Northwest Clubs

January Contest Activity

Western Wash DX Club - Wed, 01/16/2019 - 10:28pm

January Contest Activity Report

Happy New Year.

Just one “counter” for the Northwest Trophy Competition in this (RTTY Roundup) report plus a couple that are in the “fun” category. In February, there will be the WPX RTTY test, which will be the half-way point for the Trophy Competition, followed by the ARRL DX CW test.  The first weekend in March will the ARRL DX SSB and it’s the week BEFORE the Swap Meet in Puyallup so nobody should have an excuse for getting (or getting rid of) a load of goodies. There used to be an award within the WWDXC for the highest Low Power,  Single Op score in the ARRL DX CW. Don’t recall hearing about that lately.

Here’s what people were up to in the past few weeks:

Stew Perry Topband

Call        QSOs    Op Time    Score

Multi-Op HP

W6OAT       267      05:00     1,396

Single Op HP

K7CW        317      10.5      1,892

K7RL        285       4.5      1,506

K7SS        136       3          688

Single Op QRP

KX7L         31       2          216

Stew Perry Topband Soapbox

K7RL   Much better conditions than anticipated, except no EU. Best DX was KV4FZ.  HNY to all!

KX7L   Just managed to put in a few hours, too much else going on.  Most QSO’s were surprisingly easy, even with just 5W, I think condx were pretty good.

RTTY Roundup

M/S HP

Call         RTTY Qs  Dig Qs  State/Prov  Countries  Op Time  Score

K7RU(@K7BTW) 1226       33       56          34       24      113,310

K7RI          939        0       53          18       23       66,669

Single Op HP

N7QT          924        0       54          21       14       69,300

WC7Q          479        0       52          12        9.7     30,656

K6KR           19       22       20           4                   984

Single Op LP

W7OM          540        0       57          13                37,800

WA7BRL(CHUCK) 149        0       37           7                 6,556

WA7CPA         83        0       35           4        9        3,237

SO Unlimited HP

W7VXS         652       62       52          17       13:47    49,266

K7RL            0      471       47          10       21       26,847

SO Unlimited LP

W7CD            0      430       51          39      ~12       38,700

KX7L            0      132       34           2        7        4,752

N6KW            0        7        2           2                    28

RTTY Roundup Soapbox

WC7Q   Bad windstorm in the PNW and lost power at about 3AM Sunday morning and off until about 1 PM Sunday afternoon. Otherwise if was a fun contest.

KX7L   Started out thinking I might do both modes, but when I realized that both N1MM and WSJTX really want to talk to the rig, I decided not to fight that, and went FT8 only. An interesting experience, definitely a learning experience. I had a few funnies with WSJT-X – occasionally I would call someone and it would put the rig into transmit but not generate any tones, then on the next interval all was normal. I thought maybe I could import the ADIF file into N1MM+ at the end to calculate the score, but N1MM didn’t parse the received multipliers, so all the QSO’s were worth zero! Took a little manual massaging of the WSJTx cabrillo file to get the header right – it wanted to make me “non-assisted” but as I understand it, if you use WSJTx, you are automatically “unlimited”.

K7RL   FT8, SO1R only. Wanted to see what was possible in a contest. Rate is extremely slow compared to other modes. Best hour was 32. I suppose 60 Qs in one hour is technically possible, but timing has to be perfect on both sides of the QSO with no repeats and only one CQ per round – something I was never able to achieve.

I should have tried SO2R, but wasn’t sure how the software would perform or its stability. After 21 hours, I’m pleased to report WSJT-X 2.0 and N1MM+ worked perfectly together.

Thanks to all for the Qs.

K7RU(@K7BTW)   We operated under the callsign K7RU from the station of K7BTW for this year’s RTTY Round Up. The callsign was appropriate! We wanted to be ready for anything, so we were prepared to operate both RTTY and FT8. Most of the team members have used FT8 before, so all are familiar with the mode’s capabilities. If it helps the rate, or increases the score, we’re all for trying something new.

On Saturday morning a few hours before the contest start, the bands held such promise — Asia was coming in on 40m while EU was workable long path. We never saw anything like that on Sunday morning.

During the contest, our use of FT8 was specialized: we kept a station on FT8 on ’the other open band’ looking for multipliers that we’ve not worked or rarely worked before in the ARRL RU. We perceive that we worked perhaps 6 multipliers on FT8 that we wouldn’t have with just RTTY. Had we known that EU wasn’t to be, we would have spent more time using FT8 chasing EU mults.

The windstorm that left nearly 300K without power (and still affects) on late Saturday night / early Sunday morning hit during our rest period. Despite our rural location near Olympia, Washington, our power was only out for about 10 minutes.

Our overall score is reduced compared to last year. We worked about the same number of stations, but had 10 fewer mults. Overall, our mult count was also about the same as last year.

After the contest, we discussed how much fun it might be to do this contest next year from one of the Caribbean venues where we’d be really popular as the only station on the air. Or maybe North Dakota.

Happy New Year!

N6KW   Small effort from home, FT8 only…operated at K7RI for the serious stuff.

K7RI   Thanks to all our ops and those who worked or tried to work us. First time contest of any type for one of our ops and the first RTTY one for another. Also, first time in RU for the station itself in a number of years. Everyone had fun.

WA7CPA   First time ever operating RTTY. Had a lot of fun!

January NAQP CW

Call    QSOs    Mults    Op Time    Score       Team

Single Op LP

K7RL    1180      212    10        250,160     WWDXC Corner Pocket #1

N7QT     918      199    10        182,682     WWDXC Corner Pocket #2

W6OAT    890      198    10:00     176,220     WWDXC Corner Pocket #1

N7WA     882      168    10        148,176     WWDXC Corner Pocket #1

K7SS     767      181     9:52     138,827     WWDXC Corner Pocket #3

K7BTW    731      169     9:58     123,539     WWDXC Corner Pocket #1

W7OM     681      167     9.2      113,727     WWDXC Corner Pocket #2

WC7Q     681      151    9.1       102,831     WWDXC Corner Pocket #1

K6KR     422      168    10         70,896     WWDXC Corner Pocket #2

N6KW(@K7RI)533    113               60,229     WWDXC Corner Pocket #2

N7BV     429      128     9,75      54,912     WWDXC Corner Pocket #2

K7HBN    250       96     7         24,000   

K7WA     184       63     5         11,592     WWDXC Corner Pocket #3

W7UDH    157       64     3.5       10,048     WWDXC Corner Pocket #3

WA7BRL    72       41                2,952   

K7PAX     12        7                   84     WWDXC Corner Pocket #4

January NAQP CW Soapbox

K7PAX   Had radio difficulties the first half, but got it straightened out and was able to do some search and pounce for the afternoon. Did best on 80 meters. I’m just a beginner in CW contesting.

K6KR   I can sure hear better on 160 than I can be heard. Summer project!

W6OAT   What happened to 40m? It seemed to have gone long and closed early. Great fun to hear all the WWA stations on for this event.

N7BV   Thanks for all the contacts. Had a lot of fun doing SO for the first time in a long time. Propagation was pretty good in the morning on 15 and 20m but as the sun started going down so did props. 40m never did come into its own; same for 80m. Had to go out on my tractor to fix the 160m antenna at around midday, saw some more damage to the 80m sloper system. Looks like the winds and heavy rains are taking their toll on the trees. 73, Chuck N7BV

K7SS     …now THAT WAS FUN !! CW ALIVE AND WELL   

Great rate right out of the chute.. 140 first hour.

Super to work all the WWDXC team boys, cant recall a recent contest with so many locals on to work on all bands. Good job organizing the troops Dink, Rusty, Rod.  Shoulda/coulda dept: more time on 15, but hard to leave 20 alone with band so good in all directions.

LOW POWER does the job nicely across the country on all bands. Even able to work and hear some E coast on 160.  Planned on part time, but feeling good so stayed on.

Thank you for the contacts … lets do this again, real soon !

WA7BRL   LEARNED MORE ON THE USE OF N1MM+ LOGGER AND SETTING UP MACROS. SHOULD HAVE STARTED WITH 10 AND 15 METERS, SO MISSED THE OPENINGS.

K7RL   Wasn’t sure about starting on 15m, but glad I did. Once the opening bell rang, the band opened nicely and it was off to the races. That lasted about an hour before it was time to QSY to 20m.

Decided to take my break in one big two hour chunk. The master plan was to arrive on 40m as fresh meat around sunset with 20m starting to fade in the late afternoon and the east coast moving to the low bands. Felt like a solid plan. What could go wrong?

40m was unusually bad stateside – that’s putting it mildly. Static levels were abnormally low and the band appeared almost completely empty. It was so pronounced that I had to check I was on the correct antenna. Adding insult to injury, W1 and most of W3 was completely absent, including the eastern Canadian provinces. I can’t ever remember hearing the band so bad. It never did bounce back. What a huge disappointment.

After reading some of the other comments, it appears only ops in Washington and British Columbia were affected? More Qs and mults on 80m versus 40m? That tells the tale.

Aside from an absent 40m band, this was a blast. Great operators and great fun. Thanks to all for the Qs and another outstanding NAQP!

Congratulations to N2IC on a monster score! Wow! Well done Steve. The bar has been set!

Special thanks to fellow WWDXC members and N7WA for organizing four teams this year. Great showing!

N7WA   It was a fun test as usual. Pretty much matched last years score. I setup for SO2R this year but it was more for practice than real value. (I haven’t done SO2R for over two years.) I did get some value when running 80M and sweeping 40M for Q’s and mults.

N6KW(@K7RI)   First, thanks to Tom K7RI for the use of his station. It was my first time being on a team in a contest…had fun working the other team members on as many ban

Categories: Northwest Clubs

San Juan County Receives Accreditation by Laurel VEC

San Juan County Amateur Radio Society - Mon, 01/14/2019 - 2:38pm
To receive or upgrade your Ham License requires you to pass a test administered by 3 Volunteer Examiners or VEs. The VEs report to an FCC recognized Volunteer Exam Coordinator or VEC. At the last Club Meeting I presented an alternative to using the ARRL as our Volunteer Exam Coordinator. Laurel VEC, from Laurel Maryland, […]
Categories: Northwest Clubs

January 2019 Meeting Minutes

Snoqualamie Valley Amateur Radio Club - Sun, 01/13/2019 - 4:46pm
Snoqualmie Valley Radio Club Meeting Minutes for January 3, 2019 Business Meeting called to order 6:15 p.m. Duvall Fire Station 45. 22 members and 5 guests present for business and meeting: Robin Amundson, Kevin Ayres, Rick Burns, Paul Butzi, Joe...
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Categories: Northwest Clubs

January Meeting This Saturday !

Mason County ARC - Wed, 01/09/2019 - 5:42pm
Don’t forget, we’re at the DEM now – see directions on the map to your right.  Check the newsletter for special driving instructions for Northbound 101 members. Saturday, 12 January, Gate open at 0845, closes at 0900. Late folks park … Continue reading →
Categories: Northwest Clubs

Meeting Minutes: December 2018

San Juan County Amateur Radio Society - Wed, 01/09/2019 - 1:06pm
This was our Christmas Potluck and annual officer elections meeting. SJCARS_Minutes_December_2018
Categories: Northwest Clubs

New Ham Jam Net

West Seattle Amateur Radio Club - Tue, 12/18/2018 - 3:05pm

For 3 Mondays in December, the West Seattle Amateur Radio Club has hosted the new Hams in the area at the West Seattle Senior Center for an in person session during our weekly radio check in (every Monday night at 6:30) on the West Seattle Repeater W7AW. Input frequencies, output frequencies and PL tones can all be intimidating terms, and every brand of radio has a different way to program them. Pressing that big button on the left side of the radio and knowing your voice will be broadcast throughout the entire Puget Sound Basin is somewhat daunting as well. So these “post license test” sessions have been intended to introduce the nicknamed KJ7s to their radio operation and on air etiquette. The FCC passes out licenses in systemic order, so all the new hams in this most recent class have license call signs starting with the prefix and region code of KJ7. There will be one more Ham Jam Session this Monday the 17th, for any new hams, or anyone who has received a license previously, but hasn’t figured how to program that darn radio yet.

     

Dec 10th session, Mei Bri goes over basic equipment info

Dec 17th session, Brian Nozynski, standing, worked the crowd and controlled desensing issues

Dec 17th session, it was a full house!

Categories: Northwest Clubs

December Contest Activity

Western Wash DX Club - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 11:24am

December Contest Activity

We’ve just ended one of the busiest times of the contest season. We can now slow
down to a regular pace.

The next trophy eligible contest will be the RTTY Roundup the first weekend in January.
Sounds like FT8 is going to allowed in this run. Have fun diddlers. (Is someone running
FT8 still a diddler?) Also coming up is the NAQP CW the following weekend. If you
are going to be putting in a full effort and interested on being on a team, let me know.
We can have 5 on the team.

Kids Day is also the same weekend as the RTTY Roundup. Not really a contest but sounds
like fun if you have some (grand)kids.

I wish you all a pleasant holiday season and hope you are looking forward to the New Year.


ARRL SSB Sweeps
Call            QSOs    Sections    Op Time    Score 
Multi-Op HP
KZ1W            1319      82         24       216,316        
 
Multi-Op LP
K7IR            1123      82         23:54    184,172        
 
Single Op HP
W7RM(W7WA)      1958      83                  325,028        
K7SS             575      81          8        93,150        
WC7Q              37      29          2         2,146        
 
Single Op LP
N7LOX            571      76         14        86,792        
W7OM             230      80                   36,800        
K7IDX/7          130      71                   18,460        
K7HBN            130      69          8        17,940        
K7VAP             63      41                    5,166        
W6OAT             35      21         01:45      1,470        
N7WA              30      23                    1,380        
 
SO Unlimited HP
K7RL            1019      83         10       169,154        
K7RI             813      80        ~12       130,080        
KB7HDX           313      77         13        48,202        

ARRL SSB Sweeps Soapbox
WC7Q   Just doing some S&P when after about 2 hours the radio began shifting from
lsb to ssb on 40 meters. Corrected each time but finally the radio failed.
Going to ICOM Monday morning.

K7HBN   Don’t normally operate SSB contests, but couldn’t resist trying the
DVR in the IC7300. It worked great as long as pushed the N1MM function keys
in the proper sequence. Lots of familiar calls from the many SS contests
over the years.

K7RL   Started the contest about 30 minutes late – a very poor strategy for
SS that I do not recommend. My best rates are always in the first 90 minutes,
so losing one third of that kinda hurts.

My first full hour I had about 160+ Qs in the log, but it was all down hill
from there as east coast ops eventually migrated to the low bands, and the
contest settles into a slower rhythm. Even though I didn’t plan to do a
full-time effort, band conditions seemed good, and it was fun to get on
and make noise with everyone else!

N7WA   They call me “Fresh Meat”. Actually, I got a new K-pod and wanted to
play with it. In my short time on the air, I got asked if I knew where there
was an EWA station three times. Twice the other operator giggled as they QSL’d
my exchange. I must sound funny on SSB?

K7SS   Beyond being able to say howdy to so many old and new friends, there
were two memorable moments in this years SSB SS..

1. While hovering near 80 Mults, being called at the SAME TIME by VO1MP and
VE5GC both which were new ones! Thanks to GC for standing by. A terrific moment !

2. After chatting w/ old pal Hud K5ZG, and lamenting my NO VIRGIN ISLAND mult,
was called by KP2AA !!! which I soon enough found was in the ORG section… DOH !
Thanks Chip… you got me good on that one.

I started the SS on autopilot giving out ‘A’, which i usually run, with the
amp on…so decided not to mess up those guys logging…and stuck with the
A throughout…but entering in B class. I did have several comments on my
strong ‘A’ signal… 

Categories: Northwest Clubs

NW Trophy Competition Updates

Western Wash DX Club - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 1:11am

Here are the standings for the Challenge Cup (Northwest Traveling Trophy) Competition. This includes the totals reported by the other clubs as well as the individual standings within the WWDXC.

These are the scores as of December 13, 2018.  The RTTY Roundup next month will include FT8 as a mode, which could provide us with some extra participants as well as additional multipliers for those willing to work both RTTY and FT8.

 

If I am missing anything, let me know.

cheers
dink, n7wa

ALL CLUBSCQ WW RTTYCQ WW SSBCQ WW CWTOTAL WWDXC2,655,7035,227,90710,497,99318,831,603 WVDXC3,033,5076,172,2327,522,41216,728,151 Orca DXCC1,365,9403,199,6784,565,618 SDXA464,593573,6831,038,276 IDXA404,347229,144401,6771,034,544

WWDXCCQ WW RTTYCQ WW SSBCQ WW CWTOTAL K6KR126,180126,180 K7BTW834,5379,350843,887 K7CW880880 K7EG10,84210,842 K7EKD10,57010,570 K7HBN27,94027,940 K7PAX289289 K7RI224,3881,476,2551,700,643 K7RL407,3162,276,3523,116,2505,799,918 K7SS222,666279,279501,945 K7VAP19,55819,558 K9QJS3,6753,675 KA7LJQ115,475115,475 KB7HDX20,92820,928 KD7H12,93475,94688,880 KX7L13,68013,680 KZ1W804,384815,4251,619,809 N5CR211,356211,356 N6KW720720 N6MZ41,92041,920 N7BV132,9971,114,6901,247,687 N7QT334,915334,915 N7RVD85,38685,386 N7WA362,544362,544 N7ZG641,4451,613,0162,254,461 W6OAT330,270330,270 W6RS10,93410,934 W7CD2,8522,852 W7OM141,588113,611394,690649,889 W7VXS258,706335,546594,252 W7WA556,220671,9251,228,145 WC7Q121,173121,173

Categories: Northwest Clubs

Meeting Minutes: November 2018

San Juan County Amateur Radio Society - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 2:24pm
Highlights include: • An overview of San Juan County ACS and a vsit with SJC DEM director • Revisiting WSPR • Dan’s trip to Pacificon 2018 • SJC has a connection to HamWAN SJCARS_Minutes_November_2018
Categories: Northwest Clubs

N6KW is the New Trustee for W7DX

Western Wash DX Club - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 10:41am

Chuck Miller, N6KW, has graciously volunteered to be become the new license trustee for the club’s call, W7DX.  More than just a name on a piece of paper, Chuck now assumes the responsibility for keeping the license renewed with the FCC, ensuring all logs are uploaded to LOTW, and answering all QSL card requests.  Think of the club station license trustee as the “chief control operator” for the club station license. It is the duty of the trustee to act in the best interests of the club; after all, the station license belongs to the club, not to the trustee individually.  The club station license trustee must designate control operators to ensure that the station is operated as the club wants it to be.  A club station control operator is designated by the club license trustee and must be someone who is trusted and will follow all FCC rules at all times.

Please reach out and thank Chuck for accepting this new role in behalf of all of us.

Categories: Northwest Clubs

January 2019 Meeting – Ducie Island DXpedition

Western Wash DX Club - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 10:24am

January 8th, 2019

Ducie Island DXpedition Travelogue N7QT will guide us through the adventures of the wildly successful trip to Ducie Island by the PDXG DX Group.  An optional dinner is RSVP ($25) and the program begins at 7pm. Details about our monthly meetings and a catalog of past programs are available on the Monthly Membership Meetings page.
Categories: Northwest Clubs

08 DECEMBER 2018 MEETING

Mason County ARC - Thu, 12/06/2018 - 11:22am
Starts at 9AM until approx. 1030, this Saturday at the Christian School.  See map to your right for complete directions.  The Agenda is short, mainly finishing the years issues, so holiday notes and of course getting prepared for the ‘winter’ … Continue reading →
Categories: Northwest Clubs

Protected: SJCARS Holiday Party!

San Juan County Amateur Radio Society - Thu, 12/06/2018 - 8:03am
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
Categories: Northwest Clubs

November 2018 – Board Meeting Minutes

Western Wash DX Club - Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:00pm

WWDXC Board meeting November 26, 2018

Present were Rob N7QT, Adam K7EDX, Rich W6RS, Larry K7EKD, Walt K7ZQ, Kirk N7UK, Tom NU7J, John W7CD and Dennis K7DSE.
Adam opened the meeting at 7:00pm PST.

Review/approve minutes
* The October 2018 minutes were approved by voice vote

Correspondence
* The EP6RRC Iran Dxpedition funding request was approved for the amount of $400.

Treasurer’s report
* The October report was approved by voice vote.
* Cash balance: $17,827.26, Income $25.00 Expenditures $70.28.

Membership
* The Board received resignation from Jim K7WA. The Board extends its sincerest thanks after many years of service for his efforts. Review of the database, potential relocation of the Club PO Box, and other administrative matters will be examined for continuation of the membership process.
* Although many Club members voted for an online membership roster, not enough responses were gathered to make it definitive for publishing.

Old business
* The W7DX call sign trustee position is still open.

New business
* The Board is pleased to announce the Annual Club awards are as follows:
Johnny Dack Lifetime Achievement Awards:
– Rick KT7G for his years as W7DX trustee
– Jim K7WA for his years of dedication to membership administration and Salmon Run.
Most Valuable Player:
– Dick K7BTW for promoting contest activities at his qth and other Club contributions
Member of the Year:
– Bengt K7ADD for his efforts in the implementation and redesign of the Club website.
* Elections are in December with voting at the dinner meeting.
* Rob expressed concern over some threads that may be too lengthy and personal on groups.io. Code of conduct, paid member only posts are examples for consideration of a site moderator.
* Kirk is reviewing the possible relocation of the W7DX Club repeater to West Seattle.

Monthly dinner/meeting
* The dinner meeting will be on December 11, 2018 at Robs 125 Street Grill. The Club will host its annual Christmas party.
* The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 PM

Respectfully submitted
Dennis Kourkoumelis, K7DSE
Secretary

Categories: Northwest Clubs

DRAWS

San Juan County Amateur Radio Society - Thu, 11/29/2018 - 9:00am
I am very careful not to use the Club for promotion of our products at NW Digital Radio, the company that Basil and others are involved with. OTOH This video from Julian, OH8STN in Finland, went Viral and we sold out our latest product release; the Digital Radio Amateur Work Station: DRAWS We’re starting our […]
Categories: Northwest Clubs

Website Updates

San Juan County Amateur Radio Society - Thu, 11/29/2018 - 7:57am
I have updated the website: ARES Reports have moved to the AUXCOMM Google Group. Wednesday night Nets no longer need to be reported. The 2m Digipeater  on Orcas has changed frequency to Net-16 144.910 The 2m RMS Gateway on Lopez also changed to Net-16 144.910
Categories: Northwest Clubs

TO6OK DXpedition Report

Western Wash DX Club - Thu, 11/22/2018 - 11:14am

The WWDXC sponsored this DXpedition. This is their story…

Mayotte (FH) is a French overseas department located in the northern part of Mozambican channel in the Indian Ocean is one of the four major islands of the Comoro group of islands, but it does not belong to the Union of the Comoros (a DXCC country D6). Its area is about 400 square km (i.e. a bit smaller than the city of Prague). Its population is about 200 thousand people. The highest mountain is called Benara, about 660 m a.s.l. The official language is French, but some people speak Shimaor. As it’s a French territory, the euro is used as currency despite it being over 7000 km from Europe.

Why Mayotte? The idea to make a DXpedion to this DXCC country came up on the journey from another expedition to D6 in 2016. We learned how the waves “work” in this part of the world so we knew what propagation we could expect considering also the current phase of the solar cycle. Since our next DXpeditions was to Mauritania (5T5OK) in 2017, FH had been postponed to the future. However, it turned out that the “future” was not that far away.

When browsing through our logs we found out, with some surprise, that FH is not that common of a country as one might expect. Although most of us already have it CMFD on all bands from 160 to 10m, the last “classical” DXpedition took place in 2013 (TO2TT). Only seldom random holiday-type activations have occurred since. FH is number 95 in the Clublog so a major DXpedition was very welcome. Therefore the decision had been made to activate Mayotte in 2018. The group of hams OK1BOA, OK1FCJ, OK1GK, OK2ZA, OK2ZC, OK2ZI and OK6DJ planned the journey with regard to time availability of all of the participating hams. The departure was set for August 19th and arrival for October 7th. That was the maximum that most of the guys could make with regard to their jobs and other obligations. This schedule would ensure at least 13 days of activity in the air, including participation in the CQWW RTTY Contest, and give large number of hams the opportunity to make a QSO with a new DXCC and/or a contest multiplier. For financial reasons, we choose the flight from Vienna International Airport via Amsterdam and Nairobi to Dzaoudzi. Karel OK2ZI took care of all of the communication concerning flight tickets, baggage and equipment transport to Vienna, and booking the rental car in Mayotte. He also arranged for the license and the callsign TO6OK which we obtained after providing all needed documents and paying the fees.

We spent almost all of June looking for a QTH which turned out to be unexpectedly difficult. Only after that did we understand why no major DXpedition had taken place in FH for so long and why it’s even not activated in the major WW Contests. The problem was the place for erecting larger antennas. Eventually we had chosen the village Mliha which is not optimally located, but it offered enough space for our antennas.

July was marked by preparations for the rig setup. Everybody was given a task to put together one station so it could be used for all modes (CW/SSB/DIGI/FT8). We prepared four K3’s, one TS590SG and two TS480HX’s. One of them was a backup in case of any failure. The rig also included six Microhams MKII set up for the relevant modes. We intended continuous traffic from 160 to 10m with six stations and five 1kW PAs. Unfortunately we weren’t granted the license for the 60m band and we also gave up on the 6m band due to the current propagation conditions. The antennas were the same proven ones as in the previous expeditions D66D/5V7P/5T5OK/Z66D. The only improvement was a 4SQ at 30m instead of the simple vertical. The rig preparations were completed by the beginning of August so we could start the packing things together. We completed the packing and plastic wrapping of all baggage at the pre-expedition meeting on September 8th at Peter’s place in Ritka. We also discussed the general strategy, cleared all details, and finished the setup of the sixth station. After the meeting OK2ZA took all five bags with antennas and masts to his QTH from where we were leaving for the expedition on September 19th.

Tuesday, September 18th
OK1BOA, OK1FCJ, OK1GK a OK6DJ met in the late afternoon at OK1FCJ’s place in Ritka and set out to Moravia to Ruda’s (OK2ZA) place. OK2ZC and OK2ZI were already there so the team was complete. The DXpedition started officially before midnight. We ate goulash, discussed the last details and checked the baggage. The entire weight of all materials was 450 kg.

Wednesday September 19th
The van arrived at about 2 am to take us to the Vienna airport. We set out at 3am according to the plan. Despite our big baggage there were no problems at check-in and we boarded the first short flight to Amsterdam. There was a two hour layover there, an eight-hour flight to Nairobi, and then we landed at late night. We spent the next 15 hours waiting for the flight to Dzaoudzi at the Turkish airlines lounge which is the only non-stop open. We again discussed the details of erecting the antenna and the entire tactics, and also tried to get some sleep after the previous night spent on the flight.

Thursday September 20th
We woke up in the morning after an uncomfortable night spent in armchairs. The 3 hours flight to Dzaoudzi departed at noon and it was on time. We landed there at 3:30 pm local time and (surprisingly) the baggage was also complete. Despite our concerns there were no problems at customs either. We were really relieved as we knew the horror stories of other DXpedions. The Dacia Dokker rental car was waiting for us as well so we could load our stuff and OK2ZI and OK1FCJ could set out. The rest took a cab and all moved to the port to board the ferry to the main island. After disembarking it was only about 30km to our QTH, but it took over an hour on the tortuous and crowded roads. It was dark when we arrived to the QTH. We were tired but really happy that the journey went smoothly. We postponed the QTH reconnaissance to the next day and just checked the building. There were two rooms connected with a covered veranda, a bathroom and a large kitchen. There was also a pergola standing separated in the garden. It looked like a camp facility or something like that. We set up four of our stations that evening still. We decided to split them to both rooms for acoustic reasons. One room was for SSB (operators Petr OK1BOA and Ruda OK2ZA) the other one primarily for CW. The DIGI modes were possible in both rooms as necessary.

Friday September 21st
We got up at 7 am. After a quick breakfast we started the reconnaissance of the QTH. A busy day filled with antenna erecting was before us. We split into the groups. OK2ZA a OK6DJ put up the Spiderbeam Nr.1, OK1BOA Spiderbeam Nr..2, OK1GK with OK2ZC the 4SQ for 40m and vertical for 80m. OK2ZI and OK1FCJ went to the town for shopping afterwards. We decided to cook as we had a kitchen, fridge, freezer and microwave. Around noon a police patrol came around asking who we are and what we were up to there. They checked our license and rental contract. All was OK so they gave us a couple of useful pieces of advice and left. Our QTH was at the end of the village. There was just a small scuba diving club behind it and then a smaller military base. The soldiers passing by said hello to us and informed us that there’s a permanent service even with a medic on their base in case we needed it. We hoped not. We worked on the antennas the whole day. OK2ZI erected the multiband vertical dedicated to FT8 in the backyard. OK1FCJ set up the Spiderbeam Nr.3 and the day was finished by putting up the 80m INV VEE on a palm tree. We were tired in the evening, nevertheless we started our operation. At 7pm David OK6DJ (as usual on the other expeditions) called the first CQ on 20m CW and the first station Lada, OK2PAYwas in the log. Petr OK1FCJ started on 40m CW, but he had to stop after a while as the neighbor’s cows decided to go for their dinner to the place where the 40m 4SQ was standing. We were afraid that they may get tangled up in the guy ropes and radial wires and we tried to chase them off, but without success. Fortunately the owner appeared and lead them away. Karel OK2ZI and Ludek OK2ZC tried the 30m and 80m CW with the multiband vertical. We tested the 80m SSB into the INV VEE later, but the antenna did not work. It was a task for the next day to get it work. After about 500 OSOs we went to bed to get some well deserved rest.

Saturday September 22nd
We got up early again. After breakfast we ran on 20m, 17m and 15 m CW. The rest put up the 30m 4SQ a couple of meters off yesterday’s high tide limit. However, some people passing by alerted us that the day’s high tide would be much higher and our antennas would be standing in water. Therefore we extended the fiberglass rods by 1m and moved the entire system off the highest possible tide. It was noon and we ate an excellent lunch cooked by Karel, OK2ZI. It qualified him (to his bad luck) to the cook position for the rest of the stay. We managed to finish the third Spiderbeam in the garden, tune INV VEE to 80m SSB and match the vertical for the 80m CW. Then we had SWR better than 1.3 on all antennas – we are satisfied. Although we planned 2 VDA’s we put up only one for 17m for the time being. We gave up erecting the 160m antenna for the moment as there were lot of people and kids on the beach. We postponed it to Sunday afternoon. The propagation was very bad, no stations on 10m and 12m at all. As our SSB stations were already active we did a little research about the interference between the bands and tried to find out the best antenna and bands combination for inband traffic. Although each station was equipped with the band pass filter there was still some interference between certain bands. Towards the evening the 40m and 30m bands worked quite well. On the other hand 80m did not open before dark. The 30m and 40m closed at about midnight, with no response to our CQ at all. We saw an aurora warning in the propagation forecast which boded ill.

Sunday September 23rd
Before we could erect the 160m antenna we had to repair the 30m 4SQ because the high tide had loosened one of the ground spikes which caused one of the masts to fall down. After that we erected the 160m vertical at last. It required all of us to participate except Petr, OK1BOA who didn’t feel well and stayed in bed for the rest of the day. The 160m mast was 18 meters high with capacitance hat. The SWR was not quite ideal, but we left it so for the first night. Ten radials were laid on the wet beach and weighted it with stones. The difference between high and low tide was about 3 meters, but as the beach was very low-pitched the sea moved back over 100m at the low tide. We also had to move the multiband vertical to the beach. We put up another VDA for 12m next to it as none of the Spiderbeams had a good SWR on 12m band. The last antenna was 240m beverage to EU. OK2ZC and OK2ZI pulled it through the banana grove. We were testing all possible bands over the day and experienced even the opening of the 12m band. It gave us hope for better propagation although SFI was 67.

Monday September 24th
Monday was supposed to be the first “full activity” day. We logged the first 50 QSO on 160m band at night including three W stations. The beverage worked very well. We were missing the DHDL RX antenna for JA, though. It was planned for today, but…We found out that the 30m 4SQ didn’t survive the night. The high tide had loosened the same ground spike as before. We fixed it again and put more stones on the radials hoping that this would survive, but mother nature proved us wrong the very same day. We worked on higher bands until noon and thanks to a good antenna placement we were able to work inband on 20m, 17m and 15m in any mode combination. That was perfect, we could use the openings at maximum. We also worked FT8 mode either together with CW or SSB or at the band opening/closing when the signals were too weak for other modes. We had good propagation to EU and AS, but NA and SA suffered due the hillock west of our QTH. As we were receiving the first complaints about the low number of QSOs to NA we realized that it was a problem. We had less than 5% of QSO to W. We tried to call specific CQ to NA every afternoon, but undisciplined stations from EU (including many OKs) made our work difficult. In the afternoon a tidal flow higher than before had come. The 160m vertical stood in the water although we thought we had placed it out of the highest surf, but it held up for the time being. The 30m 4SQ was much worse. Three masts have fallen down. There was a lot of garbage like plastic bags, ropes or branches entangled in our radials and guy-wires. We had to pull them out of the water and clean everything up. The next day we wanted to find a safer place for it. We checked the 160m vertical at low tide in the evening, but it seemed that the mast survived without any damage. Unfortunately we couldn’t say the same about the radials. Some were even gone, some were so entangled that they couldn’t be loosened any more. Fortunately the salt water itself renders a good ground so the loss of some radials didn’t play that big role.

Tuesday September 25th
We worked from 160 to 30m at night, but the bands behaved very strangely. There was always a period of about two hours when all bands were closed. Karel OK2ZI with Luďek OK2ZC watched the greyline to W and JA in order not to miss any DX window on 160m and 80m. This definitely paid off and we logged DXs on both lower bands. As soon as the conditions in the morning allowed, we moved to higher bands, but there had been similar dropouts as on the lower ones. We also looked for a new place for our 30m 4SQ, but there was no safe free place within the property so we put it up behind the fence. There was an opening even on 10m this day. We logged the first 250 QSOs on this band. At about 2 pm David, OK6DJ and Pavel, OK1GK moved to 30m and 40m to give W6/W7 stations a chance via long path as FH is very far for them and hard to work with. The predicted highest tide of the season was coming. The sea level got about 4m higher. It was close to the edge of the bay. It brought a lot of branches and garbage. The base of the 160m vertical was still holding up, but it was completely under water and all radials were gone. We had to rebuild it. We shortly discussed whether to move it to a safe place off the sea or just to replace the ground radials by two elevated ones and leave the vertical at the optimal place on the beach. We had chosen the latter solution, although it meant that we would have to roll up the radials every morning after the end of the activity on 160m and stretch them out in the evening when the traffic started again. We hoped it would work otherwise we would have to move it, although it might have been difficult to find a suitable place.

Wednesday September 26th
The vertical with the elevated radials seemed to work. We made further contacts on the topband. In the morning we rolled up the radials and left them at the vertical base. Although they were at about 2m we didn’t want to leave the wires stretched over the day due to people walking across the beach. This procedure became routine till the end of the expedition. The propagation was quite good on this day considering the poor solar cycle. All bands including 10m were open over the day. We made a short QRT at noon and Karel OK2ZI served another of his excellent lunches. Lunch was the only time we could rest a bit, relieve our ears of the headphones and talk shortly. We worked all night on 160m and 80m. We also tried 40m, but neither SSB nor CW worked on this band. VK2IR asked David OK6OJ for a FT8 sked on 20m. David went out to turn the antenna using his mobile phone as a torch. As he got to the mast a guy jumped out of the bushes, attacked him with a cudgel and knocked the phone out of his hand. David had been taken by surprise. He hesitated a couple of seconds what to do, but then he decided probably for the best solution. He quickly picked up the phone and ran back to the house. He managed to make the sked with VK2IR at last, but it was the first very unpleasant experience on the island. It was as if this incident was a sign of further troubles.

Thursday September 27th
Two days to the start of CQWW RTTY Contest. All antennas were tuned and ready except for the 80m vertical which was still tuned to the SSB band. We prepared two shunt pieces over the coil to shift the resonance to 3.600 MHz and 3.750 MHz respectively. The antenna was prepared for both SSB and RTTY now. The bandwidth of all verticals was amazing in this environment. We could cover 300 kHz on 80m with only two settings with the acceptable SWR, but we wanted the SWR better than 1.2 hoping that it would reduce the mutual interference. We tried to call on SSB and CW just to test it, but with no response. The landlord came in the afternoon to tell us that there would be a big party for about 100 people in the garden just among our antennas. We were astonished as nothing like this had been announced or negotiated before. It could be very dangerous for the people to move among the all guy ropes and wires. We tried to discuss with him, but to no avail. We gave up one day of the traffic as we wouldn’t be able to read weak signal in the loud music, anyway. But that was not all. Local municipal police came later to tell us that the property we had rented was actually not private land, but belonged to municipality and no antennas are allowed there without a special permit. We managed to get the contact to the responsible person at the city hall, but the communication was difficult. Eventually they referred us to the prefecture in the capital city on the other side of the island.

Friday September 28th
Early in the morning OK1FCJ and OK2ZI were getting ready to go to the city to negotiate with the prefect, but before they left an army officer had come and told us, that the 4SQ antenna behind the fence was the on the army property and must be removed immediately. We dismantled the antenna to avoid another conflict and made a simple dipole to hang on the palm tree. It was about 15m high and worked quite good, but the long path to W6/W7 in the afternoon was not possible any more. We were nervous about the result of the negotiation with the prefect. After a couple of hours the guys returned back with no result. There was a strike in front of the prefecture and nobody was working there. In the meantime the state police came up. An officer told us with broken English that the permit for building the antennas we’ve got had been issued by an unauthorized person and if we don’t get a new valid permit all antennas must be removed before Monday. In the high emergency we contacted our friend Wil F4ESV, explained to him our situation with the authorities and police and asked for advice how to proceed. Wil acted immediately. He called the local authorities and explained to them what the ham radio was about, that we posed no danger and that’s a hobby. He managed to obtain a verbal assurance that the prefecture would issue the right permit for us on Monday.

Saturday September 29th
We started the CQ WW RTTY Contest at 0000 UTC. We ran multi-two category. We began on 80m and 40m, but no response neither to our CQ nor to our calls of other stations, although we heard a lot of stations from EU and NA. They made QSOs with each other and didn’t turn their antennas to Africa. We logged just a few QSOs in the first couple of hours. Some improvement came in the morning with opening on 20m and 15m. However, even these bands didn’t last over the day. We again experienced the drop outs as in previous days. While two stations ran the RTTY the others were trying CW and SSB and even FT8 as the last resort. Before noon the garden party participants were coming and installing the music systems. It was clear that no CW nor SSB was possible any more due to high noise so it left us with the digi modes. The party lasted till night time. We were not very successful with the RTTY Contest. We left the 15m band in the evening and worked on 40m where the directions to EU and JA were open. However, we had only one thousand QSOs in the log after the first day which was much less than we had hoped. The 40m band closed about midnight. There were just a few callsigns in the log in the last couple of hours.

Sunday September 30th
We continued the futile effort in the RTTY Contest on 40m and 80m. The propagation was even worse than the day before. We were virtually unable to make a single QSO. We decided to let our PAs cool a bit and started again at 0200 UTC when the dawn comes. The situation was a bit better for us now as the big stations had made QSOs between them already and had more time to look for weak signals on the band. We changed regularly at the rig, and the others worked SSB or CW inband or on the WARC bands. In the afternoon we decided to move our multiband vertical from the beach to the hillock. We hoped that we would get better propagation to NA and that the distance about 100m from other antennas would enable to operate three stations on the same band so we would be able to run CW, SSB and FT8 or RTTY simultaneously. The multiband vertical worked well on the hillock. It was actually the same antenna Karel OK2ZI successfully had used during his holidays as 3B8/OK2ZI.

Monday October 1st
The propagation got better on the lower bands in the night on Monday. We logged further W stations on the topband. As we made only about two thousands contacts in the CQWW RTTY Contest we decided to continue RTTY in the following days. We all were nervous about the result of Wil’s negotiations with the local authorities. We called him after the breakfast and he informed us that all was still in progress. The municipal police appeared again. We told them that the things were being resolved. They called Wil who was trying to explain all details to them. To make things even worse, a woman from the neighborhood came up and complained about our beverage antenna in her banana grove. It was very hard to talk to her as she spoke neither French nor English. We used our arms and legs to communicate. Eventually we agreed on a “bribe” 100,- euro to settle the thing. She left apparently satisfied. We continued running on 20m, 17m and 15m. After the lunch we took a couple of group pictures for the media and returned back to our stations. There were over four thousand QSOs in the log. It was not bad, but still less than we had expected if we took into account the number of antennas and rigs. We couldn’t do any better, though. It is simply too far from FH to any other part of the world and the propagation was not good.

Tuesday October 2nd
The resolution of our legal situation came (unexpectedly) on Tuesday. First, another inspector arrived. It was a higher secret service officer with two army interpreters. They again checked all our documents and made copies of our passports. Fortunately we were prepared for a situation like this. We had a lot of color copies of all documents to give away. Karel OK2ZI and Peter OK1FCJ spoke with the officers over an hour, but the result was uncertain. They left us eventually promising to give us further information later. We were really nervous as we felt that this might have been the decisive moment. It would be a big disappointment to have to finish the expedition prematurely. Fortunately Karel received an SMS after an hour which said that the situation had been explained to the mayor, our documents were OK and we could continue our expedition. They even wished us success in our efforts. That called for a drink. We QRX for a while and opened a bottle of good rum. We drank to the success of the expedition, but after a while we were back at our stations.

Wednesday October 3rd
The operation continued routinely. OK2ZI and OK2ZC did their best on 160m and 80m, Petr OK1BOA on 20m and 40m. When the propagation didn’t allow SBB any more he switched to FT8 and went on till the bands closed. Only after that he got some sleep. OK1GK (who usually didn’t operate at night) got up almost at the same time. We had an opening on 17m and 15m in the morning and on 12m and 10m in the afternoon. After the lunch we shortly discussed the process and order of dismantling antennas and stations. We worked out a detailed plan of which stations would be dismantled on Friday and which would run till Saturday morning. The last antennas had to be easy to take down as we were leaving for the airport on Saturday at 11 am.

Thursday October 4th
The last day of the full scale operation. The night shift went to bed early morning. There were a couple of new contacts on the lower bands in log. The day shift consisting of OK2ZA, OK1GK and OK6DJ started on 30m before closing and then continued on 20m, 17m, 15m and 12m. 20m band was working very well today, but other bands were poor. It just confirmed our experience from the previous days. Much more frustrating was that tens of stations were running FT8 although their signals up to S5 would be good for brisk CW or SSB. We were calling CW and SSB and selfspotted us in the DX cluster but to no avail. After ten empty minutes we switched back to FT8 and we got a pile-up almost immediately. A nice surprise had come in the afternoon. After the poor morning when we made less than a thousand QSOs the higher bands opened again. We ran on 10m/12m/15m/17m simultaneously with all six stations of ours. Even the reserve station equipped only with TS480 (200 W) without PA had a good CW pile-ups. The number of QSOs was increasing rapidly. The 20m band stayed open longer than usually and we had a good propagation to W at long last. If the propagation like this had been every day….We were looking forward to the night as we hoped that the propagation on the lower bands would be better, too. We started the night on 80m and we were not disappointed. We logged a lot of EU stations including OKs who couldn’t hear us in the days before.

Friday October 5th
The propagation was really good at night. The night shift went to bed in the morning. A “big bag” of stations was in the log on 160m including about 40 stations from USA. The propagation on 80m and 40m was also very good. The rest of the team started to dismantle the antennas according to the carefully prepared plan. We began with 40m 4SQ. We packed 3 verticals and all phasing lines, but we left one vertical in place to have a 40m antenna for the last night. We completely took down the 160m and 80m verticals then as it did not make any sense to run on these bands without RX antennas. We packed the beverage and DHDL in the afternoon. We “enjoyed” the work outside as it was 35 degrees in the shade. As the higher bands closed toward evening we also packed 12m VDA and two Spiderbeams. We worked on the 20m, 30m and 40m in the night until midnight when our license had expired. It was over. We sent final QRT to all media and definitively switched off the station. There were a total of 47.619 QSOs in the log.

Saturday October 6th
Part of the team went to bed after midnight, the rest was packing up all the stuff in the cases and trunks. We dismantled the last antennas at dawn; the 40m vertical, Spiderbeam and 17m VDA from the beach and finally the 30m dipole from the palm tree. We also rolled up a couple of hundred meters of coaxial cables, guy-ropes and control cables into two big trunks. The stackmatches and other accessories ended up in another one. We were done at 10am, all packed and wrapped. We had one hour to our cab arrival, but it was late by about 45 minutes. We started to get a little nervous, but all went smoothly then and there were no further delays on the way. We were at the airport 3 hours before the departure. Although we spent over an hour with check-in, there were no serious problems with our baggage and after 4 pm we took off in the direction of Nairobi.

Sunday October 7th
Although the night in the armchairs at the familiar Turkish Airlines lounge was not very comfortable, most of us still got some sleep. After breakfast we went to the gate and boarded the flight to Paris. It took off and arrived on time. We had an hour and a half to get to the flight to Vienna, but an unexpected problem cropped up. The boarding machine refused to give us boarding passes and sent us to the transfer desk. That was a bad sign. The clerk at the desk said that although he could see our tickets properly booked and paid in the global reservation system they were not in the Air France local system. They were searching for a solution, but it took them so long that the flight to Vienna was gone. We agreed on a plan B. We split in two groups. The first party would take a flight to Prague now and the rest would fly to Vienna in the morning. But before we managed to rebook the flight to Prague the airplane was gone, too. Fortunately there was another flight to Prague at 9 pm and so OK1BOA, OK1GK a OK6DJ could depart eventually. OK1FCJ, OK2ZA, OK2ZC and OK2ZI had to spend the night in Paris, though.

Monday October 8th
This log entry wouldn’t be here if the things went as they should have, but Air France decided otherwise. The foursome departed from Paris in the morning. All our baggage were supposed to be on this flight, but only six pieces arrived to Vienna. The same situation as when we arrived from the previous DXpedion in 5T. All they could do was to write a complaint. They all traveled from Vienna by a van to the QTH of Ruda OK2ZA and then further home by their cars. The DXpedition was over. BTW the lost baggage had been found in Hamburg (where it was sent by Air France) and didn’t arrive until Thursday.

What to say at the end? It was a really good expedition. Although we didn’t reach our secret dream 50000 QSOs we got close to it. It was partly due to our QTH closed to NA direction, partly bad propagation in the context with the current phase of the solar cycle and also the limitations caused by the “garden party” at our QTH and problems with the local authorities. We might have chosen the wrong strategy when we ran the CQ WW RTTY Contest in the multi-two category. Of course we won the contest in FH, but it was counterproductive from the number of QSOs point of view. On the other hand we can be satisfied with our rig and antennas. Everything worked perfect. No need to take out the spare TRX. All antennas worked also very well, although we spent more time with moving and rebuilding than we expected. There was no industrial QRM at all (very positive!), the 230V mains was strong and stable. We had only one little 15 minutes blackout which was very good for Africa.
We’d like to thank all stations for the QSOs, all sponsors (we wouldn’t be able to realize such DXpedion at all without them) and the last but not least we thank Wil F4ESV for his help in the critical moment of dealing with the local authorities. We’re looking forward to our next Dxpedion. There will be one for sure….but where?

Summary
Total number of QSOs: 47619

Modes: CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8, PSK (detail statistics at https://clublog.org/charts/?c=TO6OK#r)
Rig: 4x Elecraft K3, 1x TS480, 1x TS590SG
Antennas:
160m – vertical with capacitance hat, mast 18m based on Spiderbeam rod, two elevated tuned radials
80m – vertical 18m based on Spiderbeam rod, 10 ground radials
40m – 4SQ 12m based on Spiderbeam rods, 16 ground radials at each vertical + multiband vertical
30m – 4SQ based on 10m DX-wire rods, 10 ground radials at each vertical, later dipole @15m + multiband vertical
20m – 10m – 3 x Spiderbeam, 5band yagi + multiband vertical
17m – VDA on the beach based on 15m DX-wire rod
12m – VDA on the beach based on 15m DX-wire rod
RX antennas – DHDL for JA, 240m beverage to NA and EU

Categories: Northwest Clubs

MicroHAMS Club Meeting Tuesday, November 20th at 6:00 PM

MicroHAMs Amateur Radio Club - Sun, 11/18/2018 - 1:14pm
CANCELLED: MicroHAMS Club Meeting   Tuesday, November 20th at 6:00 PM

Location: Building 35/4561  Map:  https://www.bing.com/search?q=microsoft+building+35

LTspice – circuit simulation Dennis, W7??, will discuss LTspice and give a demonstration Ham Help

If you don’t know everything about amateur radio yet, that’s OK. As a club, we have a broad spectrum of interests and experiences. Please feel free to ask questions at this part of the meeting. With 20 hams, there’s bound to be 40 different answers!

Access

146.58 MHz FM simplex will be monitored for anyone who needs help finding the site or for access to the building. (Monitoring is done with handhelds, so range is limited.)

SECURITY NOTE: Anyone who does not have their own Microsoft badge for unescorted access to Microsoft buildings MUST be escorted into Building 35 and conference room 4561 by a badged MicroHAMS member. Do NOT under any circumstances attempt to “tag” onto or “tailgate” Microsoft employees entering the building. Please congregate about five – ten minutes before the meeting outside the lobby entrance on the south side of the building.  If you have a Microsoft badge, please check outside the front entrance for other club members who need to be escorted.

MicroHAMS meetings are open to club members, those interested in joining the club (see club membership policy at http://www.microhams.com), and guests of club members.

Categories: Northwest Clubs

Contest Activity Report for November 2018

Western Wash DX Club - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 9:47am

The weeks running from the end of October through November has some of the most interesting and enjoyable contests of the year for SSB and CW ops..  Domestically, there are ARRL Sweeps and worldwide, of course, are the CQWW SSB/CW events (no ‘dis to the diddlers).

Here’s what your fellow Club members have been up to (when they weren’t working Ducie):

 

CQWW SSB

Call    QSOs    Zones    Countries    OpTime    Score

M/S HP

KZ1W    1080     99        226         36       815,425

K7RI     591     33        105        ~15       224,388

N7BV     270     54        125         19.25    132,997

KA7LJQ   278     50         99                  115,475

 

M/S LP

K7SS     386     74        148         19       222,666

 

SO(A)AB HP

N7RVD    234     48         85         12        85,386

 

SO(A)AB LP

W7OM     260     65         98                   113,611

K7VAP     96     36         41                    19,558

 

SOAB HP

K7RL    2401    112        272         41      2,276,352

N7ZG     878     89        198         38        641,445

KD7H      80     27         31                    12,934

K7EKD     59     30         40                    10,570

 

SOSB160 HP

K7CW      20      9         11                       880

 

SOSB40 HP

W7WA    1457     36        101                   556,220

 

 

CQWW, SSB Soapbox

 

KD7H  I appreciated the operators who were interested in quality, and not necessarily quantity, by taking the time to be certain they had my call and zone correct.

 

I don’t really like phone contests, but I hung in there as long as I could.

 

                                    *****

 

N7BV  Surprised at the EU openings on 20 and 15m. Thanks to everyone for QSO’s, much appreciated.

 

                                    *****

 

KZ1W  Very bad noise on 40 & 80. Plus an Asian BC station splattering the 40m band. 15 to SA was useful. Nothing heard on 10. 20m openings were good. 40 to EU was super difficult, marginal conditions and aluminum wall east coast.

 

                                    *****

 

K7SS  Good fun here at the bottom of the cycle in the best DX contest of them all.

 

Saturday night was especially fun, one eye on the World Series game, and one on the low bands.

 

Thanks to KK7PW for joining the neighborhood Multi op.

 

                                    *****

 

K7CW  Poor conditions for us except for OK7K who blasted through.

 

 

                                    *****

 

 

K7RL   First full-time SOAB HP effort since 2015. Back then 10m and 15m were very much in play – ah, the good old days. This year, I knew it would mostly be a 20m and 40m event and was not disappointed. I’ll summarize the weekend using a classic Clint Eastwood movie title: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

 

80M and 160M

It was great to hear EU come back on the low bands. 160m and 80m were alive with signals from ES, OM, DL, SP, OK, I, and RP (no northern EU at all, which was strange). Zone 33/35 was also very active and fairly easy to work. Special mention goes to OK7K, who was a beacon on 160m the entire contest.

 

The bad part is most couldn’t hear me. Worked OK7K and DR1A on 160m, but heard and didn’t work at least 6 other EU countries. Major bummer.

 

The ugly part is it was the same scenario on 80m. Heard and tried to work at least 10 EU stations, but none could hear me despite their signal a true S7 to S9. In hindsight, that was the most disappointing part of the contest. I felt like a SWL. Major bummer times two.

 

40M

Good signals from EU, JA and the rest of Asia all weekend. Caribbean and SA were loud. Nice JA runs both nights, with Saturday morning being the better of the two.

 

Unfortunately, no EU runs – bummer. Never heard a peep from northern EU, and very few below 7.100 worked split. Double and triple bummer.

 

40m was bursting at the seams. I’d classify this as ugly, but obvious. I mean really, where else is the entire world supposed to go when the high bands close early? Oh yeah, and if the U.S. wants to work the world, we all have to basically occupy a space between 7.128 and 7.200 on SSB. What could possibly go wrong?

 

 

10M, 15M and 20M

Felt like any activity on 10m and 15m was a bonus. 15m was surprisingly good compared to how dead it sounded leading up to the contest. Had some short JA runs, which was a plus. Zone 33/35 guys were very strong and D4C was a beacon all weekend on every band (except 10m, right?). 20m featured solid JA and EU runs both days, with Saturday being the better of the two.

 

Unfortunately, 10m never opened anywhere beyond my backyard. If it did open for 2 nanoseconds, I missed the window. No zone 14 or 15 on 15m, and even though I tried to frequently check, the 20m run to EU during the window of opportunity was crazy and required my full attention, so maybe I missed it, but I don’t think so.

 

Predictably, 20m was a zoo. Ugly SSB splatter was a major issue and forced me to reacquaint myself with every possible filter variation my rig had to offer. Layers of stations on the same frequency or very close by only added to the chaos.

 

Summary

 

All-in-all, a fun contest with the added challenge of operating during a solar minimum. Thanks to all for the Qs, and everyone that travelled to exotic locations to make it that much more exciting for the rest of us.

 

                                    *****

 

K7RI   M2 KT34M2 antennas NOT working on 15 meters due to high SWR issues. This was, in effect, a 20 meter monoband effort. Antennas play well on 20 but resonate out of the band on 15 and also exceed the specs on 10 meters. Huge disappointment for brand new antennas! After more than 2 months, no solution has been forthcoming from M2.

 

                                    *****

 

N7RVD    Much slower slog than most years. I quite after 12 hours. Only the loudest stations had ears. Dupe. Dupe. Dupe. I hope for better luck in CW SS this weekend.

 

                                    *****

 

N7ZG   Interesting DX calling in make this contest fun: Z32VL, OD5YA, E44WE, YJ0CA    Found in Pileups:  5H3MB, XT2SZZ

 

Heard OK7K on 160M really loud but unable to work him.

 

Not much JA on 15M. Not really much on 20/40.

 

Had some fun runs to EU on 20M.

 

In general, propagation is down this year on all bands.

 

 

ARRL Sweeps, CW

Call          QSOs    Sections    Op Time    Score

 

Multi-Op HP

K7RI           849       79        ~22.5     134,142

 

Single Op HP

K7RL          1190       82         24       195,160

N7WA          1017       81         23       164,754

WC7Q           599       82         11        98,236

KX7L           206       68          6        28,016

 

Single Op LP

W7OM           535       81                   86,670

W6OAT          513       74         09:20     75,924

K7SS           454       78          9        70,824

N6KW            28       16                      896

 

SO Unlimited HP

W7VXS          171       81          8        27,702

 

 

ARRL Sweeps, CW Soapbox

 

KX7L   Had a hard time getting a run started on Saturday afternoon on 20, but things were a lot better later in the evening and the next day. Thanks for all the QSO’s!

 

                                    *****

 

WC7Q   Band conditions were pretty good with more activity than I have seen in a long time. Missed a clean sweep by not finding a Virgin Island station. Fun contest.

 

                                    *****

 

N6KW   Hit-or-miss, HamStick dipole on apartment balcony in West Seattle. Thanks and 73 to the tenacious ops who dug my signal out of the noise!

 

                                    *****

 

K7RL   First full-time SS effort in a number of years. Oddly, this is also my first full-time CW bravo entry. Nothing like jumping head first into the deep end of the pool to see what happens. As it turned out, the water was warm at the beginning, and got down right chilly towards the end.

 

Had fun using Contest Online Scoreboard. Was neck and neck with AA3B and K5ZD. Unfortunately, when the final bell rang, I was one multiplier short of a sweep. Costly. Missed VI. I heard NP3X moving up 20m working guys S&P, but could never get his attention. Read he was QRP, which explains the weaker signal.

 

Almost missed VY1AAA. Heard him warming up before the test when he was 599+20. When I finally found him at the bottom of 20m late Sunday afternoon, he was piss weak with flutter.

 

There were a few stations I had to abandon after getting an initial call. If that was you, and you’re reading this, I sincerely apologize. I don’t like to give up on anyone, but we could have spent a ridiculous amount of time piecing together the long exchange. Hopefully, we worked later on.

 

Some very interesting CW tones out there. If CW could be sent with a heavy accent, I think these would qualify. At times it felt like a test to see if I could decrypt the exchange. Love it.

 

Congratulations to those big scorers. Thanks to all for the Qs, and especially the casual guys that got on to help out.

 

                                    *****

 

K7SS      Much like a school reunion, hearing and working so many familiar calls from years of Sweepstakes. Recall doing my first one with all the novice KN7 boys, with no VFOs, just a few crystals, paper and pencil, and hand keys.

 

Geomagnetic storm held off til the last few hours, mercifully, which made for good conditions.

 

Nice to hear many CK 49,s in honor of Paul W0AIH.

 

Thanks to all for a fun CW Sweepstakes.

 

                                    *****

 

N7WA   After decades of trying to break 1000 Q’s as a low power entry, and watching my totals go down each year, I decided to break with tradition and enter as a high power entry. However, I did not feel comfortable running a second radio in a HP environment. Maybe ater.

 

I probably started on the wrong band – 15M. It started off well but petered out pretty quick. I don’t think the band deteriorated, just ran out of people. They were all on 20M which where I then had to establish myself.

 

I like participating on the online scoreboards in domestic tests. I knew I was in trouble when I saw Mitch K7RL also signup for my category. Of course, there was no competition between Mitch and myself, but I enjoyed watching him battle AA3B and K5ZD. Mitch started out on top and stayed there until east coast dark. The 3 stations switched positions quite often for a while. In the end, I think the east coast population advantage on the low bands was too much to overcome (plus they found that one last mult). I was also watching when the scoreboard showed multi-op station N0AX click over to 84 mults. (Something fishy going on in Missouri)

 

The Sunday doldrums seemed a bit easier with high power. Instead of 10-15Q hours, I would have 30Q hours. I did a bunch of S&P looking for the last two elusive mults (NT and VI) but no dice. I was agitated, as usual, about EWA. Couldn’t find them on 80/40M Saturday night or Sunday morning. Instead, two found me on 20M later Sunday. At the end of the test, I gave a few calls on 80M just to see what would pop up, my last Q was with an EWA station for a total of 3.

 

Speaking of 80M, one of the goals of Sweeps this year was to really test out the new 80 Delta loop. I put it up for IARU but didn’t have a 4:1 balun. I made a quickly coaxial transformer using 75ohm coax and it worked ok but I finally got the 4:1 balun hooked up the week before Sweeps. Very nice. I also tightened up the low horizontal portion of the loop and lowered the lowest SWR point to 3550kHz. I had no problem working anybody and it’s been a while since I broke 100 Q’s on 80. (yah, 1000watts doesn’t hurt either).

 

I am still amazed at all the checks in the 50’s and 60’s. (I know how old I am and my check is 72.) It was fun and the rainy weather provided no incentive to go outside. It was also the first test of my new homebrew desk in the shack. All in all, a decent and fun Sweeps.

 

                                    *****

 

K7RI   CW Sweepstakes is a lot of fun. This year’s contest was no exception. Our score was down because we didn’t have a 40-meter antenna – only operated on 15, 20 and 80 meters. Conditions better than expected: 20 played well and 15 was okay while it lasted. We did better on 80 this year than in previous years but deep slow QSB made it difficult to copy exchanges from weak stations. We didn’t make a clean sweep this year. Never heard NNY, PR, VI or NL. Thanks to everyone who called and/or worked us. And thanks to K7ZQ, K7DSE and W7UDH for a job well done.

 

 

Categories: Northwest Clubs

November 2018 Meeting Minutes

Snoqualamie Valley Amateur Radio Club - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 9:00am
Snoqualmie Valley Amateur Radio Club Meeting Minutes for November 1, 2018 Business Meeting called to order 6:15 p.m. Duvall Fire Station #66 by Ralph Lease, KC7QXD. 19 members and guests present for business and/or Elmer session: Robin Amundson, Larry Backstrom,...
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Categories: Northwest Clubs
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