Autumnal Equinox Watch . .

While I enjoy the Vernal Equinox and the Summer and Winter Solstices, the Autumnal Equinox is my favorite. This Friday will be the Equinox for 2017. This the highest rated (Beer Advocate) Imperial Pumpkin Ale – and I always have one bomber of pumpkin ale a year. I have never seen this in bay area stores, so will have to try another – maybe…

Mod-Bob vs. DXE DV-40-P: Final Test and Results

  While I probably could get away with taking down the DXE DV-40-P, I won’t. As you can see, the 40M phased array – elements 7 and 8 are too close to the Mod-Bob, and result is this pattern distortion to the 40M array: This is with the 7 element leading and 8 lagging – the pattern is slightly skewed, but not terrible. The…

ZS3D and ZS6CCY on Mod Bob – 40M

Dani, ZS3D and ZS6CCY were 59 on the Mod Bob tuned for 40M, so I have just confirmed that its as good or better than the broadside direction on the DX Engineering DV-40-P. I broke through small pileups and was first in in both cases. What was especially cool was that this was during a major solar storm – with a radio blackout in…

Autumn Equinox Conditions Predict Good 3Y0Z Conditions

About an hour before this screen shot was taken (2300z – ish) I was listening to local California hams on 40M SSB when all of a sudden the band went long – and it was like someone pulled a switch. Now – SO1WS is coming in S7. It was very cool indeed. This is exactly how the autumnal equinox conditions start, and on cue…

The “Mysterious” 30 Meters

This is my favorite book on radio propagation. Ian covers all bands and the theory is described in a way that is very easy to understand – and this is a fairly abstract and complex topic. ALL DX-ers need this book! This is THE classic book on Lowband DX-ing. Get your copy because the ARRL is not going to come out with another version…

Lucky 13?

I only need 13 more to get to DXCC on 160M. If there were enough DX stations on Top Band, that would be do-able between now and next summer, but alas, it almost seems like each year there are fewer opportunities from the West Coast to achieve this. I am not hopeful though – but I’d love this Winter to be my last push…

The “Bouvet Bump”?

Last night we had great 40M polar path DX to Europe. This is a big deal for the West Coast – having lived on the East Coast I can tell you the difference – we took EU DX for granted  when I was WA2QHN. In fact, I wasn’t a DXer, but EU was easier to work than Hawaii – I remember KH6 was a…

40 is The New 20!

Yesterday I had some very strange propagation on 20M – it seemed even Caribbean Contest stations were working the 4’s and some East Coast, but struggled to work us on the West Coast. It was so bad I turned the radio off and went about the day. Later at night, I worked SO1WS very easily with the DXE DV-40-P vertical array, and just now,…

ZS1AFS Heard Well on 40M LP

I heard Tom, ZS1AFS on the morning 40M Long Path, which is the first time in what seems like a month or maybe even two. I don’t know if this is true every year, but my guess that this path isn’t that great around the Northern Hemisphere summer solstice – at least this year. But you would think that then it would also suffer…

LU5OM: A Year Later

VOACAP Online with its new grey line time mapping. This the time I worked Manuel this morning. A year ago I worked LU for the first time on Top Band. I ended up working 5 new one’s between June 21 and September 21, so it was a good summer. I had been working on 160M RX antenna systems, and am now 100% set antenna…