zondag 26 januari 2014

Amsterdam Island in the log !

Only one hour after the expedition start, Amsterdam Island is in my log on ... 12m.

Normally, I never try to catch a expedition on the first day, but this time I was in the shack and tried a few times.

So 2 planned QSY's this week from QRL-qth to shack has become obsolete.

I need them just once for DXCC 301.  I'm not motivated to survive the lid fests on the other bands.

zaterdag 25 januari 2014

My Steppir gets 100 Khz shorter !

Bizar :
I turned on my Steppir, powered up the ampli and remarked a reflected power of about 50W. 
This isn't normal, I never had returning power.

Playing with the frequency adjustment, it shows that the SWR is nil at frequency minus 100Khz.
So I have to longer my antenna to achieve the old swr rating.

I first suspected one of the control cables, but this doesn't make sense : the Steppir reacts on a normal way.

Looking through the window, the problem became clear : my 40m dipole, about 1m perpendicular under my Steppir has moved about 30 degrees.  Something must have suffered the hard winds of the last weeks.

This new situation creates a capacity for the Steppir and shortens the yagi !

It's time for a yearly review of the antenna system ! 
And I've to tilt the tower and replace the 40m dipole by the 30m version. 

Anyway, I made 50 QSO's in the uba-contest (completely forgotten that it's the last weekend of January and certainly not in a contest mood) to give some points. 

 I remarked a quite good activity on 24 Mhz, especially to the Carribean and African area.  So I quit the SSB contest and went to S&P on 12 meters to collect some new countries.

Today my 12 meter DXCC is virtually achieved with 9 new countries this afternoon.

It's time for 30m !

And let's pray for a good Amsterdam Isl. expedition.

zondag 12 januari 2014

This was 2013, let's start 2014

Oh boy, allready12 days gone in 2014.  Time is going too fast.

Time to take a look at 2013.
With 3760 Qso's made from home, this wasn't a top year (4th place in 18 years) on activity level.  Only 19 days with at least one qso in the log.

2013 was the year of the first RTTY and PSK contacts.  Until now, I'm not convinced.  CW rules !

Of course the OJ0V expedition (preparation, qsy, qsl-work afterwards) with 17.000 Q's is not taken into account.

The DXCC counter reached 300.  WAZ is now ok on 20/15/10, WAS ok on 15 and 10m.
I planned to be active on 12m to obtain my DXCC.
The progress was very good, but I'm at 95 confirmed countries and not at 100.  Still 5 to go in 2014.

I worked every big expedition available but missed Temotu province this year.

A new contest era has started : not the 48hours-all-band activity as before, but a dedicated single band assisted operation.  This worked very fine.  Top results in the ARRL CW and CQWW CW contest and good balance activity-family during the contest weekend and not the need for sleep in the week after the contest.
To be continued in 2014.

I ended 2013 with a surprising visit of 2 policemen from our national control institute (like FCC).
Everything went fine, so no problems...

Plans for 2014,  activity-year 19:  I foresee a rather sabatical year on ham-radio level.
Now that WRTC dreams are delayed for a couple of years...
It will be my last heavy-QRL year with the move of second QRL-site (after the move of site 1 this year).  Finally, after 6 years of too busy qrl, the future looks very bright with more free time than ever before.

Something that will take most of my free time in 2014 : I'm running in a new category this year, i.e. being the youngest Veteran.  This also motivates to run good times during the almost weekly competition during the weekend. 

Anyway I hope to be certainly active in at least 5 (CW) contests.

6 DX-expeditions to work this year for new DXCC: Amsterdam Island, Mellish reef, Austral Isl, San Andres, Nauru and Tromelin.

I foresee another few days of activity on 12m to have 100 countries.
I also foresee the start on 30m (only 31 countries confirmed) with my 30m dipole in stead of the 40m dipole.

On 20m I need North Dakota and Idaho to have my 20m WAS.  Single band contesting will probably be focussed on 20m.

By the end of 2014 I hope to have at least 305 DXCC-mixed mode, WAS and WAZ on 20/15/10, a 12m DXCC award and about 80 countries on 30m band.

2015 will be a special ham year for me : 20 years on the air !
In the mean time, the 2 el 40m yagi will stay in the box and I'm looking forward to see the price and the performance of the new Ultrabeam 80m dipole.