May 292013
 

I came up to the shack to do the 6m contest but soon realised that I was too tired after a particularly trying day at work. The band was full of Eastern European video noise and 4m was also full of OIRT broadcast signals rendering it virtually unusable. These wide band FM broadcast signals are S9+ and occupy large amounts of bandwidth. Of course you can often pick out DX among the noise but it is hard work.

Eventually this died down so I looked towards the Caribbean and after only a few minutes I heard HK6DES in Colombia calling CQ. I was very lucky to have him to myself for some time. This was all going on in the middle of the RSGB 6m UK activity contest so you can imagine it was bedlam at times.

In among this DX the Canadian beacon VO1SEP on 50.035 got really loud too but I was actively looking for new countries.

One local contest station was being called by WP4 but was obviously not beaming that way so I told him. He worked a few Puerto Rican stations which must have been a bit of a surprise.

The opening lasted quite a long time and I worked 6 different DXCC entities one of which was new. You may remember that the old PJ prefixes were deleted in 2010 so the new ones count as new DXCC. Therefore PJ4NX was DXCC #182 for me. The only station heard but not worked was HI8W.

As is often the case with these Sporadic E openings across the Atlantic the propagation was spotty and variable but I did have the run of it. Sometimes signals got up to S9 but on average they were 54-55.

Here is a screen grab of my log.

6m opening at G4NOK, 28th May 2013

6m opening at G4NOK, 28th May 2013

PS the locators are not correct, HRD is really bad at this unlike my old logbook VQLog which is excellent. I am going to have to edit all the locators for the last few months when I have a few days off next week.

May 242013
 

Plenty turned up on club night last night including a few really old friends of mine G1EZF and G6RFL , one of whom I hadn’t seen for 20+ years! They are now both members of North Wakefield Radio Club, in fact we are growing in membership quite nicely. Of course the upside of this is that we will have more money and can do more things.

We are currently making steady changes in the shack and I’d just like to thank Robert and Mick for their sterling work with a paint roller and trunking, not to mention that enormous viewing device on the wall! Members and vistors will be able to see what the operator is up to whatever they are doing on the computer courtesy of a  42 inch monitor! Well it’s a telly really but you get the idea.

Once again I missed 3B8 on 6m on account of the fact that I have to work for a living. Full time employment really does get in the way of working DX on 6m! I am trying to have a balanced approach to this but like all DX’ers on any band I just can’t seem to manage it. I am enjoying being back on the radio that’s for sure.

But enough of 6m, G4NOK got a couple of really nice SSB contacts on 40m last night.

BY2OE on 7.191 MHz SSB 59/59 21:00 UTC

VK7AC on 7.160 MHz SSB 59/55 at 21:30 UTC

Now I’m not expert on 40m but at this time of year running only 100W of SSB at that this of year is pretty impressive. The 40m dipole really is a quiet antenna and as it is rotary we can null out the QRM and peak the DX. I could get into 40m it seems to require a bit of effort like 6m. Not to work the easy stuff no but the stuff outside Europe is much harder, bet it’s good on cw too.  I am told that because I worked the BY an Robert worked the VK I have to go to a VHF confessional for my sins.

It was a good night and felt like a proper radio club.

73

Conrad G0RUZ

 

 

May 222013
 

It has been an interesting week at G4NOK on 6m. For a station in the North the conditions have been typical in some ways but with some nice surprises. I’d say that it has been a very good early sporadic E season but in addition there has been some very good Trans Equatorial Propagation (TEP) as well. For a station as far north as IO93FR in order to take advantage of the TEP openings we need a Sporadic E link to southern Europe or North Africa. It really is better the further South you go in Europe. Peter G8BCG who is in IO70 hears a lot of choice stuff. He is sending me a recording of tonight’s opening to South America. I heard absolutely nothing of this, such is Sporadic E assisted paths. I will upload it when I get it.

I personally have managed to add 2 new DXCC to my list, which now stands at 181 from G4NOK, thanks to D2EB (Angola) and 4L1UN (Georgia).  I have heard some good African DX but if they are rare and many Gs are calling I don’t work them again as I prefer to let others who need the country work them first. Of course if the DX is calling CQ without any answer I will call them again so that they don’t get discouraged. It is a fine balance to do the right thing but at least I try. I don’t always get it right of course but don’t worry someone will let me know.

Seriously – newcomers should get to know the band plan and use it. It is taken pretty serious in Europe by the DX community. The most important thing to do is listen and on no accounts work Europeans on SSB below 50.130.

There have been a few new ones heard weakly but not worked. Of course stations in the south have been working them easily. This is the way it is on 6m. The notable ones are 3B8DB,3B8CF and TJ3SN, 3DA0NJ, ZP5SNA and J68DS.  I am particularly frustrated by 3B8 (Mauritius) and 3DA0NJ. These ones always seems to be on the noise floor working southern Europe with 59 signals. It is difficult to work them but I will keep trying, I expect the opportunity will have gone within a few more days until October and November if we get any F2 propagation before the sun goes to sleep for another good few years. This cycle when compared to the last one really is very poor.

I have also heard a number of South African stations but I don’t need ZS6 and they were hearing others much louder so I didn’t add to the QRM.

Last night was interesting. The ZD7VC beacon was loud for about 40 minutes. I recorded it when it was peaking 559;  here is a recording.

ZD7VC Beacon 21st May 2013 – 21:18 UTC

Later last night there was a spotty opening to the Caribbean with FM, 9Y, KP4 and 8P6 worked. Also heard weakly was FG and J68 which would have been a new country for me. I’ll get him sometime in June I’m sure…

Here is a list of the 6m QSOs since the last report. Some of the locators will probably be wrong as I am experimenting with HRD which does not do a very good job of autofilling locator squares. I am going to look at DX4WIN as it seems very popular with many of the 6m guys.

 

DATE TIME CALLSIGN LOCATOR TX RX MODE PRO. REMARKS QRB
12/05/2013 15:28 EA6BHO JM19HO 599 599 CW ES 1601
12/05/2013 17:07 CN8LI IM61CE 59 59 USB ES 2555
12/05/2013 17:36 EA9UG IM75IV 599 599 CW ES 2005
12/05/2013 18:35 EA5BX IN80AA 599 599 CW ES 1535
12/05/2013 18:36 EA5BX IN80AA 599 599 CW ES 1535
12/05/2013 19:24 GS3PYE/P IO76UQ 51 52 USB ES 372
13/05/2013 19:34 D2EB JH87MB 559 559 CW ES 7618
13/05/2013 20:26 PY2XB GG66PI 599 599 CW ES 9630
13/05/2013 20:26 PY2XB GG66PI 599 599 CW 9630
13/05/2013 20:38 CE3SX FF47MA 579 579 CW ES 11709
14/05/2013 17:58 EA9BW IM75IV 59 59 SSB 2004
14/05/2013 17:58 EA9BW IM75IV 59 59 SSB ES 2004
18/05/2013 13:39 GB75FOC IO93 599 599 CW John RCG pileup! +-45
18/05/2013 15:10 A45XR LL93EN 599 599 CW 5953
18/05/2013 16:37 4L1UN LN12IG 559 579 CW 3462
21/05/2013 20:35 KP4EIT FK58 55 51 SSB +-6877
21/05/2013 20:45 WP3UX FK68QE 55 59 SSB 6754
21/05/2013 20:53 FM5AA FK94 55 55 SSB +-6717
21/05/2013 21:00 9Y4VU FK90IK 559 339 CW 7109
21/05/2013 21:02 9Y4D FK90 55 55 SSB +-7080
21/05/2013 21:06 8P6SH GK03FE 51 51 SSB 6749

Number of QSO listed: 21

During this time of fairly intense Sporadic E it has been really quite good on 4m too. I have worked quite a bit and the low power does not seem to be much of a disadvantage. I’ll do a report on 4m soon.

PS for those who attended my talk on Sporadic E last week I haven’t forgotten the page that I said I’d do, just no time – too much DX!

73

Conrad G0RUZ

May 202013
 

Our site ran out of bandwidth because of a problem with the calendar software we were using and the google data mining robot. Basically the Google robot was using 15GB  of data bandwidth every few days just because it seemed to really want information from our calendar. I tried various things to stop this but for the moment I’m afraid I have had to remove the calendar. I will try to find an alternative calendar as soon as I have time.

I also said that I would put up some links to Sporadic E tools which I will. I was hoping to do this at the weekend but unfortunately the site was down.

Lets hope that our bandwidth issues are over for the time being.

Lots of DX about on 6m, I’ll do a report every few days if people are interested.

Regards

Conrad

May 182013
 

The Sporadic E season on 6m has got off to a very good start, 4m has also been very good and there has been one very short (5 mins) opening on 2m, not at G4NOK though.

On 6m I have worked D2EB in Angola, numerous PY, LU, CX and a couple of CE stations, Z2 beacon has been heard for a while (no stations active) I also heard ZS6 (didn’t call as I have worked many times before so left to those who need it) and heard 3B8 (too weak to call) and TJ3SN who is infuriating difficult to catch. The usual 4X and 5B4 stations are audible most days. I suspect TJ will be easy in June but 3b8 I will have only a few weeks more, ditto with 3DA0. The ZD8VHF and ZD7VC beacons have been in most nights sometimes quite strong and ZD7VC in person was 57/59 for 10 minutes.

June and July will bring the Caribbean and North America, the old Netherland Antilles have been deleted so there will be new ones for me in that lot I hope; read at this link The sun needs to be above 150 sfu in the Autumn then we will have some real DX. Of course June and July is bound to throw up some surprises. In the Northern part of the UK you need to be very vigilant but I have heard G1EZF in Leeds working some very choice DX with his TS2000 and a vertical antenna. It’s great to hear Mick on the bands, he was something of a mentor to me with 2m meteor scatter in the 80s and early 90s. I am sure that there are many European 2m DX’ers will remember hearing Mick Almark!

Get ready guys because if you ask me this has been a very good early season for Sporadic E.

I have rekindled my love affair with 6m, it really is a fantastic band and the new antenna is the business.

73

Conrad G0RUZ

May 052013
 

Had a big opening to South America on 6m and worked a good number of stations in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil – remember this is 6m. Some of the PYs were the loudest I have ever heard in over 20 years on the band. I even gave one very happy PY2 his first ever G station on 6m.

Still no 3B8 in the log, maybe tomorrow – the opportunity to work 3B8 will last only a couple of weeks at the most.

I’ll post the days log and some graphics maybe tomorrow night.

The antenna is really very very good!

Conrad

May 032013
 

I felt that the new antenna system is much better on 4m. The band noise is much reduced and signals are better. Despite being 18 minutes late because I was trying to get an old amplifier working (I failed) G4NOK managed 36 contacts with a best DX of 514km: PF7M in JO33BA.

I also did not realise at the time that the activity contests require locator square multipliers – still its all a learning curve. I really should read the rules more thoroughly!

We are making steady progress which is thanks to the hard work put in by everyone.

Here is a map of the QSOs:

Map showing contacts for G4NOK 70MHz UKAC 30th April 2013

Map showing contacts for G4NOK 70MHz UKAC 30th April 2013

May 022013
 

I rushed to the club from work hoping to catch some of the African stations that were around this afternoon on 6m. The shack had been further improved by Robert and Mick P, they had set up the IC7400 on 6m and 4m and so it took no time for me to figure out that I’d missed the really juicy stuff. I found a huge signal on 50.099 cw TF8GX, I gave him a call and we exchanged 599 both ways. It was only much later on that I realised that the first 5 QSOs that I had were with 5W, truly QRP! We reduce the drive in order to drive the 4m transverter.

It was very enjoyable to work a few stations on Sporadic E after such a long lay off.

Thanks to Mick and Robert for making everything so comfortable – great job. I hope that people enjoyed the little opening that we had, I did listen on 4m for a bit but nothing doing.

Here is a summary of what I worked.

QSOs with the new 6m beam, first 5 QSOs with 5W!

QSOs with the new 6m beam, first 5 QSOs with 5W!

May 012013
 

This morning I was listening to an FM radio station from Finland on my car radio on the way into work. You often get this during May, June, July and August with June and July the most prolific months. 4m was open again this morning, you will find stations on FM as well. Ten watts to a dipole will bring contacts on both 4m and 6m although 4m is far more friendly.

Read the band plans and get on and work some DX!

Conrad

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