Archive - August 2009

John 7P8OK back home from Lesotho


Glad to say I got back to KK on time and no hassle with my luggage either way despite the fact that my transit times between flights in Doha were 30 mins and 45 mins! Well done to Qatar Airways for that as they met me off my flights and made sure me and my baggage got on to the next one OK.

Including my short ZS6 operation I made just over the 8K QSO mark from Africa. I did all the RTTY from 7P8 as well as 90% of the Top Band operating. I was pleased to manage the first 7P8/JA QSO on 160m with JA7NI and I worked 44 countries on 160m and 107 countries on all bands.

In total the 5 ops made in excess of 27,000 contacts and scanning the DX Cluster, the comments seem generally favourable to us.

I have my photos to sort out then I will send you off some possible ones for my QSL. I had a couple of cable problems in 7P8 – my camera to USB cable and my computer to rig interface cable both failed. Both cables became really brittle in the dry cold WX which they obviously did not appreciate after being used in the Borneo climate!

We had limited dial-up internet access at the Trading Post Lodge office
The  photo above shows (l to r) Daniel/ZS6JR, Ben/7P8YI, Pista/7P8AO, Frosty/7P8CF, Laurent/7P8MM and John/7P8OK.

Right – 7P8OK John on RTTY duty.

Glad to get you in my log and also hear you working the others too. BTW I did complete the 20m SSB sked with Steve 9M6DXX and got him on 17m SSB as well. The WX has been pretty awful around KK this weekend so the BARC Lighthouse operation on the uninhabited Pulau Layangan must have been an ordeal for them. There was a thunderstorm and very heavy rain when they were due off this afternoon so I don’t know how that went yet.
73 for now – John – 9M6XRO

Editor – The online logsearch for 7P8OK is now LIVE
LoTW has now been uploaded for 7P8OK and ZS6/GM3OOK.
I will now work on the QSL Requests both Direct and Bureau. Please be patient.

M0URX enjoys 10m opening


I really enjoyed the 10m openning today with Sporadic E with most of Europe in 3 hours contacts were logged with 140 stations from France, Germany to Russia where I worked a Cosmonaut (Astronaut) Alexander Volkov U4MIR I am sure that is my first QSO with an Astronaut so I feel very pleased to meet you Alex’. I was also called by JQ9DHC in Japan, but I was not able to complete the QSO as QSB was very fast. So Japan on 10m great! Thank you to all of you that I worked today.
The Sporadic E was also strong enough to work GM7TUD Jim on back scatter signals while testing the direct path turning the beam to Scotland signal was 0. Jim great to catch up after such a long time!

5B/G4MKP Terry Cyprus


Terry G4MKP is in Cyprus over 14/25 August. He is squeezing 2 days of business into 10. That means lots of time for cold beer, lazy days by the pool and a fair bit of time on his Elecraft K3 signing 5B/G4MKP. Terry will be QRV mornings and evenings on CW/RTTY and, if he can figure out how to do it, SSB also. CW around 7.010, 14.010, 21.010, 28.020. RTTY anywhere in the band segment.  Please listen for him and give a call.

Picture: Elecraft K3, PSU, Key, cabling, Buddipole.

QSL Direct or Via email request for a bureau QSL.
LoTW will be uploaded after the operation.

G0KYA’s Propagation Report August 09


HF 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.

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.