15 new bands and 6 new modes in one week

15 new bands and 6 new modes in one week

ScreenHunter_126 Apr. 07 14.43 ScreenHunter_125 Apr. 07 14.43

VK0EK (Heard Island) and FT4JA (Juan de nova Island) were the 2 big events last 10 days.
And the nice feature from Holland was that the direction of the antenne for both expedition is nearly the same: 144 degrees. So no swinging necessary. And with memory scanning also easy to hop between the two.

I’m always a bit anxious that an expedition has to move back off the Island before I can work them (it happens) but joining the pile-up the first days is very frustrating so waiting a few days is better. But there were no security-issues this time and pile-ups are calming down now.
But I did miss the only opening on 10M to VK0EK, the first full day they were operating. I heard them only at ESP-level last week. or NIL. The aurora last week destroyed the necessary conditions.

So 2 new DXCC worked and some 15 new challenges.
No 160M this year although on the beverages (use them for 80M) I could hear all big dx-expeditions on 160M.
But with the Aurora all the time conditions were bad over-all.

During last week I was using my new TS-590SG output for the first time.
It connects to my TS-2000, and via microkeyer-II-soundcard and skimmer I can monitor the pile-up 3 kHz wide.
3 kHz is not much sometimes the pile-up in cw was over 15 kHz wide, but I managed to find the split a few times (going up en down on the TS-2000) and it gave me good insight on the way the operator was moving.

This summer I will experiment with the cheap well known DVB-T-converter with up-converter, then the view can be 10 kHz or more using skimmer.

The expedition VK0EK is really high-tech with on-line logging via satellite. But it took them 48 hours after landing to get things going. Nice feature: by paying $5 you will receive a card and LOTW-confirmations were sent within 10 minutes.

Next week PJ4/PA3C. Holiday-style.

3 down 2 2 go

Wintertime so some nice dx-peditions going on. Not always easy to work because of the conditions on HF (declining sunspot-numbers with heavy aurora’s) and the huge pile-ups. If an entity has not been on the air for 20 years you can expect this.

K5D
First one was Palmyra. http://kp5.us/
This Island is nearly the opposite side from the Netherlands, right on the equator. They were not allowed to use beams because it the island is a bird sanctuary and beams could harm the birds (???). So I was happy with my 2 qso’s (only), although I was sure I made a SSB-qso on 40M. But it turned out to be PA3CWN not PA3C. The (deliberate) qrm on 40M SSB is huge so 2 letters lost and no qso.

K5D

K5D

 

Next was the big expedition to VP8-S and VP8-G (South Sandwhich Island and South Georgia Island http://www.intrepid-dx.com/vp8/). These Island belong to the Great Britain empire.

VP8STI
Conditions were reasonable but pile-ups not. They were incredible! I was waiting a few days hoping it was easier to get through but there was always the risk of an early leave because of an emergy condition. Storm, ice, whatever. Indeed they had to leave the island one day early, but were able to recover all the gear for the second part of the expedition.
3 modes, 6 bands.

VP8STI

VP8STI

VP8SGI
The storms destroyed antennas and tents but the team was able to rebuild them and kept going. Incredible job! After 2 qso’s in the first 24 hours I waited a few days and tried my luck again. But still nearly impossible to find the right split (sometimes 20+ up). I tried to find the split with my 2nd radio connected to the DRV-port of the TS-590SG and CW-skimmer, but was only able to see 3 kHz up. Not enough….
But day after day I managed a new band and/or mode and the last morning before te weekend (which was fully occupied with family affairs) I picked them up on 30M, 40M and 80M (no 160M vertical at the moment). Very happy with that.
The next day the expedition had to qrt early and flee to the ship because of a storm coming in.
Also in my area there ware a few storms and the recent one last night destroyed my 80M vertical partly.

VP8STI

VP8SGI

3 new DXCC’s (320 excl. deleted.)

And still 2 expeditions coming up.

 

 

Again tropo

Day in day out we are in the fog. Visibility 200 m or less.
Highpressure is steady and creating an inversion in temparature and humudity.
The inversion is small, more like a duct or a tunnel.
Signals from the East are stronger in G than in PA.

Oct 23 and Nov 1

23-10 919 EA1MX
23-10 950 EA1DR
23-10 957 F8GGD
23-10 1009 F1NZC
23-10 1011 SP1JNY
23-10 1501 F5LNU
23-10 1511 EA2AWD
23-10 1512 EA2EGM
23-10 1536 F6DRO
23-10-2015 1554 F6CIS
23-10 1608 F1MOZ
23-10 1610 EA1BA
23-10 1620 EA1HRR
23-10 1631 F4KIR
23-10 1641 F5XU
23-10 2025 9A1CMS
23-10 2053 OK2WO
24-10 821 OK1TEH
31-10 915 OH1ND
31-10 1312 LY5G
1-11 2102 LY2WR
1-11 2200 UA2FT
1-11 2218 R2FAD

super tropo opening

Never in my life had this experience of this super tropo opening. Every year there is a big opening in autumn, but this year was really HUGE.

12088325_911027492306104_6885673158284199307_n
Luck was with me, the duct (inversion) was in line with me, from West to East.

On Oct. 1 worked from YL & LY up to EI, GI and GD.
On Oct. 2 worked many more stations from SP, LY and then also EU/EW and UA3!
Sometimes weak signals (UA3XX: 1955 km) but sometimes like local stations (RA3LBW in cw&ssb).

I was giving cq all the time and that attracted a lot of dx stations who were not calling cq themselves.
Because the pile-up would have been to big.

All in all I made over 90 qso in those 2 days, and worked 16 countries.

Es season

Much more Es on 4M and 2M in this season than last year for me.
No wonder, last year 0 (zero) openings on 2m😦

I even worked a new square on IT9, first new one since 2 years I think.
And a lot of countries on 4M, only 25W here but with Es it is enough now 24 countries including SV9, CU3 and EA8 which must be double-hops.

But the best qso on 2M was last week, just after the aurora finished I worked SM2CEW (KP15) on 2M in cw.
At first a weak signal but later a real 55n, no AU distortion. Auroral Es, IONO, or whatever. Nature has its magic!

The new antenne UB-50 works good on 6M, I made some qso’s on other bands but not enough yet.
SWR is low on all bands even 40M although the maximum elevation is only 14M.
But no experience yet on take-off and power in the pile-up when DX-season starts.

New antenne for HF and 6M

I was still having troubles with my SteppIR 4 ele so I sold it.
And bought the UB50 from Ultrabeam, going from 40M to 6M.

It is a 3 elements on 20M-10M and 5 ele on 6M (add-on kit).
So I loose some gain compared to the SteppIR.

Getting the system up was quite a task, because of the closed elements.
You have to assemble all 3 poles at the same time which makes it more sdfficult than the individual poles of the SteppIR.
But this solution works technically much better on 30M/40M than the SteppIR-banana element.

Thanks to my buddy’s Jaap (PA0T) and Rinus it is up now.
Coming days start tuning and getting ready for Es season and later this year some new AT NO’s i hope.

UB50 5wl for 2M and 4 ele LFA for 4M

On the pic you see UB50, 5 wl for 2m and 4 ele LFA for 4M

IRAN EP6T

That was nice

40m took me 3 days but 80M went fairly quick. All bands except 160M (no antenne at the moment), all modes .

ScreenHunter_61 Jan. 26 21.23