Friday, 6 March 2015

JT9 map 5-March-2015

Had some time this evening to play JT mode again. Suprisingly 15,17 and 20m were still open after it became dark. Only digimode as I didn't hear a single SSB station on those bands. JT9 is a amazing mode that is able to pick a signal and decode it even when it is below the noise floor. Again there was the proof JT9 is better as JT65. WO4R tried first on JT65 but we didn't manage to make a complete QSO. He responded on my JT9 CQ a few minutes later and the QSO was completed. I was even heard on the other side of the rocky mountains, a hard to get place for radiosignals. I don't know if these spots might be on long path? JT9 wise I was transmitting QRO with 20W on my ALU tape vertical antenna which is fed by a CG3000 autotuner and has a base height of 9m. Although I was received by a lot I only managed a few QSO, I guess many are just monitoring to see how the propagation is evolving probabely for the upcoming ARRL DX SSB contest this weekend.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Increase activity with JT9

Since eQSL has now 2 certificates you can get with JT9 digimode I hope activity will increase because of this. You can get those certificates when you got 100 DXCC JT9 QSO confirmed by eQSL (eDX100) and 50 USA states JT9 QSO confirmed by eQSL (eWAS). I think the ePFX300 award is to follow. I'm curious how many operators have worked 100 DXCC on JT9, I don't think there are already 100 DXCC active with JT9 actually so that will be a hard one to get. Overall these certificates are a great way to increase activity with JT9 as many do collect awards and want to have a goal to accomplish. I tried to make some QSOs in JT9 mode last evening but still find activity low compared with JT65.

Although not everyone is a certificate hunter it is nice to have a goal if you need one. To obtain the JT9 certificates on eQSL I still have a long way to go.

Some of the best designed eQSLs received are from digital mode operators and JT9 especially.

Still I am suprised there are not many more that use JT9 digimode but stick at JT65. I think it has to do with the fact that only WSJT-X is capable of JT9 at the moment and JT65 can be done by a lot of other programs.

Monday, 2 March 2015

CQWW 160m SSB contest last weekend

It has been 2007 when I last participate in this contest. I then was the only participant on SSB from the Netherlands and of course got first place! Actually the time this contest is on (best at night) is a good thing when you haven't got much radio time at daylight. I mainly participate this time to work HV0A from the Vatican as a new band one. I managed to work HV0A after a hour or so. I stopped at 100 QSOs sunday evening. Now I read the rules afterwards (stupid me!) and it is not allowed for single operator low power to use any assistance. And of course I did, and so did many others according to the "logs received" page of the CQ 160 contest .

So that leaves me with a choice of high power assisted only. That is probabely why they put me in multi-op section in 2007. Another handicap at least for dutch operators was occurring as well to me, we are not allowed to transmit above 1880 KHz though other countries can operate till 2000KHz. So dutch operators can never seriously take part in the 160m SSB contest as they just miss too many multipliers and QSOs. I heard HK1T (Colombia) with S9 sunday night but it was above 1880 KHz so it was not possible to try and make a QSO. Anyway it suprised me that I managed to create a small pile-up and even got spotted on a DX cluster. I switched between the loop fed as endfed and the vertical, although I had the idea both antennas produced a identical signal. In the end I worked 30 different DXCC. It has been a long time I made so many QSOs on 160m in one weekend and it was certainly fun!