Entity #100 on 30 m – 9BDXCC wkd

Just worked MDØCCE for DXCC #100 on 30 m. :) That put me on 9 band DXCC status for 80 to 6 m. Classical 9BDXCC is normally 160 to 10 m, but hey, what’s normal these days?! ;-) Will still have to work hard to get over 100 on 160 m to complete 10BDXCC. I do not operate on that band often so it might take another few years. And as you might know I’m more of a contester than a DXer on HF. ;) Here are my current standings:

160 m:  68         80 m: 102         40 m: 170         30 m: 100
 20 m: 196         17 m: 119         15 m: 219         12 m: 161
 10 m: 273          6 m: 131          2 m:  62        Total: 294
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Small Aurora opening on 2 m tonight

We had a small Aurora opening tonight. Seems it already started in the afternoon but I just recognized it after coming home from QRL this evening and switching on the rig to chase W1AW/1 in ME and wondering why condx were so bad, especially compared to yesterday. ;) The reflection zone has not been very stable, signals were there for a few minutes, then silence, then sigs coming up again … back & forth. Besides this the activity was not very high, too. Nevertheless I managed to work the following nice QSOs on 2 m:

QSO  by DH8BQA on 2 m. 
Type of propagation: AUR                Mode: All mode 
From 27/08/2014 to 27/08/2014           Distance over: 0 Km. 
------------------------------------------------------------------
   DATE     TIME CALLSIGN      LOCATOR  TX     RX    MODE      QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
27/08/2014 16:33 LA3BO         JO59CD   59A    56A    CW       707
27/08/2014 16:38 SM5DFF        JO88CN   59A    55A    CW       610
27/08/2014 16:43 SM5KWU        JO89IP   57A    55A    CW       734
27/08/2014 16:50 YL2FZ         KO37QI   52A    55A    CW       952
27/08/2014 16:53 LA6OJ         JO38HQ   55A    55A    CW       771
27/08/2014 17:01 SP1DFZ        JO84RE   52A    55A    CW       241
27/08/2014 17:04 GM3WOJ        IO77WS   55A    55A    CW      1257
27/08/2014 17:09 SP2CNW        JO93AI   55A    55A    CW       255
27/08/2014 17:12 SM7EOI        JO86FP   59A    59A    CW       410
27/08/2014 17:30 RZ1AP         KO49VW   42A    55A    CW      1209
27/08/2014 17:46 SM6LJP        JO68WI   54A    55A    CW       575
27/08/2014 17:57 ES3RF         KO29IF   55A    55A    CW       932
27/08/2014 18:25 SM7GVF        JO77GA   57A    55A    CW       427
------------------------------------------------------------------
Number of QSO listed: 13

For those of you who might never have heard how Aurora signals sound like here are a few audio recordings …

LA3BO & SM6LJP, both via Aurora:

ES3RF:

SM5KWU:

LA6OJ:

SM7GVF:

SK4MPI/B, the Aurora warning beacon:

Sorrily there was nothing at all on 6 m this time, I did not even hear any beacons via Aurora. That’s kinda strange …

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Surprise surprise – nice 10 & 6 m openings

Coming home from QRL switched on the radio to check condx. Found ZD8N pounding in on 10 CW, worked with just one call. :) Saw 6 & 4 m spots on the cluster so went to check six. Nothing heard. Scanning the CW band again and suddenly hearing C5YK at up to 599 calling lonely. Certainly ES + TEP linked propagation. Quickly worked him and spotted afterwards … oh, suddenly life on the band. ;) Yes, it always pays off to spin the dial oneself instead of only relying on the cluster. Made a nice audio recording of him …

C5YK on 6 m:

Nothing else heard. Then saw I8/UT3UX spotted on the cluster working FSK441 on 2 m via Meteor Scatter. Took about 20 minutes to complete and worked a new square with JM88, too. :)

Grabbed ZD8N on 10 SSB, too, then 6 m opened a bit via Sporadic E into the Ukraine but signals very much up & down, lots of QSB, not very stable. Went down to 12 m and easily worked a few US west coast guys. Condx picked up nicely during the last few days! Thought it might be worthwhile to check 10 m, too.

skimmer-10m-opening-2The band was well open all over Europe via Sporadic E but besides ZD8N no interesting DX heard. So I thought lets see if signals do cross the pond on 10 m, too. Skimmers on the Reverse Beacon Network are a good opportunity to check condx. And boy, we had condx! Worked a number of guys on the west coast on 10 m, some of them being real 599, nice! :) But it was very selective and I’m not sure yet what it was, either multi-hop ES or rather ES + F2. Suppose ES for the first hop (EI’s & G’s were booming in supporting that theory) and then F2 layer propagation (backed by the nice 12 m condx). Worked guys from WA, CA, AR, AZ, WY, TX & MO. AC7AF in Wyoming was a nice catch after digging him out of the noise as he was using just 80 watts into an Inverted-V antenna. Unfortunately activity was not very high so not many QSOs made. Probably due to being in the middle of the week and not many expecting such an opening so not many checking 10 m. Besides skimmers I got even spotted on the normal cluster but that didn’t help much, either. :( Checking 6 m again it was still (or again) open via ES into EI (backing my theory above). Made a few more QSOs on 12 m and working my way down to 10 MHz were I worked a few new ones, too (which is not difficult still being below the 100 DXCC mark on that band, hi). All in all quite nice evening. ;)

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4W – Timor Leste #294

It’s been quite quiet during the last few days concerning radio activity overhere. Heavy workload in QRL and rather bad condx so I didn’t spend much time on the radio. Now during the weekend I finally switched the rig on again and managed to work another ATNO. PE7T & 9V1YC are currently active from East Timor as 4W/PE7T & 4W/N1YC. Caught them both today, one on 20 m, the other one on 17 m, CW. Condx have improved during the last 2-3 days as well. Nice to see 15 m open around local midnight to A3 and KH6 on short path. Hope for another good DX season this autumn/winter before good ol’ sun finally drops activity and heads down into another sun spot minimum.

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Meteor Scatter DX on VHF – the Perseids meteor shower

It’s been a while since my last blog entry. I spent most of last week on the radio (when not in QRL) doing Meteor Scatter mainly on 2 m but a bit on 6 m, too. It’s been the time of the Perseids meteor shower that passes earth every year in early August.

ms-picI started using Meteor Scatter on 2 m myself about 20 years ago and have very fond memories of a lot of nice contacts made in highspeed CW and SSB. Nowadays almost all activity concentrates on digital modes like JT6M and FSK441 thanks to the efforts of Nobel laureate Joe Taylor, K1JT, and his WSJT software suite. It sure made MS (as Meteor Scatter is abbreviated) much easier. SSB is just used during the peak of a shower when you can expect reflections of several seconds up to a minute or so. This year’s shower was not outstanding but not too bad either. I’d classify it as “normal”. SSB activity was quite low but that might be related to the fact the shower peaked in the middle of the night from 12th to 13th August in a normal working week. I had set up a sked with Jussi, OH5LK, an old time VHF friend, to work on SSB MS hoping for a big enough “stone” to be able to complete our QSO in a single reflection. Maybe it was just bad timing but we needed almost 45 minutes to complete. Reminded me of all those many hours spent on CW & SSB in earlier years to work a new one when things were still more difficult and activity much lower. ;)

MS is an easy way to work new squares on VHF. This shower was no exception. There had been a few guys activating rare grid squares as well as residential guys providing new ones by popping up to do some MS QSOs. As activity is higher than normal you also happen to work some nice tropo contacts in-between. These are the almost one hundred QSOs worked on 6 & 2 m during Perseids, the asterisks denoting new locators on the respective bands. My grid square totals are up to 617 on 6 m and 503 on 2 m now. :)

------------------------------------------------------------------
 DATE     TIME   CALLSIGN     LOCATOR    BAND   MODE   PRO.   QRB 
------------------------------------------------------------------
03/08/14  20:53  GM4ZJI       IO86KE     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1159 
03/08/14  22:23  EI6GF        IO62RG     6 m.   JT6M   MS    1396 
04/08/14  17:06  G3VYF        JOØ1FN     6 m.   JT6M   MS     949 
04/08/14  19:51  SP3BJK       JO81HT     6 m.   JT6M   TR     224 
04/08/14  19:57  S58P         JN76ID     6 m.   JT6M   MS     784 
04/08/14  20:06  SA3AZK       JP73GF *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1116 
04/08/14  20:27  E77AR        JN94AS     2 m.   FSK4   MS     976 
04/08/14  20:59  F5GXX        IN95LP     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1381 
04/08/14  21:13  EI8IQ        IO62SF *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1391 
04/08/14  21:18  F8GGD        IN95UQ     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1335 
05/08/14  16:49  UT5ERP       KN77AQ     6 m.   CW     ES    1525 
05/08/14  21:15  IV3DXW       JN65QQ     2 m.   JT65   TR     836 
05/08/14  21:50  S51AT        JN75GW     2 m.   FSK4   MS     806 
06/08/14  21:27  DL8NP        JN58SC     2 m.   CW     TR     595 
06/08/14  21:29  DL8NP        JN58SC     2 m.   SSB    TR     595 
07/08/14  20:04  OH8MGK       KP23PQ *   6 m.   JT6M   MS    1329 
07/08/14  21:16  UT3UX        KO5ØHJ     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1168 
07/08/14  21:46  F5GHP        IN96LE     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1340 
08/08/14  20:47  RA3MAU       KO97XP *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1687 
09/08/14  06:59  EB5AL        IN9ØWB *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1817 
09/08/14  07:36  LA9BM        JP4ØCM *   6 m.   CW     MS     892 
09/08/14  07:54  UR5LAK       KN89KL     6 m.   JT6M   MS    1620 
09/08/14  08:28  GØCHE        IO9ØPS     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1054 
09/08/14  08:38  GØHVQ        IO81UX     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1120 
09/08/14  08:48  GW8JLY       IO81JM     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1194 
09/08/14  09:24  F6IFX/P      IN87XC *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1336 
09/08/14  10:06  YL/OK1MU     KOØ7SH     2 m.   SSB    TR     652 
09/08/14  18:28  IW7DEC       JN81GF *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1341 
09/08/14  21:01  R5BI         KO86OQ     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1511 
09/08/14  21:50  USØLW        KO8ØEE     6 m.   JT6M   MS    1557 
10/08/14  05:45  OH9HEU       KP25TD     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1475 
10/08/14  06:08  RM5P         KO94HA     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1605 
10/08/14  06:26  SM2A         KPØ4NP     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1332 
10/08/14  06:52  G6VXB/P      IO95EN     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1056 
10/08/14  07:17  OK2PMS       JN89WW *   6 m.   JT6M   MS     441 
10/08/14  07:53  OH7AZL       KP33ON *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1374 
10/08/14  08:52  F4EZJ        JNØ5DK     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1322 
10/08/14  09:12  SM/PA2DW     JP84HP *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1281 
10/08/14  09:40  EA3LL        JNØ1NE     6 m.   JT6M   MS    1655 
10/08/14  10:02  SP3MIP       JO82HX     2 m.   FSK4   TR     163 
10/08/14  10:58  F1MPQ        JNØ8XS     2 m.   FSK4   MS     986 
10/08/14  17:23  EI9E/P       IO41TU *   6 m.   JT6M   MS    1661 
10/08/14  21:58  EI9E/P       IO41TU *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1661 
10/08/14  22:27  SP7QJF       KO1ØFQ     6 m.   JT6M   MS     629 
11/08/14  17:28  YO6OBK       KN26TR *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1085 
11/08/14  21:18  F/PA5MS      JNØ4MW     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1323 
11/08/14  21:44  UW8SM        KN28IV     2 m.   FSK4   MS     874 
11/08/14  22:35  EA3BTZ       JN11BI     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1596 
12/08/14  05:55  RU1MS        KO48VR     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1145 
12/08/14  06:23  OH9EKT       KP38SP *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1854 
12/08/14  06:47  F6APE        IN97QI     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1234 
12/08/14  16:40  RW3XR        KO73FU     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1336 
12/08/14  17:57  UA1OEJ       KP94VN *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1915 
12/08/14  18:17  RM1A         KO59BU     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1220 
12/08/14  18:58  R3YA         KO73FA     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1347 
12/08/14  19:33  R3ICQ        KO77LJ     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1388 
12/08/14  19:43  RK3AF        KO75WO     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1422 
12/08/14  19:51  UT2UB        KO4ØUO     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1099 
12/08/14  20:14  OH2LKV       KP2ØIL     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1029 
12/08/14  20:54  EI7IX        IO53FT     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1565 
12/08/14  21:14  EI8HH        IO53HN     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1557 
12/08/14  21:41  UA1ANA       KO59EW     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1237 
12/08/14  21:55  OH6UW        KP22WH     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1224 
12/08/14  22:00  EU6AF        KO35LA     2 m.   FSK4   MS     854 
12/08/14  22:24  RA3UAG       LOØ6GU     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1715 
12/08/14  23:08  OH5LK        KP3ØON     2 m.   SSB    MS    1134 
12/08/14  23:38  YL/OK2ZAW    KO17BF     2 m.   FSK4   MS     673 
12/08/14  23:46  RN3A         KO85NV     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1501 
12/08/14  23:59  US5EY        KN67RX     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1471 
13/08/14  00:02  UW7LL/A      KN66IQ     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1502 
13/08/14  17:12  EA3AXV       JNØ1TJ     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1613 
13/08/14  20:03  RV3MA        KO98JB *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1624 
13/08/14  20:10  SM7SJR       JO87FB *   6 m.   CW     TR     454 
13/08/14  20:20  SP8SN        KO11FI *   6 m.   JT6M   MS     597 
13/08/14  21:02  GD6ICR       IO74PF     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1246 
13/08/14  21:27  F1NZC        JN15MR *   2 m.   FSK4   MS    1154 
13/08/14  21:39  YL2DA        KOØ6MM     2 m.   FSK4   TR     573 
13/08/14  21:49  G8RWG        IO91WH     2 m.   FSK4   MS     996 
13/08/14  21:55  F6BEG        JN25JS     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1067 
13/08/14  22:15  F8DO         JN26IF     2 m.   FSK4   MS    1030 
14/08/14  19:54  SM5P         JO88FX *   6 m.   CW     TR     659 
14/08/14  20:13  SM3LWP       JP72NC *   6 m.   JT6M   MS     993 
14/08/14  20:23  OZ7KJ        JO46ML     6 m.   CW     TR     493 
14/08/14  20:33  IW2HAJ       JN45NO     6 m.   JT6M   MS     919 
14/08/14  20:59  GM4VVX       IO78TA     6 m.   FSK4   MS    1279 
14/08/14  21:35  IKØOKY       JN61ES     6 m.   JT6M   MS    1276 
14/08/14  21:41  I6WJB        JN72CK     6 m.   JT6M   MS    1195 
------------------------------------------------------------------

After spending so much time on the radio I certainly need a break now! ;) Will be driving some 600 km tomorrow to meet some contester friends at DP9A in Jessen. Andy, DK4WA, invited me to joing their annual BBQ so looking forward to some “non-radio contacts” now. ;)

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Nordic Activity Contest August ’14

Spend a little time in tonight’s NAC on 2 m. It’s always a nice opportunity to do some VHF DX QSOs into Scandinavia as activity in those 4 hour events is quite high. A real pity those guys are seldomly QRV in the big 24 hour contests. Anyway, despite not very good conditions these were the more interesting ones among the 30 QSOs made:

------------------------------------------------------------------
 TIME    CALLSIGN        LOCATOR   TX    RX     BAND MODE     QRB 
------------------------------------------------------------------
 18:54   ESØS            KO17AV    559   559    2 m. CW       718 
 18:58   LAØBY           JO59IX    559   559    2 m. CW       785 
 19:03   SM4GGC          JO69RK    559   529    2 m. CW       696 
 19:05   SK6W            JO78FM    559   559    2 m. CW       593 
 19:08   LA2Z            JO59EJ    579   579    2 m. CW       729 
 19:34   SA6CBY          JO57XP    55    55     2 m. SSB      515 
 19:35   SM6CEN/P        JO66HV    52    57     2 m. SSB      424 
 19:45   SA6AIN          JO68UD    599   579    2 m. CW       552 
 19:48   UA2FT           KOØ4LT    539   599    2 m. CW       476 
 20:02   G4SWX           JOØ2RF    519   559    2 m. CW       864 
 20:35   LA1T            JO59FB    55    53     2 m. SSB      693 
 20:49   LY2SA           KO14UG    419   559    2 m. CW       636 
 21:00   YL2DA           KOØ6MM    529   529    2 m. CW       573 
 21:01   YL3AG           KOØ6WK    559   579    2 m. CW       609 
 21:15   IV3DXW          JN65QQ    O     O      2 m. JT65     836 
------------------------------------------------------------------

IV3DXW was worked on his request in the ON4KST chat after the contest using JT65B on a for him difficult tropo path as he has to cross the Alps. Worked easily. :)

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Alpe Adria & BBT contests on 2 m

Spent a little time Sunday morning handing out points on 2 m during the Alpe Adria contest. Nice thing about that one is that the activity concentrates on Southern Europe thus you can work quite a bit of VHF DX then without the usual QRM in the big European contests. ;-) Made 42 QSOs in total. The more remarkable ones, i.e. over 600 km distance, were the following:

------------------------------------------------------------------
 TIME    CALLSIGN        LOCATOR   TX    RX     BAND MODE     QRB 
------------------------------------------------------------------
 07:26   S57O            JN86DT    59    59     2 m. SSB      724 
 07:51   HA6W            KNØ8FB    59    59     2 m. SSB      720 
 08:30   OM3BH           JN87WV    59    59     2 m. SSB      643 
 08:46   S51ZO           JN86DR    599   599    2 m. CW       733 
 08:59   OE/OK2CM        JN77QP    599   599    2 m. CW       622 
 09:27   9A1CMS          JN86DM    59    59     2 m. SSB      756 
 09:31   HG1Z            JN86KU    59    59     2 m. SSB      729 
 10:00   S59DEM          JN75DS    59    59     2 m. SSB      824 
 10:53   F6DCD/P         JN38RQ    59    59     2 m. SSB      688 
 11:48   SM4GGC          JO69RK    549   559    2 m. CW       696 
------------------------------------------------------------------

bbtThe BBT (Bayrischer Bergtag) is running in parallel for 2,5 hours, too. It has some special rules limiting total station weight depending on band (including antennas, cables, transceiver, mast, etc.) as well as maximum usable output power which is 6 watts. It’s always astounding what can be achieved with QRP on VHF from a good mountain top QTH. The following guys used something like 5 watts and small yagis resulting in remarkable distances for that kind of equipment:

------------------------------------------------------------------
 TIME    CALLSIGN        LOCATOR   TX    RX     BAND MODE     QRB 
------------------------------------------------------------------
 11:00   DL3WP/P         JN48NI    59    59     2 m. SSB      645 
 11:29   DL2AM/P         JN57BR    52    55     2 m. SSB      672 
 11:43   DL4SBK/P        JN57GN    51    51     2 m. SSB      677 
------------------------------------------------------------------
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European HF Championship

Made just a few QSOs (not much time available) in EUHFC to hand out a few points. Did some running during the last contest hour on 80 & 40 m and had fun with a 110/h rate which is almost too much for my bad CW. ;-)

                  European HF Championship

Call: DH8BQA

Class: CW Only HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 3:30

Summary:
 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Mults
---------------------------
  160:    7             7
   80:  125            48
   40:   57            31
   20:   57            32
   15:   10             9
   10:    2             2
---------------------------
Total:  258     0     129  Total Score = 33,282
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New awards received: RIGA 2014 & WRTC Chase Award

riga2014awardThe city of Riga, capital city of Latvia, is the official European Capital of Culture 2014. Therefor Riga radio amateurs founded the award series RIGA – European Capital of Culture – 2014. Three award categories Gold, Silver, Bronze are available and can be obtained by contacting a certain number of special event callsigns starting with YL2014. The guys are quite active so to achieve at least Bronze is not that difficult. The award is issued for free and sent as a PDF file.

wrtc_chase_awardAnother award received recently, also as a downloadable PDF file, was my WRTC Chase Award, pictured right. It was only issued to those 388 radio amateurs worldwide (41 of them in Germany) that made contact with all 59 teams during WRTC2014 that was held in parallel to the IARU HF Championship in July. The Chase Awards series was certainly a strong motivation to be QRV during IARU-HF myself. It’s been a nice incentive by the organizers, something to keep in mind for the next WRTC in 2018, too. ;-) The German WRTC participants and visitors signed the “Boston declaration” to file an application to the WRTC sanction committee to bring the next WRTC to Germany in 2018, an idea I strongly support. If you are willing to support that idea, too, please sign the declaration online. As it is in German you might want to let Google translate it for you to get the basic meaning although the translation is not the very best. ;-)

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Better luck on six today :-)

Besides doing a few QSOs in the IOTA contest and chasing W1AW portable QSO slots (this week in Rhode Island and Indiana) I also had more luck on 6 m today. The band was well open into Scandinavia via Sporadic E this morning. Activity is usually not very high up north but now and then you happen to work a new one. Today it’s been LA5MIA in JP78 as well as OH8UL in KP45 who provided new squares for me. The band closed down after lunch so I could do a few other things out of house in the afternoon without fearing to miss something. ;-) Then we had another slight opening in the evening to the west when EJØPL in very rare square IO42 (not much land in there) contributed grid locator #609. :)

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IOTA contest & YJ – Vanuatu as a new one

Just handing out a few QSOs/points while further beta-testing N1MMLogger+ this weekend … and working YJØUO on 20 CW caught me by surprise, it’s been another ATNO so 293 DXCCs wkd now. :)

                   IOTA Contest

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SO(A)24Mixed HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 13.5

Summary:
 Band  CW Qs  CW Mults  Ph Qs  Ph Mults
----------------------------------------
   80:   15       11       8       7
   40:   22       17      20      11
   20:   62       40      17      11
   15:   54       33      18      14
   10:   40       16      27      13
----------------------------------------
Total:  193      117      90      56  Total Score = 585,951
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Bad luck on six today

After spending 12 hours in QRL today I came home in the evening just to hear from the locals there was a real good 6 m opening to the U.S. early afternoon. Great signals, lots of stations and our guys worked quite a number of new squares along the U.S. East Coast. Oh well … :(

The band opened slightly late evening again. Heard NWØW up to 529 but no QSO. He even came back twice with “QA?” but of course all of Europe was still calling, no matter what he asked for. These are the moments when I’m really thinking of giving up on 6 m. It’s not the gentleman’s band anymore it used to be. Same misbehaviour as in shortwave pileups. :( Think all the stuff like 10BDXCC tables, DXCC Challenge, etc. where you gain extra points for 6 m have a bad influence. Maybe it’s also the fact you can get on six so easily nowadays as virtually every transceiver has 6 m included and a lot of multiband antennas do so, too. <rant modus off>

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Six across the pond again

Another nice 6 m opening tonight, this time to VO1. Worked VO1VCE and VO1HP on CW and heard VO1SO on SSB, the latter just down in the noise so did not even call. All 3 stations are in GN37 so once again no new ones, already wkd GN37 a few years ago. VE1PZ popped up again later, too. A pity it was so localized.

VO1VCE: 

VO1HP: 

VE1PZ: 

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More 6 m across the pond …

Six has been open across the pond again tonight. Signals have been as strong as never heard before. So after my rant yesterday it seems the propagation god decided to send a good opening to JO73 today … maybe I should complain more often. ;-) Sorrily it was very localized, i.e. only grids FN85 & FN86 in Canada could be worked. Whenever we are lucky to get an opening at all the signals are usually just above the noise. Not so this time: VY2ZM/FN86 was real 599 on my K3′s calibrated s-meter and VE1PZ/FN85 made it up to 569 on the meter. Only made a QSO with VE1PZ after he was calling CQ without an answer. Otherwise I would not have called him (and didn’t with VY2ZM) as I had already worked him during an opening a few years ago. Rather leaving the opportunities to the other guys for whom it could be a new one. Just wished everybody would think that way!

VY2ZM: 

VE1PZ: 

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Massive 4 m opening and a bit of 6 m NA

Six meters opened into North America tonight but once again bad luck overhere. Briefly heard AC4TO with about 419 and K4RX with 529 but couldn’t raise their attention. A pity as both would have been new squares. Always have the impression JO73 is the blackhole during such openings. Seems skip distances are always right to reach G, ON, PA then jumping over our heads and only eastern Europe getting the propagation again. :(

Muf-20-07-2014-rauBesides this ES conditions were outstanding during late afternoon and evening (although 2 m did not open). 6 & 4 m have been open until well after midnight local time across Europe. I didn’t do many QSOs as I was mainly looking for new squares (but none found). Picture left shows just 4 m cluster spots mapped for a 10 minute period around 16:50 UTC. Seems a lot of German guys have fun on 4 m now, too. We got a special permit to operate the lower 30 kHz of 4 m, i.e. 70.000 to 70.030 MHz, from July 1st to August 31st 2014. Practically almost all QSOs have to be done using split as the rest of Europe is usually doing their operations around 70.200 MHz. I did not become QRV yet due to the short time frame. Nevertheless a big THANKS to DARC for their persistance to make 4 m happen in DL. They are further working on a permanent permit to use the band in Germany. So hopefully next year we might have more spectrum access and for a longer period, keeping fingers crossed! ;)

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DMC-RTTY & NAQP-RTTY

Did a few QSOs on RTTY during the weekend in DMC and NAQP contests mainly to further test N1MMLogger+. It’s a quite stable product already, only finding minor things still that do not harm contest operations. To be honest I cannot even imagine to ever go back to the “classic” N1MMLogger anymore as all the small new features of NL+ make life so much easier and more comfortable. ;-)

Was looking for new US states in NAQP but sorrily none worked (still missing 11 RTTY confirmations in LoTW for my WAS Triple Play Award, CW & SSB full house already, of course ;-)). 15 m closed early, condx were rather poor compared to the last few days & weeks. 20 m was well open during the night, worked a number of CA stations there. Amazing sigs at times taking into account they can only use 100 W in the NAQP.

As I was using 500 W and cluster my few QSOs were just good for a checklog:

                North American QSO Party, RTTY - July

Call: DH8BQA

Class: CHECKLOG
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 5

Summary:
 Band  QSOs  Mults
-------------------
   20:   85    43
   15:   18    11
-------------------
Total:  103    54  Total Score = 5,562

For DMC I made an entry in the 12 hours class. Had a nice JA run Sunday morning. :)

                   DMC RTTY Contest

Call: DH8BQA

Class: Single Op 12 HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 10

Summary:
 Band  QSOs
------------
   40:   20
   20:  116
   15:  177
   10:   23
------------
Total:  336  Total Score = 133,056
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IARU-HF & WRTC 2014

I did not really plan to enter this year’s IARU HF Championship. We do some station sharing for the bigger contests between Uwe, DL3BQA, and me. In the past both RUSDX and IARU-HF were for the same OP (either Uwe or me) within the same year. To make that more fair we just recently decided to swap things, i.e. I had the RUSDX this year so Uwe would take the IARU this year, next year the other way round. Sorrily Uwe could not make it into IARU-HF due to short-term QRL, a pity. So I took the chance to do a non-serious effort just to hand out a few points and chase all the WRTC participants. ;-) All in all about 16 hours for radio besides some other obligations.

WRTC 2014 FAI was able to snatch all 59 WRTC stations (202 QSOs in total) to qualify for a few of the Activity & Participation Awards. Band by band breakdown shows 35 wkd on 40 m, 57 on 20 m and 55 on 15 m. N1S was worked on all 6 band/mode slots used, ufb! A big number of guys with 4 or 5 slots, too. All stations worked on at least 2 slots except for K1O whom I could only work on 20 CW, never heard them anywhere else. Wonder if they had some problems or just the wrong choice of bands vs. times? Was also thrilling to watch the live scoreboard and see things evolving. ;-) These ladies and gents really are the world’s top-notch contesters! Even the “worst” team did some 3.100 QSOs with just 100 W & a tri-bander plus dipole in 24 hours and the leaders made some 4.500+ QSOs … wow! These are figures us normal guys just dream about. ;-)

Besides chasing the WRTC crowd I made some “normal” contacts, too, i.e. handing out points here & there. Did a few runs on 15 CW but not too much, about 80% of all QSOs were done by S&P due to the above mentioned chase. Used the cluster this time not to miss any WRTCs (as this was my main goal and reasoning for being QRV at all) so this entry goes into the M/S class as the IARU-HF does not have an assisted class. I did not take care of the 10 min band change rule for M/S so it might well be I will get reclassified to a checklog or even get “disqualified” for too many band changes within 10 minutes. A quick look into the log revealed at least 5 rule violations – so be it, no serious entry. ;-)

Here’s the overall result of this part time activity:

                    IARU HF World Championship

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SO(A) --> M/S HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 16

Summary:
 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Zones  HQ Mults
-------------------------------------
  160:    9     11      1       15
   80:   24     26      5       22
   40:   88     23      8       31
   20:  137     82     15       30
   15:  216     78     25       38
   10:   31     23      8       19
-------------------------------------
Total:  505    243     62      155  Total Score = 563,115

Comments:
Elecraft K3 + KPA500 = 500 W, 160 m lazy loop, 80 & 40 m dipoles,
20 m 4 ele YU7EF Yagi, 15 m & 10 m 6 ele G0KSC OWA Yagis each
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Two ATNOs worked

During the last two days I worked T88KH, Republic of Palau, on 15 m SSB and V73NS, Marshall Islands, on 15 m CW for two all time new ones. DXCC total up to 292 now, slowly moving to the “magic” 300. ;-) As I am not too serious about HF DXing (more of a VHF & contesting guy), i.e. I would certainly not spend hours after hours, days after days, just to work a new one, I am quite happy with the results. ;-)

6 m has been dead dead dead again during the last few days. This morning at least saw a small and very localized opening into Spain when I finally managed to work EB4IC in IM78 for square #605. Have been chasing him for quite a while now. AFAIK he’s the only active station in IM78.

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YA – Afghanistan #131 on 6 m

Lucky guy overhere! Finally caught T6DD on 6 m today for DXCC #131 and square #604. He has been quite active during the last few weeks but the skip was never right. But this morning it finally did fit. :) So it was good to monitor his frequency besides doing the VHF contest. ;-) As he’s using LoTW the QSO is already confirmed, too. :)

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DAØHQ in July’s VHF contest 2014

We had the honor to activate DAØHQ on 2 m during last weekend’s VHF contest. DAØHQ is the German Headquarters station during next weekend’s IARU HF World Championship. So we used the call to be active on 2m, too, and hand out this year’s special DOK HQ14. DAØHQ is a mandatory station to be worked for the DJ60DXMB jubilee award so it’s been a rare opportunity for the VHF-only guys. ;)

Contest         : DARC VHF-, UHF-, Microwave contest, July '14
Callsign        : DA0HQ 
Category        : Multi Operator - Single Transmitter (MS) 
Band(s)         : Single band (SB) 144 
Class           : High Power (HP) 
Locator         : JO73CE 

 BAND   QSO DUP LOC  POINTS AVG PTS AVG DIS 
-------------------------------------------- 
  144   456   0  79  173908   381.4   381.4 
-------------------------------------------- 
TOTAL   456   0  79  173908   381.4   381.4 
============================================ 
           TOTAL SCORE : 173 908 

Operators       : DG1BHA, DH8BQA, DK7YY, DL3BQA, DL5CW 
Soapbox         : Handing out the HQ14 special DOK ...

Besides doing the contest we exchanged the 15 m rotator, too. Now having a KR-2700SDX rotating our “monster”, i.e. a 6 ele OWA Yagi on a 15 m boom. The 2700 can take a bit more load than the old 2000 so having a better feeling now. ;-)

Posted in Antennas, Contesting, Equipment, VHF | Comments Off