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

I’m done with my SteppIR

December was very quiet for DX’ing. We had a lot of gales up to 10 Bft so I lowered my antennes.
The 80M vertical (a flexpole) fell over but didn’t break. The pressure on the elements is so much that they go back inside the one below (hopefully this is clear when you know how the system works).

160M I didn’t even bother about to setup. The sun is very active and condx on 160M are very bad. So next year.

But now the DX is coming: EP6T. So I tuned my SteppIR to the band and measured SWR: it was off.
Calibrated and SWR was OK. Made qso. Changed band. SWR was off again. Calibrated. SWR ok.
I measured all the connections (Controller <> elements): all 20 ohm = OK.
I changed every single element (create, modify): all elements are moving in&out.
Reset to factory defaults: no improvement.

This SteppIR makes me crazy!

So for sale:

4 ele SteppIR 20M>6M with extra 6M option, new shoes, 20m controller cable, controller SDA 100, connection cable Kenwood. € 500 pickup price.

October DX

End of September and the start of October ZD9XF (G3TXF) was active.
There was a lot of QRN, the sun is quite active at the moment.
A small beverage helped to get the signals on 80M just above the qrn.

ZD9XF, September/October 2014

Also 8R1AE (JA1HGY) was worked on a few bands. But his schedule was a guess every day,
so I missed him on 80M. (160M antenna is still down, the horses of the neighbour are working on the grass now.)

8R1AE

8R1AE October 2014

C21GC (LZ1GC) was a single-handed expedition to Nauru.
It was not very clear to me when he was sleeping (if at all). His signal was on the band 24 hours round.
The qso on 10M was via longpath in the morning, very strange because that was the dark side of the earth at that time.
Some echo on his signal but readable. New bands 10/12/15 and 30M.

C21gc in October

Another expedition to T30D gave me new ones on 15M and 12M

T30D

G3ZEM was in East Timor, single handed operation.
Nice qso”s but a lot of problems with QRN and deliberate QRM.
But still some nice new bands (40M)

4W/G2ZEM

4W/G3ZEM in October

VK3DLX was a big operation from Lord Howe.
Worked them on many bands with 12M and 80M for new ones

VK9DLX

VK9DLX

4W/K7CO worked in RTTY for a new one too.

VK9XSP was worked on 80M for a new one (and more bands)

VK9XSP

VK9XSP

ZK3E was worked on 15M for a new one, but I didn”t pay to much attention to this expedition.
Which was not right because they were worked in Europe on many bands.
You win some you loose some.

XX9R was worked for new on RTTY. But their signals were not strong and I think they had a lot of qrn/qrm.

XX9R

XX9R

The last expedition was FT4TA, Tromelin. A atno for me.
Pile-ups were huge but I managed to get them on many bands.

FT4TA

FT4TA

They are still on the Island so hopefully can work them on 20M&40M
but the deliberate qrm is immense, sign of the time I think.

More stations and new band/mode/slots were worked but these were the highlights.
A great month although qrn and qrm made it quite difficult sometimes.

There was a big opening on 2M to SW-France and North EA, end-of-year tropo.
But when I turned my antenne NE I worked ES3RF with great signals.
So never trust the cluster, use your ears!

September month: a good start of the DX-season

After some very quiet months on HF and also VHF (6M & 2M: no Es whatsoever) this month started the season very well.
There were many IOTA-expedition and I worked quiet a few of them, nice one VK6ISL OC-294 and P29NI.

Missed ZL7X but VK9NT  Norfolk Island was worked on 15M-12M-30M (I do not work already confirmed bands/slots so other people have a chance in the pile-up).
QSL on LOTW already OK.

Then Zorro E30FB showed up on his mission in Eritrea. He spent much more time on the bands then was announced, but the piles were hugh. Worked him on 15M SSB for a ATNO (317/322), will wait for the upcoming (announced) expedition to work other bands/slots. QSL already in via LOTW.

The Italian group always put up a big show, this year in Benin as TY1AA. On-line logging, really instant confirmation. Helps to cut down the safety-qso’s.
They worked a lot on 6M via TEP, but the prop never reached up to the Northpart of Holland.
However on 20 Sept. there was Es in Europe and the combination of TEP+Es gave me a good qso on 6M (SSB!).
80M was quit difficult due to the heavy QRN but OK just before the end of the exp.

4W6LU East Timor was worked on 40M&12M. QSL direct but seperate for SSB and CW each cost $$ so I wait for LOTW confirmation.
Prices for qsl are really going up these days as tariffs for mail are exploding in all countries (dus to less physical mail).

Then Nigel ZD9XF showed up. Huge pile-ups but excellent operator. On the low bands heavy QRN, on 40M and 80M is was nearly impossible to get the call right. At the end of the month static was down a little and a small beverage (50m) also helped to improve SNR. Worked Nigel on 80M on Sept. 29, just before he left the Island.

Christmas Island VK9AN: most slots were already worked but 80M was missing. On 26 sept I was the first to call him (I use RBN to check, is very helpfull!) and made the qso.

Some other nice qso’s were made on 80M: V31MA, PJ5/OL8R, PZ5AA.

No 160M vertical yet, it is to early in the season and QRN is to heavy. Maybe in October for the CQWW.

 

 

year end-tropo on 2M

The last 24 hours good tropo. Always possible in this time of year with a big high-pressure area above Europe.
Stable conditions with real ducting through small channels.

Worked S51ZO and 9A1CAL, same as in 2012 (1000 km). Heard YU1EV but couldn’t qso with him.

This morning worked 3 x OE, 2 of them with 59+20 signals incredible.

Worked HA5OO in cw, he was calling cq a long time without takers. Typical ducting in a channel.

Worked 3 x OM, one with 10W (OM3CQF) in SSB.

And the last one on Sundaymorning was YL3AG! Different direction but suddenly also very strong.

 

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