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W9DXCC Press Release – Chicagoland Based DX Classes in September 6 - May - 2012

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, DX Interests, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5, 2012

W9DXCC DX CONVENTIONCOMMITTEE ANNOUNCES

“DX’ing from the Black Hole”

A multi-session course to be presented in conjunction with the 60th W9DXCC DX Convention (Schaumburg, Illinois)

The W9DXCC convention committee has announced it will offer a 4 session class on Friday September 14, 2012 to introduce ham operators to the excitement and fun of “DXing”, or contacting hams in other countries around the world.

The class will be held the day before the W9DXCC convention on September 15th, and has been designed for new and inexperienced DX’ers.

Each will cover a different aspect of DX’ing including operating practices, station design, chasing awards, QSL’ing and propagation from the Black Hole.

All presenters are accomplished DXers from the NIDXA (Northern Illinois DX Association) and include K9AJ, K9EL, WA9YYY and W9MU.

Between them they have over 100 years of experience that includes participation in DXpedition operations to rare locations around the world and numerous awards.

Registration for the class may be done online at the W9DXCC web site (www.w9dxcc.com) when Convention registration is active. Discounts will be available for persons signing up for both the class and the convention.

Please contact W9MU (jhudson) for further details and information.

I’ve always enjoyed the W9DXCC event, and with the classes it will be even more of service to the amateur radio community!

73

Steve
K9ZW

A few Hours of Interesting Band Conditions 7 - April - 2012

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, DX Interests, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, K9ZW Operations.
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The last few times at the radio the bands have been interestingly decent.

Here is smattering of the last group of SSB contacts worked 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m:

  1. ARGENTINA
  2. ARUBA
  3. AUSTRIA
  4. AZORES
  5. BALEARIC ISL.
  6. BELIZE
  7. BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
  8. BRAZIL
  9. CANADA
  10. CANARY ISL.
  11. COSTA RICA
  12. CROATIA
  13. CZECH REP.
  14. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
  15. ECUADOR
  16. EL SALVADOR
  17. ENGLAND
  18. FAROE ISL.
  19. FRANCE
  20. GREENLAND
  21. GUATEMALA
  22. GUERNSEY (BAILIWICK OF)
  23. GUYANA
  24. HONDURAS
  25. HUNGARY
  26. IRELAND
  27. ITALY
  28. JAMAICA
  29. JAPAN
  30. JERSEY (CHANNEL ISL.)
  31. MALPELO ISL.
  32. MARTINIQUE
  33. MOLDOVA
  34. MOROCCO
  35. PANAMA
  36. POLAND
  37. PORTUGAL
  38. PUERTO RICO
  39. RUSSIA (EUROPEAN)
  40. SCOTLAND
  41. SLOVENIA
  42. SOUTH KOREA
  43. SPAIN
  44. SURINAME
  45. SWEDEN
  46. TANZANIA
  47. THAILAND
  48. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
  49. UKRAINE
  50. URUGUAY
  51. USA
  52. VENEZUELA
  53. VIRGIN ISL.
  54. WALES

These are only the eQSL members out of the last bunch of contacts.

Hopefully the bands will continue to be “interesting!”

73

Steve
k9ZW

Sometimes the bands can leave a person simply puzzled! 31 - March - 2012

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, DX Interests, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, K9ZW Operations.
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Sometimes the bands can leave a person simply puzzled!

Working the regional 160m net was a chore, with S9+20 roaring noise.

It was only that I was having configuration troubles after upgrading software – much of which I may have avoided by more carefully reading the manuals and making better notes during upgrade setup – that I stuck in the station fussing with settings.

Much of the time I was wrestling with Audio Gremlins and Port Control Software configuration.

In the midst of messing, some listening & some DX Cluster watching suggested that 15m and 17m were moderate to long.

Hmmm……

A quick point to the Caribbean brought Martinique and Cuba quickly:

TO5K 31Mar2012
00:40 17M SSB

CO6LE 31Mar2012
00:42 15M SSB

Then a swing to Asia based on DX Cluster reports start with a long listening session interrupted with several reboots as I sorted out software and working Japan, Thailand, North Cook Islands and Cambodia during an hour of much listening a tweaking on the station. A kind fellow ham tipped me off that my Audio was still messed up, so it was dummy load at 10w time with PowerSDR set to monitor my audio output back into my headset until I adjusted out the issues. Here is what I worked in between software tinkering:

JK1MZT 31Mar2012
00:54 15M SSB

HS0ZJU 31Mar2012
01:27 15M SSB

E51M 31Mar2012
01:33 17M SSB

XU7SSB 31Mar2012
01:54 15M SSB

On Software the two recent station changes – upgrade of PowerSDR to the latest v2.3.5 and use of DDUtil integration software – the PowerSDR upgrade has been the most frustrating. It would seem that my cheat sheet of “good settings” from the prior version is not going to work, and many of the Audio enhancements are suddenly so sensitive that I have to either turn them off or cut them back to less than 25% of their prior levels.

Audio settings are important for me, as my natural voice is not a good DX voice, being too baritone and resonant. With the Flex-Radio I sidelined my external processing audio gear and use the various software equalizers, compression options and other enhancements to create a competitive DX Voice.

Basically I filter and process my voice to a broadcast sound that is higher in pitch focus and has a more precise audio core.

One really weird part of doing the monitor of self listening technique is the slight delays in the system – they are minuscule though you do end up talking slower as you naturally wait to hear the end of your phonetics – “kilo niner zulu whiskey” slows down into “keyyylooow nighnnneer zoooolooooo whhhhissskeeee” as instinct creates a feedback cadence slowdown. Sounded link an Andy Warhol painting in audio!

I didn’t work but heard 9N1AA (Nepal) and an Indian station – the pileups were huge and I didn’t want to add to the din with questionable audio & weak copy on receive.

As I didn’t have Thailand or Cambodia in the log under my own call, it was a real pleasure to find that my “Mr Fixit” session had a bonus of a couple new DX Entities!

Sometimes the bands can leave a person simply puzzled!

73

Steve
K9ZW

Doing a QSL Seminar for Mancorad W9DK 10 - January - 2012

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, DX Interests, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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For the upcoming Saturday January 21st I’ve been drafted to do a presentation and lead a discussion on QSLs for our local radio club – Mancorad W9DK

My outline points for the presentation on QSLing are:

•When should you QSL?
•What should be on your QSL card?
•What to do when cards you receive have problems?
•How to ask for aQSL Card?
•How to actually GET that Card?
•Ways to send your QSL cards out.
•The Electronic QSL – eQSL & LoTW options.
•The Famous “Plum Method” of Foreign Stamped SASEs.
•Bureau services like GlobalQSL.
•What are those SWL Cards and do you answer them?
•The use of “Green Stamps,” IRC (International Reply Coupons) and Donations.
•Special Twists, Like the Special Currency System.
•QSLing with DXpeditions.
•What is a Bureau and how do I use them?
•What does all this Cost?
•When to trade Money for Time, or Time for Money, in QSLing?
•Resources for the QSLing Radio Amateur.

I’ll be leading the presentation and discussion, hopefully with one or more of the guests I’ve invited.

Should be fun and if the handouts are well received I’ll see about getting them put up on the club blog and perhaps here.

73

Steve
K9ZW

Some More Wallpaper – eDX100 Endorsements 1 - June - 2011

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, DX Interests, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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eDX100 20m K9ZW

eDX100 20m K9ZW

eDX100 SSB K9ZW

eDX100 SSB K9ZW

A couple more eQSL eDX100 endorsements – 20m and SSB.

Fun, simple program from eQSL.

I’m less than 1/2 the DX count with eQSL as I am with paper QSL cards, but it is still a treat.

73

Steve
K9ZW

Getting my QSLing Up to Date! 6 - September - 2010

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, DX Interests, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, K9ZW Operations.
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Making an effort here to get my QSLing up to date.  Unsing Global QSL http://www.globalqsl.com/ the vast majority of my DX QSLs should be caught up.  From the No Manager/No GlobalQSL/No Bureau courtesy information from GlobalQSL of the last roughly 1100 cards about 7 or 8 will have to be done here manually as directs.

While this takes care of my DX catch up, I am at least 400 cards behind on domestic QSLs.  I had been pretty good until until I bluntly just got a bit bored with the paperwork side of QSLing and let that side slip.

I do eQSLs as well http://www.eqsl.cc/ automatically as as much of a back-up log as anything, and about once every couple years I put up with the silly technical hurdles of LoTW and upload my logs there.

I’ll have to see about setting up a label printer and doing the domestic QSLs in arrears, so I can get back to even up.

BTW here are my current GlobalQSL card front faces.

K9ZW Home QTH QSL Frontside Image

K9ZW Home QTH QSL Frontside Image

and

K9ZW Washington Island WI001L QSL Frontside Image

K9ZW Washington Island WI001L QSL Frontside Image

My domestic cards are not all similar, as I often use a Lake Michigan Theme card I had printed up.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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