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Showing posts from 2018

Worked Vatican - HV0A

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I worked HV0A in Vatican City on 80m FT8!

Well you live and you learn. I never knew that Vatican City was a city-state. I always thought it was just a city in Italy.  I'm glad that they are on the air and glad to have worked them from my QTH!


73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

UPDATE 12/30/2018:
I worked HV0A again on 20m FT8!

Worked Falkland Islands - VP8LP

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The 17m band often yields some great DX contacts.  Today, I was able to work the Falkland Islands! 


The Falkland Islands is an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Patagonian Shelf. The principal islands are about 300 miles east of South America's southern Patagonian coast, and about 752 miles from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, at a latitude of about 52°S. The archipelago, with an area of 4,700 square miles, comprises East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 smaller islands.


Worked Mauritius - 3B8FA

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I had just arrived home for lunch when I received a text message from a good friend and fellow ham John (K4WCL).  He was at his "mountain house" in South Carolina and had found 3B8FA in Mauritius on 17m FT8 and he texted me to let me know that he had made the great contact.  When I finished my lunch, I went into my shack and settled in on the 17m band.  I waited a few cycles and then I saw the same station 3B8FA in Mauritius finishing a QSO.  I quickly clicked on the call sign and tried to make contact.  I got an answer!  I was given an RST of +3 and I returned an RST of +2.  Great signal reports considering the distance and I was only running 50watts into an OCF dipole!

At 9,860+ miles away from my QTH, Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 1,200 miles off the southeast coast of the African continent. The country includes the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues and the outer islands of Agaléga and St. Brandon. The islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues form pa…

The 10m Band Isn't Dead

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This weekend was the ARRL 10m SSB and CW contest.  I didn't participate in the contest, but I did use it as an opportunity to play on the mostly quiet band.  There have been several times when I caught 10m band openings over the summer, but I didn't really know what to expect here in December.  To my surprise, I was able to make 7 voice contacts in the short time I was on the band.  Most of the contacts were in California, 1 was in Colombia, and 1 was in Chile!  I couldn't believe I got Chile at almost 5,000 miles away on 10m phone while I continually hear people say that 10m is completely silent until the peak of the sunspot cycle...

One reason 10m is so quiet is the fact that people continue to spread bad information. They say the band is completely dead and a waste of time.  So when there is an opening, nobody knows because they believe the band to be unusable...

I find that 10m and 6m are alot of fun since they present a challenge. What a great feeling it is to make c…

Worked The Gambia - C5YK

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While playing around on 40m, I ran across C5YK in The Gambia. I gave him a call and was able to exchange signal reports of 57.  I have a nagging feeling that he didn't copy my callsign correctly, so it may never get confirmed.  According to the C5YK QRZ page, Andre is "The only resident licensed operator here in The Gambia"!



At over 4,380+ miles away, The Gambia, officially the Republic of the Gambia, is a country in West Africa that is almost entirely surrounded by Senegal with the exception of its western coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. It is the smallest country within mainland Africa.  It is situated on either side of the Gambia River, the nation's namesake, which flows through the center of the Gambia and empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked the Set of Last Man Standing - KA6LMS

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In the TV show Last Man Standing, the main character Mike Baxter (played by Tim Allen) is a ham radio operator.  There is a functional radio station on the set that the cast and crew operate on their breaks as KA6LMS.


I had seen the KA6LMS callsign a few times before on my DX cluster, but had never been able to work the station.  This time, I saw them spotted on the CW portion of the 40m band.  Since I don't know CW (yet), I just continued talking on VHF to some friends.  After a while of discussing how cool it would be to work the KA6LMS station and/or talk to Tim Allen (who is a licensed ham), I saw them spotted on the voice portion of 40m!

I quickly tuned my FTDX1200 over to 7.247.5MHz LSB and started to listen.  Sure enough, I heard a female voice say "QRZ, this is KA6LMS Studio City California".  I gave a call a few times and she picked me up!  I'm sad to say that I don't know who the operator was (it was definitely not Tim Allen), but none the less it was …

Serving as Activities Manager of an Amateur Radio Club

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I'm not the most social person.  Even though I talk to many people around the world via ham radio, I consider myself a little bit of a loner with my radio hobby.  I have worked some contests, learned new modes, and much more all from the comforts of my shack and usually by myself.  For this reason, I was very reluctant to join an Amateur Radio Club.  I like the idea of having a club of like-minded people and being able to learn from, help, and support each other in our endeavors.  I like things like ARRL Field Day and portable operations.  But I again, searched for the value of joining a club vs just participating in club events.

One thing to consider is that these clubs may struggle to survive.  The events like Field Day are made possible by clubs.  They use their equipment, time, money, and energy to make these things possible.  Clubs provide and maintain the repeaters we use.  Clubs help promote our hobby of Amateur Radio and provide us with networks of people and resources.

S…

Worked Namibia - V51MA

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I was pleased to make contact with V51MA in Namibia on 15m FT8.

At over 7,650+ miles away, Namibia is a country in southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean; it shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of the Zambezi River (essentially a small bulge in Botswana to achieve a Botswana/Zambia micro-border) separates the two countries.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked South Shetland Island - DT8A

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I've seen the DT8A Antarctic Scientific Base station in the South Shetland Islands show up on my FT8 screen several times.  Even with the 3 element yagi, I've been unable to contact the station several times on 20m.  I finally made contact with DT8A via 30m FT8!


At 6,820+ miles away from my QTH, The South Shetland Islands are a group of Antarctic islands, lying about 75 miles north of the Antarctic Peninsula, with a total area of 1,424 square miles.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Finally Got the QRZ 50 States Award

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Since first getting into radio when I just a kid, I've always been fascinated by DX.  I still love making long distance contacts and shrinking the globe.  I realized at some point that I had made contacts with over 170 countries, every continent, and some maritime mobile (/MM) and aeronautical mobile (/AM) stations...but I had not yet gotten all 50 states confirmed. 

The biggest challenge for me was the fact that several of the states that I had worked, would not confirm the QSO on QRZ.  For example, I had worked Alabama several times on 80m phone, but those folks were just saying hello and apparently didn't log the QSO.  I had worked Kentucky several times (even a KY QSO party), but none were confirmed on QRZ.

Finally with some help of my friends, I was able to get another QSO with AL and 2 more with KY.  All were asked to confirm on QRZ and on Thanksgiving night 2018, I was granted my QRZ 50 States Award!

The award was the last one that I needed to have gotten all the award…

Worked Tonga - A35EU

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While sitting in the shack and learning a little about Winlink, I saw someone spot A35EU in Tonga on the DX cluster.  I had never worked Tonga and was not even sure where it was.  The spot showed the station to be on 18.104 FT8 using "fox and hound".  So I set WSJT-X up as a "hound" and manually tuned to 18.104 mHz.  Sure enough there was the Tonga DXpedition station working several stations. I was able to work them quickly and get them logged! 

Tonga is a Polynesian country and archipelago comprising 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. The total surface area is about 290 square miles scattered over 270,000 square miles of the southern Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by Fiji and Wallis and Futuna (France) to the northwest, Samoa to the northeast, Niue to the east, Kermadec (part of New Zealand) to the southwest, and New Caledonia (France) and Vanuatu to the farther west.

At over 7,100 miles away, I was glad to work Tonga for the first time with 50watts on a di…

2018 Stone Mountain Hamfest

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This past weekend was the 2018 Stone Mountain Hamfest and ARRL Section Convention.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I had never been to a hamfest before.  But this year I decided to go down and assist the Lanierland Amateur Radio Club in setting up our tables of donated equipment.  The hamfest took place at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville, GA...just a bit over an hour from my QTH.

I took Friday November 2nd off of work and went down just after lunch to start setting up.  To my surprise, as quick as we were unloading items and setting them on the table, someone would walk by and ask how much!  We actually sold a good bit of stuff on Friday.  I left and went home to see the XYL and to rest up for Saturday.

I woke up at 5:00AM on Saturday and drove down to the hamfest. I got to the gate about 6:30AM and went in to finish preparing.  There was a lot more going on than what I expected.  The "bone yard" seemed never-ending.  Sadly, I didn't purchase anythin…

CQWW 2018 - The World's Largest DX Contest I Forgot About

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This past weekend was the CQ World Wide DX Contest.  CQWW is known as one of the largest DX contests!  The only problem?  I forgot all about it.

I had a busy weekend and stayed gone most of the day on Saturday.  When I got home late Saturday night, I heard some friends on the VHF repeater talking about how much activity was on the low bands due to the contest.  So I went into the shack at about 11:00PM ET and started looking for DX.  My very first contact was D4C in Cape Verde on 80m! That was a new DX Entity for me! I worked for a few hours and made some great contacts on 80m and 40m, ending the night with a 40m FT8 contact with VP6D Ducie Island!

We had stuff planned on Sunday too, so I could only get on the air for a few hours in the morning.  I worked several stations on 20m and 15m.  I worked PY0F in Fernando de Noronha on 15m and that was also a new DX entitiy for me! But sadly, I had to go QRT and get ready for our afternoon and evening plans.

All in all, I made 40 contact bet…

Yaesu FT-2000D vs FTDX1200 For My Station

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Over the weekend, I had the chance to play with a Yaesu FT-2000D HF rig.  The rig came from a SK and had been donated to a local club.  It was a complete system including the matching power supply and external speaker.  I was instantly attracted to it.  It felt reminiscent of my FT-950 from years past.  I was somewhat familiar with the controls and it was really a beautiful rig.

Part of our duties was to test the equipment and get it ready to be sold at the upcoming hamfest.  We connected everything, switched it on, and began enjoying the colorful display, true analog S meter, and smooth sounding DX coming through the speaker.  It really was a ham's dream rig.  So much so that I started to consider getting rid of my Yaesu FTDX1200 and measuring my operating desk to see if it could end up in my shack.

When I selected my FTDX1200, it was based on the fact that I had loved my FT-950.  The FT-950 was no longer available and the FTDX1200 was it's successor.  My rig is of good size…

Worked Kuwait - 9K2HS

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This morning, the bands were in excellent shape.  I made many enjoyable contacts.  One that was very special to me was Hamed, 9K2HS in Kuwait. I had never worked Kuwait before.  I saw Hamed spotted on the DX cluster so I tuned over.  I didn't want to tune up the amp on 15m, but I did dial my Yagi in on him to the best of my ability.  I gave him a call with just 100w (phone) and to my surprise, he picked me up and returned a RST of 59+.  Hamed was also 59+ and a very pleasant operator.  At over 7,000 miles away, I was glad to finally get Kuwait in the log!

Kuwait is a country in Western Asia. Situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, it shares borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia.


73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked the Ducie Island DXpedition - VP6D

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Last night while ragchewing on 80m with some friends, I was noticing some interesting Islands showing up on the DX cluster in Ham Radio Deluxe.  One island I kept seeing spotted was Ducie Island.  Since the public school system seems to have failed me, I asked some of the other hams if they knew where Ducie island was.  No one seemed to know!  So we looked it up and were surprised to find that it was just a small speck in the South Pacific Ocean.

Once I've got my mind on chasing some DX, I find it hard to concentrate on other QSOs.  I told my friends I'd be back and tuned over to the 20m band to see if I could hear the signal from the speck.  Unfortunately, I heard nothing.  I tried my dipole.  I tried my Yagi.  I heard nothing.  I returned to my group on 80m and would occasionally sneak away to check to see if I could hear Ducie Island.  Nothing heard.

When the group had all decided to sign off, I returned once more to 20m since I was still seeing spots on the DX cluster for…

Worked Another Station in Antarctica - RI1ANL

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Maybe it's just me, but I don't believe that there are many active ham radio stations in Antarctica.  I had made contact with KC4AAA on 20m SSB almost a year ago, but today I had the privilege of working another station "on the ice". 

Unlike last time, I worked RI1ANL on 30m FT8.  I sent a -13 and received a -14 which is not bad at all considering that contact was over 8,570 miles away.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked Gibraltar - ZB2IF

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I was able to finally get Gibraltar in the log!  On 17m FT8 with just 50w and a dipole, I made contact with Alan (ZB2IF) at over 4,270 miles! 

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 2.6 square miles and is bordered to the north by Spain.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked Burkina Faso - XT2BR

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Ok, I'm terrible at geography.  But I'm learning! Ham radio has forced me to at least look at maps and become familiar with the names of countries and I feel like I've never heard of.  Burkina Faso is one such country. 

I was working FT8 on 20m and saw XT2BR from this unfamiliar country show up.  I was happy to work the station getting only a -19 signal report from him and then take a look to see where it was.

 Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa. It covers an area of around 105,900 square miles and is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north; Niger to the east; Benin to the southeast; Togo and Ghana to the south; and Ivory Coast to the southwest.


73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan - VR2XMT, BG7BDB, BV3UF, BX5AA

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Since I installed my Mosley 3 element Yagi, I've been working harder to try to find and work new countries.  I decided to take a day off of work to get some service done on my truck.  Before my appointment, I went into my shack and casually sat down with a cup of coffee to play radio.  I saw Hong Kong (VR2XMT) calling CQ, so I tried to answer.  It took a little bit, but we made the contact!
Later, I saw China (BG7BDB) calling CQ and I was able to work him too!
I was excited about Hong Kong and China, but then I saw Taiwan (BV3UF).  That was a first! I was able to work him!
To my surprise, I found and worked another station in Taiwan (BX5AA)! 
Wow! What a morning!  Before I knew it, it was time to go to my appointment and I had to go QRT.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked South Korea - DS5USH

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I get a great deal of enjoyment from working DX and I'm always on the hunt for a new county.  With my Yagi pointed towards Asia, I saw South Korea show up on 20m FT8 for the first time!  I replied to the CQ call from DS5USH and was pleased to get a response! At over 7,100 miles, I'm proud to get South Korea in the log!

South Korea is in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying east to the Asian mainland.
73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked Guantanamo Bay - KG4WH

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A while back I wrote about people incorrectly assuming I was in Guantanamo Bay Cuba because my callsign starts with KG4 (Guantanamo is KG4XX but KG4XXX was issued in "4 land").  Well now, I've had the pleasure of working a station in Guantanamo Bay myself!

I worked Wade (KG4WH) on 20m FT8!


Guantanamo Bay is a United States military base and detention camp located on 45 sq miles of land and water at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which the U.S. leased for use as a coaling station and naval base in 1903.

Early Morning Japanese Contacts on 30m

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I very rarely get up early and get on the radio during the week.  I had some stuff happening at work early one morning and I had to go in before 5:30AM to do something minor and then I was back home by 6:00AM.  I decided to try a little FT8 while I drank my coffee before I had to go back to work at 8:00AM.  I heard John (K4WCL) talking about having some good DX contacts on 30m recently.  That got me to thinking about how long it had been since I had been on 30m and that I'm not sure if I had worked great DX on that band or not.

I tuned my radio over to the FT8 frequency on 30m, switched over to my Maxcon OCF dipole, and enabled my internal tuner.  I started decoding singals from Asia!  I started making my calls to the stations calling CQ from Japan.  Before I knew it, I had been sitting there for an hour and had worked 12 stations in Japan with just 50watts into the dipole!
I saw Masa (JE1LET) spotted on the DX cluster on 20m voice. So I moved over there, switched to my yagi, and …

Worked Uzbekistan - UK9AA

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I was able to log another new country! This time I was able to get my signal into Uzbekistan.  UK9AA and I made contact on 20m FT8.

Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked sovereign state in Central Asia.



73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked Sri Lanka - 4S7AVR

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I had the privilege of working Sri Lanka for the first time on 20m FT8!  I was using the yagi, but FT8 impresses me in the fact that I was able to work 4S7AVR at 9,300+ miles away with only 50watts of power.  Sadly, Noel has not yet confirmed this contact via QRZ or LoTW.
Sri Lanka is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. It is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait.
73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked Market Reef - OJ0C

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I'm always on the hunt for a DXCC that I haven't previously worked.  Especially if I've never heard of it.  Well I believe this is one for the books (or the blog hi hi).  I saw OJ0C from Market Reef spotted on 20m SSB on the DX cluster.  I found the bearing and point my 3 element yagi at about 32 degrees and started to listen.  I heard at about 5 by 7 "OJ0C QRZ".  So I warmed the amp, and threw my call out.  OJ0C answered immediately giving me a 5 by 9 report!  I happily logged it and then looked for more information on the call sign and area.

From what I can tell, Market Reef is literally just a reef (or skerry) with a light house and few other buildings on it!



 A team of young radio amateurs will be on the air from Market Reef Lighthouse as OJ0C, from July 21 until July 28 and again from August 18 until August 25. The lighthouse is nearly at sea level, and waves have been known to cover the entire reef.

The young operators will be participating in daily worksho…

Worked Malta - 9H5BZ

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I haven't had as much time to play on HF lately as I'd like.  But such is life.  Last night, I found a little time and turned on the radio.  I have the OCF dipole connected to ANT2 and ANT1 is conntected to the Ameritron amplifier and then then the Mosley beam. I saw a spot on the DX cluster for Malta on 20m SSB.  I had not previously worked Malta and I love getting new countries in the log.  I listened on my dipole and heard 9H5BZ from 5,200+ miles away at about 4 by 5 (RST). I switched to the beam and turned it to about 55 degrees and was able to copy at 5 by 7.  I turned on the amp and I gave him a call.  He picked me up quickly and he gave me a 59 RST!  I'm still loving the beam!

Malta is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 50 miles south of Italy, 176 miles east of Tunisia, and 207 miles north of Libya.  Malta is one of the world's smallest and most densely populated countries.

73 and good DX de KG4LST …

Worked Liechtenstein - HBØ/PA5CT

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Still playing with the new antenna, I ran across HBØ/PA5CT on 20m SSB in Liechtenstein!  I was able to work the YL (Claudia) fairly easily RX and TX 59 thanks to the new Mosley.


Liechtenstein is bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and Austria to the east and north. It has an area of just over 160 square kilometres (62 square miles), the fourth smallest in Europe, and an estimated population of 37,000


Worked Vanuatu - YJ0GA

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I just got my Mosley triband beam and tower finished...today.  Even though there are some odds and ends that need to be finished up.  The antenna is usable.  While testing it out late in the night, I was practicing turning the rotor toward the direction I want to hear.  I had pointed it towards Australia (according to the HRD Rotor program) and I did start seeing some Australian stations showing up in the FT8 software.  I worked a couple and then I saw Vanuatu!  As usual, I had no idea where that was and I had not worked that entity before!  I called them with 50watts and got a reply!  At over 7,900 miles away, that QSO confirmed that my beam seemed to be working well.

Vanuatu is a Pacific island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,090 miles east of northern Australia, 340 miles northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.



73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked Oman - A41ZZ

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I don't have much to say about this one because I forgot to write a blurb at the time I made the contact.  However, at over 7,700 miles away with just 50watts on 17m FT8...I'm very happy to have this QSO in the log!

Oman is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the country shares land borders with the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked Baker Island 2018 DXpedition - KH1/KH7Z

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I haven't been able to be on the air much lately...at least on the HF bands.  Last night I kept seeing Baker & Howland Island on the DX cluster.  They seemed to be running many station because they were working several bands and modes.  I could hear them on CW (but I don't know code), and could barely decode them on FT8.  I couldn't hear them at all on the few voice spots I saw.

Finally after checking all the spots, I found that I could hear them calling on 14.210mHz and listening 5kHz to 10kHz up.  I was getting some very heavy QRM from an overmodulated signal on 14.205.  I waited a while until the QRMing station stopped transmitting and then I can gave my call.  To my surprise, they answered on the first call!

After logging them, I started to worry that perhaps in the excitement I had not heard if my call was copied correctly.  However, today I checked their online Club Log and verified that I was in it!



Baker Island is an uninhabited atoll located just north of the …

Fun Father's Day Weekedend DX on 6m and 10m

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For some reason on Saturday morning, my eyes popped open fairly early.  By 7:30AM I was already playing radio for a few hours before I had to do some yard work.

I noticed that the E-Skip was rolling again and checked out 6m.  My first contact of the day at 7:42AM was CT1GVN in Portugal on 6m FT8.  I worked a few more stateside before jumping over to 10m FT8.  There I saw and worked EI7HDB in Ireland and F5RJM in France!

I moved to the voice portion of 10m and had a few fairly lengthy QSO's with some stateside stations.  It was enjoyable to make those contacts during this low part of the sunspot cycle and without much QSB.

On Sunday (Father's Day), I went back to 6m for a bit and worked VP5DR in Turks and Caicos and CU3EQ in Azores.

The contacts I made over the weekend were very exciting.  At over 4,100 miles, Portugal is now my furthest contact on 6m and I think Ireland is my furthest on 10m.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

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