2018: Bring It!

I’m now ready for 3Y0Z, and I start the new year needing only 7 more on 160M for DXCC and 9BDXCC. 

I’m finishing the year on a great note – I took care of several things around the house that needed attention, and enjoying fixing stuff and had some time for hobby stuff and reading too.

I have great work at Credit Karma to look forward to and of course 3Y0Z is the biggie DX wise.

Except for politics, which was the worst year ever in my lifetime, 2017 was a very good year for me and my family.

160M DXCC #93: PJ7/UT6UD

Well, that was easy. Before I went to bed, Vadym had a constant pileup that I couldn’t crack. Then I woke up at 1:30 PST (0930z) and he had no callers – except me!

7 more to go for DXCC and 9BDXCC – what a great “Last Call” and way to end 2017!


Year End KY6R Antenna Farm Review

2017 Top Band: Last Call – Stew Perry!

My 91st and 92nd Top Band QSL cards are in the mail. (Oddly enough, both of these ops only send hard cards via direct snail mail).

My last chance at a Last Call to try to at least get to 93 or 94 tonight and tomorrow morning is the Big Stew – The Stew Perry 160M contest. Its 24 hours starting at 1500z – meaning just after our sunrise – but EU’s sunset. My best chance for a new one will be to work Vadym, UT6UD on PJ7 and any other “surprises” out there. Boy, I’d love to get to 95, but working 3 ATNO’s in the next day or so would take some supreme luck.

Right now I have only added 8 this past year, but if I do as well this year, I’ll hit 100 and DXCC on Top Band by the end of 2018. I’m just not a big gun on 160M, and suspect my QTH surrounded by hills means if its not high angle – I won’t hear them. I still have only ever heard one EU – Wolf from DL land. Here are some DXpeditions or single op activations that I need happening in 2018 that I should be able to work:

  1. KH1
  2. VP6/D
  3. CY9C
  4. P29
  5. PJ7

There are others like 3Y0Z, and we will have a pipeline there on the higher bands, but like FT5ZM and VK0EK, it would be a Festivus Miracle if I were to work them. I do think I can get to DXCC in 2018.

The best news is that the band should start getting better since the sunspot number is predicted to be half of what we have had in 2017 – hopefully that means fewer disturbances and less noise.

We shall see . . .

Superb Operator Vadym – PJ7/UT6UD

Vadym, UT6UD was one of two operators on VK0EK and who tore up 160M – even breaking some records. While I worked Dave, K3EL at VK0EK on Top Band, I have worked Vadym on other entities in the Caribbean. I am hoping to work him on PJ7 for my #93. That would be a great end of 2017.

What is interesting is that I did not hear him at grey line – but am just starting to hear him just after darkness.

Fingers crossed!

T Marconi vs. Inverted L

Before I commit to adding a relay to my 17M EDZ, I figure I better do an A – B test between my “contorted” Inverted L and the EDZ clip led at the feedpoint as a Marconi T.

Using 100 watts and RBN, the winner is …

For West Coast RBN stations the Inverted L. This makes sense because I am down in the bowl – and so I’m reminded that if the Marconi T has a lower take off angle (which I am 100% sure it does), then that doesn’t help me.

I did listen to farther away DX and it was a draw. 

But, for me, this test is moot – I’ll keep the Inverted L with the slight “aim” at 3Y0Z. This also reminds me that the 92 that I have worked on Top Band could only have been done with high angle propagation at my QTH.

There’s No Antenna Holy Grail

Since 2001 I have tried to find a single antenna that would perform reasonably well in all bands and have gain in a few strategic bands like 40 and 20M.

The N6BT DXU-32 covered the strategic bands, but once you add in other bands like 160, 80 and 30 (required for the bottom of a cycle), you all of a sudden need at least one extra antenna.

If you just wanted to get on all bands where you could work DX, a vertical with a tuner would work, but I doubt you’d get to Honor Roll or Top of Honor Roll, certainly not in one solar cycle as I did.

I’m going to go with two antennas to cover 160 – 20M, which would be the bottom of a cycle minimum in the antennas you would need.

To cover higher bands, you could possibly find an antenna such as a SteppIR yagi that covered all bands from 40 – 10 or even up to 6M.

But I think I have exhausted all routes to having just one antenna.