Saturday, December 7, 2019

Recognized as LARC VP and 2019 Ham of the Year

Today was the annual Christmas gathering of the Lanierland Amateur Radio Club.  The changing of officers occurs during the gathering.  I officially became the Vice-President of the club.  Our President brought back a former tradition of recognizing a Ham of the Year.  I was awarded as the Ham of the Year and presented with this framed certificate for the shack!  What an great honor to a part of this group...


FB on all and 73 de W4LSG sk

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Worked United Arab Emirates - A61FK

I was lucky enough this morning to run across A61FK calling CQ from the United Arab Emirates on 20m this morning.  I turned the yagi towards the NE and switched on the amplifier. There was quite a bit of QRM, but I was able to use filtering to calm it down and receive A61FK at a real 59 in the clear.  I gave several calls, and then finally got a reply.  That puts me at 213 DXCC entities worked!
W4LSG to A61FK
The United Arab Emirates is a country in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south and west, as well as sharing maritime borders with Qatar to the west and Iran to the north.

73 and good DX de W4LSG sk

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Worked Marquesas Islands - TX7T

I saw a DX station TX7T from Marquesas Islands spotted on 20m via the cluster.  As with most good DX, I had no idea where Marquesas Island was located. I looked it up, found the bearing, turned the yagi, switched WSJT-X to F/H Hound mode and started watching the decode.  I did see them and with a pretty solid signal. I gave them a call and it was an easy new country in the log!

W4LSG to TX7T

The Marquesas Islands are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the southern Pacific Ocean.

73 and good DX de W4LSG sk

Thursday, August 22, 2019

First FT4 QSOs Are in the Log

I've heard for a while now that FT4 is a new Joe Taylor digital mode that is similar to FT8, but faster and more contest oriented.  While working in the shack, I found that the new WSJT-X 2.1.0 was released.  I downloaded it and saw in the release notes that the FT4 mode was now available in the software.

When I chose FT4 from the mode menu, I didn't have any frequencies defined for some reason.  So I had to go into the settings, frequencies, and then right-click and restore defaults.  Then I went to 20m FT4 and was pleased to see and hear traffic.  I answered some calls and then made a few CQs of my own.  I've logged 11 FT4 contacts so far including stateside, Europe, and Asia.

I'm using WSJT-X to send logs to Ham Radio Deluxe.  HRD then sends automatically to eQSL, QRZ, and HRDlog.net.  I send from QRZ to LOTW.  One issue to note is that when WSJT-X sends the logged contact to HRD, it comes over as MFSK.  I created a mode in HRD for FT4 and I'm correcting each one that I log before it sends over to the other logbook services. I've had some confirmation on QRZ and LOTW so I assume this practice will work until something comes along to fix this.

73 de W4LSG sk

Friday, August 16, 2019

Worked St Pierre & Miquelon - TO5M

I had missed my HF rig while it was being repaired at Yaesu.  Soon after getting it back I was testing everything when I saw a TO5M on the DX Cluseter.  I switched to the 40m FT8 "hound" on 7.080mHz.  I tried only a few times and was able to make the contact!  That puts me at 205 DX entities that I've worked!  I'm so glad to back back on the air with a working HF rig!


St Pierre & Miquelon is a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France, situated in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean near the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

73 and good DX de W4LSG sk

Friday, August 9, 2019

Yaesu FTDX1200 Serial/CAT Port Died

I bought my Yaesu FTDX1200 new from Ham Radio Outlet in Atlanta in 2017.  I've had a great time operating the rig. I've never really run into any issues with it.  The rig has been connected via serial cable to a PC for rig control nearly the entire time I've had it.  One day, I opened my Ham Radio Deluxe software to find the error message "failed to read frequency".  I went through a lot of troubleshooting.  I tried another cable, a USB to serial converter, another PC, resetting the radio to defaults, etc...nothing restored the functionality. 

I contacted Yaesu and informed them of the problem.  The person that replied to my email was surprisingly vague.  I asked if the rig was under warranty.  They replied and asked for the serial number.  When I provided the serial number, they replied with another vague email and didn't tell me anything about the warranty.  I emailed a few questions and they replied with a one line message that didn't answer my questions.  At one point, I actually told them I was shocked at their lack of customer service. 

Eventually I got enough information to process a warranty repair.  I packaged up the rig (leaving a big mess in my shack), triple boxed it, and shipped it off to Yaesu in California.  I received a message saying they received it and then another a few weeks later saying it was going to be on the way home.  Once it was home, I opened it up and began setting it up.  Everything has been working fine again.  The thing that was odd was there was no mention of what repairs were made.  I'm sure they had to repair or replace something, but there is no documentation of it.

In any case, I'm glad the rig is home and back to normal.  The repair process with Yaesu was a little strange, but perhaps I was just having some anxiety about it. Overall the process was easy enough.  Hopefully, their won't be any further issues.  Per Yaesu, the rig warranty is 3 years from the purchase date...

73 de W4LSG sk

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Worked Indonesia - YB8RW

Before I changed my callsign, I had tried several times to work Indonesia.  I do not often hear them or decode them on a digital mode.  When I did, I didn't get a reply.  While just making a general CQ call on 20m FT8, I got a reply from YB8RW.  I worked the QSO all the way through and logged it.  I had not even realized it was Indonesia until later when I looked at my recent contacts on QRZ.com.  How about that?  I chased Indonesia a few times, and this time they replied to my CQ!









Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is the world's largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands,and at 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles), the 14th largest by land area and the 7th largest in combined sea and land area. With over 261 million people, it is the world's 4th most populous country as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country. Java, the world's most populous island, is home to more than half of the country's population.

73 AND GOOD DX DE W4LSG

Friday, June 7, 2019

New Callsign - W4LSG

As a young man, I remember hearing the local hams proudly giving their callsign on the air.  I remember being very excited to get a callsign of my own.  Back then (2001), the FCC processed the CSCE by mail, issued the callsign, and then mailed your license to you.  When I passed my Technician class test,  I waited forever to finally get my callsign in the mail.  When I opened the envelope and read my call, KG4LST, I thought "really?!"  I thought it was the most random and hardest to memorize callsign I had ever heard.  It was nothing like the other well established hams.

None the less, it was mine.  I created an email address and began using my callsign for all sorts of things. My friends and family learned it.  I created usernames online, made logbooks, got awards, purchased personalized callsign stuff for the shack, got a vanity tag for car, and even a couple years ago I started this blog.  I always felt like it was a basic call that presented as a Technician even though I was an Amateur Extra.  I had a few incidents where people mistook me as being in Guantanamo Bay because they issued KG4XX callsigns there.

One day I decided that after 18 years as KG4LST, it was time to change it.  Perhaps a W call...  I did alot of research to see what was available.  I thought my initials would be nice, but nope my initials aren't great and it wasn't available anyway.  W4LST would have been nice, but it was not available (in fact I've made contact with W4LST and have a QSL card on the wall).  I thought I wouldn't mind K4LST or N4LST...but no they weren't available.  Somehow after almost giving up, I thought up W4LSG.  The suffix contain letters that were all in my original call.  It sounded a bit like my original call, and it started with a W.  My wife even seemed to like it.  So I researched a bit more.

I found that W4LSG previously belonged to Nicholas Karangelen, JR (SK) from Norfolk, VA.  He seemed like a great guy with similar interests as myself.  He had gotten the callsign because it previously belong to his father.  Nick worked for NASA for 30 years and was active in his local club.  He passed away in 2013 and W4LSG expired in 2016...on my birthday.

I just felt good about it. So I put in my application and waited for a couple weeks.  I woke up this morning to fine the ULS showing KG4LST expired and W4LSG active.  Now I just have to get a new tag, callsign gear, log books, email address, logins, badges, DMR ID, Winlink setup, etc...what a long list of thigs to do!  Maybe I'll hang on to this one.

Here is a bit of information about Nick to remember his legacy:

Nicholas Karangelen Jr, of Little Bay Ave, Norfolk, VA, passed away on April 24, 2013. Born in Norfolk, VA to Nicholas and Vida Karangelen.

Nicholas was a United States Army veteran. He served three tours in Vietnam, and was awarded an Army Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star. Like his father, he was a high-speed CW (Morse code) operator, earning his Novice Amateur Radio license WN4HVE when he was 15 years old. He quickly upgraded to WA4OAE, and later changed to his father's callsign W4LSG.

Nick earned his single-engine and multi-engine pilot's licenses soon after leaving the Army, and he worked as a test engineering contractor to NASA Langley for 30 years. Nick enjoyed flying; radio and electronics; boating; swimming; hiking, camping; photography; gardening; cooking; literature; theater; and music. He loved to travel, exploring the beach, desert, and mountains.

73 OM I'LL TAKE IT FROM HERE DE W4LSG SK

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Worked Conway Reef - 3D2CR

I worked the 3D2CR Conway Reef Rebel DX group activity on 17m phone!  Glad to get them in the log considering it was almost 10PM here in Georgia when I made the contact on my OCF dipole!


Conway Reef is a coral reef of atoll type 450 km southwest of the Fiji Islands and part of the Republic of Fiji. It is at 21°44′18″S 174°38′24″E. It is 2.5 km long in an east-west direction. On the middle of the reef is a small sand cay, 1.8 meters high and about 320 meters long and 73 meters wide, with a land area of two hectares. A stranded wreck of a coaster lies 240 meters south of the center of the cay, and the wreck of a fishing vessel (Sang Sheng No. 168) lies on the northeast end of the reef.  The reef is uninhabited apart from birds which appear to have almost no fear of humans. Administratively, the reef is part of the Western Division, Fiji and of the Nadroga-Navosa province.

UPDATE 6/4/2019:
I worked 3D2CR on 20m FT8 too!

73 AND GOOD DX DE KG4LST SK

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Worked Eritrea - E31A

I worked The FGC Radio Team while they were QRV from Eritrea on 20m FT8.


Eritrea is a country in the Horn of Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi), and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands.

73 AND GOOD DX DE KG4LST SK

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Worked Western Sahara - S01WS

I've noticed that the more DXCC entities I've worked, the less frequently I see new ones on the bands.  So I typically am always on the look out for a new entity to work.  I saw S01WS in Western Sahara spotted on the DX cluster on 17m phone.  I switched over and listened.  I could hear the operator great with only a little QSB.  I turned on my amplifier and gave a few calls.  They came right back and we exchanged signal reports.  I went to a local repeater and told some other guys about the DX.  Unfortunately, the QSB increased and the signal went way down.  Then they were just gone. I don't know if conditions changed that much in that short amount of time or if they turned a directional antenna, changed frequency, or simply went off the air.



Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast and in the Maghreb region of North and West Africa, partially controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and partially occupied by neighboring Morocco. Its surface area amounts to 103,000 square miles. It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly consisting of desert flatlands.


73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Friday, May 24, 2019

Worked Azerbaijan - 4JF1EU

I worked 4JF1EU in Azerbaijan on 17m FT8.  That is a special call sign dedicated to Formula 1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan which took place in BAKU, the capital of the Azerbaijan Republic, for the 4th time from 26 to 28 april 2019.

Official website of the event https://www.bakucitycircuit.com/


Azerbaijan is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and has an 11-km-long border with Turkey in the northwest.   Its capital, Baku, is famed for its medieval walled Inner City. Within the Inner City lies the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, a royal retreat dating to the 15th century, and the centuries-old stone Maiden Tower, which dominates the city skyline.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Worked Wallis and Futuna Island - FW5JG

Right after making a few 160m FT8 contacts for the first time, I saw an interesting spot on the DX cluster.  FW5JG Wallis and Futuna Island was spotted on 17m phone.  I always get excited about new DX, but I wasn't hopeful on this because it was almost 10:00PM and 17m is pretty dead at that time.  I also don't have a directional antenna for 17m.  So with my Maxcon OCF3K80, I tuned to 18.158 mHz USB.  I listened for a few minutes (a lost art).  I made sure I was hearing the call correctly.  "FW5JG listening 5 up".  I set the transceiver for split and enabled the amplifier.  I gave many calls, but due to the large pile up didn't get an answer quickly.  After about 30 minutes, I finally got a return.  We exchanged our signal reports and said 73 and I logged it.  I was worried at first because QRZ showed nothing for the callsign FW5JG.  But no worries, it is now showing in QRZ!  At over 7,000 miles away on 17m close to 10:00PM with just a dipole, this was a great contact!

KG4LST to FW5JG

Wallis and Futuna is a French island collectivity in the South Pacific between Tuvalu to the northwest, Fiji to the southwest, Tonga to the southeast, Samoa to the east, and Tokelau to the northeast. Though both French and Polynesian, Wallis and Futuna is distinct from the entity known as French Polynesia.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Monday, May 6, 2019

I Figured Out A Way To Get On 160m

Like most transceivers, my Yaesu FTDX1200 is capable of working 160m-6m.  I have made many contacts on all bands except 160m.  Between my Maxcon OCF3K80  and my Mosley TA-33-JR I can work most bands without a tuner.  160m is a very different animal. I've heard a friend say that his end-fed dipole could tune 160m.  I've tried the built-in tuner in my transceiver with no luck.  When I got my Yaesu VL1000 Quadra System up and going, I found that it also has a built-in tuner.  I tried the Quadra System tuner with no luck either.  I figured I would need to just make a 160m antenna at some point and just gave up on it.

Somehow, I came up with an idea.  A wonderful...awful idea.  I thought that since neither tuner could tune the Maxcon for use on 160m, I wondered if a combination of the two might be able to.  So here is what I did:

  1. Set the Transciever for 160m FT8 frequency.
  2. I enabled the tuner on the Quadra system.
  3. I pressed the TUNE button on the Quadra system for it to try to tune.
  4. The Quadra System made an adjustment and then gave up.
  5. I enabled the tuner on the transceiver.
  6. I held down the tuner button on the transceiver so it would try to tune.
  7. The transceiver was able to tune the SWR flat.
It's important to note that the Quadra System was only being used as a tuner and the amplifier was not in OPERATE mode.  This is important because if it was not in bypass, it would only be matching the load between the transceiver and amplifier input.  The display on the Quadra System did show an SWR of 3.0 but since it was in bypass and I was only running 50watts I didn't see this as a problem.  The SWR meter on the transceiver showed a calm 1.1!  When I run my transceiver's tuner with the amplifier in bypass, the Quadra system always shows the SWR between a the tuner circuit and the antenna while the transceiver's meter shows the SWR from transceiver to antenna including the circuitry going through the Quadra System.  

Now knowing the transceiver was satisfied and the amplifier was not going to be in use, I left the rig and waited for 160m to become active.  I went to watch a movie with the XYL, and upon my return saw that I had decoded a couple stations on 160m FT8.  So I gave a few calls.  I actually did work a few!  The furthest away was VA3KSF in Canada at 500+ miles.  

KG4LST first 160m contacts

Using two tuners isn't ideal...in fact I probably won't run this configuration often.  Even with the transceiver seeing a low SWR, that doesn't mean the antenna is effective on that band.  I'm also not wild about the potential of causing problems with the Quadra System.  But, it was a fun and interesting way to test and make some contacts on a new band!

73 de KG4LST sk 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Worked Jersey - GJ6EFW

I'm always on the hunt for a new DXCC entity.  I decoded Jersey for the first time on 20m FT8 and decided to give them a call.  It was an easy contact and another new one in the log!

It was an IOTA activation on Jersey Island ( EU-013 ) from 4/30/2019 until 5/5/2019 with 7 Belgium operators from a scoutscamp.

KG4LST to GJ6EFW
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey, is a Crown dependency located near the coast of Normandy, France. It is the second closest of the Channel Islands to France, after Alderney.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Monday, April 29, 2019

My XYL is Now a Ham! - KN4UGX

Years ago when my XYL and I were dating, I was playing with CB and Ham radio.  We had a radio station in our home and I had a radio in my car.  With a little convincing, she would actually talk to me on the CB radio on my way to and from work.  When I got pretty active in Ham radio, upgraded my license, and became active with ARES and the Lanierland Amateur Radio Club she actually started to entertain the idea of getting her Ham license.  She's been around radio alot.  She hangs out in the shack with me, she listens when we are mobile, and she even attends some of the club events.  However, she declared that IF she ever got her license it would just be to shut me up.

Truth be told, I had given up. I wasn't even asking her anymore.  She told me that she was going to get her license soon, but she didn't have time to study because she's been so busy.  I didn't put any pressure on her.  Hall County ARES and the Gainesville Middle School Amateur Radio Club put on a HAM CRAM this past weekend. I had told my wife that if she ever wanted to get her license this would be a good time.  Due to scheduling issues, she didn't think she could attend the HAM CRAM.  Closer to the date, she realized she was free and could do the class.  She actually asked me...that's right...she asked me if she should take it.  I said YES!  So she began studying with only 4 days until the HAM CRAM and VE Testing.  She went to the HAM CRAM and tested that afternoon.  She PASSED!  She has been so excited and I couldn't be more proud!  She hung her CSCE on the refrigerator and smiles when she walks past it.  Now she's anxiously awaiting her callsign to be issued by the FCC.

KN4UGX

She's already talking about getting her General because she wants to do some HF digital modes.

UPDATE:
Her callsign is KN4UGX

UPDATE 5/3/2019:
We've actually had a few QSO's on 2m and she even checked into the club net! 

73 de KG4LST and KN4UGX sk


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Worked Mongolia (high power FT8) - JT1BV

I had a little free time so I went in the shack and went QSX on 17m FT8.  I saw Egypt again, but only briefly and was unable to make contact.  I saw Kuwait which I worked before on phone but not on FT8 and after a few calls was able to work them.  I then moved over to 20m FT8.  There, I saw a couple stations in Mongolia!  They were coming in very strong and I was confident I would be able to work them with ease.  I was very wrong!

I tried calling both stations in Mongolia.  I was using my 3 element Mosley Yagi to make sure I had the best chance of working them.  I was very surprised to not get an answer from either station.  In fact, they seemed to call CQ pretty often and not work many stations at all.  I figured that they must have been running an amplifier or some antenna condition that was causing their signal to be much stronger to than they were able to receive.

With this thought, I decided to try my amplifier on low power.  I made sure everything was set so that I would put out only a few hundred watts and called a few times.  Still no answer and both stations continued to call CQ, unable to decode any of the many stations calling them.  I couldn't believe I was going to do this but, I upped the power level again.  I pushed 500 watts to the Yagi on FT8. I had never ran that much power on digital.  In fact, I have never run an amplifier on digital at all.  I called 1 time at 500w and got an answer from JT1BV.  I was super excited to get this new country in my log.  The signal report I was given was not very good even with the excessive power and Yagi.  Thinking about it now, I am not very proud of using 10x the amount of power I typically use on FT8.

There are some take-aways from this experience:


  1. If DX can't decode my signal, I can run additional power as long as I don't exceed the duty cycle rating of the amp or overdrive and distort my signal.
  2. It is much more rewarding to work DX without my amplifier and I typically run a max of 50w.
  3. Nothing blew up, no one complained, and it could be acceptable to run an amp on FT8, but it is typically not needed and I will not likely run my amplifier for FT8.  The FCC says I can run up to 1500w but should use the least amount of power necessary to make the contact...in this case it was 500w.  I don't like the deflated feeling I got.  It feels like I cheated in a contest or something.
  4. It occurred to me that it is very possible that JT1BV was working me from the path across Europe and I was working him via the path across the Pacific Ocean which could explain the excessive power I needed to get back to a station with such a strong signal.  If I was working him a different direction than the propagation was flowing...
KG4LST to JT1BV


Mongolia is is a landlocked country in East Asia. It is sandwiched between Russia to the north and China to the south, where it neighbors the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. 

73 and good (but slightly embarrassing) DX de KG4LST sk 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Running My First Net



I've been licensed for ham radio since 2001.  Over the years, I've heard many Net's conducted on the radio.  The once Net that I am most familiar with is the Lanierland Amateur Radio Club's Wednesday Night Net.  I've heard Mike-N4HGO calling that net for years. He's always calm and collected.  He has a very natural soothing voice and easily glides through the check-ins, announcements, swap shop, and the ragchew.

At a club meeting we discussed that Mike should get a break.  We asked for volunteers to run it once a month and I volunteered for April.  I was supposed to run it last week, but it fell on Spring Break and we were on a camping trip.  So the next Wednesday (4/24) it was my turn!

I talk on the radio fairly often.  I know most of the people that check into the Nets.  I've met most of them in person.  I speak at our club meetings and I often feel like I can talk to anyone.  So why was I nervous?  Early Wednesday, I started to realize that I was going to be stumbling through and forgetting what to say and the format we typically follow.  Mike had sent me our preamble and I decided to use it to write a script.

When it got close to time to call the Net, I opened my script on my computer on one screen.  On the other, I opened an excel sheet I had created that had columns for callsign, name, location, and traffic.  I felt pretty prepared.  Then I realized it was 8:28PM.  The Net starts at 8:30PM.  I felt my heart beating fast.  I was in a bit of a panic and thought "I'm going to run out of breath".

Alas, the time came anyway.  Ready or not it was time.  I struggled with myself for a few seconds and then I keyed the mic.  I read through my script and felt a little nervous.  As I read, it felt easier and more natural.  All those years of hearing Mike run the net with such skill had made it feel very natural for me.  There were a few mistakes and a lost my place a time or two.  Perhaps I rambled on.  Everyone that checked in was very kind and supportive.  Ed-KB4ZBM said that he wouldn't have known it was my first Net and there was nothing to be nervous about because I was among friends...and he was right.  What a great group of ham's we have here in North Georgia!

I was very proud to have run the Net and look forward to doing it again and practicing my skills as Net Control in the future!

73 de KG4LST (Net Control) sk

Worked Macedonia - Z36W

I haven't spent much time in the shack lately. I've been missing HF radio pretty bad.  I decided to get in the shack after work and play radio for a bit.  I don't consider myself a serious DXer, however I do have a tendency to always check FT8 and the DX cluster for new ones before doing anything else.  Lately the conditions have been less than desirable.  I struggled on Easter Sunday for 1.5 hours trying to work Indonesia on both FT8 and phone with no success.  To me, it seems that the conditions are favorable only one way. I can hear or decode some good DX, but I haven't been able to make contact.

Anyway, I was decoding Egypt on 20m FT8! I called many times. I called on his frequency.  I called on split.  I called off frequency while he was working someone else.  I replied to his CQ call.  I never got a response from him.  While I was on the chase, I did see Z36W in Macedonia decode in deep purple (which is a new country).

I tried giving Z36W a call, but couldn't seem to get the timing right. I was just about to give up when all of the sudden, he started giving me a signal report.  We got stuck trying to exchange the reports, but eventually we were able to complete the QSO and I got a new one in the log!

KG4LST to Z36W
North Macedonia, officially the Republic of North Macedonia, is a country in the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in September 1991 under the name Republic of Macedonia.  A landlocked country, North Macedonia has borders with Kosovo to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, and Albania to the west.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Worked Niue - E6AF

Sometime after 20m seemed to be closing down and getting quiet, I was enjoying a local ragchew on 80m phone.  I saw someone spot E6AF in Niue on the DX cluster.  As I often do when I see a unrecognized entity, I tuned over to see if I could hear him.  To my surprise, I was able to copy the station just fine.  The S meter barely moved, but the noise floor was so low that it was still arm chair copy.  I called only twice and was able to get a reply!  It's always a joy to get such an easy reply from a new entity.  I returned to my group on 80m and let them know of the DX.  A couple of the guys tuned over and worked Niue also.

KG4LST QTH (right) to E6AF in Niue (left)

Niue is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, 1,500 miles northeast of New Zealand, east of Tonga, south of Samoa, and west of the Cook Islands. Niue's land area is about 101 square miles.  The island is commonly referred to as "The Rock", which comes from the traditional name "Rock of Polynesia". Niue is one of the world's largest coral islands.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Monday, March 11, 2019

Worked Robinson Crusoe Island (Juan Fernandez Islands) DXpedition - XR0ZRC

I saw a strange spot on the DX cluster.  It was already 10PM local time, but there were some stateside stations spotting XR0ZRC Juan Fernandez Islands on 20m phone.  I turned the yagi south and was able to copy them 5 9!  I had the Yaesu VL-1000 Quadra System (currently wired for 110v and still testing) on and gave several calls.  I was finally able to make contact and got this new DXCC in the log giving me a total of 190 DXCC entities worked!


Robinson Crusoe Island is the second largest of the Juan Fernández Islands, situated 670 km west of San Antonio, Chile, in the South Pacific Ocean. It is the more populous of the inhabited islands in the archipelago (the other being Alejandro Selkirk Island), with most of that in the town of San Juan Bautista at Cumberland Bay on the island's north coast.

The island was home to the marooned sailor Alexander Selkirk from 1704 to 1709, and is thought to have inspired novelist Daniel Defoe's fictional Robinson Crusoe in his 1719 novel about the character (although the novel is explicitly set in the Caribbean, not in the Juan Fernández Islands). This was just one of several survival stories from the period that Defoe would have been aware of. To reflect the literary lore associated with the island and attract tourists, the Chilean government renamed the place Robinson Crusoe Island in 1966.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Worked Ascension Island - ZD8KFC

I blogged about calling CQ on 20m SSB and working Australia via Long Path. After working those VK stations, I just made some general CQ calls.  I heard a station come back that I thought I heard as KD8 something.  I asked for the call again.  Hearing him better, I copied ZD8KFC.  I typed it into my log and it came up as Ascension Island (that's a new one)!  Once again, not having a clue where that island is located was a pretty good sign!

Jim was very pleasant and very accommodating of my geographical ignorance! He told me about his home island and the weather before saying our 73's.  Jim jokingly signed off as Zulu Delta 8 Kentucky Fried Chicken!

Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island, 7°56' south of the Equator in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is about 1,000 miles from the coast of Africa and 1,400 miles from the coast of Brazil.

Ascension Island


73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Worked Australia Long Path - VK5SRV/M, VK2VRC, VK5NZ

I found myself sitting idle in the ham shack.  Not seeing anything terribly interesting on the DX cluster or FT8 modes, I started spinning the VFO on the 20m band.  I ran across a local station calling CQ and looking for VK and ZL via long path.  I parked the VFO, turned my yagi East and listened intently as he worked several VK station on long path.  It occurred to me that I could hear the DX so well that I believed I could probably work them too.  At one point, I heard one of the VK stations tell the local that he had "the only proper radio station in Georgia" and that he doesn't hear much from the state.  This had me eager to put out my call and try to make it to Australia on LP.

I thought it would be rude to just jump in on the frequency since the local station had been calling CQ.  So I went down about 5kHz.  I had the amp on, antenna still pointed East.  I listened to the silent frequency for several minutes while I mustered some courage.  I keyed the rig and asked if the frequency was in use.  Hearing nothing, I asked again.  Heart beating fast, I called "CQ CQ DX looking for VK or ZL long path, here is KG4LST KG4LST beaming VK or ZL long path and listening."  Nothing heard, I called again.  Then, a weak signal came back.  QRZ?  VK5SRV/M is that correct?  Wow, is all I can say...a mobile station in Australia while working long path, that's over 14,000 miles!  I talked with Ian for a short time since he was going to do some Sunday (his time) fishing.  I logged him, and then called again.  VK2VRC (Wayne) came back to me!  We had a very nice QSO, I logged him, and called again. VK5NZ (Bob) answered.  Oddly enough, Bob lived in Atlanta from 1986 to 1993.  We chatted about many things and then we said our 73's.  What an awesome afternoon!

Long path from KG4LST to the stations in Australia

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Worked Taiwan and Japan on SSB Phone - BX5AA, JA1XEC


I have been able to work Taiwan only 2 times before and both were on FT8.  Oddly enough, one of the stations I had worked before on FT8, BX5AA (Jimmy), was booming into GA on 20m SSB phone.  I turned my yagi, powered up the amplifier, and gave Jimmy a call.  He answered and we had a nice contact with good signal reports exchanged!  That was my first contact with Taiwan via SSB phone!  I was shaking like a leaf with nerves and excitement! 8,000+ miles!

A few minutes later, I also worked JA1XEC in Japan on SSB phone! I think his antenna did all the work, but conditions with Asia were great during "grey line"!



73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Worked Sierra Leone - 9LY1JM

I was able to work 9LY1JM in Sierra Leone on 20m SSB phone! 

At over 4,800 miles away, Sierra Leone is is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savanna to rainforests. The country has a total area of 27,699 square miles.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Worked North Cook Islands - E51WL


I was able to work E51WL in North Cook Islands via 17m FT8!

At over 5,700 miles away The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands whose total land area is 92.7 square miles.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Worked Madagascar - 5R8IC


I was able to work Madagascar for the first time on 17m FT8.

At over 9,300 miles away, Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately 250 miles off the coast of East Africa.

73 and good DX de KG4LST sk

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