Dxing.Today Issue 14, 28th January 2018
Editor: Nick VK2DX Co-Editor: Dragan 4O4A
"Actually, no, I am much more serious about radios. I am an amateur Radio Operator". He was semi-curious about the whole mumbo jumbo, so I gave him a 'shack tour'. "What do you guys talk about to each other?" Again, I've explained that we don't really talk, but rather exchange reports and 'chase each other'. What do I chase? Countries and islands! And then, the conversation started to make no sense. He wanted to know why Norfolk is a 'separate country'; but Tasmania is not. And how come that tiny Lord Howe Island, just off the coast of VK2, is a country where the entire population is only 347 people? "Well, that is really a HUGE one, compared to Pratas Atoll, which also happened to be a DXCC country - and has zero citizens. We also count and chase religious entities- like the Vatican and Mount Athos. "Are Mecca and Medina a country too?" - he wanted to know - "... and how about Jerusalem and that other city which is the holy Buddhist temple?" No, but we do count Knights of Malta, who actually are not in Malta, but in Rome. My friend was puzzled. "You guys are weird". Luckily, the lamb chops were ready so that was the end of this topic.
But as you would surely agree, we are not weird. It is the bunch of geriatrics in ARRL who are seriously messed up; the clowns who, for the past 70 years, are determining and proclaiming which COUNTRY is a DXCC country and which one is not; what counts and what doesn't, and what should we chase - or not. Over the years, the Committee has made some very strange decisions and flip-flops. It has stretched its own rules to include some entities, while excluding others. And, at times, it was heavily influenced by ego-driven DX maniacs and self-promoters which left a sour aftertaste to many.
The DXCC List is based on Clinton B. DeSoto's, W1CBD, landmark 1935 QST article, "How to Count Countries Worked, A New DX Scoring System." DeSoto's article discussed problems DXers had in determining how to count the DX, or entities, they had worked. However, WW2 broke up soon thereafter and the DXCC programme was relaunched in 1945 under the umbrella of ARRL. The reason why we chase DXCC today is the same as why we watch Hollywood movies and use Windows - it is just an americanizm.
So when a 'New DXCC Country' is added to the list, the last thing you want to do is to be neither ecstatic nor depressed about it. Just because Kosovo is now on this list, it doesn't mean Kosovo is a country - or not. It doesn't also mean that you should assume because ARRL made Kosovo a 'country' that Russia and China will tomorrow accept it as a member of the United Nations. Real life, common sense and ham radio often have very little in common.
There are hundreds of thousands of amateurs around the world who could not care less about DXCC. Most likely you do, as I do myself, but that does not make us more special or more accomplished, or even better Dxers - or better hams. Our hobby is multi-faceted - from building your own gear, antennas, learning about electronics, communications, competing together as a team or at individual level; travelling to distant places - or to your local park just to play radios. The scope of activities is almost endless. DXCC is just a tiny bit of it and, probably, the one which makes least sense.
Let's be honest: I am yet to see a tombstone epitaph: "I've worked them all 402, including 62 deleted." By all means, go and chase them - but don't take the chase too seriously or try to make sense of it. And if your friends ask 'what do you guys do?' don't mention DXCC. Just say - it's just like Facebook, but much more fun. That will do.
Antoine, 3D2AG was unusually active doing a couple all-night rounds. FK1TS Phil (originally from VK) appeared on 80m after a few weeks of absence.
China: another week of great activity: BA1PK, BG4DRL, BG3PJT, BG3ILY, BH7PFH, BD7OB are just some of more active stations on 80m FT8. Conditions to NA remain rather average (poor to modest) however for some strange reason, this week we had a pipeline to VE2! VE2RO, VE2EBK, VA2WA and VE2RU were easily decoded in VK2. However Naz VO2NS from Zone 2 says that conditions in last few days are probably the worst in past 25 years! We surely appreciate his attempts, watching and waiting patiently.
DX of the week: Felix, DP1POL (DL5XL) who is active from the German research station "Neumayer III" in Antarctica, about 1,300 miles North of the South Pole. Felix is an engineer by trade and this is his seventh assignment on Antarctica! Make sure to catch him before he goes QRT in February. RI1ANO and VP8EME were again active this week.
Closer home: XW4XR and XW4FB fired up the band over the weekend pulling up a all-night run. And great news form Zone 31: KH6AP is now active on 80m with a very respectable signal. I was surprised to see him working UN7 at his sunrise. Charles is located next to the old Maui WWVH transmitter site. Europeans pay attention: KH6AP is your guy!
And where in the world is WU1ITU? The VALLEY SWAMP AMATEUR RADIO CLUB is apparently located in Massachusetts- however the transmitting site is definitely somewhere on the West Coast, most likely Washington state. Decoded loud and clear calling Europeans via long path at his sunrise. Any info please?
by Branko, YU1FW
Johannes, PA5X and Garben, PG5M will operate from Ibo isl (AF-061) from 28 JAN to 05 FEB 2018. They will use callsigns C8X and C81G, and pretty good equipement - FTdx5000 and K3, Acom 1010 and Expoert 1.3K-FA PAs, 5 band hex beam and verticals for 40, 60 and 80M. Johannes, C93PA (PA5X) is QRV mostly 90% of the time on FT8 mode, while Garben, PG5M is CW admirer. Garben was QRV from more than 30 countries of Africa, Asia, Pacific... His last DXpedition was XX9TGM. You may find interesting stories from his expeditions to ST2X, T2G, V6M, 3D2GM. A very interesting web site http://www.dx.to comprises stories from all of their expeditions.
QSL to C8X via PA5X, QSL to C81G via PG5M.
CU8FN, Azores isl.
Hermann, HB9CRV will be again QRV from Flores isl (EU-089) froj 22 JAN to 16 FEB as CU8FN, FT8 mode from 160-10M. Together with Antonio, CU8AS, he will be QRV at CQ160M contest as CR2W.
QSL for CR2W, CU8FN via HB9CRV - bureau, direct, LoTW
D68I, Comoris isl
Italian team: IK5BCM, IK5CBE and IK5CRH will be QRV from Comoros isl as D66I from 28 JAN to 10 FEB 2018. They are planning to be active on 80-10M, CW, SSB and DIGI modes.
QSL via IK5CRH.
The last activity from this island was by D67GIA (14-22 SEP 2015, 10573 QSOs) and D66D (18-30 SEP 2016, 42802 QSOs).
After short stay in Guinea-Bissao during New year's hollidays and his activity as J5/SP5VC, Mac, together with Kasia, SQ7OYL is moving to Central America, from 24 JAN to 04 FEB. He will visit Panama (H84VC), Nicaragua (H7/SP7VC - 30 JAN - 3 FEB), and Costa Rica (still waiting for licence). He carries IC7300, PA 500W, vertical for 40-15M and inverted L for 80/160M. Mec mostly work SSB and some FT8.
QSL via SP7VC.
More info at http://expedition.sp7vc.pl
PY0F, Fernando de Noronha
Rafael, PY2NDX and Jose, PU2XDX will be active from Fernando de Noronha isl (SA-003) as PY0F/PY2NDX and PU0F/PU2XDX between 27 JAN and 01 FEB 2018, from 160-10M.
QSL via home calls.
Dwight, VE7BV plans to spend his holidays in Guatemala, from 24 JAN to 19 FEB 2018, and he will be active as TG9/VE7BV or TG9BBV. He will be mostly QRV 40-12M.
QSL via VE7BV.
V47UR, St Kitts
Bernie, W3UR will spend his vacation from 29 JAN to 12 FEB 2018 on St Kitts where he will be QRV as V47UR. He will be QRV 160-6M, CW, SSB and some FT8.
QSL via NR6M.
Bernie is avid DXer and he was one of first staions from East Timor in 2000, where he operated as 4W/W3UR. He was also member of teams at A61AJ, AH3D, E44DX, J77A, VU4AN, 4U1UN, 8P9UR.
ZC4A, S.B. Cyprus
25 JAN to 31 JAN, from UK Sovereign base on Cypres will be QRV 2 or 3 stations at the time, 160-10M, mostly CW, and some SSB and FT8. Operators will be 5B4AFM, 5B4AGN, G3AB, G3WPH, G3XTT and G6MC. They will be QRV at CQ160M contest 26/28 JAN. Bob, G3ZEM was active from this base last year, as ZC4A and ZC4ZM.
QSL ZC4A via M0URX.
Sadao, JA1PBV started with operations on 19 JAN, unespectedly. Last week he was active from Uganda as 5X2S, and likewise he operates mostly CW and FT8, 40-15M.
QSL via JA1PBV.
Something about Stanisla Vatev, LZ1GC
Something about Stanisla Vatev, LZ1GC This year LZ1GC, Stanislav plans to operate from two Pacific islands. He booked a flight to Fiji for 28 SEP, but the second part of the trip will depend on local transportation, licences. This 62-year old is an avid CW and pile-ups operator, and manages mainly to cover costs of DXpeditions by sponsors. He carries Kenwood TS-480SAT, ACOM 1200s PA, 160/80 vertical, 40-10 GP antenna, and also vertical for 60M. Now, figure out how it looks having sleep for 3-4 hours a day, and make every day between 1000-2500 QSOs. Stan started with his travels in 2011 as a team member of 3D2R, Rotuma isl, and later in 2012 as 3D2C, Conway reef team member. Later he organized his travels on his own. He made about 70% of QSO in CW mode, 15% in SSB, 15% in RTTY.
Here is a summary of his earlier activities:
- 3D2C, Fiji isl, 2011-2013, 31002 QSOs with 144 different countries
- 3D2GC/P, Rotuma isl, 2013, 5299 QSO with 81 different country
- C21GC, Nauru isl, 2014, 23448 QSOs
- T2GC, Tuvalu isl, 2016, 35308 QSOs, together with Lubo, OM5ZW
- H44GC, Solomon isl, 2016, 18321 QSOs with 113 countries, together with Emil, DL8JJ
- H40GC, Temotu isl, 2017, 36335 QSOs
Thomas Andersen, OZ1AA
By Peco YT7DX
When I make an exotic QSO I usually go to QRZ.com, just to see who's that on the other side. So it happens with 4W/OZ1AA. Unfortunatelly, we didin't make contact, but I wanted to see who's behind that call. To my surprise, on Tom's QRZ.com page I learned that he was a man who travelled the World on two wheels - on bicycle. I don't have the intention to rewrite his story. I suggest you to visit his QRZ.com page and read the full account. This is just a highlight: between 2010 and 2016 Tom spent 2200 days on the road, travelled 58201 km and visited 58 countries! He operated from most of the countries.
Over the years, Tom operated as K9DXX, VK8WW, OY3AA, HC2OZT, 4W/OZ1AA, 5Z4/OZ1AA, HK0/OZ1AA, HK5/OZ1AA, EA8/OZ1AA, DL/OZ1AA, VE9/OZ1AA, VO1/OZ1AA, OA4/OZ1AA,CE3/OZ1AA, LU/OZ1AA, VK8/OZ1AA, TA3/OZ1AA, JW/OZ1AA, OY/OZ1AA and was a guest op at EF8U, A73A, ET3AA, YS1YS, HK1NA, HD2A, OA4O, CP1AA, CE3CT, LT1F, VU2PAI, TC033TAI, JW5E, OY6A, PW5P, EA6IB.
On his journey, Tom met hams in more than half the visited
When asked why he wanted to do this, he replied: "I think I wanted to
do something I was not entirely sure I could finish. To get out of the
comfort zone of a traditional 9 to 5 lifestyle and try something else
while. Sometimes it is easier to describe why you didn't do something.
didn't want to be 80 years old and think back on all the things I
have done in life but didn't do. That is why I decided to follow my
and start cycling."
This is how this journey started...
OZ1AA ready to leave Copenhagen in October 2010.
... and how it ended, after 2200 days, in Kopenhagen.
Tom said about ham radio and cycling: "I have met fantastic hams in almost every country I have travelled through. It all started in Eastern Europe where I was lucky to get to know the faces behind some of the callsigns I have had countless QSOs with over the years. A meeting in Eastern Europe is not complete without some kind of alcohol - my knowledge of Eastern European beers and liquors increased rapidly as I made my way through that corner of Europe."On his journey Thomas met a lot of hams, and his impression is that journey would have been very boring if he would not have met people to share the common interest - ham radio. For me, the most impressionable was the image of a group of hams from Melaka in Malaysia, greeting Thomas.
We recommend you visit Tom's QRZ.com page, as well as the CyclingTheGlobe.com web site, and try to summon his experience on this fantastic journey. Enjoy the beautiful photos, there are a lot of them!
Roughly, there are three possibilities:
- no propagation enhancement (25% chance) - bands stay "flat" at sunrise
- enhancement (50% chance) - great stuff!
- negative enhancement (25% chance) - propagation gets actually worse.
75% chance to have a fun in dawn? I'll take it.
How to tell when is your sunrise? Ask google: "When is my sunrise".
No, seriously. This is what they say:
FT8 Tips and Tricks
By Dragan 4O4A
Serge, AK9S collected very nice tips and tricks for FT8 operations. These are not rules, so far we don't have any "rules" in FT8 mode and we don't want to set them. Simply, let's make these Tips and Tricks a short reminder both for people who are already in FT8 and to newbies. We may agree or disagree with each of these tips, which makes them - in our humble opinion - even more worthy.
We would like to hear from you about your view to this. Which one is
important? Which is not. Did we made any mistakes here? Your feedback
FT8 Tips & Tricks by Serge, AK9S
#1 Turn off all DSP receiver processing and use a fast AGC
#2 Adjust your ALC somewhere between 0 and 50% to improve decodes by receiving stations
#3 Use EVEN timing mode in the US (00 and 30 sec start times) when calling CQ
#4 Set your decoder to DEEP mode if you are running a moderately fast computer to increase the number of decodes
#5 If a slot is in use on your waterfall, try not use it, as it reduces successful decodes when one signal is much stronger than the other (even though signal subtraction is used)
#6 Try to avoid slots directly adjacent to ones in use, as receiver overload may result, thereby compromising weak-signal reception for you as well as others
#7 When working a pile-up, best to transmit a slot or two away from the DX station so you can stand-out and be seen
#8 The use of a notch filter to prevent receiver overload from strong signals is not only smart, but sometimes necessary to pull out weak signals and DX
#9 If you can reduce your bandwidth on your receiver, you will be rewarded with improved reception of weak signals
#10 Like CW, FT8 is a weak-signal mode and not necessarily a QRP mode due to the reduced sensitivity over JT65 and JT9
#11 Use the minimum power necessary to complete a contact, which sometimes may be several hundred watts to establish a discernible signal at the other end of the World, or QRP for a Regional contact
#12 Always confirm contacts (LoTW, eQSL, QRZ log) for Award credits, as most folks do not want to waste time using this mode to simply exchange signal reports (the reason why PSK Reporter exists)
#13 If someone calls CQ and you work them, remember afterwards to move away from their slot. It is likely in use by the station you just worked
#14 Pay attention to your control point...do not call CQ and then ignore your waterfall, as you may be causing QRM and not realize it
#15 Use selective CQ calls, such as CQ EU, NA, SA, AS and OC to increase your worked DX count
#16 Enable Auto Sequence to ensure automatic response sequencing, thereby increasing contact rates and reducing human errors
#17 Disable Call 1st when calling CQ DX, CQ EU, etc. so you can avoid automatically interfacing with non-DX stations if they happen to accidentally call you
#18 Due to the increasing number of users, it is becoming acceptable to extend out beyond the traditional 2,000 Hz ceiling to find an empty slot to use
#19 What may appear to be deliberate QRM or overt stupidity are usually operating mistakes made from people learning the software, caused by those whose operating skills are still being developed or a direct consequence of the software itself...
By Peca, YT7DX and Dragan, K0AP
Once again, our IOTA gurus have crunched the numbers and have done the hard work for you by separating activities into 3 distinctive categories: A - ones which simply cannot be missed because they are rarely activated islands, B - 'do your best to get them' but it's not the end of the world if you don't work them this time and C - frequently activated, well within the reach of urban DXers like ourselves. GL!
|A|| NA-180 V31JZ/P South Water
Caye (Claimed by 28.5% of participants)
Art, NN7A visits Belize from 1993, and he operates from mainland or from some of 3 IOTA groups. This year, for 11th time, he will operate from NA-180 from 08-13 FEB. He operates mostly in CW part of the band.
QSL card from his first activation in 1993
OC-008 P29VXG New Britain island (Claimed by 27.1% of participants)
Haru, JA1VXG plans to be active from this island from 01-07 FEB, with attention to 160M. This is a great chance for new IOTA + new DXCC challenge slot.
||AS-105 HL23N Yonghung island
(Claimed by 28.4% of participants)
This call will be active on 20-21 JAN, special event station regarding 23th Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.
|C||EU-028 IA5/IT9AAK Elba island
(Claimed by 45.8% of participants)
Salvatore, IT9AAK this time combined IOTA and WWFF activity from Elba island. There are about 20 licenced stations from this island, but only few of them are sporadicaly active, IA5: DKK, TMF, BPU, VIX. Better chances is to contact some of guests/IA5.
EU-089 - CU8FN Flores island (Claimed by 40.0% of participants)
Hermann HB9CRV/CT3FN will be again QRV from 22 JAN to 16 FEB 2018. In contests, he will use CR2W call. Most of the time he will operate FT8 mode, this is a nice chance to log a new one.
SA-002 VP8EME Falkland island (Claimed by 49.3% of participants)
Mario is very active on 160/80M FT8 mode. Bob, VP8LP is very active from this island, FT/SSB.
Note: VK9AR card has arrived. Reminder to all IOTA chasers -- deadline for Honor Roll 2018 is 31 JAN 2018.
SA-067 Espirito Santo State group (Claimed by 15.2% of participants) or Why is this IOTA so rare?
Namely; in one moment, about 15 years ago, there were several activities from SA-067, which is located in South East Brasil, in the federal state of Espirito Santo, with an area comparable to Estonia, with a population of about 4 milion. There are a lot of PP1 hams in this state, and there are all pre-conditions to have great activity from this island. But...
In Brasil, there are a lot of IOTA enthusiasts, whether they are activators or chasers. This was my last needed activated group, and I started to explore why is this group of islands so rare on the air. Leo, PP1CZ (aka PY0FW) operated from this island in February 1994, with ZZ1CZ call sign. I contacted Leo and expressed my interests about activation of SA-067. Unfortunately, bad news for hams is that Tres Ilhas, the operating place of ZZ1CZ, has became a national wildlife refugee.
This is what Leo says about it: "Sure the island is not that far, but specifically the one I sent picture to you, is hard to access. It is one block of stone and there is no way to aproach of it. The one I visited - Tres Ilhas, is not so easy, but for sure it is much more accessible than Escalvada Island. Be sure the problem is not about how to get there, but how to have authorization to be there.
As the Islands became to be a National Wildlife Refugee, we cannot
it, unless we have permission, and it is prohibited to have some
there, like to stay at night, to have generator, to produce noise, etc.
But we do not give up of trying to have the licence."
|1||AL4Y, KL7BK, KL4C, WL7CG|
|3||N6ED, AA6PW, K5TA, WU1ITU|
|4||VE2RO, VE2EBK, VA2WA, VE2RU|
|8||NP4PC, CM3HVY, NP2Q, ZF2LC|
|15||T77NM, 9H1XT, Z33PB|
|17||UN9FF, UN7LZ, UN7LAP|
|18||RV0APH, RA9HO, UA0SC, UA9UMF, RO9U, UA0AKY|
|19||RW0LBR, RU0LL, RW0LFE|
|21||A71AM, AP2AM, EK7DX, EX7DY, A45XR|
|24||BA1PK, BG4DRL, BG3PJT, BV2KI, BG3ILY, BH7PFH, BD7OB|
|25||DS5USH, HL3IB, HL1AHS|
|26||XW4XR, XW4FB, HS0ZAC|
|28||YC1CWK, YB0AZ, YC7JYD, YC1MR, YD0SDD, YG3DBO,|
|29||VK6DW, VK6OZ, VK6HZ|
|31||NH7YS, NH7C, KH6AP|
|32||ZL3TE ZL4DH, FK1TS, 3D2AG, ZL2IFB|
|38||DP1POL, ZS4JAN, ZS2I|
|7||HP1XT (20M), V31MA (17M)|
|8||CO2HI (15M), FM1HN (20m), J35X (30M), HI8C (30M), ZF1EJ (15M), 6Y6J (20M)|
|9||PZ5RA (30M),YV6CR (15M), 9Z4DZ (20M)|
|11||ZP4KFX (30M),ZP5/N3BNA (17M)|
|13||LU2WBA (15M), LU6FHO (15M), VP8NO (10M)|
|14||CU2CE (20M), CU8FN (20M), GU7DAI (20M), OY3SR (30M)|
|17||EX8MLE (20M), UK8AEA (20M), UN7BY (20M), UN8PBE (20M),|
|21||A65BK (20M), 4L6QL (30M), 9K2GS (20M)
|22||VU2IT (15M), VU2RMS (20M)|
|26||HS2NSN (15M), 9M2MRS (20M)|
|28||YC6AM (20M), YB8ADX (20M), YB3LZ (20M)|
|30||VK2CA (17M), VK4FNQ (20M), VK5BC (20M)|
|33||CT3ML (20M), EA8NL (15M)|
|34||SU9JG (40M), 5A1AL (30M)|
|35||5T2AI (20M), 5V1JE(30M)|
|37||E31A (30M), E31A (20M), C93PA (17M)|
|38||DP1POL(17M), ZS6AYE (20M)|
|39||FR4OO (15M), FR5PV (20M), 3B8FA (20M)|
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