Archive - February 2009

Back To Africa for 9M6XRO


9M6XRO John’s latest email tells us that he is planning once again to be in Southern Africa this year, John explains:


I can now confirm my Africa trip dates. I arrive in Johannesburg via Kuala Lumpur and Doha on July 25th, 3 days earlier than planned. I can then help Daniel ZS6JR load up and move all the gear to 7P Lesotho and get the antennas and equipment set-up before the others arrive in Lesotho on the 29th. I hope to put ZS6/GM3OOK on the air for a bit en route possibly from the 25th evening. Daniel has not yet confirmed the date we will drive to Lesotho.


Looks like I will also have the option of operating from Swaziland again as 3DA0OK but the duration and dates will depend on the logistics of the whole operation as everyone is due back in Johannesburg on August 13th. I will keep you updated on that part of the itinerary. My flight back to Borneo leaves on August 14th, once again via Doha. QSL Via M0URX



GB1DSG Thinking Day On The Air

James on mic. Callum and Terry looking on

Saturday 21st February – Callum M0MCX had organised a Special Event Station for “Thinking Day on The Air” from the Dorridge scout hut, using the clubs SES callsign GB1DSG for Dorridge Scout Group.
Using the horizontal Delta Loop up at about 30 metres above ground. This antenna is 550 feet long in a triangle formation, and performs extremely well.
From early morning, the station was running all day with pile ups that you wouldn’t believe for a G station!
The station was run by the “M0XXT Pile Up Firm” operated by Callum M0MCX, James M3YOM, Tim M0URX, Terry G4MKP Aidan M6TTT, along with guest operators, Chris G1VDP, Lee G0MTN and Chris G0EYO.

Aidans First Pile Up
There was a steady stream of visitors during the day as family and friends popped their heads in to see what was going on. A good pile up on 20m to the West Coast of North America netted dozens of W6 & 7s along with VE5s and 6s. Contacts as well to India, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Japan, Singapore and Australia. As the day drew on, we moved onto 40m with an equally huge pile up,
and even a QSO on 40m with K5D Desecheo Island.

The event was really just an excuse for the lads to get together to put a station on the air and run in “Pile Up Mode” Recently licensed Aidan M6TTT took control of the pile for a short while tutored and mentored by myself to help him in his first experience of serious operating. What did he say when he came off air? “That was AWSOME!” Aidan remember you have a job to do on that bracket!!!! Callum thanks for organising the day, really enjoyed the pile up and great to see some friendly faces popping in!

Quote of the day! while Terry G4MKP was at the mic: “stand-by Europe please, are there any DX stations wishing to call GB1DSG?” and a VK3 comes right back!
Just under 800 Qs were logged.

More images from GB1SDG:
Thanks to G1VDP Chris Colclough for the photographs.

Poor band conditions all round!


Thursday – Another day of poor conditions K5D bearly readable on any band as I write todays blog. My mate Russell G5XW is currently backpacking in Morocco, I caught up with him on 14.245 MHz this afternoon, 100 miles west of Marrakech in the Atlas Mountains at 11,000 feet ASL. He is using an Alinco DX70 transceiver 100 watts into a 20m dipole supported by a fishing pole. He reports of poor conditions and dreams of some Pacific calling in. Russell will be active for a couple more days before heading back to England.
QSL for CN2XW is Russell G5XW.
Updated 22/02/09: Russell finally made 563 Qs inro 6 continents.

Also reporting poor conditions is John 9M6XRO in Kota Kinabalu, East Malaysia. Although John did make a CW QSO with K5D this week on 40m. a very difficult path from 9M6. After his low band activity last week he arrived home to find that the PSU for the Quadra Amp had developed a fault, heres what he reports today:

“Pleased to say I got my power supply back today and it is working 100% again. The technician told me he was not able to check the 48v DC output without having the Quadra there so I took the amp over to him this afternoon. It then turned out that it gave a “protection fault” warning when there was no transceiver connected to it so he was still unable to verify if the 48v DC output was OK as the protective circuit disabled the 48v DC line. Rather than have me go back home and bring the 1000MP he said he would trust me and suggested I take the Quadra and PSU and test it in my shack. Once I got it hooked up the whole lot worked perfectly so I gave him a ring and all I have to do now is go over there and settle the bill. He told me it would be around 80 Ringgit which is less than 16 quk5d1id!
That’s a relief then John!”

I have to say congratulations to Oliver Bross MW0JRX, he has just received his new callsign from his home country Slovak Republic. Oliver I look forward to putting OM0ARX in my log the next time you visit your family!

Working K5D has been a challenge this week, still only 3 band slots here 17m, 20m and 40m SSB I will try again tomorrow for 15m but unfortunately conditions to Desecheo Island have not been running kindly!
Pictured right is Jerry WB9Z running a huge SSB pileup.
You can see more images from Desecheo Island 2009 on their website: 

TL0A Central African Republic

Central African Republic Map

M0URX Просит сообщить, что он НЕ ЯВЛЯЕТСЯ QSL менеджером TL0A.
QSL для TL0A нужно отправлять только директ на адрес в 73! Игорь RA3CQ

Two new ones in two days, TL0A Central African Republic is the latest call sign to be added into my logbook.
Chris Arroman formerly active from Niger as 5U5U, has been very active with his new call sign in C.A.R. and the chance is on to put this country in my log with some new band slots soon. Today I logged TL0A on 18.150 MHz. I have not heard C.A.R. on air before in my short time as a Radio Amateur. 5 bands worked now 10m – 20m.
QSL is Via TL0A address in France
Christian Saint Arroman, Chemin de Mouteguy 64990 Urcuit, FRANCE   –      Below is the TL0A QSL card

Well done to my buddy and IT man Oliver MW0JRX, he worked K5D today on 15m 17m and 20m! Good going Oli!

Welcome if you are visiting this Blog from Google search of TL0A, as the weeks have gone by Chris has been working on many bands to give everyone the chance to put TL in the log.
While you are vising my blog, feel free to take a tour round my site and enjoy your stay. 73 Tim M0URX


“For avoidance of doubt and the hard of reading, I am not the QSL manager of TL0A”

Desecheo Island K5D


My strategy for Desecheo has paid off so far. I have a long weekend and decided to set the alarm for 3am to try on 40m this morning. K5D was on 7.175 listening 185 – 195 for Europe and Asia and the pile up quite fierce, as you would expect. At 4am they took a 5 minute break and then when they came back on the pile up seemed to thin out. I was logged at 4:15am! DXCC number 273 Worked. I called on 7.1925 MHz and I also heard M1WDK in a few minutes before me.

At this point they do not realise that not all Europe can TX above 7100.0. I am only using a 40m wire loop from gutter to fence. So NO big gun station here! More like a water pistol.
Now Monday 16th! 1100z K5D started in the last hour on 20m .. pointless trying to follow the last QSO frequency always S20 so I looked for a gap using 2nd VFO 14.209.5 S meter was only S7 so I called and he got me first time!!!!! Wooohooo 20m in the bag…. Sitting on 17m now awaiting a signal on there.

Good luck everyone!
For the website go to: They need sponsors too! Very expensive expedition.
vk9dwxI also received the VK9DWX QSL card today from the 2008 Willis Island DXpedition. More information at their website 

DXCC number 267 Confirmed! Still a long way to go but enjoying the chase.

RSGB QSL Sub Bureau QSL cards

G4Dxx 900 cards ready to send 14/02/09
G4Rxx 450 cards ready to send 14/02/09
M0URX managed calls 600 cards will be replied to soon.

G4Dxx and G4Rxx i have over 1,000 QSL cards unclaimed awaiting envelopes.

9M6XRO tells us how it went!

Today i am pleased to report that 9M6XRO John has arrived home from his low band activity. 2,100 Qs were logged by John since his last log update, this has now been uploaded to LoTW and all QSL cards have been prepared for posting. Here is what John reports today:

All in all I was quite happy with the operation from the Seaside Travellers Inn which is only about 10km south of my apartment in Kota Kinabalu. The owner and staff could not have been more helpful, even assisting us to mount a fibrgelass mast on their water tank tower.
Unfortunately the noise level was quite high at times on both 160 and 80. It seems nowhere in Sabah is free of the dreaded ‘frying’ noises from power lines etc. Still having only worked two countries on Top Band since moving here 4 years ago due to the local noise at my apartment, I can’t complain too much as after these four days of operation I now have well over 50 countries worked on 160! Many of the European signals were received at phenomenal strength whereas propagation from North America was extremely disappointing even though I was there at all the ‘right’
times – in fact I did not have a nights sleep during the operation!
Fortunately I was able to complete most of the skeds I’d made beforehand but apologies to those who did not make it into the log this time. In total I made over 1500 QSO’s all on CW with the bulk of them on 160 and 80. The best DX on 80 was FM5CD and NP4Z plus a few U.S. East Coast stations, always a difficult path from here. There were good openings to North and South America on 20m shortly after our sunrise when 160 and 80 had dropped out. I also had a good run on 30m one night when things were slow on the low bands. Gotaways: a 9H1 on Top band and possibly one of the VP8’s on 20m, both jammed by callers who could not standby even for a minute to let me make the QSO…..

I have attached 3 pix which gives some idea of our set-up. Despite how the shot of the rig appears we were NOT operating Maritime Mobile – we were just that close to the sea! Used the FT-1000MP and Quadra Linear from my home station with my old Thinkpad 600E 366Mhz Laptop running N1MM Logger on DXpedition mode. Great program.

hi_tide_smallThe photo taken at high tide was snapped from the verandah which was about 3m above the sand. At first the HF6V was mounted right on the beach in front of the Inn but on the first night the base of the antenna was awash at high tide so we moved it up onto the verandah. For Top Band I used a Marconi 1/4 wave Inverted-L wire with the feedpoint just above the sand. Using a fibreglass pole mounted on the verandah gave us a roughly 16m long vertical section with the remainder running horizontally away from the beach. You can just see the wire running vertically upwards to the right of the fibreglass mast. We had about 8 or so radials for the Top Band ant. The longest straight line radial was
1/4 wave long. Other 1/4 radials were looped back to the feedpoint in a triangular configuration which had worked well on our /P Labuan OC-133 trip. We got the system resonant around 1830 KHz and were able to feed it directly with 50 ohm coax for an SWR of 1:1 – a match that is a sure sign of a poor ground installation, I know! To be honest, the radial system looked very messy, with twisted connexions etc but it appears being that close to the sea makes for a very forgiving environment!

lo_tide_smallThe low tide photo shows just how far the tide went out. The island in the photo is actually one of the Sabah Coastal Group IOTA OC-133 – you could practically walk out to it at low tide! You can just make out some of the locals gathering cockles way in the distance. BTW the two boats in the foreground, the Kit Cat and the Fat Cat belonging to an adjacent resort were built by Godfrey, 9M6GY, who owns a local boatbuilding company!

It was interesting to note quite a swing in the resonant frequency of the antennas, especially the HF6V, depending on the state of the tide.
At low tide the resonant freqs all seemed to go higher. Luckily the Quadra Linear’s built-in tuner was able to cope.

For those that didn’t make it this time, watch this space. Operating right on the beach takes a lot of beating and I certainly hope to have another go in the near future.

73 – John – 9M6XRO

9M6DXX Steve reports home


I’m back home now (late Monday morning local time) after 2 nights at an Inn on the coast, where John, 9M6XRO, and I put up an inverted-L for 160m and a Butternut HF6 for 80 – 10m. John has been operating almost exclusively 160m CW while I was on 80, 40 and 20m SSB. John is staying at the QTH for another 2 nights and will also be doing some
80m CW and possibly 30m, as well as 160m.

There is a massive tidal range at this QTH and the feedpoint of the 160m inverted-L was inches above the sea at high tide. The HF6 feedpoint was literally underwater the first night (and it has probably ruined the HF6 20m coax matching stub!) but we moved the antenna to a more elevated position for the 2nd night of operating.

Unfortunately, 80m in particular was very disappinting due to local noise at that site. The noise is S9 or over on the FT-1000MP S-meter and the two noise blankers do absolutely nothing to reduce it. At times I knew I had many stations calling on 80m, but I just could not copy them through the crud.

John, on the other hand, had a great time on topband and made 300 QSOs at his first sitting, mainly JA and Europe, and another 300 last night, mainly EU.

We discovered by accident this morning that the 160m inverted-L was a much quieter receive antenna on 80m than the HF6. John is rigging up a way of using the 160m inverted-L as an RX-only antenna on 80m for this evening, so he may have a lot more success than me.

GL to anyone needing 9M6 on the low bands. 73, Steve, 9M6DXX