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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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Iranian OTH Radar on 10 Meters

Hmmm.

I read this fascinating post on Iranian Over The Horizon (OTH) Radar on 10 Meters at DX Coffee tonight - 10M Iranian OTH Radar Article on DXCoffee.com.

Which got me thinking, I've heard that radar.  KILOWATTS of power, maybe MEGAWATTS.  In fact, you can't miss that radar.  Even when pointed to Myanmar on the Longpath.

I remembered I had a QSO with Zorro XZ1Z in Myanmar on 10 Meters, and I asked him to move well away from that strong radar.  It took me a few minutes to find the recording, but here it is:

N0UN working XZ1Z  in Myanmar at 1507Z, March 17th, 2014

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After listening to our QSO, something rang a bell for me.  The date.  March 17th.  I looked up the missing date/time from Malaysia flight 370, but that plane went missing March 7th, 1720Z (March 8th, 0120 local time), not March 17th.  Off by 10 days.  I guess my memory isn't so good after all, I only remembered "7".  The times were close as I worked XZ1Z in Myanmar a couple hours earlier at 1507Z versus the missing plane last transmission at 1720Z.

I have to say, when this lil' cocunut "thinks", baaaad things usually happen.  Wouldn't it be something if that missing plane was somehow electronically disabled or overwhelmed by some kind of radar or pulse transmission?  I really do hate when I start thinking.  Oh well, that's for the conspiracy theorists to play with.  I'm not even sure if anybody runs radar on the HF tower/plane communication frequencies.  I surely wouldn't think so.

I did go back and look at any QSO's I had around 1700Z, March 7th on 10 Meters, but although I did work Gibraltar station ZB3R at 1657Z on 28.495, I did not record that QSO, and I can't remember if that radar was interfering that day or not.

Anyway, I ran "the thought" into the ground.  Antenna pointed near Malaysia while working Zorro in Myanmar (longpath).  Same set of frequencies on 10 Meters.  Time close by a couple of hours.  Iranian OTH radar running and recorded.  Wrong on the date, off by 10 days.  17th, not the 7th.

My prayers and heartfelt condolences to the families of the missing men, women and children of Malaysia Flight 370.

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Why N0UN.net? DX!

I've been asked why do I have a Website?  Well, simple.  DX!

If you didn't notice already, I've aggregated 4 separate DX News Feeds that show on every page of N0UN.net.  There's a scrolling DX News Feed from DX-World.net on the top header.  In the far right column there's DX News Feeds from AT-Communication.com, DXCoffee.com and ARRL News.

Frankly, I was getting tired of going to four different sources for all the DX News everyday so I decided if nothing else, I'd put them all on every page of this Blog so I could see them without having to hunt all over the Internet.  One place, all the DX News, updated all the time!  I also added a couple widgets so I know what local time it is in say Tokyo, Sydney or Moscow, and I can peek at the latest sunspot numbers too.  This site is built for DXing, by a DXer.

Hey, Bookmark us too!  Good DX!

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Lost My N0UN MySQL Database, Sorry!

Thanks to the clowns at GoDaddy, my N0UN.net MySQL database is irretrievably lost.

What that means is ALL past pages, posts and comments on N0UN.net are gone and cannot be recovered.  I did backup the non-database items like pictures, recordings, text files, etc., but that really doesn't do much good without the database records that "call" them into play.

Oh well, life moves on.  By the way - you really didn't miss that much anyway, lol!

See you in the pileups!

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Disturbing Trend in DX Pileups

DX pileups have always been the "testing ground" for the work you've put into upgrading your station.  "The DX Pileup" is that crazy place you roll your sleeves up and "give'r hell", trying to best your fellow Amateur Radio operators along the way.  Some pileups take technique, some brute force, some pure dumb luck.  Pileups are fun!

Or are they?

I was listening to Krish (VU4K) in Andaman & Nicobar working on 15 meters today, when over and over he asked Europe to please standby for 5 minutes as he was listening for North America 5-15 UP.  It struck me as odd that he asked several times, yet was still asking EU to standby on every single over.  Why?  I went up and listened.  There had to be a thousand EU stations still calling!  I suspect from VU4K's vantage point, he couldn't hear the weaker North America calling with EU stations covering them up.  What part of "North America Only" doesn't a competent Ham understand?  Krish got frustrated not being able to hear through Europe, so he shut it down.  Done, over with, QRT.  He gave ample warning that if EU didn't standby for 5 minutes while he listened for North America, he was going to go QRT.  And he did.

I've also heard (too many times to count) a DX station going by numbers.  They'll be calling "number sixes, sixes only" and there will be several 1's, 8's, 0's, etc. that continue to call every time.

It is hard to top the two issues above, but here's the icing on the cake.  Most DXpeditions and rare DX stations now operate "split".  Meaning they are listening for you and me on a frequency (or set of frequencies) OTHER than their transmit frequency.   An example; the DX station says, "UP 5 to 10 for North America".  That means the DX station is listening up 5 to 10 kHz (from his transmit frequency) for North American stations.  That does not mean, "every Italian call simplex" now does it?

So if you total up that some Hams don't know what continent they're on, with some Hams that can't count, with some Hams that do not know how to operate split - this is PAST disturbing to the rest of the Ham community!

How is it that these three sad situations happen in every pileup anymore?  How is it possible that Hams do this, AND do it regularly?

I do not know the answer.  I do know several times I've sent a quick e-mail to the offending Ham, only to receive a nasty, cuss filled rant back.  LOL!  Here's one I received yesterday:

"What The Hell Are You Guys Doing?  You Keep transmitting over the TX6G on 14.252!  He can't be more anymore clear - HE IS LISTENING UP 5 to 10! Please learn how to operate your radio SPLIT.  N0UN"

And his reply?

"F*** YOU!"

hahahahaha!  I have a funny feeling I must have hurt his feelings or somethin'!  LOL!

But with the bad replies, I also do receive some good ones too.  Maybe my e-mail made them more aware of what they were doing?  Here's two "good" reply's to that same e-mail I sent to several Hams:

"I sincerely apologize for any interference that I may have caused I was on 21.255 talking to ZL7AAA expedition station.  73's.  XXXX, XXXXX" (name and call removed)

"Hi Wayne,  sorry I did not hear that the DX station was working split!  Working with only 100w with a ground mounted vertical.    Nice QRZ page hope to work you some day - take care.   73, XXXX, XXXXX"  (name and call removed)

And the best of that last series of e-mails?:

"What The Hell Are You Guys Doing?  You Keep transmitting over the TX6G on 14.252!  He can't be more anymore clear - HE IS LISTENING UP 5 to 10! Please learn how to operate your radio SPLIT.  N0UN"

Offender reply:

"I had split engaged.  So please be sure it was me.  Oh, and since I worked him, I guess I was doing it right.   Did you happen to have your dual watch engaged?"

And my counter-reply:

"XXXXXX you were the WORST offender of all!  You must have called 30 times ON HIS TX frequency.  Of course you didn't hear the WHOLE WORLD screaming at you because since you had split engaged (backwards), you couldn't hear any of the cops.  And they were screaming, loudly.

Trust me, and I'll see if I recorded it, you were doing it for quite some time.  Not seconds or a onsy, twosy, even a 20sy.  Several times over several minutes.  There would even be a break, and then you came back and would do it some more.

If you finally did work TX6G, in was in spite of yourself.

N0UN"

A lot of folks today take the position that it is what it is, just live with it.  But in my opinion if you do nothing then the offending behavior becomes the norm.  There are no consequences if nobody does a thing.  I'll continue to write quick e-mails in the hopes a few will actually figure out what their issue was, and fix it.  Trust me when I tell you this, I WOULD NOT BE OFFENDED if I received an e-mail if/when I'm out of line.  Why would I be offended?  Obviously I offended you with some poor practice ahead of your e-mail, right?  I would expect nothing less.

Good DX, see you in the pileups!

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VU4K Andaman & Nicobar Islands

While working in my office and listening to Krish (VU4K) on 15 Meters this afternoon, I heard him say he was moving to 17 Meters.  So this DXer immediately went to 17 Meters and started stalking VU4K.  Up and down the band I went.  Amp on, check.  Monobander straight over the pole, check.  Radio/amp tuned, check.  Then I remembered a QSO I had with Krish while he was in VU7 months ago.  That QSO was on 18.150.  Since we are all creatures of habit, I listened closely around 18.150.  As you'll hear in the recording below, sometimes it pays off to be one step ahead.

N0UN working VU4K Andaman & Nicobar Island on 17M SSB

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That was quite a morning!  Worked VU2 India (20 Meters), S21 Bangladesh (20 & 17M), VU4 Andaman & Nicobar Islands (15M), then talked to my friend Zorro in XZ Myanmar (15M).  As I write, I'm listening to see if 9N Nepal on 20M will build up a bit so I can strike.  I wonder what this afternoon and evening hold?

Here's a recording below working Krish, VU4K on 15 Meters this morning.  QSL VU4K via his home call, W4VKU (OQRS will be open in early April 2014).

VU4K Online Log Check

N0UN working VU4K Andaman & Nicobar Islands 15M SSB

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UPDATED:  The 9N (Nepal) station did build up enough to work, and also snagged T32 (Eastern Kiribati) this afternoon too.  Four new ones for the 2014 DX Marathon just today.  And the day ain't over yet!

Added TX6 (Austral) this evening for 5 new ones in 2014 today, awesome DX day!

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XZ1Z Myanmar 2014

UPDATED:  Got this email just moments ago (0625Z March 21, 2014):

Hi Wayne, Zorro will be going QRT at 0630z today.  We make more than 8,500 QSOs at this trip.  Log file (Mar 20-21) will update to Clublog when he arrive to Japan.  QSL prefer request by OQRS by Clublog or via JH1AJT.

73,

Champ  E21EIC

And there we have it - another GREAT DXpedition to a rare entity by Champ and Zorro!  If I do quick math, 8,500 QSO's divided by 4.75 days = almost 2,000 QSO's a day!  Take a moment and let that set in.  Two men, 2,000 QSO's a day, wow!  I'm not sure anybody could have slept.  Congratulations Zorro and Champ!

Just got done working Champ (XZ1Z) on 20 Meters SSB.  He was very strong here into Colorado this morning.  Thanks to the 208 Group that graciously moved when Champ came on.  Good on ya'!

N0UN working XZ1Z 20M SSB

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Here's something you don't see everyday - 15 Meters Longpath.  XZ1Z wasn't very strong here, but give credit where credit is due, they hear very, very well!

N0UN working XZ1Z 15 Meters SSB Longpath

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What's with all this wide spectrum radar lately?  20 Meters, 15 Meters, 10 Meters?  It is everywhere.  And it is loud.  Like multiple megawatts loud.  And it is wide.  Like a hundred kHz in some cases.  Do you know the power it takes to run a signal that strong over that wide a set of frequencies? Anyway, you sure can hear it in this recording.  We started at 28.430, moved to 28.538 and finally settled on 28.539.  Then the radar followed, again.  I fully suspect somebody was following the signal from Myanmar because it wasn't up at 28.538 beforehand.  Interesting.

N0UN working XZ1Z on 10 Meters SSB Longpath

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N0UN working XZ1Z 17M CW

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N0UN working XZ1Z 20M CW

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N0UN working XZ1Z 15M CW

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N0UN working XZ1Z 10M CW Longpath

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*

UPDATED (1159Z Mar 16, 2014).  XZ1Z is on the air.  Presently they are on 14.245 listening UP 5 kHz.  Also of note the Russian DX Contest (RDXC) ends at 1200Z so the QRM should subside momentarily.  Good luck in the pileups!

*

UPDATED (1103Z Mar 16, 2014).  Two times Zorro called, but both times the line dropped.  But I did get this much, "Wayne, sorry to wake you but it is time to work DX!"  I do know Champ has a GP with a 700 watt linear setup on 17M and they also have a 20/15/10 Meter tribander operational.  No word yet on the antenna situation for the other bands.

*

Just talked to Zorro (JH1AJT).  Zorro is in early morning breakfast meetings presently (0030Z, Mar 16th, 2014) and said he should be operational as XZ1Z sometime around 1200 to 1230Z.  Champ (E21EIC) is already in Myanmar setting up the station.

More news will be posted when received.

XZ1Z Myanmar Online Log

N0UN

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2014 DX Marathon Running Start

CQ DX Marathon Contest

It's almost mid-March 2014 and I won't know my final placement in the 2013 DX Marathon until the June 2014 CQ Magazine comes out.  And that's OK!  2013 is in the rear-view mirror, there's nothing I can do about it now - or is there?

Sure there is, I can do better for 2014!  I didn't even start the 2013 DX Marathon until last May (I think it was), so I figured this year I'd make a full on run for the crown straight out of the gate.  I started January 1st and I'll continue to attempt to work every CQ Entity there is (or will be) for 2014.  Of course vacations, work, family, travel, tower work, motorcycling, etc. are all going to get in the way several times during the year, but every contestant has to deal with those same issues.  This contest is a full calendar year long and a lot  can go wrong during a 365 day calendar year!

But I'm chipping away.  I am methodically tracking down CQ Entities for 2014.  This morning I added another new one - AP (Pakistan).  That brings my March 11th score to 288.  242 DXCC plus 6 CQ Entities plus 40 Zones = 288.

Last year I submitted a 323 score in the World Phone only category.  Even though I scored a 331 mixed mode Overall, I decided to go Phone only.  The reason I did that I wrote about here:  2013 DX Marathon Claimed Scores Post.  Will 323 win World Phone?  I won't know until June.  Of course I'll keep all my options open again this year - whether to submit Overall, Phone or CW only, maybe even a single band.  But I have until late December to make that decision so I figure I'll keep chugging along working everything I can, anywhere I can in 2014.

And here's an example of work'm when you can.  I worked Saint Pierre & Miquelon Island on CW earlier (February 11th), but I still needed it on Phone.  When I saw FP5AC spotted on 20 Meters SSB today, I jumped at the opportunity.  As you'll hear in the recording, all I can say is the DX gods were looking down on me.  First, Jean had a huge pile of strong Europeans.  Secondly, he was grabbing calls from the pile-up, then calling them out individually.  Third, the QRM from 1kc above was +25db, and lastly - listen to the snow static that hit my antenna just after I signed with him!  All I can say is it's better to be lucky, right?

N0UN working FP5AC Saint Pierre & Miquelon Island 20M SSB

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Anyway, there's still over 9 1/2 months left to this 2014 DX Marathon contest.  A looooong 9 1/2 months.  I guess that's why they named it "marathon", lol?  Anything can happen (and it probably will).  All you can do is fetch what you can when you can.  And believe me, this Ham is a steppin' and a fetchin'!

N0UN

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S01A Western Sahara Active

Wow, that was some hard (but smart) work!  S01A in Western Sahara showed up this morning on 21.180 and had a great signal, but he was out of the US Phone Band, darn! Not to worry, 30 minutes later he moved to 21.240 and was listening up 5.  Pandemonium, what a pile-up!

He took a break for 5 minutes or so, and said something when he came back that struck me.  He said he programed his radio so now he would listen 245 or 250.  Notice he didn't say 5 TO 10, or 245 TO 250, he said 5 OR 10 UP. Given the extra time he took to program his radio I figured he did just that, programmed his receiver to 5 OR 10 UP.  It didn't take long to figure he'd work a station on 245, then 250, then 245, then 250, etc.  Well perfect!  While the rest of the world was one step behind and snooped his RX frequency (and called there or in-between), I moved to the "other" frequency. It only took 2 sequences to prove the pattern true - BINGO!

N0UN working S01A Western Sahara 15 Meters SSB

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S01A QSL via EA2JG

S01A Western Sahara Website

S01A Online Log Check

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VK9X/K7CO Christmas Island

VK9X/K7CO WebsiteHave you ever just "kinda" woke up, stumbled over to the radio and heard VK9X Christmas Island?  Yeah, well Christmas Island doesn't come on much so even though the antenna was 58 degrees off target, the linear amplifier tuned on 17 Meters, 12db of receive attenuation in and my brain still scrambled, this is what can happen:

N0UN working VK9X/K7CO Christmas Island 20M SSB

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Besides all my missteps this morning, a clear 20 Meter frequency smack dab in the middle of the ARRL DX Phone Contest?  Hard to believe.  A great way to start the morning, thanks Jon!

N0UN working VK9X/K7CO Christmas Island 10M CW

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Check this. 3 hours after sunset on 15 Meters I saw the spot for Christmas Island.  I thought "no chance".  Well I'll be darned!

N0UN working VK9X/K7CO Christmas Island 3 hours after sunset on 15 Meters SSB

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Man, oh man - just bagged Christmas Island on 17M CW.  VK9X/K7CO was weak on my 20M converted monobander, but that's clearly a rock solid QSO.  They were stronger 20 degrees to the North of the straight shortpath heading.  You can hear the aurora on their signal, awesome!  I must have worked them at the leading edge of the propagation as they have built up to S7 while I write this.

N0UN working VK9X/K7CO Christmas Island 17M CW

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Here's a couple recordings I added tonight (Mar 5, 2014).  The first is a recording of me working VK9X/K7CO (Christian) on 10 Meters SSB (a full hour after sunset).  The second recording (below) is just 5 minutes later.  Note the improved signal within minutes of my QSO.  I thought about waiting to see if Christian's signal would build up, but being it was an hour after sunset already I wasn't taking any chances.  Work first, worry later.  I'm not sure what Jon and Christian are running on Christmas Island, but they sure have put a good signal into Colorado, and at the oddest of times!

N0UN working VK9X/K7CO Christmas Island 10m SSB

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And a recording of VK9X/K7CO just minutes later

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I read from one of Jon's (K7CO) e-mail updates that the team had lost an amplifier and a power supply yesterday.  Judging from their 20M CW signal (below) today, it sure doesn't sound like they lost anything.  Another day, another great signal into Colorado.

N0UN working VK9X/K7CO Christmas Island 20M CW

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And the icing on the cake!  While calling my usual "CQ DX" this morning on 20 Meters beaming LP Africa/Indian Ocean, Christian, VK9X/K7CXN stopped in.  Excuse my laughing at the beginning of this recording, but this happens all the time.  I'm still easily amused when rare DX like Christmas Island, Timor-Leste, Tristan de Cunha, Wake Island, even Scarborough Reef (years ago) stop by and answer my "CQ DX".  Sounds like I may be the only Ham on the planet that's worked VK9X/K7CXN.  Like Christian recommended, I will be going to buy a lottery ticket today, probably 20!  Thanks Christian!

VK9X/K7CXN answers N0UN's CQ DX Call

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2013 DX Marathon Claimed Scores

The deadline for 2013 DX Marathon scoresheets has passed.  All entrants had to have their logs in a short time ago at 2359Z January 10, 2014.

And now the suspense builds!

I noticed the DX Marathon Website has been updated showing an empty claimed scoresheet with the comment, "Note: High claimed scores will be published around 3rd week of January".  Man, let me tell you, that's a long wait, hahaha!

The DX Marathon Website also states, "in 2013, all 40 zones were active and 294 CQ countries were active for a maximum possible score of 334".

I finished the 2013 DX Marathon with an overall score of 330290 DX entities, plus 40 zones.  I did not include a QSO with Turkmenistan (EZ) because it would not have counted anyway.  No EZ stations count in the DX Marathon.  331 with EZ, 330 without EZ - same difference in my opinion.

But, I did not go for the "overall" Unlimited win!

By not going for overall, I do realize I locked myself out of any chance at winning North America or 20 Meters (my 3rd best effort).  I submitted 323 in the World "Phone" (283 DX entities, plus 40 zones).  That's 23 more points than 2012's plaque winner, 12 more than 2011 and 37 more than 2010.

I found the World Phone category was actually much harder to score in than the Overall (mixed).  I suppose it is the same for CW and Data only too.  It took a lot of "coaxing" to move some CW only ops to Phone for a QSO.  A half a dozen stations that never operate phone did honor my request for a phone Q.  Those QSO's were very exciting for me.

In my opinion, the dark horses will be W9KNI, OM3EY, IZ0OZD, PP5EG and a couple others I've heard in the pileups.  It's my belief the overall winner will have a final score of 329, 330 or even possibly 331.  We'll soon see how well I stacked up against the other 2013 DX Marathon competitors in claimed (and final) scores.

With many previous years entrants, there seemed to be quite a bit of shrinkage from claimed to credited scores.  I've seen as many as 10 subtracted from claimed scores.  I checked my submission several (understated) times over, so hopefully there will be no (or very little) shrinkage between my claimed and final credited score.  I don't like simple mistakes.  This was my first DX Marathon effort, so that factored in my reluctance to enter Unlimited overall.

To answer a few e-mails, the reasons for me not going for the overall win were simple.  I missed a few I know others had worked.  I do know I worked a couple entities only a handful (if that) had worked, but I wasn't sure those would make up for my misses.  I concluded that my best chance at winning a plaque was in the world "Phone" category.  And in 41 years of Ham Radio without any kind of plaque, I went for what I felt I had the best chance of winning.  My regrettable misses?  How about I missed 4U1VIC?  I still can't believe I missed that one.  I was out of town and visiting family during Thanksgiving weekend, the last weekend the station was activated.  Although a family member's competent Ham Radio Station (I built it) was just below the kitchen (where I spent most of my time eating), I didn't even listen as the rules of the Marathon are specific, all Q's from the same station with the same antennas.  I tried like hell to get back before they left 4U1VIC, but their last day they operated all on 40 Meters during our daytime.  No chance.  I did hear 4U1VIC just after our sunrise on 20 Meters the first morning back in my shack, but wouldn't you know - just as I called, they QSY'd to 40 Meters.  Rats!  Another miss?  TL8PRV, Padre Cirillo.  I heard the Padre on 20 Meters late one night, and he was an unbelievable 5/9 +20 db, but he only worked Italian speaking stations.  Even though I called him several times, he never came back to me - only Italians.  Oh well.  Praying didn't help either (obviously).  As far as the other two I missed, VK9DAC on Christmas Island only made a 130 QSO's or so, and I never even sniffed him.  I think I was out riding my Hog the single day he showed up on 15 Meters.  TY2BP's (Benin) radio broke earlier in the year for my fourth miss.  Although Patrice is back on the air with his new radio for 2014, I whiffed on Benin.  I was hoping like hell Wim (ON6DX, 5V7TH) was going to make TY, but Wim's license got held up and he never was able to get on the air from Benin in 2013.  Those four misses are the difference between my 330, and the 334 total score maximum.  I was lucky enough to work everything else.  I think if I had landed even one of those four misses, I very well may have entered Unlimited overall.  Two?  I surely would have.

And there is my 2013 DX Marathon story.  I'd really like to dedicate a paragraph or two here to call out and thank all the stations that accommodated me this year, but if I did that everybody and their brother would be pestering them for a schedule, and I won't do that to them.  They all know who they are, and maybe some will read this post someday and smile.  To all of you, a big thank-you from N0UN!

In addition to the 4 all out misses discussed above, here's a list of the other 7 CQ Entities I worked on CW (ZL7 Data), but missed on Phone:

JD1 Minami Torishima (JD/M)
UK Bases on Cyprus (ZC4)
Franz Josef Land (R1F)
Mount Athos (SV/A)
Chatham Is. (ZL7)
Palestine (E4)
Niger (5U)

So now you know my 2013 DX Marathon score and the story behind it.  Why don't you tell me your 2013 DX Marathon story in the comment section below?

73, Wayne N0UN

UPDATED 2100Z January 11, 2014.

The 2013 DX Marathon High Claimed Scores are out!  2013 DX Marathon Claimed Scores

2013 DX Marathon Scores

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2013 CQ DX Marathon is Over

As I write this post the 2013 CQ DX Marathon is now over.  It's been a good year for DX and hopefully my final score is competitive.  We'll soon see.

I had many personal DX "highlights" throughout the year with a few contacts that really stood out.  As always, working Monk Apollo on Mount Athos (SV2ASP/A) is one.  Talking to my old friend Abubaker (5A1AL) in Libya was another.  What a surprise to work Dima (RA9USU) in Yemen as 7O2A during the CQ Worldwide DX SSB Contest.  I think it's fair to say NOBODY saw that one coming!  How about Zorro (JH1AJT) getting Myanmar active as XZ1Z and XZ1J?  What an effort by Zorro!  I know Zorro gave many stations the Q that placed them on ARRL DXCC Honor Roll, and quite possibly gave some their last one for #1 Honor Roll.  It's been a long time since Myanmar was active.

I was lucky enough to catch Mahafud (S01MZ) from Western Sahara in the last few days of the Marathon, and what a pile-up that was!  Pooyan (EP3PK) activated Iran and even confirmed his Q's on LoTW!  I needed that confirmation for an All Time New One (ATNO).  I've worked several Iranian stations throughout the years, but for one reason or another, I never could get Iran confirmed.  Working Silent Key Sid May's (ET3SID) wife Kidist (ET3KT) on 15 Meters was a thrill, as was working the North Cook Islands.  Hearing (and working) Gerard ZD9KX on the morning longpath, and breaking a pileup of Chinese, Japanese and Brazilian stations to work Marion Island David (ZS8Z) on 10 Meters at sunrise in Colorado on the shortpath sure started some days off on the right foot!

Roger (6O0LA) in Somalia wasn't easy from Colorado, but he stuck with me.  QRP Foundation Station Des (VK9FLHI) also wasn't easy on 40 Meters from Lord Howe Island with my Inverted "L" wire, but as Roger, Des stuck with me until we both made it good.  There were several other stations that at times I thought I was chasing my tail on, but eventually we caught up to almost all of them sometime throughout the year.

But there are two stations that top my list of highlights for 2013.  Both from the same DXCC Country, both rarer than rare for '13.  One was a friendship started 20 years ago, the other a brand new friendship that will surely last the rest of our lives.  I cannot put into words the magical feeling of those QSO's.  When it was all said and done, I know of only four Hams that made contact with these two stations.  What a great Christmas present we received!

Now I'll go back to check, check and recheck my 2013 CQ DX Marathon submission log.  It's due in by January 10th, and that's only a little more than a week away.  I don't know how I could possibly top the overall fun, frustration, nervousness and joy of this years contest, but I know it won't be my last.  I needed something to put the "fun" back into this hobby for me, and this year-long contest was just what the doctor ordered.

Thanks to all the DXpeditions, thanks to all the stations that helped me get "here".  Wishing ALL Peace on Earth for 2014.

73, N0UN

Previous N0UN DX Marathon Related Articles:

2013 CQ DX Marathon in Review (almost)

DX Marathon 2013 (CQ Magazine)

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2013 CQ DX Marathon in Review (almost)

It's been an interesting year for the 2013 CQ DX Marathon.  And there's still NINE days left as of this post (0100Z Dec 22, 2013)!  My previous DX Marathon Post Here.

NINE days!  Which got me wondering.  I know where I sit, but until K9EL receives all the submissions in early January, I don't know where anybody else sits.  Hmmm.  Today I took a look at some of the Heavy Hitters from past DX Marathons, and I also took a look at Club Log to see if any of them had uploaded their logs there.  A few of them do upload, but just as me, who knows if what they claim versus what their final "official" tally really is?

For shits and grins, I went to some rare DX stations Online Logs and inputted some of the Heavy's Callsigns.  I was quite surprised that more than a few of them didn't make some DX stations online logbooks.  I started with XZ1Z/XZ1J's online log check, passed through 7O2A's, and worked a half dozen lesser "rare" stations online logs too.  I saw one Heavy was crediting a S9 (Sao Tome & Principe) CW QSO on his Club Log, but after wondering, "how could I have missed S9?", it occurred to me that he didn't work S9, he worked a broken call from a bad DX Cluster Spot I'll bet.  Yep, after checking past spots on DX Summit , an incorrect call spot on that frequency, on that day.  Nobody has worked S9 this year (so far) that I know of.  I'd say K9EL sure has his work cut out grading submissions this year.

Anyway, back to the 2013 Marathon.  And quite the marathon it is.  Only NINE days left so let's have some fun!  See you in the pileups.

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S01MZ Western Sahara

I've seen a lot of pile-ups on 20 Meters, but the one this afternoon for S01MZ (Western Sahara) might have been the worst, ever.

A few things precipitated the unruly mess today with the first being the rarity of S01MZ Western Sahara, 2). operating simplex 3). the DX Cluster Spots and 4).  'twas the Saturday afternoon before Christmas.  There's no doubt quite a few Hams were off work and at home on their radios.

Here's my recording working Muhafud S01MZ this afternoon through the non-stop callers:

N0UN working S01MZ Western Sahara 20M SSB

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If you listened to the recording, then it begs the question, "how can you hear the DX if you're calling the DX?  And although I tried setting the table (so to speak) for my friend, it didn't appear others were going to let that Q happen.  Shameful.

S01MZ QSL to: EA1BT DIRECT

I don't see an Online Log for S01MZ at this time, but if Muhafud eventually posts one, I'll add the link to this post.

73

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DX Marathon 2013 (CQ Magazine)

The 2013 DX Marathon (September 3, 2013).

I'm not one for contests, but this one intrigues me.  The last thing I want to do is spend a nonstop weekend calling "CQ Contest".  I know a lot of guys that do contests, and that's OK as there's enough facets to this hobby that everybody can stay happy doing their own thing, but a weekend contest is not for me.  However, this "DX Marathon" is a different kind of contest.  It lasts the whole year.  It's not a "balls to the wall" kind of contest that lasts a day or two, but more like a long, winding road with speed bumps along the way.  A true marathon.  Everybody gets dinged along the contest route, nobody is exempt.  Whether you can't operate because of a two week family vacation, or maybe your amp went down for a month, or you were busy riding your motorcycle all summer and couldn't find time for radio - you can get right back in where you left off because this contest outlasts them all.  It truly is a 365 day marathon.

Rules are simple.  From the DX Marathon Website; "Starting January 1 of each year, the DX Marathon is the perfect answer for the DX-er who needs that extra incentive to get on the air every day! Simply work as many countries and CQ Zones as you can in each calendar year, regardless of the band or mode.  Each country and zone counts only once, so you can concentrate on working new ones rather than working the same ones on multiple bands and modes.   Awards are given for the top overall scores in two classes plus the top scores in 3 modes and 10 bands plus low power/small antennas.   More information on awards is available here or contact us at: info@dxmarathon.com"

Pretty simple I'd say.  But there's more.  "Categories:  Each entrant in the DX Marathon may submit one log each year per operating location.  Participants submitting logs for single mode or single band entries must include only those contacts.  Logs submitted with multiple mode or multiple bands will not be considered for mode and band awards."  And then there's the plaque qualifications: The CQ DX Marathon Committee will award plaques as follows:  Highest overall score in Unlimited Class; Highest overall score in Formula Class; Highest overall CW, Highest overall SSB and Highest overall Digital only scores; Highest overall score for each of the 6 Continents; Highest overall score for single band entries for the 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 30, 40 and 80m bands.  Plaques for CW, SSB, Continent and Band winners are awarded regardless of Class and will only be awarded if the winning scores in those categories are at least 50% of the score of the overall DX Marathon Unlimited Class winner.   Entrants may receive only one plaque per year.  In the case of a participant qualifying for more than one plaque, that participant will receive a plaque for the highest level based on the above order".

Those paragraphs caught my attention.  Since you really only know what you've done for the contest, and can only "speculate" on what other DXers may have done - you can only turn in ONE log.  So, say you have a total Unlimited score of 310 and enter the Unlimited class.  Well maybe the overall winner of the plaque has 312.  Even though you may have had the highest score on 40 Meters, you can't submit for 40 Meters because with the "Logs submitted with multiple mode or multiple bands will not be considered for mode and band awards category" rule, you are placed in whatever order your 310 score captured in the Unlimited category.  However, you can still win the high score Continent class plaque (if that 312 was from outside North America), but no "single band" award.

Brilliant!

And here is where I was making a huge mistake.  I was posting my running log to Club Log.  Updating weekly as I worked new countries, and also comparing my results to others that were uploading their logs too.  I could see I was off 1st place in the world by a few, but I was ahead of the highest posted North American score by a few too.  So what does that all mean?  Well, ya' know we're all a little vain, and we all like to show off a bit - but this turkey has learned a few things along the path of life too.  Why would I keep updating my log as I worked a new country, just so the competition knew what I was doing?  Why would I post rare DX such as XZ1Z Myanmar to the DX Cluster just so my competitors could work him too?  What kind of contest is that where you shoot yourself in the foot, lol?

With any contest, there's always some strategy involved.  And now with two thirds of the year in the rear view mirror, here comes time for some "N0UN strategy".  For the rest of the competition year (and until after logs are due in) - you won't see me post rare countries on the DX Cluster, you won't find my log on Club Log, I won't answer inquiries as to my present score and I won't reply to what category I'll submit my log to.  We'll keep everybody guessing, just as many have me guessing.  A true contest, I love it!

Good luck to all contestants of the 2013 DX Marathon!  See you on the air.

UPDATED September 4, 0400Z.

Well, that didn't take long - I've had a change of heart.  It dawned on me that I was looking at this DX Marathon in the wrong light.  That happens ya' know.  Sometimes a man has to put it in reverse and back up a bit.  I was starting to act like a little squirrel hiding his nuts.  I deleted my log from Club Log so nobody knew what and when I was working new ones.  I was burning up my time sending e-mails all over the world to set schedules with rare DX all the while thinking, "I'm a Ham Radio Operator".  I even caught a couple fish I didn't tell anybody about.  I didn't spot to the DX Cluster, never called my friends on the phone.  I was being a greedy little Ham with a wicked little sneaky grin. And that's not me.  I guess I'm like that when I compete at something, but for me this hobby isn't about how many I worked this year, it's more about relaxing and enjoying it.  You know, building a new antenna, figuring out a new piece of gear, fixing an issue, meeting new Hams, helping a friend, and always looking to work new DX.  A laid back, stress-free kinda' hobby, full of fun.  That's what I'm after.

I'm glad I caught myself because I enjoy searching for (and working) rare DX.  I like spotting a DX station and then listening to the pileup.  I like hearing the excitement in voices when they work a new one because of one of my spots.  I enjoy calling my friends and asking if they're near their rigs because, "XZ1Z is on", and I'm not gonna' bullshit anybody - I like hearing, "thanks to you I got'm!"  That makes me feel like I've actually accomplished something.

So in a nutshell, I've reversed my position from when I wrote the DX Marathon post above.  Let the chips fall where they may, my score is my score.  I'll post my log back to Club Log in a few minutes, I'll spot any good DX I find, and I'll always help anybody I can get a new one, even if it's the "competition".  Life is much easier when you're not competing!

See you on the airwaves!

UPDATED October 15, 1600Z

Here I go again.  Back to being a little squirrel and stashing my nuts... I guess the competitor in me is rising above the mellow, laid back, no stress kinda' guy that I occasionally am.  I'm waffling back and forth, back and forth.  Hmmm, don't know what I'll end up doing here, but either way this DX Marathon has surely been an invigorating experience for me.

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