Category Archives: Amateur Radio

CQ WW WPX loggings

The CQ WW WPX SSB contest occurs every year on the last weekend in March. This year was no exception and was over the weekend of the 24th/25th March (last weekend). I usually try and do some logging as unusual stations that you don’t normally hear pop up on all bands. True to form I managed to log some new countries. Although conditions were not ideal (they seldom are!) there were hundreds of stations on the air. Obviously the die-hard contesters are there with their 1.5KW stations, but there are smaller powered stations who make it through the noise.

So the following is a list of stations I managed to hear, and overall I was very pleased as It was just casual listening.

24/03/2018 – 80M –                                                                                                                                                                  EF8R 5,9 PG90T 5,9+10                                                                                                                                    40M –                                                                                                                                                                  SI9AM 5,8 EV1R 5,9 LY4L 5,6 S58Y 5,7 OL9R 5,9+10                                                                                  15M –                                                                                                                                                                  PY5JR 4,6 CN3A 5,7 PP5JN 5,6 CE2LR 4,6 ZY2Y 4,5

25/03/2018 – 20M –                                                                                                                                                                 9H6A 4,6 4X7R 5,6 JT5DX 5,7 A61QQ 4,5 FR4QT 5,6 LZ25TRC 5,9+10 PJ4V 5,8                                     VE3UDX 5,6 CT3KN 5,7 EF9R 5,9 4Z5LY 5,9 VB3E 4,4 EB7DX 5,9 YM7KA 5,7                                         ED9E 5,9+10 KQ2M 5,9 4L2M 5,9 NR7DX 4,4 PZ5RA 3,3 Z37M 5,9+10 IF9A 5,9                                     PJ5Z 5,8

The CW CQWW WPX is on in May, so if Morse is your thing that would be worth listening to. Its nice to get some unusual ones in the log!

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Amateur Radio DX News

There are some interesting places being activated next year. From DXNews comes the following info:

AU2WBR Sagar Island

Radio Amateurs members of West Bengal Amateur Radio Club VU2MQT will be active again from Sagar Island, IOTA AS – 153, 1 January – 31 March 2018 as AU2WBR.
They will operate on HF Bands.
Recent DX Spots AU2WBR
QSL via VU2NRO.
Ads for direct QSL:
National Institute of Amateur Radio, 6-3-192/93, Raj Bhavan Road, Somajiguda, Hyderabad 500082, India.

C6ARU C6AUM C6AKQ Abaco Islands

Tim N4UM, Mike K4RUM and Bob N4BP will be active from Abaco Islands, IOTA NA – 080, 6 – 20 February 2018 as C6ARU, C6AUM, C6AKQ.
QTH – Marsh Harbor.
Recent DX Spots C6ARURecent DX Spots C6AUMRecent DX Spots C6AKQ
They will operate on 160 – 6m.
They plan to operate in CQ WPX RTTY and ARRL DX CW Contest.
QSL info:
C6ARU via N4UM direct.
Ads for direct QSL:
TIMOTHY S COTTON, 3170 SUSSEX WAY, VERO BEACH, FL 32966, USA.
C6AUM via K4RUM direct.
Ads for direct QSL:
Mike Cotton, 37 W. 21st St. Apt. 1504, New York, NY 10010, USA.
C6AKQ via N4BP direct.
Ads for direct QSL:
Bob Patten, 2841 N.W. 112 TERRACE, PLANTATION, FL 33323, USA.

Hopefully, conditions may improve a bit and these stations can be at least heard, if not worked.

BITX40 now goes digital

Earlier this year, Farhan of BITX20 fame, released a 40m version of his famous transceiver. The difference this time was it was not just the schematic with detailed instructions, but a full kit, for the princely sum of $45 (about £35 GBP). And this is an almost ready to go kit, with all onboard components already fitted. These boards are assembled by a team of ladies in India, and provides them with employment. All the user has to do is select a suitable enclosure and with some basic metal bashing skills, put together a decent single band SSB transceiver, with 6-7 watts of RF output.

One of the observations of many early adopters of this kit was it suffered from drift, due to the varicap tuning arrangement. Also, tuning with the supplied pot was somewhat critical, and many users purchased a 10-turn pot to overcome these limitations. Yet others have put together Arduino-based VFO’s with digital readout etc.

Farhan has now addressed these comments and produced a version complete with Arduino-based digital VFO + readout for $59! This is a real winner, and I am being seriously tempted to purchase the kit. I have been ‘off-air’ for many years due to the reduced level of conduct on the HF bands, but this kit may just tempt me back. It would provide an ideal back-pack or SOTA rig, powered by a 12v gelcel.

For more details about this kit see the HF Sigs website

2m Transatlantic QSO achieved!

From the website of D4C comes the news of a successful 2m transatlantic QSO.

A new 2m barrier is broken. PY1MHZ- V51PJ QSO

Successful Bilateral Transatlantic 144 MHz QSO made !

Between 04 and 05 October 2016 a new record was set. PY1MHZ Marcos received in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil from locator GG87JC the 2 m signal of V51PJ  from locator JG82IE in Rosh Pinah, Namibia by using digital mode WSJT-X via Tropospheric ducting.

The distance between the two stations is 5987 km

Here the details of the records:
Frequency: 144.250MHz
Mode: WSJT-X – QRA64

Time and intensity:
04 OCT 2016 2038 UTC -37db at PY1MHZ

05 OCT 2016 0028 UTC  -36db at V51PJ

Rig setup:
PY1MHZ 2x12el Horizontal polarity, 400W,  Preamp 16db

V51PJ 2x13el Horizontal polarity, 1kW

Only thanks to the persistence and determination of these OM this historic achievement was possible.

 

 

VK0EK Heard Island DX-pedition – Update

From VK0EK web site:

“On March 1, 2016 the first of the Heard Island Expedition Team board flights for Cape Town, South Africa, the accumulation point for the expedition to Heard Island.

The first three to depart, Bob Schmieder KK6EK, Ken Karr NG2H, and Adam Brown K2ARB, will arrive in Cape Town at 1:00 PM local time, to be met by members of the South Africa Support Team. They will be followed over the next four days by the other team members: Fred Belton KM4MXD, Arliss Thompson W7XU, Gavin Marshall VK2BAX, Hans-Peter Blattler HB9BXE, Alan Cheshire VK6CQ, Bill Mitchell AEØEE, Dave Lloyd K3EL, Jim Colletto N6TQ, Vadym Ivliev UT6UD, Dave Farnsworth WJ2O, and Carlos Nascimento NP4IW.

The Cape Town Support Team has been interfacing with the vessel (also due to arrive in Cape Town March 3), and the local agency for inspecting the vessel and cargo for biological threats. We will be shopping, cleaning the tents, and loading the Braveheart, preparing for the scheduled sailing on March 10.

All news while the team is en route and at Heard will be posted here,

 http://www.vk0ek.org “

Texas APRS balloon crosses Atlantic

From Southgate ARC News:

The solar powered amateur radio APRS balloon BTL-42.1 W5BTR-11 has successfully crossed the Atlantic
The balloon was released by the South Texas Balloon Launch Team on February 7 and its signal was picked up at 17:57 UT on February 10 off the coast of Northern Spain.


BLT-42.1 balloon 1910 GMT on February 10, 2016

The balloon payload normally transmits on 144.390 MHz FM but has the capability to switch to 144.800 MHz FM (5 kHz wide deviation, 25kHz channel spacing) when in range of Europe.

Real-time track at
http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=6&call=a%2FW5BTR-11&timerange=259200&tail=259200

Pics of balloon and payload at
http://www.w5acm.net/b421.html

The IARU Region 1 meeting in Vienna on April 15-17 will discuss Global Harmonization of the APRS frequencies, see
http://amsat-uk.org/2016/01/27/iaru-paper-aprs-harmonisation/

This Weekend: Croatian CW Contest, OK DX RTTY Contest and RAC Winter Contest

The Croatian CW Contest will be taking place from Saturday, 1400 UTC through Sunday, 1400 UTC on 1,8/3,5/7/14/21/28 MHz.

Points :

10 points contacts with 9A stations on 1,8/3,5/7 MHz, 6 points on 14/21/28 MHz

6 points contacts with other continent on 1,8/3,5/7 MHz, 3 points on 14/21/28 MHz

2 points contacts with own continent, including entrant’s own country on 1,8/3,5/7 MHz, 1 point on 14/21/28 MHz.

Multipliers : DXCC countries plus WAE list on each band 1 point.

Complete rules: http://9acw.org/index.php/rules/english/106-rules-2015. The contest website is http://9acw.org/index.php.

zagabria

The OK DX RTTY will be taking place on Saturday on 10, 15, 20, 40 and 80 meters.

Points:

On 10, 15 and 20 meters bands:

1 point for contact within own continent

2 points for outside own continent (DX QSO)

On 40 and 80 meters bands:

3 points for contact within own continent

6 points for outside own continent (DX QSO)

Multipliers: DXCC Countries and OK stations on each band

Complete rules: http://okrtty.crk.cz/index.php?page=english.

Finally, thw winter RAC contest will be running on 160 – 2 meters, in CW and SSB on Saturday, 0000 UTC – 2359 UTC.

The rules are at http://wp.rac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/2015-Winter-Contest-Rules-English-French.pdf.