Posts Tagged ‘CW’

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

 

Listen with your eyes closed.

Way back in high school one of my classes was band class, now this was not brass band but strings and wood wind. I was a cello player and very much enjoyed it but when it was time to sign it out to practice at home I had wished I picked the flute....I digress....What does the cello have to do with ham radio? Well back when I was in band class part of our testing was to listen to a recording of an orchestra playing and identify as many individual instruments as we could. Simple with violin, double bass, cello and clarinet. But the Oboe, Bass and E-flat Clarinet, Bassoon, Contrabassoon and then the Viola. Our teacher told us to close our eyes as we listened and it would make things much easier and over time it did. So you ask again what does this have to do with radio? For the past 6 months I have been on a mission to build up my copy speed of Morse code. I really did not like the code and had to learn it and I say "had too" because when I first went for my ham ticket the code was a requirement. I learned the code back then to later forget it once I obtained my ticket. I have come full circle to respecting and admiring the skill of Morse code. I worked very hard to learn the code and it's very true if you don't use it you loose it. I had lost it over time but in my mid 50's I started again to learn it and wanted to master it....have not got there yet but the challenge keeps me sharp. I am focusing on contest Morse code and my next challenge will be a higher speed QSO Morse code. I am at the point now (35-38 wpm contest code) that as my practice contest code programs spill the code at me I find myself typing the letter or number and looking at the screen on the PC to see if it's correct and then listen for the next letter. At 36-38 wpm looking at the letter to confirm is not an option I end up missing letters and not getting the call sign or exchange correct. Now at this speed of code I strongly recommend proper home row touch keyboarding and not hunt and peck the letters and numbers. As mentioned in a past post thank goodness in school I took typing and am able to touch type. As I struggled to hit the 35-38 wpm mark I remembered my music teacher...."close your eyes and listen" I did just that and my rate of copy went from 70% up to the 90's. I don't keep my eyes closed all the time and I feel it's just really helping me to concentrate on the rhythm of the letters and numbers. To close your eyes and listen sure does the trick for me.

Listen with your eyes closed.

 


Way back in high school one of my classes was band class, now this was not brass band but strings and wood wind. I was a cello player and very much enjoyed it but when it was time to sign it out to practice at home I had wished I picked the flute....I digress....What does the cello have to do with ham radio? Well back when I was in band class part of our testing was to listen to a recording of an orchestra playing and identify as many individual instruments as we could. Simple with violin, double bass, cello and clarinet. But the Oboe, Bass and E-flat Clarinet, Bassoon, Contrabassoon and then the Viola. Our teacher told us to close our eyes as we listened and it would make things much easier and over time it did. 

So you ask again what does this have to do with radio? For the past 6 months I have been on a mission to build up my copy speed of Morse code. I really did not like the code and had to learn it and I say "had too" because when I first went for my ham ticket the code was a requirement. I learned the code back then to later forget it once I obtained my ticket. 

I have come full circle to respecting and admiring the skill of Morse code. I worked very hard to learn the code and it's very true if you don't use it you loose it. I had lost it over time but in my mid 50's I started again to learn it and wanted to master it....have not got there yet but the challenge keeps me sharp. 

I am focusing on contest Morse code and my next challenge will be a higher speed QSO Morse code. I am at the point now (35-38 wpm contest code) that as my practice contest code programs spill the code at me I find myself typing the letter or number and looking at the screen on the PC to see if it's correct and then listen for the next letter. At 36-38 wpm looking at the letter to confirm is not an option I end up missing letters and not getting the call sign or exchange correct. 

Now at this speed of code I strongly recommend proper home row touch keyboarding and not hunt and peck the letters and numbers. As mentioned in a past post thank goodness in school I took typing and am able to touch type. As I struggled to hit the 35-38 wpm mark I remembered my music teacher...."close your eyes and listen" I did just that and my rate of copy went from 70% up to the 90's. I don't keep my eyes closed all the time and I feel it's just really helping me to concentrate on the rhythm of the letters and numbers. 

To close your eyes and listen sure does the trick for me.

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.

There was life on the CW portion of the bands from 19:00-20:00 UTC!

20m at 19:10 during the CWops 1 hour contest



 

With the increase in sunspots and rising flux comes some solar flares and the Kp-index will have it's ups and downs. This afternoon the Kp index up was up to 5 and 6 and that does not my Mike the ham a happy person. Now having said that right in the middle of the high Kp index the bands at 19:00 UTC came alive! It was the weekly running of the CWops test, a one hour contest. Before the contest 20m was dead and at 1900 UTC life was brought to the band. Stations from Canada, U.S and Europe warmed up 20 meters to a nice glow. It's great mini contests like these happen as it shows some action on the bands. 

Another great CW contest is the K1USN SST CW contest this contest happens on Fridays at 20:00-21:00 UTC and Monday 00:00-01:00 ( which for most of us is still Sunday evening) This contest is not one of speed but slower. You will find operators sending from 10 wpm to 20 wpm and if you are not sending at 10 wpm then speed is slowed to match your speed. These are nice contests that only asks for 1 hour a week and it can get  your feet wet with contesting. 




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