Posts Tagged ‘Contacts’

6m 18 May 2013

This Saturday morning there was a big Sporadic-E opening on 6m. There were some pretty big signals, though once again I seemed to be on the edge of the opening. The Sporadic-E seemed centered over northern Europe and you can see from the map that it was pretty intense!.

6m on 18 May 2013 at 0930z. Map from

I had KComm’s DX Cluster window open. I don’t use the cluster on HF and dislike it intensely, but spotting stations on the cluster (in a specific format with locators for both endpoints) is how VHF contact information gets to

I saw a couple of contacts from Ireland spotted on 2m so I switched bands.

2m on 18 May 2013 at 0940z. Map from

As you can see, two lucky EI stations managed to work into northern Italy, one of them using a vertical antenna! Signals must have been strong but when I QSYed to 2m I didn’t hear anything. The Es must have been over the northern French coast and you can see that the same Es cloud must have permitted F6HTJ to spot the GB3ANG beacon and enabled DG7IG to work EA1CCM as the paths intersect at the exact same point..

I wasn’t lucky on 2m but I was a bit more successful on data and tuned to the PSK part of the 6m band just in time to catch a French station signing off with Tim, G4VXE. I managed QSOs with Gerard F4LKG and George EA4GB but I don’t think many stations were listening because my CQs went unanswered.

It seems as if the 2013 Sporadic-E season is off to a good start!

EX8MT Kyrgyzstan

This afternoon JT9-1 gave me my first contact into Kyrgyzstan, with EX8MT.

Looks a bit like the English Lake District!

TO7BC Mayotte

A good day today. Not much operating as I had to install a new PC monitor here in the shack and then a new Freetime Freesat receiver down in the living room. It’s one of the new ones with WiFi support so I don’t need to run a network cable down to the living room which all existing boxes have required.

After that I came up to the shack to see if I had installed any new QRM generators. Switched to 10m PSK31 and heard a single solitary station – TO7BC  from Mayotte!

I’m not a DXer but this signal on its own in the clear was too much to resist. It took about 15 minutes to break the pileup. I couldn’t hear any other callers so I used XIT to dial in 0.5kHz up and hoped for the best. After a while with no success I decided to go up another 100Hz and he came right back! I must have been the only station who received a 579 report.

I shall check the website later to see if I got in the log. I will also have to find out where Mayotte Island is! I don’t often get to work DXpedition stations so I’m quite pleased with this afternoon’s work. I’ll check for QRM generators another time.

Richer pickings on PSK

I only managed 4 QSOs in abour as many hours using JT9-1 this morning. I worked LU8EX whom I recognized having made a JT65A contact with him in the past. Hopefully more operators will make the switch from JT65A to JT9-1. At the moment it feels like I’ve worked everybody. I was spotted many times by VK3AMA even when I was running 5 watts. Pity there is no-one else in Oz using the mode yet.

I switched to PSK31 in the afternoon and my QSO rate immediately improved. A nice catch was Luc PR8EP whose QSL card I picture here.

Another good one was Eric HS0ZJK in Phetchaburi, Thailand. He is only the second Thai station I have worked, and both were on 15m.

JT on JT9

I had an all-day session on the JT modes today. Actually, almost all of today’s contacts were on JT65A. I did listen for JT9-1 signals a few times but most of the time I only saw stations I had already worked before.

I put out a CQ call on 15m JT9-1 and Joe Taylor K1JT came back to me. I’ve decoded Joe’s WSPR signals numerous times and I’ve exchanged several emails with him but I had never had a radio contact with him until now, so that was a nice surprise.

Then it was back to JT65A. The contrast in activity was extreme. There were so many stations active I couldn’t find a space to call CQ, so I had to wait and pounce on new stations that called.

I must say that when using JT9 I miss the infrastructure that has been built up around the JT65A mode – the reverse beacons, the auto-spotting to PSK Reporter so you can see how far your signals have got, the JT-Alerts when you decode someone you’ve worked before. I especially need the B4 alerts. My memory is so bad I can’t remember the calls of stations I’ve worked before so I have often called people who I have worked only a couple of days earlier. I guess that due to the lack of new stations they probably don’t mind too much!

ISS on 20m

No not that ISS! This is station II5ISS which I worked on 20m PSK31 whilst testing some tweaks to KComm.

If you’re interested, you can win an award by working II5ISS on three or more bands before the end of 2013.

Andalucia Day

I switched on the radio this afternoon, started up KComm, and the first station that printed up on the screen was EG7DCA, a special call to mark Andalucia Day. A rapid exchange of signal reports and he was in the logbook.

Andalucia Day, as this link will tell you, is the anniversary of a referendum held in 1980 in which people voted for the southern province of Spain, Andalucia, to become an autonomous region. This year that anniversary falls on 26 February, today.

I love Andalucia. The name immediately conjures up for me a vista of whitewashed villages nestling among rugged mountains, memories of walks on mountain paths and lazy days enjoying a glass or three of local wine in a tapas bar.

I often used to dream of living in an Andalucian village. I could happily have become one of the many British expats out there. But dreams don’t always turn out how you imagine. The endless sunshine seems irresistible but summers can be unbearably hot and as one gets older you start to need things like healthcare, which is good, free and English-speaking in Britain. In view of what has happened to me in the last two years it’s probably a good thing I didn’t become an expat!

Still, I can’t look at a picture like this without feeling nostalgic!

Canillas de Albaida, Andalucia

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