Thursday, 18 December 2014

EURAO Party - Autumn 2014: be digital, explore 30m

The European Radio Amateurs' Organization, together with the 30 Meter Digital Group , announce a new
party on the air, this time with the motto: "be digital, explore 30m".

Remember this is not a contest, it is just a radio meeting with a few simple 'rules', better to call them recommendations. Purpose: to promote this magnificent band, all digital modes, have fun and meet other hams all over the world. Of course also SWLing is welcome.

Date & time: December 20th and 21st, 2014, Saturday and Sunday, 00:00-24:00 UTC.
Bands & modes: these are the recommended modes/frequencies (+/-) for the 30m band: CW/10.100-10.130, SSTV-N/10.132 and 10.144, WSPR/10.1386, JT65/10.138-10.140, BPSK31/10.140-10.142, RTTY/10.142-10.145, ROS/10.144-10.145, FeldHELL/10.144, APRS/10.1491-10.1495 MHz.

Tools: HamSpots, Band Chart.
Call: "CQ EURAO Party".
Exchange: because this is a QSO event, not a contest, you can talk about whatever you want, in any language, and for as long as you like. Here are some topic suggestions to get the conversation going: name, city, locator, weather, antennas, rigs, etc. Also talk about QSL interchange. Tell the truth. Say "no, thanks" if you are not interested in QSL cards. But if you would like to have a memory of your contact, feel free to use our EuroBureauQSL (see below).

Logs: for statistic purposes only, we ask participants to submit their logs to in ADIF format, where the filename should be your callsign (e.g. EA3RKF.ADI). There will be no results or league tables, only statistical information about number of QSOs, countries, callsigns, OMs/YLs/Clubs, etc.

Certificate of Participation: for those sending the log and with a minimum of 10% QSOs confirmed.

EuroBureauQSL: you can use it to interchange QSLs even if you are not member. In this case, just send the QSL to the entry point of the country of the station you have contacted.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

ARRL 10M contest day 2

Event: ARRL 10M contest (day 2 of 2)
Logger: N1MM+ most updated version
Station: Icom IC-706MKIIG, 100W
Antenna: HB9CV at 6m AGL

Second day of the contest. I was up very early before sunrise. Not surprised I could actually hear some stations. First contact with 4J6RO the hamradio club of the russian community in Azerbaijan at 06:31 UTC already, it was still dark. XW4YT from Laos has been the most populair DX this weekend I guess. I heard first signals from him at 7 UTC and still heard him at 13 UTC with 5/9+ but pile-up was huge all the time and although several dutch stations made it into the log I was unable to break through. Same for Japan and Australia, heard them but they didn't hear me. However I had no trouble to reach other stations from that area. I spend several hours in the contest today a lot more as yesterday, not to the amusement of my XYL and daughter. I tried to explain that this is the last contest of the year and only possible contacts at daylight. Besides that this could be the last good 10m contest for years. I took a break around lunchtime and spend some time with my family to balance things. Returned after tea time here and made as much QSOs with the USA/Canada as possible. Shot a video as well. I think in the next years when there are no 10m conditions for years I will be looking at this post & video regularly and dream from things to come. I hope to have a real mast and antenna in the next solar maximum so I can work the stations that I was unable to work now...Anyway of course it was a very enjoyable contest with reasonable propagation. With a little perseverance and luck you could work the DX. Certainly the use of my HB9CV did help this time and score was better as last year.

Most interesting DX worked: V31MA (Belize), FR4NT (Reunion Isl), NP2X (U.S.Virgin Isl), YN5Z (Nicaragua), HK1T (Colombia), 4J6RO (Azerbaijan), HS0ZHC (Thailand), VR2XAN (Hong Kong), BG6CCP (China), YY1YLY (Venezuela), CO6LC (Cuba), TG9IIN (Guatemala), FM1HN (Martinique Isl.), J6/AD4J (St.Lucia), XE2JS (Mexico) 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

ARRL 10m contest day 1

Event: ARRL 10M contest (day 1 of 2)
Logger: N1MM+ most updated version
Station: Icom IC-706MKIIG, 100W
Antenna: HB9CV at 6m AGL

Oh my, I overslept! Planned to be on the radio before sunrise to catch first DX but it was already light when I woke up. I took a run to the shack and switched on all equipment. Radio was already buzzing with voices and it was just 7:15 UTC yet! Oh no, computer screen told me it was updating 3 of 3 updates. Why now!! Finally computer started.....clicking N1MM+ but nothing happened...nothing! Quickly surfed the internet to the newest download of N1MM+, installing took ages...finally at 7:28 UTC the contest logger came to life! I logged some stations and did hear some VKs but unfortenately they didn't hear me. The rest of the family woke up also and I had to go. Returned in the afternoon for a few minutes and a few contacts. Later that afternoon I managed to get on and off the radio for a hour. In the evening already dark I managed to hear and work some last USA stations in about 10 minutes. Then the band seemed to be closed. At 19:30 UTC decided to switch everything off when I suddenly hear M6T with 5/7. A QSO was made fast and a few seconds later he was gone. Would it have something to do with the Geminids meteorshowers?

First time since 2007 I'm able to use a directional antenna again during this contest. My goal is not really to break any records but to work at least a ATNO. And yes I did although I had limited time today. I worked V31MA Marc from Belize. Propagation on 10m today as far as I could hear was really good. In total I managed to spend 90 minutes on the radio in total today. I worked 57 stations from 23 DXCC. I hope for a good day tomorrow and will try to shoot some video if possible. This year might be the last year we can enjoy this kind of good propagation on 10m. In a couple of years it will be a struggle to get about 20-30 QSOs in a whole weekend at the 10m contest. So if you can find some time to be on the radio I recommend to give some shouts to work the DX during this contest.