Category Archives: DX Interests

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

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Interesting Canadian Call Signs – VE0 Prefix

About a week ago I worked a someone unfamiliar Canadian call sign – one that started with VE0

Learned that this is a series of call issued to “Stations at Sea” – one of less than 600 calls issued in this group.

With more research I also found there is a lot of information in the wiki article on Canadian Call Signs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_signs_in_Canada   The most uncommon prefix is VY9 where there are just five call signs issued!

A quick summary Table:

Prefix(es) – Province/Territory
———————————————
VE1 VA1 – Nova Scotia
VE2 VA2 – Quebec
VE3 VA3 – Ontario
VE4 VA4 – Manitoba
VE5 VA5 – Saskatchewan
VE6 VA6 – Alberta
VE7 VA7 – British Columbia
VE8 – Northwest Territories
VE9 – New Brunswick
VE0 – Stations at sea (hams would seem to have a regular call sign as well)
VO1 – Newfoundland
VO2 – Labrador
VY1 – Yukon
VY2 – Prince Edward Island
VY9 – Government of Canada
VY0 – Nunavut
CY0 – Sable Is.
CY9 – St-Paul Is.

All interesting stuff about our good friends to the north!

73

Steve
K9ZW

A Few Thoughts on Dangerous DX

I’m not enough in-the-know to wish to venture any specific comments on the recently canceled P5 North Korea DXpedition.  I do know how hard it is to keep secrets secret even when everyone involved has security clearances, so I must commend the group for how little did leak out for such a long time.

Unfortunately second and third hand accounts did leak, and bloggers chose to run to print, strangely never reaching out to fact check, which if they had the need for no advanced press would have been reaffirmed.

The disconnect between the needs to fundraise and news blackout perhaps could never have been met.

But more importantly should dangerous DX be part of our DXCC program?

Should our DXCC program be tweaked to “suspend” accreditation for other than local residents of an area in a declared state of war? P5 has been for sixty plus years.

Should our DXCC program be tweaked to exclude moonscapes that are  uninhabitable?

While accounts of winds so strong we formed a human wall wearing our cold weather survival suits inside the tent as we weather the night seems to cross the line between calculated adventure and needlessly shaking the dice.

Now there is a certain rush a good adventure brings, and I am not immune.

But to be certain a fair number of these dangerous DXpeditions exist largely because of the encouragement hams intending to stay safe at home.

Is that six second QSO really worth it?

Most likely there is no good solution, and it isn’t like anyone forces these DXpeditions to happen.

Maybe there is another way to develop an acceptable risk policy for DXCC, but the one thing I do know is that our current policy violates a personal life rule – I will never ask anyone to take a risk I wouldn’t take personally myself.   We’re way past that line and I can not think of a reason why it could be possibly worth it.

73

Steve

K9ZW

 

 

The biggest threat to future DXpeditions is….

Paul N6PSE explains at his blog “Amateur Radio opinions & adventures of N6PSE” why we won’t see many rare DX activated – the ISIS Threat to Amateur Radio!

I would never expect fellow hobbyists to endanger themselves in ISIS controlled DX entities.

Simply not worth it.

For my 2-cents I think we should have a parallel program to the DXCC Program that excludes DX Entities currently considered too dangerous.

There is no QSO and QSL worth paying for with blood.

Link below.

73

Steve K9ZW

N6PSE's Blog

GunsinAir

The spread of Islamic Terrorism is the biggest threat to DXpeditions of the future.

I often find myself thinking about the future. What kind of world will my children inherit? What will the future be like? What about the future of this great hobby of Amateur Radio and DXing? What does the future hold? What are the challenges ahead and how will we solve them?

Raising enough money to bring a team to a remote and rare destination has been and will always be a challenge. When a large part of the world’s economy is slipping into recession there is considerably less “hobby” money available to support these endeavors. This is understandable and is part of life’s priorities for many of us.

As one of few Americans who has travelled to Sudan, Egypt, South Sudan, Yemen, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey and Iran among many other places all on my own, I have…

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Dividing Up Gear between QTH’s – Second Look

Did the first update on my radio matrix splitting gear between home and the Island:

HF (Modern)
QTH          Main Rig       Knob Modern Rig   Amp (for Moderns)
Home        Flex-6700       TenTec Jupiter              Alpha 9500/QSO King 6m
Island        Flex-6300      TenTec Paragon II        Expert 1KW
HF (Vintage)
QTH          Vintage Rig           Amp for Vintage
Home        Collins KWM-2A            Collins 30L1
Island        Collins Full S-Line(1)    Collins 30L1
HF Antennas
QTH         Antenna 1           Antenna 2               RX HF          Vertical
Home      T-8 LPDA           W9INN 1/2 Sloper     Pixel Loop     TBD – 1
Island     Hexbeam   $$     W9INN 1/2 Sloper     n/a                 GAP Titan DX
VHF/UHF
QTH            Transceiver   Directional Antenna    Omni Antenna
Home          Yaesu 1800         T-28 LPDA              TBD – 1
Island          Yaesu 1900    #  TBD – 2                     N6JSX Copper J-Pole
TBD-1 – looking at a “flag pole vertical” which may cover both needs
TBD-2 – Initially not a priority
# – may have an Uliboard Interface added
$$ – island will have a W9INN Spacesaver 160-10m dipole as well.
(1) Full Collins S-Line setup consists of:  32S1 Transmitter, 75S1 Receiver, 312B-4 Station Monitor, 516F-1 Power Supply, 30L-1 RF Amp, N3ZI Digital VFO with Memories, Autek QF-1A Audio Filter, SM-2 Clone Mic, Collins Speaker
The Hexbeam is a SP7IDX Mark II HD that Waldi is building for me.
The Island feedline is on the way – between the shack and the tower I have enough 1/2inch Andrews Superflex hardline coming to do two separate runs.  Feedine will transition to DavisRF’s Buryflex for the vertical run (as the tower is a crank down, the hardline is not the right material for the whole feed), a combination which should bring the feedline losses quite low – adding in the vertical run up the tower and the jumper into the shack proper I calculate total system loss less than 1.5 dB loss for the entire feedline at HF and a loss just over 3 dB at VHF/UHF.    These losses are about half of what I have at the home QTH due to the very long feedline runs there.

Note the Island would also gain a Pixel Loop RX Antenna but only if I added a rig that would use it to do diversity reception.  The Flex-6300 cannot do this.

73

Steve
K9ZW

Dividing Up Gear between QTH’s

I’me starting to get a clearer idea of how to handle having to QTH’s

Presently I’m kind of leaning this way on my radio matrix

HF (Modern)
QTH          Main Rig       Knob Modern Rig   Amp (for Moderns)
Home        Flex-6700       TenTec Jupiter              Alpha 9500
Island        Flex-6300      TenTec Paragon II        Expert 1KW
HF (Vintage)
QTH          Vintage Rig           Amp for Vintage
Home        Collins KWM-2A       Alpha-78
Island        Collins Full S-Line    Collins 30L1
HF Antennas
QTH         Antenna 1           Antenna 2               RX HF          Vertical
Home      T-8 LPDA           W9INN 1/2 Sloper     Pixel Loop     TBD – 1
Island     Hexbeam            W9INN 1/2 Sloper     n/a                 GAP Titan DX
VHF/UHF
QTH            Transceiver   Directional Antenna    Omni Antenna
Home          Yaseu 1800         T-28 LPDA              TBD – 1
Island          Yaseu 1000        TBD – 2                     N6JSX Copper J-Pole
TBD-1 – looking at a “flag pole vertical” which may cover both needs
TBD-2 – Initially not a priority

Note the Island would also gain a Pixel Loop RX Antenna but only if I added a rig that would use it to do diversity reception.  The Flex-6300 cannot do this.

Of course there are a lot more things to set up for each QTH

A lot of choices are based on what I have on hand, and I haven’t listed my back-up gear for each QTH, or each go-kit’s gear.

Each QTH gets a Windows-7 PC and an iMac, and most likely a Linux GP Box that will double down as a Music Media Server (I feed my Sonos speakers at home with a headless Linux device already

I may have to build a dedicated box to control the tower at the Island remotely when off the Island, which then can pick up some other monitor-and-measure tasks

Hmmm….

73

Steve
K9ZW