Sunday, January 28, 2018

Worked the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas - K8NY/MM

Just 3 days ago, I wrote about hearing but not getting the chance to make contact with XE1C/MM on his radio aboard the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas.  Well after a pretty active day on the radio making some good contacts, I saw K8NY/MM spotted on a DX cluster.  I clicked the spot which tuned me over to the 40m frequency.  Bob was coming in 10dB over S9 calling CQ and trying to work Europe so I had to wait a while.  While listening, I heard him explain to the stations he was working that he too was aboard the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas and they were northwest of Turks and Caicos.  In fact, he was using XE1C's station!  I was excited and waited for him to call general CQ.

Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas - World's largest cruise ship

Once he started working Stateside stations, he had quite a pileup.  I patiently called in turn and was starting to think that I was again going to miss the opportunity to work this cruise ship.  At one point, Bob called CQ but didn't reply to any of the stations calling him.  There was just a few minutes of people calling followed by nothing but silence.  I guess people gave up and moved on.  Then, from the silence again came a CQ call from K8NY/MM.  I went back to him and finally he picked up my call!  I was super excited to make this contact.  He gave me a good report and we had a short QSO, but I didn't want to keep him tied up since there were so many stations waiting to work him.

That's definitely one for the log! Now I just have to figure out how I can work ham radio the next time I'm on a cruise ship!  Video of QSO below!

73 de KG4LST sk

XE1C/MM station aboard Harmony of the Seas

Double Bazooka antenna on Harmony of the Seas

W1AW - A Right of Passage for Ham Operators

Since I became aware that there was a radio station at the ARRL Headquarters, I always thought that it would be cool to contact that station and get it in my log.  I finally got that privilege on 12/29/2017!  I worked them again today during the Winter Field Day contest!  It's still great fun to hear that station and the pileup they normally will cause.  I'll try to work them any time I hear them or see them on the DX cluster.  I've sent a paper QSL with SASE and I'm hoping to get one back to hang in the shack.
UPDATE: I received a QSL card!  See image at the bottom.

Next on the list is to be on the other side of the QSO and take a trip to Connecticut and operate the W1AW station for myself!  Maybe I can do a quick road trip with Brandon (KN4HDZ)

73 de KG4LST sk

W1AW - Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Ham Radio Station @ ARRL HQ, Hartford CT


Great 20m QSO Reminds Me Why I Love Ham Radio - DG7LAL

When there is a contest going on, sometimes there isn't much other activity on the bands.  Today, I had the pleasure of working Rainer (DG7LAL) in Germany on 20m.  He was 59+ into Georgia and was a very pleasant operator.  We had an actual QSO for about 20 minutes.  As I drank my coffee, we discussed the weather, operating conditions, our experience with 11m citizens band, and more.  He seemed very impressed with the fact that I had worked the continents with just 100 watts and a wire! I did let him know that several of the contacts were achieved with much persistence and often over an hour of trying.  He agreed that there is a rewarding and satisfying feeling of accomplishment when you get your signal into other countries, especially with a simple station.  We both reminisced about our time in the hobby and it really was the type of contact that reminded us both why we love amateur radio.

I hope to see Rainer again later on down the log!

73 de KG4LST sk

Contact with DG7LAL

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Worked the Newest DXCC entity: Kosovo - Z60A

It’s just been about six days since the ARRL added Kosovo to the list of active DXCC entities, and this morning I had the privilege of getting them in my log!  A special thanks to the Amateur Radio Society of Kosovo station Z60A for answering my call and helping me work this new country!

73 de KG4LST sk

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Has the XE1C/MM Ship Sailed?

Last night, I was tuning around on 40m and ran across an interesting QSO.  XE1C/MM was talking with another station and explaining that /MM was for Maritime Mobile.  I instantly thought that was a cool concept.  He was telling the other guy that by checking his QRZ page, he could see his operating conditions aboard the ship as well as pictures of the ship.  I checked out the QRZ page myself.  To my surprise, the ship he was operating from was the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas!  Being a huge cruise fan, I was even more interested and very hopeful to work him.  He was using an Icom IC7300 into a double bazooka antenna that hangs above the top deck and transmitting from somewhere between St. Maarten and Florida!

He worked a couple people, switching between English and Spanish.  Unfortunately, I was not able to catch a QSO with him.  I hope to run across him again sometime and get him in the log. I hope the XE1C/MM ship has not sailed without me! hi hi

73 de KG4LST sk


Harmony of the Seas

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Achieved my "Grid Squared Award"

Exactly one week from getting my Continents of the World award, I achieved the Grid Squared award.  To be honest, it seems a little lack-luster.  The award is granted to members whose Logbook on contains at least one confirmed contact from 100 unique Maidenhead grid
squares.  Considering how many grid squares there are just in the US alone, means that this award is fairly easy to achieve.  A skilled operator could probably do this in a weekend of FT8 digital QSOs.  That being said, I'm still proud to have achieved it and I'll continue to strive for more awards and achievements!

73 de KG4LST SK

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Worked Another Asia Station (this time with ease) - JH1MDJ

After struggling to work Asia for a little while, I did finally work the West coast of India a few days ago.  I'll remember the contact with the station in India because he was about a 57 on me but he had quite a pileup and I had to try for almost 2 hours to make contact!

Just a few short days later, I found myself with a 55 copy on Kiyo-san (JH1MDJ) in Tokyo on 20m.  I called only twice and was able to make contact with a RST Rcvd of 56!  It's funny how things happen sometimes. Never give up on your DX dreams hi hi!

73 de KG4LST SK

Map of QSO with JH1MDJ in Tokyo, Japan

Monday, January 15, 2018

Finally worked Asia and achieved the "Continents of the World Award" - VU3UPZ

After calling him for an hour and half, I finally worked Vikas (VU3UPZ) in India. That means I have now worked at least 1 station in all 6 of the radio continent zones with only 100 watts and a wire antenna!  That's great news for me as I've been struggling to work an Asia station since I've been back on the air.  That was the only zone left for me to achieve the "Continents of the World" award!

73 de KG4LST sk

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Working Australia on short path and long path! - VK3MO

This one was interesting...last night I ran across VK3MO calling CQ. I answered the call and to my surprise it was a man named Ian in Australia. The short path between us is about 9,750 miles (pictured). While we were talking he turned his antenna 180 degrees and we were still able to talk via the long path of 15,080 miles!

Literally talking around the world: PRICELESS

73 de KG4LST sk

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