Category Archives: DX Interests

Just sent out 15k QSL Cards – My QDURE Order Completed

The email arrived with the subject “Tu pedido en QDURE ya está completo” meaning my 14,888 initial QDure QSL card print run was completed and sent to bureau.

Cards complete with QSO information, printed and passed to the bureau ran about 12-1/2 cents each.

The order covered about 25,000 QSOs, as QDURE will put several QSLs with a station on the card sent on my behalf.

Now in the monitoring phase, I will be very interested in how long it takes for the cards to get to the other hams.

A couple thousand hams will get the QDURE QSL card as a second card, as I did do a lot of QSL cards manually. So be it.

73

Steve
K9ZW

Tagged ,

UKR/RUS Ham Bans? Our Hobby isn’t the place for this.

Setting the atmosphere: In the recent series “Around the World in 80 Days” Phileas Fogg at one point was asked if as an Englishman did he dislike the French? Fogg replied affirmatively, adding “But not personally!”

Our present Reality: The Russian – Ukraine conflict, with the not actively fighting but outspoken Belarussians included, have been largely banned from amateur radio contesting and events.

Most Ukraine amateurs are off the air per the direction of their government, excepting those in the now occupied areas where the Russians are tolerating amateurs returning to the air with their original Ukrainian call signs.

Reports from Russia are mixed whether hams there are free to operate or have some limitations. Perhaps based on proximity to the conflict areas?

The war is between governments, over complex arguments that can lead one to a bias one way or the other way depending on what information you have reviewed.

It is not a war between individuals.

Yet as a hobby we have selected the hams in these countries to act as proxies for their governments.

Is that even fair on an amateur to amateur level?

Retched presumptions of whether an individual supports conflict or not have steered our response.

As a hobby we have allowed pressures-political to control our actions.

Our cultivated-outrage has been displaced from the governments involved to the people as individuals.

Years ago when I was travelling Europe as a young man, when the USA was under particular criticism, I removed my USA flag from my backpack just to tone down the conflict it brought my way.

A few years later I was accosted several times on the basis that as an American I should somehow accept “punishment by proxy.” These brave Europeans (one German and three English, in four separate incidents) were easily handled, so I was never really in much personal danger. But I was forced to respond to their violence with situation-ending controlled violence of my own, which is always a fail in my own estimation. (For the record England in big cities is really weird, in addition to these foiled attacks, I was beset upon my huffers with a knife (glue sniffers), twice attempts were made to steal my car, my house was burgled, and I foiled a police parking ticket scam as the scammer didn’t know I was on good terms with the police through some VIP protection work I helped with for my school.)

So why as a hobby are we doing our punishment-by-proxy of those who with we share the most interests?

As they say YMMV (You Mileage May Vary) in terms of whether shunning is appropriate in a hobby.

73

Steve
K9ZW

Tagged

Non-Radio – Travel to England Virus Rules (August 2021)

An atypical post for With Varying Frequency, as the XYL made a priority Elder-care trip to England, which was booked immediately when the British Government announced elimination of the ten-day isolation quarantine when arriving in England from the USA.  What follows was my running notes as posted in a travel forum.  Despite the forum’s claimed large traveler participation, as the XYL left immediately on the rule change, we were the first timers in the process.  

As the rules, apps, and experience will evolve, they are offered as an accounting of the XYL’s August 2021 trip alone.   I am offering this here as many of us travel, and some might be contemplating travel for radio opportunities or DXpedition reasons.  Worth thinking about – and knowing if you break the rules or mess it up, you can be fined in the English case some thing like $7,000/person, put into quarantine until you can be sent home and have your future UK access put into question.  

This trip was a success though worrisome, and required a couple extra tests at the end as the XYL’s host was Pinged by the NHS (National Health Service) App during the period they were working together to help the XYL’s parents.  So out of caution a couple extra tests were taken.  

73

Steve
K9ZW

Navigating the UK Gov website, Airline Website and juggling all the documents is a bit of a tricky deal.

Not all are properly updated as of Monday August 2nd 2021, the selfie photograph taking part of the UK Gov site has a mind of its
own, and it is hard to answer some of the questions as they are already outdated.

Expect this will get better as the updates to websites are completed/harmonized.

Some really silly stuff like the email from the UK Gov has a pdf attachment that cannot be opened on latest iOS USA configured
phones, but can be opened once to save it to a desktop computer and then resend it back to yourself. I simply don’t have time to dig
into that error, as the workaround takes longer to write up to share than do for yourself.

Current rule extra costs up to the point of travel (so far):

  • About 14 hours of extra time spent.
  • Local C-19 test (out of pocket unknown)
  • Day-2 C-19 test – best deal found about UKP 85 (uses DHL delivery)
  • Extra Insurance (our choice, again we use EA+) – $105/pp

Expected additional costs:

  • Less than 4 hours anticipated for test and games
  • Pre-Return C-19 test – another UKP 85 (unless a better deal is found)

That is if everything goes well.

Summary – about an extra $400-500 per person C-19 “drag” for 3 tests and extra insurance.

Next post:

Continue reading

Tagged ,

FT8SP FT8 & FT4 Polish Award Program

Much like a US State QSO party, the FT8SP FT8 & FT4 Polish Award Program is about making QSOs to Poland’s Provinces.

Today’s Poland has 16 provinces, which is a number that differs when my Prussian ancestors came stateside from Poland in the early 1800’s. The number of provinces has greatly varied from a historic low similar to the present 16 to 49 provinces up to 1998.

Poland’s Provinces (Current)

Continue reading

Tagged ,

Welcoming 2021 – First QSO if the year is DX with Yoon HL5BLI – Flex-to-Flex too!

A few Edits after communicating by email with Yoon HL5BLI

 

After my morning swim – also a first for the new year – I stopped at my office to do a couple small chores.  I ran up my remote Flex-6700 at the home QTH and set it to run FT8 while I watered my plants and fiddled with a new trackball mouse.

Wow – almost right away (after my second CQ K9ZW transmission) I hit a DX QSO from a country that is uncommon when I am working with my vertical on 30m.

It was HL5BLI Soo-won Yoon from Ulsan city, on the south east coast of South Korea. Yoon came in strong and we quickly complete our QSO.

It was really nice that first K9ZW 2021 QSO ended up being a DX QSO, and as I found when I looked up his call on QRZ.com, an all FlexRadio QSO to boot!

Yoon HL5BLI uses a Flex-6400 and I was using a Flex-6700 as we made the 10,400 KM (roughly 6,500 mile) QSO.   Later by email Yoon HL5BLI confirmed he was also operating barefoot and that it was also his first QSO of 2021!!

A very good QSO to start off my 2021 radio efforts!

73

Steve
K9ZW

Tagged

Across the Atlantic on 432 MHz!

Check this out:

Historic first Trans-Atlantic contact made on 432 MHz – Tues 7th April 2020

https://ei7gl.blogspot.com/2020/04/first-trans-atlantic-contact-made-on.html

A 3800 km 70cm FT8 contact!!  IC-9700 at 100w into an 18el beam to perhaps the 9el 70m beam usually pointed to Europe at the Cape Verde side.

I think the station on the African side is the D4C Contest Club station which largely uses FlexRadio gear http://d4c.cc/about-us/

The Guadeloupe  side is FG8OJ who has a lot of information at:  https://fg8oj.com/ and at his QRZ page.

In addition to great propagation there is some suggestion that Sahara Desert Dust added to the ducting.

Congratulations Bertrand FG8OJ and D4VHF (I haven’t found who the D4VHF  operator was)!

73

Steve
K9ZW

Tagged ,