Posts Tagged ‘band condx’

How Did You Fare in CQ WW CW Contest Weekend?

Man, lots and lots of Morse code on the ham bands, this weekend. The CQ Worldwide CW Contest weekend was hopping with signals!

How did you do this weekend? How were conditions on the various contest bands?

Comment here and your report may make it into the propagation column in an upcoming edition of the Radio Propagation column in CQ Amateur Radio Magazine.

Here are a few moments as heard at the station of the CQ Amateur Radio Magazine propagation columnist, in Lincoln, Nebraska (yeah, that’s me, NW7US).

Here are the results of my dabbling with the Icom rig and this contest:

 NW7US's Contest Summary Report for CQ-WW
 Created by N3FJP's CQ WW DX Contest Log
 Version 5.7  www.n3fjp.com

 Total Contacts = 55
 Total Points = 8,979

 Operating Period: 2019/11/24 10:23 - 2019/11/24 22:51

 Total op time (breaks > 30 min deducted): 3:58:46
 Total op time (breaks > 60 min deducted): 4:45:17

 Avg Qs/Hr (breaks > 30 min deducted): 13.8


 Total Contacts by Band and Mode:

 Band       CW   Phone     Dig   Total       %
 ----       --   -----     ---   -----     ---
   80        8       0       0       8      15
   40        7       0       0       7      13
   20       25       0       0      25      45
   15       15       0       0      15      27
            --   -----     ---   -----     ---
 Total      55       0       0      55     100

 Total Contacts by State \ Prov:

 State       Total     %
 -----       -----   ---
                52    95
 HI              3     5

 Total = 1


 Total Contacts by Country:

 Country                      Total     %
 -------                      -----   ---
 Canada                           6    11
 Brazil                           5     9
 USA                              5     9
 Argentina                        3     5
 Costa Rica                       3     5
 Hawaii                           3     5
 Bonaire                          2     4
 Cayman Is.                       2     4
 Chile                            2     4
 Cuba                             2     4
 Japan                            2     4
 Mexico                           2     4
 Aruba                            1     2
 Bahamas                          1     2
 Barbados                         1     2
 Belize                           1     2
 Curacao                          1     2
 Dominican Republic               1     2
 French Guiana                    1     2
 Haiti                            1     2
 Honduras                         1     2
 Martinique                       1     2
 Montserrat                       1     2
 Nicaragua                        1     2
 Senegal                          1     2
 St. Kitts & Nevis                1     2
 St. Lucia                        1     2
 Suriname                         1     2
 US Virgin Is.                    1     2
 Venezuela                        1     2

 Total = 30


 Total DX Miles (QSOs in USA not counted) = 151,407
 Average miles per DX QSO = 3,028


 Average bearing to the entities worked in each continent.
 QSOs in USA not counted.

 AF =  83
 AS = 318
 NA = 124
 OC = 268
 SA = 137


 Total Contacts by Continent:

 Continent   Total     %
 ---------   -----   ---
 NA             32    58
 SA             17    31
 OC              3     5
 AS              2     4
 AF              1     2

 Total = 5


 Total Contacts by CQ Zone:

 CQ Zone   Total     %
 -------   -----   ---
 08           13    24
 03            7    13
 09            7    13
 07            6    11
 11            5     9
 13            3     5
 31            3     5
 04            2     4
 05            2     4
 06            2     4
 12            2     4
 25            2     4
 35            1     2

 Total = 13

Update: Propagation Forecasts for CQ WW (SSB and CW) DX Contest Weekends

Are you participating in this year’s CQ World-Wide DX Contest, either the SSB weekend (this coming weekend, October 28-29, 2017), or the CW weekend (November 25-26, 2017)?  The CQ WW is the largest Amateur Radio competition in the world. Over 35,000 participants take to the airwaves on the last weekend of October (SSB) and November (CW) with the goal of making as many contacts with as many different DXCC entities and CQ Zones as possible.

Space Weather and Radio Propagation

Space Weather and Radio Propagation

I have updated my forecast on the expected propagation conditions during both the SSB and CW weekends of the 2017 CQ World-Wide DX Contest.  I will publish a new update for the CW weekend, when we get closer to that November weekend.

The link to the latest update is: http://cqnewsroom.blogspot.com/2017/10/cqww-dx-contest-propagation-update.html

Good luck!

73 de NW7US dit dit

 

Magnitude X8 X-ray Flare of Sept 9 2017 (2nd Biggest in Cycle 24)

The sun erupted with an X8 solar flare, one of the largest of the current solar cycle (Sept. 10, 2017). Its source was the same sunspot region that produced an X9 flare last week. We show this in two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light at the same time, and each reveals different features. Both are colorized to identify in which wavelength they were observed. The coils of loops after the flare are the magnetic field lines reorganizing themselves after the eruption. The video clip covers about six hours.

I had hoped for better results

As planned, I went and activated Morristown National Historical Park (HP28) for NPOTA. Things didn't turn out as well as I had hoped; but it was still a good time nonetheless.


I got to the park on time, right before Noon (1600 UTC).  I allowed my TomTom GPS unit to bring me up to Jockey Hollow via a new route which I had never taken before. This brought me up through the Great Dismal Swamp, which is designated as a National Wildlife Refuge.  It is truly a beautiful area and as I was driving through, I could see herons and egrets and all sorts of birds in the marshes. Seeing that the Great Dismal Swamp is designated as a National Wildlife Refuge, I was wondering why it's not listed as one of the NPOTA WR entities.  A little Googling revealed that the Swamp is administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and not the National Parks Service. That's a shame because that would be a really beautiful area to set up a portable operation from.

Anyway, I got to the Park and got set up, which by now, only takes me a few minutes. After so many lunch time QRP sessions, I could do this in my sleep, or with my eyes shut.


Since I was planning on operating some SSB in case there was a lack of activity, I brought along my big, heavy Werker deep cycle battery. I figured that this way, I could operate for an extended period of time at the 10 Watt SSB level if I needed to. And boy, did it turn out that I needed to!

The first thing I did after setting up was tune to around 14.061 MHz - the neighborhood of the QRP Watering Hole. I was shocked by what I heard - wall to wall CW signals! There was literally nowhere to sit where there wasn't a station calling "CQ TEST".  I didn't realize that today was the RUDX, the Russian DX Contest - and boy, it filled the band!

I went on up to 17 Meters and heard some Europeans that were very loud. Knowing that meant the band was wide open, I easily found a clear spot at 18.082 MHz and proceeded to call "CQ NPOTA". The band was wide open, but as it turned out, there wasn't much if any activity. I worked K0IG right off the bat and then ...... nothing.

Not wanting to waste too much time, I got out of the Jeep and switched from the Buddistick to my 40 Meter Hamstick.  I went down to 7.037 MHz, called CQ and was greeted by the normal NPOTA pileup. I was stoked and began to work station after station. The only bad thing was that the initial pileup lasted for only a few minutes, and then I began the monotonous routine of calling "CQ NPOTA" and waiting minutes in between answers.

Getting bored, I decided to give 20 Meters another try. Off came the Hamstick and up went the Buddistick.  I called CQ for a bit and got a couple of QSO completed on 14.060 MHz, but it was tough.  The stations calling me were loud, but their calls were being blanketed by even louder DX stations. Those guys had to be using mondo power.  How much do they allow over in Europe, anyway?

Sitting there, disappointed as heck, I was ready to pack it in and head home a bit early. Then an inspiration occurred that maybe I should give 20 Meter SSB a whirl. Even though I'm not an avid fan of SSB, I decided to give it a shot. I was rewarded with a small run of about a dozen stations before that too, ended up petering out.

I had gone up to HP28 with a spiral notebook, thinking I would fill pages with call signs. After all, my outing to TR23 in January netted me over 80 QSOs. For some reason. I was thinking I would break that record easily. Just the opposite happened!  I ended up with only 27 QSOs - but you know what?  I discovered that a bad day of Amateur Radio is STILL better than a good day at work. So I'm a happy camper, anyway.

This only gives me more incentive to go back up to HP28 later this year, but this time throw a wire into a tree.  I know that's kind of verboten, and on Facebook, someone actually related how they were asked to leave a park the other day for doing that. With that in mind, just before I left, I went to the visitor center and explained that I was an Amateur Radio operator and what NPOTA was (she knew what it was, by the way) and asked if there was any prohibition about wires in trees. She said as long as it was temporary, and would cause no damage and would not interfere with anyone else's visit, that they were OK with it.

So when I got back to the car, just for the heck of it, I attempted to launch a line over a limb just to see how it would go.  30 plus feet on the first try.

I'll be back, Jockey Hollow!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

I had hoped for better results

As planned, I went and activated Morristown National Historical Park (HP28) for NPOTA. Things didn't turn out as well as I had hoped; but it was still a good time nonetheless.


I got to the park on time, right before Noon (1600 UTC).  I allowed my TomTom GPS unit to bring me up to Jockey Hollow via a new route which I had never taken before. This brought me up through the Great Dismal Swamp, which is designated as a National Wildlife Refuge.  It is truly a beautiful area and as I was driving through, I could see herons and egrets and all sorts of birds in the marshes. Seeing that the Great Dismal Swamp is designated as a National Wildlife Refuge, I was wondering why it's not listed as one of the NPOTA WR entities.  A little Googling revealed that the Swamp is administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and not the National Parks Service. That's a shame because that would be a really beautiful area to set up a portable operation from.

Anyway, I got to the Park and got set up, which by now, only takes me a few minutes. After so many lunch time QRP sessions, I could do this in my sleep, or with my eyes shut.


Since I was planning on operating some SSB in case there was a lack of activity, I brought along my big, heavy Werker deep cycle battery. I figured that this way, I could operate for an extended period of time at the 10 Watt SSB level if I needed to. And boy, did it turn out that I needed to!

The first thing I did after setting up was tune to around 14.061 MHz - the neighborhood of the QRP Watering Hole. I was shocked by what I heard - wall to wall CW signals! There was literally nowhere to sit where there wasn't a station calling "CQ TEST".  I didn't realize that today was the RUDX, the Russian DX Contest - and boy, it filled the band!

I went on up to 17 Meters and heard some Europeans that were very loud. Knowing that meant the band was wide open, I easily found a clear spot at 18.082 MHz and proceeded to call "CQ NPOTA". The band was wide open, but as it turned out, there wasn't much if any activity. I worked K0IG right off the bat and then ...... nothing.

Not wanting to waste too much time, I got out of the Jeep and switched from the Buddistick to my 40 Meter Hamstick.  I went down to 7.037 MHz, called CQ and was greeted by the normal NPOTA pileup. I was stoked and began to work station after station. The only bad thing was that the initial pileup lasted for only a few minutes, and then I began the monotonous routine of calling "CQ NPOTA" and waiting minutes in between answers.

Getting bored, I decided to give 20 Meters another try. Off came the Hamstick and up went the Buddistick.  I called CQ for a bit and got a couple of QSO completed on 14.060 MHz, but it was tough.  The stations calling me were loud, but their calls were being blanketed by even louder DX stations. Those guys had to be using mondo power.  How much do they allow over in Europe, anyway?

Sitting there, disappointed as heck, I was ready to pack it in and head home a bit early. Then an inspiration occurred that maybe I should give 20 Meter SSB a whirl. Even though I'm not an avid fan of SSB, I decided to give it a shot. I was rewarded with a small run of about a dozen stations before that too, ended up petering out.

I had gone up to HP28 with a spiral notebook, thinking I would fill pages with call signs. After all, my outing to TR23 in January netted me over 80 QSOs. For some reason. I was thinking I would break that record easily. Just the opposite happened!  I ended up with only 27 QSOs - but you know what?  I discovered that a bad day of Amateur Radio is STILL better than a good day at work. So I'm a happy camper, anyway.

This only gives me more incentive to go back up to HP28 later this year, but this time throw a wire into a tree.  I know that's kind of verboten, and on Facebook, someone actually related how they were asked to leave a park the other day for doing that. With that in mind, just before I left, I went to the visitor center and explained that I was an Amateur Radio operator and what NPOTA was (she knew what it was, by the way) and asked if there was any prohibition about wires in trees. She said as long as it was temporary, and would cause no damage and would not interfere with anyone else's visit, that they were OK with it.

So when I got back to the car, just for the heck of it, I attempted to launch a line over a limb just to see how it would go.  30 plus feet on the first try.

I'll be back, Jockey Hollow!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Tomorrow is always another day

So ..... you're a QRP DXer. You hear a country you want to work, but it doesn't go well. What do you do?  You never give up, that's what! If you don't work them today, you may work them tomorrow, and in my case that happened to me, today.

I started my lunchtime QRP session fully intending to work the N3AQC QRP-pedition to the USS Requin which is docked by the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. John K3WWP and Mike KC2EGL were there today, and I figured that maybe, just maybe, I might be able to hear them on 40 Meters.  So I set up the Buddistick for that band - magmount base, all four 11 inch arms, untapped coil, extra long whip. I was able to get the SWR down to about 1.5:1 and I heard plenty of signals, but no N3AQC. They started at 10:00 AM, and by the time I was able to get to the parking lot, it was 1:30 PM, so I don't know if they were on lunch break also, or perhaps they had just called it a day by then, or perhaps they were on 20 and 30 Meters. But tuning around for about 15 minutes and not hearing N3AQC, I decided to switch over to the higher bands, as lunch time is only an hour.

So I took two of the 11" arms off, put the coil tap in its accustomed position and put the Buddistick back on the roof.  Tuning around, at 14.018 MHz, I heard them - PZ5W - Suriname. The same station from yesterday, and they were even louder than they were on 15 Meters.  So without even thinking, I dialed in a 1kHz up split and gave a call ... and was heard. I sent my info and completed the exchange and then looked down at the KX3.

In my haste, I hadn't touched up the SWR with the autouner. My SWR was 1.7:1 and the KX3's power had folded back to 3 Watts. So what I couldn't accomplish with 5 Watts yesterday, got done with 3 Watts today. That felt nice - really, really nice.

Looking at my watch, I saw I had about 15 minutes left before I had to break down and go back into the building, so I prowled around the band some more for a few minutes. Lo and behold, T2TT - Tuvalu coming in loud and clear! Argh! Ten minutes was not enough to even consider it a decent try, but I did - and failed.

But ...... tomorrow is always another day.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

156th Anniversary

It was this time of year, from August 28th to September 2nd, 1859 that the Earth experienced what was to be known as The Carrington Event. On September 1st, a solar flare was observed by two British amateur astronomers, Richard Carrington and Richard Hodgson.


This was a coronal mass ejection that occurred during Cycle 10. It was a solar storm of such great intensity that reportedly, people as far south in Florida and Cuba were able to see aurora. In the Rockies, gold miners woke up in the middle of the night and started preparing breakfast because they thought it was daybreak. The aurora was so bright here in the northeast, that people outside were able to read newspapers by the aurora's glow.

Telegraph stations (our forerunners) were hit particularly hard. It was reported that some telegraph poles threw sparks into the air. Telegraph operators reported that not only did they receive shocks when they tried to operate, but that they were also able to continue to operate their telegraph apparatus after disconnecting it from the power supply.

I can only imagine the damage that would occur today if we suffered a direct blast from the sun as we did in 1859. I'm pretty sure that not only would the power grid be very badly affected, but that telephone and radio communications of all types would probably be non-existent, and much, much more.

Here are some interesting links:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/03/110302-solar-flares-sun-storms-earth-danger-carrington-event-science/

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/06may_carringtonflare/

http://www.history.com/news/a-perfect-solar-superstorm-the-1859-carrington-event

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


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