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!

3G9A/MM – Your Best 3Y0Z Propagation Test!

The 3Y0Z Team is entering the open sea. They have started transmitting as 3G9A/MM.

Sure, they are barefoot running a Flex into a Hustler vertical, but that’s the point. If their signal is good from the boat, it should be better from the island, of course not today, but as they get closer. In any case, you will be able to chart when a band opens or closes, and if the propagation predictions are close to reality.

I found an Argentinian WebSDR that I can hear them on from work – but very weak. The real test will be an hour or two before the West Coast Sunset

Its a looooong way to Bouvet, but I am looking forward to listening to their signal along the way, and of course, especially as they get close to the island

Godspeed to the team!

UPDATE – they are 599 on 40M on both the vertical array and the doublet. This is just past the West Coast sunset. But they are at the bottom of LU and CE so it’s just way too early to tell what will happen.

I have a really weird idea that their signal will actually get stronger on 40 and 30M as they get closer based on my weeks of monitoring

Two Phased Wellbrook ALA1530LNP Loops = 9 dB RDF 27 dB F/B

Two Wellbrook ALA1530LNP loops phased at 215 degrees with the NCC-2

The front to back is awesome, and I can hear it when I turn these and tune either a local 10 watt TIS station or a high power AM BCB in San Diego, about 440 miles away

Two phased Wellbrook ALA1530LNP loops using the DX Engineering NCC-2 is a true winner. One is 3 feet off the ground:

and the other up 13′:

It seems like having it up higher is better, but I don’t really think it matters much, actually. Here are both – phased through the NCC-2 at 215 degrees:

The reasons I have my two loops at different heights:

  1. One is down slope from the other – and is up 13′ and above the roof of the house so it will be away from the house
  2. One is next to a creek away from the house and 3′ off the ground
  3. The two are separated by 50′ so they show different “time of arrival” signals
  4. They are both 70′ away from the TX Inverted L, which is VERY important
  5. They are both as far away from neighbors houses

These barely fit in my odd shaped lot that has very little space for antennas. I have had other RX antennas like the K9AY Loops that were way too close to the house, and they worked for a while and then became swamped with noise.

As I said, by accident, the DX Engineering DV-40-P was my best 160M RX antenna, but this new (expensive) NCC-2 plus two Wellbrook ALA1530LNP solution reigns supreme. It is VERY much better than anything I’ve had before.

It is also the most RX antenna I can put up here that barely meets the space requirements.

At 9 dB RDF, here is what it compares to a small beverage or a 4 square of K9AY Loops:

http://www.k7tjr.com/rx1comparison.htm