3G9A: Great Signal at 0444z on 40M

I just worked them easily and their signal seems better tonight than last night. The doublet is the winner and they are about 579.

They are close to South Georgia, and one thing I noticed is at this latitude, about 8 hours of their night is right in the greyline. This should really help since the SSN is Zero, and will probably stay the same in SSN / flux, but will actually be quieter than last night or tonight:

#   UTC      Radio Flux   Planetary   Largest
#  Date       10.7 cm      A Index    Kp Index
2018 Jan 22      69          10          3
2018 Jan 23      69          10          3
2018 Jan 24      69           8          3
2018 Jan 25      67           5          2
2018 Jan 26      67           5          2
2018 Jan 27      67           5          2
2018 Jan 28      67          10          3
2018 Jan 29      69           5          2
2018 Jan 30      69           5          2
2018 Jan 31      70           5          2
2018 Feb 01      70           5          2
2018 Feb 02      70           5          2
2018 Feb 03      70           5          2
2018 Feb 04      70           8          3
2018 Feb 05      70           8          3
2018 Feb 06      70           5          2
2018 Feb 07      70           5          2
2018 Feb 08      70           5          2
2018 Feb 09      70           8          3
2018 Feb 10      70          12          4
2018 Feb 11      70           8          3
2018 Feb 12      70           5          2
2018 Feb 13      70           5          2
2018 Feb 14      70           5          2
2018 Feb 15      70           8          3


40M Antenna Directions, Pattern and Gain

The 3Y0Z beam heading is 130 degrees, which is where my doublet up 60′ is pointed. Its pattern is:

My DX Engineering DV-40-P is pointed NE – SW, and its pattern is:

WIth 3 dB gain in the NE and SW direction, and only 1 dB gain towards Bouvet. Interestingly, with the array switched to the NE position, ZS6CCY says my signal is 6 dB better on the vertical array over the doublet. It makes sense because the vertical array has a wide lobe that would cover the 90 degree direction to ZS:

For 3G9A/MM just past the Falklands, the doublet is noticeably better than the phased array.

I have a fun plan – I will try to work 3Y0Z on 20M and 17M first, then quickly take down the 2 element 20M yagi, and put up the Cushcraft D40 with the 30M add on. This way, I can do some great testing – I can see the limitations of the phased array and the fixed dipole. I kind of expect that because I can rotate the D40, it could end up being the only 40M antenna that I will need. In fact, I could even end up with just the 160/80M Inverted L and the 40/30M Cushcraft D40.

It will be great to do some serious A-B testing

CQ 160: WIll Palau be my #95?

I just noticed that JA0JHQ will be on Palau for the CQ 160M contest this coming weekend. I also am in contat with HI8A, Rfael, whi will look for me during the contest. Haiti is occasionally activated, as are other Caribbean entities, and I still need  small handful.  Bernie, W3UR will be on St. Kitts and Nevis the week following. Papua New Guinea will be activated the first week of February, Macau in March, Baker, St. Paul and Ducie later in the year. This gives several “easy” possibles, and my 160M RX antenna is now the best I’ve had yet.

Time will tell, but its very exciting to know that the next one will be #95. That sure sounds close to 100!

 

Two Wellbrook ALA1530LNP Loops > 80 Meter Long Beverage!

By accident, I opened the ON4UN Low Band DXing book to page 7-91, and the patterns were instantly recognizable:

and

I am very sure that the phased Wellbrook Loops with the NCC-2 are better than a 200 foot (80M) beverage. The main reason is because while the pattern is the same, the Beverage is stuck in one or two directions, and the phased loops can be steered electrically and rotated physically.

 

3G9A on 20M with a Coronal Disturbance

I worked 3G9A at 2330z 3:30 PST), and as you can see, they are in sunlight still:

They were very easy to work, and while the Falklands is no big deal from my QTH, I am at least watching 20M to see when it is open and when it closes. They were only S7 at best, but Q5, even with some crackly static sounding noise. The A is 10 and there is a coronal hole pointing at earth right as I worked them. It took only 2 calls to work them – easy peasy, and I expect that this is about as bad as it gets noise wise, which is only S3, but pulsing to S5 at times.

The International DX Challenge Cup (a proposal . . . . )

The problem with all of the current DX Awards and Operating Activities is they are in danger of becoming obsolete due to access and cost to activate the entities on their list. Some are also achievable (i.e. Top of Honor Roll) leaving the DXer with not many options to stay in the chase. Here is a proposal that addresses all of these issues – and more.

  1. Country List – ONLY real countries are on the list. No buildings or other weird “administrative entities”. The IARU List is what governs what will be on the list. Islands will have to be of some size and above all tides
  2. All possessions for a country are allowed – regardless of distance from mainland. Islands must be on the IOTA list though
  3. Activation’s can be made without stepping foot on land, but at least part of the Maidenhead Grid Square must have that country or island inside the square. Fixed, Portable, Marine Mobile are allowed, aircraft is not. There has to be electronic proof that all QSO’s were made within the grid square of that entity
  4. A weighted point system will be used. Entities where you land that are extremely difficult and costly to get to have the most points, and there are four tiers – Extreme, Moderate, Average and Remote. Only being on the actual entity is allowed in the Extreme category. Only excessively expensive and difficult entities get a Moderate weighting. Everything else is average. For example, Being on Bouvet is Extreme, being in a boat where a grid square includes a part of Bouvet is Moderate. Your score is based on the number of entities times the weighting factor
  5. There is a lifetime pursuit award with endorse-able levels and there is a yearly marathon like component – but its based on who improved the most against their lifetime pursuit
  6. Automated Remotes can be used, but they get the lowest weighting in the Remote class. If it turns out the playing field is way too much in favor of certain areas, then there could be a “leveling of the playing field” using a more elaborate weighting system – maybe have the classes plus zones

This combines the best of several of the most popular awards, and it doesn’t penalize young people just because they haven’t been in the game long enough. There are no Deleted’s, No Grandfathered. If an island sinks below the tide, you can work someone who is in a boat. Disputed entities including breakaways or reefs like Scarborough are not allowed – both because anything disputed is simply not eligible – this program eliminates politics.

There will be some way to collect money to pay for a bunch of Satellite devices that transmit data including longitude and latitude – so it can be proven that someone is actually where they say they are. If a governmental bureaucracy says “No Landing”, you can use a boat to enter its grid square. In fact, for Extreme class entities, you could have a ship that is going to an Extreme entity where they will land – enter the grid square of other rare entities, activate them from the ship and they get Moderate points. This solves both the access and cost problems because now one expensive DXpedition can provide many activations on one trip.

One thing that is odd with DXCC is how many times the rules were tweaked to change the list. This new award program prevents such gerrymandering as the list rules are unambiguous.

Yes, its a crazy idea, and it doesn’t work if there isn’t a 100% sure way to know someone is where they say they are – but I do believe the technology is there. I would rather have a satellite gps confirm that someone is where they say they are rather than submitting paperwork or going through Byzantine bureaucracy.

Kosovo to be Added to the DXCC List

It’s no surprise that Kosovo will soon be added to the DXCC List. Wayne, N7NG has a note on his DX University Web Site:

http://www.dxuniversity.com/

And the ARRL has been lobbied to add Kosovo for years. It required a DXCC Rules change, and it looks like that has now happened.

I started wondering if this affects other entities, so I put together a Google Sheet that you can view and play with:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1TP1uER6QR96b8_ncSlRgCrQX0KO8zbmoc1OFaPoqEsQ/edit?usp=sharing

I have the IARU, US State Department and Current DXCC lists there. The most obvious change is adding Kosovo. The harder part is sifting through grand fathered entities and islands covered under the distance rule. I think the “good work” is to see if there are any non – grand fathered entities that meet the distance rule but which re not IARU entities.

One could load this data into a relational database and add flag columns like grandfathered or distance and then write a SQL statement that compares lists and sees where there are differences. This would be a great job interview exercise for companies that give tests during interviews. It wouldn’t be as boring as the usual tests they give. Great for a Comp Sci major going to school too.

I’m too lazy – but if you do this – let me know what you find!