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Showing posts from February, 2011

oooowwww very bad propagation this weekend on the low bands

On 500kHz   only 1 USA report from EU  ....me ;-)


2011-02-27 05:18 WD2XSH/7  0.495969  -27  0  EM31js  20  PA0O  JO33hg  7830  39



Only 1  decode  against 16 previous nights
160m yesterday evening and night   not a single DX over 3000!
much later  some USA decodes
I have never seen such poor propagation since i have been on with WSPR
80m the same
in the top DX list   no EU  present  no VK to EU 


One time i tried to make a sort of DX-index for JO33
I select 100 records descending on distance over 24hours  and  count  the DX>4000
Most time my Index is well above 50  But now it was zero on 160 and 80m until long after  midnight very unusual.  



2011-02-27 06:08  PA0O  3.594140  -16  0  JO33hg  5  WB8HWF  EN80sc  6497 was the best  DX  decoded   normally   VK6  or VK7DIK  
 the best DX decode  in EU was W to south DL
The other EU decodes in the list are erroneous.
The best band was 28MHz  with VK6TQ and VK6GOS 
15m also poor
The conclusion is that we where lucky last 2 weekend  it could have been much…

CQ 160 SSB

I like contesting but...
To my opinion this type of 160m contest must be canceled.
160m is to delicate for the QRM/splatter battlefield the inevitable consequence of   Phone  EU- East-EU QRO contesting.


Exclusive DX-DX  trafic   would be better.


Contests where  DX Quality counts are a better choice.
Like the Stew Perry challenge or WAE DX 
Replace the useless 599 by locator (4digit) or power is what I prefer.  




ARRL DX

My ARRL dx  end result was 385 Q  130 M  had to QRT  early because of QRL travel to Belgium. Just before leaving and evening dinner managed to get some new multy's  like VE7CC BC   Utah  VE5 SK  WA NV MT AZ  on 20   15m was early closed 
Much worse propagation today.  Saturday I had to miss the best time for 15m  around our dinner time...
Dinner has always been very bad for DX-ing  ...  


Propagation completely changed against last week.
28MHz  heard weak  east -W working AF and south-EU 
Like W3LPL K1TTT  KM1W NQ4I W2FU   the big gun contest leaders.
Here in JO33hg with 100W  a mission impossible  with that iono scatter signals caused by high ERP.

160m was not  good  the band did not even sound like a major contest was going on only the big guns from east W / VE  had reasonable signals.  Very good ears for EU  they could hear my  100W.
Good copy of WD2XSH/6  Sunday early morning when i quit the ARRL and left WSPR monitoring 0.494400 MHz  WE2GXR/ seemed not QRV  so i did not monitor 0.51000…

WD2XSH/7 EM31JS ODX 7830km 0.495970 MHz +ARRL CW

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One more extra plus to WSPR is that it will not interfere with other users on the bands since it uses only 200Hz bandslots and low power beacons. 


It was a matter of time but one day i should also receive the /7 since it was received every night by G8HUH in West U.K.
But low band propagation is not going to be better coming months since we are heading towards spring. Not this morning very cold freezing wind.  
Last night propagation was restored enough from the recent eruption on the Sun.
For the first time i had 2 decodes of WD2XSH/7  in EM31js   
now my ODX  receive is improved to 7830km

WD2XSH/17 weak decoded also 5630km 
/17 can be decoded almost every night


 2011-02-19 04:18 WD2XSH/7  0.495970  -24  0  EM31js  20  PA0O  JO33hg  7830  39
2011-02-19 06:24  WD2XSH/17  0.495891  -26  0  FN42pb  1  PA0O  JO33hg  5630 


Before I was S&P on 160m  for the ARRL CW TEST  the mother of all contests Remarkable quiet on 160m CW  easy to find a free frequency! What a difference with  PACC +UK test  la…

Just a "small" burp of the Sun and we are back in business.

Great WSPR propagation day again  and still going on 15 to USA Westcoast. at 20 UTC
10M  this morning ZL3PX  strong into W-EU in JO33  my neighboring ham  got +5 dB snr report.  Strange I was not copied by ZL3PX today.
But into VK2BLS QF55kk 
VK2KRR  VK3SMC VK2XN  VK5ZK VK5BC  VK6DZ VK6XT VK6ZRY VK6ZD  and again to the only AF FR1GZ   all on 28MHz
VK7DIK 80m again in evening SS time
The flux figure went op to 111


Is cycle 24  finally starting now or is this a stand alone event?   
The solar flare from sunspot 1158 was directed to the Earth.
A pity the sun does not account our contest calendar it missed the PACC by 1 day. 
Not that i could complain with quite a lot USA including 2 Californian stations with 100W + dipole on 21MHz.
But for the east it came to late.
Last year i was travelling for QRL had to miss the PACC.  2009 we had an opening to JA.
This year 10m (in CW)  PA DL ON UK4  no ES very closed


Just a "small"  burp of the Sun and we are back in business.

strongest solar flare of the year so far

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EARTH-DIRECTED SOLAR FLARE: On Feb. 13th at 1738 UT, sunspot 1158 unleashed the strongest solar flare of the year so far, an M6.6-category blast. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded an intense flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation, circled below:


Just one day after the PACC contest 
Propagation looks totally different
Sun is very active.
10m seems good !
I let WSPR mode running today and last night  ..every night
0.495891 WD2XSH/17 2x decoded but propagation was not good enough for  WD2XSH/6  in EM31  i hope one night it will.. 



TimestampCallMHzSNRDriftGridPwrReporterRGridkmaz 2011-02-14 08:48  PA0O  28.126069  -21  0  JO33hg  5  VK2KRR  QF34mr  16351  73  2011-02-14 08:56  PA0O  28.126069  -17  0  JO33hg  5  VK2KRR  QF34mr  16351  73  2011-02-14 09:24  PA0O  28.126070  -17  0  JO33hg  5  VK2KRR  QF34mr  16351  73  2011-02-14 09:32  PA0O  28.126070  -20  0  JO33hg  5  VK2KRR  QF34mr  16351  73  2011-02-14 09:36  PA0O  28.126070  -19  0  JO33hg  5  VK2KRR  QF34mr  16351  73  2011-…

PACC 2011 is over

Our yearly activity highlight is over again. My results

       Band    QSOs    Pts  Cty          1,8     157     157   29          3,5     271     271   40            7     331     331   62           14     296     296   57           21     142     142   38           28      10      10    5        Total    1207    1207  231
            Score : 278.817               Rig : K3  100W

A good exercise in CW  handling.
It was fun and a long night.
Propagation poor  but not as poor as it looked.
The PACC brings a lot of activity some hams see it as QRM  ..  anyway sure that every tiny opening is used during the 24 hours of this contest.
The WAEDX RTTY  is in the same weekend that is a pity but gives some indication about the real propagation. 





In between could work with Cameroon TJ9PF on 160 for a new one.  ( then needed my PA  )
Had to stop at 04  until  07  to rest no takers then anyway only few hours sleep gave a sort of jet-lag  Sunday afternoon 

This time i did low power CW K3  single.
Assisted ?  i had the…

WSPR 500kHz (too) many frequencies to watch

I might need some other receiving techniques.
Last night  WD2XSH/6  EM31js  was received strong  by G8HUH  IO81MG
I was hopping all night 510.000 kHz   for WE2XGR/6   
 and  499.600 kHz  for WD2XSH/17  (USB dial setting)  (
+160 and 80)

But  WD2XSH/6  was on  495.983 kHz  that means I had to set my dial 1500 lower  to 494.500 kHz  to receive him
And possible  WD2XSH/17  did move here too??
I would like to receive  them all ...
Now i have WSPR set 600= 499.600    other = 510.000

To have more hopping frequencies  some not used bands like   7 or 14 MHz  could be set to other 500Khz bands..

This is my short list of  current WSPR 500kHz bands:

Dial:      502.400      used in EU  
Dial:      499.600      WD2XSH/17   i used to receive him here
Dial:      510.000      WE2XGR/6     and other WE2XGR/?
Dial:      494.500      WD2XSH/6     and  /17 new freq?
Dial:      503.630      DI2AF
and possible more "private" frequencies in use
 pity that i did not know this  the propagation on 600m was good

Rec…

80M WSPR in the DX "toplist"

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VK7DIK  Tasmania   reported my 500mW on 80M tonight
earlier this morning i heard  ZL3AB  2W  over long path 80m!
the ultimate DX for PA-land

2011-02-10 07:20 ZL3AB 3.594116 -27 0 RE66im 2 PA0O JO33hg 18523 322

2011-02-10 20:50 PA0O 3.594146 -24 0 JO33hg 0.5 VK7DIK QE28sf 16731 84

not bad at all
Bob  WE2XGR/6  is still decoded during the night when he is on at 0.511501 MHz  
160m bit boring for WSPR  N3CO was the best DX  while last week VK6ZD was reported on 160
But in CW "strong" 559 signals from DU1IST heard fb copy but deaf as a doornail...
About same strength DU1/JJ5GMJ was easy LOTW user also
S9DX 80 160 strong  and  easy to work
could not get in the log of 5H3EE (160 CW)  strong but to high QRN  and very  bad discipline of  EU forced him to QRT


Aurora effect again

I am ready for T88ZM ;-)

Heard  super at 80m
http://www.mijnbestand.nl/Bestand-JOB7BWEMLRVD.mp3
and heard a few times at 160m
then i had some storm problems...
The receiveloop was down 
Now all is  ok again....But  T88ZM FB operated  by 5B4AGN  has left Palau island


Finally after 4 days storm a sunny day for antenna check

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A loose rivet was the problem. Also the  loop antenna is up again. Finished in the darknes but with a head-lamp that workes good.

An older picture of the 15/20 trap that had arc damage. In the middle ring hole is the rivet that should ground the cover tube to bring both traps in resonance.

After 48hours storm 2 bands left 4 lost

First the receive loop down.
Then the 40 20 15 Hi SWR  trap problem?
and  now 160 inverted L very hi SWR  no visible damage
The wire is going up looks normal but dark night  can not see much
Strange  it did survive stronger storms

Now only 28 and 3.5 MHz are  left  fttb...
Nice weather..

Radio without the low-band receive loop in the Maunder minimum...

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The low-band receive  loop antenna is flatted due to storm and tree felling work around.
Radio life without this extra receiving antenna is a lot less interesting.  No more receiving of the 600m USA WSPR stations.
And on top-band  it is missed much.
It is only a light 10m  Alu+fiber pole but in the high wind i can not erect it by myself.
I  got used to the receive loop a simple switch to select N-E or N-W  the f/b is 10dB or more according to the WSPR snr figures,  another very useful aspect of WSPR  to  measure your antenna f/b    Working VP8ORK on 40m was easier using the loop in SW direction.  Strange but VP8ORK was a better copy on the loop then on the trap dipole for 7MHz.
On the TX vertical I could not get a clear reception of T88ZM on 160  only at max QSB it was a good Q5 but fast QSB  makes TX timing troublesome  You don't know if you are doubling with him.
Heard  CE1/K7CA 160m  very good on the vertical  but ....  he just can not receive well. Many where calling only a few came…

K9AY down not by the storm

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for felling trees it had to be taken down anyway  i took it down myself  before the storm did

is this AURORA effect on WSPR signals ?

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80 and 160 came back alive again

20110201 2010 1822,0 CW PA0O 559 VK3HJ579  return on cq
several JA's heard  VK4MA heard good just before  QRT
160m seems a bit alive again after not hearing any DX for long time even WSPR was poor on 160 for weeks.

20110201 2247 1850,0 LSB PA0O 59 K8PO 57 Paul in Phone
20110202 1743 10102,5 CW PA0O 599XT2RJA 599
20110202 1822 3511,0 CW PA0O 599 T88ZM 599
T88ZM very strong on 80 CW peaking 599 hard to believe that it was real PALAU Isl and  heard short on 160m
Lots of tuning as always on 80m this DX attacks lot of QRI


3503,5 CW PA0O 599 BU2AQ 599
20110202 2141 7024,0 CW PA0O 599 VP8ORK 599
VP8ORKhad a good signal at 30m  but they went  QRT/X   by the time I was just ready to call them... 2 x in a row..

WD2XSH/17 most nights at 0.501500 WSPR several decodes


How to quiet the IC706?

The IC706 ( ohne alles)    is a great set  but has an annoying fan  that always runs. Now using it again for receiving  137kHz  it becomes a problem if you switch of the IC706 it is a relieve.
I tried to find if something could be done about that noise.
The FAN runs at lower speed during receive.
There is an 47Ω R  in series that is shorted during TX (the schematic says 470Ω  but i doubt that.This R is located at the PA board close to the connector of the FAN. It is a power SMD.
Recently i got an SMD soldering station the AOYUE 968   this great demo is the 962 without the extra 30W soldering tool  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOEHstgaVLM real nice  3 functions in one  120€  Elektroshop  real heavy device 5kG?  8€ shipping costs.  incredible how they can do it! 
But not to hasty .. first test and measure before changing anything.
Had some exercise with a defective Satellite  converter  real interesting parts that normally would just be wasted.
What about a I2C controlled 2.6GHz synthesiser …