Eastern Kiribati

Despite the problems with the SteppIR (is still mistuning when I change band), I managed to work a new DXCC: Easter Kiribati T32BJ. Don is qrv on 20m cw every day around 16-17 utc, so I re-tuned my antenne and waited. Around 16 utc some stations started to work him (Southern part of EU) and after 45 minutes signals started building and 16.58 I managed to work him for a new one.

Signals were very trembling. The sun is putting in more activity lately and my path to T32 is nearly North over the pole (340 degrees). Auroral flutter made it difficult to copy. DXCC 294.

This morning I worked TX3D Austral Island on 40m. And with some other DX like VP8 (3 bands) and San Fernandez Island this was a nice week collecting DX.
(added later: worked JT1CO on 160m @ 19 gmt for a new one)

This week I will drop my set and PA at Hamshop.nl for some repair. The TS-2000 will be upgraded with an 2,1 KHz Inrad filter (not a roofing filter, but 1st MF). Hope this will cure the IMD-problems on 160m (and also on other bands in contest&pile-up conditions). And the SPE needs some attention too.

I  will be off the air until April heading for 3D2-ZL-BY. 73!

lies, damn lies and statistics

Yesterday I talked to Ron GW3YDX on the Topband chat (ON4KST), on his webpage he referred to a program to show statistic. Just export your log to ADIF and the program creates some nice tables. Not about worked DXCC (not necessary, is in my logbookprogram DX-Lab), but about QSO/band., QSO/mode etc.
The program is made SP7DQR, he made more programs look here. The statsprogram is called ADIF_filter.
Enough said, some nice stats now. I started as PA3C in 2003, that was also my start on HF

SSB&CW are equal, that is my feeling also
But I made 24% of my qso’s on November, that is strange. CQWW? I always run CQWW on SSB&CW so October must be important to.

And this year I did not have any contracts so was at home a lot. Occupation: radioamateur :-))


A disaster never comes alone

The last few weeks I already experience some problems with my PA from Expert. It was warning for high SWR (between TRX and PA). After some testing I found that some essential things like tuning are not working right anymore. Manual tuning is not possible anymore. What happened?

But I also started to investigate on my SteppIR (4 ele).
I had the feeling that the SWR was not as flat as was before this winter.
I tested the motors and the wiring resistance which were OK. After calibration the SWR of the SteppIR was OK, but when I change to different bands back-and-forth the SWR went up skyhigh!
So there is clearly also something wrong with the SteppIR, loosing its calibration so fast. Last summer I calibrated maybe 1 or 2 times SWR was fine all the time.

I also cought a virus on my PC, quite a strong one, disabled my virusscanner within a second. To late to correct….

and I have a bad fever the last few days.

There is clearly something wrong with my horoscope, better stay in bed.

new DXCC on 160m: VK

Although I have an average RX-situation on 160m, I can work DX! But maybe it’s better to say: I can be worked by DX-stations….?
Anyhow, I worked VK3ZL and VK3IO on 160m yesterday with good signals. It was their Sunrise which gives good enhancement to the signals (grey zone).
They are qrv nearly every day at their SR-time (our evening) but I could never hear them this loud!
PA0O made a recording (not from my qso) of VK3IO (he uses K3 with narrow filter setting).

The snow gives me a lot of problems on 160m, because the connector is open and below snow-level which changes the SWR all the time. Have to retune my PA after cleaning the connector. Things to improve.

Surely this is my DX on 160m, only ZL will be longer.

Improving my reception on Topband

Last week I wrote about IMD-problems on 160m. These problems usually occur during crowded situations like contests. But also when there is a pile-up running and I want to work a station close to that (up-)frequency.
Also the fisherbouyings are annoying (but no IMD from them).

So I decided to take action:
– lower the input of unwanted signals on my 160m inverted-L. So I ordered a K9AY-unit from Wellbrook in the UK.
They discontinued the selling on their website but they are still in stock. The Array-solutions unit was also attractive (price) but after reading a few reports I decided on the Wellbrook unit
– Put in a sharper filter from INRAD than the Kenwood-cristalfilter. Discussions on the net convinced me that the INRAD 2,1 Kc filter would improve IMD-behaviour. Also the reception in crowded RTTY-situations will improve.

Both units are ordered so we have to wait and then install them. The INRAD filter will be a tricky operation I was told.

Meanwhile we still work new DXCC’s on 160/80/40m. On 160m I was very pleased with 9M2 and PY (and heared VK but no qso).
On 80m&40m SSB worked VK6IR.  Signals were OK but not to strong. The K9AY-unit is also meant to improve receiving sensitivity, most times I received reports that were better than I could give away (for what it is worth). But even if the K9AY is not improving my reception, I can null-out some stations that keep calling without listening…….

I know that a TS-2000 will never become a K3 but for the time being these improvements will give me more DXCC’s on Topband I’m sure about that.

APRS on my ….. Iphone

Last week I read an article about APRS on the blog of G4ILO about APRS and an Iphone application BCNU.

After reading I downloaded (had to pay for it) the application to my Iphone and tried it.

I must say it works really nice, although the location is not very accurate. Maybe that is because the Iphone is inside the house and not seeing to many satellites?

But this afternoon when I working on the snow (we had another 15cm last 24 hours), it was the same: it was out of the real position for more than 1 km.

Nice thing is that it directly integrates Iphone application and web. I travel a lot and now it is easy for my family to follow me.

(I created my own big brother????)