I’ve had a very busy month with very little time to play radio and despite the fact that there have been a number of DXpeditions in November, I was only able to work one of them which was San Andres Island. I did manage to pick up some new band slots on 40m though and they were Mongolia, Colombia, Bermuda, Georgia, Tunisia, Ceuta & Melilla, Curacao and Republic of South Sudan.
QSOs made: 160
DXCC entities worked: 56
New DXCC entities worked: 1
Total DXCC worked: 264
Total DXCC confirmed using LoTW: 245
Total DXCC confirmed using LoTW/QSL cards: 260
The two new countries worked in October were Guantanamo Bay and Republic of the Congo.
QSOs made: 807
DXCC entities worked: 94
New DXCC entities worked: 2
Total DXCC worked: 263
Total DXCC confirmed using LoTW: 244
Total DXCC confirmed using LoTW/QSL cards: 259
In my last post I mentioned that I’d put my 40m vertical up and was hoping to work some new DXCC entities on 40m during the Japanese Amateur Radio Teleprinter Society (JARTS) contest. Well the band was pretty noisy but I did manage pick up three new entities – Alaska, Canary Islands and Uzbekistan.
I only intended to play for a short while during the contest but I ended up doing more than expected. I didn’t sit in the shack all weekend, I did a couple of hours here, a couple there and in the end I stopped when I reached 650 QSOs. The bands were generally in good shape and I was getting good responses to my CQ calls with my best rate over a two hour period being 75 QSOs/hour. At a peak I hit 108 QSOs/hour which I sustained for about twenty minutes. As always, during a data contest where the rules permit, I had the amplifier running for the whole event and was using 400w. No QRP for me!
The output from my amplifier. I don’t do QRP in contests.
My QSO totals per band were:
40m – 115
20m – 290
15m – 140
10m – 105
During the times I was operating there were very few stations to the west but I’m happy to have worked over 150 JA stations over the weekend on the higher three bands. Here’s a map of all stations worked on all bands (click for a much larger version).
Stations worked by G6NHU during the JARTS WW RTTY Contest 2013
Last weekend, following the Martello Tower Group DXpedition to Herm Island, I put up a 40m vertical in my back garden. Not just any 40m vertical, it’s exactly the same one we used to great success on Herm. It’s made up of a 12m Spiderpole with a 1/4 wave vertical element and around 30 radials.
The plan is to leave it up over the winter period (or at least until my XYL insists I take it down) and hopefully I’ll be able to pick up some new DXCC entities on 40m. It’s the next band I’m working towards my DXCC award on and I’m confident it will help me to complete that.
40m vertical in my back garden
I used the same choke arrangement we used while on Herm – an ‘ugly’ choke wound on a sweet jar and a radial ring with the radials attached via crocodile clips. The choke even still has the sticker on showing which cabin we were operating from on Herm!
Choke balun and radial ring at the base of my 40m vertical
The first thing I did once it was put up was to check it with the analyser. I didn’t tune it at all, just used exactly the same length element we’d used while away and although I could probably lop a couple of inches off to bring the SWR dip right into the centre of the band, I decided this was good enough.
SWR plot of the 40m 1/4 wave vertical aerial
This weekend is the JARTS RTTY contest and the following weekend is the CQ WW SSB contest so I’m really hoping that this aerial will perform better than my doublet.
Much better than last month – I actually had time to play radio in September and had a lot of fun doing it. The two new DXCC entities I worked were Libya and El Salvador.
QSOs made: 653
DXCC entities worked: 60
New DXCC entities worked: 2
Total DXCC worked: 261
Total DXCC confirmed using LoTW: 238
Total DXCC confirmed using LoTW/QSL cards: 256
Last Sunday I tweaked my Ultimate 2 transmitter to give me some power out on 10m and I managed to persuade it to run about 80-100mW. I’m going to experiment with a higher voltage for perhaps a little more power but in the meantime I decided to run it for a week.
As I’m using the 2.02k version of the firmware, I was able to run both WSPR and QRSS at the same time and although I posted on the Knights mailing list, I didn’t get any QRSS reports.
WSPR was another matter though. Over the course of the week my transmission was spotted 38 times by 8 different stations. That’s not a lot but conditions have been particularly poor this week and I was running only incredibly low power. I was using my Sirio Gain Master vertical.
Here’s the stations who received me and a map showing their locations. There are some nice distances there considering how bad it’s been this week.
The eight stations who heard me during a week of very low power WSPR on 10m
A week of 10m WSPR running less than 100mW output
As can be seen, I’ve barely touched the wireless this month. I’ve been doing a lot of preparation work for Herm 2013 and have been running QRSS for almost all the month and as a result, my QSO count is the lowest it’s been since I started this blog. I hope to have more available time to play some radio in September.
QSOs made: 6
DXCC entities worked: 6
New DXCC entities worked: 0
Total DXCC worked: 259
Total DXCC confirmed using LoTW: 236
Total DXCC confirmed using LoTW/QSL cards: 253