The 13 Colonies Event continues……

During my adventure with the 13 Colonies event, I was able to see the advantages my Icom 7610 brings to the table. The name of the game with the Colonies event is to try to log all 13 (Clean sweep) colonies stations. At the get-go of the event for me, the stations were very easy to log but as you come closer to your last 2 colonies it became a bit more tricky. This is were my 7610 gave me a great advantage. During this event, I learned very fast that the best way to log a station is to find them calling CQ before they are spotted on a network. Once they have been spotted the crowd starts to gather and my success goes way down for a contact.
 The 7610 has what is called "Dual watch" this utilizes the two completely independent receivers in the radio. This allowed me to leave VFO A (listening with my left ear)  on a spotted frequency listening for a lull in the activity. VFO B (listening with my right ear) was moving around on the same band or different band hunting for a nonspotted colony station calling CQ. If VFO A was getting really crazy with callers but I wanted to stick it out for the just in case moment, I am able with a push of a button to mute VFO A. With each receiver you have filter, twin passband, NR, NB and antenna choices you can make to help out with you dealing with band conditions. Finally, as you can see from the screenshot above I was able to activate the "Dual scope" option and have a separate waterfall for 20m and 15m or you can do it for the same band as well. I have always been an Elecraft person (I still have the KX3 so I guess I still am) but I am very impressed with the 7610 a great bang for your buck!

At this point, I am looking for K2C out of RI and GB13COL in England and I want to continue using CW as all other stations were logged using this mode. At this point in time I have found that K2C spends little time on CW and as for GB13COL many have said they just cannot hear them and I concur. It 's getting down to crunch time as the 7th is the last day so let's see if the ham gods are smiling on me? If not then I have found out about a great event that seems to be very well attended and for the most part the participating stations are on the air and activating most if not all modes. Good luck to everyone who are still looking for their clean sweep in this event.
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

5 Responses to “The 13 Colonies Event continues……”

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Trevor I found a way to repost and the header has been corrected! Thanks for the heads up on this one as I just thought it was updated when I first changed my original blog post.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Hi Mike,

    Well I got 11 and can’t find the last 2. In years past I have gotten all 13 and the bonus. Not this year. As far as being able to use 2 RX to chance around the band I agree it is a awesome experience. When I had the FTdx5000MPL I did that many times and even worked one band in one ear and chased around another band looking for other station. Trading my 5000 for my Kenwood TS-990S gave me the same power. Not only for the 13 colonies but also for just chasing DX and doing splits. Knowing were the DX transmitted last by actually hearing him or her and jumping in at the end has netted me lots of DX and broken a lot of pile up. The 7610 is one of those radios that makes DXing and contests more interesting. Glad you were able to get one.

    My working setup now is IC-7300 for 100% digital, TS-990S for SSB and CW. IC-9700 for Vhf/Uhf and attempting satellite. A old K3/10/100. (I can make it either with just a jumper and removing the amp module). My latest toy is Xeigu G90 SDR QRP radio… IMHO the G90 beats the KX2, KX3 and cost a fraction of the cost of either radio and it seems it will be far less expensive then the IC-705 when the finally start selling them. It is nice having a QRP radio with big radio sound from the speaker also. The speakers in the KX2 and KX3 are a joke and should have been left out and headphones should have been supplied with the radio.

    Have fun and thanks for yet another great article. Love reading them all.

    73 to you and yours


  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good afternoon Harry it’s great to hear from you again, I have not heard from you for some time and was hoping all was well at your end? At this point, all I need is GB13COL and it’s just very hard to find him when I do locate them it’s then the huge pile up to make the contact. Today is the last day and will see if I can bag GB13COL……..Yes, I am very much enjoying the 7610 and I too have had one band in the right ear and another band in the left ear. It sure does take some getting used to and now and then I spin the VFO to only realize I have not chosen the correct VFO on the screen of the 7610 and I spin away from the wrong frequency……..The Kenwood TS990S is an amazing rig and has all the bells and whistles for sure. Having the 200 watts is nice along with a built-in power supply. The last rig I have like that was the Yaesu FT1000MP MKV. It did lack a second receiver but back then it was not in the cards. You certainly have the setup for all the bands and due keep me posted on how you make out with the 9700 and that adventure.
    I have not looked into the Xeigu G90 SDR QRP radio but for portable op’s….which I have not done up to this point I do have he Elecraft KX3 here. On the subject of Elecraft, I was reading on their website that they are at this point only offering refurbished K3S and K3 rigs. I am wondering if COVID has affected their supply chain for new K3S’s?

    You and your better half stay safe Harry and it was great to hear from you. Have great hamming with your rigs and keep me up to date with the trading adventures you do!

  • Cliff KU4GW:

    I tried to get a sweep on CW mode only using my Yaesu FT-1000MP Mark-V and a 260 feet long doublet wire antenna, but only wound up with 11 colony states. I did hear GB13COL on 20M, but he was so weak at the time I’d have given him a 229 RST if I could have even recognized my own callsign if he sent it back to me so I never even tried. I never did get K2B in VA because every time I saw him on DXSummit he was spotted on either phone, RTTY, or FT8 modes. The other one I missed was K2L in SC who decided to work QRP CW and on bands that don’t work well very close to adjacent states so he was so weak I never could copy him well enough to work him. I tried with the 200 watts the Mark V will do on 80M, but after 3 calls he never heard me there and he continued calling CQ with no one else coming back to his CQs at the time. Anyway, I still had a lot of fun trying and ended up with 11 states in the log. I sent a SASE for 1 card I especially liked because of it having both the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence documents on what looks like the old original paper they were written on with the Delaware State Seal in between them. Check out the card on QRZ for K2E! I wanted that beautiful card for my collection so I hope I get one since they only had 1000 cards total to QSL with. Hopefully next year I’ll get a sweep, this year was the first time I ever attempted it, but cycle 25 should be giving us some better propagation and SFI numbers by then, keeping my finger crossed anyway. I sure do appreciate the folks that take their time to do these special events each year because they sure do enhance my enjoyment of the world’s best hobby! Oh, by the way, the Mark V has dual receivers, but I found it much faster using DXSummit’s spotting page. I think if I had been trying to do the event QRP only Mike, VE9KK’s method would have been best because of beating the pileups before they got started.

    Very 73 de Cliff, KU4GW

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good morning Cliff very nice to hear from you, it sure is a fun but at the same time challenging event. As you said Cliff there were times when the stations were on modes other than CW so a contact was not in the cards if you wanted all CW. As you mentioned I did find just going up and down the band looking for a Colony station was the way to go. Having the band scope on the 7610 for sure made it easier. In the past I did have the FT1000MkV and it was a great rig and the 200 watts sure did help me out at times. For me also there were a few times when I sent my call, and they came back to me but then under the noise floor they went, so I was not sure I made the complete contact, so I did not count it and tried again later.
    Thanks for stopping by the blog Cliff and taking the time to leave a comment.

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