This is my 2013 diary page.
Have fun reading Ham-radio items and coverage of my hunt for DX!
- 15 and 16 December 2013, ARRL 10 meter contest.
Anticipated in this one but just to give away some points.
I made 111 QSO's, all in CW.
- 7 December 2013, ZS8C on Marion Island.
Went to the contest station today with Fred/PA8F, Joop/PD2JAM and Rik/PA4B to clean and fix things,
test some SDR equipment Fred brought along. Joop and Fred installed some new(faster)computers
last weekend and they seem to work well. During a storm in that weekend we lost our Internet
connection with the city 1,5 mile from our station. The 2,4 Ghz dish at PA3CXM's QTH got offset
due to the high wind. Joop and I made the short trip to fix that problem and internet was reestablished.
Back at the station we spotted ZS8C/Carson on 10 meter in phone. He was not really strong, we could
actually barely hear him but he came up out of the noise now and then. On one of those moments I made
the contact with him, exchanging 55 both ways over the 7112 miles path.
Carson will be on Marion Island till may 2014 and will spend most of his time collecting Space weather data
for the SANSA (South African National Space Agency).
Check out his Biography on QRZ.COM: http://www.qrz.com/db/ZS8C
-2 December 2013,...just like the sun.
The Polish DXpedition to St.Vincent & Grenadines (J88HL) made their last QSO on the 1st of December.
They had 78400 QSO's in the log with 27097 unique calls. I have been chasing them and try to work them
on as many bandslots as I could. Quite a challenge with just the 31 meter tuned dipole.
I managed to work them 14 times and made at last one QSO on all the bands from 10 to 80 meters.
Will have to aim my arrows on something else coming days/weeks/months!
But there will always be DX, they come and go, just like the sun!
-23 and 24 November 2013, CQ-WW-CW..what a party!
I would be active as Single Operator/Assisted from the PI4W contest location, my friend Joop would
be there too inbetween birthday parties etc. We build the 40 meter vertical and hoist the dipoles for 80
and 160 on friday afternoon and set everything ready to start at 0000z. I was there early and everything
was nice and warm cause we left the heather on. Set some coffe and look on the bands. I decided to start on
160 meters, one of my favorite bands...low bands in particular. Had a slow start and it seemed everyone
was on 40 or 80 meters. On to 80 turned on much better.Conditions being quite OK and could work quite
a number of Us stations and work the DX shown in my bandmap. The day came and 10/15/20 meter
exploded...how nice to see such strong signals from all around the Globe. Went home at 1300z for a
shower and some rest. I was back at 1530z and could work the NA pile up with many very strong
West Coast stations on 10 meter. That night 80 was very hot. More then 600 Q's on that band and got even
called by XT2FCJ, PJ7, HI....not bad with just a dipole! I had some picking up to do on 20 15 and 10 meters and
that turned out really fine. Could have logged more DXCC's, bandmap was still full with red calls and I
still had a nice pile going when my lights went out at 1530z. I could not get the calls straight anymore, no
suprise after being on the radio for 22 hours, slept only 2 hours that night. So I have 2077 QSO's in my log
with 135 DXCC countries and worked all zones too. I returned home satisfied and very happy about the result.
My friend Joop made around 200 QSO's and could even work a couple news entities, congrats!
Band QSOs Pts ZN Cty
1,8 127 130 6 35
3,5 611 986 16 84
7 400 749 30 94
14 321 554 25 84
21 300 654 29 68
28 304 855 28 56
Total 2063 3928 134 421
Claimed Score : 2.180.040 Points
- 16 November 2013, Murphy and his moods!
I planned to go to the contest station early this morning and do an attempt to work T33A, XR0ZR
and XV1J. When I arrived at 0530 local everything looked good. My friend Joop had left the amplifier
and the heather on all night to prevent the amp from flashing in the cold wet air.
Checked the internet but could not connect even after several router resets (Murphy #1).
I would look at that later again and worked a station in Alberta Canada. A QSO with AC7VA followed
and halve way the contact I heard a big bang from inside the amplifier, no power anymore(Murph #2).
In the meantime I had it cold cause the gas-tank was almost empty and the fire went out every
10 minutes (Murphy#3). I would take care of that later as it was to early to enter the farmers house.
Searching the bands i found T33A on 20 meter in SSB and I could quite easily make the contact.
Little later they were on CW there and another 15 minutes later I had them in CW as well.
Joop arrived and by coincidence he had a soldering station with him and a spare resistor for the amplifier.
We did a quick fix and the amp worked again! With the new gas tank connected we cold keep it warm
again and after another reset of the routers we had internet....great! Soon after we could both work XR0ZR
on 20 meter phone...a new one for Joop! I joined the pile up for XV1J on 15 meter/SSB and after 15 minutes
made it into their log. I had to leave for home and Joop stayed a little longer fixing some coax connectors etc....
Despite the moods of Mr. Murphy this ended as a very productive morning.
Hours later the amplifier spoke again with a big flash and it was over again(Joop told me).
Have to see what coursed this fault......to be continued!!
- 9 and 10 November 2013, WAE-RTTY contest.
The same set up as with the CQ-WW-SSB but we added a 10/15/20 meter groud plane with 3 radials
for the station 2. We found being on 40 meter on this station 48 hours was not bad at all but this
transceiver could also log many QSO's on one of the higher bands while using the yagi on station 1.
This worked very well we quickly passed the 1000 QSO mark. Sunday was a day with short runs but
bands opening up very nice. Many Dx worked on 10 meter and we also did a lot of QTC traffic.
All together we had a lot of fun and a good score too!
Team: PA4B, NL-11607, PA8F, PA3GVI, PD2JAM
Band Q/QTC QSOs Pts Mlt
3,5 QSO 190 190 160
3,5 RQTC 10 10 0
7 QSO 276 276 159
7 RQTC 8 8 0
14 QSO 380 380 134
14 RQTC 64 64 0
14 SQTC 120 120 0
21 QSO 263 263 120
21 RQTC 90 90 0
21 SQTC 300 300 0
28 QSO 171 171 92
28 RQTC 40 40 0
28 SQTC 70 70 0
Total All 1982 1982 665
Claimed Score : 1.318.030 Points
- 7 November 2013, We got him!
I planned a full day at the contest station and hopefully be succesfull in working K9W on Wake Island.
Arrived at 0530 local and first thing I did was check the cluster where they were active and
listen if I could hear them. No sign at that time so I worked SU9AF and JY5MM on 20 meter/SSB.
Then checked into a Pacific net and worked a couple stations from Australia.
Joop arrived and by then K9W was audible on 20/CW. It did not take long before we both were in his log.
We celebrated with coffee and took a picture of my achieved goal :) .
An all time new one for both and DXCC # 328 for me!
This all took place at 0635z and we had the whole day left to work other rare DX.
Other stations we could log today were: FW5JJ(Wallis & Futuna), E6AA(Niue), FH/DK9PY(Mayotte),
5J0R (San Andres), 4S7VG(Sri Lanka) and a bunch State side.
I also had a very nice QSO with Angelo/W8ERN, nice to chat with you my friend!
K9W celebrating picture PA3GVI.
K9W celebrating picture PD2JAM.
Below the online log with my QSO:
- 5 November 2013, an afternoon at the contest station.
I drove to the contest station after work at 1100 AM local, mainly to see if i could make a contact
with the Wake Island Dxpedition, K9W. At arrive I first switched on PC, Radio and amplifier before
I cranked up the tower. Soon I could hear K9W on 20 meter in CW but I did not get through.
Shortly after my arrive Joop/PD2JAM joined in and we went for other DX-peditions on air.
Joop worked 5J0R (10/SSB)as a new one which we celebrated with a high five!...short after I made
a contact as well. He had to leave after two hours and I went on working DX.
Logged Easter Island XR0YY(10/SSB) and again 5J0R(15/CW), not new ones but rare.
Called CQ on 10 meter which opened up very nicely and worked into several states and the
Caribbean, 8P, J6, VP2, XE. Highlight for the day was talking to my friend in San Diego and his wife.
Heather did not work properly so I turned home death cold at 1630 AM.
Joop and I plan to get back there on Thursday and hopefully be more lucky on the K9W!
- 26 and 27 October 2013, CQ-WW-SSB with PA8F (PI4W team).
First effort this contest season and we were all very exited with the bands being wide open the week
before the contest. We would use PA8F callsign for different reasons this time.The 10 meter open like
it was in the last cycle max with strong AM and FM signals, repeater contacts via KQ2H repeater in NY etc.
We decided to use a simple set-up as we did not have the time to erase the large 80 meter vertical and
the second mobile tower and yagi. So, vertical for 40 meter, dipoles for 80 and 160 and the yagi for
10/15/20 meter would have to do the job.
Friday afternoon Joop brought 2 amplifiers and Fred took the K3 transceiver and FT-990 to the contest
location to make everything ready for the coming night. Everything worked well and the contest went into a
big success for us. 10 meter stayed open till late and I enjoyed the West coast runs in the afternoon!
Team: PA8F, PD2JAM, PA3GVI
Band QSOs Pts ZN Cty
1,8 162 169 6 37
3,5 573 747 14 59
7 464 579 21 68
14 362 641 24 77
21 452 1009 27 86
28 602 1475 31 86
Total 2615 4620 123 413
Claimed Score : 2.476.320 Points
- 26 to 30 September 2013, PI4W goes LX!
We first discussed the idea to go abroad more then a year ago and now we would finally go to Luxembourg.
I went there several years with PA1TK contesteam to take part in the IARU VHF contest, 1st weekend september.
A time I look back to with much joy.
This time we would go with the full PI4W contestteam, some of their wifes went along as well.
We left early morning and I arrived around 1300z and Joop just got the keys of our two chalets.
First thing we did was set the mobile tower in the yard and assemble the Yagi for 10/15/20.
Peter and Herma arrived and we took a short break. At that moment my friend Joop got a heart attack
and we quickly called for help. He was brought to the Luxembourg city hospital and in the evening we
brought our first visit. After an operation he felt very well and the doctor said all would be ok again soon.
Joop had to stay another week but said we should stay and make contacts and have fun.
Initially we had the idea to have two stations on the air, with one we would be active in the CQ-WW-RTTY contest.
The other would be used for regular contacts on different bands. We decided to have just one station and I made
my first contacts as LX/PA3GVI in the early morning hours of friday 27th. During the day the girls went to visit
Vianden which was just down the road. Beautiful castle atop a mountain overlooking the Vianden valley.
Friday/saturday night we started the contest using LX9WS, nice runs but not as busy as we expected.
Nver the less we had lot's of fun during our stay and enjoyedthe fine things of life, dinners, morning breakfasts,
laughs and playing radio in a relaxed way. The contest went on with nice runs to JA and the US and we closed
with just over 1000 QSO's. Monday we drove back, satisfied and sure to come back another
time. Joop returned home save friday 4th october.
For the video of our trip click the picture below.
You can see pictures of our trip when you click the picture below!
- 8 August 2013.
Last few months there has been little activity on the radio because I was very busy.
In summer the temperature in my shack, which is on the top floor, rises to very high values and
I prefer to enjoy the nice weather and be outside a lot, spend time for my other passion: CARP!
See the pictures at: Fishing.
Have a great summer.
I'll be back!
- 12 March 2013, TX5K Clipperton Island.
When Clipperton was activated in 2008 it would be a new DXCC for me. One time would be enough and I
could barely achieve that goal. Conditions where not good at all for Europe and I hardly heard them on
my dipole. At Peter's place signal were marginal but eventually I was able to work them just once, on
17 in SSB. At that time we thought that the main reason for the poor signals was that Clipperton Island
hides behind the full North America continent with hugh attenuation as a result. The 2008 DXpedition
had to be done the hard way as they had to deal with several cases of heat exhaustion, early stage
dehydration and heavy storms. Look for the full coverage by clicking the TX5C picture!
On February 28TH the 2013 team landed on Clipperton Island, the famous Island with quite a history.
You can read some of the history on Wikipedia or even better, watch the FO0AAA video by James Brooks!
There was no pressure for me to work them as a new country but ofcourse I would love to make some contacts
with this rare entity. To my surprise I managed to get into their log 5 times. The pile ups where hughs but to
my surprise I got through on a couple bands within just a few calls. For example. I was stunned to hear them
coming back to my call on 80/CW one morning after just a couple calls up 1 KHz. I had listened carefully first
and got his routine, the rest of the crowd called up 2 to 10 KHz!! :)
I must say the op's were amazing and really excellent as they stuck to their routine of working the station they
called (mostly just a couple letters of the callsign). People kept on calling but the rate was high and they finally
reached an amazing 113.844 QSO's in 11 days. Truly a pleasure listing to them and one other neath feature was
the online log. After making a QSO you could instantly see your QSO on the world map and in the tables Current
and previous, brilliant!!!
What a great DX-pedition!!
Here's a screen shot of the DXA online log after I made my 40 Phone QSO.
- Ferbuary 2013, Africa month.
Three (3) Dxpeditions ruled the HF bands in February with one extending till early March.
First 5X8C was on, followed by 9U4U and XT2TT.
I managed to work these multiple times as you can see on the online log screen shots.
Other DX was available on the bands plenty and following stations entered my log:
- HK0/F6BFH on 30/CW
- A92GE on 40/CW
- V51WH on 15/SSB
- FG/F6ARC on 40/CW
- DU12SVA on 20/CW
- HB0/DL5SE on 40/CW
- NP2/N5RZ on 40/RTTY
- 6Y2T on 40/RTTY, 12/CW, 17/CW.
- P49X on 40/RTTY
- KH2/G3ZEM on 20/CW
- C31PP on 20/RTTY
- PJ4/K5KG on 40/CW
- JX9JKA on 40/SSB
- A6/SQ9UM on 20/RTTY
- C31RP on 20/RTTY
- CN8KD on 20/RTTY
- 5R8AL on 12/CW
- TR8CA on 40/CW
- 3D2RX on 20/RTTY
- 5N7M on 30/CW
- 25 to 27 January 2013, CQ-160-CW with PI4W.
This has become a tradition for the last years and it is the only 160 meter contest we take part in.
This year weather conditions were cold with snow on the ground, so we had build the 90 foot vertical
on Thursday ahead of the contest. Many sheep occupied the far field where we planned our NA beverage
so we had to skip this antenna. I returned to the contest location with Fred same evening to install the
Amplifier and Laptop. We left the heater on because the temperature was below 0C (32F)
and we would enter
a warm shack the next day. The band was very crowded from the start but I had good
runs first hours.
Conditions were not good and it took long before I heard the first NA station. Around 0400z
it seemed like
a door went open and one after another came into my log, same happened the next night.
Nice DX was worked like 6Y, KP2, FM, PJ2, XE and during the Greyline on Sunday morning worked into
the Mid-West and West Coast area, I remember working W6YI, W6BH and N7DD.
Sunday morning the band died around 0830z and I had 1007 QSO's in the log.
PI4W- Single Op (PA3GVI)
Band QSO Pts ST/Prov DXCC
1.8 986 5788 35 57
Claimed Score: 532.496 Points
- 22 January 2013, Amazing and mind blowing!
Did you think LP to Fiji is a long distance from Europe and would you think that Earth is a big planet?
Watch this video, it will make you dizzy...goes far beyond our imagination!
- 3 January 2013, LX/PA1TK/p video.
It took me some months to make this video because I had trouble editing it with Moviemaker.
Frozen screens and no synchrony in audio and video........#$%^&*&^$#.
Today I could finally upload the video of our DXpedition to Luxembourg for the IARU 144MHz contest in
- 1 and 2 January 2013, first DX in the New Year!
I have particular been chasing VP2MRV and K1GI/VP9 for the last week.
Was quite successful so far with the VP2 from Montserrat with 4 QSO's (30, 15, 80 and 40 meter/CW).
K1GI is not all that strong from the Bermudas but I managed to make a contact on 40 this morning on 40 /CW.