jeudi 10 avril 2014

Another Nan night

The usual lowest common denominator TV fare again tonight so I went upstairs to my hole-in-the-wall radio shack to listen and perhaps work a station or two.

Had a nice QSO with OZ3FI. Not the first time. He had a very good signal from what I expect was his KX3.  He gave 10 watts as power.

Then I heard Nan, JA4FKX again. He completed a QSO with a station and sent another CQ.  I called and he returned. Not an easy contact. He had a good signal but plenty of QRM  (2x as much on a direct conversion receiver).  He gave me a 459 which was, probably, generous. Still, got the contact.

The rig was the Heath HW-8 and power one watt. 20 meters, as usual.

The photo explains why he was able to hear me. From his QRZ page.

mardi 8 avril 2014

W1AW 100 years

In the past couple of days I have worked W1AW. Actually the /3 two times most recently. Couple other USA stations, including KA1EFO. One watt from the HW-8. Conditions not too great. Lots of QRM from Radio China which overloads the front end of my direct conversion HW-8. Radio China doesn't broadcast on the 20 meter amateur band so must be a harmonic of their multi-billion KW English service station. Interference depends on conditions and time of day, of course.

I have been looking for another HW-8 and HW-9. Couple of possibilities in the USA. Hope something develops. Would buy now and have them sent to my sister to hold for me. Won't hold my breath.

Weather chilly and rainy. Not pleasant.

vendredi 4 avril 2014

Euro SKCC Sprint

I didn't care (as usual) for the evening's TV fare, and it was a bit early to settle down to my Kindle reading. The Euro SKCC Sprint was in progress so I thought I would give it a listen. Of course, limited to 20 meters, I didn't expect to hear too many continental stations. And, I didn't.

                                                         K8AQM operating room and gear

I did work a couple though. OH7UG was one of them. Also USA participants K8AQM with a strong signal and W2NRA also strong though I had to repeat my call-sign a few times.

I used the FT-817 at 2.5 watts. One feature of that rig which I do appreciate, is the button change of the four pre-set output powers available. Quick and easy. My HW-8 can only provide one watt and the OHR requires the use of a small screwdriver adjustment of output power which is behind the rig. Very inconvenient!

I received a paper QSL card in yesterday's mail confirming my one watt QSO with VK7CW. The same as the one indicated on my blog. Glad to get it.

Oh, no Chinese woodpecker.

mercredi 2 avril 2014

haha a haha ... no laughing matter

Worked a couple northeast USA stations last evening. One was W1AW/1.

Heard what resembled the old Russian Woodpecker covering about 1/3 of the 20 meter CW portion of 20 meters.

Read the comment of Bas on Paul's recent blog. Brought up the u-tube video he mentioned. Yes, it was the Chinese Woodpecker I heard here. I remember the origional Russian version.

Not a pleasant memory. That damned thing ran for years.

vendredi 28 mars 2014

JA4FKX/QRP again and kinda exceptional

I had to note this second contact. Normally I do not approve of consecutive contacts with a DX station. Certainly not 24 hours later. But, this was exceptional, for me at least.

Nan was back on his 20 meter calling frequency. I had my HW-8 (1 watt) running tonight. I heard him sign with another station, I was reluctant to call but the frequency was clear so what the heck, I did. It took three repeats of my call but he caught it completely. He was quite surprised to learn that this night's rig was the HW-8 and one-watt at that. I was really astonished to have made the contact.

I made it a quick QSO  with JA4FKX using the old Hot-Water 8.

End of brag. Over and out.

jeudi 27 mars 2014

Quiet conditions

It was another amateur radio friendly night in the neighborhood. In effect, HF noise levels were fairly low. And, 20 meters was open. So, I put the FT-817 on-line and employed the 500 Hz cw filter. As much as I like my HW-8 and OHR100A, it was a night for the good filtering the Yaesu can provide..

I heard JA4FKX/QRP working a European station. He had a good signal, so I gave him a call after he signed. Came back to me for a nice contact. So a satisfying two-way cw 5-watt QRP DX QSO of 6166 miles was accomplished. Seems we worked last year, so not a first.

Also worked WA2FHV who lives close to my USA QTH and was there last week. He was using a wonderful boat anchor Johnson Ranger transmitter.  Circa 1950's and a rig I remember from my old Allied Radio catalog when I was a boy back then. His rig was a bit drifty but had a perfect CW note.

Nice night's work.

mercredi 26 mars 2014


I had only one DX contact today and that was with KG4W. I was calling CQ near the 20 meter SKCC calling frequency tonight and Ed came back to me. 559 report and full copy of my 3 watts.

I mention SKCC as I have been a member (2045) for some time. It is a great organization and opens some DX doors into the the USA which has a large membership. Sort of like secret handshakes and Elks membership when you find yourself in a new town..

Good straight keying from Ed.