donderdag 20 september 2012

Alea jacta est : OJ0 here we come

From 30/06/2013 till 7/07/2013 Market Reef will be activated by this quartet : ON8VP, ON6QO, ON5JT and myself.
As we are all CW operators, this will be our primary mode.

dinsdag 18 september 2012

Shopping at MFJ : customer king ?!

I know, the economic situation isn't good.
I know : customer is king at this moment.
Every company tries to get the most out of the customer... The more he buys, the better.

However,there are some exceptions who let you buy, but don't let you pay. Yes, I have the right example :
MFJ Enterprises, Mississippi, USA, probably the only company in the world that doesn't want the customer to let pay an order.

 I explain : since a few months I'm looking around to achieve a MFJ-998RT remote high power automatic tuner. There is only one problem : when looking at the comments on, several hams have had troubles with this box. I've had contacts with some of these guys and it seems that there is a problem with the pic and/or the resistance to static around the pic circuit. This seems a real problem with a series of boxes that were distributed by European dealers. There is also a small piece of text in the QST-magazine review indicating that there has been a workaround to solve these known problems

. So, this made me decide to order directly in the USA. Where can you buy an MFJ box : at MFJ of course... Yes, until you have to pay. On the site there are icons of Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, but if you order, the following message appears : payment only via wired transfer. 
 Ok, you pay at your home bank, for credit to Regions Bank in the USA via Bank of America, for credit to bank 3 in Mississippi, for account of MFJ with your order number. 
Simple, until you arrive at the bank to perform the payment. Swift number 1+2, aba number 1+2, what is the account number of bank 3 sir ? Uhhhh ? .... 

Mail to mfj (ok, there is possitive news : they give an answer on a question quickly): sorry sir, we do not accept international orders via credit card and the given bank data must be sufficient. Ok, there you are. Back to the bank. I didn't tell that I work in a bank, so this step is easy for me... 

Final solution : cancel the order. 
No revival of the economic crisis at MFJ, they don't want customers ! This afternoon I entered the same order at DX-engineering, the payment is done via Mastercard and the box is allready sent to the transport company. 

Happy 40th anniversary MFJ !

woensdag 12 september 2012

They have read my blog !

For all hams who are addicted to the dxcluster, who just take over the indicated info and start calling the dx station : good news !

NH8S is now indicated as Swains Island and no more as American Samoa.

So, if you have allready worked American Samoa, but you still miss Swains Island, turn on the machine and work this station !

Thank you for helping us to turn the beam into the right direction.

maandag 10 september 2012

Swains in Samoa

Back in town.
Three weeks ago I was active in the 80 miles marching event organised by the Belgian army, remembering all those who died during WW I while defending our freedom.   Just great to have 4 days of free time close with nature, history and other walkers and fight against your own limits (the last miles were similar with a WW contest after 40 hours).
This weekend we spend some more time in the same region, visiting the daily last post event with our children. Although this event repeats every day since 1928, it quite impressive to be there and see how many people are present too.

Yesterday afternoon, time to take a quick shack-visit.  Dxsummit was showing American Samoa all the time on my gsm, and I miss this DXCC.
Turned the antennas to 10 degrees and worked NH8S after a few calls... very weak signal and problems with my OMpower ampli.  I couldn't get more than 1 KW output and the drain current was going into red.  I tuned, retuned, changed band, went back, etc... nothing helped. Until I had the idea to check to power lines... damn ! A phase was not turned on.  I use a power connector with a small control lamp, but with the sun shining I hadn't seen it wasn't turned on.
Problem solved.
Second disappointment : NH8S is not American Samoa but Swains Island.  So not a new one for me.... and also in another direction.  This explained also the weak signal, I was beaming to a wrong direction.
Another disadvantage of having too much faith in the dx cluster.

I wasn't that active on the air the last weeks due to all other activities and I finally took the time to clear my big QSL backlog.  All QSL cards are now written/answered and will leave next Friday.

My RTTY project is now in standby mode : I'm waiting to see the possibilities of the new Yaesu FT3000DX in accordance to RTTY (I seems that it contains an encoder/decoder as an option, but I couldn't find more info on the net).  If this isn't ok, I go for the Icom7600 as planned.
I hope that this can be terminated before the WW RTTY contest.

Oh yes, on 15m DXCC 200 has been achieved thanks to KH6.
Next nearby achievement is on 17m where the counter shows 93...