Wednesday, May 16, 2012
It's been a very busy day here, but besides the obstacles, 15 meters opened up, and I was able to work several DX stations. They were mostly in South America, but there were two surprising contacts towards Europe. I worked Spain (EA5/LZ2MAM) and CU7MD in the Azores Islands.
I also heard (and almost worked) 4X1UN in Tel Aviv. Just not enough power with 10 watts....Sure wish I could orient the indoor dipole towards the east and west. It would have been a fantastic catch!
I worked two stations in Venezuela (YV5MSG and YV2BYT), and also XQ1KY in Santiago Chile. All were just "handshakes" which is mostly the standard with a DX contact.
It was nice to catch the band open for a bit, especially since twenty meters, and below, has been almost non-existent for far too long. Maybe it has something to do with this valley?
I'm still making contacts on good old 40 meters and must admit, I really like a nice long QSO on this band. Shaking hands with DX stations is OK but, at least for me, not as satisfying as a quality CW rag chew.
Posted by Jspiker at 7:07 PM
Monday, May 7, 2012
Every year around this time, about a dozen of my relatives and I spend a week in a rental home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We share the rental fees and we also share food expenses which makes the house very economical for everyone.
I set up my Icom 703 on the shaded, cool balcony of the home this year. I brought my PAR end fed, multi-band Zepp antenna which is cut for 40-20 and 10 meters and I used it almost exclusively for the week.
This is a fun week. Marilyn and I usually take a walk on the beach in the morning, ride our bikes midday, and enjoy another walk in the evening. This year, we found an "off the main road" trail into an Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary near the town of Duck. It was a beautiful ride along a hidden area on the ocean.
There's been very little activity on the ten meter band but I've been able to work several stations in South America. One station in the Caribbean, on the island of St. Lucia (J69AZ) is a new DX entity (#53) for me. In South America, I worked LU6UO (Buenos Ares, Argentina) and also PY1MX in Brazil. I also worked PY2EME in Sao Paulo Brazil and heard a new 10 watt beacon (PP6AJM/B) in Brazil.
On 20 meters, I worked W4MQC in Florida several times. Alan was on Pine Island, which was amusing, since I'm operating from Pine Island, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Alan has his antenna placed on a mooring post next to his boat dock. I also worked KB4JR in Florida and N4LTS who was operating portable from Miami Beach.
Luckily, I was able to work a few DX stations too. An interesting contact was HB0/DL2SBY in Germany, who by the way, sounded like he was local. Another interesting contact was VO1BB on St John's Island near Newfoundland. He was using 3 watts of power. As the weekend came to a close, I also worked IZ4DLR in Bologna Italy.
Posted by Jspiker at 5:38 PM