30/40m dipole installed

Today I installedy dipole for 30&40m again. This is the modified version of the D40 by PF5X see earlier blogs.

At first I wanted to upgrade my 4 ele SteppIR with the 30/40m retrofitkit. But some stories from other owners of the 30/40 add-on are rather discouraging. Especially winter conditions are problematic times.

Because of painting work at home I rented a vertical lift (Alp), so it was a relatively easy job…. But not if you suffer from vertigo.



rain rain rain (monsoon)

April and May (and also March) were very dry. So nature has to compensate and is bringing rain again. June was sometimes bad (rain) but average. July started like a monsoon, some places more rain came down than the monthly average, in 24h.

So time to do updates, cleaning backlogs.
Recounted and checked my locator count on 2m, must be 379 worked now including the last qso’s (RA3SI inLO04).

Printed a lot of qsl-cards (stickers) for PE1IGM. I’m his qsl-manager, Harm is /mm in the Caribean. I trained him on N1MM logging software and qsl-ing is a piece of cake. Importing in DXKeeper, check, print. Need a small stamp to finish a card (‘Verified by PA3C’), where can I buy that?

For new ones on 6m: season is ending a littlebit but I was lucky and worked SV2ASP/a Monk Apollo on his cq. The first time it was not a very good qso so when he was on 2 days later, and much stronger, worked him just 2-b-sure!

Yesterday in the VHF-contest conditions were good on 6m. And also on 2m the whole day around the Mediteranian Sea, but it didn’t reach our area :-((

On 6m I worked 9Y and PV. PV8ABC was sometimes strong, with a lot of qsb. His tx is powerfull, but his rx is not to good. But we managed to complete the qso, LOTW confirmation already in (worked 124, confirmed 116).

After all this season was reasonable, but only one opening to JA, and maybe 2-3 to NA. Just South of JO33 it was much better, sometimes the black curtain was close….

Next week I will replace the driver of the SteppIR with a friend of mine (PA3DVG). I bought the 30m/40m add-on kit ((banana). Hopefully the winterproblems will be over then. Although calibration is OK the last few months, the power on the SteppIR controller now is 30V, maybe that was the problem with the calibration? Must be winter to be sure about this.

Es can be nice but also frustrating

This week HB0/PC5A is active with good setup. So I asked him for a sked in slow cw, because I still need HB0 on 6m. But what kind of prop do you need? Tropo? about 600 km is to far away. Es? Not likely, to short for a first hop, although I have worked OE and HB9 and even Souther Germany.
Iono? I can hear DK1MAX very often with my antenna to the USA, Es backscatter or Iono scatter. But Aurelio has about 100 and a HB9CV ant, not enough for scatter.

We tried on 3 mornings but only some some MS-bursts no qso.

Yesterday afternoon the MUF went high and Aurelio was working GM, G, PA in JO21, JO22,… and finally came up in JO33 with up to 59+ signals. We made the qso easy, and later also on cw for #122. Es can be nice!

Later that evening Es started on 2m, reflectionpoint somewhere in KO04.
Very patchy opening, no good signals here but just South of me much better. grrrrrrrrrrrr. Was sitting here for 2 hours without a qso.
Just at the end I worked RA3SI in LO04 in cw (new), and UA3PTW (worked in 2010 also).

Adding more new #countries on 6 meter

6 meter band is improving because the sun is quiet. And good expeditions in the Caribean who are qrv and calling cq for hours. With Es this is very important because ‘conditions’ can change very fast, signals can change many S-points in a matter of seconds.
To follow all conditions I use LiveMUF by G7RAU to follow conditions. This is nice application to keep up to date on 6-4-2 meter band with nice graphs. Also it connect to ON4KST chatbox (6m or 2m) so it’s possible to follow all discussions.

These Internet apps do have a setback: it is now possible to make qso’s on the chatbox. Sometimes even reports are exchanged in the chat…. Announcing yourself that you are calling him (the DX) on the cluster or in the chat is not done. But there is no law on that, it’s fairplay.

Last few days worked PJ6D (again, my first qso didn’t show up in his log??? but now OK, already confirmed in LOTW), one JA, on June 28 I worked EX9T Kyrgyzstan for a new one, next day BA4SI China (new) and today A65BP in cw.

But sometimes we are behind the curtain, like yesterday. Heard PV8ABC Brazil very weak so no chance while in the Southern part of Holland he came in 559 or better (RTTY, very strange to work that mode for rare DX). One station in the North made a qso but I would describe that as a chatbox-cluster-qso…..

Well at last the band is improving and it is still possible to add more new countries. A magic band.