Year-end tropo

09Coming back from a Christmas trip to JO73 yesterday, December 29, driving westwards to Cologne (JO30) we enjoyed a very nice sunset. Sky was crystal blue, sun was shining and turning everything into dark when setting with a slight flicker around the horizon. As a VHF guy you know what it looks like: atmospheric inversions! 😎 Checking the F5LEN tropo forecast after arriving later that evening it showed some tropo predictions from west to east and confirmed my gut feeling. A quick phone call to Sandro, DD3SP, revealed that there was not much to be worked, at least in JO72. After spending the evening with the family in my girlfriend’s place I went to my home this morning to see if propagation was more favourable for us now. Switching on my remote station back in JO73CE I heard good old VHF friend Dave, G7RAU, right away. After a quick hello a few more nice DX contacts followed during the day:

09:10  G7RAU         IO9ØIR   53    55     2 m.   SSB   TR    1094
09:37  G4CDN         JOØ2SS   539   559    2 m.   CW    TR     848
09:43  G4CKH         JOØ2UK   529   449    2 m.   CW    TR     843
10:55  G3YDY         JOØ1FQ   519   519    2 m.   CW    TR     945
11:27  G8HGN         JOØ1FO   51    51     2 m.   SSB   TR     948
11:29  G3YDY         JOØ1FQ   53    54     2 m.   SSB   TR     945
12:36  G4SFY         JOØ2RV   53    54     2 m.   SSB   TR     852
13:56  PA1AT         JO32GX   599   599    2 m.   CW    TR     512
14:00  F8IQS         IN99RI   519   559    2 m.   CW    TR    1108
14:58  ON4LDP        JO1ØUN   55    56     2 m.   SSB   TR     777
15:15  F6DBI         IN88IJ   54    57     2 m.   SSB   TR    1336
21:11  ON5AEN        JO1ØVW   54    54     2 m.   SSB   TR     754
21:31  PAØBWL        JO21SS   599   599    2 m.   CW    TR     607
21:36  PA3BIY        JO22HB   599   599    2 m.   CW    TR     658

43870725Interestingly Dave was the only station that I could hear all day long. All other’s were in for half an hour or so max before they vanished again. Furthermore it seems that I was at the southern end of the duct. Sandro in JO72 could only work Dave but no other DX. On the other hand further north, i.e. with Klaus, DGØKW, and Charly, DF5VAE, both in JO64, and especially southern Sweden (SM7) there was even more DX to be worked. Charly also managed to work quite a number of DX stations on 70 & 23 cm! Strange: F8IQS was calling CQ way down in the band, i.e. on 144.197 MHz. Only found him after seeing a cluster spot of another guy working him. He stayed there all the time which is quite unusual for somebody wanting to work DX. 😉 Hope that all the spots helped to get him a few more QSOs into the log …

Here are a few audio snippets again, hope you enjoy listening to them! It’s always a nice “reminder” to listen to later again. 😉

Dave, G7RAU, on SSB tropo, almost 1.100 km:

Dave, G7RAU, on CW tropo peaking 579 later on:

F8IQS (IN99) on a 1.100 km tropo path:

F6DBI (IN88) well over 1.300 km on tropo:

Posted in Propagation, Tropo, VHF | Comments Off on Year-end tropo

ARRL 10 Meter Contest 2016

ARRL10M – one of my favourite contests! Nothing big to be expected during sunspot minimum, of course, nevertheless always fun and a nice opportunity for some propagation studies. 😎

Time I could spend last weekend was limited to a few hours in the late mornings and afternoons due to other commitments in the evenings. Had an enjoyable time nevertheless and besides 35% locals (i.e. groundwave and troposcatter contacts) and a (small) number of Sporadic-E as well as Meteor Scatter contacts (with the Geminids meteor shower approaching) even some DX could be worked.

Besides the typical one hop DX like CU and EA8 and the usual suspects from Africa (5T, S0, TZ, V5, ZS) and very few South Americans (only a few PYs and CEs wkd, no LUs this time) even some juicy mults on the east-west path made it into the log: FY5KE, NP2X, P4/DL6RAI, NP3A, KP2M and KP4/K7GM were nice surprises on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday afternoon saw an unexpected opening between Western Europe (CT, EA, F, PA, G) and the U.S. It finally opened overhere for 10 minutes, too, although only into Florida. Probably an ES + F2 link or maybe more likely 3 x ES hops as condx would probably not allow any F2 propagation on 10 m currently. But you never know … 😉 Managed to work 4 stations from FL and heard 3 more but they were busy working locals or simply not hearing well enough. VP5CW was a nice catch, too, and could be heard a little bit longer. EI2CN was a nice signal all the time confirming my ES link theory …

                    ARRL 10-Meter Contest

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SO Mixed Unlimited HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 13

 Band  QSOs  Mults
   CW:   86    36
  SSB:   17     7
Total:  103    43  Total Score = 16,254

Elecraft K3, KPA500 + 6 ele OWA Yagi @ 60 ft.
Posted in Contesting, Propagation | Comments Off on ARRL 10 Meter Contest 2016

Small tropo opening …

tropo-sa-9zSpeaking of last weekend being in the middle of a rather boring CQWW CW contest I couldn’t resist switching to 2 m Saturday morning after seeing some DX spots on the cluster showing tropo between the UK and Northern Franconia as well as the Czech Republic. Lo and behold I could hear Peter, G3SMT, with a great 57 signal from IO82kv. Easily worked him after he had finished his QSO over the 1.158 km path. 😎

Interestingly the F5LEN tropo forecast didn’t really show any tropo opening although you can see some “weak” prediction on the path between JO73 and the UK. G3SMT was the only station audible so it was quite a localized duct as it seems. Guys from the JN59, JO50, JO60 area enjoyed a few more QSOs with the UK during the day but except that one QSO with Peter nothing else up here …

Posted in Propagation, Tropo, VHF | Comments Off on Small tropo opening …


I had planned to drive the 700 km to the station for CQWW CW last weekend but QRL thwarted my plans and I had to sacrifice Friday/Monday which were planned for travelling. Therefor only played SOSB15 remotely …

CONDX sucked! That certainly describes it best. 🙁 At least in Northeastern Germany. Never saw 15 m in such bad shape, not even in deepest sunspot minimums. Calling CQ with 500 W and our 6 ele OWA Yagi roughly brought half a dozen QSOs into the log. There were just no callers and even almost no skimmer spots for myself. Thus basically entirely a search and pounce event …

North America was open for roughly an hour on Saturday afternoon, made some 50 QSOs with difficulty. I didn’t even dream of working any zone 3 stations after having had trouble working any zone 4’s (just 4 in the log). No NA opening on Sunday, only heard 2 or 3 stations skewed path beaming South America … Worked one JA on Saturday so at least a double mult with z25 in the log. Even South America on the much easier north-south path did not even provide two dozen QSOs … Band closed around 14:30z both days. It’s been like weaning oneself from doing it ever again. But I didn’t want to change to SOAB in the middle of the contest … and lacking motivation a bit. 😉

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SOSB(A)/15 HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 13

 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
  160: (15)               
   80: (68)               
   40: (54)               
   20: (46)               
   15:  314    33      119
   10: (15)               
Total:  314    33      119  Total Score = 117,800

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

Elecraft K3, KPA500 + 6 ele OWA

Handed out a few QSOs on the other bands inbetween. To work Japan on 80 m Sunday afternoon 15z with our low hanging dipole and good signals was fun and kinda cool! 😎 Also HSØZAR made it into the log on “Eighty” providing a new band point. Not bad for the small ERP used. 🙂

Posted in Contesting, Propagation | Comments Off on CQ WWDX CW ’16


As mentioned in my WAG blog post I was not sure what to do in CQ WW SSB. We usually do 2-3 Single Band entries in the big SSB contests altering year by year who has the first band choice. This year it was Uwe’s (DL3BQA as DMØY) turn and he went for 15 m hoping for some useful conditions. So what should I do? Go for 10 m? Probably dead as a door nail. 20 m? Sideband? Oh no, even with high power and a 4 ele Yagi one’s rather QRP and with low/bad conditions everybody is on 20 m during the day making it a splatter festival. Doing one of the low bands? Without dedicated RX antennas? Certainly not a good idea either. So maybe a pseudo allband entry (SO5B) just handing out a few points?

Currently QRL is eating up my stamina quite intesively. I was driving the 700 km from Cologne to Schwedt on Thursday. Started 5:30am but needed to stop at 7 o’clock and take some more sleep in the car. I was just too tired and it was dangerous with flapping eyes so definitely the right decision. After a 3 hour break it was much better and I could continue my journey home. Arriving there was just time for a short hello to my mother then I fell asleep again on her couch for another 4 hours. Seems the body is taking what it needs … 🙁

To build up additional antennas, i.e. our 80 or 40 m groundplanes, was not feasible on Thursday as it was raining all day long and still a bit on Friday. And to be honest I was not in the mood to do so, either. Went shopping for the weekend on Friday afternoon (bought way too much … always the same problem 😉) and then took the 20 km to the station. Peter, DM5DX, was guest OP’ing since Wednesday. I wanted to take my final decision how to operate later that evening. Well, I did! Decided to go sleeping and leave the station to Peter to do some low band ops during the first contest night. 😉

juliusruh_sonntagWaking up Saturday morning I was still not in the mood to battle in splatter so decided to go for 10 m. It should be rather quiet there so probably a good chance to relax. 😉 Expected some 100-150 QSOs if at all. But even in sunspot minimum there are some scattered openings on 10 m, you just have to catch them! First QSO was with SP9KAO on tropo scatter, second one with DFØHQ for the DL mult. As the band was closed I decided to check the lower bands and hand out some points there. Boy I was glad about my decision not to choose a lower band entry. Bad condx there, too, which was to be expected with the solar data (left side picture shows a live view of Sunday afternoon’s solar data in Juliusruh, about 120 km north of my location) and QRM, QRM, QRM. Splatters all around! In recent times I really do not like SSB much anymore but have more fun doing CW and RTTY contests.

Around 8z 10 m opened to Bulgaria on Sporadic E, later to the Middle East and Africa, too. Around 11z there was a really huge ES cloud above France allowing a.) to get into TEP propagation into South America and b.) being strong enough to provide some good backscatter allowing contacts into most of Europe! So I could indeed run for about 2 hours with a best 60 min rate of 112 Q’s – who would have thought that?

In the afternoon there were short phases allowing runs, too, but not as good as before. So it was mainly chasing the mults. The North/South propagation differences were really prominent this time. I heard Mike, DL2OE, who lives about 90 km south of me, calling for stations that where not even audible up here, even with our 6 ele OWA Yagi 20 m high. Matthias, DGØOKW/DL5L, on top of the Thuringian Forest about 350 km south-west of me, worked about 30 mults more (lots of Caribbean mults as well as XW, VK, etc. in the mornings), all not audible overhere. It certainly helped that he had 2 transceivers and 3 antennas pointed into different directions all the time while it was pure SO1R with just one antenna overhere. Judging from the reports Southern Germany even seemed to have direct F2 and/or TEP propagation. Last QSO (# 360) on Saturday was 18z with a just 40 km distant SP1 station.

Sunday saw the band opening at 8z again, this time via Sporadic E towards UR & UA6, later on to YO & LZ. Unfortunately activity was not very high so not many new contacts made it into the log. For a few minutes the ES coupled into progation to the Middle East so I could at least grab the missing mults down there. It was real spotlight propagation, something I find exciting all the time. 😉 After 9:45z the band opened to Italy and Greece providing a few more new stations but again no high rates. Around 12z the band closed completely, not a single signal left. After 13:45z it opened again to France with a nice ES + TEP link allowing to work South America again. Unfortunately only 2 new stations in the log. After 14z the band was closed completely again. I was short of pulling the plug and calling it a day but was hoping for another short opening to at least push me above the 500 QSOs mark (was at #475 then). Seems the propagation god heard my prayers 😉 as there was another E-skip opening after 16z to EA5 and I1, again with super strong signals but all very localized. Got called by a very loud 3A2MG for the last new mult around 17z – you gotta love these Sporadic E openings. 😎

After 17z the ES linked into TEP to SA again, too, so I could work a few more 3 pointers. Doing 15-20 QSOs per hour might not be the rates others are looking for and yes, I’m getting adrenaline rushes from 200/hour as well 😎, but it was certainly more pleasant in my current mood than doing the SSB QRM masochism on the lower bands. 😉 Last QSO (#531) was at 19:40z. Only noise afterwards so I finished the contest on 10 m half an hour later. Even with Sunday being much worse than Saturday I was still quite satisfied with the result. Might have been due to the low expectations?! 😀

Went to the low bands again handing out a few more points but I was fed up after half an hour so finally flipped the switch. Last QSO was with BCC fellow LX1ER on 80 m …

After packing the car and wanting to drive the 20 km back to my mother’s place I had a completely flat tire. You can’t use that around midnight local time! 🙁 Luckily I had an emergency kit in the car and could repair it to get back into town at least …

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SOSB(A)/10 HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 21

 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
  160: (13)               
   80: (27)               
   40: (46)               
   20: (39)               
   15:  (2)               
   10:  534               
Total:  531    16       72  Total Score = 71,368

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

Elecraft K3, PA + 6 ele OWA Yagi @20m

Now I need to take the decision what to do during CQ WW CW in 4 weeks? Single Band? Which one? SOAB? Oh boy … First of all let’s keep fingers crossed that condx will pick up a bit again! 😉

Posted in Contesting, Propagation, Sporadic E | Comments Off on CQ WWDX SSB ’16

WAG ’16

Due to private and work committments I didn’t have a chance to go the 700 km to the station this time therefor only handed out some points remotely. Nothing set up for voice contesting on the remote thus a CW only entry. Took some 6 hours off and slept about 3 hours.

Condx were just bad. 10 m was mostly weak signal work (remember CW moonbounce?) and only a few times brought success with some dedicated backscatter zones. 15 m wasn’t much better either, only a few hours in the afternoon with useful signals but rather low activity. 20 & 40 m were the daytime money bands as usual. 80 m was fun during the night with some good rates.

                    Worked All Germany Contest

Call: DH8BQA

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

 Band   CW Qs  SSB Qs  Mults
   80:   368       0     46
   40:   385       0     55
   20:   294       0     68
   15:   155       0     59
   10:   102       0     32
Total:  1304       0    260  Total Score = 1,001,520

Elecraft K3, KPA500 + beams & wires

Looking forward to CQ-WWDX-SSB now (will be local at the station then) although really not sure which band to choose. Uwe, DL3BQA, is probably going to start on 15 m. I do not like 20 m SSB contesting, it’s like a zoo. 10 m will probably be dead as a nail and I’m not a big fan of the low bands, either. Seems to be a difficult choice … 😉

Posted in Contesting | Comments Off on WAG ’16


Time for another contest entry! Due to rather bad condx Uwe, DL3BQA, was going to take part as SOSB20. I wanted to do a pseudo SOAB again, i.e. all bands except 20 m, but some interference between 40 and 20 m as well as me tx’ing on 80 m and Uwe’s PA seeing it as reflected power on 20 m prohibited any activity on the low bands. Need to solve it some time in the future … Thus only an SOSB15 entry left, even being already quite down on the road into sunspot minimum …

Condx were better than anticipated on Saturday with 540 QSOs and a reasonable JA opening (120 QSOs) in the morning as well as good propagation into North America (220 QSOs) in the afternoon … even worked a few U.S. West Coast guys! 🙂 By contrast Sunday was really bad with just 230 QSOs, only a handful of JA and just 2 or 3 Florida stations – that being all from NA! 🙁

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, RTTY

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SO(A)SB15 HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 27

 Band  QSOs  State/Prov  DX   Zones
   80: (36)                       
   15:  772      45      107    32       
Total:  764      45      107    32  Total Score = 377,568

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

Elecraft K3, PA + 6 ele OWA Yagi
Posted in Contesting | Comments Off on CQ WWDX RTTY 2016

P4ØFA – WPX RTTY 15 m World Win Plaque received :-)

Nice surprise in the postbox yesterday: Finally my first contest plaque! 😎

Many thanks to Steve, K4FJ, for his sponsorship as well as Ed, WØYK, who manages the contest and took care of mailing it. It will definitely find a prominent place on the wall!


Posted in Awards, Contesting, Expeditions | Comments Off on P4ØFA – WPX RTTY 15 m World Win Plaque received :-)

ARRL Centennial Points Challenge Award … again

Very astonished to receive a letter from ARRL today. It had another ARRL Centennial Points Challenge Award inside looking a tad differently than the one I had applied for and received over a year ago. Seems ARRL sent out awards now for the highest scoring guys per country in the Centennial Challenge standings. I guess place 3 out of almost 1.500 Germans taking part in the event does not sound too bad, does it? 😉 Sure looks great …


Posted in Awards, DX | Comments Off on ARRL Centennial Points Challenge Award … again

Perseids ’16

Not very active recently, QRL and a new girl friend eating up all of my sparse time. 😎 Nevertheless found a few hours time inbetween to do some Meteor Scatter QSOs during this year’s Perseids meteor shower and worked a few new squares (*), too.

Very surprised to catch GM6VXB/P on random who was on a 6 day work visit to the Nexen owned Buzzard oil and gas platform in the middle of the North Sea (JO07!) doing routine maintenance on the satellite, LOS and PABX systems onboard. Thanks a lot, Martin! 🙂

07/08/16  20:08  RV3IG        LO17FJ *   2 m.   FSK441  MS    1834
07/08/16  20:31  IC8SQS       JN6ØXR *   2 m.   FSK441  MS    1385
09/08/16  20:40  EI9E         IO44WD *   2 m.   FSK441  MS    1598
09/08/16  21:35  LZØC         KN22XS     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1447
09/08/16  21:40  EI9E         IO44WD     6 m.   JT6M    MS    1598
10/08/16  19:35  RA3RF        LOØ3WK *   2 m.   FSK441  MS    1826
10/08/16  20:00  9A/OK2ZAW    JN83FO *   2 m.   FSK441  MS    1078
12/08/16  17:33  RW3PX        KO83WR *   2 m.   FSK441  MS    1560
12/08/16  18:42  EW7T         KO53EV *   2 m.   FSK441  MS    1068
12/08/16  18:56  UT7EL        KN77EN     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1554
12/08/16  19:23  RN6MA        LNØ6UQ *   2 m.   FSK441  MS    2080
13/08/16  06:32  SF3NR        JP92FW     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1112
13/08/16  06:45  LA8KV        JP52QQ     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1069
13/08/16  06:54  GM6VXB/P     JOØ7KU *   2 m.   FSK441  MS     984
13/08/16  07:42  UR4EWZ       KN87CX     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1649
13/08/16  07:56  UXØFF        KN45KJ     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1367
13/08/16  09:00  RO3X         KO73FU     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1336
13/08/16  09:41  EA2AGZ       IN91DV     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1725
13/08/16  09:51  G4KVT        IO81RK     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1152
13/08/16  10:06  UY9VY        KN68DM     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1366
13/08/16  10:26  UT4UYF       KO5ØGK     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1160
13/08/16  10:31  RL3QDD       KO91OQ     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1694
13/08/16  10:56  USØGB        KN67UA     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1543
13/08/16  11:38  9A/OK1MU     JN73TS     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1052
13/08/16  12:01  R5AO         KO86VA     2 m.   FSK441  MS    1543
Posted in Meteor Scatter, VHF | Comments Off on Perseids ’16

Official DARC July Contest results … surprise surprise! :-)

Contest results are out! Despite not being that satisfied my result was obviously good enough for a 1st place Single OP finish. 😎

Posted in Contesting, VHF | Comments Off on Official DARC July Contest results … surprise surprise! :-)

DARC July VHF Contest ’16

Condx were average at best, lots of QSB. Especially the DX QSOs usually took a while but of course you have a bit more time for these during the night.

Activity was quite low, especially in Germany – seems everybody watched Football! But also worked around 20% less Czech stations than normal during a July contest. Fell asleep Sunday morning around 6:30 local time as activity had dropped a lot and there were simply no new stations to work anymore and nobody answered my CQs. Thus decided to take a one hour nap. Unfortunately I didn’t hear the alarm clock so instead of 1 I lost 3 hours costing probably some 30-40 QSOs. Damn! Will have to wait and see what influence it will have on final placement.

On the other hand I had the highest kilometer average ever! Taking out the 2 local QSOs (5 + 15 km) the average was even higher at almost 424 km/QSO! Amazing, probably due to all the mid-range DLs missing and some good DX during the night …

Contest Report from DH8BQA in JO73CE at 144 MHz

Contest : DARC July Contest '16
Date    : 2016 Jul 02/03
Section : 01 144MHz Single 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    :  416
-invalid:    0                                        points/QSO
-valid  :  416     QSO-points (*1)    :    175204            421
WWLs    :   83     WWL bonus (0)      :         0              0
DXCCs   :   21     DXCC bonus (0)     :         0              0
                   ------------------------------         ------
                   Total score        :    175204            421

ODX     : YT4B in JN94SD at 1079 km

Worked World Wide Locators:
JN37:   2  JN77:   2  JO01:   1  JO46:   2  JO64:   4  JO94:   3
JN38:   2  JN78:   2  JO10:   1  JO50:  14  JO65:   4  JP70:   1
JN39:   7  JN79:  15  JO20:   1  JO51:  18  JO68:   1  KN08:   1
JN47:   5  JN85:   1  JO21:   3  JO52:  11  JO70:  26  KN09:   2
JN48:   5  JN86:   4  JO30:   7  JO53:   4  JO71:   7  KN18:   3
JN49:   3  JN87:   3  JO31:  16  JO54:   2  JO72:   5  KN29:   1
JN57:   2  JN88:  10  JO32:   2  JO55:   1  JO73:   7  KO04:   1
JN58:   4  JN89:  11  JO33:   2  JO56:   1  JO79:   1  KO05:   1
JN59:   4  JN94:   1  JO40:   8  JO57:   2  JO80:  10  KO10:   2
JN63:   1  JN95:   5  JO41:   5  JO59:   1  JO81:   2  KO14:   2
JN68:   6  JN96:   2  JO42:   6  JO60:  20  JO83:   2  KO15:   5
JN69:   7  JN97:   4  JO43:   7  JO61:  22  JO84:   1  KO24:   1
JN75:   2  JN98:   3  JO44:   3  JO62:  18  JO90:   5  KO25:   2
JN76:   5  JN99:  13  JO45:   1  JO63:   2  JO91:   4  

Worked DXCCs:
9A  :   7  HA  :   9  LY  :  11  ON  :   2  S5  :   7  UA2 :   2
DL  : 208  HB  :   4  OE  :   8  OZ  :  10  SM  :   6  UR  :   4
F   :   3  I   :   1  OK  :  79  PA  :   5  SP  :  29  YU  :   2
G   :   1  LA  :   1  OM  :  17  

Top 20 QSO-points:
20160703 0247 YT4B       599  286   599  286     JN94SD     1079
20160703 0242 IQ5NN      599  285   599  417     JN63GN     1078
20160703 0052 YU7W       599  274   599  309     JN95RD      972
20160703 0134 9A0V       559  281   599  286     JN95PE      963
20160703 0120 9A4V       599  278   599  325     JN95KI      935
20160703 0126 9A8D       559  280   599  318     JN95LM      919
20160703 0124 9A7D       599  279   599  167     JN95CI      918
20160703 0231 G5LK/P     599  284   599  306     JO01QD      903
20160703 0109 9A1N       599  277   599  271     JN85LI      894
20160703 0000 HG3X       599  263   599  243     JN96EE      834
20160702 1803 SK4AO      519  154   329  001     JP70TO      830
20160702 1825 S59DEM     55   160   55   214     JN75DS      825
20160703 1204 9A2EY      559  383   599  136     JN75XV      821
20160702 1949 HB9GF      599  194   599  161     JN37WB      817
20160702 2043 UY4W       599  216   599  069     KN29EO      810
20160703 0926 HB9LU      59   344   59   141     JN47FB      795
20160703 0729 9A2L       59   303   59   077     JN86HF      793
20160703 0746 LA0BY      55   311   55   011     JO59IX      785
20160702 1954 S53V       599  198   599  125     JN76UH      773
20160702 2055 UZ3I       599  217   599  174     KN18JT      773
Posted in Contesting, VHF | Comments Off on DARC July VHF Contest ’16

Impressions of HAMRADIO Friedrichshafen 2016

Great weekend in Friedrichshafen again! Always nice to meet so many people, chat around and just having fun refreshing or creating new friendships! Here are a few impressions …

Georg, DL4SVA, handing over the 2nd place EU-D Honor Roll Trophy 2015 to Olli, DH8BQA

Georg, DL4SVA, congratulating & handing over the 2nd place EUD Honor Roll Trophy 2015 to Olli, DH8BQA

Olli, DH8BQA, having just purchased the "Contact Sport" WRTC 2014 book by auction, handed over by Sandy, DL1QQ

Olli, DH8BQA, having just purchased the “Contact Sport” WRTC 2014 book by auction, handed over by Sandy, DL1QQ

Uwe, DL3BQA, Paul, DL5CW, & Mel, DL6CT, at BCC dinner

Fellows Uwe, DL3BQA, Paul, DL5CW, & Mel, DL6CT, at the BCC dinner Saturday night

Fritz, DL7ON + XYL, Peter, DL7YS, & Olli, DH8BQA

Angela, XYL DL7ON, Fritz, DL7ON, Peter, DL7YS, & Olli, DH8BQA

Harry, DK2GZ, & Olli, DH8BQA

Harry, DK2GZ, & Olli, DH8BQA

VHF contesters Nick, HB9EFK, & Olli, DH8BQA, swapping notes

Nick, HB9EFK, & Olli, DH8BQA

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A bit 6 m DX at least

There was a great opening to the Middle East on 6 m this morning. Unfortunately not much activity …

07:35  9K2NO         LL39XG   599   559    6 m.   CW          3813
07:41  A45XR         LL93DO   599   599    6 m.   CW          4931

Both were reaching real 599 signal levels. It’s quite rare that JO73 gets these kinds of signal strength’! Neither new squares nor DXCCs but very enjoyable nevertheless.

9K2NO via double-hop ES on 50 MHz:

A45XR via triple-hop ES on 50 MHz:

Six was hot all day. Great ES propagation across all Europe with the IARU Region 1 50/70 MHz Contest taking place and thus lots of activity. Handing out a few points every now and then I managed to do some 130 QSOs without much effort. Imagine what could have been possible taking part seriously. 😉

Posted in Audio recordings, DX, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on A bit 6 m DX at least

Great Sporadic-E on 144 MHz again

es-loganalyzerLucky me! Mother nature was calling early this morning and before going back to bed I just checked the MUF on DXMAPS on the smartphone. Glad I did! There was already some ES going on 2 m. Quickly switched on the remote station but it took another 15 minutes until the band opened in JO73. Unfortunately I had high SWR on the remote antenna. 🙁 So could only run 10 watts first and later about 100 watts when things warmed up. Seems a bigger problem in the connection between the 7/8″ coax going up the mast and the last few meters of Aircom+ cable. Heiko, DG1BHA, already tried fixing it twice during the last few weeks but the error always returns sooner or later. Time to fix it permanently! So hope to be able to squeeze in some time during the next visit in about 2 weeks when driving the 700 km home again …  Nevertheless managed some nice QSOs and even worked two new squares … it’s been a while since doing so via Sporadic-E. 😎

Played around a bit with DL4MFM’s Log Analyzer, see screenshot. The following great QSOs were made in two sequential openings, the first one lasting about half an hour to LZ and the second one for another 45 minutes to SV about an hour later:

06:43  LZ1ZX         KN32IO   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1496
06:50  LZ1KG         KN31CS   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1552
06:51  LZ1VPV        KN22UL   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1464
06:53  LZ1YG         KN22QO   599   599    2 m.   CW    ES    1437
07:00  LZ5SZ         KN32RL   55    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1542
07:18  LZ2QA         KN43EK   55    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1502
08:05  SV7GBR        KN2ØIX   55    55     2 m.   SSB   ES    1569
08:07  SV9CVY        KM25KA   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    2186
08:17  SV2JL         KN1ØLO   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1546
08:20  SV1ELI        KM17XX   55    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1849
08:21  SV1ONV        KM27AX   55    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1852
08:25  SV9IOQ        KM25AL   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    2113
08:33  SV2OXS        KN1ØFF   59    57     2 m.   SSB   ES    1569
08:35  Z32KF         KNØ1SI   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1425
08:39  SV9KNK        KM25FI   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    2139
08:44  SV2DCD        KNØØPL   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1510

Also made a few audio recordings again. Hope you enjoy listening to them! 🙂

LZ1ZX (KN32IO) 1.496 km via ES on 144 MHz:

LZ1KG (KN31CS) 1.552 km via ES on 144 MHz:

SV7GBR (KN20IX) 1.569 km via ES on 144 MHz:

SV9CVY (KM25KA) 2.186 km via ES on 144 MHz:

SV1ONV (KM27AX) 1.852 km via ES on 144 MHz:

Z32KF (KN01SI) 1.425 km via ES on 144 MHz:

SV9KNK (KM25FI) 2.139 km via ES on 144 MHz:

Posted in Audio recordings, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Great Sporadic-E on 144 MHz again

CW-Fieldday & WRTC antenna tests

Spent the weekend up in JO73 again. Met with Paul, DL5CW, Falk, DK7YY and locals Heiko, DG1BHA, and Uwe, DL3BQA. Wanted to do some antenna setup testing for WRTC 2018 which Paul is the Antenna Director for.


Paul, DL5CW, mounting the Spiderbeam

Lots of stuff to install and still lots of open points to improve for future installations. Weather was fine all weekend long but doing all the antenna work in temperatures around 30°C was less pleasant. Although we were quite exhausted we still spent some time activating DKØWRTC/P in the DARC CW-Fieldday. Stopped early after reaching QSO number 1000 (yes, some 32 dupes included) as we still had to dismantle everything. Also sent in the log just as a fixed station. We did have generators to supply the radio with power on site but really didn’t want to miss all the comfort of a fridge, coffe machine, a.s.o. after all the hard work thus took electricity supply from a hundred meters away instead. That also saved us from needing to refill the generator every few hours … 😉

Contest         : IARU Field-Day R1 (DARC)
Callsign        : DK0WRTC/P
Mode            : CW
Category        : FIXED
Locator         : JO73CF
Operating time  : 20h28

   160   106   4  19     400  3.77
    80   208   6  34     680  3.27
    40   341  13  35     982  2.88
    20   242   9  34     686  2.83
    15    65   0  19     199  3.06
    10     6   0   5      18  3.00
TOTAL   968  32 146    2965  3.06
       TOTAL SCORE : 432 890

Operators       : DH8BQA DK7YY DL5CW
Soapbox         : Elecraft K3 + Spiderbeam + Dipoles

Powered by Win-Test 4.20.0

Nice to have some visitors during the weekend again. DL7VOA & DL7VOB came for a visit from Berlin and lend a helping hand (thanks guys!) as well as locals DGØFW + XYL, DL3BUA, DL3BVA + YL DL3BYA and DM7MRE. Enjoyed some delicious cake and coffee … 😉

Posted in Antennas, Contesting, Equipment | Comments Off on CW-Fieldday & WRTC antenna tests

CQ WPX CW and some Magic Band frustration

Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the QTH this weekend so only spent some limited time in the CQ WPX CW remotely. Great Sporadic-E conditions all weekend long so kept going on 10 m single band and managed a whopping 850 QSOs. 🙂 Of course there was not much DX in it, a few South Americans, some nice (but few) Caribbean DX and a bit of (the closer) Asia. A VK5 called in on Saturday, another VK7 on Sunday, providing an ODX of about 16.000 km. Also great to find a lonely XRØYS by search&pouncing Saturday evening when the band was almost closed. 😎

A detailed analysis is available here. Should be good enough for a TOP 6 finish worldwide. Only after the contest I recognized that I even broke the current German record, who would have thought that? But the margin is quite small so will have to wait and see how much the log check will take away and if it will still be a new record by then (I think not).

                    CQWW WPX Contest, CW

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SO(A)SB10 HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 21

 Band  QSOs
  160:  (2)
   80:  (6)
   40:  (6)
   20:  (4)
   15:  (5)
   10:  862
Total:  848  Prefixes = 499  Total Score = 524,948

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

Elecraft K3 / KPA500, 600 W + 6 ele OWA Yagi

I stopped every now and then during the contest to monitor 2 m for ES openings. There were indeed some openings but I was always too close to the ES clouds so no QSOs on 2 m this time (but great short skip on 10 m … worked OK’s and DL’s not further away than 250-300 km with s9+ signals!).

Saturday afternoon provided UN7AM/LN53 for a new square on 6 m while doing a short propagation check. 😎 Sunday morning saw a great opening deep into Asia on 50 MHz. Could hear BDØAAI (z23!) at 529, BA4SI at 539 and BVØWPX at up to 559 but couldn’t raise them, thus missed 2 new DXCCs and 3 new squares which was quite frustrating. 🙁

Posted in Contesting, DX, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on CQ WPX CW and some Magic Band frustration

What a great day on VHF today …

Luckily Corpus Christi is a local holiday overhere so I had the day off. 😎 Waking up at 5:30z I was not sure if I should get up or turn around for some more sleep. Seems it was a good decision to get up … First there was a very early ES opening on 144 MHz. Although it lasted only about 2 minutes in JO73 it was good enough for a nice QSO. 😉 Later this morning we had some great double-hop Sporadic-E on 50 MHz to the east allowing me to work MN52 & MN62 for two new squares, now 640 in total on 6 m. 🙂

06:52  RA6C          KN94GT   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1990
09:45  EX8M          MN62WT   599   599    6 m.   CW          4446
10:04  UN6T          MN52QV   599   599    6 m.   CW          4276
10:07  EX9T          MN82SD   599   599    6 m.   CW          4731
10:15  UK8OM         MN51UA   599   599    6 m.   CW          4423
10:16  EA8DBM        IL18OH   59    59     6 m.   SSB         3747

After that the MUF went down quickly but still 6 m was open all day long. I didn’t work anything else, was doing some QRL things meanwhile. Late afternoon 4 m started filling up with strong OIRT signals so I kept the beam dir East and threw an occasional CQ call on 2 m every now and then. At 16:33z Artur, UR3EE, answered my CQ starting another 1 hour ES opening on 144 MHz. 😎

16:33  UR3EE         KN88DC   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1648
16:46  UR3VKE        KN69OA   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1400
16:47  UR5VFJ        KN69OA   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1400
16:56  UA6LJV        KN97LE   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1872
16:56  RK6MF         KN97RC   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1909
16:58  UR5EDN        KN78SH   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1588
17:03  UZ2HZ         KN69RA   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1416
17:12  UC7RAA        KN64SO   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1696
18:27  FM5WD         FK94MP   559   599    6 m.   CW          7721

Signals were strong but never lasting very long, so pretty much all in & out after a few minutes. Nevertheless great fun! Then working the first Caribbean opening this year on 6 m via triple-hop ES later on was a nice end to a great DX day on VHF. 😎

UR3EE/KN88 booming in via Sporadic-E on 2 m (cut out white noise in-between):

Posted in Audio recordings, DX, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on What a great day on VHF today …

Caught the first 2 m ES opening this year …

esFinally caught the first 2 m ES this year! 🙂 6 m had been hot all afternoon. Later also 4 m opened up nicely. It was kind of masochistic listening to all the activity on 70 MHz and not being able to join the fun. 🙁 But it was a good indicator on how conditions would evolve. Around 16z OIRT started heavily on 4 m direction east so I kept an eye into that direction. Also 6 m was full of TV birdies which suddenly stopped while OIRT was still strong – a clear sign of rapidly rising MUF as with higher MUF skip zone shortens dramatically on 6 m meaning being in a distance to the ES cloud you just won’t receive the low VHF QRM anymore, you would need to move closer to it. But hey, then you would be too close for 2 m over the same cloud. 😉

144 MHz opened at 16:28z but it only lasted for about 1.5 minutes, just enough to complete a CW QSO with US6IEW. The band was more consistent further west, I was not in a perfect position in JO73 geometry-wise. Five minutes later US6IEW popped out of the noise again answering my CQ call, this time in SSB. Band closed again after 2 minutes or so. It then took another 10 minutes to open again, this time for about 8 minutes.

16:29  US6IEW        KN98FA   599   599    2 m.   CW    ES    1794
16:35  US6IEW        KN98FA   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1794
16:48  UY1HY         KO6ØMA   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1343
16:50  US4IEK        KN87UX   599   599    2 m.   CW    ES    1747
16:54  UX5UL         KO5ØFL   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1153
16:55  US4IEK        KN87UX   59    59     2 m.   SSB   ES    1747

UY1HY and UX5UL were quite short distances on the same cloud that was used by West-DL and PA to work further into Russia and East Ukraine. Seems there were 2 active spots or one really big cloud with different active zones.  Here are a few audio recordings again:

US6IEW 144 MHz Sporadic-E:

UY1HY 144 MHz Sporadic-E:

UX5UL 144 MHz Sporadic-E:

US4IEK 144 MHz Sporadic-E:

The MUF dropped quite rapidly afterwards but 6 m stayed open until late into the night. Sporadic-E even linked into a good Caribbean opening around 11 pm local time … albeit not on 6 but on 10 m. 😉

Posted in Audio recordings, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Caught the first 2 m ES opening this year …

Another world win: SARTG-NY 2016

It felt like ages until the SARTG contest committee finally released the results of SARTG New Year RTTY Contest 2016 now. I have been checking their website every now and then for the last 4 month’. 😉 Took part in that one for the first time ever so was even more astonished to having won it world-wide – wow! It didn’t even feel like a big deal operating back then. 😎 And it was a really pleasant experience and the duration of only 3 hours made for some leisurely contest activity on New Year’s day.

Posted in Awards, Contesting | Comments Off on Another world win: SARTG-NY 2016