160M DXCC: #89 – V26B

Top Band is a nostalgic band – it being just above the AM Radio Band. This one was a really tough one. He was very strong, but rumor has it his Beverage antenna was pointed NE, and he wasn’t working anything out West. He did hear me as KW6R, but I think he did get my call right in the end – although (and…

RI1ANO and 3Y0Z

RI1ANO has been tearing up 30M tonight – solid 599+ and working the entire US. 3Y0Z is 2000 miles farther and more SE, but since its a water path, I doubt that will be a big deal. We were both right in the grey line when I worked him, and it sure was a major pipeline. SSN = ZERO, K = 4, A =…

Top Band Halloween Altar

The KY6R Top Band Halloween Altar Pumptallica seemed to be a good “starter” course, but I figure I might need something a bit more “substantial” for the repast, so I am bringing out an old Assemblage – one of my first and a series of fantasy radios using old radio parts that were headed for the trash heap. I’m hearing W1AW very, very well,…

The “Bouvet Bump” Continues . . .

The latest NOAA Sunspot Cycle Progression plot showing data through September, 2017, continues with the good news – that the cycle has a nice little uptick even at this low point in the cycle. FT5ZM was active at the peak of this cycle – and it looks like 3Y0Z might get a respite from the downward march of Cycle 24. Conditions have been quite…

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…

DXCC “Trifecta”

Happy Friday – and Cheer’s to the Weekend! I need 12 more to achieve DXCC on 160M, which is a very big deal here on the West Coast. I will also achieve 9BDXCC at the same time – so its a double good achievement and now that its within reach, I’m getting excited about DXCC as much as I can these days. I was…

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…