him maybe tomorrow or on Friday. Chances are low that there will be additional 4 m activities from that small island in the middle of the northern Baltic Sea anytime soon …

Posted in Audio recordings, Meteor Scatter, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on More 4 & 2 m Sporadic-E :-)

First 2 m Sporadic-E this year and 4 m thoughts

After the bad condx last weekend things got much much better this morning. 😎 Had a nice start on 4 m into Greece after arriving at the QTH and it did not take long until also the 2 m band opened via Sporadic-E into southern Italy for the first time this year:

09:59  IT9ZVL        JM68SA   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1687
10:00  IKØWGF        JN52VC   55    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1245
10:01  IUØFNL        JN61FU   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1267
10:03  IWØBJP        JN62CK   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1204
10:04  IW9BJU        JM77IA   52    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1798

Four meters was hot late afternoon, too, so I could work some additional fine QSOs there:

09:20  SW8YA         KN2ØHS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1587
16:17  YO9HP         KN35BA   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1252
16:33  LZ1ZP         KN22ID   57    57     4 m.   SSB   ES    1454
16:52  SV2DCD        KNØØPL   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1510
17:08  SV2JAO        KN1ØDN   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1530
17:18  YO7BSN        KN15PB   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1117
17:27  LZ1AG         KN22ID   599   599    4 m.   CW    ES    1454
17:42  SV7GBR        KN2ØIX   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1569

Also heard Z35Z (which would have been a new country) quite nicely but condx were gone until we could coordinate “QSX” via the DXcluster. Macedonia may only transmit on 70.275 MHz while Germany has it’s temporary allocation from 70.150 – 70.180 MHz. That means a QSO is only possible using “split”, i.e. listening on .275 but transmitting on .155 and vice versa. A pity, hope to have better luck next time!

Seems I was the first guy, too, to hear the Kuwait beacon on 4 m! I was stumbling across a weak CW beacon signal on 70.169,6 MHz in the middle of our allocation around 16:45z which turned out to be 9K2YM/B on double-hop Sporadic-E! A pity that Yaser was not at the station that time so to QSO over these 3.800 km will have to wait a little longer … 😉

As you can see the total number of QSOs is not that high on 4 m. “Four” is definitely not a band for big runs, at least not from Germany (it’s probably different if you’re sitting in one of the ES hotspots in the Mediterranean). 😉 The regions you can reach from here all only have limited 4 m activity (except the UK which is historically “the” 4 m country). So it is more about all the fascinating propagation modes and openings to explore, even if it means you’re going to work the same guys over and over again. But it was fun listening to the guys down south working all the new DL stations on the band. Seems activity from Germany is very high this year. The availability of commercial radios including the band like the IC-7100 or the the IC-7300 certainly helped it quite a lot to have a go on this very interesting band.

It used to be the same fascination with 6 m some 10 to 20 years ago when it still was “the gentlemen’s band”. Things have changed dramatically, take a listen to some DX pileups on 6 m yourself … it’s just awful, no discipline at all anymore, just like on HF. Thus I enjoy operating on 4 m even more nowadays. To me “four is the new six” … 😉

Posted in Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on First 2 m Sporadic-E this year and 4 m thoughts

CQ WPX CW 2017 with some interesting propagation

My decision to start SOSB10(A) was made a few days ago already. Last year I did indeed set a new DL record although I would not have expected my result to stay above the record after the log check. Obviously my logging accuracy was not as bad as expected. 😉

It was also good enough for a World #4 finish! 😎 Usually there’s a 50/50 chance at the end of May to get some good Sporadic-E openings and have lots of fun on 10 m as was the case last year. Seems I was rather unlucky last weekend. 🙁 But read on …

While we had some good openings during the week Friday already saw the band closed most of the day. Got up early Saturday morning to check for any early openings. Nothing on 10 m yet so had a quick scan through 40 m to hand out a few points. Seems low band condx were quite nice, ufb signals from the U.S. (even a few West Coast hrd/wkd) and also P44X, our BCC guys on Aruba, had quite a nice signal. Up on 20 m conditions were even better! Was looking for some longpath openings into the Pacific but there were none … but shortpath instead! Great signals from the U.S. West Coast and a few KH6s booming in at 59+ signals as well as KL7 – ufb! E51DWC was a very good catch, too. 😎

But I was there for 10 m, wasn’t I? Band opened around 6:30z into UA6 via ES. It later shifted more south enabling QSOs into most of the Mediterranean countries including North Africa. Around 8z it opened into Spain. That E-clouds were also strong enough to allow a number of backscatter QSOs into almost all of Europe providing the needed multipliers. I was also heard by the J68HZ-# skimmer for quite a while but nobody worked from the Caribbean, seems propagation was very spotlight over 3 ES hops. Ten closed around 10:45z over here.

It took almost 4 hours to open again, so plenty of time to get some lunch and hand out a few more points on 15 and 20 m inbetween. 10 m opened literally over the same clouds again into Spain and got linked into South America for about 20 minutes. So I was lucky to catch a few PYs as 3 pointers, too. Unfortunately activity was very low that time thus only 20 QSOs worked during that 1,5 hours opening. A single EA2 answered my CQs about an hour later but that was it for Saturday, just 135 contacts worked. Repaired the 20 m rotator interface during the evening and handed out a few more points on the lower bands.

Getting up Sunday morning found the bands in very bad shape. While P44X was a reasonable 539 on 80 m (but didn’t hear me) there was no stateside to be heard, neither on 80 nor on 40 m. Didn’t sound good, bands were also very noisy. A quick check of the propagation websites revealed the reason … Aurora! Lots of spots on the DXcluster already from Scandinavia working AU on VHF. I could also hear the SK4MPI/B Aurora warning beacon on 2 m at 51A. Thus gave it a try on 10 m, too, beaming North and was glad to be called by LA3BO at 7:26z for an interesting Aurora contest QSO with it’s typical sound. I had worked Svein numerous times on 2 m via Aurora before so was glad there were two experienced VHF OPs on both sides of that contact to make it work. 😎

Unfortunately nobody else on Aurora but a few troposcatter and groundwave contacts as well as some Meteor Scatter, i.e. with PA3AAV (took a few minutes to complete the number exchange, thanks for your patience, Gert). As is almost common on 6 m there was some Aurora-E after the Aurora on 10 m, too, providing big sigs from Finland but only 2 stations worked.

A small ES opening to Romania followed with two strong YOs in the log. Besides this there was at least some weak backscatter zones, mostly beaming East, that allowed for a number of additional QSOs across Europe (interestingly mostly Germany). But activity was still very low. I can certainly understand the people who are participating all bands to skip 10 m with such bad propagation and rather spend their time on the lower bands with high(er) QSO rates. Last QSO was at 12:30z, number 178 to be exact.

10 m stayed closed all afternoon. Likewise 15 m, almost no signals at all! Even 20 m had no DX signals, only a few Europeans. Must have been very frustrating for all the Allband guys, too. But I didn’t want to give up that easily. After completing 6 bands with 9A1A and DF0WRTC I decided to start CQing on 10 m again. And if it was just for another 2 or 3 troposcatter or groundwave contacts (although I had probably worked all of the “locals” already). Suddenly I got weak skimmer spots from UA4 and OH so it seemed there would be another opening. And yes, it was. Starting to Northern Scandinavia and Baltic states around 17z with 40 to 60+ dB skimmer spots then from SM2 & OH6. 😎 About 18:30z there was a strong Sporadic-E opening from Western Europe to Northern Scandinavia on 6 m, too, so I decided to beam straight into that E-cloud cluster. Glad I did, it provided lots of ES backscatter QSOs across all of Europe as well as direct path to the UK and even PA & ON confirming the high MUF of that clouds. This time there was plenty of activity, it seemed everybody was trying to grab that last chance. 🙂

At 19:42z the PJ2A-# skimmer started spotting me, seems there was another 3-hop opening into the Caribbean! At 20:18z also the J68HZ-# skimmer heard me again! But it took until 20:28z for the first Caribbean contact when John, P40W, called me being very weak. Knowing he is only running low power that certainly explained his weak signal. But then it should be possible to work “our guys” at P44X as well. Found them a few minutes later CQing higher in the band and made it into their log after a few calls, too. 🙂 Band was good enough for another half a dozen QSOs until it finally closed at 21:30z …

That 4,5 hours opening certainly made up for all the boredom during Sunday afternoon. Glad I didn’t call it a day earlier. But that’s something I have learned during the last 28 years being a radio amateur with a special addiction to 10 m. 😉

Even if the total QSO amount and final points are way below earlier results this weekend yielded in some interesting propagation studies again. We had Groundwave, Troposcatter, Meteor Scatter, Sporadic-E, Backscatter, triple-hop ES, Aurora, Aurora-E and who knows if the South America contacts didn’t involve some F2 or TEP after the first hop with ES. That’s something only 10 m can provide. But you have to be there not to miss any of these openings … 😉

                    CQWW WPX Contest, CW

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SO(A)SB10 HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 18

 Band  QSOs
  160: (21)
   80: (36)
   40: (84)
   20: (87)
   15: (17)
   10:  320
Total:  320  Prefixes = 212  Total Score = 73,776

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

Elecraft K3, PA + 6 ele OWA Yagi @60ft.
Posted in Aurora, Contesting, Meteor Scatter, Propagation, Sporadic E | Comments Off on CQ WPX CW 2017 with some interesting propagation

Caught the first 4 m ES today

Have caught the first 4m Sporadic E today since our special permit. Big signals but very spotty … Also made a few tropo contacts … feels good to be back on the band. 😎

11:19  GW6TEO        IO71LP   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1312
11:21  GU6EFB        IN89RK   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1233
11:37  GØCHE         IO9ØPS   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1054
11:41  OZ8ZS         JO55RT   559   559    4 m.   CW    TR     341
11:51  G8BFV         IO81QE   59    59     4 m.   SSB   ES    1166
11:58  DL7DF         JO62TM   559   589    4 m.   CW    TR      84
11:59  DL7ULM        JO62MS   559   599    4 m.   CW    TR      91
Posted in Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Caught the first 4 m ES today

4 m allowed again in DL :-)

As of today we do have a special permit again to use 4 m in Germany! 😎 Same conditions as in 2015 apply, i.e. only 70.150 to 70.180 MHz, limited until 31.08. this year, a.s.o. Looking forward to a lot of nice QSOs during this summer’s Sporadic E season again … 🙂

Posted in Propagation, VHF | Comments Off on 4 m allowed again in DL :-)

More antenna work – 12/17 m dualband beam repaired

Picture showing Heiko, DG1BHA, remounting our 12/17 m dualband beam above the 4 ele 20 m Yagi. We took it down during the VHF contest, too, to remount the 12 m reflector which had fallen down.

Also recalibrated it as the 17 m resonance was quite a bit above the Amateur band. While my KPA500/KAT500 combo didn’t have a problem with it Uwe’s small valve PA did so it was a good opportunity to correct it. 😉 Antenna is a 2+2 ele DK7ZB design doing quite a good job.

Posted in Antennas | Comments Off on More antenna work – 12/17 m dualband beam repaired

May VHF Contest – no surprises

Met with the guys in JO73. As we were only a few people and not much time upfront we decided to stay “home”, i.e. at the club station, instead of setting up on the local hilltop. So a quite relaxed event. 😎 Condx were quite variable, not to say worse than normal. Still enough fun but missing a few of the usual DX contacts …

Contest Report from DF0UM in JO73CE at 144 MHz

Date    : 2017 May 06 to 2017 May 07
Section : 02 144MHz Multi OP
QTH     : Woltersdorf


TX      : IC-7400 + PA, 750 W
RX      : IC-7400 + MGF1302
Antenna : 10 ele DK7ZB Yagi, 20 mAGL, 70 mASL
Log     : TACLog by OZ2M, 1,995,

QSOs    :  395
-invalid:    1                                        points/QSO
-valid  :  394     QSO-points (*1)    :    149076            378
WWLs    :   68     WWL bonus (0)      :         0              0
DXCCs   :   16     DXCC bonus (0)     :         0              0
                   ------------------------------          -----
                      Total score     :    149076            378

ODX     : HG3X in JN96EE at 834 km

Worked World Wide Locators:
JN37:   1  JN78:   2  JO21:   3  JO50:  14  JO62:  25  JO80:   7
JN39:   5  JN79:   6  JO30:  11  JO51:  18  JO63:   5  JO81:   3
JN47:   1  JN86:   3  JO31:  21  JO52:  15  JO64:   8  JO84:   1
JN48:   8  JN87:   1  JO32:   6  JO53:  13  JO65:   6  JO86:   1
JN49:  12  JN88:   6  JO33:   5  JO54:   3  JO68:   1  JO90:   9
JN58:   7  JN89:   6  JO40:   7  JO55:   1  JO70:  11  JO91:   1
JN59:   3  JN96:   1  JO41:   6  JO57:   1  JO71:  10  JO94:   1
JN68:   6  JN97:   1  JO42:  17  JO58:   2  JO72:   7  KN08:   1
JN69:   6  JN98:   4  JO43:  11  JO59:   1  JO73:   7  KN09:   2
JN75:   1  JN99:  10  JO44:   1  JO60:  13  JO74:   2  KN18:   1
JN76:   2  JO10:   2  JO46:   2  JO61:  14  JO75:   1  KO00:   1
JN77:   2  JO20:   2

Worked DXCCs:
9A  :   1  HA  :   4  OE  :   9  ON  :   5  S5  :   3  SP  :  31
DL  : 256  HB  :   1  OK  :  45  OZ  :   4  SM  :  11  UR  :   1
F   :   1  LA  :   1  OM  :  12  PA  :   9

Top 10 QSO-points:
20170506 2153 HG3X        59  227    59  236     JN96EE      834
20170506 2316 S59DEM      59  242    59  353     JN75DS      825
20170507 1241 HB9GF       59  369    59  461     JN37WB      817
20170506 2144 9A2AE       59  223    59  038     JN86HF      793
20170506 1722 LA0BY      529  121    53  002     JO59IX      785
20170507 0948 EN60D       59  332    59  068     KN18EO      766
20170506 1425 ON4KHG      52  022    52  013     JO10XO      759
20170507 1146 ON5AEN      55  354    55  014     JO10VW      754
20170506 2332 S57M       599  245   599  295     JN76PO      737
20170506 2354 HG1Z       599  250   599  291     JN86KU      730 
Posted in Contesting, VHF | Comments Off on May VHF Contest – no surprises

Surprising Aurora opening

Being back from the WPX-SSB tour to JO73 I checked QRL emails Monday afternoon to make sure it would not be too much when returning into the office on Tuesday. Being done I just had a quick look at the DX cluster before wanting to go to my YL’s home. Astonished to see 2 m open via Aurora … who would have expected that being almost in sunspot minimum? 😉 Quickly turned on the rig and did a few QSOs on 2 m. Always nice to meet all the old VHF DX friends even having worked them numerous times before. Likewise nice to see some new callsigns in the log like SM5BTS. 😎

Finding no new stations to work on 2 m and nobody answering my CQs I checked 6 m but not much activity there either. Seeing cluster spots for 10 m Aurora QSOs from Scandinavia I went down another band. Boy, that was quite some fun, too. 😎 On 10 m signals are even less distorted than on 6 m so you can easily do SSB without too much distortion …

LA4UOA via Aurora on 28 MHz:

SM6YNO via Aurora on 28 MHz:

15:53  LA0BY         JO59FW   57A   59A    2 m.   CW    AUR    784
15:57  G4KUX         IO94BP   57A   55A    2 m.   CW    AUR   1063
16:02  SM5BTS        JO89WI   53A   57A    2 m.   CW    AUR    722
16:09  LA3BO         JO59CD   57A   59A    2 m.   CW    AUR    707
16:13  LA6OJ         JO38HH   53A   59A    2 m.   CW    AUR    740
16:18  SM4IVE        JO79SD   59A   59A    2 m.   CW    AUR    667
16:32  SM7GVF        JO77GA   57A   55A    2 m.   CW    AUR    427
16:34  SM6BFE        JO68DQ   57A   59A    2 m.   CW    AUR    623
16:38  LA9BM         JP40CN   57A   55A    6 m.   CW    AUR    896
16:43  LA4UOA        JO38QH   57A   55A   10 m.  SSB    AUR    712
16:48  SM6YNO        JO67GG   55A   54A   10 m.  SSB    AUR    466

After all the YL just had to wait for an hour longer … 😉

Posted in Audio recordings, Aurora, Propagation, VHF | Comments Off on Surprising Aurora opening

Some antenna work this weekend, too

While doing the WPX-SSB Heiko, DG1BHA, was also there to do some antenna work. Weather was fine and he had already done a bit of work the days before, i.e. mounting a cable tray along the big chimney so we can secure all the 7/8″ hardline going up the “tower” in a much safer way than just using Scotch tape. 😉


Besides this we took down the EME array, too. The home brew boom-to-mast plates were broken and the next storm would have taken down the array anyway, we sure wanted to avoid that! So motivation is high to rebuild it now and get four antennas up again instead of just two. 😉

Posted in Antennas | Comments Off on Some antenna work this weekend, too


Yet another contest done. Wanted to go for a serious 15 m single band entry as 20 m is just too crowded during low sunspot times (no chance to hold a frequency with legal limit and a 4 ele Yagi!) and I was not in the mood to do one of the low bands (QRL still keeping me more than busy so usually quite exhausted lately and not up to do 3 nights). Unfortunately I finally caught the flu Wednesday evening and struggled through QRL on Thursday. Still decided to drive the 700 km to the station Thursday night. Feeling really bad getting up on Friday I called Uwe, DL3BQA, to tell him that the 15 m slot was open for him (he didn’t want to do a low band either) and I would step back and just do a few QSOs every now and then, i.e. handing out some points. Luckily health got a little better during the weekend so I still managed 650 QSOs in total which was quite okay under the given circumstances. And it was certainly more fun than doing 15 m, Uwe was not too happy with just above 230 QSOs as DMØY, I guess …

Once again recorded all the QSOs using QSOrder and uploaded them to my Dropbox account. If we worked (or you worked others who were/are using K3IT’s superb recording tool) you can listen to yourself here.

                    CQWW WPX Contest, SSB

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SO(A)AB HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 15

 Band  QSOs
  160:   23
   80:  224
   40:  102
   20:  302
   15:    1
   10:    0
Total:  652  Prefixes = 435  Total Score = 617,265

Club: Bavarian Contest Club
Posted in Audio recordings, Contesting | Comments Off on CQ WPX SSB 2017


Another contest in the books. Condx were quite okay but I had the feeling activity was way down compared to previous years. Might as well have been the condx, had the impression they didn’t allow for more than tier 1 and a few tier 2 stations to be worked. Band closed around 18z both days (only 5 QSOs afterwards) but opened to the West Coast both afternoons, at least for the big guns. Only state missing from the U.S. was Wyoming … Did a few QSOs Saturday evening and Sunday morning on 80/40 m, too, just to hand out a few more points. Seems the low band condx were quite nice! Doing an 80 or 40 m single band entry might have been a better choice but you never know upfront … 😉

                    ARRL DX Contest, CW

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SOSB/20 HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 15:30

 Band  QSOs  Mults
   80: (13)      
   40: (24)      
   20:  476      
Total:  474    56  Total Score = 79,632

Elecraft K3, KPA500 + 4 ele Yagi (YU7EF design)
Posted in Contesting | Comments Off on ARRLDX-CW 2017


Spent a little time in WPX-RTTY last weekend. Uwe, DL3BQA, was going for a serious effort on 20 m thus I could only do 15 m during the day as the 40 m antenna is too close and giving interference even using good bandpass filters. Therefor only a few QSOs on 80/40 m after 20 had closed and Uwe went home to catch some sleep. 80 was fun with good rates as long as I was running, had a nice “fresh meat” pileup. 😎 15 m at least provided some rare DX into the US Saturday afternoon – not expected with current solar condx. Sunday morning even brought a handful of JAs into the log and some more North America in the afternoon again but propagation was not extending very far westwards. Had the feeling activity was rather low but might as well just have been the condx. Definitely not comparable to my results from Aruba last year, this time really boring, but glad to provide a few points to the BCC club result. 😉

                    CQ WW RTTY WPX Contest

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 13,5

 Band  QSOs
   80:  166
   40:   36
   15:  204
Total:  406  Prefixes = 310  Total Score = 416,020

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

Elecraft K3, KPA500, dipoles on 80/40 m, 6 ele OWA on 15 m
Posted in Contesting | Comments Off on CQ WPX RTTY 2017

CQ WW 160 CW 2017

Second contest of the year. I really start liking the 160 m CW contests, lots of activity. 😎 It’s probably about time to plan some serious entries and especially good low band antennas! While our full-size Lazy Loop works great for Europe it is by nature rather an NVIS antenna at only 8 to 17 m height. So always struggling with the weak DX. A groundplane plus dedicated RX antennas will certainly do a much better job. If we only had enough time … (and space, not much there for permanent installations).

                    CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW

Call: DH8BQA

Class: Single Op Assisted HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 13

Total QSOs = 800
State/Prov =  17
Countries  =  55        Total Score = 267,696

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

Elecraft K3, KPA500 + 160m Lazy Loop
Posted in Contesting | Comments Off on CQ WW 160 CW 2017


First of all Happy New Year to all of my blog readers! Hope you had an enjoyable holiday, we certainly did. 😎 Wishing all of you all the best for 2017, lots of QSOs and DX and might the propagation god always be with you. 😉

January 1st is always a nice day to start into the new contest year. As last year I decided to go for SARTG’s HNY RTTY contest for my first one in 2017. I participated for the first time last year and had won it world-wide right away! Thus I had quite a high aspiration but was not lucky this time. Somehow I couldn’t get good runs going as was the case last year. Condx on 80 m where I spent the first hour were not very good either. Maybe I should have changed to 40 m earlier. Anyway, the result should still be good enough for a Top 6 finish, will see. First place will probably go to Burkhard, DF8XC, this time, congrats!

                    SARTG New Year RTTY Contest

Call: DH8BQA

Class: 1R HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 3

 Band  QSOs  Mults
   80:   35    18
   40:   80    38
Total:  115    56  Total Score = 6,440

Elecraft K3, KPA500 + Inv-V dipoles

The contest log upload page only calculated 5.980 points, not sure if there might be a mismatch concerning how multipliers are counted. Seems stations like LM1ØHAM were not counted correctly on the upload page, informed the contest sponsor already. Will probably not change much in the claimed score listing as all participants will certainly lack the same mults then. 😉

Posted in Contesting | Comments Off on SARTG-HNY-RTTY 2017