My Most Recent QSO's

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Surprise Card in the Mail

I was elated to work ZD8X on "Ascension Island" last month. I considered myself both fortunate, and lucky, to work this new DX entity for me. At the time, there were hundreds of operators trying to work him. This isolated Island in the Atlantic Ocean, between South America and Africa, was a long, long way from West Virginia, and there were thousands wanting him in their log books. .

I remember Jorma (OH2KI) skillfully pulling my 3 watt QRP signal out of the enormous bee hive. It was a difficult contact. My salutations and congratulations are to him for such a wondrous accomplishment!

Anyone who can do such a thing at 5,362 miles, is a true magician!

I rarely request a confirmation QSL card from a long distance DX station, and this card was no exception. My verification's are normally done through the E-QSL site since postage is much too expensive now. For those wanting a paper card, I always require a SASE, and am happily willing to return my card to them. I'll put his return card in the mail immediately.

The thing that really impresses me about this card is the time Jorma (OH2KI) took to send me an additional special acknowledgement:

He apparently read my comments from my earlier blog entry, and made the special effort to send me this note. Professional operators such as this, and the entire ZD8X team, are what makes this hobby so rewarding and fulfilling for all of us.

This is a nice Christmas present for me.

Thank You!

Friday, December 20, 2013

An Irish Day

I've always believed music is the universal language of the world. It comes in many shapes and sizes and at many different places in the world. Today when I worked EI13CLAN in Northern Ireland, and saw their QSL card on the web, made me think of the times I've showed up to "pick and grin" at different Irish bars.
"The Irish Radio Transmitters Society" was celebrating with this "special event station" today on 12 meters, and fortunately, I was able to easily break the pile up with only a few attempts.

I also logged GI100RSGB in Northern Ireland today celebrating a "century" of radio in their country.

The picture above (not a very good one) is me playing the guitar in an Irish bar in New York. We had a great time that night with a mandolin, a fiddle, and a drummer.

Today was another great DX day for me. I had a nice chat with F5JWH in France and DF3CB in Germany. This afternoon I also worked HC2IMP in Ecuador again. This station is a puzzle for me. I've heard a nice "crisp chirp" at times from him but today, it was back to a dull buzz. I'm thinking voltage is playing a part in this signal. South America isn't known for real stable electricity in that part of the world ?

I totally forget I'm running QRP when I start chasing DX on the bands, and with good reason. Most of the the stations I worked today were using quite a bit of power, with good "gain" antennas, which meant close to a KW of effective radiated power.

Two of the stations I worked today were running 400 and 500 watts , respectively, into those gain antennas.

I'll be the first to admit all the "work" is on their part, but I sure love placing "QRP @ 3W and Indoor Random Wire" in the remarks sections of those DX Clusters.

It makes me feel pretty good....

Thursday, December 19, 2013

OF9X Santa Claus CW Radio from Lapland Finland

I had no idea Santa had a CW station near the Arctic Circle. Much to my surprise, I heard him transmitting on the 10 meter band this morning. His helper was OF9X in Muonia Lapland Finland, who, by the way, was a courteous 'ol fellow who actually adjusted the jolly 'ol beam a bit to pick out my 3 watt signal from West Virginia.

What a nice Christmas gift for me!

This "Official Santa Claus HQ Station" was a joy to work, and at 4,159 miles, with 3 watts of power, qualifies for a jolly 'ol "1000 miles per watt" contact.

Here's a link to the "Official Radio Station":

Official Santa Radio

BTW/ He's a good CW operator!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sint Maarten Island Contact

I've been listening to PJ7/ G3TXF on Sint Maarten Island for several days now and hoping for the opportunity to add another new DX entity to the log book. I made this contact easily last night with a single attempt on the 30 meter band.

Sint Maarten is another one of those small islands in the Caribbean area and a tourist destination within a few short hours flight time from the United States. Princess Juliana International Airport is an unusual landing spot because it's very short runway for these big planes. They need every foot of pavement possible to avoid an embarrassing "dip in the pool".  

Not for the faint of heart, standing on the beach here is a unique opportunity to experience a new form of wind surfing. Watching giant aircraft landing overhead is spectacular enough, but the "take offs" are quite another thing. Wind surfing takes on an entirely new form, from the rear of one of these planes, when they take off for the home flight.

My DXCC list is getting really short now. Despite my enjoyment of a long CW QSO the last few months.

I'll be listening for just a few more islands now. 

I'm glad G3TXF decided to spend a few days here and brought along a HF radio.