Friday, April 19, 2024

Begali Simplex Basic

    A while ago I wrote in this blog that I would be interested in a Begali Simplex Basic CW paddle when the time comes to practise sending morse. Not shure that time has come..... But recently fellow blogger Tom M7MCQ wrote in a blogpost about the Begali traveler light that he had the Begali Simplex Basic for sale. I imidiatly wrote in the comment that I was interested and just to be shure I wrote him an e-mail as well. Tom wrote about this particular paddle before in his excellent blog. And also VE9KK Mike has purchased one and wrote about his findings.

So, Tom and I agreed I could buy the paddle from him. This post is about how we got it from England delivered to my home in the Netherlands.

I've bought gear from UK in the past. That was before the UK left the european union. It was easy, no taxes, no custom costs. But we live in another time now. Getting something shipped from the UK is expensive even for something simple like a morse paddle/key. First of all I tried to let a delivery service like UPS or DHL pick up the package from Tom so I would cover the costs of shipping. That's already something that's difficult. I couldn't get the price below approx. €30. So I wrote Tom that together with taxes and custom costs it would be too expensive. I asked him to see if he could give me a price he wanted for the paddle including shipping. Then things went another way.....Tom wrote he already shipped the paddle to me with UPS. I even got a message from UPS there was a package on its way to me. I was a little overwhelmed since it was unexpected. I didn't even know what the total costs would be and what Tom wanted to have for the Begali. Tom told me to just try it and then make him an offer, how about that?  The title of this post could also have been "trust" because that is the right word for this. The package was received a few days later of course after I payed additional customs and tax costs. I immidiatly connected the key to my IC-7300 and started to play morse. Well.....that's another story. Sending CW is not as easy as I thought ;-). Anyway, Tom and I agreed about the price which was a bargain really. I never transferred money to a foreign bank account, but these days with the help of internet and handy bank apps it was almost a piece of cake to do it. Everything went well in the end. The Begali Simplex Basic featured in Tom's blogpost is now at PE4BAS station in the Netherlands. Tnx for the opportunity Tom!

Another step closer to the CW world...

Monday, April 15, 2024

200 DXCC on 60m

 I checked clublog today and discovered I reached 200 DXCC worked on 60m...

Remember the first day we were allowed on 60m here in the Netherlands? That was on December 3rd 2015. Read my blogpost here: First QSOs were made with JT65A, can you imagine that was the most populair digimode at that time.

The most unusual contact made on 60m was with PH9HB/AM. A contact that was legal in 2015 but with the new regulations became illigal and so will never happen again. Read here:

It is incredibe I've contacted 200 DXCC on 60m in about 8 years. If you find that a lot, well I'm not even close to others that reached over 250 DXCC on 60m. I wonder how? Because 60m is not legal in a lot of DXCC. Even I can not guarantee I made 100% legal QSOs with all 200 DXCC...

Above the map with my contacts, all 2500+. Used modes CW, SSB, JT65, JT9, FT8, FT4.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

#CQWPX SSB contest 2024 review


Contest: CQ WPX SSB

Section: SO ALL LP

Radio: IC-7300 @100W

Antennas: Inverted-V 2x22m, 4 elem. LFA 10m, Gainmaster HW 24-29MHz, Multiband halo (cobweb), Inverted-L with autotuner on 160m.

 I took part in the WPX contest this year. Because Sunday was Easter it was not possible to be on the radio for a long time. It's a family day, so we had to go out. But luckily best propagation was on Saturday. My main focus was DX and best band for DX is always 10m. So most of the time the band was open I was on 10. I worked one all time new one which was Bangladesh S21RC. Like last year there were some interesting DX paths especially on 20m, like China, Japan and India at the middle of the night. And I heard a station from Colombia very early in the morning, which is not very common. Although many did complain about the propagation at Sunday I still worked DX like ZL, VK and a lot of USA/Canada and central America on 40m in the morning just after sunrise. Unfortunately no USA/Canada on 80m this time. I heard a few stations there but was not able to get through.

Light green=10m, Light blue=15m, Orange=20m, Red=40m, Blue=80m, Dark green=160m

As far as I can see in my previous results I've made a new personal record. I never ever made 1 million points before. This year will be hard to beat I think...

Some statistics:

I "only" operated approx 22 hours from the 48 available due to family obligations of course.

I did do some runs. But most of the time I was searching for the nice DX. Only at Sunday evening I did concentrate on some serious runs at 80m. I went well in the last hours of the contest. I was astonished by the progressive numbers some of the stations gave me. One station gave me number 5600 (!).

This graph shows my off time exactly. Saturday morning between 8-9 (local time 9-10) we had to go out for our weekly shopping and we did have a nice coffee. Sleep between 0:00-5:00, this weekend we also went to summertime. Then we had to go out to family between 12 and 20. I did not expect to do that much in the last hours but the runs on 80m were great.

Some highlights this contest: working S21RC of course, an ATNO. Working EP4IRN on both 10m and 20m. On 10m I worked him with my vertical Gainmaster HW, I could barely hear him on my beam. Working OY1R Regin from Faroer on 160m is always special to me because I met him in person some years ago. 

It was very strange to experience on 10m that the Gainmaster HW on top of my tower was sometimes equal or even better to contact some stations. Normally the big 4 element LFA is 2-5 S-units better. This puzzles me? I think it is just a matter of propagation and polarisation of the signal.

I certainly was a memorable contest this year. And most important....I had fun again. Till next year.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

My quest to learn CW (4)

 Steady I go. I try to practise everyday. But this is difficult in weekends when I have so many other distractions. Most CW learning is done at my job lunchbreak. In weekends, if possible, I practise on my phone with the Morsemania app.

So far I find Learn CW online to be the most convenient way to learn. 

Above my statistics. I already started at the end of 2023. But started to learn with CW online in January. So far 46 days, the remaining days were not without CW. I always try to translate all kinds of text and numbers in my head. As you can see I was able to decode till 40wpm, not bad considering the few months I'm learning CW now. However, plain text is another story. 

My main goal is to make a QSO without the help of a computer. That will require a key or paddle. I have a key but hesistate to connect it to my IC-7300. Don't know why actually. Those who know CW tell me that the fastest way to learn morse is to get on the air.

In the mean time I'm now in the process of doing the lessons on 28wpm with effective speed at 8wpm after I finished lesson 40 with 28/7 wpm.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

DX with the Gainmaster HW CB antenna


Propagation is remarkable at the moment. Or is it the new half wave CB vertical? Did not expect to work the DX on 12m I did! It is hard to capture the map since some DX was near the date line. I really am surprised by this CB vertical. It certainly is way better compared to the 12m full wave loop on my experimental halo antenna. Notice the contact with Luxemburg, this DXCC is into the skip zone for me. It probabely has been backscatter or groundwave propagation, I really don't know since his signal was pretty consistent.

The fun is that at some point I worked St. Eustatius (PJ5) on 12m RTTY. I use DM780 for the occasional contact, since I actually never do RTTY. But for some reason I thought lets see if there is still activity on the old PSK31 mode. Remember 14.070 MHz years ago? Packed with stations like 14.074 FT8 is now... Well, surprisingly there are still PSK31 stations active. I made some QSOs and even made an Olivia QSO. Not too happy with the Olivia mode though, the transmit cycle is too long. Even the IC-7300 with 100W gets warm that way. was a nice experiment. 

Thursday, March 14, 2024

#6m season opener


During the NAC VHF contest PA0O spotted ZD7MY with strong signals. Moments later he was in the log again. I've worked ZD7MY before but it is still magic... is the season starting today. Who knows...

Monday, March 11, 2024

New CB antenna into the tower

  PD8HW Herman donated me an almost new Sirio Gainmaster HW CB/10m antenna. It has been replacing the old half wave GP on top of the tower. The Gainmaster has a somewhat other design, it is not an endfed like the GP. This one is actually a vertical dipole. Not a new design, it is originally called a T2LT antenna. Detailed info on this antenna can be found here:

The mystery of Gainmaster

The antenna will be used for local CB communication. Although SWR is below 1:2 on 12m and 10m as well. I already had very good results DXing on 12m FT modes yesterday, although it is absolutely not ment for DX. Fellow blogger Tom M7MCQ already made a mini review partly about this antenna:


Old Alu GP, not very sturdy.

  To compare antennas I used a webSDR about 25km away. On the GP I barely had a S-meter reading of S5. With the Gainmaster the meter showed well over S5, sometimes S6. There is clearly a difference. To me this antenna looks sturdier as previous used Antron A-99 CB antennas. SWR is below 1:2 between 24-29 MHz here, of course best SWR is at 27MHz.

The Gainmaster HW on top of the tower, can be barely seen with white clouds in the background.

Oh yes, I have to admit. I still love CB. Why not? It is different from HAMradio although not that different. We are all amateurradio operators...

Thursday, March 7, 2024

#60m EP4HR Iran worked


Earlier this evening I also worked TY5C from Benin. The strange thing is that JTDX tells me I already worked Benin on 60. But when I analyze my log there is no TY on 60m in there...strange...

Thursday, February 29, 2024

On the edge

  A blogpost just on the edge of winter/springtime. At a special date today, a once in a 4 year opportunity to make a blogpost on the 29th of February. During the (work)week I've less time for radio. But this evening I thought of giving it a try to work 2 new ones. XU7GNY from Cambodia and H40WA from Temotu province. If FT8 would not be existing I don't think I would ever work these entities at all just because my time is limited. With FT8 you can let the computer call, it does the job for you. This evening again I was called away from the shack several times. But in between the computer managed to work XU7GNY on 30m and 40m quite fast. Later on, H40WA was worked on 20m after about 10 minutes of calling. 

The DX purists will probably find this disgusting. DX should be hard work. Finding the right split frequency and find out which direction the DX operator goes. Oh yes, I've experienced this a lot of times in the past. And yes, that is the way we did DX which takes a lot of time to contact the DX at all if you can even hear it. We are now in the future of HAMradio. Working DX will take less time and less good equipment so you have time and money for other things of interest. After all, who cares if you have worked 340 DXCC in the last 50 years? We all collect DXCC for our own interest.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

My quest to learn CW (3)

 This is my monthly update about my quest to learn CW. I got to the point that I'm stuck. It took me 35 times at lesson 27 on LCWO to learn that I have to lower my expectations. The speed of 28wpm with effective speed on 8wpm is too much for me. I've lowered the speed to 7wpm effective. I really need more time between the letters. It is not only to understand them but I need to find the right key on the keyboard as well. I'm shure I could write the letters down a lot faster but it is what it is. After I lowered the speed the 36th time I was over 90% which is enough to go on the lesson 28.

Graph from lesson 27. I almost gave up at the end, then at 7wpm effective it took me 1 try.

Writing the letters down is what I did during the ARRL DX CW contest this month. And I was surprised by the amount of stations I could decode. Although sometimes it took me listening a few times before I could complete the call and the state abbreviation. It was fun to do the decoding without the computer. S&P that way is certainly possible. However this is not "instant" decoding like in a QSO or when running. I have the feeling that it will take me a few years before I manage to do that. We will see how things will work out.

In the mean time I rehearse at least 15 minutes every day. Hopefully I can tell I have improved next month.

Monday, February 26, 2024

#60m Wallis & Futuna Isl. worked


For those that don't know where these islands are. It is roughly between Samoa and Fiji in the Pacific. It is french territory. Quite difficult to reach by travel and by radio. There are a few radioamateurs on the islands but I never heard them. Right now there is a Bulgarian DXpedition going on. Worked TX8GC before on 30m for a ATNO. FW8GC was worked on 17m a few days ago. I was up early sunday morning and saw a few very nice DX stations. The problem is that I'm not the only one, so it is difficult to get a QSO. I made it to FW8GC at the end of the morning greyline and just on the edge (-21dB on FT8). It took me some transmissions before I decoded the RR73. Very glad I managed to work this one. Unfortunately something happened with the QSO screenshot and I lost it. So I had to wait for the confirmation in clublog to prove things.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

New update VarAC


VarAC is one of the coolest digimode programs around. It is getting more populair everyday. It is important you keep the software updated as new versions most times do not work with old versions of the software. Latest update is V8.6.2. It requires VARA-HF v4.8.5. Since I had less time for radio today I left it on 10m to monitor. When I returned at the end of the day my first QSO was with J69DS Frans from St.Lucia in the west-indies.

Friday, February 23, 2024

#60m EK/RX3DPK Armenia worked

Second new one on 60m this year. If this one is legal is always the question. But work first worry later!

More 60m new ones are reported in the morning. I only am too early or too late. It might happen this weekend?

Sunday, February 18, 2024

ARRL DX CW contest exercise

   As a matter of fact fellow blogger VE9KK Mike gave me an idea to practise my CW skills (!). He invited me for this CW contest. An excellent idea.

The plan:

Try to decode as many CW stations with call and exchange as possible on Saturday. Try to make at least 25 contacts headcopy only. Bonus: try to work VE9KK.

I had less time Saturday due to other obligations. So I wrote down some calls I decoded, mostly on 10m. It was an excellent rehearsal for Sunday. Computer was off, I only listened to the radio. I was surprised how many I could decode.

On Sunday I switched on the computer and did run N1MM logger. But did not use any CW decoder. Yes, I did make use of the cluster but that doesn't give any exhange and you have to verify the call yourself. Actually I was just doing S&P and turning the dail. It was really satisfying to find stations that were not spotted yet and decode both call and state. Not always easy because some are using speeds beyond my abilities to decode. But till 30 wpm is not a big problem. Sometimes it took me a minute to figure out a call, but overall it just took a few seconds after hearing the call a few times. I wrote it down on paper including the exchange to be shure I wouldn't make mistakes. I then put it in the log and made the contact. It's not really the fastest way but I'm just starting doing this. If you take a closer look at the papers on the photo you'll see that I made mistakes and correct it afterwards. In the end I made 77 contacts on 7, 14, 21 and 28 MHz. Transmitting was done with the keyer of course, I don't have a key or paddle connected.

It was a pleasure to give K1ZZ some points. He was active in the PACC as well so he was most deserving the points in my opinion ;-)

    Chasing VE9KK was not easy this time. Via RBN I was checking his frequency regularly but unable to hear him on 14 MHz and 28 MHz. Mike finally got to 21 MHz, but still no signal at all. Then I checked my multiband halo.... oh my that was not good, the rain was really having a bad effect on it. SWR was sky high. So I tried to tune the inverted-L, got it down to 1,8:1. Mike's signal was starting to get in now, very weak though. This was going to be hard! When I was finally hearing a reasonable signal I was just trying a few times and luckely able to get into the log. Tnx Mike.

This was a great CW exercise. It really gives me the feeling that I make progress. 

Sunday, February 11, 2024

PACC contest 2024 review


Event: PACC 2024

Section: QRP mixed

Logger: N1MM+ 

Station: Icom IC-7300 at 5% (5W)

Antenna 1: Experimental multiband halo

Antenna 2: 10m LFA @14m

Antenna 3: 2x20m inverted-V doublet

This years goal was to beat the score from last year. Beside that I wanted to do more CW and try to headcopy instead doing it all with CWskimmer. Well, I can tell decoding with my own brain is hard. Yes, some easy calls are no problem like SN5O or K1ZZ but others are really really hard like II5I and others, I got really confused sometimes. So if any of those CW callers are reading this I'm sorry if I left the frequency without working you all. The amount of stations calling on my CW CQ was most times overwhelming. 4-5 stations together at the same time gives one long beeeeep. And most stations keep on repeating while I struggled to decode and find the correct keys on my keyboard. In the end I think it is just a matter of rehearsal :-).

So here they are, the statistics:

Green dots = SSB  --  Red dots = CW

Yes, I ended early. I had enough when I reached 425 contacts. It is 50 more as last year. I see that I worked 2 dupes. I worked more in CW mode compared to SSB, that was one of my goals. The 10m band disappointed me on SSB. Just a few Russian stations and worked one JA. The money band was 40m SSB. 40m Propagation inside Europe and especially inside the Netherlands was excellent this year. I even managed to have a few (tiny) pile-ups on that band which isn't easy with only 5W. 

DXCC worked

Congratulations to K1ZZ who worked me on 5 bands CW. Last year he did it on 4 bands, so this is a new record! Another remarkable contact was with PA0Q/OE3JRC Hans who is one of the organisation members of this contest. Hans is living in Austria near Vienna and I worked him on 80m when he worked remote from the Noord Brabant province on Saturday. I know that Hans is working with a magnetic loop from his home and would be QRV on Sunday on 20m. It was a surprise if I could hear him and the other way around. But we managed to make a good CW QSO, signal was really good actually.

Well after all it was an interesting contest with good propagation as expected. I had the feeling propagation was better on Sunday. For next year I hope to improve my CW because it is the only way to improve the score in the QRP section.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Upcoming weekend Dutch PACC contest


   This upcoming weekend I will participate in the PACC contest again. This contest will be 10-11 Feb. from 12-12 UTC (24h). I will participate in the QRP (mixed) section. 

A few years ago I was really fanatic about this contest. This resulted in a win of the SSB low power section, which is the biggest section, in 2020. After that I decided to do the QRP section only because it is the most difficult section and a large challenge. Of course in the end I would like to win this section. But to win it there is only one way.....learn to master the code...that's the biggest challenge of all.

   Propagation willl be reasonable according to the forecast. Hopefully I can do some more CW this time. I wish I could do the decoding without the help of the computer but unfortunatly I'm not that far. I will try to copy as much headcopy as possible though. Hopefully I will meet some of you bloggers and readers in this contest. 

Friday, February 2, 2024

#CQWW PA6AA 1st in explorer multi section


Well, this certificate is quite unique. For those that didn't read the previous posts about our experiment. It was first confirmed by the authorities to be legal. Then, after all, thoughts changed and it became illigal afterwards. Hopefully there will be a change of rules in the future here in the Netherlands. This is a very nice opportunity to contest together if you are not able to join together at one (contest) station.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

My quest to learn CW (2)

   This is my second blogpost about my quest to learn CW. Not that I'm against the use of a computer decoder but because I just want to decode morse with my own brain. So I continue the quest and will try to update my blog with the progress I make every month.

In my previous blogpost about the subject I wrote I was not able to learn from I continued to use morsemania on my phone and did an every day 1-15 minute practice with morsemachine on 28 wpm. The problem is that I got a bit bored with morsemachine only, I wanted to take it a step further. So I went back to the Learn CW Online website and changed settings. The original settings were way too fast for me and despite LCWO gives the advice to not learn below 15 wpm effective I now learn with a speed of 28 wpm and 8 wpm effective speed. 28 wpm because you only learn the sound of each letter above a speed of 27 wpm. 8 wpm effective speed because above this speed it is way too fast for me, I also need to find the letter on my keyboard. The plan is now to finish all 40 lessons and then increase the effective speed by one and do all 40 lesson again etc. etc. Yes, this takes time....but I was already counting on that. In between I will try to do the word/numbers training and hopefully in the future the text and callsign training.

Find my progress here:

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

#60m Clipperton Island worked

Worked the first ATNO for 2024 on 60m this morning. I already did read a posting on facebook that their signal was incredible on that band. So this morning just before I left for the job I just tried and within a few minutes I was in the log. I also worked them on 17m this evening. 

Although the JTDX software doesn't know where TX5S is located, most of us know. Just look it up in and you got all the info.

An interesting read is the wiki page of Clipperton:

TX5S is not the first DXpedition on Clipperton, most of the DXpeditions also in the past include scientific research on the island. TX5S is already mentioned on the wiki page.

Monday, January 22, 2024

VCXO-AXE 30m WSPR transmissions with MLA last 24 hours

Not really planned but had to retract the tower. The forecast showed large wind gusts here on the coast and I didn't trust it at all. So I tried the experimental halo which is actually for 20m and up. It didn't work at all. My last escape was setting up the MLA in the shack and at least be on 30m WSPR for the night and the day till my battery would die.

Things to keep in mind, for myself in the future:

  • The antenna switch needs power otherwise all inputs are switched to earth. 
  • The gymboss timer doesn't have to be on 2 minutes, the transmitter does have its own WSPR cycle.
I really didn't know what to expect. It has been a long time ago that I experimented with this transmitter. It still does its job. Actually it has been a long time ago I experimented with WSPR anyway. I noticed things are changed. The VK7JJ WSPR Rocks site is expanded and PE1ITR's WSPR challenge site is gone! There are probably more interesting sites featuring WSPR analysis, can anyone give me some tips?

942 spots! Isn't that incredible? And 132 uniques. ODX K9AN over 6830km. 

I mean, this is with 1W in a tiny magnetic loop inside my shack! Isn't this amazing?
I will think about another 24h run with my inverted-V in one of the next days.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

VarAC QSOs & digging up the VCXO AXE WSPR transmitter

 Sorry I'm not posting much lately. I have to admit that most of my available time is spend on practising CW. Am I making progress? Yes, but that is for another post ;-).

I'm spending quite a lot of time in VarAC digimode chat software these days. Some days it is hard to make an actual QSO. Some stations are using it just like they would make their QSOs, in other words: give name, location and report and end with 73 that's it. I prefer real QSOs however. And luckely there are stations that you can chat for shure. Sometimes it is getting really interesting. Sometimes you cannot finish the QSO because the signal is suddenly gone. But overall the software is able to pick out very tiny signals. I even worked someone from NY who used a MLA in his appartment with only 9W.

Yesterday I made a 20m VarAC contact with KM4UDX Don who was using only 20W. Unfortunately not from his FrankenRadio which is really a piece of art. Have you ever see such a cool radio? Don uses a lot of AliExpress gadgets to build his stuff. I hope he doesn't mind I publish his picture here. The FrankenRadio was currently in the hospital for surgery ;-(.

Viewing the voltmeters it reminded me of my VCXO AXE WSPR transmitter which also features an AliExpress voltmeter. Nothing wrong with those by the way. But I showed Don the picture and then I realized I didn't use it for a long time...  I recently replaced the battery of the Gymboss timer and cleaned the timer as wel because it got very sticky because of aging.

So I gave it a try yesterday evening assuming everything was still programmed like it was years ago. Unfortunately I didn't get much reports...

But at least the spots I got were real DX. I let the thing go for the entire night but only 8 spots were made. Something was obviously wrong? And yes it was, the Gymboss timer was totally out of program. It transmitted 1 minute (!) WSPR in 3 minute intervals. No wonder it went wrong. But even so it is remarkable these spots were made anyway...

So, I'm going to give it a try again. With 2 minute transmissions like it should be and an interval of 12 minutes. 99 x 12 minutes will make a cycle of 1188 minutes / 60 = 19,8 hours. I'll use my portable battery as power supply, so when it dies it will be over. Don't know exacly how long it is able to hold it.

The equipent VCXO AXE WSPR transmitter built in 2015. Output 1W, or 990mW like it shows above. It is on 30m WSPR tonight using my doublet inverted-V  experimental halo. Will try to report tomorrow if everything went well. A storm is approaching and can have some effect on the whole experiment, makes it fun anyway.

Update: 21:00 UTC still no spots. I now realize the (new) antennaswitch is not working without power supply. Stupid me. I will have to switch on the shack power supply. 

Update: 21:50 UTC the halo has good SWR on 30m but seems not be radiating as expected. It does not receive anything either. I can't use the inverted-V since the tower is retracted. I now try the magnetic loop inside the shack. If this doesn't work I will have to experiment another day.

Update: 21:58 UTC first spot from PD0OHW, he is 39km from my QTH. Not bad for a MLA inside the house and only 1W output. Hopefully there will be some more spots later.

Friday, January 5, 2024

2023 statistics

 Here are my 2023 statistics.

Not the first year I got more digital contacts as phone or cw contacts, I had this as well in 2019. It is a bit controversial since I took part in the CQWW SSB contest as member of PA6AA. Not shure about the numbers but I believe I made about 1000 SSB QSOs in that contest. I you count that for 2023 the phone percentage will probably be higher compared to data. I never made such a high percentage of CW contacts in a year though, I hope this will increase in this year.

My monthly QSO statistics. February and March are generally the contest months. CQWW SSB is in oktober, actually you can add 1000 QSOs to those 244. They are not in my own log due to participation in the PA6AA contest group. It actually surprises me that I made that much QSOs in summer.

Not surprising is the increased number of digimode contacts. Lets face it, it's todays way of making QSOs. DXing on 6m and 4m is 99% with FT8. Other bands follow. Did a lot of SSB as well and don't forget to add another 1000 to the 1224, you know why if you read this post well. My CW contacts are almost doubled compared to last year. And last but not least I made 4 FM contacts, 2 of them with stations in Africa!

Interesting the 30m and 12m are left behind. I really tried to be on those bands more often but from the number of contacts I'm not shure I managed to do that. I think that, although the numbers are lower, those are mostly DX contacts with DXCC I did not work before on those bands. The 4m band looks if I didn't spend a lot of time there but that is not true, I check it often. The band is not really open for DX that much. Local contacts can be made there, I did....2 of them :-)

My DXCC numbers at the end of 2023:

Just for archive purposes...