Sunday, February 28, 2021

Some 160m DX

 My XYL asked when I intend to remove the wire that slopes from the tower into our new trees. Yes, I should remove it...but first I want to make some more DX with this very simple 160m band sloper.

Worked some very nice stations which I not worked before on 160m last evening. One of the 4X1UF/QRP (Israel), GU8FBO (Guernsey Isl.) and EA8AR (Canary Isl.). The surprise was that I've been heard on Antarctica.

I guess my XYL needs to have patience....

Nice QSL card received from ON7DY, tnx Marcel!

Friday, February 26, 2021

First 60m ATNO in 2021 - A71AE Qatar

 Have been looking for this station for a while. However he is not on 60m very often. When he is, he's most wanted of course. And with the amount of stations on 60m these days working DX like this is extremely difficult. A first try, I was almost confident he managed to make it.

Unfortunately A71AE was covered by the signal from UR6QV who was on exact the same frequency. But since a slot later he gave CQ I assumed he had been transmitting a 73. Anyway, I decided to ask Mubarak by e-mail. He responded quickly that I was not in the log and should give it another try.

After trying for what looks like a 100 times:

I finally made it. The first new one on 60m this year. Of course I'm happy though checking his clublog upload I'm still not in the log. Mysteriously because to me the screenshot shows enough evidence. It was not a pirate station hopefully!!! I saw lots of others making a QSO, if no one is in the log then it definitely is a pirate...

Update 10-03-2021:

I managed to work A71AE again and this time I appear in his log. I probabely worked a pirate station before?

Thursday, February 25, 2021

(Guest post DB6LL) WSJT-X and JTDX sharing logs

 The case: Why should you use both programs on digimode? Well, WSJT-X contains other modes like the new FST. Q65 and MSK, JTDX contains T10 and other features. So sometimes you really need another package to work another digimode or use other features. Since many HAMs use both WSJT-X and JTDX making contacts it would be nice to see what you worked (B4, DXCC etc.) in both software packages. Of course you can make a copy of wsjtx_log.adi and paste it in both WSJT-X/JTDX directory every day. But it is possible to automate something like this so WSJT-X and JTDX share the same ADIF log. DB6LL Hartmut wrote about this for a German language digimode FB page. I asked him if I could use this for my blog and he responded by translate the whole document in English to share it with you all. Isn't that great!

Before you mess up completely I advice to not try this when you don't know much about computers, directories and DOS commands. Please make a back-up from your wsjtx_adi files before trying to modify things.

A shared LOG file for WSJT-X and JTDX under Windows

There is a way to share wsjt_log.adi in Windows (7, 8.1 and 10) WSJT-X and JTDXi. This makes it easier to work alternately with WSJT-X and JTDX and both programmes and also JTAlert show all callsigns e.g. with B4 that you have already worked. This trick works with the command mklink on the command line level and is not quite trivial (keyword: hard link type symlink). I have to assume a certain amount of computer knowledge so that this explanation does not go on forever. 

And as always: following these instructions is at your own risk!

<username> is the Windows user name on your system. In my case, I log in as DB6LL, so there is a directory with the name DB6LL on my PC:

By the way, it can't hurt to make a back-up of the two wsjtx_log-adi files before following this guide. You will find this file in the respective directories:




First, open the "Run" window with the Windows key & R. Then enter the command cmd.exe in the "Open" line and press ctrl+shift+Enter and answer yes when windows is asking you if it is allright. You will run the command as admin now.

A window called "Windows Command Prompt" opens. 

The cursor flashes in the line C:\WINDOWS\system32

Enter the command cd c:\users\<username>\appdata\local\jtdx\ and Enter.

You are now in the JTDX directory where, among other things, the logbook file wsjtx_log-adi is located.

With the command del C:\users\<username>\appdata\local\wsjt-x\wsjtx_log.adi you first delete the log file of WSJT-X in the target directory. (Of course this is when you want to use your JTDX wsjtx_log.adi as master).

Now you create a new

mklink /H C:\users\<username> \appdata\local\wsjt-x\wsjtx_log.adi wsjtx_log.adi

a HardLink of the file wsjtx_log.adi from the JTDX directory to the WSJT-X directory. It is then one and the same file with one name, which now appears to be in two places.

If you read the message in the CMD window: Hardlink created for... in the CMD window, the command has been executed correctly and you can see the JDTX log file in the WSJT-X directory.

In future, both programmes will write the logged stations to the same log file and display the same information (B4) in colours.

Note: The add-on programme JTAlert analyses the contacts from your main logbook and the information does not have to match the stations in wsjtx_log.adi, as it reports all contacts in all modes....

Good luck and in future always have a correct overview of which station you already have in the log.

vy73 Hartmut, DB6LL

(edited by Bas, PE4BAS)

I've tested the above trick myself and it works very well. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Some 80m DX

 Despite contacting Japan on 160m and 40m I never had a QSO on 80m. Till today that is...

I tried very hard for over a hour but none from Japan was getting back to my call. Not to my CQ and not when I tried to call the Japanese stations I received. Till JA5EXW finally came back.

When searching in his log I see I worked him on 160m and 6m as well.

Working DX on 80m FT8 is not easy on the usual 3573KHz. It is simply too crowded. And unfortunately some stations really don't know what I mean when calling CQ JA. Really, I had to crawl trough numerous european contacts before I could call CQ JA again and even when in QSO with JA5EXW there was someone calling on my TX frequency. I really don't know why?

I like 60m much more as a ultimate DX band. At least you can find a empty spot in the waterfall which is almost impossible on the "normal" bands like 80,40 and 20m. However, I'll do my best to pick some more DX on 80m these days since at this moment I don't see much interesting DX on 60m although I keep an eye on the DX cluster and monitor once and a while...

Monday, February 22, 2021

S-match - Palstar AT1KM with 1:1 balun efficiency/balance comparisation

  First of all, don't expect a very scientific comparisation here. I haven't got calibrated equipment. It is just a practical comparisation between the S-match antennatuner I previously converted from a MFJ-948 and the Palstar AT1KM with homemade 1:1 current balun for the low bands. Personally I think it is not a fair comparisation since the components in the S-match are inferior compared to the components used in the Palstar. However, I was just curious...

Measurement was made with 50W input. Output current was measured with my homemade RF current meter.

             Palstar                            S-Match

Band%Left%Right %Left%Right
2080      70

Not surprisingly the S-match does not perform as good as the Palstar with 1:1 balun. I think this is because of the used components in the tuners. The Palstar has bigger capacitors and a huge variable coil. The S-match has small capacitors with a switchable coil, this coil is made of wire that is only 1/4 of the size the Palstar coil is made of. Besides that the S-match has a lot of additional wiring because it is a converted T-match and components are not in the ideal place. However, the S-match is advertised as doing a great job in balancing, in this it does a good job....but the Palstar T-match design with 1:1 balun outside the tuner does at least the same job in balancing.

My conclusion is that if you want to use a doublet as your antenna and think you need a special (balanced) tuner for it to feed the open line this is simply not necessary. If you have a simple T-match tuner or even a automatic tuner that has enough capacity, with a good 1:1 current balun outside the tuner it will do the job.

Past experiments:

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

More maps...


Some people asked me how to make the map I showed in the previous post. That's easy, I use this site:

The disadvantage unfortunately is that is will not display all contacts since the locators are unknown. Now, how on earth did I make these maps in this post? Well, it's made with the service from N9MS Mike. He made a great tool for licensed HAMradio operators and extracts the individual locators from the info found on To register you need to be registered on as well and have a valid e-mail adres on your QRZ account. You can find the service here:

When you upload a ADIF file you will also get an e-mail which shows you which stations are on the map and which do not. Stations that don't have a acoount on QRZ will not be showed. On my maps that are made with the ADIF log from the PACC there are 280 stations, 20 are not found on I think because I logged them wrong. I suspect that I will have a very high error rate this year...

Anyway, the maps look very nice and it gives a nice overview. If you make use of the QSOmap service please consider to do a small donation to keep it online.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

PACC 2021 contest review

Event: PACC 2021
Section: QRP mixed
Logger: N1MM+ 
Station: Icom IC-7300 at 5% (5W)
Antenna 1: 160m sloper
Antenna 2: 10m LFA @14m
Antenna 3: Multiband vertical @16m
Antenna 4: 2x20m inverted-V doublet

It's my own descision to go QRP in this contest. I think it is the most difficult section. It takes a lot from the operator to make any QSOs and many stations will not hear you which at times is very annoying and frustrating. You'll find most stations have a lot of signal but bad receive. Actually my experience is that the stations that are the loudest have the worst receive of all. 

What amazed me this time was that I worked DX on SSB that I though was not possible with the minimum propagation these days. Propagation was so different from last year as well. I started late saturday afternoon, experience tells me this contest is a slow starter. Big surprise was a S9 signal from ZD7FT (St. Helena Island) on 10m SSB. The only signal on the band. He didn't do contesting but I had to work him with QRP....and I did, I even got a S7 report from Peter. Excellent! 20m closed early unfortunately, even before it went dark. 40m was not good either in the evening. I hoped for 80m SSB but there was a lot of QRM around. 160m was crowded last year, but this year I couldn't hear much. To compensate I had to do CW which is not my favorite but for QRP it does the job. However, I'm a very bad CW operator and I have to apologise to all stations that worked me, I probabely have a 20% reduction in the end because of wrong calls in the log or wrong contest exchange numbers on CW. Blame me, I've tried but I really need more practice. Well I decided to run on SSB at night on 80m in the end, against all odds. Someone did spot me and I had a small pile-up after all, not like with 100W but very good for 5W. A big surprise when K8UR came back to me....I mean 80m SSB QRP, imagine! Seems to be he's a 80m DXer and has a 7 element yagi for 80m!! In my last post VE9KK Mike wished me good luck in the contest at the comment. I replied I wish I could reach Canada but realised that would almost impossible with QRP. However, when switching to 40m CW at night I worked VE9ML and later on 80m CW I worked VE9AA, both from the VE9 area. those were certainly the highlights of the whole contest.

Not all stations I worked appear on the map since locators are unknown. So this result is approximately. I've not been really fanatic and tried to be with my family at times as well. Only 15,5 hours contest was enough for me. It was fun and that was most important.

PA3OES Andre who is living about 70km south from me did send me a nice video from how he did receive me on 10m CW with a Elecraft K3S. Andre does have a good receive....I did hear many other "local" stations on 10m and other bands as close as 5km from my QTH but they didn't hear me. However CW is of course "easier" as SSB...

Friday, February 12, 2021

Dutch PACC contest 2021 this weekend

Almost forgot but this weekend there is famous Dutch PACC contest. Multipliers are the dutch provences. You can find info on this site: 

For a english version you have to click the last blue button on top of that site. 

Actually the last few years my goal was to win the low power SSB section. I was planning to contest weeks before and made studies of propagation and erected extra antennas. I won that section last year. What's left? I will probabely never participate in a high power section and don't master CW good enough to take part in the CW section. So, what's left is the QRP section. I did participate in this section before in 2015 (117 QSOs) and 2016 (245 QSOs). The QRP section is a mixed section which makes it very difficult for those that are not really into CW like me. However, my CW skills are better as years ago and so is my equipment. I will use the IC-7300 with power setting to 5% (5W). I think I will do mostly S&P . Don't expect big signals from me on 80m like other years. I'll try to do my best but will not be too fanatic as my intention is not to win this section, participating is enough for me.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

First 2021 ATNO - Barbados 8P4AA WSPR 40m


After the drift test yesterday evening and posting something about it on this blog I totally forgot the radio/computer was still on. Till I remember it late this morning. Checked VK7JJ excellent WSPR site and found out I was just heard in Barbados counting for number 94 in my WSPR DXCC list.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

FT-817ND drift test

  A while ago MW1CFN John tried to find a new mobile rig that wouldn't drift. His first choice, the Lab599 TX-500 seems to a nice choice at first sight, but drift wise it is a disaster. John seems having the same thing with his Yaesu FT-450 in the past. So, I offered him to do a test with my FT-817ND which hasn't got the optional TCXO, it is just standard. Actually I couldn't remember any issue with drift at all. Even my W5OLF 30m WSPR transmitter drifts only about 2-3 Hz, and that is just a kit not even een real transceiver. But I was curious what the outcome would be, so after a long time a put my FT-817 in service again.

Earlier today I did read John made his choice to buy a Icom IC-705. A very versatile and luxury rig with a very high price tag. Every mobile transceiver has pro and cons. The new IC-705 is state of the art at the moment with lots of features. One big pro is that it can be connected to a computer with just one USB cable or even wireless. A disadvantage is that it isn't as rugged as a FT-817 or 818. 

Certainly the big disadvantage of a FT-817 (818) is that it isn't really luxury. No extra filters, no touch screen. Not the latest state of the art at all. And you need a lot of cables to connect it to a computer as you can see on the piture above...

However, I think connecting CAT control and audio can be made simple if only someone takes up my experimental idea about bluetooth wireless control. I did experiments before and I showed a working "prototype". This could be implemented in one box with power supplied from the ACC socket on the backside. However I haven't got the time, knowledge and money to put something like this on the market.

But back to the drift story....does the original FT-817ND drift on HF WSPR? Well, you can judge yourself by taking a look at the above screenshot.

And in the meantime John made another choice.....which saved him a lot of money. He bought a FT-818ND which will do perfectly for his needs I guess. And he will not have any drift problem at all, that's for shure!

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Historical radio stories

 In the past few years I wrote a number of interesting historical posts which I want to promote a little. Got some inspiration from AE5X who wrote some interesting historical stories on his blog. Except if you experienced things yourself it takes a lot of effort to write these stories since you have to do some homework to verify if stories really happened. Some evidence with photo or video is always appreciated but sometimes have a copyright so you cannot publish everything before asking. I hope I will come across interesting historical topics in the future to write about on this blog.

The picture above found somewhere on facebook. A radio operator in a bomber plane. Probabely in WW2. Fascinating. Would really love to hear the story about this picture...

Interesting historical posts:

About a small house on Terschelling island. Built as a listening post for the navy secret intelligence and later used for all kind amateur radio purposes.

About the tugboat "Holland" and the callsign PESK.

About the development of the first Walky Talky and it's first time use in my area.

About illigal resistance radio operator Dirk Rustema PA0DR nickname "Joop" who was from my area.

About PA0DR memorabilia.

About PA0DR as radio operator after the war.

From AE5X:

The use of radio during a epedemic lockdown in 1937

Morse code use at a submarine distaster in 1927

About a FM transmitter built by AE5X in the ninetees of last century

About SWL adventures from AE5X when he was in the navy

About spies "number stations" on 40m.

About a WW2 secret radiostation in neutral Switzerland

SOS to the rescue 1935 book review

About John's time on a submarine and technology on board

About the 1914 Vibroplex blue racer

1975 CW audio

About the polish underground in WW2

Friday, February 5, 2021

UKEICC 80m SSB, PACC rehearsal

 Like last year I find this contest a great way for a small rehearsal before the PACC. The goal is to make as many contacts as possible without any faults.

Original the plan was to call till 20:25UTC then do a 10 minute S&P to return running till the end. It didn't work out this time...

First 20 minutes was very difficult. I actually thought I started at the wrong time. I didn't hear anyone calling in the contest. So, I double checked the time. It was right, but the QRM was very high. A few layers of stations across the 80m band. Impossible to find a quiet place to call. So I just tried and started to run, but it went wrong after a few minutes. I could not hear the stations that were replying to me due to big splattering. Lost 10 minutes searching for a quiet spot, even the spectrum display didn't help this time. Finally I found 3707KHz as best frequency and worked a steady flow of stations till the end of the contest. Didn't do S&P this time, so I missed the far away stations. Just didn't have the time for it.

I had the hackgreenSDR online again as well and could see my trace getting stronger between 20:30-21:00UTC. It did reflect on the QSO rate for shure.

From the 67 contacts made 66 were valid. I'm curious what fault I made. Will update this post as soon as I have the results.

The PACC 2021 contest will be on 13 and 14 February.

Update 07-Feb-2021:

UKEICC 80m SSB contest using 6 char grids


Mode: SSB


Power: Low

Callsign: PE4BAS

Operator: PE4BAS

Locator: JO33JK

Total QSOs: 67

Potential Points: 193

Actual points: 185.24

Points per QSO: 2.88

Longest scoring QSO: 1052.21 km with EI3ER

Highest points QSO: 8.00 points with G6AY



No Dupes!



No NILs!

Busted reports


EI9JU - Should have been IO65GA

Busted Calls 


No busted calls!

I always repeat the locator so it is not clear to me why the locator from EI9JU slipped through as a fault. But overall I think I did a good job.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Operating mode comparisation chart including Q65

 Hartmut DB6LL once again made another comparisation chart (tnx). It includes the new Q65 mode. I publish it here with permission.


I didn't try Q65 myself yet. If you like you can download the first release candidate of the WSJT-X software featuring Q65 here. If you compare Q65 15s with FT8 it could do a 3dB better decode which is a huge difference. Some people think that Q65 will take over FT8 on HF, but personally I don't think so. FT8 occupies "only" 50Hz. Q65 15s will occupy 433Hz. You can fit 8 different FT8 signals in one Q65 transmission. So, I really doubt this mode will get populair on HF. However for EME, troposcatter, rainscatter etc. this is a interesting development.

A Q65 quick start PDF can be dowloaded here.

Updated this post 5-Feb-2021 with a new chart.

Updated this post 6-Feb-2021 wih a new chart due to an error

Monday, February 1, 2021

CQWW 160m CW contest participation

 Event: CQWW 160m CW contest

Section: low power assisted
Logger: N1MM+ 
Station: Icom IC-7300 100W
Antenna: 160m sloper

Actually it was not my intention to take part in this contest. But at sunday I was outside and suddenly though I could easily extend the 60m band sloper to get it working on 160m. I grabbed some wire from the garage and connected it to the wire that already hung on the tower, did plant a small fiberglass pole with a pulley to lead the wire through and made a corner to another pole in the garden. Pretty simple....SWR 1:1 on 1840KHz with a R=52 and X=2. Excellent! When returning in the shack I noticed a very high noise level so I doubt it would work. So I waited till it got dark and was surprised...

I took part for the last 2 hours and 20 minutes of the contest. Resulting in 102 contacts and 27 DXCC. I had 2 dupes, my fault. Why N1MM+ counted 28 DXCC is unclear to me?
It surprised me I had good signals from 9K2 and UN9.