Dxing.Today Issue 3, 08 November 2017
Editor: Nick VK2DX Co-Editor: Dragan 4O4A
I hope better than mine! For the entire week my S-meter needle was dancing between S9 and S9+20dB. It felt like I was in the very epicentre of the lightning storm. And not surprisingly, working DX on 80m FT8 was a true challenge. Yet the band never slept; Bhutan A5A was active again, there was a pile of Chinese stations, ever present Indonesians, some loud Europeans - and rare gems like T2AT from Tuvalu who worked a number of US stations on two nights. VE8EV from Zone 1 kept Europeans awake all night - an ultimate 80m prize for many.
7X2KF, TR8CA, P29RR, 5W1SA and VK9VKL made their cameo appearance as well, and once again, faithful were rewarded. No doubt, number of stations worldwide will claim their first 100 DXCC worked - and confirmed - by Christmas. Well done to all! However working all 40 zones on 80m is still the challenge - especially so for little pistols like us.
When HI8PLE from the Dominican Republic answered my CQ call I almost fell off the chair. In a minute or two, the fireworks were over, and he disappeared as fast as he appeared. Edgar made my day - and this is precisely what low band 'urban Dxing is all about: working the new ones despite the QRN, inefficient antennas and local urban noise, dancing on the very edge of possible, squeezing that last dB which could and does make the difference.
As of this issue we have a small surprise for you: we have asked some of you to provide their 80m "JT Mode" (FT8 and JT65) standings.
Quite a few replied - and we are grateful for your feedback! What a fantastic opportunity to learn more about your fellow amateurs struggles! This little rank list speaks volumes: apparently, working all 50 US states is not a such a big deal from Australia, but even working one could be a true challenge from India.
I always suspected that UA3 is one of the best locations on the planet to work juicy Pacific DX, as well as all the Central and South Americans - not to mention Africa. RZ3DX has provided a great example with his report. Please work out YOUR totals and submit them as soon as possible - we want to include you too. We will keep the "Who's Who in 80 meter" up to date and publish the rank list here weekly. Mail your CALL / DXCC count / WAZ / WAS to info@DXing.Today.
By Peca, 7T7DC and Dragan, K0AP
Once again, our IOTA gurus have crunched the numbers and have done the hard work for you by separating activities in 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 !
OC-216 -Ashmore reef - VK9AR Last activity from Ashmore Reef was in 1996 when AA6LF operated as VK4ALF/VK9. (Claimed by: 1.9% of participants). AB5EB, AD5A and VK5CE are on air now. The team is focusing on North America and Europe, so most likely you would have to wait you're your turn to call. Patience and persistence will surely pay off. Good news is that VK9AR is on air 24/7. Take a day off and chase them - the second chance of working Ashmore any time soon is highly unlikely.
OC-234 Browse island VK9AR/6 Claimed by: 8,3% of participants. On the way back from Ashmore 'Two Mikes' will have a stop over at Browse Island, and are expected to be on air for 4 hours. Date: November 11, 2017.
AF-021 ZS8Z Marion island ( Claimed by: 32,8% of participants). Don't take your chance with this one - work it! Sporadically active on 24/28MHz ft8 mode.
AF-111 Baiyah Island - 5L3BI UPDATE At the time of writing, it is clear that operation has been cancelled. While awaiting details, we can only speculate: looks like we've discovered African's Rockall. We are grateful to team members for giving it a go and hope that they will try to conquer Baiyah in the near future.
AN-017 - FT3YL Dumont D'Urville Base FT*Y Claimed by: 13,3% of participants. Not seen on the cluster for past week. Be alerted (and alarmed!).
NA-059 NL8F Fox islands ( Claimed by: 23.4% of participants) Tim, a seasoned IOTA activator (Alaska, Pacific) is resident on Fox island. Preferred mode: SSB. His radio / antenna setup is decent, however he is only active as time permits. Don't underestimate auroral issues - Alaska could be tricky, especially from southern Europe. If you want to try your luck with sked setting, try firstname.lastname@example.org
OC-072 VK9MA Melish reef. ( Claimed by: 36,8% of participants). VK9MA hit the airwaves on November 4 and are expected to stay on the island until 16th. This is the third Melish activation in the past 8 years (VK9GMW made 20.000 QSOs and VK9MT logged 40.000). Great team of operators, active simultaneously on a few bands so this is your chance not only to work a new IOTA but to log a few 'boxes' for the DXCC Challenge award.
OC-073 JD1/JG8NQJ Minami Torishima ( Claimed by: 36,0% of participants). In his spare time, Take is mostly on CW, 17/20m. Dipole antennas.
OC-145 YB8RW/p McArthur Island. Din YB8RW is awaiting his flight to take him to the island. Bad weather at sea prevented him taking a boat so with a little delay expect him to be QRV starting on 07/11. QSL via H/C
AN-018 8J1RL&8J60JARE Queen Maud Land. Claimed by: 33.7% of participants. Great prefix too! Remember, QSL via bureau only - so be prepared to wait.
EU-019 UA4RX/1 Franz Josef Land (Claimed by: 47,9% of participants). Eugen ex RI1FJ is sporadically active on CW 20/30m. While this is not a rare IOTA, there are no residents on FJL so take advantage of Eugen's deployment. Active until August 2018.
AS-006 VR20ZQZ/VR2ZQZ; VR2/KC0W Lamma island VR2/KC0W Cheung Chau Island (Claimed by: 35.7% of participants). Tom 'the world traveller' is expected to be active from November 1-15. Equipment: 100w and a vertical, CW and FT8 only. Tom is a great operator so don't miss him!
AN-10 RI1ANO King George Island, South Shetland Islands (Claimed by: 48,1% of participants). Alex is active daily and it seems that his favourite band is 30m. However check other bands as well, especially 17m. Alex is a great operator - which is hardly a surprise - all Russian operators who are stationed at bases all over Antarctica are simply fantastic.
EU-075 SV8/F1RAF Poros island (Claimed by: 36.9% of participants) Nikolas is once gain on Poros, his 5th operation "holyday stile".
EU-105 TM1CT Batz island (Claimed by: 39,1% of participants). Another activation of Batz - yet somehow this island still remains in high demand.
EU-125 OZ0BO/P Romo island (Claimed by: 44.8% of participants). If you are amongst 55% of IOTA chasers who still need Romo, then despair not: this is one of those you can afford to miss because most likely, the next operation is just around the corner! In any case, if you haven't got into IOTA yet, this could be an easy one to enter the Programme. GL and Happy Hunting.
This weeks reports were kindly contributed by VK7BO, Edgar SWL from Tasmania and your editors.
AL7TC, KL7HBK, KL7J, VE8EV
|15||YU1XX, OH0KCE, 9A7YY, OH8WW, RN2F|
|17||EY8MM, UK7AL, UN8GU|
|21||A61QQ, EK1KE, 9K2OD|
|24||BV2FB, BV1EK, BV2KI, BH4IGO, BH7PFH, BG3UPA, BA1PK|
|25||DS5USH, HL4GHT, JA5AUC, JA2ATE, JM1XCW, JA7QVI, JR3IRR|
|28||P29RR, YB8SFE, YC1CWK, YC4CHP, YC7JYD, YG7SPN, YB0MWM, 9M2/JE1SCJ|
|32||ZL3DD, ZL2RX, ZL3CC, ZL4TT, 5W1SA, 3D2AG|
|38||ZS4JAN, ZS5LEE, ZS6WB|
Here is the list of US stations decoded in Australia in the past 7 days. If you see your call here that means you are either very loud, very active or both! RI, WY, DE, ND and SD are still the most wanted from down-under. We'll continue to keep an eye on you, US!
|MO||N8BD, N0BQV, K0AZ|
|NM||N5PR, AI5I, WA5DJJ|
|WA||W7OM, W7FI, KZ1W|
by Branko, YU1FW
22 members of Mediteraneo DX Club are on the air as we speak:
F1HRE,F2DX,F2JD,F5NKX,F6BPZ,F6ENO,F8ATS,HB9OCR,I2VGW,IK4MTK,IK4QJF,IK5BOH,IZ 2GNQ,IZ4UEZ,IZ8CCW, MW0ZZK,ON4LO,ON7RN,YO5OED,YO8WW,YO9XC will operate as 9U4M from Nov 6-17, 2017. They will run 5 complete setups 24/7, two on CW, two on SSB and one on RTTY. Make no mistake: these are serious guys keen to log as many as possible. We know them from V84SMD,3W3MD,9N7MD so they know what they are doing. Multiband-chasers delight!
Look for them on
CW : 1826.5,3505,7005,10105,14025,18075,21025,24895,28025 SSB : 1840,3799,7080,14200,18145,21295,24950,28470 RTTY: 3600,7040,10140,14085,18100,21080,24930,28085 Burundi is rated 66th on the most wanted dxcc list. Here is the list of most recent activations: 9U5D(2001),9U6PM(2004)9U0A,9U0X,9U9Z,(2007),9U1KI,9U1RSI,9U1V0,9U2T,9U4T,(20 10),9U7T(2011),9U3PMM(2013)9U4U(2013) QSL via: IK2VUC: Giuliano Mondini,P.O.Box 10,21052 Busto Arsizio(VA) Italy
05 VE2DX 20M 14074 5 Nov 2017 16 10 FT8 -04 db fn35
06 XE2CQ 20M 14074 5 Nov 2017 16 10 FT8 -2db DM12
07 HP1AVS 20M 14074 5 Nov 2017 16 15 FT8
07 HR2CER 20M 14074 5 Nov 2017 17 25 FT8 EK55
07 3E1FD 17M 18072 5 Nov 2017 17 00 CW
07 HP3SS 15M 21010 7 Nov 2017 14 50 CW
08 FG1JS 20M 14074 5 Nov 2017 17 30 FT8
08 FM1HN 20M 14074 5 Nov 2017 18 05 FT8 -07db FK94 via W3HNK
08 J68GD 12M 24903 3 Nov 2017 1306 CW via K9AW
08 PJ4/NA2AA 15M 21282 3 Nov 2017 13 15 SSB
13 VP8LP 20M 14074 6 Nov 2017 11 47 FT8
14 CU2DX 12M 24912 1 Nov 2017 11 50 FT8 -05db HM77
14 HB0WR 20M 14074 3 Nov 2017 07 20 FT8
14 ZB3M 20M 14074 3 Nov 2017 08 20 CW
14 4U1ITU 17M 18075 7 Nov 2017 12 55 CW
15 T77BL 17M 18084 5 Nov 2017 08 15 CW
15 Z33F 17M 18100 1 Nov 2017 10 33 FT8 -10db KN11
17 EY8MM 12M 24915 4 Nov 2017 08 30 FT8
17 UK9AA 17M 18082 5 Nov 2017 08 40 CW
17 UN7LZ 12M 24915 1 Nov 2017 10 45 FT8 -8db MO13
20 TC10S 20M 14253 7 Nov 2017 1313 SSB
20 5B4ALX 17M 18072 6 Nov 2017 10 50 CW
21 A41ZZ 15M 21074 1 Nov 2017 10 20 FT8 -3db LL93
21 YI3WHR 40M 7074 5 Nov 2017 17 43 FT8
21 4K8YL 12M 24896 4 Nov 2017 10 10 CW
21 4K6N 12M 24915 7 Nov 2017 09 00 FT8
21 4J4K 17M 18073 7 Nov 2017 13 00 CW
22 A5A 160M 1822 2 Nov 2017 23 14 CW via JH1AJT
22 A5A 80M 3793 2 Nov 2017 23 45 SSB via JH1AJT
22 A5A 40M 7152 2 Nov 2017 22 35 SSB via JH1AJT
22 VU2JXL 20M 14074 7 Nov 2017 14 45 FT8 -6db MK97
24 VR2/KC0W 15M 21004 5 Nov 2017 08 31 CW
25 DS3EXX 40M 7143 6 Nov 2017 18 15 SSB
26 HS3NBR 15M 21240 7 Nov 2017 948 SSB
27 DU3LA 12M 24898 7 Nov 2017 09 40 CW
28 YB3LZ 20M 14074 7 Nov 2017 14 35 FT8 -05db OI61
28 9M2SDX 20M 14074 7 Nov 2017 14 40
28 9V1KK 17M 18070 5 Nov 2017 08 40 CW
28 4W/OZ1AA 12M 24897 3 Nov 2017 11 54 CW
28 4W/OZ1AA 30M 10103 6 Nov 2017 14 34 CW via OZ1ACB
28 4W/OZ1AA 40M 7008 7 Nov 2017 16 00 CW via OZ1ACB
29 VK9CZ 160M 1823 3 Nov 2017 17 25 CW
30 VK9MA 80M 3502 5 Nov 2017 18 33 CW
30 VK9MA 20M 14180 4 Nov 2017 13 22 SSB Mellish reef qsl via N7QT
30 VK9MA 40M 7128 5 Nov 2017 15 45 SSB
30 VK9MA 30M 10104 4 Nov 2017 17 15 CW via N7QT
30 VK9MA 17M 18073 6 Nov 2017 11 20 CW via N7QT
31 KH7XS 40M 7004 6 Nov 2017 16 14 CW
32 VK9/M0FVC 20M 14250 3 Nov 2017 07 06 SSB Norfolk isl
32 VK9/M0FVC 20m 14013 4 Nov 2017 07 02 CW
32 YJ0CA 20M 14182 1 Nov 2017 10 14 SSB op: Chris VK2YUS
33 S01A 20M 14225 3 Nov 2017 09 40 SSB
33 7W0A 17M 18140 1 Nov 2017 10 40 SSB
35 EL2BB 15M 21024 3 Nov 2015 15 45 CW booming
35 EL2BB 20M 14012 3 Nov 2015 08 14 CW via EI9FBB
35 EL2GM 30M 10106 1 Nov 2017 21 20 CW
35 TZ4AM 80M 3504 6 Nov 2017 05 04 CW
35 3XY4D 17M 18100 1 Nov 2017 12 01 FT8 via: F5RAV
36 TR8CA 12M 24895 7 Nov 2017 13 52 CW
36 3C1L 160M 1826 3 Nov 2017 21 15 CW lsn dwn for ja/as
36 3C1L 12M 24904 1 Nov 2017 12 05 CW via:YL2GN
36 3C1L 15M 21029 4 Nov 2017 10 32 CW via:YL2GN
36 3C1L 15M 21083 5 Nov 2017 12 55 RTTY via:YL2GN
36 3C1L 17M 18103 5 Nov 2017 17 00 RTTY via YL2GN
36 3C1L 20M 14085 7 Nov 2017 09 35 RTTY via YL2GN
36 3C1L 30M 10119 4 Nov 2017 18 20 CW via:YL2GN
36 3C1L 40M 7001 4 Nov 2017 23 15 CW
36 3C1L 10M 28029 1 Nov 2017 14 10 CW via:YL2GN
36 9J2BO 10M 28025 1 Nov 2017 14:05 CW oc: Brian 599+
36 9Q6BB 15M 21028 4 Nov 2017 10 25 CW via W3HNK
36 9U4M 17M 18145 7 Nov 2017 09 40 SSB via IK2VUC
36 9U4M 30M 10120 7 Nov 2017 15 30 CW via IK2VUC
37 C93PA 15M 21074 5 Nov 2017 08 50 FT8
38 Z21MH 12M 24932 3 Nov 2017 13 16 SSB
39 S79KB 15M 21074 1 Nov 2017 12:15 FT8 via:DL2SBY do not send your qsl via bureau!
40 TF3IG 20M 14074 6 Nov 2017 09 00 FT8
40 TF5B 30M 10136 7 Nov 2017 15 15 FT8 -12 db IP05
CN42 CN42MS 40M 7024 1 Nov 2017 23 17 CW via: EA7FTR
HA44 HA44PJ 20M 14011 1 Nov 2017 11 04 CW
HG44 HG44A 20M 14045 1 Nov 2017 10 12 CW
HG72 HG72QRP 30M 10116 4 Nov 2017 07 30 CW via HA5MA
IP5 IP5LV 20M 14085 1 Nov 2017 11 30 RTTY via: IK5ZUB
LZ307 LZ307MU 15M 21013 1 Nov 2017 10 35 CW
ON1418 ON1418POP 20M 14209 1 Nov 2017 12 03 SSB
OP0 OP0PPY 20M 14189 3 Nov 2017 10 07 SSB via ON7LX
OP2 OP2CYV 20M 14265 3 Nov 2017 10 03 SSB
PG500 PG500TH 20M 14074 6 Nov 2017 11 20 FT8 via PA3ETC
YD0 YD0MAT 15M 21074 3 Nov 2017 09 05 FT8
5C42 5C42KD 17M 18080 1 Nov 2017 11 50 CW via EA7FTR
7S50 7S50AW 20M 14027 3 Nov 2017 11 55 CW via SM6PPS
7W0 7W0A 20M 14195 1 Nov 2017 10 06 SSB
AS-006 VR2/KC0W 30M 10110 1 Nov 2017 11:24 CW only direct via: KC0W
EU-105 TM1CT 15M 21003 2 Nov 2017 05:55 CW
GFF-0145 2E0HPI/P 40M
9AFF-032 9A70Y/P 40M
DLFF-0034 DL/OE9TKH/P 40M
DLFF-0407 DL2RUF/P 40M
HAFF-004 HA7WA/P 20M
IFF-1265 IQ5TW/P 40M
FFF-0651 TM1CT 15M
KFF-3044 N4CD 40M
LFF-0139 LZ2HT/P 30M
SPFF-0467 SQ9LOM/P 20M
SPFF-0467 SP5ZIM/P 80M
SPFF-0664 SP5UUD/P 40M
SPFF-0914 SP9YFF/P 40M
SPFF-1283 SP5KD/P 40M
SPFF-1540 SP4SHW/P 20M
SVFF-0066 SY2CJV/P 20M
SVFF-0067 SV2HSZ/P 17M
PAFF-0113 PA2CVD/P 20M
OKFF-0585 OK3DM/P 40M
OKFF-1962 OK1VEI/P 20M
ONFF-0083 ON2LVC/P 40M
ONFF-0164 ON2VR/P 40M
OZFF-0125 OZ0BO/P 15M
OZFF-0120 OZ7AEI/P 40M
VKFF-0788 VK5PAS 80M
We love your feedback - and especially so from a fellow urban Dxers. You know the type: small backyard, no room for antennas, unbearable local noise, not-so-ham-radio-friendly neighbours but keen to work 'em all. Today's email comes form Adrian, VE7NZ, west of Vancouver.
I've subscribed! I am also part of one called "Low Band Dxing in the Suburbs" which is similar, but includes 30-160m.
My story is like yours. Licensed for 36 years, since I was 15. I have enough confirmations on LoTW for 10/15/20/40 for DXCC and decided to add 12/17/30/80 to that list. I put up a rotatable trapped dipole for 12/17/30 two years ago approx and am close on those bands, although 12 is likely not going to make it until the sunspot cycle picks up. VE7 is a fair way north and 10 and 12m are often dead here yet open south of me in California.
For 80m I decided to try digital to give me the extra advantage. I started with Olivia then quickly found JT-65 which was when I first decoded long-haul DX from VK land. Made my first VK contact at sunrise one morning and went "Yep, dxcc is challenging but possible on 80m for me".
My station is a Kenwood TS-870 (IC-7610 is on order) and a 43' vertical wire in a tree with homebuilt loading coil and as many radials as I could install - which was only about 25% of the "circle" around the base of the antenna due to the layout of my lot. In short, it's a very poor antenna. I've had successful decodes in VK, ZS, even Kazakhstan (all of these 1/3 to 1/2 the way around the world for me). But I was being heard better than I could hear - which seems to be your situation too.
So when I saw local VE7's hearing working long path EU stations etc. that I couldn't hear, I asked what equipment they had. Some had huge arrays (VE7SV has a 3 element rotatable Yagi on 80m!!!!) but many had small rx antennas. It seems the K9AY loop is popular and also the magnetic loop. The K9Ay was not going to fly with my wife's garden plans, so I recently purchased a W6LVP mag loop and put it on a rotor to test it out. https://www.w6lvp.com/product/w6lvp-amplified-receive-only-magnetic-loop-ant enna/
Your signal was consistent enough for me to do some good measurements last night, but I am still learning about it as I've only had it on the air a few weeks.
I suffer from lots of noise on 30m, where it provides about 2 S-units or 12 dB of improvement. On 80m I only get about 1 S-unit of improved S/N which is not much, but the quality of the audio on SSB when you drop 6 dB of noise is quite something. I will record this and upload it for you. It is not as amazing as I had hoped, but seems to be helping. ON4UN says he couldn't have got his last 50 countries on 80m w/o a separate rx antenna.
I believe I suffer from general suburban background noise. It's not one house or one device, but high levels of background noise. Typically around S5-8 in the evenings. I can't seem to null it out, but believe if you are in an environment where one particular area or house or device is the problem, this loop would help a lot.
I thought narrower filtering of the AF passband would help, but had a wonderful letter from K1JT last week telling me not to waste my time - the software does it all - keep the passband wide.
I have found propagation peaks for me in VE7 (latitude is 50 degrees north) on 80m the most at sunrise, second most between sunrise and sunset (around 2am local), and a little just after sunset. I honestly cannot find a good correlation between SF, A, K indices and 80m propagation. It is claimed that low SF reduces background noise and is helpful (the opposite of the higher bands) but I am not sure I have observed that as QRN is the bigger factor. I've assumed low K indices help transpolar paths and trans equatorial paths - but my tests between VE7 and ZS (which includes both equator and polar) in high and low K's haven't born this out. The only thing I seem to be able to count on is that at sunrise and for 20 mins after I get about 6 dB of improved propagation due to the lack of an absorbing layer yet being formed.
Regarding VE7-VK paths. I see VK open up often around 1000z at this time of year. Then they often fade for a bit, then pick up at sunrise which is presently around 1500z. JA, DS, BY, BV, HL are also common at those same times.all across the north pacific of course.
I like FT-8 but am sad that JT65 has pretty much died out. 5dB of extra headroom is a lot and many of my most challenging 80m contacts were in the -21 to -30 range.
Last thing - you made a comment about me calling you split. The reason I do that is that sometimes the receiving station hears multiple people replying to a cq and the QRM means none gets decoded. I gather this is somewhat contentious as it can lead to more crowded spectrum. For JT65 I get that, but for FT8 there's lots of room most of the time so I don't see what all the fuss is about if it improves the overall QSO rate on the band.
Anyway, I hope we can work again. Best 73 for now. Adrian VE7NZ"