Posts

IC-9700 Coming Soon to My Shack

Image
I've had an interest for a while in VHF SSB and FT8.  I also wanted a more robust radio for my regular FM repeater use.  Using dual band mobiles in the shack just started to feel like a compromise.  Or maybe I just want to sound like I can justify a new rig, in case the XYL is reading this!

I spent quite a while going back and forth on what kind of radio to buy for VHF/UHF.  Like I said, the mobiles just didn't seem enough like desk candy.  But what was it that I really wanted to accomplish?  I made the mistake of not asking this question before I started looking at rigs online.  I had all but decided on the Yaesu FT-991A.  In fact, I had it added to my online cart and was going to check out when I decided to look around a bit more.  The 991A is a very capable rig.  HF, 6m, VHF, UHF, and Yaesu System Fusion!  It connects to a PC with a single USB cable for rig control and digital modes.  It would be excellent to pair with my Yaesu FTDX1200 currently in the shack...so why didn&…

Great 10m Opening to South Pacific - 3D2AG, FO5QB, VK4MA

Image
I always like to find opportunities to work something unusual.  I like to try to work all bands and modes.  As such, I look for opportunities to make contacts on 10m and 6m whenever they happen to be open.  I've noticed a few openings on these bands lately.  I recently caught a 10m opening with great conditions into South America.  I worked Brazil, Argentina, and Chile several times before the band closed and went back to silence.  A few years ago I made a couple 10m contacts in Europe which stunned be given the lack of sunspot activity.  Given that I have not been an active ham during a peak sunspot time, I think I've made some good contacts on the 6m and 10m.

I was messing around in the shack when I saw a spot for 3D2AG in Fiji spotted on 10m FT8.  I thought surely it was either a mistake or it must have been spotted by someone somewhat close to Fiji.  To my surprise, when I turned the yagi to that direction I could hear the station!  I gave a call or two before getting an …

2020 Georgia QSO Party - W4LSG

Image
I decided on a whim that since the COVID-19 scare came up and we have been staying at home as much as possible that it might be worth trying to get on the air and represent my state during the 2020 Georgia QSO party from my QTH.  I had a few things to do so I knew I would not be able to work the event from start time to end time, but I thought it could be a fun thing to do anyway. 

As expected, I got started late. I came into my shack around 3PM on Saturday and just kinda sat there staring off into space and listening to the activity on the bands.  I finally decided to make a CQ call at almost 4PM.  I found a clear frequency, asked if it was in use, heard no response, and then called CQ. When I unkeyed, people were talking.  Puzzled, I found another clear frequency, asked if it was in use, heard nothing, and called CQ. When I unkeyed, I was immediately asked to QSY because I was operating very close to an ongoing net.  I did and felt kinda frustrated with not being able to get starte…

Testing FT4 and Contact with WA9PIE

Image
When I first started using FT4, I found that it would log inconsistently and made for some manual work to get all of my online logs/QSL services to match.  So I stopped using it.  At some point, Mike Carper (WA9PIE), owner of HRD, sent a newsletter advising that HRD now supported FT4 correctly.  I tested the new version on my system and found that though it did seem to log correctly in HRD and possibly if sent from HRD to LoTW, it did not send correctly to QRZ, eQSL, or HRDLog.net.  I reported my findings via the HamRadioDeluxe user forum where Mike replied and advised they understood the problems.  Not long after, another release of HRD was available that should fix these issues.  I downloaded and installed the new version and did some testing immediately.  It was actually working 100% as expected!  While I was testing, I actually ran across WA9PIE working 20m FT4!  I gave him many calls before he replied, but we did make a QSO and I have him in the log.  Neat contact!

73 de W4LSG s…

Worked Gabon on 10m - TR8CA

Image
I have been messing around with FT4 some lately.  I haven't gotten much into it since it caused some logging/QSL headaches.  However I saw someone spot TR8CA in Gabon on 10m FT4.  I thought a few things...first I thought this was probably spotted on the wrong band on accident.  Then I though perhaps it was correct but the spotter was just really close.  In any case, I moved over to 10m FT4 and pointed the yagi in the direction of Gabon.  Sure enough, I began decoding TR8CA.  So I gave a few calls and was very surprised to get a response!  Gabon was not a new country for me, but it was a really awesome contact to have made at 6,300+ miles away on 10m band!

73 and good DX de W4LSG sk

Worked Thailand - E20EHQ

Image
For whatever reason, I tend to keep my Mosley yagi antenna pointed towards Asia. I'm always on the lookout for stations in this area.  I was glad to see E20EHQ come in on 20m FT8 from 9,000 miles away!  We worked each other with -13 SNR reports both ways.  This was a great contact and a new one for me!

Thailand is a country at the center of the Southeast Asian Indochinese Peninsula composed of 76 provinces. At 198,120 square miles and over 68 million people, Thailand is the world's 50th-largest country by total area and the 21st-most-populous country. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest.

73 and good DX de W4LSG sk

Worked Zambia - 9J2LA

Image
I was pleased to be able to put a new one in the log!  9J2LA was on 40m FT8 F/H and after a few calls, I was able to work them!

Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern-Central Africa . Its neighbors are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south, Namibia to the southwest, and Angola to the west.

73 and good DX de W4LSG sk

American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources