Archive for the ‘dx’ Category

What Headphones Do You Use, And Why?

What headphones do you use for your radio operation, and WHY do you use that particular make and model?

Old Time Morse Code and Headphones

I use Audio-Technica ATH M30x professional monitor headphones (cans).

https://www.audio-technica.com/en-gb/ath-m30x

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Monitoring Headphones

Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Monitoring Headphones

I use my rig’s filters to shape the audio.

1. I’ve replaced the over-the-ear pads with Gel pads. Wearing these cans is comfortable enough to use for extended periods of time (such as contests).
2. The mid-range with these cans is superior to other cans I’ve had.
3. They are rugged, so taking them out to the field isn’t a problem.

73 de NW7US dit dit
..

Where’s My WAZ Certificate?

Guess what! Today, I received (by postal service) this very nice plaque from CQ, for working and confirming all 40 of the worldwide CQ DX Zones.

CQ WAZ NW7US - Mixed

CQ WAZ NW7US – Mixed – Plaque

Many of you wonder, “where are my paper certificates for my WAZ efforts?

At least one, if not all of the following, are reasons why there has been such a long delay in getting paper certificates for the WAZ CQ program:

  1. Paper certificates (blanks) were not available and backordered (Covid, folks).
  2. There is only ONE person doing the lettering (by hand).
  3. The advent of FT8 and FT4 in the WAZ program has SWAMPED the program. There’s a HUGE backlog.

That said, the new CQ WAZ Manager (N4BAA, JOSE CASTILLO) has made the following statement available:

— quote follows —

Effective September 1, 2022, CQ Magazine will no longer provide the Hand Lettered CQ WAZ paper certificate for free.

CQ WAZ AWARD RECIPIENTS HAVE 4 AWARD OPTIONS:

  1. Accept the standard award offering which is a High-Definition PDF file. This file can be printed in color and framed and is very nice. This award is delivered immediately with award letter, thus, no waiting.
  2. Select the traditional CQ WAZ Hand-Lettered award: the cost is $19.00 and includes shipping worldwide. This award option is managed by CQ Magazine and can take up to 180 days to receive.
  3. Select a Level I plaque: 7” x 9” two-tone engraved wood plaque: cost is $57 US / $100 International and includes shipping. Delivery time is under 30 days for US stations and less than 60 days internationally.
  4. Select a Level II plaque: 9” x 12” Floating Etched Acrylic over Black Wood: cost is $91 US / $135 International. and includes shipping.

Here is a video that the administrator has posted, about this:

Delivery time is roughly 30 days for US stations and less than 60 days internationally depending on the actual address.

The intent of this program is to respond to the ever-increasing demand for more options that are still very personalized as well as very elegant.

Not every ham is able to achieve the requirements for a 5BWAZ or 160 Meter plaque, so he is making this offering to everyone!

All questions or inquiries and plaque orders should be directed to the CQ WAZ Manager via email at [email protected] or postal mail via QRZ.com address.

All plaque data will be taken directly from the information provided in your email. The CQ WAZ manager will not be responsible for errors in data supplied by the recipient other than AWARD type and Award number.

To Place Order: send the information below via email to [email protected] or via postal mail to my QRZ.com address and please double-check spelling etc.

Email Subject line should be: “WAZ PLAQUE ORDER – YOUR CALL

Then, provide the following information:

Call Sign:
Desired Name on Plaque:
WAZ AWARD Type
(example: MIXED, RTTY, 15M CW, EME, etc.)
SERIAL NUMBER on award:
Date on Award:
Award Desired:
– Level 1 plaque – $57 US / $100 International
– Level 2 plaque – $91 US / $135 International

There you have it…

73 de NW7US dit dit

 

Unexpected Surprise: What Are The Odds? ATNO DXCC

I have a story for you. All of it is true, but I have not changed my name.

Wow! I am always amazed at those moments in my amateur radio hobby when spontaneous joy is had by unexpected events.

NW7US ATNO DXCC Iran

Iran worked as ATNO DXCC 2022-APR-14

On Thursday, 14-April-2022, at about 17:30 Universal Time (UT), the unexpected occurred, and it started by accident.

I have been reorganizing my radio shack. Once I moved my main transceiver (the Icom IC-7610) from one desk to another, and had it back in operation, I left it tuned to a random frequency, in the CW mode. It was just sitting there, hissing away with the typical shortwave sounds of a frequency on which no one was transmitting. And me? I was going about reorganizing my radio shack.

After a while, I heard the start of a Morse-code CW signal; the operator was sending a CQ call–a transmission that invites a response from anyone who wishes to have a QSO with the calling station. What I heard was, “CQ CQ DE EP2ABS EP2ABS…”

NOTE: This transceiver, my Icom IC-7610, is listening with the new antennathe 254-foot doublet up at 80 feet–that was raised up into the air here at my QTH by a fine crew from Hams in the Air.

I looked up EP2ABS on QRZ dot com, because I did not know from what country/entity the EP2 prefix on callsigns belongs. I was excited to see that EP2 is from Iran!

I started answering his CQ call, “DE NW7US NW7US,” for at least ten minutes; each time he sent his CQ, I answered. Finally, I heard him answering me, “NW7US NW7US DE EP2ABS 5NN…”

I answered back, sending my signal report, “5NN 5NN DE NW7US TU

Soon after that simple exchange, he confirmed our QSO by posting our QSO to Logbook of the World (LotW).

Thus, by accident–as I had simply left the transceiver tuned to a randomly-selected frequency and stayed on that frequency listening while doing my chores–I heard the Iranian station calling CQ. What are the odds!?!?

This is my first QSO with Iran, another All Time New One (ATNO). How cool!

Note: This is a testimony to the work from the crew that did the fine work of getting this antenna installed.  Here is a video presented by Hams on the Air:

73 de NW7US dit dit

..

A pleasing Tuesday afternoon on the bands.

The bands seem to be improving and it's a nice thing to see. Today I flipped the switch on in the early afternoon. I also loaded DX Heat a site that is my go-to as it lets me know what's going on in and around the bands. There were some nice dx spots on 15m and I thought I would spin the dial over to 15 meters in the CW section. The first station I tuned in was TZ4AM in Mali and Jeff was working split but with (that I could hear) not much of a pileup. I listened to his receive frequency (my calling frequency) to find out who he was working and how he was either moving up or down the frequency. I very soon got the hang of his operating and I called him and was in the log in no time. He gave me 569 and returned with 559 signal reports. 

A little further down on 15m I heard 7X3WPL in Algeria. I checked out the call on QRZ.COM and this is a very active club called Sahara DX radio club. I gave them a call and I think they were not working split (can't remember) but there was a bit more of a pile-up. I decided to come back in a little while and see if things had calmed down. I came back about 5 minutes later and the log jam had cleared. I worked 7X3WPL and we exchanged signal reports. 

I then came across another Algerian station 7X4AN he was calling CQ with no answers but he was just above the noise floor so I put the APF on (audio peak filter) and this helped out a great deal. I gave him a call and we did some repeats but contact was made and he was in the log. After my contact, he was spotted and the pileup began. It was good I got in when I did. 

I also had CN8KD in Morocco booming in on 15m he was operating simplex and had a huge pileup. I did give it a go here and there but the number of stations calling him made it a waste of time for me to sit there and try. I moved on but he had a great signal at my QTH. 

DX Heat was also showing 10m to be pretty active. Now up to this point, I have seen many spots for 10m and when I have always tuned there at my end it is just plain dead, no signals at all. This time there was a spot for 7Q6M in Malawi. To my surprise, he was there and with a signal of S7! He was operating split and I could hear some of the stations trying to contact him but not many. I did try a few times but no luck but just hearing some DX on 10m was a huge step! 

Well, that was my afternoon on the radio. I was using my Icom 7610 at 100 watts into a multi-band End-Fed antenna about 30 feet off the ground. All contacts were CW with filter settings at 250 and now and then using the APF. Having the 2 independent receivers in the 7610 is a great help. I have VFO A in my left ear and VFO B in my right. When operating split it's a great help to hear both sides.

A pleasing Tuesday afternoon on the bands.


The bands seem to be improving and it's a nice thing to see. Today I flipped the switch on in the early afternoon. I also loaded 
DX Heat a site that is my go-to as it lets me know what's going on in and around the bands. There were some nice dx spots on 15m and I thought I would spin the dial over to 15 meters in the CW section. The first station I tuned in was TZ4AM in Mali and Jeff was working split but with (that I could hear) not much of a pileup. I listened to his receive frequency (my calling frequency) to find out who he was working and how he was either moving up or down the frequency. I very soon got the hang of his operating and I called him and was in the log in no time. He gave me 569 and returned with 559 signal reports. 

A little further down on 15m I heard 7X3WPL in Algeria. I checked out the call on QRZ.COM and this is a very active club called Sahara DX radio club. I gave them a call and I think they were not working split (can't remember) but there was a bit more of a pile-up. I decided to come back in a little while and see if things had calmed down. I came back about 5 minutes later and the log jam had cleared. I worked 7X3WPL and we exchanged signal reports. 

I then came across another Algerian station 7X4AN he was calling CQ with no answers but he was just above the noise floor so I put the APF on (audio peak filter) and this helped out a great deal. I gave him a call and we did some repeats but contact was made and he was in the log. After my contact, he was spotted and the pileup began. It was good I got in when I did. 

I also had CN8KD in Morocco booming in on 15m he was operating simplex and had a huge pileup. I did give it a go here and there but the number of stations calling him made it a waste of time for me to sit there and try. I moved on but he had a great signal at my QTH. 

DX Heat was also showing 10m to be pretty active. Now up to this point, I have seen many spots for 10m and when I have always tuned there at my end it is just plain dead, no signals at all. This time there was a spot for 7Q6M in Malawi. To my surprise, he was there and with a signal of S7! He was operating split and I could hear some of the stations trying to contact him but not many. I did try a few times but no luck but just hearing some DX on 10m was a huge step! 

Well, that was my afternoon on the radio. I was using my Icom 7610 at 100 watts into a multi-band End-Fed antenna about 30 feet off the ground. All contacts were CW with filter settings at 250 and now and then using the APF. Having the 2 independent receivers in the 7610 is a great help. I have VFO A in my left ear and VFO B in my right. When operating split it's a great help to hear both sides.

Part 2 of 2: Life-changing Moment and Solar Cycle 25

From the RAIN HamCast episode #57, 2021-XII-25 (used with permission):

RAIN’s Hap Holly/KC9RP spoke with Tomas recently about Solar Cycle 25. This is the second and final excerpt from their discussion.

From the introduction to The RAIN HamCast, Episode #57:

In this episode, we continue our discussion with Tomas Hood/NW7US, the author of many writings about space weather and effects of solar activity the past 20-plus years.

(Part 1 of 2 can be found here: Episode #56, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnuSOXhFELQ)

Tomas has been a short wave enthusiast since 1973, a ham operator since 1990, and is a United States Army Signal Corps veteran today. He launched the first civilian space weather propagation website, HFRadio.org, in the mid 90’s; HFradio later spawned SunSpotWatch.com; at press time Sunspotwatch.com is being revamped for the new Solar Cycle 25.

Tomas has contributed to the Space Weather Propagation column in CQ magazine for over 20 years, and for The Spectrum Monitor magazine since 2014. A product of the Pacific northwest, Tomas resides now in Fayetteville, Ohio.

RAIN’s Hap Holly/KC9RP spoke with Tomas recently about Solar Cycle 25. This is the second and final excerpt from their discussion.​

Here is the second part of the two-part interview:

If you missed part one of this conversation, you’ll find it as RAIN Hamcast #56 both on therainreport.com and on the RAIN Hamcast page on YouTube, as well as here: Episode #56, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnuSOXhFELQ.

RAIN Hamcast #58 will post January 8, 2022. Hap Holly/KC9RP edits and produces this biweekly ham radio podcast. It is copyright 1985-2021 , RAIN, all rights reserved. RAIN programming is made available under a Creative Commons license ; you are encouraged to download, share, post and transmit the RAIN Hamcast in its entirety via Amateur Radio. Your support and feedback are welcome on therainreport.com. Thanks for YouTube Technical Assistance from Tom Shimizu/N9JDI. I’m Will Rogers/K5WLR bidding you very 73 and 44 from the Radio Amateur Information Network.

KEEP ON HAMMING!

Footnote: Yes, NW7US misspoke about the time it takes sunlight to travel from the Sun to the Earth. He meant that it takes sunlight and radio waves just over 8 minutes to make that trip…

 

Solar Cycle 25, and a Life-Changing Event (Part 1 of 2)

From the RAIN HamCast episode #56, 2021-XII-11 (used with permission):

When you were knee high to a grasshopper, did you undergo a game-changing experience that shaped your future career?

Here is text from the introduction:

Tomas Hood/NW7US did. Tomas has been a shortwave enthusiast since 1973. He was first licensed as a ham in 1990 at age 25.

In the mid 1990s Tomas launched the first civilian space weather propagation website, HFRadio.org, which later spawned SunSpotWatch.com. His website, NW7US has been up and running since June, 1999. Tomas has contributed to the Space Weather Propagation column in CQ magazine for over 20 years, and for The Spectrum Monitor magazine since 2014.

A product of the Pacific northwest, Tomas resides today in Fayetteville, OH. RAIN’s Hap Holly/KC9RP spoke with Tomas recently about Solar Cycle 25 and the game-changing afternoon Tomas experienced in 1973 at age 8 ( Read more about this, at his amateur radio and space weather blog: https://blog.NW7US.us/ ).

Here is the first part of the two-part interview:

Mentioned in the interview is Skylab:

From Wikipedia’s article on Skylab: Skylab was the first United States space station, launched by NASA, occupied for about 24 weeks between May 1973 and February 1974. It was operated by three separate three-astronaut crews: Skylab 2, Skylab 3, and Skylab 4. Major operations included an orbital workshop, a solar observatory, Earth observation, and hundreds of experiments.

Tomas was drawn into space weather as a life-long passion, by inspiration from Skylab, and from the hourly propagation bulletin from the radio station WWV.

WATCH FOR THE NEXT EPISODE, PART TWO

This video is only part one. The RAIN HamCast will conclude Hap’s conversation with Tomas in RAIN HamCast #57, scheduled for posting Christmas Day.

Hap Holly, of the infamous RAIN Report (RAIN = Radio Amateur Information Network), is now producing The RAIN HamCast. The results are both on https://therainreport.com and on the RAIN HamCast YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUbNkaUvX_lt5IiDkS9aS4g

KEEP ON HAMMING!

The RAIN Hamcast is produced and edited by Hap Holly/KC9RP; this biweekly podcast is copyright 1985-2021 RAIN, All rights reserved. RAIN programming is formatted for Amateur Radio transmission and is made available under a Creative Commons license; downloading, sharing, posting and transmission of this ham radio program via Amateur Radio in its entirety are encouraged. Your support and feedback are welcome on https://therainreport.com. Thanks for YouTube Technical Assistance from Tom Shimizu/N9JDI.

 


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