Monday, February 28, 2022

Ukraine: IARU-R1 statement - what would you do?

 Ukraine: IARU-R1 statement

IARU Region 1 has released the following statement regarding any radio transmissions you may hear from radio amateurs in Ukraine

"Any radio amateur currently transmitting from Ukraine is risking his or her life. If you hear a Ukrainian station, do not broadcast its callsign, location or frequency-whether on the band, in a cluster or on social media. You may be putting lives at risk."

Source IARU Region 1

I remember some contacts made into Poland and Belarus at the end of last century eighties. At that time I had no license, I was active on the 11m freeband, also called Citizens Band. The stations from those countries transmitting on that band were highly illigal and I never heard russian or polish stations on the 11m band before. Often those stations were portable and transmitting when hiking high up in the mountains. Of course they used "cb handles / skipnames" instead of the normally used country number on the 11m band. That way no one could indentify them. Of course they didn't risk their life but at time they could expect a large fine or many years in jail if caught. I still have QSL cards/photos from a polish guy named Jan who I made contact with several times at that time. And also a QSL from a guy from Minsk (Belarus). This was before the iron curtain felt. 

Anyway, I was reading the IARU R1 statement today and thought about the ukrainian hams we all know. What would you do in their situation? Would you take the risk and still be on air to let the world know what exactly is going on? Or try and stay in touch with others in the country, to create a network to exchange information? Just like the resistance in WW2. 

I can't help it but last week I kept thinking about my last years "wake up call"  and especially what KE9V wrote on his blog. I don't want to be negative but if this whole war is escalating WW3 could be near and all of us could be HAMradio silenced. Have you ever thought about such a situation? You probabely have to think about this now. It could be useful to be ready.

Useful links:

Friday, February 25, 2022

Blogroll maintenance

 Once and a while I do some maintenance on my blogroll. Personally I think blogs that don't feature new items for over a year are less interesting so I remove them. Sometimes people don't do blogging anymore or moved to another platform like twitter, instagram, facebook or youtube. So unfortunate because there were some very good bloggers around. Sometimes blogs are purely made for a project and when it ends the blog ends. I understand that, just an example is VE0JS who sailed successfully around the world and kept a blog while on her way. Another one is 3W3RR Romeo who did QSL and blog from jail, he's back in Russia now and at least the english language blog has stopped. G3CWI stopped with his sotabeams blog and is now active on youtube. Anyway, if you have an interesting blog about our radiohobby and want to be in my blogroll just give a comment on this post and I will read the blog first before I decide. There is only one blog that I will not remove. It is the blog from G4ILO. Julian died 7 years ago and was one of my most favorite blogs to read. It's still online and has a lot of interesting articles.

Friday, February 18, 2022



Weatherforecasters tell us a large storm named "Eunice" is approaching today. My tower can have it. The antennas, I guess, not. So, just to be shure I lowered the tower. They expect a peak this evening around midnight. Unfortunately I had to do this early in the morning since I have no time over the day and will be back home when all is dark.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

PACC 2022 contest review

Event: PACC 2022
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

Not the best PACC contest ever. I still have less inspiration and didn't spend hours at the radio. Went to bed at a reasonable time and started again Sunday after breakfast. Took my breaks for lunch, diner tea etc.

Had some visitors as well. They needed an antenna analyzer for their CB antennas. I helped them out with their antennas and off they go for the garbage run winter edition in Sweden.

Actually I listened more as calling. Heard some interesting DX. Unfortunately my QRP signal was not heard by many. Since I do not use /QRP in the callsign many don't understand that it was a struggle to be heard. Your signal is fading out, much QSB, signal is extremely weak is what most stations told me. Sometimes I was even told that my signal was too weak and those stations just continued rude! What also strikes me is that some well known conteststations in the Netherlands have very bad receivers, too much signal but they hardly hear the weaker stations. However, I worked VU2DSI from India on 10m and half an hour later I worked ZD7FT from St. Helena both on SSB. In between I catched K3ZO on 15m SSB. Worked VE9ML on CW 20m and 40m later on. So, yes DX can be worked while QRP. That was all Saturday. HC5DX which is a dutchman from Ecuador was heard on 15m with good signals but I couldn't get my signal through. I heard this station on 20m at Sunday, he was real 59. But how many times I tried, I was unable to get my signal through. Well, I know it is not easy to be QRP, you need to have patience and if the contact is not happening you need to deal with the disappointment.

I discovered with 5W you really need to do CW. Actually I dared to do some running this time. But the concentration level took much. Since I do all the decoding with the computer it is not really easy work. I really have to learn CW and decode with my own ears and brain. But so far I think I will never learn it really.  

Hopefully I will have more inspiration for the hobby and the PACC contest next year. Not that I didn't like it but I didn't have the fun I experienced in the previous years.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

100 DXCC with 1W WSPR

  After 13 years of WSPRing I finally reached 100 DXCC with 1W output power. I think I could have done it a few years ago but was not very active on WSPR the last few years. Although listed as nr. 99 in my WSPR DXCC list EA9UV from Cueta (Cueta&Melilla) was the 100th DXCC that received my 1W signal on 40m this morning.

I started this WSPR DXCC list immidiatly when I first heard of this very sensitive mode in 2009. As an avid DXer I thought it would be not that difficult despite the low power of 1W. However, the challenge is not a case of being heard but the number of DXCC with a WSPR receiver on air. Over the years the number of WSPR transmitters has been exploded but less HAMs or SWLs are receiving 24/7 on WSPR or even receiving at all. That counts especially for exotic DXCC. First years I had to look at the WSPR database table manually, the task is still manual but I can look at a worldmap in 2022. Which makes the task easier. Still there is no one that has made a possebility to substract DXCC from the WSPR database yet as far as I know.

Over the years my 1W signal was heard at exotic places. To name some: Afghanistan, Antarctica, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Kyrghystan, Macquarie Isl., Singapore, Wake Isl., Sierra Leone, Maldives, Seychelles and many more. A complete list can be found on my WSPR DXCC page.

These days the output power of most stations is 0,2W because of some populair WSPR transmitters. Is it possible being heard with just 200mW in 100 DXCC? Yes, I think it is possible. But you need to have patience, athough I think these days it is easier as at the start in 2009. Who takes the challenge?