Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Reminder Dutch Kingdom Contest

Just a reminder for the upcoming weekend 2/3 June from 15-15 UTC. Everyone works everyonecontest in SSB and CW. From 40-6m. I've been a winner for the last 3 years in the section A1SSB and will defend my first place again.

Together with PE1BVQ Hans we visited a radio rally here in the northern part of our country . I didn't expect to meet PJ4NX Peter, one of the organisers of the DKC there. Peter will not be back in time for the contest back on Bonaire island. I understood he will take part in the contest from a friends QTH here in the Netherlands.

Monday, May 21, 2018


A beautiful day today and we already decided to go to Borkum Island, Germany. Since PE1BVQ Hans is also having a vacation nearby we made a appointment to try, if possible, to make the "DX" contact. I brought my Baofeng UV-5R with me, not the best equipment but reliable. Since the
distance is too long for a station-station contact we used the VHF repeater PI2NOG from Delfzijl.

At first I wanted to try from the boat to the island but....

If you don't know german. The sign says that using transmitting equipment is not allowed on the boat. I don't know how old the sign is since if I took a look around I saw a lot of transmitters (mobile phones) in operation ;-)

Anyway, I think it is a miracle that the contact was made as I didn't knew when I had a chance to be on frequency. And Hans would need to have his HT with him all the time to get on the air as soon as I send him a message. It almost went wrong as Hans had some issues.....but in the end we made the contact. From the beach on Borkum Island to Delfzijl repeated to Midlaren and vice versa. Well some of it has been recorded on video...

Sunday, May 20, 2018

WSPR DXCC nr.90 8Q7HI - Maldives

It seems I was on the wrong band 2 days before. Didn't do enough research were to try for 8Q7HI. Although PE1BVQ Hans told me he received 8Q7HI on 40m. So, that was the band to go...

Chasing DX these days is not easy for me due to limited hobby time. Luckely there is the WSPR system and this year seems to be very successfull. At exactly 01:00 UTC this morning my 1W WSPR signal was spotted by 8Q7HI from the Maldives on 40m. I was using my inverted-V antenna. This is my 5th new DXCC this year and the 90th DXCC overall on WSPR with the use of only 1W power. And although it is not a real QSO I'm still thrilled. Why? Well try to get 90 DXCC in your log on WSPR.....it will not be easy. You need to research the activity page often and make database searches to see if a beacon is receiving. That's not always the case...for example 3B8FV from Mauritius seems to be transmit only, a pity.

Below a map from what 8Q7HI was receiving over the last 24h.

Not much can be found about this station by the way. No QRZ page, there is a QSL manager in the US. There has been a German DXpedition last year as far as I can find. So....who is managing the station? I guess it's based in a hotel or a resort? Might be remote controlled? Curious??

Friday, May 18, 2018

12m WSPR last week

If you like to get frustrated and being spot by only a few in a week I suggest to pick the 12m band...

Need I say more?

RX was a little better...

First part of the week using my multiband vertical, second part my inverted-V. It didn't matter, there was just almost no propagation...

So, back to 20m were it seems 8Q7HI (Maldives) is receiving spots according to PA3MDJ

I received 8Q7HI on 17m 2 weeks ago and assumed it was a TX beacon only. Hopefully if 8Q7HI does receive my 1W WSPR signal it will be DXCC nr. 90 on WSPR.

According to the PE1ITR WSPR challenge it was not that bad...

Yaesu FTDX101D answering Icom SDRs

From the ML&S facebook page:

We have been asked if Yaesu will be entering the world of SDR, well here is the answer !

FTDX101D HF/50MHz 100W Transceiver

YAESU is excited to introduce a new High-Class HF/50MHz 100W Transceiver – FTDX101D and the first sample will be seen at Dayton Hamvention 2018. This information and the sample showed at Dayton are only the preliminary introduction, and any detailed information such as pricing and date of release is to be announced at a later date.

The new FTDX101D is utilizing the latest SDR Technology and classified as our High-End HF line, the FTDX series, which amateurs have come to know represents quality.

A few of the remarkable features of the new FTDX101D are;
- YAESU High-Class HF/ 50MHz 100W Transceiver
- SDR Technology and Waterfall Display
- Large Touch Panel precision color display
- Active Band Monitor enables rapid band changes with LED illumination of the operating band
- Independent control of the Main and Sub Bands allows effortless operation for the serious contester needing to move quickly between the amateur bands
- High-Q VC Tuning Front-End
- Main tuning dial for Main and Sub Band frequency control includes an Outer Dial for clarifier, VC tuning, fine tuning or custom settings

I'm not a huge Yaesu fan and think this might be a panic reaction.  Will it be as good as the IC-7300 or the IC-7610 by Icom?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

GDPR ready

Paul PA0K wrote about this before and made me aware of the fact that the AVG act comes into effect at may 25th. GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation is the english term. This new European Privacy Regulation applies to every organization that in one way or another has to deal with personal data. It also concerns hobby bloggers like us. Paul did switch off comments and removed some counters to prevent problems. But I've been looking for the things that need to be done. So far I think the most important is the "cookie" bar at top of the page which appears automatically of european readers and I add a "privacy policy" link in which I describe what data is used and collected.

My personal view on all this is that it is good the make internet users aware of the fact that a lot of data is collected and known. But "privacy" is something that is not possible on the internet except if you use a VPN and a browser like Tor. And even then you leave traces that can be tracked. If you like real privacy and read this you are too late. You used the internet so something is known about you. Erasing traces on the internet is almost impossible. Only those few "lucky" ones that have no phone, no internet, no home and no family or friends have privacy.

Friday, May 11, 2018

17m WSPR last week

Have been WSPRing on 17m for a couple of days last week. Using my inverted-V. Not really the band of choice for most stations. It is a WARC band, few have a good antenna for it. And there are not really that many stations monitoring there. Over the days propagation on 17 started late and ended early. However DP0GVN from the southpole was spotted a few times, not all days. EA8BFK is the real king of 17m WSPR, there seems to be 24/7 propagation on the Canary Islands, I even spotted him in the middle of the night at 01:30 UTC last night. So far propagation only favours north south, no spots from USA, Japan or Australia.

Find the 38 stations I received yesterday in order of distance here:


Overall I had a low "score" at the PE1ITR WSPR receive challenge page. But yesterday was my best day till now.

This morning I decided to switch to my multiband vertical. It receives a lot more noise. However I want to see if my TX signal will be received by more stations??

Friday, May 4, 2018

AE5X WSPR spots 3-5-2018

After a comment by John AE5X on my previous post I decided to give it a try on 40m to see if I was able to receive his 200mW signal. And yes, I received it without much problems, 12 spots in total:

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Back on WSPR

A few of you readers noticed probabely that I don't post to much lately. Time is always a issue unfortenately. Busy life, busy job, tired in the evening. So I decided to do some more WSPR, the mode that doesn't need a operator and still is fun. Using my old laptop and the FT-817 on a switched supply it doesn't cost a fortune on the electricity as well. I have absolutely no idea in what shape the bands are but hope to get an idea now. The plan is to try a band for about 24 hours and then move to another. Started on 30m at Sunday on the multiband vertical and moved to 20m this morning on the inverted-V.

The setup: Yaesu FT-817 using 1W. HRD V5 to CAT control the FT-817 and to key the PTT via CAT. Software is JTDX 17.6.1. Why am I using this old version of JTDX? Well, it runs well on my laptop and it still has the receive input slider which is missing in newer versions of JTDX and WSJT-X, something I really don't understand. The great thing is I can access everything with another computer or phone with teamviewer. Theoretically I could switch bands remotely if I didn't use a antennatuner. And my autotuner needs 10W to tune.

I use WSPR since 2009 and so far my 1W signal is received in 87 DXCC. Last couple of years I was not that active on WSPR. You can find more info including a DXCC list on my WSPR page.