Fall Project: Adding 160M To My Remote Switch

I have a remote switch for 75 and 80M (R1, R2 and R3), and by adding in a relay before these, I can switch between my 60′ tall 75 / 80M vertical and a Cushcraft MA160V for Top Band. This would be a couple hour project – and one that I need to try to get done before VP6D – which is the next…

3Y0Z, 3Y0I and 3B7A: Harbingers of Things to Come

            3B7A is turning out to be an important DXpedition as far as my planning is concerned, DX wise. I have tested the SteppIR UrbanBeam yesterday and today on 20M – and I heard 3B7A calling West Coast for more than an hour each day – and very readable. I’m hearing them quite well on 30M during our evening…

Solar Cycle 24, 3Y0Z, and the Downward Trend

Wow – it seems like we are closer to the bottom of the cycle than I would have expected. Look at the wild swings we have had in the last few months. Luckily, even with zero sunspots, 40M has been a beacon to ZS and V51 on the evening short path (only West Coast path for 3Y0Z) and the morning long path. Can you…

Glorioso in 2020?

I don’t know if there are more than one French team that could possibly activate Glorioso, but if the team that is activating St. Brandon – 3B7 – does try to activate Glorioso (right now its #12 on the list), then it would be activated at the earliest in 2020. I say this because its nearly impossible to activate an expensive place in any…

3Y0Z Prediction

The CQ WW CW Contest has had about the worst conditions that I have seen in years. One thing I have done now for many months is call ZS6CCY who has been on my night time short path – as the best propagation predictor. Last night was the worst 40M conditions I have seen – but Bill was 59 and I was 55 and…

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…

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…

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…