TO2SP: Top Band #91

I was pretty confident I’d get this one – mainly because these guys are great operators and they would be there until the end of the month. In fact, they already seem to be getting bored. now I also see many West Coast getting through. The signal was Q5, but not as loud as I would have expected. Conditions have been really weird on…

3Y0Z: The Biggest Deal in Years!

There will be one part of the day where the US West Coast will have a major pipeline to 3Y0Z – 23z UTC: So, you better believe that I will get my 20M home brewed 2 element yagi up 20′ higher! It should last a couple hours each day, and if the team says “West Coast Only”, then we should all get in their…

CW: Always the King for DXing

This morning I called VK9MT on FT8, and he was -15 dB at best, -18 dB at worst, but I decoded him. He kept calling CQ even though there were a ton of people responding. I made one mistake  (forgot to click on even / first) but someone on the ON4KST Chat helped get me straight fast. On Top Band I still don’t think…

The (Surprising) Path to 3Y0Z!

The Azimuthal map shows that my path to 3Y0Z is very close to the path to ZS – more than I originally thought. The orange line above “splits the difference” – its halfway between ZS an 3Y, which is great news. This is a “close enough” path and during our sunset, look how it straddles the grey line. The interesting thing is that ZS…

3Y0Z and Inverted L as an All Band Antenna

With the High Pass Tee tuner at the base, I can easily switch the tuning of the Inverted Vee to work on all bands. This is great because it gives me bands that I wasn’t bothering with with 3Y0Z. I have concentrated on 160 – 20M, and want ONE QSO with 3Y0Z. Once I’m in the log, I’m done. The 3Y0Z web site has…

DX-pedition Trends in 2017 and Beyond

The venerable Ten Tec Orion II, one of my all time favorite ham radio rigs People and radio gear have changed quite a bit since 2001 (when I got back into ham radio after a lengthy absence) – we have lost both as they have gone SK, and we remember them fondly. I’m glad that I was part of Ten Tec’s zenith, and also…

FT8: The “Democratization of DXing and DXpeditioning”

UPDATE: After the VK9MA DXpedition I have changed my tune. FT8 surely is the beginning of something very exciting, but when VK9MA kept switching between FT8 and CW I realized just how much better CW is. On paper, using a mode that could work when CW was too hard to “hear” seemed like magic, but because there still was enough back and forth with…

FT8: MAJOR Game Changer for DXPeditions

UPDATE: After the VK9MA DXpedition I have changed my tune. FT8 surely is the beginning of something very exciting, but when VK9MA kept switching between FT8 and CW I realized just how much better CW is. On paper, using a mode that could work when CW was too hard to “hear” seemed like magic, but because there still was enough back and forth with…

My Favorite DX-pedition Video – VK0EK

I just received and viewed the VK0EK video. It is far and away my favorite expedition video ever. It has enough of what you normally get with a DX-pedition video, but the tour of the majestic beauty with all of its geography, flora and fauna (and weather) makes it my favorite easily and by a country mile. The video footage, photographs, diagrams, narration and…

October QST “DX Issue” Cover

This year’s ARRL QST edition does not feature a team, but instead, its an antenna farm. I have been very curious about this since VK0EK was immortalized on last years DX Edition, and was also on the cover of the DXCC Yearbook. For me, DXCC has become quite boring, but with the maker and ongoing antenna work, I am always engaged and happy –…