G0KYA's Propagation Report August 09

g0kya_podcastHF Propagation Podcast

A look at HF propagation conditions for August 2009, including the solar and geomagnetic data for July 2009, Sporadic E and how to work stations VQ9JC on Chagos Island and 5N0OCH in Nigeria. All this plus a band-by-band round-up of what you can work and hear.

G0KYA Steve Nichols is a journalist, specialising in technology. Steve's Blog is very informative and is a great site for learning about propagation!
Click on the left image to be directed straight to Steve's Blog.

I have enjoyed a lot of Sporadic E work over the summer on HF bands, but one thing that surprises me about especially UK Amateurs is that many assume that Sporadic E, Inter G on 20m is "Strange" or "unusual" Well NO it isn't it is just normal Summer conditions. G0KYA explains this tpye of propagation very well in his podcasts and on his blog and also his articles in several Amateur Radio journals.

M0URX - "G3TXQ Broadband Hexagonal Beam now UP!"

I have installed a new antenna recently here at Château Beaumont after using the MQ36SR for the last 3 years. I wanted an antenna that gave just a bit better performance. I had heard many UK stations that had used G3TXQ Broadband Hexagonal Beam and had given it some very good reports, some say that the performance is similar to a 2 element SteppIR! A few months ago Anthony MW0JZE started to make enquiries about how to make one, and to source high quality parts to build this antenna. Anthony decided that we should make one and test it out on our IOTA vacation on the West coast of Wales, what a great idea, I said build two, one for you and one for me and we will have two stations set up at the IOTA then we can test them out for performance and for DXpedition style operating under close proximity.

Hex_001
With the antennas built and constructed we installed the 6m - 20m  Hexbeams 30m apart on 10m poles connecting them to 2 x Elecraft K3 Transceivers at our Island location at Ramsey Island off the coast of Pembrokeshire. From the off we were working pile ups on 20m and 15m with no interaction between the two stations. I was very impressed with the performance of the Hexbeam despite no sunspots and a SFI of just 68. We ended the 3 day operation at Ramsey with 5500 Qs in the log and worked 86 DXCC entities. This antenna would make a fantastic DXpedition antenna! It is light, easy to assemble and gives great performance!
So I was happy with its performance on a remote Island but what about if it was located in the city where I live in Coventry?

Raining again!
I was only home two days and a break in the weather found me in the garden constructing the Hexbeam. My garden is only 7m wide so it was a struggle at times but within 1 hour the antenna was ready to be installed. I called on the help of 2E0COV Vinny Hopkins to install the antenna on the 13m mast at my home. Thanks Vinny!

CQ Pacific
The following morning I couldn’t resist giving the Hex a try… I tuned to 14.217 MHz where I knew E51JD Jim is usually found, great there he was with a signal of 5/4 not strong but probably the best I had ever heard him and with one call Jim was in the log from the South Cook Islands! Brilliant! Followed that with a QSO with KH7HI in the Hawaiian Islands. Conditions since then have been very poor, however I am finding that working South America a bad direction for me is now much easier. The SWR is very low on all bands 6m through to 20m.

Many thanks to Ant MW0JZE for constructing this antenna to a very high standard of workmanship with high quality parts!

Ramsey Island QSL EU-124

The Ramsey Island MC0SHL / MW9W QSL is currently in the design stage and will be printed shortly. Here is a sneak preview!

The QSL cards will shortly be going to print. Remember to send your direct QSL to M0URX but NO Bureau cards thanks! If you need a QSL Via the Bureau please email Tim M0URX using our Contact M0URX page and I will send you the Bureau card.

The QSL card features the RSPB who own the Island and the QSL also reflect the Flora & Fauna on Ramsey Island. Not forgetting of course the G3TXQ Broadband Hexagonal Beam made by MW0JZE Anthony that performed so well for us despite no sunspots! You can also see the buildings that we occupied during the activity.
This QSL has been sponsored by the United Radio QSL Management Bureau.
QSL-MC0SHL-MW9W_copy














QSL-MC0SHL-MW9W-BACK_copy

7P8OK John in Lesotho

Lesotho_FlagThis week John 9M6XRO unveiled his callsign for the Lesotho expedition from July 27th to August 13th 7P8OK will be "On Air" using CW RTTY SSB. John will be in a team operating from The Trading Post Lodge in Roma, Lesotho, as part of the African DX Safaris Expedition. 

7P8OK QSL Via M0URX - QSL Direct or Via Bureau However I will not accept incoming cards Via Bureau. ALL BUREAU QSL requests must be made Via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   or Via my QSL request form in the left menu. I fully support the Bureau but incoming cards are not required for 7P8OK or 9M6XRO and we would like to reduce Bureau costs by doing this.

Log will be uploaded to Logbook of The World (LoTW) immediately after the expedition.
The Online Log Search for 7P8OK will be live after the expedition.

Please follow my instructions and your QSL will arrive in good speed!

7P8OK QSL is sponsored by United Radio QSL Bureau.

MC0SHL & MW9W logs uploaded to logsearch

5515 QSO's from MC0SHL & MW9W EU-124 Ramsey Island are now uploaded onto the online log search. The team head home after a great week on Ramsey Island. Great memories and you can see more information on the website  of Strumble Head DX & Contest Group
Team Photograph

M0URX is Out of Office

I will be away from Wednesday morning (22nd July), heading off to Ramsey Island, Wales EU-124. The team will be active as MC0SHL and MW9W in the RSGB IOTA Contest. Not that i am soliciting for QSO's prior to the contest as i am sure that is blatent advertising hehe. Anyway if you hear us on the bands our team want to hear your call so listen for us and say hello.

More information can be found at Strumble Head DX & Contest Group

Please also listen for our other sponsored events MM0NDX/P Col will be on St Kilda weather permitting and 9M6XRO John will be operating out of Africa featuring 7P8OK Lesotho, all information is in my Blog below. You may also hear John as ZS6/GM3OOK.
I will answer all emails on my return next week.

MM0NDX/P St Kilda Archipelago – July 24 to 27, 2009

kilda_home_main_mapMM0NDX/P Col  will use GM5A during the IOTA contest.  MM0NDX/P outside the contest.
St Kilda is a much needed IOTA counter for many. Particularly Japan. It is nearly four years since the last activation.

Due to its very challenging location, the main island of Hirta (where I will be based) has an extremely difficult take-off to the North, North West and East. Infact, generally any direction!

Restrictions mean only an antenna at maximum height 30ft (10m) may be used.  A yagi type antenna is most definitely not allowed nowadays. [bird impact - there are over a million seabirds on St Kilda !].

A 1000ft sea cliff towering over Village Bay certainly won’t help matters! I shall try my best for all areas.

St Kilda Archipelago has been claimed by 35.9% IOTA participants.

  • QTH locator: IO75RT
  • Islands of Scotland Award (IOSA) OL02
  • WAB: NF19
  • SCOTIA: D123
    World Flora and Fauna Reference St. Kilda (National Nature Reserve) Ref. No GMFF-061.

Please note, I’m the sole radio operator in a group of five. Won’t be on 24/7, but will try my best!
MM0NDX/P QSL Via M0URX Log will be uploaded to my logsearch after the activity.
Col has built a website especially for this activity you can see more information at: http://eu059.wordpress.com/
MM0NDX/P QSL is sponsored by United Radio QSL Bureau.

Unfortunately this expedition by Col was cancelled due to rough seas around St Kilda. Two weeks later the captain of the vessel has informed Col, that he has still not been able to get near St Kilda at any time since the proposed activity.

7P8OK Lesotho

Lesotho_FlagThis week John 9M6XRO unveiled his callsign for the Lesotho expedition from July 27th to August 13th 7P8OK will be "On Air" using CW RTTY SSB. John will be in a team operating from The Trading Post Lodge in Roma, Lesotho, as part of the African DX Safaris Expedition. 

7P8OK QSL Via M0URX - QSL Direct or Via Bureau However I will not accept incoming cards Via Bureau. ALL BUREAU QSL requests must be made Via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   or Via my QSL request form in the left menu. I fully support the Bureau but incoming cards are not required for 7P8OK or 9M6XRO and we would like to reduce Bureau costs by doing this.

Log will be uploaded to Logbook of The World (LoTW) immediately after the expedition. The Online Log Search for 7P8OK will be live after the expedition.

Please follow my instructions and your QSL will arrive in good speed!

7P8OK QSL is sponsored by United Radio QSL Bureau.

Ramsey Island IOTA EU-124 MC0SHL & MW9W

GW/IOTA EU-124 - The Strumblehead DX and Contest Group have now sealed the final permission to activate Ramsey Island (EU-124), off the West Wales coast, from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds who own the island. They will be active from 18ramsey_island:00 24th July through to 14:00 27th July taking in the IOTA contest. 

We will be active using the club call MC0SHL for the whole duration of the operation, and using MW9W in the contest. They will be on all bands from 80M through to 10M SSB. There is also some 30M RTTY planned by G1VDP if the other guys allow him, with participation in the last 80M Club Championships DATA section. ramsey_island_352_tcm9-120831

We will be operational using generators as power. Radios used will consist of 2 K3's and a Yaesu FT1000MP MkV and amplifiers. Antennas will consist of 2 x Hexbeam, a windom and dipoles. Most of the activation is for the WAB award scheme as the square is semi rare and has not been activated for some time. 
The team will be on from the farm for a few days before and after using the GB0WFF for the World Flora and Fauna award see http://www.wff44.com for award details, and using the MC0SHL club call and erecting a tower for Rob MW0RLJ. The island will not only count for the WAB award but will also count for the WFF award.
World Flora and Fauna Reference for Ramsey Island is GWFF-072 and for the Club house on the Pembrokeshire Coast (Farm) is GFF-015.
A special QSL card printed for both club calls, full details are on the groups website http://www.mc0shl.com  QSL via the groups manager M0URX.
This IOTA QSL card  is sponsored by United Radio QSL Bureau.

This IOTA expedition has permission from the owners of the Island the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

FK/G4JVG QSL

You may remember that Steve 9M6DXX was recently in New Caledonia with his wife Eva celebrating their Silver Wedding Anniversary. Here is the special QSL card out soon!
QSL-FK-G4JVGFK/G4JVG QSL is sponsored by United Radio QSL Bureau.

Why i dont support eQSL!

eQSLI have been asked many times to register with eQSL, which i did for a couple of years but i was so annoyed by a constant stream of emails some quite nasty from eQSL users that i decided that it was time to remove my details from eQSL. Despite email correspondence between myself and eQSL i find that it is not possible to remove any of my details from the eQSL website which I feel breaks all data protection regulations. As a consequence of this I still receive a constant stream of emails from eQSL users. eQSL have refused to remove my email address and refused to understand my concerns about the constant stream of rubbish being sent to me from their website! Am I the only one to experience this? You tell me?

E44M QSL Received

A very beautiful QSL arrived today from the team of E44M Palestine operation from January 2009. Below you can see the front and back of the 4 sided QSL card. 273 DXCC Confirmed so far... still a long way to go!

E44M-FE44M-B

Bureau QSL Cards Arrive

On Thursday a box of QSL cards arrived from the RSGB Bureau 1,900 cards for the G4Ds have been sorted and posted out. While 700 cards for the G4Rs has also been sorted and posted out.
For the managed callsigns I received 500 cards which have now been processed and ready to send back through the Bureau on my next dispatch. I am informed that another box of QSL cards for the calls that i manage will be sent to me shortly. Many thanks to Chris G1VDP for the help in sorting the QSL cards!

K5D Desecheo Island QSL

I received today the QSL card from the Desecheo Island DX'pedition K5D, below you can see the front and back of the QSL card. QSL Via N2OO. My DXCC total now stands at 272 confirmed.
K5D-2















K5D-1

9M6XRO & Borneo Amateur Radio Club BARC

Two_Towers_1Today's email from John 9M6XRO includes some photographs taken today at the Borneo Amateur Radio Club of East Malaysia. John explains "I took these photos 'up the hill' today when we were working on the ants. One shows Rahim 9W6RHM up the tower working on the Cushcraft A4S beam. Another also shows the 100ft tower behind the clubhouse. There are various VHF repeater ants mounted on it plus the 160-80-40m trapped dipole. Unfortunately we cannot get the trapped dipole all the way up as there is a family of mynah birds nesting right at the very top and they dive bomb any climber who starts to get anywhere near them! Mynah's CAN talk but they have not entered into any negotiations so far (hi).

The other photo shows the view from the foot of the tower looking towards KK. We are up a fair height, unfortunately that's why we keep getting struck by lightning! The top of the hill has a flat area of about 200' square and slopes away quite dramatically on 3 sides. The road up is not for the faint hearted as it is narrow and with deep potholes that come and go, and land slips in heavy rain are not unknown. I have been 'trapped' up there on occasion due to the WX.
John has taken part in this weekends CQ WPX CW Contest and the log has now been uploaded to LoTW.
Wide_ViewA4S_2_RHM

9M6XRO John

9M6XRO John reports that he is now back in East Malaysia after a short trip overseas. John says "I am back on air this week and I have now made a few QSO's! Actually a very good one yesterday - EA6SA on 6m CW at well over 11500km, plus 5B4FL whom I worked last year" Well done John! John also reports that the Borneo Amateur Radio Club suffered another lightning strike recently, so will be going to the clubhouse to replace damaged co-ax.

HP3AK Panama

hp3akAt last I have managed to log Panama, not a difficult entity to work just one that has taken me an age to log! HK3AK Jay was on 18.117 MHz this evening with a huge pile up from Europe, I tried to remain patient, it is not easy when you are only using a mini beam but not impossible! So thanks Jay for hearing my call! Also in the log today was TL0A Chris on 28.495 MHz from Central African Republic, on Multi Hop Es.
This afternoon I logged 9J2BO on 14.322 MHz Brian operating out of Lusaka, Zambia. TG9NX in Guatemala logged on 18.139 MHz so not a bad night in the end!

Pictured on the left is Jay HP3AK in Panama. 

This year like any other I am trying to work as many DXCC in the year as possibale, a little friendly banter between myself and some friends to see who can get the most DXCC or band slots. It is a difficult year with sunspots at a minimum so it is very hard going. SSB only here, I am currently on 171 DXCC in 2009. One application that you can use to calculate the band slots is by G7VJR Michael called Club Log that I have written about before in my blog, to find out more information about what Club Log does go to: http://www.clublog.org/about.php all you need to do is register and upload your ADIF file.

Clusters and Sysops

Over recent weeks I have noticed a growing phenomenon of people deliberately pirating other call signs on the clusters causing great offence and upset to many hams around the World. It is time now to take action! It is now time to ask for solutions to this problem, in my mind the problem is allowed to happen by irresponsible "Sysops" that serve the Amateur Radio population.
My solution is to ask ALL Cluster Systems Operators to install registration details from all users with User Name (Callsign) and Passwords for ALL users. By being able to identify the offending User it would be much easier to police and less common for the pirating to happen. I also believe that Deliberate QRM would also lessen.
I use GB7MBC Spider Cluster http://www.gb7mbc.net and i would like to say thank you to Ian and Linda for taking action and being responsible in this matter. Ian is also Sysop for HB9DRV-9 the HRD Cluster which also operates a registration system for users. I would ask each and every one of you out there to register with the Cluster and Systems Operators and try and eliminate the abuse that I see on a daily basis on the clusters!
I am happy to list here your Clusters that operate such a registration for users so that we can only use Systems that operate in a professional manner.
Thank you!

CP8XA Ivan in Bolivia CQ 17m

CP8XAOn Monday evening I had a QSO with CP8XA Ivan Davison in Beni BOLIVIA on 17m. I was unsure if the QSL card would get through, so I sent a courtesy email to his  address. Within minutes i had a reply from his son which i thought i would share with you.

"I am glad that you managed to contact my father and if you do so again please tell him that his son said hi. 

QSL cards....the mail system in Bolivia is poor and due to my fathers remote location, sending QSL cards regularly is not viable, indeed, some times he doesn't even receive some cards. 
Anyway, when I next get a rare call from my father I will mention this email amongst the other which I have for him, and I thank you on his behalf for the contact. When he visits the capital sporadically, he usually endeavours to send out QSL cards but this may not be for months.  Many thanks, and I enclose a picture, Son of CP8XA"

 

VK6JB John Bearsby SK

vk6jb_1131677707I learned today that John Bearsby VK6JB sadly passed away last Wednesday night in his sleep.
I only knew John for a short while when he asked me to look after his QSL management for him.
Through my blog i would like to pass on my sincere condolences to his partner Mila, family and friends. R.I.P John.

TL0A QSL Arrives In Post

TL0ANumber 269 Confirmed arrived in the post this morning TL0A Christian operating from Central African Republic

Christian continues to be very active from TL from whichever band is producing results from 20m - 10m.


QSL is Via TL0A address in France

Christian Saint Arroman
Chemin de Mouteguy
64990 Urcuit,
FRANCE


Please do not send QSL requests to me! This is a BLOG!
JD1BIE



Saturday 16th May 2009.
As the first sunspot group for some time gives us a welcome boost of optimism, propagation lifts just enough to be able to work JD1BIE Shigeaki
Miyamae on 18.123 MHz today, a new band slot for me. Shige is operating from. Ogasawara Island (Group) OC-030 Volcano Islands. QSL is Via his call on QRZ.com.
Pictured on the right is JD1BIE Shigeaki Miyamae.

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