Thursday, June 29, 2006

Montenegro - the latest DXCC country

The ARRL's DXCC Desk has announced the Montenegro counts for a new DXCC entity, from 28th June, 2006 at 0001.

A new prefix is expected in due course.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Getting ready to work GB5HQ?

During the weekend of 8/9th July, the IARU HF Championship will take place. In that contest, there's a section for Headquarters stations. The UK will be represented by GB5HQ. Stations spread around the country will cover all bands 160-10m on both CW and SSB.

You're encouraged to work them on as many bands and modes as possible. All stations will be networked, so you'll most likely receive information on what frequencies to find the station.

For more details about GB5HQ, check out their excellent website.

Awards will be available for working GB5HQ.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

CQ5FOUR heard via MS this morning

E-mail sent to the CQ5FOUR group this morning.


Just to let you know that I was delighted to hear the CQ5FOUR beacon for the first time this morning. It must have been MS rather than Es as it was only there for about 30 seconds at around 0814z. RX was FT847 (not good RX) and a 1/2 wave vertical. Locator is IO91GQ.

I look forward to working some or all of the group on 70MHz when the band is open.

73, Tim, G4VXE

50MHz open to Scandinavia -24th June

I found 50MHz open to Scandinavia around 1830z on the 24th June. First QSO was with OH5TS in KP30. OH7PI was heard calling for DX, so I didn't call him, but it looks like he was in KP32. OH7NJ was heard at the same time, from KP33. I also worked OH3BHL (KP10) and SM0TSC (JO99).

Interestingly, at the same time, an EA7 station was heard calling CQ DX, so I suspect there were some multi-hop Es paths around and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the OHs managed to work into EA7 and the surrounding area.

Some broadcast FM was heard on 70MHz around the same time, but no amateur signals detected whilst I was listening.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

FT847 Transmit Audio

Ths morning, chatting to Geoff, G3NAQ on 70MHz, he mentioned that my TX audio wasn't that great. I remembered a while ago, testing a 432MHz antenna and I had the FT847 balanced precariously on top of a PSU I had a similar report.

Made me wonder if these are particularly susceptible to magnetic fields from PSUs, monitors etc.

The current shack config here has the FT847 close to a monitor and a 144MHz PA (switched off!) so I did wonder whether the transformers in those might be affecting things?

Anyone else seen anything similar with an 847?

50MHz open to North America - 23rd June

Didn't get much time on the radio on Friday, as we were busy tidying out our garage/store making it ready for the things we're harvesting from the allotment over the summer.

I had 70MHz running for much of the day to see if there were any Es openings. There was a hint of European FM for a while, but nothing to speak of.

Around 1330z, I checked 50MHz and there were some strong signals from Europe calling for North America. I looked at the DX Cluster and W6JKV was QRV from V47 and making some QSOs into Europe. I couldn't hear him with the simple aerial and S7 noise level! However, I was pleased to hear K1JJ at fair strength for a few minutes.

When I was clearing out the garage I found a 5/8 wave vertical for 50MHz. It's tempting to give that a go! If I get a quiet moment....

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

RSGB 21/28MHz Contest - an announcement

Justin Snow, G4TSH, chairman of the RSGB's HF Contests Committee writes:

This is to announce the running of a modified 21/28 MHz contest on Sunday the 1st October 2006.Sorry it has taken so long to sort this out, but there have been a number of issues out side our control. Not least of these was the possibility that DARC would move the WAG contest to avoid conflict with JOTA. This we understand is not going to take place and we can confidently move the new single dual mode event.

For some time now there has been concern at the dwindling number of participants in both the CW and SSB 21/28 MHz contests. The naturally declining solar cycle, combined with the increasing popularity of the coincident Worked All Germany contest, meant that the HFCC decided to conduct a review of the continued viability of the event. This took some considerable time, as all options from continuing the status quo to cancellation were discussed.

Even when there was agreement on the way forward, the choice of date for the revised contest caused some delay, in order to avoid conflicting events such as other contests and the RSGB HF Convention. Hopefully, our choice of date will give the revamped 21/28 contest a chance to succeed, even with the unfortunate, but unavoidable, late announcement. The contest will appear on the 2007 calendar a little earlier!

Indeed the 2007 Contest calendar has been agreed and will be published on the HFCC web site soon.

The rules are as follows:

RSGB 21/28MHz Contest 2006.

Date: Sunday 1 October 2006
Time: 0700-1900UTC.
Frequencies: CW: 21000-21075, 21125-21150 and 28000-28150
SSB: 21150-21350 and 28450-29000
Entrants are requested not to operate in the sub-band 21075 - 21125kHz.Modes: CW, SSB
Exchange: RST + serial number. UK stations will also send their two-letter district code. Sections: Entries may be CW only, SSB only or mixed. Cross mode QSO's are NOT allowed
(a) UK Stations
(b) Overseas Stations
Additionally, stations may enter in one of the following categories -
(1) Open - no restriction on power or antenna
(2) Restricted - a maximum of 100 watts output and only one antenna per band, which must be a single element with a maximum height of 15m
(3) QRP - a maximum of 10 watts output, no antenna restriction
Multi-Operator entries are accepted. Stations using packet or other spotting facilities must enter as multi-operator stations.The results will be published in the form of a single list for each section, with mode and category annotated for each entrant.
Scoring: The same station may be contacted on both bands and both modes for points and multipliers.UK stations - 3 points per contact with overseas stations. Multipliers as per General Rules, except that the UK call areas do not count for multiplier or QSO point credit.Overseas stations - 3 points per contact with UK stations. Multipliers for the first contact with each UK District per band and mode (ie maximum of four multipliers for each district). Overseas stations may only work UK stations. A list of UK Districts is available at -
Closing date for logs: to be e-mailed or postmarked by Monday 16th October 2006. E-mail entries should be sent to
Awards: Certificates of merit to the overall highest-scoring station in each section (UK, Overseas) on each mode CW, SSB, Mixed). Additionally, a certificate to the highest-scoring station in each of the Open, Restricted, QRP and Multi-Operator categories in each section and on each mode, subject to there being a minimum of three competitors for any certificate. A maximum of one award per entrant.The T.E. Wilson G6VQ Trophy to overall leading UK single operator using CW only. The Whitworth Trophy to the leading UK single operator using SSB only. The Powditch Trophy to the UK single operator achieving the highest score on 28MHz regardless of mode.

Results of the 2005 Oceania DX Contest

Brian Miller, ZL1AZE writes...

Hello everyoneThe report and full results for the 2005 Oceania DX Contest are now availableon-line at . The W4TI Cabrillo Tools log checkingreport for each entry will also be published on the web site in due course.

CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners in the 2005 Oceania DX Contest. Of specialnote is the outstanding performance of VK6DXI who again wins the OceaniaSingle-Op All Band category in both the PHONE and CW sections. JA7NVF is alsonoted for producing a high score which is more than twice that of other stationsoutside the Single-Op All Band PHONE category.

Overall, activity was down from that experienced in 2004 - there were 12% fewerlogs submitted in 2005 compared with 2004. The reduced activity can be largelyattributed to the poorer conditions on the high as we approach the bottom of thecurrent sunspot cycle. Hopefully we will start to see an improvement in activityover the next year or two as the solar flux starts to climb again.

The 70th Oceania DX contest will be held on the first two weekends of October2006 as follows:PHONE: 0800 UTC Saturday 7 October to 0800 UTC Sunday 8 OctoberCW: 0800 UTC Saturday 14 October to 0800 UTC Sunday 15 OctoberThe rules for the 2006 contest are similar to those for 2005, and are publishedon the Oceania DX Contest web site at that there are several new awards bring offered to entrants in the 2006contest.

Thank you to the members of the Oceania DX Contest Committee who managed thevarious tasks for the 2005 contest. This is a huge effort, involving around 200hours of time from the Committee volunteers. We are also very grateful for thesupport provided by Bruce Lifter W4TI, NZART, WIA and the sponsors of thevarious awards.Finally and most importantly, thank you to everyone who participated in the 2005contest and made it such a success. We look forward to seeing you all again,along with new entrants, in the 2006 event. Let's hope for some betterconditions and make it the biggest and best Oceania DX Contest ever!

73 fromOceania DX Contest Committee (ZL1AZE, VK3TZ, ZL3GA, ZL2BSJ, VK4UC, VK2FHN,VK6DXI, VK1JDX, VK4EMM, VK2CZ, VK2AYD)

Scandinavia on 50MHz

A good start to the day. Popped into the shack around 0710z and noticed a little weak Es on 70MHz (broadcast) so dropped down to 50MHz to find OH5TS and SM3JGG on CW. Worked them both. OZ9PP was loud and calling someone else and I heard an SM6 on SSB.

OZs on 70MHz - Monday

Some reports from Monday of OZ stations being worked on both SSB and FM from the UK, actually most of the reports came from Scotland and Northern England. Several Danish stations worked on 70.450 FM from a variety of locators.

Naturally, I didn't have 70MHz on that day!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

GW to SV5 on 70MHz

Just a quick postscript to the weekend's activities on four.

I read that Daran, 2W0CDJ had worked into SV5 on 70.2 around 1300z on Sunday, so there was obviously some propagation about. Nice contact - and probably a bit far for my 8w to a vertical, but you never know!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Four metres - no CT, but the receiver's working...

And you can never be too sure with the FT847! I didn't hear any sign of the CT beacon on four today though. Plenty of PMR ticking away through the day and also, when I was passing through the shack there was an M0 calling CQ on 70.200 - so the receiver's working ok!

There was some sporadic E around. I drove up to the allotment around 1400z and 29MHz FM was buzzing with German stations and I could hear the SM and HB9 repeaters too. Thinking about it, that probably implies the MUF wasn't that high. When you start hearing the GMs or PAs on 29MHz, you know that the MUF is getting higher!

Will keep listening in the week. It's nice to have something to aim for!

5MHz Extension news awaited

Those of you in the UK will probably be aware that we have had access to parts of the 5MHz band by special permits. The permits run out in July, but it's rumoured that we'll get an extension and that we may have some additional frequencies to play with.

I gather we may hear some news in the next week or so.

I should really get back on 5MHz, it's a nice band....

Electronic QSLs uploaded today

This morning, I've uploaded my logs as of 17/6/05 to both ARRL's Logbook of the World and eQSL. So, if you've worked me, there should be something waiting for you! If you use eQSL, there's a nice picture of our lovely village church taken by my wife, Julie on the card.

'Paper' QSLs are available via G3SWH, but I would urge you, if at all possible, to use the electronic route as it saves effort and resources, but I understand that some people do prefer a traditional QSL and I respect that.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

No CT so far - but some Es on ten

We've been out for most of the afternoon, so I'm not sure if there's been any chance to work CT on four today. I doubt it. I had the 29MHz FM on in the car and there was a Spanish station coming through around 2pm local. Later on, from home, I worked EA7KJ, in Cordoba on 28MHz CW, so there's been some Es around, but I didn't get a sense the MUF went that high.

Ah well. Tomorrow's another day!

Trying to work CT on four...

Having been playing with a blog for our 'Fiddlesticks' site, about what we grow and do here, I thought it might be fun to create an amateur radio blog as well. Might be interesting to share some of the experiences I have on the air. We'll see.

Anyway, this weekend's project, apart from planting up the strawberries is to try and work Portugal (CT) on 70MHz. The FT847 is sitting on 70.608 listening for the beacon and the split to 70.200 already set up. But so far, the band is quiet apart from a localish PMR on 70.6125.

In fact, no sign of any Sporadic E on 29MHz FM when we were out and about this morning.


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