Best Es opening of 2017

nearly 3 hours with very strong signals
worked 36 stations and 5 new squares
Reminds me of the big opening of 10-7-1987
I even did call cq on .325 because on .300 is was a complete mess all the time.
And I really had a pile-up!

ODX:
RA6DE 2368 km
Log:
09:51 UY5ON KN89 2127 km
09:52 UR5LX KO70 1953 km
09:59 UR3EE KN88 2173 km
10:21 US4IEK KN87UX 2262 km
10:32 UZ2HZ KN69 1861 km
10:34 UT4UEP KN49 1595 km
10:39 UT3UX KO50 1686 km
10:45 UR5VFJ KN68 1907 km
10:47 US0GB KN67 1959 km
10:49 UR3VKE KN69OB 1911 km
10:51 UR0EQ KN78 2040 km
10:56 UR5ETN KN78CL 2004 km
10:57 UR5EEK KN78 2040 km
10:57 US7TQ KO30HH 1420 km
10:58 UY7QN KN77MJ 2114 km
10:59 UT2VR KN69PC 1914 km
11:02 UR3CTB KN59 1727 km
11:03 UR5UI KN59BS 1674 km
11:06 UR7ET KN68 1907 km
11:07 UT1EQ KN67PT 1976 km
11:08 RA6DE KN96DQ 2368 km
11:08 UY5QO KN77MT 2093 km
11:13 UT7EL KN77 2091 km
11:21 UT7EW KN78MM 2058 km
11:24 UT7VJ KN69OB 1911 km
11:32 UR7EX KN78NN 2061 km
11:42 UR3GS KN66 2015 km
11:44 UY7IZ KN88 2173 km
11:50 UR5HVR KN69TA 1940 km
11:56 R6DZ KN96CQ 2362 km
12:12 UR5UEP KN78WN 2111 km
12:26 R110A KO81 2050 km qsl via R5WW
12:30 YO9HH KN34AW 1686 km
12:30 YO6BLM KN25SO 1609 km
12:35 YO5CRI KN16TS 1413 km
12:36 YO4WZ KN44 1888 km
Comment:
12:30 hrd HA0HO in KN07 very short skip
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Es June 2017

A few good openings but most of the time we were outside the reflection area.
Or to close 😦

But on the 11th a spotty opening with some nice qso’s. JN60 is 95% water but there is an island and a radio-amateur!

2M Es
31-5
—–
SV2OXS KN10
7-6
—-
SP8WJW KN09
11-6
—–
18:29 IC8BNR JN60 1501 km new #
18:31 IK8BIZ JN70 1554 km
18:34 IK8YOQ JN70 1554 km
18:36 IZ8WGU JM88 1824 km
18:39 IZ8YBS JM89CH 1708 km
19:05 IW8PQU JM88BQ 1769 km
6M Es
11-6
—–
C6ATA  559/559 new DXCC most of the time not audible but coming out of the noise and good operator
SO1WS 59/59

DXCC 330

Including deleted.
Without deleted 325.

 

2017-01-03-16-10-27

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.

 

 

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.

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.