My Most Recent QSO's

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Guernsey Island in the English Channel

This morning I found a great opening towards the Northeastern sections of Europe. The 12 meter band seemed to be wide open and I easily worked stations in Denmark, Spain and even Italy. OZ1IKY in Denmark was weak but workable. EA7AJR was pushing a fantastic signal from Spain and IK3VUT sounded like he was right next door.

Luca (IK3VUT) even took a few minutes to say congratulations on my 3 watt QRP signal!

My most prized catch was MU0FAL on the Island of Guernsey in the English Channel. The "MU" caught my ear quickly; since I anticipated a new DX Country. I looked at my DX list but couldn't find it anywhere.

A quick look at Wikipedia made it clear that it's a United Kingdom entity (or at least looks to the Untied Kingdom for military protection). It's a fascinating read and I'll spend more time this afternoon looking at their history.

This is one of the benefits of Ham radio in my opinion; since I love to read about the lives of other people in different countries. Sad to say, I had never heard of this island, and if not for the radio hobby, would not be aware of this VERY interesting place. In some ways, it makes me think of Whales in the UK.

All these contacts this morning were at better than 3,000 miles, and at three watts power, bring my "1000 MPW" contacts to 43. Today made my 234th DX contact.


VE9KK said...

Good afternoon John, its great when you can look the call sign up and learn about the DXer and where they live. I very often do the same as well and learn some very neat things.

Jspiker said...

Hello Mike,

Yes it is...and there's some very interesting stuff out there too! I've found most radio operators are good geographers and historians.

Dick said...

Once again,great contacts, John. I presume they were all on 12 meters using your indoor random wire through the rig's tuner. Proof again that an effective indoor antenna beats an ineffective outdoor antenna.


Jspiker said...

Hello Dick,

The rigs tuner only works with a 50 Ohm coax so I turn it off to avoid doing damage to it. (per instruction manual with the 703)

The random wire is hooked directly to the MFJ tuner and I adjust from there. With the 703's tuner off, I am still able to read the SWR on the 703's built in display. This is just a double check and works very well.

I'm very careful about tuning up when I switch bands. I need to turn the keyer off, and reduce power to about a watt before making the final adjustments to higher power. With the keyer off, I just press the paddle to create a carrier for adjustment. but it's worth the aggravation. Not a big deal to turn it back on when I'm ready to go.

If your rig has a built in SWR display in the menu, you should be able to accomplish the same thing with any small tuner, even if it doesn't have a needle display. (Use the SWR display from your rigs menu).

Hope this makes sense....perhaps your 817 has the same menu options?

Yes...this morning all my contacts were on 12 meters. It works like a charm! I still have my Isotrons set up for 20 meters and 40 meters and make the switch between them using a simple toggle knob.

The random wire is SO simple and apparently (although I'm only getting 3 watts to the wire) works slick as a whistle. I've been amazed at it's versatility. It's sure nice to be able to work anything on any band now.

The most difficult bands to tune are 10 and 80 but the others I can get almost "flat".