ARRL International DX CW contest.


Overall the weekend had great solar conditions and huge participation worldwide. At times it was very hard to find a clear section of the band to call "CQ Contest". Some may find that frustrating but in the big picture that is a very good thing. I had some memorable contacts in Japan, Australia, St Helena Island, FK8IK on New Caledonia Island and last but not least PE4BAS fellow blogger was logged on 15m. In this contest, I ran (calling CQ contest) for about 98% of the time at about 32-24 wpm. I did have an "I can't believe I did that" moment. On Saturday just before I stopped to have dinner I wanted to try a different macro. I turned the power down to zero and tried it a few times to make sure it would work. I then went for dinner and came back to go on 40m. Now 40m openings for me most of the time do not last very long. I got right back on and started calling CQ and calling and calling. I noticed on the RBN I had no spots which was a bit odd as most of the time I can something into the U.S. Then it hit me the power was still at zero! Well, that was about 20 minutes of lost time. 

All the bands (for me 10-40m) were in great shape and very busy. On Sunday evening around 6:30 local time, things started to go downhill for me. My ability to concentrate was just not there as I heard a call sign and only one or two letters registered with me. The best way to describe it was brain fog, it is not unusual for me toward the end of a long contest to get this. I was even having issues with keyboarding. I would type Zero when the call was 9, the call 9A2Y I had 0A2Y also when typing I would hit two keys at once. I then would be transmitting oddball calls. At that point, I would try to fix the call on the fly and most of the time that is a challenge and at this point in the game, it just made things a nightmare. I decided to pull the plug early as my frustration level would take the fun out of things.

The final tally


Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

Life as a Slacker DXer

Those of you who follow my blog know that my primary ham radio passion is operating above 50 MHz. But I also enjoy getting on the HF bands for POTA and chasing DX. I’ve also done a few holiday-style DXpeditions: V29RW and ZF2NR. Compared to my friends that are serious about DXing, I consider myself a Slacker DXer™.

The Sun Is Your Friend

You are probably aware that we are approaching the peak of the 11-year solar cycle, which means that the propagation on the higher HF bands is great. When I do operate HF, I really enjoy having 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m open worldwide. Back in December, I noted that the ARRL 10m contest was happening and I decided to give that a try. Because we have been doing some renovation at our place in the mountains, I had pulled down my HF antennas (all wires in trees). No problem, I just strung up a J-pole antenna I have for 10 meters. I got on the air during the contest using SSB and had a great time working DX all over the world. This gave me the bug of trying to accumulate a few more countries/entities for DXCC. At the time, I had 140 entities confirmed in Logbook of The World (LoTW). I also set up FT8 and FT4 and worked quite a few stations on digital.

Later, I started to think about the other high HF bands (20m and up), so I took down the 10m J-pole and put up a random-wire end-fed antenna. See my previous post to learn more about it.

An Easy HF Antenna

The wire length on this antenna was 36 feet, so it is nearly vertical when strung from our tall pine trees. I was pleased to find that the antenna worked well on 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m. It was at this time that I realized I had hardly used 12 meters, so it was fun to try out a new band. I was working a lot of stateside stations and DX at this point on these 5 bands. One day, I was pondering the 30m band, which I had always thought of as a CW-only band. Actually, it is a CW and digital band, so FT8 is commonly used. (I sometimes operate CW but it is not a focus for me.) So I checked out my antenna on 30m and the IC-7610 tuned up just fine. In fact, I tried using 40m with the same antenna, and it also works on that band. So now I have a basic wire antenna that works well on 40m and up. Very nice.

Worked All Zones (WAZ)

I have often found that having a particular operating goal, usually some kind of award or certificate, can help motivate and guide my radio activity. Driving up the DXCC count is always good but I am also intrigued by the CQ Worked All Zones award.. The 40 CQ zones are distributed worldwide, providing a more consistent way of measuring how well you have worked the world. (In contrast, DXCC is strongly influenced by the history of world and how the various governments are organized.) LoTW supports WAZ so a check of my LoTW log revealed that I had 30 zones confirmed. So my operating objective became adding new DXCC countries and WAZ zones, on any band.

Map of the 40 CQ Zones

In the past few months, my DXCC count has increased to 158, as confirmed in LoTW. Being a Slacker DXer™, I don’t spend the time chasing down QSL cards. It is either confirmed via LoTW or nothing. For WAZ, I have 38 zones confirmed, still looking for Zone 22 (Southern Asia) and Zone 34 (Northeast Africa). For me, it is important to “stay in the hunt” but not get overly obsessed with working a particular country. If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong.

I emphasize to newer hams that I am doing this with the classic 100 watts and a wire station. Working DX does not require a huge tower and amplifiers. Using FT8 really helps but CW and SSB are also viable modes. Take your pick. Now is the time to get on HF and enjoy the excellent propagation.

Work any DX lately?

73 Bob K0NR

The post Life as a Slacker DXer appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

AmateurLogic 190: Hamfest, Friends & LA ARES

AmateurLogic.TV Episode 190 is now available for download.

Our visit to the Capital City Hamfest in Jackson, MS with a few old friends. A very rare Icom radio stack. Louisiana ARES Winlink forms and tactics.


George Thomas, W5JDX, is co-host of AmateurLogic.TV, an original amateur radio video program hosted by George Thomas (W5JDX), Tommy Martin (N5ZNO), Peter Berrett (VK3PB), and Emile Diodene (KE5QKR). Contact him at [email protected].

Amateur Radio Weekly – Issue 319

Amateur Radio Weekly

US Senators introduce Amateur Radio Emergency Preparedness Act
Legislation would prohibit HOA rules that prevent or ban Amateur Radio antennas.
Senator Roger Wicker

Skeptics question disappearance of Alabama radio tower
Commenters speculated that WJLX had failed to maintain its AM site over time.

A venture into the world of Meshtastic
An Open Source, off-grid, decentralised mesh network built to run on affordable, low-power devices.

Nominate your favorite Open Source software for the Amateur Radio Software Award
Promoting software projects that enhance and adhere to the spirit of Amateur Radio.
Amateur Radio Software Award

Photos from Hamcation 2024
Mike (VE3MKX) shares photos from Hamcation 2024.
SWLing Post

Homebrew SBITX Receiver
Ground bounce, hallucinations, and wisdom.

2023 Great Shakeout after action report
Highlighting the utility of the Winlink system for emergency management.

A most unusual vertical antenna for 20m
One way to eliminate radials is to deploy an antenna that doesn’t need them
Ham Radio Outside the Box

Automating antenna rotator control with Cloudlog and Tampermonkey
The magic lies in the custom JavaScript injected into the Cloudlog webpage.


A highland SOTA
A hike to a bare highlands SOTA in Western Norway.

The coolest mobile Ham Radio shack
This car is loaded down with several Ham Radios and antennas that Scott Farrell (KE4WMF) has managed to fit inside of his 2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI.

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Amateur Radio Weekly is curated by Cale Mooth K4HCK. Sign up free to receive ham radio's most relevant news, projects, technology and events by e-mail each week at

LHS Episode #532: Hams in Space

Hello and welcome to Episode #532 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short topics episode, the hosts discuss contacting the moon via amateur radio, the demise of AO-92, the magic band, Ubuntu 24.04, SparkyLinux and much more. Thanks for listening and have a great week.

73 de The LHS Crew

Russ Woodman, K5TUX, co-hosts the Linux in the Ham Shack podcast which is available for download in both MP3 and OGG audio format. Contact him at [email protected].

Building Alfred P. Morgan’s “A More Selective Crystal Receiver”


As I’ve been seeing a lot of new membership requests on my Facebook Crystal Radio DX group indicating that they wish to build a crystal receiver, I’ve been examining some simple inexpensive circuits that should work well for local reception and possibly even to hear some skywave DX signals.
Since I’ve always wanted to build Alfred P. Morgan’s ‘A More Selective Crystal Receiver’ from his second ‘Boy’s Book of Radio’ ever since first seeing it at around age 10, I chose this as a start.
How did it Morgan’s design work? Could it hear all of my 15 locals and separate them? Was it a DX machine?
I invite you to read about the whole process on my web page, just published today:

Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

Taking my moms advice…….


Once moved out from home and on my own, I always remembered what my mom told me regarding credit cards. She said it was always good to have one as a just in case emergency BUT put it in a zip lock bag, fill it with water and put it in the freezer. This way if you are tempted to use the card you have to wait for it to thaw out and by then you may feel what you really "needed" was not a need but a want. 

The bottom line to that way of thinking is sometimes you have to take time to think about what you're going to purchase. Recently I did not use the frozen credit card theory but I am glad I took time to think. I had an email notice come to me informing me that my RSGB membership was coming to an end. The renewal was 70 British pounds which converted to about 120.00 Canadian dollars. ( I was just adding an RSGB link and noticed the fee was not 73.00 pounds which is 124.00 Canadian...NOT) That seemed very steep for me considering the main reason for my membership is the read Radcom magazine. The bottom line for me was that it was way too pricey so I was considering another radio magazine. 

I was looking at CQ magazine as in the past I did have a subscription from them but even then (about 8 years ago) the subscription missed issues and other times issues were late. I decided to wait it out and let the RSGB membership expire and then think about the next move. Kinda like letting the credit card thaw on the counter before I jumped.

Well CQ magazine does not seem to be doing well and online chatter has not been glowing. I just recently checked and their website is no longer loading. There was a statement from CQ saying they have "temporarily " suspended the magazine. In my humble opinion that is never a good sign. I have also read recently of those who just purchased a 1 or more year subscription and so far have received nothing. As a sideline, I feel CQ magazine should refund those who just purchased a subscription but we shall see. 

Well, I am glad that I let the credit card thaw on the counter before I jumped and made a subscription purchase to CQ magazine. To be upfront I will not be taking my chances on this company until it can show stability for at least 2024 without issue. Until then I will have saved some money and I can throw the credit card back in the freezer.

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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