My Most Recent QSO's

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

10 Meter CW Contacts into South America

This evening I worked two nice CW stations on the 10 meter band. My first was HC2SL in Guayquil, Ecuador who, by the way, was another new DX entity for me. Al is number 52 for me, and since I've traveled in Ecuador, he was a real joy to work.

In addition to the joy of working this CW station, he was kind enough to "slow" down and actually say "hello" to me. (a little more than a handshake). Al (HC2SL) was sending at near 30 wpm. It was all I could do to decipher it, but when sure I had it correct, I sent my call sign at around 20 wpm. He slowed down to match my speed. The sign of a true professional....

I also worked another station in Brazil.  Mina (PY4ZF) is located in Rio Acima and the fourth contact into this area in the last few weeks. Both these stations gave me a 599 signal report from my 5 watt CW QRP signal!

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I've traveled in South America and will always remember standing on the equator. And I do mean,  "The Equator"....the exact line!

Here's some interesting pictures: 

Here's one of a an egg balanced on the head of a nail. Yea...say what you want, but I saw it with my own eyes. Not everything in the world can be explained in scientific terms....

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rio de Janerio on 10 Meters

All propagation forecasts today were for "poor" conditions, but I still managed to work PU1TYZ ,with 10 watts, in Rio de Janerio Brazil this evening. The "key" was listening to the " 15 watt CW beacon" (previous post) in Puerto Rico. I was "shocked" when I made the contact.

Ten meters has become a very good band for me to work South American stations. This city in Brazil is almost 5,000 miles. A few days ago, I worked a station in Argentina at 5,136 miles.

I've known about the "beacons" on the 10 meter band for awhile but until I bought the "end fed zepp" antenna; I didn't have anything to operate this band. In previous times, I've always listened for the GMT time signals for propagation.

Now that I'm operating this band, I'll be looking up the world wide 10 meter propagation beacons with the hopes of catching a few more DX countries. The little 15 watt beacon in Puerto Rico is a good indicator of an opening towards South America.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Last Signals of the Titantic

I found this movie on You-Tube:  The Last Signals (TITANIC INDEPENDENT FILM) - YouTube

It's mesmerizing to me, and I think, if you're a Morse Code operator, you will discover the same. I love the "radio" and have never seen this kind of equipment operated before now. Hope you enjoy the same....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

15 Watt Beacon in Puerto Rico

I'm astounded that I'm not hearing CW stations on 10 meters! It drives me "nuts" when I think of it.

The best signal @ 1600 miles this afternoon?  A little 15 watt transmitter sending NP4LW/B pwr 15w-ant vert--fk68mi--73 on 28.230 MHz. And I was hearing it at the 599 level!

Despite poor conditions again, I worked three different stations in Puerto Rico. I'm sure they were running "power" with good antenna's and good "gain". (KP3ER- WP4GBL-NP3PR)

All were SSB contacts. 

I also worked Rio De Janerio at almost 5,000 miles. This time it was PU1PJR whom I was pleased to see in my "QRZ" online log book. I confirmed it immediately and send electronic cards to a few of the other stations.

I was using the end fed dipole (Zepp) stretched inside the house again. It's a piece of cake to set up and take down.

Why no CW signals on 10 meters?  I just don't get it.....

Not to change the subject, but the "dog" was real happy to see us when we got back from New York City. Here's a clip of the little mongrel.

I think he's ADHD

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

South on 10 Meters

I never expected 10 meters to be "open" in the early evening. Also surprising, the signals were heading South for much longer distances than the normal Caribbean areas. Usually, if the band is open at all, I'll hear Puerto Rico and Cuba, but last night I made a 5,000 mile contact into San Carlos, Argentina. (LU2FIA)

Argentina is a new DX entity for me. I also made another contact with an event station on St. Barthelemy Island. (TO3X) and before the evening passed, I also worked PU1KGG in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Another Charleston station (KD8EDN) and I were both trying to work another Brazilian station (PY2HT) but that station apparently had his beam pointed towards the mid-west of the US.

I still hear VERY little CW activity on the 10 meter band. Last night, I heard a lone US station.

Afterwards, I caught a few of the "local" guys on the club repeater, and since I had the 10 meter antenna already up, (it takes less than 5 minutes to install) I practiced CW with one of them.

This was actually the "highlight" of the evening.

Kurt (KC8WRU) is fairly new to the hobby and eager to learn CW. I think last night was the first time he's attempted to send CW over the air.

I felt privileged to be the mentor for this event.

I dusted off the old Brunnell "civil war" key which was given to me by an anonymous ham several years ago. Kurt was using a similar key, made by the same company, on Long Island NY.

I can remember those early days when I started my CW training and the excitement of working another CW station in Palmer Lake Colorado. Kurt did a great job copying my slow code. He also sent very well. This is going to be lots of fun. We expect to continue again this evening on the same 10 meter frequency.

Kurt was just ecstatic about this short CW QSO on 10 meters!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New York City

As many people say: New York City is one of the most fascinating places in the world. Every time I visit it, I find something new and interesting. On this trip, I enjoyed the “people” who live, work, and play there.

I talk to many people, on the 40 meter band, who live in the New York City area. Whenever I take the train into Grand Central Station, I pass KB2DHG who lives in Yonkers and operates from a condo on the Hudson River. Another interesting contact is K2GTC who drops a random wire from a sixth floor window in Manhattan.

I was able to spend more time than usual this trip in two of my favorite places; which are Bryant Park and Central Park. I could just “camp out” in either of these places. I find the people there just exhilarating.

Most people think of NYC as a congested place with snarling traffic and thousands of people hustling and bustling with activity. It is...but there are also "relaxed places" with plenty of open space. I shot these pictures in Central Park:

Although I didn't bicycle this time, I found these people having a fantastic ride. I was ecstatic to see "bike rentals" doing a BIG business on this trip! NYC is starting a new rental bike business which I look forward to seeing developed. It's much like those in Europe where a bike can be rented and dropped off in different places.

Much to my amusement, I thought this biker was making a "statement".

Flying from Charleston, to NYC, is a "breeze" now with a direct flight of only an hour and 10 minutes. We take a transit bus from the airport to Grand Central Railroad Station. A short walk from there to Times Square takes us past Bryant Park which is my favorite place in town. We take three changes of clothes, in a day pack, along with a few basic provisions for the entire trip. 

We watched this game being played there: 

I've only seen it played in one other place while in Germany. I don't understand the rules but they seemed very serious about it. It looked like fun.  

 Marilyn and I watched these guys playing a quick game of "ping pong". The game was "free" with paddles, ping pong balls, table and net. The players rotated every 10 minutes to allow everyone to play. 

Personally, I think anyone who drives a car in NYC is crazy. Although gasoline was only $4.15 a gallon, parking a car here is outrageous: 

It's simply not practical to drive "cars". The subway is the way to move around town and it's quick and cheap. The "music" is always interesting in the subway also. You can listen to just about anything here during rush hour. There's everything from South American flutes to Japanese stringed instruments.  

Traveling "light" doesn't allow a dual band handi-talkie, but I took along my trusty Yeasu VR-120. It's a general coverage (very small and light) receiver which allows me to hear everything from the AM-FM radio band, to aircraft, shortwave broadcasters, VHF-UHF hams, FRS radios, CB, and marine traffic. I'm just too busy to listen to much but it was nice to have along.