maandag 18 februari 2013


Question :
- is it possible to contact 1000 different US ham operators
- within one contest weekend
- on a single band
- using morse code
- spending not more than 12 hours of time
- with a simple 3 element yagi antenna ?

Answer : YES !

This weekend I played a SOSB 15M HP and made 1112 x USA and 74 x Canada in 12.5 hours of time. With my 3 el steppir fixed to 310° at about 20m height.

I only did 3x a S&P tour of the band starting at 21.000 Mhz and going up to 21.150 Mhz, good for 62 QSO's.  The other 95% of the contacts were made in running mode.

The game was extremely easy.  For the first time in a contest I had no DXCC/WAZ/WAS feelings (I have DXCC/WAZ/WAS on 15m, so nothing to hunt for), and could play straight forward to achieve a high score.  Normally I've always the intention to work a "new one" in a contest and this costs points.

The working conditions were optimal : very wet ground in the Fresnel zone to the States (I'm convinced - I've experienced - that this helps a lot) and no problems with qrm-makers around my frequency.

On reverse beacon I looked up the results of my signal.  I compared with OQ5M (signal always around the same strength), ON7TK (I think he played in the same category) and S50K (2x 4el stacked yagi on >1000m asl).

This picture is about the same for all US SDR receiving stations.

Mario S50K is always stronger - I'm not surprised with his better system - but he has much more experience : the Belgians stop playing around 18h30 UTC but he continues and even after a serious signal-drop, the signal returns.

Here I made a mistake, I had to play longer (and start a bit earlier).

Anyway, I hope that this is an example for stations with moderate antennas to play in a big contest without any fear. 

As said before on my blog, even a big small gun can achieve good results !

For all US stations : a special QSL card will be made soon and will be sent by the buro.

zondag 10 februari 2013

first contacts on RTTY

Yesterday, Peter ON8VP came with the Icom7600 to test a simple rtty setup in the wpx contest.
Setup was done very easily by connecting a USB keyboard directly to the transceiver. 
Making a S&P qso was plug and play.
We made 10 QSO's and then we decided that rtty is a strange mode.  You completely depend on the equipment and what you see is what you get.
As true CW-lovers, I suggested to go play around on 18Mhz.   Peter made some 100 Qso on 18Mhz cw.

He was so friendly to let the tx in my shack to play with.

This afternoon, big moment : I made my first rtty contacts ever.  30 !  Even Venezuela and Dominican. Republic appeared on the transceiver TFT.

But I experienced a minor point : I never had the feeling that I was playing on the air in a contest.  Everything seemed so automatic, just wait until characters appear en type in the answer.

For me Morserunner en rtty have something common but in the reverse way :
with Morserunner, you are playing on a pc in a virtual cw world, but it takes effort and it seems so real. 
With rtty you are really in the air, but it seems so virtual and it is just typing.

 Conclusion : SSB if it does, CW forever, RTTY... to be re-experienced on Market Reef.

woensdag 6 februari 2013

Little boys become men

This one is getting serious :

Ok, we played this games 3 times in the past in the "wrtc-like-category" where
 we achieved world top results.  
10 years ago these little boys, called themself the Belgian HF devils, looked like this :

Alas, 2x2 children later, the little boys became men.  
If there is a possibility to participate the real game in the US thanks to the big efforts 
of the TL, why not give it a chance ?

Winning this one would give us a free card for the next edition in JA :-)

To be continued...

PT0S problem solved

A new highlight in on4ccp-absentness : if you think that lotw will handle PT0S the same way as PS0T, then you're wrong.

I've checked this so many times, but I didn't detect the typo.

Problem solved, dxcc is going up to almost 300.

Rtty rookie test

This weekend, for the very first time ever, I'll try to play in the rtty contest in a kind of rtty-for-dummies setup.
Peter, ON8VP, will come with the icom7600 and we will participate some hours in the wpx contest with a keyboard directly connected to the tx.  In fact it is a test for possible rtty operating on OJ0V.
The result is not important.

For me it's a possibility to test a new silent mode in addition of cw.  Nightly ssb operations disturb our sleeping little girls and I dislike automatic wav-file conversations...

IARU contest 2012 results

Country winner and even zone 27 winner in a category where "poor" single ops like me with packet cluster assistance compete with multi op-single tx teams.  And no 160m antenna !

Very happy with this result.

In 2013 I'll be absent on after-OJ0V vacation with the family somewhere in OZ or PA.