Terrible Start to CQ WW CW on 160M

Its a bad omen when the biggest guns on the West Coast are struggling to work PJ2T – the veritable “beacon” from the Caribbean. I worked him, but don’t need that entity. This means my silly little station is competitive on the West Coast, but it doesn’t mean much when conditions suck. Conditions just don’t sound very good. Major bummer since there are 15…

160M – My Progress So Far

DXCC Entity 160M ALASKA KL7J AMERICAN SAMOA W8A AMSTERDAM & SAINT PAUL ISLANDS FT5ZM ANGUILLA VP2EGR ARGENTINA LU5OM ARUBA P49X ASIATIC RUSSIA RA0FF AUSTRAL ISLANDS TX5RV AUSTRALIA VK3ZL AZORES CU2KG BAHAMAS C6AGU BARBADOS 8P5A BELIZE V31YN BERMUDA VP9/WW3S BONAIRE PJ4/K4BAI BRAZIL PY2RO BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS VP2V/SP6CIK CANADA VE7ZBK CAYMAN ISLANDS ZF2AH CENTRAL KIRIBATI T31A CHATHAM ISLAND ZL7G CHINA BY5CD CLIPPERTON ISLAND TX5K COCOS ISLAND…

Top Band Gold Mine? CQ WW CW This Weekend!

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): Nicaragua Turks and Caicos St. Kitts and Nevis Antigua and Barbuda (I have this but my call was…

Top Band: The Race to 100!

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…

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…

160M: The Inverted “Fishing Hook”

My antenna now looks like some weird Inverted J or Inverted Fishing Hook (?). Its similar to the “AKI Special” antenna documented on page 9-72 of the ON4UN Lowband DXing Book. It is now 60′ tall at its apex, and then the wire trailing down skirts the very large Blue Spruce that its top wire is pulled up to. A year ago, the Diablo…

Top Band Common Mode Quick Fix

I was able to move the top hat wire on the Inverted L so that it now heads East instead of North, which on 160M offers these benefits: The direction will be better for working the last 10 that I need. It is a good path to the Caribbean and most of Africa, which are my “night time” Top Band direction. Using RBN, I’m…

Final KY6R 2017 Top Band DXCC Sprint!

Wow we only have 6 weeks left to 2017. I didn’t get my 160M QSO with VK9MA, so lets move on and see what is next: J5T – Guinea Bissau – remarkably, I heard this superb team on Top Band, but won’t call them until later today – they were very busy with EU and the US East Coast. I do expect that when…

The RFI “Sleuth”

In the last year I made two changes to my antenna farm that introduced RFI issues. Not RFI in the shack, but RFI that I am causing that: Only on 160M I all of a sudden cause my Trane Heater blower to turn on and off for short periods – just enough to blow cold air through the house and make fan noise Turn…

Mysterious Top Band

160M is a riddle wrapped in an enigma propagation wise. VK9MA has been quite readable for quite a few nights, but he calls CQ over and over and hardly ever returns someones call. I don’t feel too bad because I hear many others who have been trying to get him for a week now. I’m sure his RX situation is not good – that…