June 2019 – Sporadic E 6m/2m

Seasonally 50 MHz was open every day within Europe. In addition, there were some very short band openings to Africa, Asia and North America. Towards the US and Canada, the terrain of my QTH rises to 10 degrees elevation, so at all only two stations from Canada have been heard and worked.

In total, five new DXCC entities could be added on 50 MHz in June: 9G2HO (Ghana), 9M2TO (West Malaysia), J69DS (St. Lucia), SU1SK (Egypt) and VU2NKS (India).

New ones received on FT8-Mode while I was not in shack were 4S7AB (Sri Lanka), YI6ATT (Iraq) and BA7IO (China) – what a pitty! Hope to get them soon!

Worked stations on 50 MHz – June 2019
Top 10 distances on 50 MHz – June 2019

144 MHz ES was a big disappointment, just one opening from here on June 16. Unfortunately, all activity apparently concentrated on 144,174 MHz and FT8-Mode, what a waste of time! In such short openings it would have been easy to work many stations in SSB or CW, but FT8 is definately the wrong mode. Unfortunately, no station was heard in CW or SSB.
Just heard in FT8-Mode, mostly for only one periode: RA3EL (KO82), UR3UK KN59), RX3QFM (KO91) and UA3QC (KO91).

10-Band-DXCC .. My Nightmare

Having been licensed for over 45 years now, I thought it would be time to apply for the 5-Band DXCC with several Stickers, alltogether 160m to 6m. Well, most of the required DXCC’s were already confirmed via the Logbook of the World. The last missing cards were requested by letter and received in most cases sooner or later. These were then, together with the Application, sent to a German ARRL Field Checker in April 2018. He checked fast, the cards came back quickly and he forwarded the paperwork to the ARRL in Newington USA. There everything was then processed in May 2018 and the 5-Band DXCC and Stickers for 160/30/17/12 and 6m were marked as issued. So far – so good.

Time goes by .. Beginning of September 2018 I asked ARRL about my application. Yes, it was there but ARRL planning a new Design for the 5B-DXCC and nobody could say how long that would take. And it took until February 09, 2019 when he parcel arrived – 10 long month after I send my Application to the Field Checker. If you think the story is over now, unfortunately not.

The new 5B-DXCC consists of a modern designed acrylic plate, to which a golden stripe with callsign and name is affixed, as well as the round band Stickers, which are also affixed to it. No date, no number anymore – incredible! Unfortunately, all the stickers were loveless oblique and crooked glued, such as price tags on goods. I did not want to accept this, sent some photos to the ARRL and they assured me a new plaque. This came in early May – and – oh no – the sticker for 6m was missing again. So another email and last but not least, this arrived in early June.

Now, 14 month after the application, the 10-band DXCC with all the stickers hangs on the wall and waits for the last, the 144 MHz sticker to finally finish it.

(Picture to follow soon)

May 2019 – Sporadic E 6m/2m

After some first shorter ES openings on 50 MHz in April, the May of course was seasonally better. Several very long and very wide band openings across Europe were the result.
On 24.05.2019 my signal was heard from JR6FC (Okinawa) and DS4EIO (South Korea) in FT8, unfortunately both were not on the radios.

In total, six new DXCC entities could be worked in May: E31A (Eritrea), FG8OJ (Guadeloupe), TR8CA (Gabon), TY2AC (Benin), TZ4AM (Mali) and UN7AM (Kazakhstan).

Worked stations on 50 MHz – May 2019
Top 10 distances on 50 MHz – May 2019

On May 24, 2019 was the first opening on 144 MHz to the east from here. Unfortunately, only RA6C was heard and worked for about two minutes. Stations from the Ruhr area and southern Germany had a big advantage and a longer opening.
Another opening on 144 MHz was on May 29, 2019. Again, unfortunately only two stations were heard and worked. And again, stations in the Ruhr area and southern Germany had a big advantage and they had several contacts to EA8, CN and 7X.

TR8CA (Gabon) – 2m EME & 6m Es

Alain, TR8CA, from Libreville / Gabon, has been active via EME for quite some time with a single Yagi and 500 W output on 144 MHz. Several times I had received him in the past, but due to propagation and the small EME equipment on both sides, we never completed. On May 10, 2019 everything fit together and also Faraday was cooperative. With reports -23 dB send / -25 dB received another single Yagi – single Yagi QSO and of course a new DXCC #85 on 2m could be logged.

May 16, 2019 was another day with good sporadic E. It is just the beginning of this year’s season and already in the early afternoon stations from 9K2, A41 and EK could be worked. At 17:21 the signal from TR8CA popped in at 50 MHz. The QSO over a distance of 5,640 km (3 Hop Es) was easy and a new country #108 also on 6m. Great fun and many thanks to Alain for the quick confirmation via LotW!

QSO with K1JT

Today K1JT, Dr. Joe Taylor, Nobel Prize Winner and father of the WSJT Software Package, showed up on 17m in FT8 mode. It was just a short and “digital” contact but very glad to meet this great personality and Radio Amateur on the band.

ARRL DXCC Challenge Award arrived

After waiting for almost exactly 4 months, the postman has finally delivered the long-awaited parcel today: Mail from the ARRL Headquater in Newington, USA, my DXCC-Challenge-Plaque with Endorsement 2.000.

2018_Challenge2000As the name says, this is plaque is a real challenge and a hardcore Award for the dedicated HF-Radio Amateur. The DXCC Challenge Award is given for worked and confirmed at least 1,000 DXCC band-entities on any amateur bands, 160 through 6 meters (except 60 meters). It’s a massive wooden plate with a blue-gold-etched plate on top. The Endorsement 2,000 means  an average of 200 confirmed DXCC Entities on every of those 10 bands.

To reach all these band points countless hours in front of the station were required but it was no less tough to get the necessary confirmations. Thanks to the help of the Logbook Of The World, things have become a bit easier in recent years. It would be nice if all stations finally could use this opportunity.

Next stop wants to be 2,500 – that might take a while and it’s great to have a next step in DXing.

Christmas Presents

The weather before Christmas was quiet and suitable for maintaining antennas. So I improved the matching of my 160m inverted L-antenna to get some more DXCC entities during the days off. Conditions on Top-Band were very good at a K-index of 1 and the signals, especially from Asia, were very loud in times. The following 6 new countries have been logged: Mozambique (C93PA), Azores (CU3EQ), Mongolia (JT1CO), South Korea (HL5IVL), Taiwan (BV1AP), Mexico (XE1TD). Also four new Zones for 160m WAZ (03 / 06 / 23 / 37) and seven new US-States for the 160m WAS were worked: Arkansas (K5GO), California (K6RW), Colorado (K0RF), Michigan (K8TLC), Minnesota (K0TT), Montana (KM7W) and Utah (WA7LNW). It was interesting to see how the terminus of the greyline correlated with the higher signal strengths (see picture).

2017-12-24_160_JATalking about 2m I concentrated to EME during the days between Christmas and New Year. The moon was in good position with low degradation and finally 43  initial callsigns, several new WW-locator and two new DXCC entities found the way into the log. After several tries I was very happy to work Ricardo, LU7FA, on Dec. 27 for DXCC #67 and Bing, YC2MDU, on Dec. 31, 2017 for DXCC #68. It is interesting to mention that LU7FA has just 2 antennas and YC2MDU using just 400 W output. Two great belated Christmas gifts and a happy ending 2017.

VK0EK QSL arrived

What a surprise when I looked into the mailbox today! The colourful VK0EK QSL-card arrived directly from the british manager. Now all of my 336 DXCC’s are confirmed by card.

vk0ek

Heard Island – new DXCC #336

On March 25, 2016 I worked VK0EK Heard Island on 17m CW for an alltime new DXCC #336 out of the actual total of 339. Despite the huge pile-ups I was able to work them later also in SSB and on other bands.

vk0ek