Friday, January 19, 2018

3G9A/MM en route to Bouvet now on the air...

Strong on the waterfall, loud in the 'phones @ 0016Z
...and easy to work.

As I type, they are on 14.027.015 and listening up.

They are using only a barefoot Flex (100 watts) and (I assume) a vertical antenna on their ship. Not much of a pile-up.

They were an honest 579 signal here.

With better antennas due to be erected once they make landfall - and with a KW of power behind their dots and dashes - they show all the signs of having quite a strong signal from Bouvet.

Smooth sailing guys and thanks for the /MM QSO!

DP0GVN as a Bouvet propagation indicator

The most significant aspect of the new multi-band WSPR station DP0GVN may be as its utility in serving as a propagation indicator for the upcoming DXpedition to Bouvet.

Activations of other stations in the area have been too few for most DXers to have developed a feel for what time and which bands may be the most effective in working 3Y0Z when they air sometime very close to 1 Feb. (BTW, the shipped has just departed at the time of this posting and can be tracked live here).

With that in mind, I set up my Ultimate 3S to transmit WSPR last night on 40 meters with an output of 500 milliwatts, hoping to be spotted by DP0GVN. If they can copy a half-watt WSPR signal, a path to the general area is open and would support CW, at least as low as the 100-watt level.

Transmitting 40m WSPR at 1/2-watt from 0300-09000Z

DP0GVN decoded my signal three times between 0400-0530Z. Over the next several nights I'll do the same "exploratory" on 30 and 80 meters.

There are propagation prediction programs that will guesstimate when you might have a path (and on what band) to the Antarctic region but why use theory when reality is available?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Two free issues of CQ Magazine available online

Between the two of these issues, the E31A DXpedition and the new (in the US) 630/2200-meter bands are discussed.


CQ magazine - November 2017

CQ magazine - December 2017

Monday, January 15, 2018

Eritrean trio

UPDATE: Eritrean Quartet. Just got them on 80m CW. Video (scroll down) shows how they sounded here.
This DXpedition totally escaped my radar - I had no idea they were going to be on the air until I heard them this morning on 17m CW, booming in with all the subtlety of a freight train.

Another op was on 15m CW at the same time. Weaker, but it was good to see that the ions above us were polite enough to allow propagation on that "I ain't dead yet!" band.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

QRP: NA QSO Party with KX2, Norcal 40a

This was a fun little 12-hour contest with high activity levels, a 100-watt power limit and (surprisingly) good propagation. Excellent ingredients for QRP participation.

I started out on 20 meters with my KX2 in full contest regalia, or, less dramatically, hooked up to N3FJP's contest software and a Winkeyer - just like real contesters do with their Big Rigs. Ditto for the Norcal 40a. I think this Big Rig treatment gave these tiny boxes extra mojo & boosted their self-esteem. They, in turn, rewarded me with easily-made QSO points.