Friday, November 23, 2018

Worked Namibia - V51MA

I was pleased to make contact with V51MA in Namibia on 15m FT8.

At over 7,650+ miles away, Namibia is a country in southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean; it shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of the Zambezi River (essentially a small bulge in Botswana to achieve a Botswana/Zambia micro-border) separates the two countries.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked South Shetland Island - DT8A

I've seen the DT8A Antarctic Scientific Base station in the South Shetland Islands show up on my FT8 screen several times.  Even with the 3 element yagi, I've been unable to contact the station several times on 20m.  I finally made contact with DT8A via 30m FT8!

KG4LST in Georgia to DT8A South Shetland Islands

At 6,820+ miles away from my QTH, The South Shetland Islands are a group of Antarctic islands, lying about 75 miles north of the Antarctic Peninsula, with a total area of 1,424 square miles.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Finally Got the QRZ 50 States Award

Since first getting into radio when I just a kid, I've always been fascinated by DX.  I still love making long distance contacts and shrinking the globe.  I realized at some point that I had made contacts with over 170 countries, every continent, and some maritime mobile (/MM) and aeronautical mobile (/AM) stations...but I had not yet gotten all 50 states confirmed. 

The biggest challenge for me was the fact that several of the states that I had worked, would not confirm the QSO on QRZ.  For example, I had worked Alabama several times on 80m phone, but those folks were just saying hello and apparently didn't log the QSO.  I had worked Kentucky several times (even a KY QSO party), but none were confirmed on QRZ.

Finally with some help of my friends, I was able to get another QSO with AL and 2 more with KY.  All were asked to confirm on QRZ and on Thanksgiving night 2018, I was granted my QRZ 50 States Award!

The award was the last one that I needed to have gotten all the awards QRZ offers.  The other special thing is that I obtained all awards within 1 year of getting on the HF bands!

Thanks to all the stations I've worked (and confirmed Hi Hi).

73 de KG4LST sk

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Worked Tonga - A35EU

While sitting in the shack and learning a little about Winlink, I saw someone spot A35EU in Tonga on the DX cluster.  I had never worked Tonga and was not even sure where it was.  The spot showed the station to be on 18.104 FT8 using "fox and hound".  So I set WSJT-X up as a "hound" and manually tuned to 18.104 mHz.  Sure enough there was the Tonga DXpedition station working several stations. I was able to work them quickly and get them logged! 

Tonga is a Polynesian country and archipelago comprising 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. The total surface area is about 290 square miles scattered over 270,000 square miles of the southern Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by Fiji and Wallis and Futuna (France) to the northwest, Samoa to the northeast, Niue to the east, Kermadec (part of New Zealand) to the southwest, and New Caledonia (France) and Vanuatu to the farther west.

At over 7,100 miles away, I was glad to work Tonga for the first time with 50watts on a dipole!

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Monday, November 5, 2018

2018 Stone Mountain Hamfest

This past weekend was the 2018 Stone Mountain Hamfest and ARRL Section Convention.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I had never been to a hamfest before.  But this year I decided to go down and assist the Lanierland Amateur Radio Club in setting up our tables of donated equipment.  The hamfest took place at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds in Lawrenceville, GA...just a bit over an hour from my QTH.

I took Friday November 2nd off of work and went down just after lunch to start setting up.  To my surprise, as quick as we were unloading items and setting them on the table, someone would walk by and ask how much!  We actually sold a good bit of stuff on Friday.  I left and went home to see the XYL and to rest up for Saturday.

I woke up at 5:00AM on Saturday and drove down to the hamfest. I got to the gate about 6:30AM and went in to finish preparing.  There was a lot more going on than what I expected.  The "bone yard" seemed never-ending.  Sadly, I didn't purchase anything while at the hamfest. The LARC did sell almost all of our items though!  100% of the money will go to help our club!

All in all, it was a great hamfest and a great experience for me. I got to help our club, meet a lot of people, and spend time immersed in the hobby I love.  I hope to attend more hamfests in the future!

73 de KG4LST sk

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