Have fun reading about my chase for DX, contesting and other Ham Radio items.
- 19 and 20 December 2015.
Due to work I had limited time for the OK-RTTY contest but I made 150 QSO's during the early morning and evening hours
on Saturday. When I woke up on Sunday morning I saw spots of P5/3Z9DX. Dom announced to be there these days for a reconnaissance trip and apparently had permission to be on the air. With still a few spots showing, mainly from Asia, on the cluster I decided to go to the contest station and wait for a possible chance. By the time I arrived he was gone again and did not return at all during my stay. But it was warm in the shack and fun to contact a few stations. Pedro-5T0WP/m (Mauritania) in his car was one of them, he was near to the Senegal border at the time we spoke.
- 7 November 2015, Day of the Radio Amateur Hamfest.
This is a Yearly event which takes place on the first Saturday in November.
I joined a couple friends who were going and met some radio friends during the day on the flea market or Restaurant.
Bought myself some Antenna wire and 450 Ohms feeder to replace my existing +/- 100 feet dipole which is up for almost 11 years now.
- 3 November 2015, YO-DX contest certificate.
- 2 November 2015, Palmerston island.
Palmerston Island in the South Pacific is one of the most deserted Island in the World. A Dutch Travelprogram host, Floortje Dessing, travels to the end of the World and in this episode she takes us to this beautiful island with 66 inhabitants and without internet, TV or rat race.
Unfortunetly voice over is in Dutch just as the subtitles but interviews, as with the only teacher on the island, are in English.
Never the less, I could not resist posting this one!
Click the picture to go to the video!
- 1 November 2015, DX-ing fun!
Drove up to the station at 0700z and encountered good conditions on 20 meters, strong signals coming from the Pacific, Japan and Australia.
After I made a CW contact with T32DX on Eastern Kiribati I putt out a CQ in SSB which was quickly answered by a couple VK's and JA's.
VK100ANZAC was very strong over the long path, he is using a Magnetic loop from 1 meter diameter and 100 watts! Ted/JA2GZZ also a massive signal and we had a nice chat. I chased DX for a couple hours more before I headed home again.
Stations I worked:
- T32DX / Eastern Kiribati : this was on 20/CW
- JA2GZZ / Japan : 20/CW
- VK100ANZAC /Australia : 20/SSB
- PY0NY / Fernando de Noronha : on 20/SSB and 15/SSB
- 3W3MD / Vietnam : on 15/SSB, 15/CW and 10/CW
- A35OK / Tonga : 20/SSB
- E51EAQ / South Cook : 20/SSB
...and a couple more from India, Reunion Island, Australia, Japan, Siberia.
- 24 and 25 October 2015, CQ-WW-DX-SSB.
I could only be in the contest on Sunday and do the best I could so I was at the contest station early and operated some 40 and 20 meters before 10 meter to really open. But when it did it was a blast! I did not focus on many QSO's but more on entities on 10 meter. In 5 hours effective operating on this band I managed to work 103 DXCC entities including some very nice exotic ones like TY4AB in Benin. Below are two videos; one running and one with the TY4AB QSO.
- 20 October 2015, more V73D from the Marshall Islands.
At the station again today for just a few hours to see if we could make a contact in phone as well.
I was there before Sun rise to crank up the tower, V73D could be heard but not strong enough to make a contact.
In the meantime PD2JAM arrived and at 0415z we both made the contact in SSB. Typical, he was audible but very light
and obviously not to many in Europe heard him because he kept calling CQ (listening 3 KHz up) without anyone calling.
For 10 minutes we heard him on 15 meter/RTTY but could not make the contact.....oooh well!
- 18 October 2015, good contact!
I was a little unsure about V73D confirming my callsign or not yesterday. When I woke this morning I checked the on line
log and found out it was a good contact!
- 17 October 2015, an afternoon at the station.
I spend an afternoon at the contest station with my friend Joop, making nice long distance contacts.
- We made contact with the S79SP DXpeditions on the Seychelles Island. Contacts in phone and CW.
- V73D on the Marshall Islands was audible on 20 meter/CW the whole day but QRM-ers made it difficult at times. I think I made the contact through a lot of noise, could be busted too.....let's wait for the online log to update!
- E30FB/Zorro, a Japanese operator, is active from Eritrea. Big signal from him on 15 meter!
- NH2DX from the Marshall Islands on digital mode(RTTY).
- FK8IK on 21 MHz/CW from New Caledonia
- and a couple more......
- 3 September 2015, Chesterfield Islands/TX3X.
A quick visit this afternoon to the contest station with my friend Joop/PD2JAM.
After the long Summer stop for our Club-meetings there was quite a pack with cards waiting for me.
Many of them confirming nice DX contacts! Let me show you a couple!
- 14 September 2015, WAE-SSB contest.
What a fun time we had the last few days. Joop/PD2JAM and myself started working on the 40 meter dipole project late
Friday afternoon. We attached both Spiderbeam rods (40 feet each) to the mounting bracket and had the 40 meter dipole
tapped to them. The feed would slope a bit in the center towards the Balun as the posts on the bracket are metal.
When we had raised the tower in the lowest position the resonant frequency was at 6.550 MHz with the SWR being 1:1,8.
Far to low so we took about 1,5 feet from both sides. When up in the air again it showed 7.030/SWR 1:1,8.
We thought the resonant frequency would go up when at full height and it did,...7.150/SWR 1:1,8.
Quick test listening to an Italian operator proved good front to side ratio and 2 S-units difference with the vertical.
That would do as we had no more time left to make a better match.
Saturday morning Joop was at the station early but actually a bit too late for 40 meters. Still he could work a couple from
South America. When I arrived he was very enthusiastic cause he worked them through big pile ups.
We played on 20 and 15 meters working DX and little stateside as conditions were absolutely worse then I have ever seen
in a contest! After returning from dinner we were exited to try the 40 meter band. Stations from Kuwait, Israel and China came into our log without any trouble. FR4NT from Reunion Island, followed by station from Galapagos, Australia and Hong-Kong made us cheer! Stations from South America were plenty and could be worked first call. Switching from the vertical to the dipole showed the dipole being the better antenna in all cases. Especially the signal to noise was much better.
Sunday morning and hardly any station from the USA in our log, except the big boys. We took down the vertical and dipole at 9AM cause conditions were awful. Turning to 20 meter showed a almost dead band with few spots showing. We worked a couple VK's and could make a contact with T32AZ in Western Kiribati. After that contact we decided to go home. Never mind cause the main purpose of this weekend was to test the 40 meter dipole!
40 meter DXCC worked: KP4, YV, PY, 4X, 9K, UA9, UN, TA, 4K, BA, FR, A7, VR, VK, CN, A9, 4L, K, VE, KP2, CO, LU, HC.
After the long summer with other outdoor activities it's time again to focus on Radio.
I had my transceiver on occasionally this last week but conditions seem bad.
Hopefully this will get better before the weekend when we will be active in our first contest this season.
We are preparing to build a 40 meter dipole for the 60 feet tower and compare that with our vertical.
The concept is simple,...2 Spiderbeam rods from 36 feet...wire, a home brew mounting bracket and a Balun.
Let's see how that will work...pictures to follow later!
In my mailbox: a card confirming a 160 meter/CW contact with ZF2KE.
Very happy with that!
- 31 August 2015, The ritme of the code!
- 30 May 2015, Another ATNO!
There it is; confirmation of my 6 QSO's with Navassa Island, K1N.
This is DXCC# 331, I can submit these last confirmed DXCC's and be Honor Roll!
-25 May 2015, Voice of America Museum Special by Amateurlogic.tv.
Received a link to this video from my friend W7BIA.
Interesting to see how they switched antennas etc.
- 6 May 2015, FT4TA card....DXCC #331
Received another rare one confirming DXCC# 330.
Honor roll is in sight as I also worked K1N on Navassa Island earlier this year (DXCC#331).
- 28 and 29 March 2015, CQ-WPX-SSB (PG6G).
Just before the contest would start.
Not much time for our team to install larger antennas so we fell back to the simple solution of dipoles from the existing tower.
Just a 40 and 80 meter dipole (and the Yagi for 10/15/20). I would be the only one to be operating during both nights and those two bands would provide enough action. Conditions different both nights but not bad at all...80 lacked a bit during the Sunday morning SR but the bands were very crowded and it was difficult to find a free frequency,...any time through the weekend..all bands! With just 4 Operators and different family obligations we could not be there full 48 hours!
Eventually the end for me came on Sunday afternoon when I had been active for 18 hours with 2 hours sleep. You finally pay the prize for these long shifts! Therefor we were satisfied with the result......
CQ-WPX-SSB Summary PG6G Start Date : 2015-03-27 CallSign Used : PG6G Operator(s) : PA8F, PD2JAM, PA4B, PA3GVI Operator Category : MULTI-OP Band : ALL Power : HIGH Mode : SSB Default Exchange : 001 Country : Netherlands ARRL Section : DX Software : N1MM Logger V13.11.1 Band QSOs Pts WPX 3,5 381 977 238 7 367 954 141 14 300 654 145 21 400 1070 175 28 300 670 158 Total 1748 4325 857 Claimed Score : 3.706.525 Points Rig : FT-990 Amplifier: ZZ-750 Antennas : Yagi for 10/15/20, dipoles for 40 and 80
- 21 March 2015, nice vid!
This is a TV commercial (for MTN) which tells about a boy who finds his way through the Internet on how to make contact
with an Astronaut. Good Ham Radio promoting too! (TNX W7BIA).
- 9 March 2015, E30FB on 10 meter Phone.
While at the contest station last Saturday I worked E30FB from Eritrea.
He came out of the noise earlier that morning and finally was a solid S9.
Short clip below.
- 7 and 8 March 2015, ARRL-SSB contest.
ARRL DX contest are always a guaranty for pile ups. This one wasn't an exception!
We were active from the contest station using my callsign. Could only be there on Saturday because there was work on Sunday.
I started early on 40 meter and that wasn't a big success, very crowded and condx up and down....got 136 QSO's at SR.
20 meters of course started slow with most NA still being on the lower bands. In the afternoon, together with PD2JAM, it went really loose!
Long, unstoppable runs on 10 meters. 90 Q's in 20 minutes on 15 meters was our last run before we went home at 1700z.
PA8A, PA8F and NL-11607 went to the station on Sunday and did their share.
Sun Rise at the station. Our working place.
- 5 March 2015, short K1N video.
Here is a short video on the Navassa 2015 Dxpedition, K1N.
- 27 February 2015, DKARS-March 2015 issue.
- 26 February 2015, QSL's received via the Buro.
On the last clubmeeting I had quite a pack of incoming cards waiting for me.
Today I found the time to handle them and get my qsl status up to date.
A couple nice ones went on my keyboard and pose for a picture!
Antennas: 3-elements Yagi for 10/15/20, Dipoles for 40/80/160, Rhombic for 40, K9AY loops for RX on 80 and 160.
Miscellaneous: Heil headsets, Chili Con Carne, good coffee, lot's of laughs!
PA3GVI PA8A(L) and PD2JAM(R)
- 11 February 2015, Gray line QSO!
Had been out early a couple mornings to check K1N on 80 meters/CW. The past proved that making a contact into the Caribbean on this band is possible for
me from home. They could be heard but with whole Europe and NA calling I did not get through. My chance were biggest during the Gray line when stations East from PA-land loose propagation and when the operator would listen for Europe only. Tried that one morning but still no contact. Today, same plan and with they Gray line over The Netherlands I only heard DL's, ON's and G's calling. The rest further East was quite, the pile didn't seem all that big either.
Wooow, finally got him 1,5 KHz up.
Gray line propagation is truly something magic!
- 10 February 2015, heading towards a fun weekend...PACC contest!
Just a couple days remain before the weekend, one to look forward too.
This coming weekend, 14 and 15 February, we will take part in the Dutch PACC contest (12:00-12:00 UTC).
This event has become a yearly event for our contest team. In this contest we are not active from our contest station but from the PA8A shack.
We normally gather 2 hours prior to the start of the game cause there is no need to build antennas, everything is there.
We are quite fanatic in winning this but blend this with a long dinner on Saturday eve, lot's of laughs and breakfast on Sunday morning.
No wonder we call this the Chilli Con carne contest, one of the dishes which are served for dinner bij Peter's XYL.
I cannot wait till the weekend!
Below, some of the PACC 2006 pictures.
A different era but one of my most successful entries!....Single Operator/CW.
Dick/PA3GLF helped me building all the antennas.
Shack in my mobile home. All the antennas for PACC 2006.
PA3GVI next to the 80 meter vertical.
- 9 February 2015, more Navassa/K1N.
When I woke up this morning first thing I did was check the K1N spots.
They were not strong on 80 but 40 was much better, did not hear them this strong before on my 31 meter doublet.
Tried for some time but didn't get through, the pile up was large and QRM-ers plenty.
Then little later another attempt and finally........!
He obviously gave me a report earlier, I did probable not hear that because of the QRM, cause his 'PA3GVI 5NN' came much later then after I gave my callsign.
Happy with working them from home with just a simple set-up I went to work.
In the afternoon, me and Joop/PD2JAM hooked up at the contest station to work them more bands/modes.
They were on 20 CW and SSB and it didn't take long to get into the log....later 10 SSB for Joop and myself.
The pile up had expanded from 4 to 50 KHz up......madness!
-3 February 2015.
- 3 February 2015, Navassa Island...K1N!
I tried working this ATNO yesterday at my friends place but did not succeed.
Today QRL took me till 11:00 local and after that I drove to my friend who has the big Yagi.
At arrive they were just audible on 30 meters but not good enough to do an attempt. Besides, this time of the day we would be a whisper compared to the many US callers. The other station was on 160 meters which of course was out of business for Europe.
I tuned the bands and found 15 meters in good shape with strong signals from PY. Peter and I decided to tune everything for this band and wait on the frequency they were on the day before....21.205 MHz. This took quite some time but eventually I thought I recognized Mike/N6MZ starting to call...... CQ CQ K1N listening up! I did not get him on the first call but was second in line...Peter/PA8A was 5Th or 6Th.
Drove home with a big smile on my face!!
- 29 January 2015, VK0IR..the complete book on PDF (100MB)
You can now download the complete book of the 1997 VK0IR DXpedition to Heard Island (100 Mb).
A self adressed envelope returned home today and I actually thought that this would be my FT4TA confirmation.
It was not but it made me smile anyway as this was a card from Ron/VK3IO, confirming a topband QSO made in 2003 (and 2 other contacts).
-26 January 2015, reflecting on a DXpedition...EP6T.
I belong toa part of the radio community that likes to hunt for new Entities(countries) and try to reach for the full house, meaning....work and get all these 340 DXCC Entities confirmed. My heart starts beating faster as an ATNO comes hits the airwaves and I do the best I can to make at least one contact in CW, SSB or RTTY.
I don't mind DXCC for all the different bands or modes. Of course I try to work them possible more then once but one contact will be fine for my mixed DXCC award.
And if I don't work them, it sucks but I will not sleep 1 minute less because of not getting a contact.
These days demands are high and people think it is natural to be served as they wish.
EP6t for an example, one that went QRT just today. Iran was high on the wanted list for many Hams and expectations were high.
I assume, by reading items on the Internet, that some people think that having donated dollars means that you should get a contact. Or, that because the NA demand is bigger they should make the most QSO's into that region. It would be nice but no guarantees as you don't know the situation at site.
I would think we should be proud at these people organizing these extreme DXpeditions like EP, Antarctica area and remote Pacific Island with high costs!
The EP6T team needed several years to plan this operation in a country with high security levels. Even with the local authorities being very helpful you still have to deal with
conditions and need to compromise. Quite soon after they got active they made public that they had problems with receiving as the noise was very high. That makes it very difficult to have a decent rate. They seemed to do fine when I heard them but on the low bands it was difficult and openings to NA and SA seemed very short, mostly around their SR and SS. Many complained about them working more EU then NA and other regions. Europeans complained about them working 'NA only' during our afternoons on the high bands and 'NA only' around 0000z and far into the night. I stayed up a couple nights and hoped they would switch to EU at some point but on those nights they didn't. Ooh well, pity but I suppose they follow conditions and sometimes follow rates. They are in charge and it is their show, we should trust...they do the best they can!
They make it possible to get your ATNO or at least make sure there is excitement in the Ham Radio community. Respect their choices and if you don't succeed in working them.
Sit down, relax, be realistic and ask yourself.... what is really the relevance of it all??......it is just a hobby?
-24 January 2015, EP6T on 15 and 20 in SSB.
Doing some repairs at the contest station gave me the possibility to work EP6T on other bands.
I got in their log on 15 and 20 meters Phone and also worked EP3HF on 15 Phone.
later, I had a nice chat with my friend Peter/PJ4NX as well. Excelent signal from the Caribbean mate!
-20 January 2015, EP6T in my log!
I normally wake up 1 hour prior to leaving for work and this morning was no exception.
One of the routine things is check my mail and I did that first. The I wanted to check if I could hear the EP6T guys...maybe on 30 or 40 meter, if I was not too late.
Yes, I hear them on 30 meter in CW so I set the amplifier and flipped the second VFO a couple KHz's higher.
To my surprise I needed just a couple calls before he heard me and gave me my report. I returned 'CFM 5NN TU'.
When back from work in the afternoon I noticed they had uploaded new QSO's and mine should be in it.
I wasn't but finally hours later when I checked again it did!
- 17 and 18 January 2015, HA-DX contest.
Made 151 QSO's in the HA-DX contest.
Listened to EP6T for a while but pile ups are very very large....skip that and try later!
-15 January 2015, Farewell to RNW Bonaire.
Video about the building and farewell of the Bonaire RNW broadcast location and antennas.
12 January 2015, DXpeditioning Basics.
I don't have plans to go on a DXpedition but if you do you should consider reading this document 'DXpeditioning Basics'.
Published in 1994 by N7NG(and co-published by the ARRL) but still a very valuable source when you wanto know how to deal with pile ups, out of turn callers etc.
10 and 11 january 2015, just for fun.
Old New Years Contest summary:
Band Mode QSOs Pts Mlt
3,5 CW 12 12 9 7 CW 13 13 6 14 CW 25 25 8 Total Both 50 50 23
DARC 10 meter contest summary:
Band Mode QSOs Pts DXC DOK 28 CW 50 50 19 8 Total Both 50 50 19 8
3 and 4 January 2015, PMC and ARRL Round Up contest.
This was the firstweekend in 2015 to spend time in a contest.
There were actually more but not of my interest. Started with the PMC were I choose to only make CW contacts. Conditions, from my perspective, were bad and I made 150 QSO's. Switched to the ARRL RTTY RU and same thing. I expected to hear many US on air but instead most contacts were European. Never the less I made 100 QSO's. I will not be feasible in the scores, at least not in the top, but gained 9 points for Woerden club in our National Veron Contest competition.
1 January 2015, Ham Radio from the Big Gun....the lost files!
About a week ago I made another video from our activities on two former Radio Netherlands antenna sites with picture and video files I had putt away in a folder on my PC.