Posted on November 24, 2017
In 5 weeks we will start a new year. I will wait until New Years Eve to give an end of the year report – because adding Top Band counters will come down to the wire. I’m hoping to add 5 more by then, but that seems like a bit of a pipe dream, but it is possible, so I say shoot for the stars.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving – it was exactly as Thanksgiving should be – a family get together with probably the best Thanksgiving meal I have ever had with close family gathered at the table and with fun conversation all around.
I work right next to Union Square – so I will take in some of the holiday festivities since its literally out our back door.
Politically it was the worst year of my life, but I have learned how to shut that out – or at least convert the Idiocracy that we live in to a series of comedic vignettes. The political landscape can only get better – unless it completely implodes, which would be better than where we are now. We had a preview at Halloween of bigger things to come, so it will be interesting to see how our democracy holds up.
As always, I’m eternally hopeful that we will always weather the storm and that 2018 will be better than the very surreal and somewhat depressing 2017.
Until then, all eyes at Chez KY6R are on Top Band DXCC / 9BDXCC and 3Y0Z – two really big things to look forward to. I also have some really great things lined up for work and a week trip planned up to our beloved Bend, OR.
Posted on November 23, 2017
I worked very hard this past Spring revamping the front yard landscaping, and I took care of it all summer – mostly just watering by hand (I’ve been burned by automatic sprinkler systems and don’t use them any more).
Anyway, we have a few gorgeous “volunteer” plants like this Chinese Pistachio tree that has amazing fall colors.
It’s 70 degrees today and cloudy. A perfect Fall day.
Posted on November 22, 2017
It’s only a couple months until the biggest DXpedition perhaps ever takes to the airwaves. My home brewed 20M yagi is up at about 30′, and when 3Y0Z fires up, I’ll have this Spiderbeam push up mast up to just over 40′.
The best combination of gain and front to back seems to be at about 40′. This is great because my mast goes to 41′ and its 6′ off the ground. I am being careful not to extend the top section all the way up, so all in all, I will end up pushing the yagi up to between 40 and 45′
Its really a great antenna. Once I work 3Y0Z with it, I will look into turning it into a 30M Moxon, but using aluminum all the way around.
The wingspan is the same as the 20M yagi – but I would need a longer boom.
About 1 dB less gain than the 20M yagi . . .
… but the Front to Back blows the 20M yagi away . . .
Posted on November 22, 2017
I’m a day early, but had such a great day at work yesterday that I’m feeling thankful.
I thought yesterday and today would be very quiet and not much would get done with many people out of the office, but it turned out to be one of my most productive days and a day where my team solved two big problems.
While our politicians show us how not to be, I can count on family, friends and co-workers to show the positive side of humanity.
And I’m thankful for the comedians who make fun of the politicians, so it’s easy to stay focused on the good in life and laugh at the bad.
Posted on November 21, 2017
|AMSTERDAM & SAINT PAUL ISLANDS||FT5ZM|
|BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS||VP2V/SP6CIK|
|LORD HOWE ISLAND||VK9HR|
|NORTH COOK ISLANDS||E51MQT|
|PALMYRA & JARVIS ISLANDS||K5P|
|REPUBLIC OF KOREA||HL5IVL|
|SABA & SAINT EUSTATIUS||PJ5/N5WR|
|SAINT PIERRE & MIQUELON||FP/G3ZAY|
|SAN ANDRES ISLAND||5J0P|
|SOUTH COOK ISLANDS||E51NOU|
|SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS||RI1ANF|
|UNITED STATES OF AMERICA||AA7CQ|
|US VIRGIN ISLANDS||KV4FZ|
|WALLIS & FUTUNA ISLANDS||FW5RE|
These are 91 worked – and 89 confirmed. I have Antigua and St. Barts that I just worked, but need the confirmation, which will happen soon.
Looking back, that’s pretty good considering I have only been seriously chasing Top Band DXCC for the last 3 or 4 years, but before that used an 80M antenna with a tuner just because a DXpedition would be loud on 160M and on a whim I worked them. At the time I was participating in DXCC Challenge but I gave that up because it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
There are no EU, but I do have AF, NA, SA, AS, OC – which is pretty darn good for a small lot down in a bowl. The “big prizes” are VK0EK and FT5ZM.
Posted on November 20, 2017
This weekend is the CQ WW CW Contest, and its lining up to be a potentially great weekend for me and my 160M DXCC pursuit. Here are the entities that I need that will be on the air and that are (usually) easy (when conditions allow):
- Turks and Caicos
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- Antigua and Barbuda (I have this but my call was busted in the ARRL DX SSB Contest – and while its probably a good counter, I will go for a non busted QSO
- St. Lucia
- Trinidad and Tobago
Here are the one’s a little bit trickier, but I have worked others in this part of the world on 160M:
- J5T – Guinea Bissau
- Canary Island
- Cape Verde
So – there are quite a few more than the 9 that I need to get to 100, and the best part is that they will be active before and maybe after the contest.
It would be great to “sail into” 9BDXCC!
Posted on November 20, 2017
I’m not sure what it is – when I was 9 away from Honor Roll, I was kind of “annoyed”. I guess making over 300 ATNO’s made me feel I already was a “serious DXer”. Its kind of like that last semester at college – where you already have a job lined up and know where you are going and what you will be doing – it looms so much larger than being at school – finishing the last semester is a pain in the ass.
Top Band is not a band you can rush through. You can “sprint” to Honor Roll in 11 years easily – I did it with a very modest station and not so great QTH. Top Band has a way of forcing you to have patience – its almost impossible to know when you will have favorable conditions, and there are no prediction engines that even let you guess. I have had days where its is dirt simple to work a new one followed by months with nothing.
I’m surprised at how excited I am to only have 9 more to go before I get to 9BDXCC and DXCC on Top Band. I am actually enjoying this more than I did working the last 9 toward Honor Roll. I’m guessing because its a real achievement – and also that I have the patience to savor it instead of being in a rush.
I am not at all regretful that I rushed to get to Honor Roll. I’m very glad I don’t need BS7, P5, EZ and at least a handful of others – those could turn out to be once in a lifetime achievements.