Besides my 10 m single band entry I used some time Saturday evening to try out RUMLog in contest mode and dig a little deeper into all of it’s features. After all it now has Flexradio support and connects to the radio via network including CW keying! Did so playing around a bit as DMร˜Y on 80 m using just 5 watts. Had fun running although the “pileups” never lasted for very long. Heard E2A from Thailand with an excellent signal (and in general had the impression our groundplane works especially well dir east but that might have been just due to propagation) but unfortunately they didn’t hear me. Called it a day after 150 QSOs in the log …

               CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW - 2022

Call: DM0Y
Operator: DH8BQA

Class: SOSB80 QRP
Class Overlay: Classic 
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 2:20

 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
   80:  151    7        41
   40:  (3)               
Total:  150    7        41  Total Score = 7,248

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

FLEX-6600, 5W + Groundplane
Posted in Contesting, QRP, Software | Comments Off on DMร˜Y SOSB80 QRP – CQ WWDX CW ’22


Using an iPad as TRX frontend and a Griffin PowerMate connected via Bluetooth as VFO dial.

I can only partially understand the many comments about how great 10 m was. I was rather disappointed. Geomagnetics were severely disturbed at times, which is certainly more noticeable in the north of DL than in the south, not to mention Southern Europe. I also found the north-south propagation gradient much more pronounced this time. Holger, DL7AU, just 120 km south of me, spotted stations I couldn’t hear 75% of the time, even on the supposedly easier southern path’. South Americans were also untypically weak and affected by a lot of QSB (if I heard them at all) and that direction only opened late on Sunday. Caught just one very weak JA on Saturday, hard work, but at least could log the double mult. Sunday was a little better with 20 JAs in the log but still far from what I’ve been used to during the last sunspot cycle. Similarily bad was that North America was only open an hour later on Sunday and closed an hour earlier than Saturday, effectively leaving just over 2 hours for working NA (this is where the biggest QSO potential is for us). And despite having a QRM-free frequency (Uwe, DL3BQA, checked a few web SDRs from time to time from the sofa at home with a laptop on his knees) there were somehow no real runs. Many of the spotted mults could not be heard at all …

On the other hand, some stations had strong circulating echoes, and with a few stations I first had to turn the antenna away in order to weaken the signal and then get readable Morse code out of the “continuous tone” (i.e. overlay from direct tone and echo). It also took me a moment to identify Mike, DL2OE, who lives just 80km away: troposcatter signal, F2 backscatter signal and circulating echoes … three signal path’ at once, uhh. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Band in full swing Sunday afternoon …

… and almost closed just 1 hour later.

So all in all it was kind of weird and a bit unsatisfying. But, what’s the use of whining? I could move to the south. ๐Ÿ˜€ E.g. 9A5Y was 4-5 S-levels louder than me in DX land! You can’t compensate for that no matter how much power and antennas you install up here … so we just have to live with it and compete with ourselves. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Nonetheless it was still quite some fun. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now let’s see what the condx will be like in ARRL10M in two weeks. Hope good ol’ sun will have calmed down a bit by then …

                 CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW - 2022

Call: DH8BQA

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

 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
   10: 1117    35      128
Total: 1096    35      128  Total Score = 368,054

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

FLEX-6600, PA & 6 ele OWA Yagi @60ft.
Posted in Contesting, Equipment, Propagation | Comments Off on DH8BQA SO(A)SB10 HP – CQ WWDX CW ’22

Golden October … in November ;-)

Seems we got a golden October again, just a few weeks delayed. ๐Ÿ˜€ I was a bit late to the “tropo party” on Saturday. Heiko, DG1BHA, had already worked half a dozen stations from Belarus but when I switched on only EW7HA from KO53 was still there, nice DX nonetheless! Quite good activity in general, worked a lot of SP stations while beaming east. G4KUX was a nice surprise heard with the backside, the only G on Saturday and according to the tropo forecast for Saturday rather unexpected! Worked YO5AVN in the evening but the QSO took quite some time, no tropo enhancement into that direction, it probably was “normal” airplane scatter.

After the QSOs in WAE-RTTY on Sunday I switched back to 2 m. Propagation had shifted, we now had some tropo dir west, i.e. into the UK. Not very stable, signals in & out, but a few nice QSOs could be made. Nice to work Jim again! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This morning just two contacts into Scotland again. Then propagation shifted to the north-east, good to catch OH1NG besides two SMร˜’s from JO99 at about 700 km distance (they can be worked every day but now also had nice signals, hi).

These are the contacts made with QRB > 800 km:

12/11/2022 09:58 EW7HA       KO53IQ     2 m.   FT8      TR    1092
12/11/2022 11:01 G4KUX       IO94BP     2 m.   FT8      TR    1063
12/11/2022 18:46 YO5AVN      KN17WW     2 m.   FT8      TR     897
13/11/2022 16:33 G4KWQ       IO92AQ     2 m.   FT8      TR    1082
13/11/2022 16:35 GM4FVM      IO85WU     2 m.   FT8      TR    1092
13/11/2022 16:38 G4FVP       IO94FM     2 m.   FT8      TR    1041
13/11/2022 16:42 Gร˜LTG       IO81RF     2 m.   FT8      TR    1159
13/11/2022 16:48 G3XDY       JOร˜2OB     2 m.   FT8      TR     885
13/11/2022 16:55 G4DDK       JOร˜2PA     2 m.   FT8      TR     880
13/11/2022 16:56 G4TRA       IO81WN     2 m.   FT8      TR    1120
13/11/2022 17:08 2Eร˜FQT      IO93QN     2 m.   FT8      TR     983
13/11/2022 19:15 G8JLY       IO82WG     2 m.   FT8      TR    1102
13/11/2022 19:16 Gร˜JDL       JOร˜2SI     2 m.   FT8      TR     856
13/11/2022 19:52 Mร˜XVF       IO94EQ     2 m.   FT8      TR    1047
13/11/2022 20:15 GW7SMV      IO81LN     2 m.   FT8      TR    1181
13/11/2022 20:45 G4HGI       IO83PL     2 m.   FT8      TR    1121
13/11/2022 21:02 G7DCT       IO93GT     2 m.   FT8      TR    1036
13/11/2022 21:15 2Eร˜FQT      IO93QN     2 m.   FT8      TR     983
13/11/2022 22:10 Gร˜BNR       IO92WL     2 m.   FT8      TR     964
13/11/2022 22:37 Gร˜XDI       IO91RQ     2 m.   FT8      TR    1011
14/11/2022 08:36 GM4FVM      IO85WU     2 m.   FT8      TR    1092
14/11/2022 10:03 MMร˜ZBH      IO86IB     2 m.   FT8      TR    1167
14/11/2022 10:15 OH1NG       KP1ร˜PL     2 m.   FT8      TR     979

Also worked a lot of PA/ON stations in the range of 500 to 700 km (especially yesterday), most of them running just 50 or 100 watts into short yagis or even verticals according to their profiles! All in all about 120 QSOs made during the last two-and-a-half days …

Posted in Propagation, Tropo, VHF | Comments Off on Golden October … in November ;-)


Made a few QSOs in this weekend’s WAE-RTTY contest today basically to try out a mixed Windows/iOS setup for the Flexradio after the troubles before WWDX-SSB. This time used an iPad for TRX control, i.e. tuning, finding stations, a.s.o. while having an old Macbook Pro with an Intel processor and Bootcamp running Windows 10 and using just SmartSDR CAT & SmartSDR DAX there for CAT control and digital audio. Worked like a champ! A bit of running on 10 & 15 m and a few S&P contacts on 20 m, then switched off again on HF …

                 WAE DX Contest, RTTY - 2022

Call: DH8BQA

Class: Single Op HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 1:10

 Band  QSOs  QTCs  Mults
   20:  10           14
   15:  20           28
   10:  30           26
Total:  60     0     68  Total Score = 4,080

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

FLEX-6600, KPA500 & 4L 20m, 6L 15m, 6L 10m Yagis
Posted in Contesting, Equipment, Software | Comments Off on WAE-RTTY ’22


This one was tricky! When last onsite at the station in September I recognized my N1MMLogger+ installation on the local Windows machine wouldn’t start anymore. Getting really strange error messages. So I had planned some time on Friday to do a reinstall. Unfortunately it didn’t work! ๐Ÿ™ Deinstalled everything, deleted every single file and folder belonging to N1MM and even cleaned the registry before installing again … no luck. ๐Ÿ™ Really strange. But what to do now?

Luckily I had my Macbook with me. Besides other stuff I’m running Parallels on it with several virtualized Windows machines and had already prepared one for all the radio stuff. N1MM was working fine and it’s new feature to connect to the Flex via the network for CAT control was very helpful, too. But how to get my canned audio into the radio? Usually you install the Flex SmartSDR software on Windows which then provides SmartSDR DAX with virtual audio adapters you can then choose as the sound devices also in N1MMLogger+. BUT: SmartSDR for Windows does not work on ARM chips and my Macbook is running on Apple silicon, i.e. the M1 processor, no Intel based chipset anymore. Note to myself: take Intel based hardware with you next time, you still have a (very) old one, don’t you? ๐Ÿ˜‰

So I was running SmartSDR for Mac (highly recommended if you are a Mac user!) as my base user interface to the Flex radio. It provides a DAX solution under Mac OS, too. I always wanted to try SkookumLogger for contesting on the Mac but learned now it depends on transceiver built-in voicekeyers which it triggers via CAT but does not provide it’s own voice keying solution. Ugh. Setting up RUMLogNG as an alternative was easy, it has a built-in voice keyer for contesting etc. BUT: Again a but. While it keyed the radio perfectly the radio needs to be in DAX mode to accept sound through the DAX channels. But then I would need to toggle DAX on/off manually if I wanted to use the microphone to answer somebody! No way … N1MM is doing that through CAT commands when playing a canned voice file, i.e. puts the Flex into DAX mode, plays the audio file, then switches DAX off again so you can continue using the microphone to answer somebody. Need to get in touch with Tom, DL2RUM, author of RUMLogNG, maybe he can add that to his code, too, then everything would be perfect and I could do everything under Mac OS …

So trying around a bit I came up with a very creative solution! I coupled the SmartSDR for Mac DAX audio input/output into a VAC (virtual audio cable) solution which I then defined as the standard audio interface into the virtual Windows machine. I could then trick N1MM into using this new standard Windows audio device and think it’s a transceiver internal sound card so it would switch DAX on/off automatically. Phew! A few more on-air tests to make sure audio levels were right and everything was working as expected and I was finally ready to go after spending way too many hours to get a working setup …

Concerning the contest itself: lots of fun! Nice to see the upper bands finally well open again! As I’m going to do the ARRL-10M contest this year Uwe, DL3BQA/DM0Y, had asked if he could therefor do 10 m during WWDX-SSB. So I chose 15 m knowing right from the beginning I would have no chance to even win in Germany as good friend Oliver, DL2ARD, was going to do 15 m, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But anyway, always strive for the best!

Propagation was much better on Sunday. For comparision: I worked 12x Japan on Saturday but 172x JA on Sunday! Likewise with zone 3 (US West Coast): just 1x on Saturday but 24x on Sunday! Both path’ are very close to the North pole from up here in Northern Germany so very sensitive to solar activity and magnetic disturbances.

Working all the JA’s was fun although some were tough copy due to their low signals at times. Here’s an about 12 minutes audio snippet from Sunday morning if you want to check for yourself. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Working JA on Sunday morning:

While Sunday had the better conditions I had the feeling there should have been more QSOs but it seems everybody was on 10 m ๐Ÿ˜‰ and I also had lots more QRM on Sunday compared to Saturday which made it difficult to catch certain multipliers or work a pile-up with weaker stations …

Catching FK8GM under heavy QRM:

Working NA on Sunday afternoon with lots of QRM (8:30 min):

All in all enjoyed it a lot and keeping fingers crossed condx will be as good in the CW part in 4 weeks (and I will probably be on 10 m again then) …

               CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB - 2022

Call: DH8BQA

Class: SO(A)SB15 HP
QTH: JO73ce
Operating Time (hrs): 27:30

 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
   15: 1740    36      135          (incl. dupes)
Total: 1703    36      135  Total Score = 686,394

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

FLEX-6600, PA + 6 ele OWA Yagi @40ft.
Posted in Audio recordings, Contesting, Propagation, Software | Comments Off on CQ WWDX SSB ’22

IOTA final results

Final results are out! ๐Ÿ˜Ž Now eager to see what the trophy looks like. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Posted in Awards, Contesting, Expeditions | Comments Off on IOTA final results

Good Aurora Opening

One day too late! ๐Ÿ˜€ Good ol’ sun was quite active lately so we were regularly checking the Aurora predictions and Space Weather websites during the contest. Unfortunately nothing during the competition but the band finally opened late this afternoon lasting well into the evening. Would have been a great score boost one day earlier. ๐Ÿ˜‰

15:56  SM6VTZ        JO58UJ   59A   57A   2 m.   CW     AUR    600
15:59  SM4HFI        JP7ร˜TO   59A   56A   2 m.   CW     AUR    829
16:02  SM5EPO        JP8ร˜MC   53A   59A   2 m.   CW     AUR    788
16:06  SM4IVE        JO79SD   59A   59A   2 m.   CW     AUR    667
16:14  RA1WU         KO47ES   55A   57A   2 m.   CW     AUR   1025
16:20  EW6FS         KO35LB   57A   57A   2 m.   CW     AUR    855
16:21  LA3EQ         JO28CJ   53A   55A   2 m.   CW     AUR    850
16:25  ES4RM         KO49AL   41A   55A   2 m.   CW     AUR   1099
16:27  GM4YXI        IO87WK   59A   55A   2 m.   CW     AUR   1132
16:29  YL2AO         KO16DK   53A   55A   2 m.   CW     AUR    631
16:34  YL2FZ         KO37QI   41A   57A   2 m.   CW     AUR    952
16:40  SM7GEP        JO77IP   59A   59A   2 m.   CW     AUR    497
16:44  SM4GGC        JO69RK   59A   57A   2 m.   CW     AUR    696
16:54  SM4HCM        JP7ร˜RL   55A   55A   2 m.   CW     AUR    814
16:59  LA3BO         JO59CD   55A   55A   2 m.   CW     AUR    707
17:01  SM6YNO        JO67GG   57A   55A   2 m.   CW     AUR    466
17:11  SM4ONW        JP7ร˜QN   57A   57A   2 m.   CW     AUR    823
17:18  LAร˜BY         JO59FW   59A   59A   2 m.   CW     AUR    784
17:26  YL2FZ         KO37QI   53A   57A   2 m.   CW     AUR    952
17:31  ES4RM         KO49AL   55A   59A   2 m.   CW     AUR   1099
17:39  UA1AJY        KO49TW   41A   53A   2 m.   CW     AUR   1201

This time remembered to switch on the built-in audio recorder in the IC-9700 so can provide a few audio snippets (it’s been a looong time since I last posted some). Unfortunately it was configured wrong, i.e. started new audio files whenever RX changed to TX and vice versa thus no complete QSOs in a single file. Will have to change that setting next time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

LA0BY/JO59 via Aurora:

YL2FZ/KO37 via Aurora:

Part of my ES4RM contact via Aurora:

Part of my UA1AJY contact via Aurora:

Posted in Audio recordings, Aurora, Propagation, VHF | Comments Off on Good Aurora Opening

September VHF Contest ’22

Once again active with the guys, luckily the last time with the “tongue twister” special event call DM6ร˜UEA. ๐Ÿ˜€ I have been mainly active on the radio on Saturday and used Sunday to fine-tune the Node Red installation, i.e. adding options to turn the microwave antenna by 1 or 10 degrees or putting in a locator and then turning the antenna into the right direction. Will have to take a few new screenshots sometime. Also repaired our front door and enjoyed a nice bbq …

                 VHFREG1 Summary Sheet

       Start Date : 2022-09-02

    CallSign Used : DM60UEA
      Operator(s) : DG1BHA,DH8BQA,DL3BQA,DM5DX

Operator Category : MULTI-OP
             Band : 144MHz
            Power : HIGH
             Mode : MIXED
       Gridsquare : JO73CE

        Band   Mode  QSOs     Pts   Pt/Q
         144   CW      22   12014  546,1
         144   USB    336  111394  331,5
       Total   Both   358  123408  344,7

            Score : 123.408

              Rig : IC-9700 + PA
         Antennas : 10 ele DK7ZB Yagi
Posted in Contesting, VHF | Comments Off on September VHF Contest ’22

Just a little Perseids activity

Only a few QSOs during the Perseids Meteor shower this year, but at least over five times more than last year. ๐Ÿ˜€ Kidding aside, just too much QRL again so only QRV every now and then for short time periods. Although most of the stations have been worked before I always enjoy every single MS contact, it really has something special to it!

10/08/2022 07:38 RA3LX       KO65RE     2 m.   MSK144   MS    1267
11/08/2022 08:46 RA6DE       KN96DQ     2 m.   MSK144   MS    1857
11/08/2022 09:11 F6APE       IN97PI     2 m.   MSK144   MS    1239
11/08/2022 21:11 YO3YKT      KN34CI     2 m.   MSK144   MS    1315
11/08/2022 21:55 IU4FKR      JN63GV     2 m.   MSK144   MS    1040
12/08/2022 09:40 F6EBF       JN24KD     2 m.   MSK144   MS    1214
12/08/2022 09:56 IQ5MS       JN54AA     2 m.   MSK144   MS    1064
12/08/2022 10:41 EA3BTZ      JN11BI     2 m.   MSK144   MS    1596
12/08/2022 21:00 RK3AF       KO75WO     2 m.   MSK144   MS    1422
12/08/2022 21:10 YO5CRI      KN16TS     2 m.   MSK144   MS     979
12/08/2022 21:34 YO9HP       KN35BA     2 m.   MSK144   MS    1252
Posted in Meteor Scatter, Propagation, VHF | Comments Off on Just a little Perseids activity

US West Coast Opening on 6 m

It’s been a very long time since I last caught a 6 m opening to the US West coast. Actually this opening tonight was just my second West Coast opening at all! And as it happens during all multi hop openings we’re usually additionally challenged by our “black hole location”. This time it was even worse as I could not switch on the KPA500 so had only 100 watts available meaning it was even more frustrating! ๐Ÿ™ In over one hour with a few dozens of W6/7 stations heard only one QSO was made: W7MEM/DN17. Switched off very frustrated …

Posted in DX, Propagation, Sporadic E | Comments Off on US West Coast Opening on 6 m

MM/DH8BQA: 6 m opening from IO75kk

Marc, DO4DXA from JN58, asked during the contest if I could come to 6 m as it was open to Scotland. Did so after the contest was finished and easily worked him on CW with the KX3 matching the ZS6BKW with it’s built-in tuner. ๐Ÿ˜Ž A few more CW-QSOs followed (10 in total) but activity was very limited. I then switched over to the IC-705 again (no noise on 6 m from the USB connection!), put the Elecraft T1 antenna tuner in line and matched the ZS6BKW on 6 m again. Astonishingly it worked quite well! Could then do a few more digital QSOs (15) and even worked DL3BQA and DL3BUA from home! ๐Ÿ˜Ž All very spotty but nice to do some VHF contacts from abroad, too. Finally started disassembling the station after about 14z …

Working digital on 6 m … just 10 watts and an HF dipole!

Contacts worked from IO75kk including two “locals” … can you spot them? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Posted in Expeditions, Propagation, QRP, Sporadic E | Comments Off on MM/DH8BQA: 6 m opening from IO75kk

MM/DH8BQA: IOTA Test from EU-123, Isle of Arran

Actually, the IOTA contest would have been a non-event for me this year. Since my wife and daughter only got vacation for the last 2 weeks of July, I had already written off the contest in my mind. The plan was a week of holidays in London and then another week with friends in Edinburgh. The return flight would have been right during the contest.

At some point my lovely wife asked if I was aware that the UK was an island and if I could do radio from there? After all, at the end of July there is always this โ€œstrange island contestโ€ where I go away. Good wife! ๐Ÿ˜€ So we rescheduled a bit and I took the girls to the airport on Friday, then Mr. BQA had time for himself. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Equipment carried along: An Icom IC-705 & Elecraft KX3 with aย  ZS6BKW antenna on a 10 m Spiderbeam mast, the small one suitable for flight luggage with a pack size of just 70 cm. The whole stuff with accessories already weighed 15 kg, but it must not be more than 23 kg in total for checked luggage and I also needed some clothes for 2 weeks (don’t ask: the girls’ suitcases were as heavy even without radio equipment, rearranging was no option, hi). So only QRP. Why is that important? Well, if QRP then maybe seriously fight for the trophy which is also available for QRP for UK Islands Expeditions, unclaimed last year. I had selected a few good looking QTHs in Scotland, some of them really nice locations, but it would all have been EU-005 “only”. A quick inquiry to the organizer revealed that I could take part in the DXpedition class, despite EU-005 which is home to thousands of “fixed” stations, if I transported everything there myself. That was a given. After all quite an interesting idea and yes, compliant with the rules. So it would have worked. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But: With low power operation the QSO potential is mainly concentrated on Europe anyway. And with only a 10 m high wire as inverted V far away contacts on the low bands would certainly be out of reach, too, but probably quite a lot of UK on 80 & 40 m. But as “same island” stations they would only count 5 points while from another island it would be 15 points! Strategically much smarter! So I researched a bit further (AirBnB is your friend!) and found what I was looking for on the Isle of Arran, EU-123: a small caravan (with a camping toilet and without running water, for the purists, hi), on top of a cliff right on the Sea, clear take-off from north-east over south to west. It should also fit with travelling there (once across Scotland), ferry, the booked return flight, etc. And it did, ufb!

Isle of Arran, EU-123, in sight

Approaching Adrossan harbour

QTH for the weekend in Kildonan

Will have to look up the LH reference ๐Ÿ˜‰

Station setup on Friday afternoon went smooth. Weather was fine, mast and antenna went up quickly. Happy camper. ๐Ÿ˜Ž A few transceiver issues though, see below.

Mast and antenna installed Friday afternoon

Ladderline from antenna to transceiver, no coax this time!

It was quite stormy during the night from Friday to Saturday with heavy rain. Hoped the antenna installation would hold up to it but unfortunately it didn’t! Luckily it was an easy fix.

Mast collapsed during storm Friday night, ouch!

All set up again Saturday morning, luckily it was calm through the contest.

GM7M always works the IOTA from Arran, too. According to the last reports and maps on their website I had mentally located them in the middle of the island on top of the mountains. The QRM by them on the low bands was extreme. The KX3 lived up to its name, as a direct mixer it pretty much mixed every signal with that of GM7M. ๐Ÿ™

It got cold during the night.

It worked ok’ish when running myself, I could minimize the problem by clever frequency selection. On the high bands it was less bad, but still quite obvious. I had expected more from the KX3, at 15km distance it shouldn’t be an issue at all. The sideband nulling procedure will probably also have to be carried out again.

Sunday morning Zabdi, my landlady, came and said that there were 3 masts like mine at the campsite 600 m down the road, and if that might be radio amateurs like myself, too? As it turned out GM7M with high power was right next door, not even a kilometer away! Wow, then the KX3 did really well in these circumstances! It’s all a question of perspective. ๐Ÿ˜€ When I went to the campsite in the evening to take a shower after dismantling the station there were no signs of GM7M anymore, seems they qickly took down everything, too. Pity, could have been another interesting talk. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It would have been exciting to see how the 705 would have performed in these conditions. I had tested the setup with a USB cable for rig control at home on a dummy load and configured everything and all worked fine. But then in the field noise with S9 on the HF bands with the USB cable connected?! Damn … The ferrites I brought along didn’t help. Communication via WiFi and/or Bluetooth with the computer is no problem for CAT, audio, etc. I had that configured easily. But CW doesn’t work with it (or I haven’t figured out how yet, if anyone has any tips, I would be grateful). Oh well. ๐Ÿ™ Good thing was I had the KX3 as a spare (tnx Heiko, DG1BHA, for the loan, I wasn’t sure if the 705 would be delivered in time for the trip) as I didn’t want to leave anything to chance with the goal of “winning a trophy”. Seems I was perfectly right doing so. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Night setup. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Caravan was just big enough to keep the station installed. Or was it the transceiver and laptop just small enough? ๐Ÿ˜€

Overall I’m very satisfied with the result. Various mults slipped through my fingers due to the QRM issue, so it could have been even a bit better. With QRP as a mult you can also do running which works quite well (though not as well as as a high power station, hi).

At some point on Sunday morning I needed a little break (sleeping, peeing, making coffee … 2 hours).

Condx have been mixed, the start on Saturday was really slow, later things got a little better, high bands only really usable on Sunday thanks to a bit of Sporadic-E, had some decent rates in that time frame. Tnx to all callers!

When handing out number 666 there was still too much contest time left (almost 8 minutes). Thus I continued. ๐Ÿ˜‰ At number 670 the net counter stood at 666 and I saved myself the last 50 seconds. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Made a handful of SSB QSOs, too (which are in the log, of course, but counted out below), but I entered CW-only. Now let’s see if it was good enough for the trophy. Even if not: great weekend, lot’s of fun, recommended for imitation. ๐Ÿ˜‰

                    IOTA Contest - 2022

Operator(s): DH8BQA

Class: SO(A)24CW QRP
QTH: IO75kk
Operating Time (hrs): 21,5

 Band  CW Qs  CW Mults  Ph Qs  Ph Mults
   80:  102       28                
   40:  208       43     (2)        
   20:  184       35     (4)        
   15:   98       21                
   10:   68        8                
Total:  660      135       0       0  Total Score = 726,300

Elecraft KX3, 5W + ZS6BKW on 10 m Spiderbeam fiberpole

View from the coast up the cliff where the carravan is.

Lovely landscape on Arran. Very calm and enjoyable.

Posted in Antennas, Contesting, Equipment, Expeditions, QRP | Comments Off on MM/DH8BQA: IOTA Test from EU-123, Isle of Arran

MM/DH8BQA: Visiting Jim – GM4FVM in Scotland

Summer time = holiday time! This year the three of us decided to spend a week in London, then move on to Edinburgh for another week together with a few friends making it a group of seven. Had a very enjoyable time although we nailed it with walking a few kilometers through London on the hottest day ever recorded in British weather history! Oh well … ๐Ÿ˜‰

When deciding to visit Edinburgh I also looked up a few of the well known VHF DXers in Scotland to see how far they are away. I do like to meet the locals if time permits (which is sometimes rather tricky when travelling in a group). As it turned out Jim, GM4FVM, whom I had already dozens of QSOs with (see QSL below as an example … everybody active on 4 m will certainly have QSO’d him already 😉), is just an hour’s drive away so I asked him if he was okay with a short visit. And he was! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

We had a very pleasant afternoon with him and his lovely wife Sue. Thanks for the awesome tea and original scones, very delicious! ๐Ÿ˜‰ While the girls had a walk through their fantastic garden exploring all the “green stuff” I’m not as interested in ๐Ÿ˜‰ Jim and I, after visiting his small efficient antenna farm, made it to the shack and discussed a lot of things. We are very like-minded on so many topics and interested in the same stuff I often had the feeling I was sitting there with one of my best long-time friends! Really great and after all one of the many things that make Amateur Radio stand out as a hobby: finding friends over the air and maybe even meeting in person like in this case.

Many thanks Jim & Sue for the very enjoyable time! Will sure meet you on the bands again but hope to meet in person in the future again, too, maybe next time in Germany. ๐Ÿ˜‰

VHF DXers Jim, GM4FVM, and Olli, DH8BQA, in Jim’s well-equipped shack.

Posted in Expeditions, General stuff, QSLs, UHF, VHF | Comments Off on MM/DH8BQA: Visiting Jim – GM4FVM in Scotland

Double-hop on 4 m & the Balkans on 2m

Caught another Sporadic-E opening to the Balkans on 2 m early afternoon:

11:55  LZ1AG         KN22ID   +02   -06   2 m.   FT8    ES    1454
11:58  LZ2CM         KN13OJ   +01   -06   2 m.   FT8    ES    1274
11:59  YO7FWS        KN24EK   -01   +01   2 m.   FT8    ES    1222

4 m was open into the South, too, and even opened nicely via double-hop ES to the Canaries with EA8AVI (IL28) and EA8BFK as well as EA8JF (both IL38) making it into the log. Like these 3.500 km+ openings! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Posted in Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Double-hop on 4 m & the Balkans on 2m

Some Tropo for a change!

Sporadic-E, Aurora, now some Tropo for a change! Love the summer month’ as there are so many different possibilities to catch different propagation modes on VHF, it’s just amazing! Certainly one of the reasons why I fell in love with VHF DXing many many years ago. ๐Ÿ˜‰

There was some good tropo from Western Central Europe and the U.K. down to Southern France and Spain. We were way too far away from all of it but once in a while signals popped up enabling the following two contacts: ๐Ÿ˜Ž

08:27  F1NZC         JN15MR   -17   -15   2 m.   FT8    TR    1154
09:17  F4BKV         IN95PP   -18   -13   2 m.   FT8    TR    1362
Posted in Propagation, Tropo, VHF | Comments Off on Some Tropo for a change!

Sporadic-E on 4 m & Aurora on 2 m

Interesting day today! Four was open this morning via ES to the UK & Ireland as well as EA & EA6. It closed at 12z and never opened again, MUF down. Thus nothing to expect on 2 m either, right? Well, I almost missed the Aurora in the evening which caught me by surprise. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Managed the following QSOs before it was all over again:

16:43  SM6BFE        JO68DQ   59A   59A   2 m.   CW     AUR    623
16:44  SM6VTZ        JO58UJ   55A   55A   2 m.   CW     AUR    600
16:54  SMร˜WXV        JO89VL   55A   55A   2 m.   CW     AUR    733
16:58  GM4YXI        IO87WK   57A   59A   2 m.   CW     AUR   1132
17:33  SM6CEN        JO67AJ   57A   59A   2 m.   CW     AUR    487
17:36  YL2KO         KO37RI   51A   55A   2 m.   CW     AUR    956
17:38  SMร˜IJS        JO89VG   59A   59A   2 m.   CW     AUR    711
17:40  OZ1FDH        JO65CS   59A   55A   2 m.   CW     AUR    315
Posted in Aurora, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Sporadic-E on 4 m & Aurora on 2 m

July VHF Contest ’22

July VHF contest is usually the VHF contest I participate as a single operator. Again so this year. Result is on par with those of the last few entries. It’s been a few years since breaking the 400 QSOs barrier from up here.

                 VHFREG1 Summary Sheet

    CallSign Used : DH8BQA

Operator Category : SINGLE-OP
             Band : 2M
            Power : HIGH
       Gridsquare : JO73CE

        Band   Mode  QSOs      Pts   Pt/Q
         144   CW      78    38172   489,4
         144   USB    288   109595   380,5
       Total   Both   366   147767   403,7

            Score : 147.767

              Rig : IC-9700 + PA
         Antennas : 10 ele DK7ZB Yagi

Should be good enough for a Top 3 finish. No specialties, you could call it business as usual. A good number of CW in the mix and almost 100 x OK/OM wkd. Activity in SP was quite good as well (20 stations) and besides the usual 2 x YU I even managed to work a YO again (and two more heard!).

On the other hand just one LY in the log which was disappointing as they normally have their national VHF fieldday that weekend, too, and you can easily work 8-10 stations at least. Not sure why there was nobody on this time, maybe they changed something or even skipped the contest for some political reasons? Who knows.

These were the QSOs above 800 km:

20220702 2158   144 MHz    CW     YT4B            JN94SD      1079
20220702 2309   144 MHz    CW     IQ5NN           JN63GN      1078
20220702 2234   144 MHz    CW     YU7ACO          KN05RD      1037
20220702 2154   144 MHz    CW     9A0V            JN95PE       963
20220702 2321   144 MHz    CW     YR5C            KN16JS       940
20220703 0650   144 MHz   USB     TM5R            JN19BQ       923
20220702 2327   144 MHz    CW     9A7D            JN95CI       918
20220702 2311   144 MHz    CW     9A1N            JN85LI       894
20220703 1329   144 MHz    CW     9A1E            JN85QT       852
20220702 1710   144 MHz   USB     HG3X            JN96EE       834
20220702 2120   144 MHz   USB     S59DEM          JN75DS       825
Posted in Contesting, VHF | Comments Off on July VHF Contest ’22

More ES, even on SSB ;-)

Following yesterday’s openings 2 m was hot again all day long. At times we had two or three different path’ open (Greece, Italy, Spain) in parallel. And there was some good SSB activity, too! Not to miss anything I went SO2R (Single Operator, 2 Radios): while I used my usual remote setup with the Flex plus transverter and SSPA into the 9 ele LFA for digital I also had our IC-9700 with the tube amp into the 10 ele DK7ZB connected for SSB. It certainly paid off! ๐Ÿ˜Ž Not sure about G4LOH. There was some ES around at that time but it might as well have been Ionoscatter.

10:28  G4LOH         IO7ร˜JC   -14   -05   2 m.   FT8    ES    1378
15:46  SV1ELI        KM17XX   +08   +15   2 m.   FT8    ES    1849
15:48  IZ7UMS        JN81GD   +27   +03   2 m.   FT8    ES    1350
15:53  EA3BS         JNร˜1XK   -01   +01   2 m.   FT8    ES    1595
16:05  IK7LMX        JN8ร˜XP    59    59   2 m.   SSB    ES    1422
16:08  ZA/IW2JOP     KMร˜9AU   -01   +02   2 m.   FT8    ES    1547
16:10  SV8PEX        JM99WO   +21   +07   2 m.   FT8    ES    1570
16:16  SV8PEX        JM99WO    59    59   2 m.   SSB    ES    1570
16:28  SV8CS         KMร˜7JS   -02   -12   2 m.   FT8    ES    1787
17:32  SV1BEE        KM17WX   -14   +11   2 m.   FT8    ES    1846
17:34  SV1JDY        KM18VA   +14   +27   2 m.   FT8    ES    1839
17:36  SV2JAO        KN1ร˜DN    59    59   2 m.   SSB    ES    1530
17:39  SV9IOQ        KM25AL    59    59   2 m.   SSB    ES    2113
17:43  SV9CVY        KM25KA    59    59   2 m.   SSB    ES    2186
17:44  Z33TI         KNร˜1SI   -04   -01   2 m.   FT8    ES    1425
18:47  TA7OM         KN8ร˜XX   -10   -11   2 m.   FT8    ES    2235
18:50  R7RBE         KN64SM   -04   -02   2 m.   FT8    ES    1702
19:41  IT9HTV        JM76MX   -17   +14   2 m.   FT8    ES    1803

I entirely concentrated on 2 m so didn’t work much on 4 m. But from the few QSOs made 5B4AIF (KM64) and SV9CJO (KM25) are certainly worth mention. After all the spook was over it openend again late evening to GM with the usual suspects.

Posted in Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on More ES, even on SSB ;-)

Plenty of Sporadic-E again

More Sporadic-E today with very high MUF, contacts around 1.000 km on 2 m!

10:40  F6DBI         IN88IJ   -07   -11   2 m.   FT8    ES    1336
10:46  F6CIS         IN94WL   -09   -09   2 m.   FT8    ES    1422
10:52  F6EGD         IN88IT   -17   -13   2 m.   FT8    ES    1313
10:55  G4FUF         JOร˜1GN   -07   -18   2 m.   FT8    ES     943
10:57  G4AEP         IO91NJ   -11   +02   2 m.   FT8    ES    1043
11:06  F8DBF         IN78RI   -11   -16   2 m.   FT8    ES    1418
11:08  F4JVG         JN16UM   -10   -08   2 m.   FT8    ES    1054
11:38  F4EZJ         JNร˜5DK   -14   -12   2 m.   FT8    ES    1322

Four saw a great late afternoon opening to the North with several OHs (KP10/20/21/23/24/34/41) as well as ES2AEE (KO29) in the log. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Posted in Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Plenty of Sporadic-E again

Bands hot again

Another great day! Started with a JA opening on 6 m although only 3 stations wkd (all JA8 from QN03/23). Once again I had the feeling being much too weak although running 400 watts into an 8 ele longyagi. ๐Ÿ™

4 m opened 8:30z and was open literally all day long into different directions (9A, 9H, G, GM, EA, SV, YO, S5 wkd). Icing on the cake was working IZร˜AXF/JN61, probably still illegal. Hope Italy will get a permit to operate on 4 m again soon, there are so many potential new squares to be worked. ๐Ÿ˜‰ MUF got higher and higher during the day enabling inner-DL contacts on 4 m with as low as 600 km distance to JN48! So it was just a question of time for 2 m to open and it did although we were not well positioned thus all very patchy. But a few good QSOs were made:

14:46  EA2Z          IN91MP   +02   +09   2 m.   FT8    ES    1710
16:01  EA6SX         JM19IK   +09   +11   2 m.   FT8    ES    1760
17:38  EA4T          IN7ร˜XK   -04   -04   2 m.   FT8    ES    1973
17:52  EA2CDY        IN82VI   -07   -06   2 m.   FT8    ES    1711
Posted in DX, Propagation, Sporadic E, VHF | Comments Off on Bands hot again