Short-lived but intense Aurora opening

We had another short-lived but intense Aurora opening this afternoon/early evening. Signals were very strong, SM4IVE was peaking 59A+20! Didn’t extend much south but nevertheless always enjoyable to work those other VHF enthusiasts. ;-)

------------------------------------------------------------------
DATE       TIME  CALLSIGN LOCATOR   TX  RX   BAND  MODE  PRO.  QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
20/10/2014 16:37 LA3BO    JO59CD    57A 56A  2 m.  CW    AUR   707
20/10/2014 16:41 GM3WOJ   IO77WS    52A 55A  2 m.  CW    AUR  1257
20/10/2014 16:45 SMØNKZ   JO99IQ    59A 59A  2 m.  CW    AUR   773
20/10/2014 16:46 OH5LK    KP3ØON    59A 58A  2 m.  CW    AUR  1134
20/10/2014 16:52 SM4GGC   JO69RK    59A 59A  2 m.  CW    AUR   696
20/10/2014 16:56 LAØBY    JO59FW    59A 59A  2 m.  CW    AUR   784
20/10/2014 17:13 SM4HFI   JP7ØTO    57A 57A  2 m.  CW    AUR   829
20/10/2014 17:18 SM5KWU   JO89IP    57A 57A  2 m.  CW    AUR   734
20/10/2014 17:34 SM4IVE   JO79SD    59A 59A  2 m.  CW    AUR   667
------------------------------------------------------------------
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WAG ’14

wag-qsos-per-hourThe Worked All Germany Contest 2014 is history now. After doing 1.923 QSOs last year with superb conditions but only keeping my butt 23 hours in the chair the goal for this year was to finally break the 2.000 QSO mark from our medium sized station and make it through the whole 24 hours, of course. I managed the latter but to be honest it was really difficult. I was not well prepared, i.e. not enough sleep the days before, too much QRL, a.s.o. I really had some senior moments especially Sunday morning when rates were low and microsleep caught me a few times. Sleep depriviation did not help with my not too good CW, too, so please excuse me for all the repeats needed. My mind simply switched of at times after receiving the first 2 or 3 letters of a caller. ;)

wag-qsos-cumulatedSo what about the other goal? Yes, I knocked down the 2.000. But this as well was real hard work as condx were much much worse then last year. An X-flare just before the contest was going to wipe out condx. Especially Sunday was really bad. 10 m stayed closed overhere until almost noon and even then only allowing QSOs up to UA9 and the more southern path’. Backscatter was bad, too, but got better again in the afternoon. Also North America opened again during the last contest hour on 10 m but only for the big guns and no high rates possible. Saturday was a lot better but even with a good 10 m opening right at the start of the contest it did not produce the same rates like last year. So I quickly QSYed down into the other bands.

wag-qso-deltaAs can be seen from the charts left and right (click them to enlarge) I lost a few QSOs at the beginning compared to last year. I made up for it later on and at times was ahead 185 QSOs (spent more time on 40 m working nice DL pileups). But the bad condx on Sunday let that edge shrink hour after hour. :(

Bad condx also meant bad points average as less DX was worked. I couldn’t get anything going on 20 m SSB at all. In general it was much more fun on CW so I might change over to the CW-only class next year instead of Mixed. ;)

Having my goal of breaking the 2.000 QSO mark I did not pay any attention to multipliers, just worked what came across. Yes, that’s not the right strategy for a high total score but this was not what I was aiming for this time. ;) For scoring high you need a high QSO total as well as a high multiplier total. Both together will only work with SO2R techniques … something left to try in the future. ;)

After all the new antenna setup (see below) surely helped a bit at least against the bad conditions. Here’s the score summary …

                    Worked All Germany Contest

Call: DH8BQA

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

Summary:
 Band  CW Qs  SSB Qs  Mults
----------------------------
   80:   342    259     42
   40:   300    239     44
   20:   202     17     43
   15:   240    138     42
   10:   182    103     44
----------------------------
Total:  1266    756    215  Total Score = 1,171,320

… and a more detailed comparison of 2013 vs. 2014 (claimed scores each):

-----------------------------------------------
Worked All Germany Contest Comparison 2013/2014
-----------------------------------------------
                           2013            2014
-----------------------------------------------
SSN                         149              60
K-Index                     0-1             2-4
A-Index                       2            9-13
-----------------------------------------------
QSOs                       1923            2033
Mults                       244             216
QSO-Points                 5788            5448
Total points            1412272         1176768
-----------------------------------------------
Best 60 min rate            170             152
Best rate band              80m             40m
-----------------------------------------------
Equipment                    K3              K3
Antenna 80 m             Dipole          Dipole
Antenna 40 m             Dipole          Dipole
Antenna 20 m       Cushcraft X7         4L Yagi
Antenna 15 m       Cushcraft X7         6L Yagi
Antenna 10 m            6L Yagi         6L Yagi
-----------------------------------------------

Detailed SH5 analysis is available here. See you all in WWDX-SSB next weekend!

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VK9L – Lord Howe Island #297

vk9dlx

Worked the VK9DLX guys on 12 SSB, 15 CW & 20 SSB without any trouble … thanks for a new one, guys! I’m sure there will be a few more band/mode slots in the log during the next few days … having holidays now and a bit more time to play radio. ;) The WAG contest is going to start 15 UTC today for 24 hours. Hope to work you!

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No QSOs this week but one – ZS on 6 m

This week has been quite busy at work again so I was not in the mood to do any amateur radio in the evenings. I even ignored VK9DLX becoming active from Lord Howe which is a new one for me and should be easy to work, they are good guys there! But they will stay for 2 weeks so I can certainly work them next week when up at the station anyway for WAG and WWDX-SSB and preparations in-between. And pileups should be a lot smaller by then, too. ;)

There was just one evening I switched the radio on, Tuesday. That was after Sandro, DD3SP, a good friend about 80 km south, told me he had just worked ZS on 6 m through an ES + TEP link. With my usual luck of course nothing was heard overhere. Yes, those 80 km *do* make a difference, sometimes even on 10 m but especially so on 6 m. So I kept the frequency of ZS4TX/6 running in the background while doing other things around. About half an hour later he suddenly came up, peaking 559 for a few seconds (certainly MS reflections) and being about 529-539 for a few minutes in total. After a few repeats we made it a complete QSO before he vanished into the noise again. Just my 2nd South Africa contact on the Magic Band and KG47 a new square. :)

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TMC – The Makrothen Contest 2014 on 10 m

Well, to be honest I did not have that one on my contest radar. Yes, I knew it existed but was not aware it was this weekend. While doing a few other things I saw Mike, VE9AA, spotted on 10 m on the cluster. Believe it or not, this was the reason for me to switch on N1MMLogger+ and give it a go – I just wanted to work Mike. We had quite a number of contacts in past years and although we have never met in person nor have exchanged many emails I consider him a friend. Might be because of similar mindsets and radio likes. ;)

So after being in the game anyway I thought I could maybe spend an hour in the contest and see how good condx on 10 m are. You know it could always be the last 10 m opening in this now declining sunspot cycle. ;) After one hour and quite a nice rate for RTTY circumstances I thought why not do a full hundred. And after that it was just 45 minutes left until the end of the contest so why not stay in the game … ;)

makrothen-naWhat I like about TMC is it uses grid squares as exchange. Being a VHFer by heart I really like that stuff! :) Furthermore TMC is one of the few contests that is really distance based. UFB! There is nice software out there like VE3NEA’s DX Atlas used to create the grid square maps you see above and below and plot what you’ve worked. Although certainly not representative the North America map nicely shows a mixture of population centers as well as propagation. While it was good to see 10 m opening up into North America propagation just allowed QSOs into the eastern half of the continent. WO7V in DM41 was the only exception and he was really weak. Later on I was able to log a few more AZ stations in the Arizona QSO Party on 10 m with some of them peaking 59(9)+10 but only the big guys. So it was certainly all about antenna and propagation elevation angles and profiting from good antenna height.

makrothen-euAnother interesting point might be all the Europeans worked. They do not provide many points, i.e. working into JO20, 21, 22 (Belgium and Holland) is just 600 km from here. Compare that to the 6-7.000 km into the U.S. east coast, 9.000 km to the U.S. west coast or those 12.000 km down to Argentina or Brazil. BUT they usually need much more work as they all come via Backscatter so are usally rather weak, too. But hey, that’s half of the fun for a VHF proficient weak signal guy, isn’t it? ;)

So to cut a long story short: Nice to work Mike again. ;) Nice to see 10 m open. :) And finally 2,5 hours of good fun!

                  Makrothen RTTY Contest

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SO/Single Xcvr HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 2.5

Summary:
 Band  QSOs
------------
   10:  140
------------
Total:  140  Total Score = 714,508

Comments:
Elecraft K3 + KPA500 + 6 ele OWA @ 18 m height
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Nice 10 m condx again but no luck on 6 m

Today saw much improved condx again although the forecast told otherwise. ;) Ten was wide open, even into the U.S. West Coast late afternoon and well into the evening. The California QSO Party was going on so lots of stuff to work … made some 40 QSOs into CA just on 10 m in about an hour total operating time … great fun! Unfortunately I didn’t log them as a real contest including counties so no way to send a log in. Would I have known before then of course … ;) Could also add a few more W1AW portable band/mode slots due to the nice conditions. Really keeping fingers crossed to have such propagation (still or again) during WWDX-SSB later this month as well as during WWDX-CW at the end of November!

Six had some very good TEP propagation, too. As is usually the case it only extends north to S5, 9A and sometimes south DL. For it to be usable up here we need the help of Sporadic E to get into it. Not sure if it was ES or maybe just a very long meteor reflection but I could hear V51YJ on CW for a bit over three minutes starting strong with real 599 out of a sudden and then slowly dropping down to an S2/3 signal for the remaining two minutes (yes, sounds like the characteristics of a long meteor burst). No luck catching him, too big a pileup, but as I had already worked Namibia before no problem. Unfortunately nothing from the ZS’s overhere, even during those 3 minutes.

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T3Ø – Western Kiribati #296

t30dAfter hearing them weakly on 12 m yesterday (using the 10 m yagi ;)) I was lucky enough to catch them this morning on 15 m CW for another all time new one, now being up to #296. The pileups are huge, CW split goes over 6 kHz, not too bad. ;) It’s a German team of well known DXers & DXpeditioneers (click picture above to visit their website) so allow me to switch once to German on this otherwise English language blog: Viel Spaß und viel Glück weiterhin, Jungs! Herzlichen Dank! :)

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CQ WWDX RTTY 2014

cqAs I just recently discovered I might like RTTY contesting I thought it would be a good idea to enter (for the first time ever) the CQ WW RTTY held last weekend. I already did a few smaller RTTY contests during the last few month’ and really liked it. Well, the CQ WW RTTY felt a bit different. First of all conditions were quite distorted due to a recent flare. SFI up into the 200′s but that does not help anything at all if Aurora is going on so no good 10 m condx overhere up north. :( Second I really felt like QRP although I’ve been pushing the KPA500 to it’s limits, i.e. 600-650 watts depending on band. And our antennas are really not the smallest ones but I always had the feeling of always being the last in the queue of callers. Well, activity might have been a reason, bands were really full, i.e. up to 60 kHz on 40 m, 70 kHz on 20 m and even with not optimum condx up to 60 kHz on 10 m …

Usually CQ WW RTTY is *the* RTTY contest for Uwe, DL3BQA. He’s a big fan of RTTY contesting so he regularly participates in that one, of course. Naturally he had the choice of band and decided for 15 m. I had some other obligations during the weekend, too, so decided to spend a few hours every now and then and do an allband entry just for fun. Well, “allband” was rather 4 bands as 15 m could not be used, of course. ;) Good thing about it was I could systematically test out all the measures taken during the last few month’ to get rid of inter-station interference. Seems it really paid off as we did not have any serious problems at all with parallel station usage. Even 40 / 15 which is usually a really hard combination worked flawlessly except when the 15 m yagi was pointing directly to the 40 m dipole. But that seldomly happens so no issue either. ;)

Sunday late evening condx improved again and I could even copy most of the U.S. West Coast states on 10 m. Sorrily I could not raise a single soul at all. Although signals were up to 539 they just CQ’ed into my face. :( Really wondering if I might have too hot an RX overhere or if those guys are running lots of kilowatts or simply have bad receivers. Quite a frustrating situation … Anyway, here’s my tiny result:

                  CQ Worldwide DX Contest, RTTY

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SOAB(A) HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 21

Summary:
 Band  QSOs  State/Prov  DX   Zones
------------------------------------
   80:  180       0       43     9
   40:  187      19       63    16
   20:  225      29       56    19
   15:    1       0        1     1
   10:  141       8       60    29
------------------------------------
Total:  734      56      223    47  Total Score = 599,747

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

Detailed SH5 analysis is available here.

Next up are WAG and WWDX-SSB for me. I will have a week of holidays in-between. So we’ll try to install some beverages and gain some experience with RX antennas for the low bands. Never done it before so eager to learn … ;)

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Trophy with a difference :-)

100_1133I had an information in my post box yesterday that a parcel was waiting for me at the local post office. I was very curious what it was as I could not remember to have ordered something. ;) So I went there after QRL today to pick it up. Surprise was big and pleasant when opening the parcel: It’s been a nice set of fine French wine, olives, chocolate, etc. I quickly remembered that we had won the MMMonVHF voting for the “BEST VHF expedition of 2013″ for our maritime mobile tour across the Baltic Sea activating some of the rare wet squares on 6 m (LY2AAM/mm) as well as 2 m (DH8BQA/mm) using Tropo and Meteor Scatter propagation modes. Frank, DL8YHR, was the voting’s trophy sponsor and kind enough to send this surprise parcel with a trophy with a difference. :) Many thanks! We will enjoy it for sure. ;)

Posted in Awards, Expeditions, VHF | Comments Off

Nice 10 m opening this afternoon

Wow, 10 m is back! :) We had a very nice opening into North America this afternoon & early evening lasting for about 5 hours! Propagation forecast looked rather bad for today but luckily it was entirely wrong. ;) Ten opened up nicely as far as to the mid-west with Colorado being the western-most state I heard. Signals were very strong, i.e. 100 watts plus dipole stations from Michigan and all along the East Coast were easily hitting the S9 mark on my K3′s calibrated s-meter. Our big 6 ele OWA Yagi up 18 m high certainly helped a bit but anyway, always nice to reach across the pond on 10 m. Now let’s all keep our fingers crossed for conditions to hold thru the season. Next weekend has the WWDX-RTTY contest where we all could use some nice condx, right? Having the West Coast open up would of course be even better. ;) By the way, 15 m was still open around local mid-night here … all very promising!

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SAC-CW

saclogga_rightDid a few QSOs in the Scandinavian Activity Contest last night on 80 & 40 m. The contest has a nice LowBand class that fits perfectly for us here in northern Germany as the distance into Scandivia is rather short. Made a few more QSOs via backscatter this morning on the high bands just for fun and to hand out some more points although they didn’t count for me in the LowBand class. Activity by the Scandinavian countries was very good. Maybe I should block some more time next year (or even this year in the SSB part in October) to do a more serious effort …

                   Scandinavian Activity Contest, CW

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SO-LoBands HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 5

Summary:
 Band  QSOs  Mults
-------------------
   80:  80     29
   40:  90     34
   20: (17)      
   15: (15)      
   10: (20)      
-------------------
Total: 170     63  Total Score = 10,710
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VK9N – Norfolk #295 … but bad luck on 6 m

Worked VK9NT on 20 m SSB via long path this morning for another ATNO. :) 6 m saw a nice Sporadic E opening late afternoon into France and southern Spain. Additionally there was some TEP so TJ3SN & TY1AA who would both have been new ones for me worked with 59+ signals into southern Europe. Unfortunately the ES was not right to link into the TEP so I had no luck again. :( I heard both just above the noise for a few minutes each but no chance, of course. It didn’t help much that C5YK was 599+ for about an hour later on (there the ES + TEP link worked alright). Didn’t even call as I worked him before already, left the chance to others …

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WAE-SSB 2014

Played a bit in this year’s WAE-SSB last weekend. Getting used to the new QTC mode in N1MMLogger+ was really easy and I have to admit it’s great although I found a few small bugs. They got corrected already during the contest after reporting them on the NL+ mailing list. The developer team around Tom, N1MM, is really doing a great job on the new logger. Although still in Beta I cannot imagine ever going back to N1MMLogger “Classic”. ;-)

Did just a few QSOs now and then (100% S&P) and concentrated on working QTCs for beta testing the logger. So the result is not too big but was fun anyway. Also had a nice 2 h opening on 10 m into the U.S. on Sunday afternoon. It’s only been the East Coast, only the big guns and only very selective but nevertheless good to see the band opening up. Listened a while to the guys in Southern Germany – you really do get jealous here in the North! Heard just about 10% of the stations they worked on 10 m! Yes, location, location, location … Anyway, still keeping fingers crossed for another good season on 10 m this autumn! Here’s my tiny result:

                    WAE DX Contest, SSB

Call: DH8BQA

Class: Single Op HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 18

Summary:
 Band  QSOs  QTCs  Mults
-------------------------
   80:    2     0     8
   40:   30    56    51
   20:   52   125    52
   15:  123   366   104
   10:   75   237    82
-------------------------
Total:  282   784   297  Total Score = 316,602

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

Also took some time to do some audio recordings again. Thought it might be interesting to record a few QTCs for those of you who never heard of or know about that specialty in the WAE contests …

Carol, N2MM, with QTCs and small pileup on 10 m:

VE3AT (15 m):

VY2ZM (15 m):

WX3B (15 m):

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Another small Aurora opening

SWPC_Aurora_Map_N-201409122255We had another small Aurora opening tonight. Was really waiting for it after the big solar flare 2 days ago. Unfortunately it arrived a little bit too late on earth so the major “impact” was over the Atlantic Ocean. Must have been fantastic to view if one were on a ship or certainly even better onboard a plane flying from Europe to North America. ;-) Would it have arrived maybe 4-5 hours earlier we would have had a super Aurora here in Europe. So it became only a small one that did not reach much south. Anyway, always fun to hear those raspy signals, see below. The following nice QSOs were worked:

------------------------------------------------------------------
TIME    CALLSIGN LOCATOR     TX    RX    BAND   MODE  PRO.     QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
21:32   LA8AV    JO59CS      57A   55A   2 m.   CW    AUR      772
21:43   LA3BO    JO59CD      55A   54A   2 m.   CW    AUR      707
21:51   SM4AIQ   JO79FS      57A   57A   2 m.   CW    AUR      732
22:04   SM5EPO   JP8ØMC      55A   55A   2 m.   CW    AUR      788
22:25   SMØWXV   JO89VL      52A   55A   2 m.   CW    AUR      733
22:28   SM5DWF   JO99BW      55A   57A   2 m.   CW    AUR      787
22:30   YL2FZ    KO37QI      53A   57A   2 m.   CW    AUR      952
22:34   SM6CEN   JO67AJ      53A   57A   2 m.   CW    AUR      487
22:46   OZ1FDH   JO65CS      55A   55A   2 m.   CW    AUR      315
22:48   OZ6OL    JO65DJ      54A   55A   2 m.   CW    AUR      275
------------------------------------------------------------------

Signals were very much in & out. Did not have a very stable opening at all. Anyway, here are a few audio recordings again:

LA3BO:

LA8AV:

OZ1FDH:

YL2FZ:

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DFØFA – IARU Region 1 VHF Contest September 2014

Another contest is done, this time on VHF. ;) It’s been time for this year’s IARU Region 1 VHF Contest. So we went up our local hilltop again to participate. “We” that were Heiko – DG1BHA and Uwe – DL3BQA as locals, Knut – DGØZB and Paul – DL5CW from Berlin (about an 100 km drive), Andy – DL9USA from Spremberg (about 300 km to go) and last not least ;) myself, Olli – DH8BQA (with about 700 km one tour). Besides those fine VHF operators the guys from one of the local radio clubs made a small field day before the contest, too, so we had even more visitors up on the hill: XYL Doris – the “better half” ;) of DL3BQA, YL Gitta – DL3BYA, Horst – DL3BVA, Ronny – DL3BUA, Micha – DM7MRE, Ferdi – DL4FWP, Uwe – DG1BRB, Horst – DC7NEU and SWL Horst – DE3HLA. Lots of nice talks, good food and beer and best of all – a really nice sunny and warm weekend after quite some ugly weather during the last few weeks! :)

2014-September-Contest-0032

Big big thanks are due for Heiko who worked hard during the last few days before the contest to finish our new 4 x 6 ele LFA Yagi antenna group. So for the first time ever we were able to use 2 antenna groups in parallel (our good old trusty 2 x 8 ele DK7ZB being the other one). It really paid off to be able to beam into 2 different directions at the same time. We often had big smiles on our faces when getting called by people from those different directions at once knowing we would certainly have missed a few of them without that possibility. Of course we already made plans for further improvements. Hope to find some time during the winter to realize a few of our ideas. ;-)

Bild7

Condx were quite good. Before the contest there were some tropo enhancements enabling the OK guys on the high hills to work into OH. Nothing overhere, though. Nevertheless condx seemed stable at least, not too much QSB and also some nice DX worked although all stations that are usually workable every time. But at least I had the impression it was easier this time … who knows, maybe still a little tropo enhancement after all. ;-)

VHFsept2014

We had worked 300 QSOs after the first 8 hours. Of course you cannot apply simple math like 1/3 of the time thus take QSO number and triple it for the final results … this would be great, wouldn’t it? :) No, of course not, but I really hoped we could do the 600 in total this time. Sorrily we didn’t, maybe next time. Not sure, will have to look it up again, but this might nevertheless be our best result points-wise so far. The average km/QSO should be an all time high, too. These were our most distant contacts:

------------------------------------------------------------------
 DATE       TIME    CALLSIGN     LOCATOR     BAND   MODE       QRB
------------------------------------------------------------------
07/09/2014  05:27   OH1ND        KPØØXL      2 m.   SSB        933
06/09/2014  16:54   G8T          JOØ1KJ      2 m.   SSB        928
06/09/2014  16:43   G8P          JOØ1QD      2 m.   SSB        904
07/09/2014  00:22   9A1N         JN85LI      2 m.   CW         898
07/09/2014  00:42   9A7W         JN85LI      2 m.   CW         898
07/09/2014  02:29   GØVHF/P      JOØ1PU      2 m.   CW         886
07/09/2014  00:48   S59DEM       JN75DS      2 m.   CW         830
06/09/2014  21:27   UT5W         KO2ØNC      2 m.   CW         829
07/09/2014  09:11   SK9ØZK       JP7ØTO      2 m.   SSB        825
06/09/2014  20:24   HB9GF        JN37WB      2 m.   SSB        821
06/09/2014  22:21   UW5Y         KN18OO      2 m.   CW         813
06/09/2014  23:56   S57Q         JN76PB      2 m.   CW         801
07/09/2014  06:02   SKØEN        JO99JX      2 m.   SSB        801
07/09/2014  06:07   SM4BDQ       JP8ØFG      2 m.   SSB        795
07/09/2014  05:35   LAØBY        JO59IX      2 m.   SSB        781
06/09/2014  21:43   ON4LDP       JO1ØUN      2 m.   CW         779
06/09/2014  22:56   UR7D         KN18JT      2 m.   CW         775
07/09/2014  00:10   S5ØC         JN76JG      2 m.   CW         775
06/09/2014  21:37   ON4KHG       JO1ØXO      2 m.   CW         761
06/09/2014  17:12   F8KID        JN38AT      2 m.   SSB        753
06/09/2014  20:29   S59R         JN76OM      2 m.   SSB        750
06/09/2014  17:10   S59P         JN86AO      2 m.   SSB        749
07/09/2014  04:58   HB9FAP       JN47PH      2 m.   SSB        745
07/09/2014  03:44   S59ABC       JN76TO      2 m.   CW         744
06/09/2014  23:36   S57M         JN76PO      2 m.   CW         741
07/09/2014  11:27   S56P         JN76PO      2 m.   SSB        741
07/09/2014  00:24   S51ZO        JN86DR      2 m.   CW         738
07/09/2014  08:28   LY2LE        KO24OQ      2 m.   SSB        737
07/09/2014  02:13   HG1Z         JN86KU      2 m.   CW         734
07/09/2014  13:27   PA3HFJ       JO11VL      2 m.   SSB        734
06/09/2014  21:54   OM3KDX       KN19DB      2 m.   CW         730
07/09/2014  05:50   SM5KWU       JO89IP      2 m.   SSB        730
06/09/2014  20:10   S57O         JN86DT      2 m.   SSB        729
06/09/2014  20:36   F6KQV/P      JN38OJ      2 m.   SSB        728
07/09/2014  09:26   PA5KM        JO11WM      2 m.   SSB        727
07/09/2014  00:34   S53O         JN86AT      2 m.   CW         726
07/09/2014  01:57   HA6W         KNØ8FB      2 m.   CW         724
07/09/2014  10:57   HB9CXK       JN47PM      2 m.   SSB        724
07/09/2014  01:07   HG6Z         JN97WV      2 m.   CW         716
06/09/2014  14:54   HA2U         JN87VH      2 m.   SSB        706
06/09/2014  15:14   DJ5MW        JN47WN      2 m.   SSB        701
------------------------------------------------------------------

After all quite a successfull weekend again with very nice VHF DX and most importantly great people to spend one’s time with. ;-)

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A few QSOs in SCC RTTY Championship

Made a few QSOs this morning in the SCC RTTY Championship mainly to test condx. The last few days were a real pain condition-wise. Seems it’s getting a bit better again, at least I could run some JAs easily although signals were rather weak. Always astounding to see what MMTTY decodes out of those weak s1 signals almost buried in the noise. :)

                    SCC RTTY Championship

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SOSB/15 HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 2:20

Summary:
 Band  QSOs  Mults
-------------------
   15:  111    50
-------------------
Total:  111    50  Total Score = 15,200

Comments:
Elecraft K3, KPA500, 6 ele OWA Yagi
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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-L 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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