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…

LU5OM VOACAP Online and Bouvet Greyline Path

For a couple of hours this morning I listened to LU5OM who called CQ during the different phases of the grey line. He was only ESP when we were both in night time darkness. But his signal steadily got better during each “progression”: He was Q5 during this next “phase”. As always, you can’t go by S meter on Top Band – its all…

U.RAT Key Learnings

Here are some key design notes and learnings: I had to use a Raspberry Pi due to the fact that the KPOD driver software is written in C and compiled on Linux. The KPOD is a proprietary device using the HIDRAW protocol, so its not exactly the same as a keyboard or mouse The WiringPi library turns the interfacing part between software and pin…

VOACAP Online – Jari Has Added a Superb SP – LP Feature!

You now see SP and LP buttons on Jari’s new grey line mapping feature: I’m actually analyzing something I need – CE on 160M, but this map would be even more fun for Heard Island, Amsterdam or South Africa: I wanted to see when ZS and W6 would be right at the grey line for both of us – and it turns out in…

ZP5/NX4N: DXCC #87 on 160M!

Picture Perfect Greyline QSO with Paraguay – Map from VOACAP Online Its been 3 months since I’ve worked any DX, and Top Band is my last stop on the DXCC Train. I worked Chris with the wrong antenna and a very high SWR. I used 100 watts into the “both direction” (180 degree broadside) setting of my 40M phased vertical array. This is the…

Top Band Shows Signs of New Life

The new greyline feature in VOACAP Online is superb – its shows the multiple twilights which are very important when DX-ing on Top Band. In fact, I used to have to look at DX Atlas and then go to a web site called “Sunrise – Sunset” to get some of this information, but it was a real pain and wasn’t as instantly useful as…

Civil, Nautical and Astronomical Twilight

While adjusting DX Atlas – which is a “must” tool to have if you are interested in Low Band DX-ing, I actually started wondering about the difference between these twilights. I am sometimes really amazed that even after what seems like sunrise there is that “enhancement” you get for just minutes on 160M, but that on 40M, the long path can stay open for…

DXCC => Carpe Diem

Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho. Photo by KY6R In retrospect, the most important thing to do as a DX-er is to Just Do It. Make Hay While The Sun Shines. Its funny how time is marked with another kind of clock – we have calendars, clocks and can count the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years, but some times you get that one…

Remote Controlled BT1500A – Part 1: Basic Infrastructure

I’ve completed the first step of the project – to get the weatherproof BUD Industries box on the center element support of the Mod Bob antenna. You can see the coax and control cable sticking up out of the underground PVC pipe. The two Stepper motors will be mounted on an aluminum rail that lines the motors up with the shafts and they will…

The KY6R Top Band RX Antenna Challenge: Final Results and Report!

The best 160M receive antenna was a total accident. I had my DX Engineering DV-40-P switched in the “Both” or 180 degree position and heard the weak signal DX with -130 dB noise. That’s 10 dB less noise than my second place RX antenna, and 20 dB less noise than my third place RX antenna. It also seems less prone to QSB than the…