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VK9EC Cocos-Keeling On The Air

It's over 10,100 miles (16,307 km) to Cocos-Keeling Islands from Denver, Colorado. Almost half way around the world.

Earlier today I read this on the Cocos-Keeling Island DXpedition Website: "Good News and Bad News. We are now on Cocos-Keeling Island. We are all well. It is a good news. But we encountered a serious problem at Perth International Airport. Two transceivers, one linear amplifier and three antennas were not loaded to our aircraft due to some reasons. We have to minimize our operation on VK9C. Anyway, we started QRV on 40m and 30m yesterday. Please understand our unlucky condition."

Adding to the missing equipment issues, it's raining cats and dogs here this early evening in Denver.  My SWR was up and I had to suppress the static crashes with the Mark-V FT-1000MP noise blanker, notch, 12db of front end attenuation and kick in the 250 Hz CW filter.  Surely I wasn't going to hear them 10,000 miles away.  I thought for sure my chances of working VK9EC were slim to none.

Did I ever tell you what happens when I "think"?

N0UN working VK9EC Cocos-Keeling Islands on 15 M CW

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Then a few hours later:

N0UN working VK9EC Cocos-Keeling Islands on 15M SSB

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N0UN working VK9EC Cocos-Keeling Islands 17M CW

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QSL VK9EC via JF3PLF Direct or via Bureau. They'll also have Clublog (OQRS) and LoTW opened up after the DXpedition.  Check Website for updates.

VK9EC Online Log

VK9EC & VK9EX Website

Thanks Fella's!  That's some GOOD DX!

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C21BN Nauru On The Air

The early bird gets the worm, isn't that what they say?

Sunrise at 5:56 AM local time here in Elizabeth, Colorado - C21BN in the log on 40 Meters three minutes later at 5:59 (1159Z).

I keep thinking I need to put up a two element beam on 40 Meters, then I get pleasantly reminded this $5 Inverted "L" works just fine.

N0UN working C21BN 40M SSB

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QSL C21BN via Yuki's home call JH1NBN

Online Log Check for c21BN on Yuki's Website: http://www.1nbn.net/log/index-qso.html

JH1NBN on QRZ.com

JH1NBN Website

 

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SV2ASP/A Mount Athos On The Air!

A picture from Mount Athos.

If it looks like the Greek Team and Monk Apollo are all smiles wishing Zorro (JH1AJT) Happy Birthday, just think how many worldwide DXers are happy SV2ASP/A is back on the air with a new rig, amp, tower and antenna from Mount Athos!

Ham Spirit is alive and well!

Congratulations Gentlemen, thank-you and Happy Birthday Zorro!

More on Mount Athos here.

Mount Athos Team Wishing Zorro JH1AJT Happy Birthday!

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Self Spotting on the DX Cluster

I enjoy working DX.  One of the tools a DXer will use to sniff out DX is the DX Cluster.  That 24/7 'round the clock Internet system that will notify you that DX stations are "on the air".  The DX Cluster will tell you what the DX stations callsign is, who spotted him, what frequency he's on and more.  I have my DX Cluster loading through Ham Radio Deluxe software so along with station/frequency/time display, it also shows me the beam heading and distance in miles to the DX station from my QTH.

It's a great tool.  I've worked a lot of rare DX and DXpeditions using the DX Cluster.  But see here's the rub.  It's a DX Cluster.  Not a W1AW, USA, 13 Colonies, etc. spotting network.  Inherent in its name is DX CLUSTER.  So USA stations spotting USA stations is a waste of what little window space you and I have set aside for our DX Cluster program.  In my opinion, US stations spotting US stations is a waste - just like self-spotting.

And speaking of self-spotting on the DX Cluster, I just completed a "spirited" discussion via several emails with a Ham.  It stayed civil, but at times the discussion was on the brink of disaster.  See, I saw a station on 20 Meters that had obviously set up shop on a frequency and was working DX.  He had a good DX Pileup going.  Awesome stuff!  But the problem was he was self-spotting all the DX stations he was logging.  Now I don't know about you, but that annoyed me.  My DX Cluster window was cluttered with this specific station spotting all the stations he was working.  What good is that?  I looked him up on QRZ and sent him an e-mail simply asking, "Why are you self spotting on the DX Cluster?"

Among several back and forth e-mails, I wasn't getting my simple point across.  Here's three of his replies:

"If you are referring to my 20 meter activity last night, I was NOT self spotting. I was spotted by some of those who were working me as part of the ARRL Centennial QSO party. But thanks for being the self appointed cluster spotting police."

"Dude, I didn't spot myself.  Since I worked 5 or 6 Germans, Russians or Ukrainians, my log program may have spotted those automatically.  But that's NOT self spotting. Self spotting is SPOTTING YOUR OWN CALL SIGN. I've been a ham for almost 40 years; don't tell me how to operate unless you want to really piss me off."

"I don't know where you came up with that definition of "self-spotting", but the ARRL and I disagree with you.  "Self-spotting is the practice of announcing your own call and run frequency on the spotting network."  http://www.arrl.org/hf-operating-guidelines.  Perhaps you should brush up on rules, regs and best practices before you decide to send errant emails to other hams."

As you can see in his replies, the little light bulb in his head hadn't come on yet.

I found it a little hard to believe that even though I sent him a snapshot of my screen with his call spotting a long list of stations he was working back to back to back on his frequency, he couldn't grasp that he was self spotting.  Then I provided him this:

"You're something else.  Tough nut to crack.

You clog up thousands of DXers valuable Cluster window space with your self-spots, then when called out you try to snake your way through a discussion with excuse after excuse.

Let's see...  I didn't spot the DX you worked, the DX stations you worked didn't spot the DX you worked, casual folks listening didn't spot the DX you worked, YOU YOURSELF spotted the DX you worked.

I attached a snippet of you (using your words) "announcing your own call and run frequency on the spotting network" just in case you needed to "see" what you were doing.

Who was "Station Call Removed" spotting DX in his own pileup on his own frequency?  That's self-spotting.  It's a version of self-spotting rarely seen (because everyone knows better).  Imagine if everybody did what you do, sit on a frequency, call CQ and spot everybody they work."

Maybe he finally got the point, maybe not.  Maybe somebody reading this obscure Blog post on self-spotting to a DX Cluster will get it too, maybe not.  I felt it worthy to write about.  Read the ARRL guideline on self-spotting again, "Self-spotting is the practice of announcing your own call and run frequency on the spotting network".  When YOU post the DX YOU are working on YOUR frequency to the Cluster, you are self-spottingYOU are the spotter.  YOU are spotting your frequency.  Capisce?

If you think about it for a moment, spotting your own call in the "DX" as well as the "Spotter" column to the DX Cluster isn't 1/20th as bad as what this Ham was doing.  If some 9N7 station in Nepal spots himself on 14.195 calling CQ DX ONE TIME, that's 20 times less window space taken than when self-spotters are spotting their logbook.

And my DX Cluster alarm just went off, so with that I'll sign off my rant and do what DXers do, go work some DX.  See you in the pileups!

Related, including Remedy: US Stations Spotted on DX Cluster

UPDATED:  Just got an e-mail from a US Ham wondering what wasted window space I'm talking about with self-spotting.  I didn't have to look far.  Here's a snapshot of self-spotter HI8CSS:

Self-Spotting to the DX Cluster

This begs the question, "why?" Other than to create aggravation and frustration for Cluster users, what is gained for anybody anywhere by this type of self-spotting?

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DX and DXpedition News Not Reliable

I don't know why it's happening lately, but several DX News outlets are publishing bogus DXpedition information.

And it's not just one source hosing up everything, but several.

The Daily DX

DX-World.netAbout the only DX news outlets I really trust anymore are Bernie's (W3UR) "The Daily DX", Col's (MM0NDX) DX-World.netDXCoffee and AT Comm DX News.  On this Blog, I carry an "aggregate" of several DX News sources I trust.  One DX News Feed scrolls across the top of my Blog, others are located in the right column on every page of my Website.  A sort of, "One Stop Shop" for DX information.  Click on their logos for more information.

One thing I've figured out is that some news outlets are scraping others content and republishing.  In the old days, this was a surefire way to root out the scraped content:  publish some bad info, then see who was republishing it without giving credit.  Add bogus scraped content to most of the bogus news being attributed to the wrong year and now we all have a real problem!  "Wrong year" as in the original DXpedition was planned in 2013, but is being re-posted as going forward in 2014.

N0UN

UPDATED: July 4th, 2014 1540Z

I did hear from a couple editors of DX News publications and they assured me that there was indeed some problems recently, but that there's also some "fixes" being discussed between many of the publications.  And that is good news for all of us that read them!  It seems to me that NO single news organization can gather all the dynamic DX news as it's unfolding, so republished (scraped) news is a fact of life.  Maybe part of the answer is to time/date/year/credit "stamp" all DX information?  I'm sure nobody at CNN wants to republish news from say, FoxNews, but at least if it's "time/date/year/source credited" us readers will have more accurate information no matter the source you're reading it from.  Just a thought.

I believe I found the source of most of the recent errors I've seen.  I just read the DARC (Deutscher Amateur Radio Club) DX Newsletter for July 2nd, 2014 and lo and behold they have at least three bad DX news stories.  Link to DARC DXNL July 2nd, 2014.  In a single publication one mistake?  That can happen to anybody.  Two?  Just a bad day.  Three or more?  C'mon, you have to be better than that!  The absolute worst part of their mistakes?  All three "bad" stories are from DXpeditions LAST YEAR (2013) that they re-posted as current for 2014!  Do the quick math, what does that tell you about where they're getting their information from?

Swell.

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4W/HB9FLX Timor-Leste On The Air

You just never know who you're going to work when you call "CQ DX".

Calling CQ DX is kind of like fishing.  And all fishermen know every once-in-a-while you snag a big fish.  Here's a recording hooking big fish Felix, 4W/HB9FLX (Timor-Leste) on 20 Meters.

N0UN working 4W/HB9FLX (Timor-Leste) 20 Meters SSB

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With only 5 watts and a longwire, Felix wasn't very strong but then again Timor-Leste is just under 9,000 miles away from my QTH in Colorado.  That's almost 2,000 miles a watt!

4W/HB9FLX on QRZ.com

Felix at the controls in Timor-Leste

Felix, 4W/HB9FLX

QSL 4W/HB9FLX via home call either direct or via bureau.

Now that's some good DX!  Thanks Felix!

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20 Meter Broadband Interference

June 10th, 2014

Any ideas on what this broadband interference is on 20 Meters?  It's been on for several hours today from 14.197 to 14.220.  Over 20 KHz wide, and loud.

20 Meter Broadband Interference

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From my QTH in Colorado it appears to peak at 15 degrees or so.  That puts it in-line with Greenland, Russia, Ukraine, Iran, etc.  At 20db over S9 it is a force, and it is wiping out all communications across a good portion of our Amateur Radio 20 Meter Band.

Anybody else wish to lend an observation, knowledge, speculate, or a beam heading?  I wonder if it's part of the Iranian Over The Horizon Radar System mentioned in a past post here:  Iranian Over The Horizon Radar.

I suspect to generate a signal that wide, that strong and for that long, it must be transmitting "megawatts" of RF power coupled to some heavy duty "high gain" antennas.

Somebody knows something...

Me thinks it may be time to round up a few hundred thousand Hams and send a lil' message back to the source?

UPDATED:  Well...  I think I just found the answers to my questions.  Just posted a few days ago on YouTube.  Oh boy, swell.  Here we go again...

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DX Marathon Final Results

CQ DX Marathon ContestIt appears the 2013 DX Marathon Final and Expanded Results are published!  You can view them here: 2013 DX Marathon Final Results.  If you can't view an Adobe .pdf file, I've converted the single 3 page .pdf to three separate .jpg files (3 pages).  Click each page to enlarge in a new window:

2013 CQ DX Marathon Results Page 1 2013 CQ DX Marathon Results Page 2   2013 CQ DX Marathon Results Page 3

I sure was glad to see I did not make a single mistake on my submission.  After hours of checking and rechecking, I turned in a "claimed" score of 323 ALL PHONE, and I was credited with 323 ALL PHONE in my final tally.  I took a quick look at some other stations I had heard in the pileups during 2013, and sure enough quite a few of them lost points between their claimed scores and their final scores.  I call that "shrinkage".  For many the shrinkage was quite severe and surely cost some a few certificates, maybe even a couple category winners plaques.

I suspect several folks will be docked again this year as there have been MANY busted calls spotted on the DX Cluster so far in 2014.  To me it just makes sense to hear the DX station give his call, no matter how long it takes.  That's another reason I leave my recorder on for almost all my QSO's.  I see people over and over and over and over making the same mistake - working the incorrect station (or busted call) from the DX Cluster.  As an example, one DX Marathon contestant was using the Cluster to beg a XX9 (Macau) station to show up on 15 Meters SSB one day.  The frequency he spotted the ghost XX9 station on was just one kHz from a station in South Korea.  Sure enough, everybody jumped the gun and thought they were working the Macau station, but in fact they all worked the HL2 station.  Even though the HL2 station identified regularly, a bunch of folks still took the bait.  That cluster mucked up mess went on for TWO HOURS!  The XX9 station confirmed he was never on the air that day.  In two hours, how many Hams do you think logged XX9?  All that work the whole year long, just to have it subtracted from their claimed score at the end.  Oh well.  I've tried to correct busted calls on the DX Cluster as I hear them, but it's been an exercise in futility - so I don't do it anymore.

For those that follow my Blog, I've written extensively about my 2013 DX Marathon journey.  From playing around the first 5 months of the year, to getting serious about winning the last 7 months - I wrote about it.  Those DX Marathon posts are here:  Previous DX Marathon Posts.

I must say, it sure feels good to win the 2013 DX Marathon World Phone running away.  Think I'll grab a beer (or 6) out of the 'fridge right about now to celebrate.

To learn more about the year long DX Marathon Contest, visit DXMarathon.com.

Good luck to all contestants in the 2014 DX Marathon!

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RM-11708, the ARRL and Me

You won't hear much about the ARRL's proposal (RM-11708) for wide band digital to the FCC. In fact, the rumor mill is awfully quiet about this one. Real quiet. As a matter of fact, too quiet.

I don't for the life of me understand why the ARRL would propose wide-band digital data modes to the FCC.

Not just "lend a push" from somebody else's initiative, but they are the ones who actually proposed RM-11708! For years, EVERYTHING about new cutting edge digital was to decrease bandwidth, decrease power, increase readability. Now this?

What comes to mind is almost too simple. The ARRL gains new Hams from all those mariners who will no longer need to purchase satellite internet and tracking systems to communicate.  And no more monthly service fees either.  They'll be able to read their e-mails and surf the web while at sea via high speed digital modes (like Pactor 4) on the Ham bands. That's A LOT of new Hams to bring into the League "sphere of influence", and that's not including all the advertisers that will be tripping over themselves to throw money at the ARRL for their wide-band product marketing.

In 2003 when the ITU changed their "Radio Regulations" and left it up to each country to decide whether they wished to keep Morse Code as a requirement for licensing, the ARRL was licking their chops. I suspect their eyes got all buggy when they realized 200, 300 THOUSAND (or more) new Hams could (and would) come aboard. That's just good for their business.  But at what cost to Amateur Radio?  Go listen to our bands.

I see it happening again with wide-band digital.

In my opinion it is nothing but another money grab. Hey, if they're willing to pester you for awards, lifetime memberships, inscribed bricks, engraved granite garden benches ($10,000) and then even provide "Legacy Circle" Estate Planning to you (so you can leave them money after you're dead), why wouldn't they go after THOUSANDS of mariners?  Too simple.

Maybe some smart, seasoned and well informed Ham(s) can show me the light here (because I just don't see the upside for Ham Radio). I only see SEVERAL downsides.  In my opinion running wide-band digital will only wipe out what's left of our existing digital and CW bands.  A couple three of these 2 - 3 kHz wide high-power monsters will easily wipe out 10 kc of bandwidth.  And that's from just a few stations!

Prepare your argument FOR this proposal well though. Guaranteed it's gonna' be a hard sell to this knucklehead because I don't drink Kool-aid (especially Grape flavored offered by ANY Ham).  The bottom line is RM-11708 is bad for Ham Radio.

N0UN (follow the money)

Public Filings on RM-11708

Sailing Community FOR RM-11708 (of course!)

Instructions for filing an RM-11708 comment

"Save RTTY" has some excellent information - must read at savertty.com

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9G5ZZ Ghana On The Air

I just worked Arno (9G5ZZ) in Cape Coast, Ghana on 17 Meters CW.  I was surprised to hear him so loud, and also a very pleasantly surprised to add Ghana to my CW total in this year's DX Marathon contest (2014).

N0UN working 9G5ZZ 17 Meters CW

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QSL route for 9G5ZZ is via his home call, DL1CW (preferably via the Bureau).

WOW, that was fast!  Arno appears to be uploading his log in "real-time" to Club Log! 9G5ZZ Log Online at Club Log.

9G5ZZ on QRZ

73!

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SV2ASP/A Mount Athos 15 Meters CW

Whew!  Finally snagged Monk Apollo (SV2ASP/A) on 15 Meters CW this morning.  After following Zorro's (JH1AJT) recent trip to Mount Athos, I was beginning to think it might be quite a while before we heard from Elder Apollo again.  For those "not in the know", you can get up to speed by reading this earlier Mount Athos post.  Make sure to read the comments below the article as there is much more information to be gathered there.

Here's a recording working Monk Apollo this morning:

N0UN working SV2ASP/A Mount Athos 15 Meters CW

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QSL SV2ASP/A via:

Monk Apollo, SV2ASP
Docheiariou Monastery
GR-63087, Mount Athos
Greece

UPDATED  2015Z May 13th, 2014

Looks like all those folks that have been “praying for some rain” got their prayer requests answered today, heehee!

Information from Bernie (W3UR), credit to the Daily DX at DailyDX.com:

ARS W3UR Bernie McClenny – 2:08 PM – May 13, 2014

Yes indeed that was Monk Apollo QRV today on CW. In fact he is still on 21.020 right now as I type this. He has been on 40 and 15 meters CW usually on 7.020 and 21.020 MHz throughout the day and may later try 20 meters CW. Monk Apollo is the only was able to operate his station. Anyone operating from Mount Athos must have a special authorization by the Holy Council of Mount Athos. Yes DL5EBE did operate from SV2ASP/A back some time ago, however since then the council has told Monk Apollo that he and he alone could operate from Mount Athos and will have his license taken “if he allows anyone else to operate with his call in the future.” Therefore Monk Apollo no longer can allow anyone else to operate his station. Today was a rainy day at the Docheiariou Monastery and he was unable to do any work outside so he was able to operate. On Wednesday May 14th Monk Apollo will be away from Mount Athos for about a week. Feel free to pass this information to your friends with credit to The Daily DX and The Weekly DX.

73
Bernie

Bernie McClenny, W3UR
Editor of The Daily DX, The Weekly DX and How’s DX?
Two week trial – http://www.dailydx.com/trial.html
https://twitter.com/dailydx

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The Three Original No Code Hams

hahahaha, every single time I see this Three Stooges Morse Code video it cracks me up.

"The Three Original No Code Hams", lol - enjoy!

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Zorro JH1AJT, Mount Athos SV/A

As mentioned in this previous Blog post, Zorro is presently operating as SV8/KH0WF on the Greek island of Ammouliani (EU-174).

I spoke with Zorro last night on the phone and this is some of the information he passed on to me.

During a 40 Meter run from SV8 yesterday, Monk Apollo (SV2ASP/A) was able to break the pileup.  They had a great 20 minute QSO.  At that point the Mount Athos information is now out on some of the European DX news channels.

Zorro (JH1AJT) and his small work team will travel to Mount Athos April 23rd to repair/install SteppIR antennas, and to also install a 12/13 Meter tower for Monk Apollo (SV2ASP/A).  Zorro is bringing a 500 watt amplifier and a Kenwood TS480HX radio that he plans on donating to Monk Apollo before departing Mount Athos on Monday, April 28th.

Due to the special requirements for radio operations on Mount Athos, and also the major task(s) of repairing/installing antennas and a tower still ahead of the team, Zorro does not know at this time whether he will have the time or if the circumstances will allow him to operate from Mount Athos.

Zorro will call with an update from Mount Athos (if possible) and I will update this Blog post accordingly.

UPDATE:  April 23rd, 1650Z (Mount Athos local 7:50PM) - Sunrise Mount Athos at 0332Z, Sunset at 1709Z.  No update as of 1650Z.

UPDATE:  April 25th, 1330Z.  No update.

UPDATE:  April 26th, 1330Z.  No update.

UPDATE:  April 26th, 1730Z.  Just got off the phone with Zorro from Mount Athos.  Here is some information he requested I forward to the Ham Radio community:

Zorro's Greek work team has returned home.  He is alone on Mount Athos until his scheduled departure on Monday, April 28th.  Monk Apollo returned to Mount Athos today and they had a very good meeting.  Zorro and his team were able to install a new tower, but the SteppIR antenna is still broken.  There are two issues with the antenna.  One is the SteppIR motor is intermittent, the other is the Control Box is not functioning properly.  Zorro could not get the SteppIR to work as it should.  More repairs will be required.  In the meantime, he hung a 15 & 20 Meter dipole from the tower.

Monk Apollo plans to operate Sunday morning (April 27th) with Zorro at his side from around 0800/0900Z for one hour or so.  Frequency unknown.  This is all the time Elder Apollo has for radio operations as he is busy with his duties on Mount Athos.  As far as Zorro operating alone from Mount Athos while Monk Apollo is tasked, that is not a decision that can be made by Monk Apollo or Zorro.  There is a 20 Monk committee that must approve any and all communications operations.  14 of 20 committee votes are needed to allow any such endeavor.  Monk Apollo is all for furthering the hobby from Mount Athos, but it is not his decision.

- END -

Now, here's a few of my comments. Of note, and just as in Myanmar (which took ten visits and numerous communications between Zorro and Myanmar officials), Zorro has opened a solid line of communication for future radio operations from Mount Athos.  Zorro worked long and hard to open up Ham Radio into Myanmar, and he's ready, willing and able to work long and hard to further the hobby on Mount Athos too.

I did not know (until today) that there's a committee that overseas radio/communications operations on Mount Athos.  I, like many Hams I've spoken to always thought radio was controlled by one man.  It is not.  I learned that Monk Apollo is a very, very busy man tasked with many duties.  Elder Apollo wears many different hats in support of the Orthodox Spiritual Center.

Mount Athos is way bigger that I thought - here's a few interesting links I found:

Mount Athos on Wikipedia

UNESCO Information on Mount Athos

SV2ASP on QRZ

Another thought I've had.  I know a lot of people swear by their SteppIR antennas.  I also know a few Hams that swear AT their SteppIR antennas.  Seems to me Mount Athos is not the place for what I consider to be a "complicated" antenna.  A simple and inexpensive trapped tri-bander would sure make a lot of people happy me thinks.

I do not believe North America will have any chance of working SV2ASP/A at 0800/0900Z on any band, but knowing Zorro is making headway for the future should calm some North American nerves.  That sure doesn't mean I won't be looking though!

Good luck, keep the Faith!

UPDATE:  April 27th, 1200Z.  Monk Apollo and Zorro did indeed show up on the air today, but judging from the DX Cluster spots their signal was considerably down.  DX Cluster spots placed them on 21.365 MHz.

DX World has posted some recent pictures of Zorro (JH1AJT), the Greek Team and Monk Apollo (SV2ASP/A) from Mount Athos at DX World New Images from SV2ASP/A on Mount Athos

Take a peak at the comments below to make sure you read Kosta's (SV1DPI) post.  A great, informative post from one of the team of friends that's been assisting Monk Apollo for years.

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SV8/KH0WF/p Ammouliani Island (EU-174)

Foundation for Global ChildrenI received this DX news direct from the FGC (Foundation for Global Children) Radio Team early this morning (April 21):

"OMs:

Zorro is currently in Greece, signing SV8/KH0WF/p from Ammouliani Island (EU-174) active on 17 and 40m SSB, possibly on 10/12/20m also today if time permits. He will be there until Wednesday, 23rd April. QSL via JH1AJT; P.O. Box 8, Oiso, Naka, KANAGAWA 259-0111 Japan.

73,

FGC Radio Team"

 - END -

Also of note is a great interview that Paul (N6PSE) did with Zorro earlier this year.  Here's the interview link:  N6PSE.Wordpress.com

If you've learned anything through the years about Zorro, you'll know he is always full of surprises.  He caught the world off-guard with several activations of Myanmar in 2013 and again this year.  His global humanitarian work is legendary.  How he does it all I haven't a clue.  All I know is Zorro is what I call a "finisher".  Finishers are a rare breed.  They don't talk about it, they just do it.  They finish what they started, every time without exception.  They dream it, then do it.

I sure hope somebody, somewhere is working on the book, "The Legend of Zorro" (great title for a movie too, heehee).   

Keep an eye here at N0UN.net for any late breaking news on Zorro's world travels :)

Here's a neat video produced by Paul (N6PSE) featuring Zorro (JH1AJT) and the FGC Radio Team operating as XZ1J in Myanmar:

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S79WK Seychelles 10 Watts/Wire

Well I'll be darned.  Talk about being caught flat-footed!  When I saw the DX Cluster spot for S79WK (Seychelles) on 15 Meters SSB, I never thought I'd be able to hear Wolf.  I had previously read on one of the DX News reports that he was running 10 Watts and a wire.  I thought "no chance".

See what happens when I "think"?

S79WK was 5/8 here, and when I first pounced on him with all of 50 watts, Wolf gave me a 5/5.  A little later in the QSO and at full power, a 5/8.  I missed recording the first half of our QSO because I forgot to turn the recorder on - guess I was too excited, lol.

Anyway, I'm glad I got to work Wolf with his Elecraft KX-3 QRP rig, 10 watts and 13 meter long wire almost 10,000 miles away in Seychelles!

N0UN working S79WK 15M SSB

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QSL S79WK via OE1MWW

I don't see an Online Log for S79WK, but if I find one, I'll update this page.

If you listen close to the recording, you'll hear Wolf telling a few stations (that were QRMing him) to "go to 27 Megahertz".  Classic, hahahaha!

In case you missed it in the above recording, here's a later one of Wolf telling an interfering Italian station, "Italy station please QSY to 27 Megahertz".  LOL!  I wish more people stood their ground like Wolf!

S79WK Telling Italian Station To QSY To 27 Megahertz

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S79SD Seychelles On The Air

Pascal (F5JSD) is on the air from Mahe Island, Seychelles!  The DX-World.net S79SD Post says he's running 100 watts and a vertical.  Well, Pascal put in a pretty darn good signal into Colorado this afternoon on 17 Meters (that's almost a 16,000 km path)!  I managed to work him in-between all the boneheads calling on his transmit frequency.  Pascal did indeed send "UP" on every single over, but you know people still called him simplex (go figure).  Thanks for the QSO Pascal!

N0UN working S79SD 17M CW

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S79SD Online Log Check at Club Log

QSL S79SD via LoTW or via F5JSD Bureau

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Help For A Ham. 4K9W

Every once in a while something makes me "take notice" in this hobby.  Sometimes it's an antenna design, sometimes a new radio, sometimes a rare DX station.  The latest "take notice" item I first saw quite a few years ago.  I did what I could at the time, then I filed it away in the back of my brain somewhere.  I hadn't forgot about it, because when it recently resurfaced again, I smiled and I remembered.

I remembered just how lucky I am.  How lucky I am to dig holes and put up antennas.  Lucky to have a forgiving family (that puts up with this hobby).  Lucky to be physically fit to stand on healthy legs.

Read the original 2008 take notice story of Vlad in Azerbaijan (4K9W):

4K9W ... We Need Your Help!

That post was from 2008.  Through the last 6 years, over 700 Hams from all around the world have helped Vlad.  But sorry to say, just like me - time has erased the original take notice story of Vlad and he needs some continuing assistance into the future.

From Axel Schernikau, DL6KVA:

Update On Financial Situation of the Project

Even though I'll never meet Vlad, I've heard Vlad.  I've worked Vlad.  I'm proud to have a 4K9W QSL card here in the shack.

You've read Vlad's story.  And just as he's done for the last 20+ years - Axel is ready, willing and able to assist Vlad.

If you realize just how lucky you are my friend, well then - pay it forward!

Contact Axel Schernikau, DL6KVA by e-mail at dl6kva@darc.de if you'd like to assist with the project (you can also make a Paypal donation to his e-mail address).

Vlad, 4K9W

Vlad, 4K9W

Vlad (4K9W) and his caretaker Walja

Vlad (4K9W) and his caretaker Walja

 

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VP6YL, Pirates, QRM and Kids

It never ceases to amaze me how one bad DX Spot to the Cluster can get re-spotted by several more clueless Hams.  Doesn't anybody listen anymore?  Whoever invented those code readers better go back to the drawing board.

I know, I know, I know - you all worked VP6YL Pitcairn Island on 17 Meters CW this morning because that's what the DX Cluster said!  Well, let me be the first one today to break your balls.  No, you did not work VP6YL.

You worked 9M2/R6AF/P and to a lesser chance - you heard some knucklehead pirate continuously calling CQ CQ CQ "EAHSYL" (occasionally "EASSYL").  That's right, E A H S Y L.  Take your pick between those two because there was no VP6YL there.  And the pirate E A H S Y L station didn't "work" anybody that I heard.  He was doing nothing but calling CQ over and over and over and QRMing the 9M2.

And because you have it dead set in your mind that you did indeed work VP6YL, I've provided the lengthy recording (over 24 minutes) of the pileup I took this morning:

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The thought just crossed my mind - that recording may not do much good for many because how do you run a .mp3 file through a code reader?  :)

And don't forget!  IF you REALLY need a QSL card for your make-believe contacts from one of your invisible friends - you could do like some Hams I know and send a $5 or $10 bill to that rare DX station because you called him 100 times.  Chances are you'll get a card back so now you can wave it in the air and show it off!  I've been told this strategy works very well for QRP/G5RV stations that haven't a chance in the mad, crazy, out-of-control DX Cluster Pileups.

See you in 'da pile!  ;)

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VK9MT Mellish Reef 2014

I don't need Mellish Reef for an all time new one (ATNO) in the DXCC program but I do need some bandfills - so I didn't go into attack mode on the VK9MT DXpedition, I waited them out.  From their website, they'll be there awhile (April 9th) and that should be enough time for everybody to get what they need.  The key word?  Should.

Here's a few links to some recordings, their VK9MT Online Log Check and their VK9MT Website:

VK9MT Website

VK9MT Online Log Check at Club Log

N0UN working VK9MT Mellish Reef 17M SSB

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QSL VK9MT via M0URX OQRS System

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J52HF Guinea-Bissau On the Air

J52HF Guinea-Bissau came up on 10 Meters this morning and I wasn't sure if we'd have propagation to the west coast of Africa.  Guess it pays not to think too much.

N0UN working J52HF Guinea-Bissau 10M SSB

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QSL via I3LDP

J52HF Online Log Check at Club Log

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