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

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!


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 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.

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

Popular Posts

American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources