Author - Jamie Williams

CQ Low band DX

I’m excited to try out a new antenna I’ve been working on. It’s an adapted take on a design by DJ0IP for a 160/80m antenna on an 18m pole. The original desin of this antenna (pictured below) is a top loaded vertical for 160 with an 80m Inverted L hanging from the side.

Here is the DJ0IP design, Credit: http://www.dj0ip.de/vertical-antennas/160-80m-on-18m-pole/

 I will say early on that I am not an expert, just an experimenter. The M0SDV design is slightly different. There is no shared feed point, and No shared ground plane. Instead they are two independent mono band vertical antennas from the same mast. This is an 18m spider beam pole. The 80m vertical is 1/4 wavelength with 2x elevated radials approximately 3m above the ground. To allow for a wide spaced coil at the base of the antenna I have built a frame from plastic tube to separate the 160m and 80m elements by 1m.

The 160m antenna is a “T” vertical using approximately 17m vertically and each leg of the top hat is about 15m long. This is over a pre laid ground plane. You might be wondering what I have used for the ground plane. I am not sure how effective this will be but like I said, I am an experimenter not and expert. Due to lack of space in my garden my radials are between 16m and 20m long going is multiple directions. This idea is taken from M0MCX at DXcommander who has modeled vertical antennas and shows that having shorter radials can also be effective. To add to this, I have 2 earth rods approx 1.5m under ground. I am not sure about the effect of the earth rods, but if you know maybe you can email me with your thoughts. and because I had extra wire I decided to tune 1x elevated radial along the fence. This combines multiple techniques that I have used before. Over the coming weeks and during CQ160 CW I will test this antenna and work on improvements for future. 

I should also mention that each antenna goes to earth when not in use to avoid interactions between the two elements. As I repeat over and over, I am an experimenter, not an expert. Please feel free to email me your suggestions and comments… but for now 73 es CU on 160!

CQWW CW 2019 – G9Y

M0SDV operating 2BSIQ as G9Y. Images screen shot from video

This year I was looking for a station and lucky for me Mark M0DXR said he would be in the US at K3LR and told me to speak to Chris G0DWV. Chris said he was happy to host me and we started talking about plans. Being the biggest and best contest of the year I wanted to do a reasonable entry. I decided it would be good to do SO2R. This has been the first contest that I’ve properly used SO2R and I’m happy to report that there were no horrible errors on my part. 

Into the contest it’s self, The first night on the low bands was incredible. Rate was high and mults were plentiful. I actually managed the first 1000 QSO’s by 1 hour after Sun rise. That’s good going! After sun rise is where conditions flipped. 20m was disappointing, rate was slow so I decided to use this to have a go at Dual CQing on both 20 and 15m. I learned a few things here. The main one being, If you’re going to dual CQ, the CQ its self needs to be short and fast. I settled for “CQ G9Y TEST” at 34 wpm. This seemed to be just right for interleaving QSO’s. With another night shift coming in, I decided to work the Sunset DX on the low bands, YB, VK, ZL mults, along with far east Russia (Zone 18) and some South East Asian countries. After this I went to be for a few hours waking with enough times to fill in 80/160 Q’s which I thought were a bit down on what they should be. 

The second day was much better. I worked the missing Europeans from the day before and started to focus on chasing more elusive mults. This in its self was challenging. Most of the contest I have done this year have been RUN RUN RUN, “Rate is King, the mults will find you”, but this contest needs a bit more strategy. So using the second radio as much as I could I would Pause the run on 20 and CQ on 15 whilst searching for Mults, and vise versa. This resulted in me worked some of what I needed (albeit not all). The 2nd radio also let me keep an eye on 10m, which did have a short opening to Africa bagging me V55A, ZD7W and some ZS stations. All Multipliers of course being some of only 7 Q’s on the band.

This contest was super fun! I had to learn things about contesting that I never thought I’d do. Reflecting, I needed to spend more time in S&P mode looking for the multipliers and less time trying to make a load of 1 point QSO’s. I also needed to better plan my off time. This caused me to loose some 160m QSO’s. It seems Experience trumps Youth in the case. Well done to Nick FAL who appears to have beaten me (By 90k Points) It’s Close! 

Thank you to Chris G0DWV and his YL Tina for being incredible hosts and making me feel welcome yet again!

Call: G9Y
Operator(s): MØSDV
Station: GØDWV

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: Norfolk
Operating Time (hrs): 40.5
Location: Northern Europe
Radios: SO2R  

Summary:   Compare Scores
Band QSOs Zones Countries
160: 366 10 52
80: 985 19 68
40: 1337 29 98
20: 1070 31 84
15: 152 21 43
10: 7 4 7
Total: 3917 114 352 Total Score 3,108,686

 

Winter Preparation

HELLO WINTER!

As the long night’s start to draw in I have started to move onto my low band projects. My intention was to have all low band antenna’s up before the clocks changed, and well… you can guess what’s happened. I have made some progress albeit baby steps at the moment. I have reconstructed my 40m antenna. This is a simple quarter wave vertical with 2x elevated radials. There is always an argument about which is best; elevated or ground radials. Both have their pros and cons, however I find that elevated radials suit my QTH where the vertical is located in a “high traffic” area and ground radials would get destroyed. I get some noise on 40m, I’ll admit not as bad as some but still much higher than I’d like. Up to S7 when operating SSB and Up to S3 in CW. Luckily I favor CW more these days. 

Whats next?

I want to get on all low bands. 160, 80, 40 & 30m. This in it’s self is a challenge. 160 & 80m will share the same 18m spider pole. I hope that in the next couple of weeks I can get up a T – Vertical for 160 (with buried ground radials). Getting the 160m Radials underground is the most time consuming task here. Each one will have to be “dug” in with a spade along the entire length of each radial, there are approximately 21 radials of varying lengths. I will also attach a quarter wave vertical for 80m to the same pole. This will have 2 elevated radials, about 3m above the ground, well above head height. A 30m antenna is something to think about later…

I have a 6 way switch by SJ2W and a home-brew control unit ready to be wired up, Just awaiting delivery of some control cable. I also hope to get up my new G1000 SDX rotator so I don’t have to use the “Armstrong” method of turning the hex beam through the winter.

But what about RX?

As I mentioned before, my noise level on 40m is up to S7. Not as high as some, but still high enough to drown out any DX. A little while ago I purchased a PCB kit from George M1GEO for his “Well good loop” antenna. His own take on the classic Well brook loop. George’s kit has some good reviews and actually sounds great when listening through some of the SDR’s on his website. I will build this I hope pretty soon and find somewhere to shove it out of the way. 

Goals and Pursuits

At the moment, VP6R are just a few days into their DXpedition. Hopefully I will be able to make at least 1 low band QSO on 40m. Looking further ahead, December YOTA Months is also approaching where I have some scheduled time to use GB19YOTA. This is an annual event aimed at getting young operators on the air. (Not that I needed an excuse). For this reason alone I want to have a full functional, all band station to use whilst using this call sign. And looking even further ahead into the new year, I am excited to be QRV again in CQ 160 CW.. But there’s a lot to do before then. Stay tuned for updates as I progress!

 

                           

2019 Activity Update

So what have I been up to since the last time I posted in this blog?… March saw me jet off to Togo with the EIDX group where we operated for 2 weeks as 5V7EI. The team consisted of 14 operators from 6 countries. Over the period of 2 weeks we made in excess of 50k QSO’s making one of the highest QSO numbers on any EIDXG DXpedition. A full report on this will be published soon. 

Following my return from Togo I participated in CQ WPX SSB from the station of Nick G4FAL, I operated for close to 36 hrs using the call sign M7K, I made a little over 2600 QSO’s with a total Score over 6 million points as a single operator. I also participated in CQ WXP CW from M6T, again single operator making shy of 3000 QSO’s and over 6 million points again. 

L-R: ?, Jeremy EI5GM, Nobby G0VJG/FW5JG, Jamie M0SDV, Norbert DJ7JC & Dave EI9FBB

L-R: ?, Jeremy EI5GM, Nobby G0VJG/FW5JG, Jamie M0SDV, Norbert DJ7JC & Dave EI9FBB

I paid a visit to Ham Radio in Friedrichshafen, where I saw old friends and met some new people who I hope to operate with in the future. I always find this events a great place to socialise, catch up, make new friendships and network with fellow DXers and contest operators. Here is a picture taken by Nigel G3TXF of me enjoying the company some friends. 

In the coming months I will have some more DX trips. Firstly I will get a visit from my friend Phil DK6SP from Bavaria, and together we will travel to Ireland stopping in Dublin on the way to DX Feile hosted by the EIDX group on Aran Island (IOTA EU-006). There will be a Social event and a programme of talks for us to enjoy, as well as a station to activate the IOTA as EJ1D. More information can be found here > www.dxfeile.ie

And in October I will be heading for Cyprus where I will operate as 5B/M0SDV and P3F during the CQWW SSB contest, Many thanks to Bob 5B4AGN for hosting me at his home on the island. I’m sure there will be some fun pile ups to work whilst I am there.

As for further ahead only time will tell what I’ll get up to, No doubt planning for more DX and contest trips. Exploring the world and making many more ham radio friends along the way. Keep an eye here for my next update!

ARRL DX CW 2019 – M0SDV

In this contest I was fortunate enough to be allowed use of G0DWV, Chris’s station in Norfolk. Here I decided to do SOAB HP, Unassisted.

The first hour or so of the contest i was mostly on 40m with some cracking rates. Around 170Q/h was average for the first two hours. and when it slowed down I QSY’d to 80 and so on. 80m was fun! I didn’t expect quite so many loud signals. Pile ups were just as lively as on 40m which was new for me to experience. I spent a large part of the night hopping between 80. & 160 for mults but 40 turned out to be the money band. I was surprised at how many Mid – West coast Stations called, contrary to what others have said. 

I did manage to get some sleep in the mornings between sort of 9am-11:30. Not much but just enough to be refreshed. I started on 20m again and shortly after had a listen on the 2nd VFO to see if 15m was playing ball (various social media posts the day’s leading up suggested it may open for the contest). and as it goes the band was somewhat open. I made about 80 QSO’s and worked 25 S/P’s before heading back to 20, hungry for some higher rate.

The 2nd day was much the same although I found 15m had much better conditions than Saturday. Maybe people had missed the opening the first time?? Anyway I made a few more Q’s there before going back to 20m, However this time it was somewhat quieter than I’d wanted. I worked 2-300 more Q’s before the band died at about 19:00z 40m Opened early on Sunday, I was worked Q’s as far as IL and OH from 20:00z (This is where Chris’s 4 ele comes in handy) and this good rate continued pretty much to the end. I did hop around 160/80 too and mopped up some last minute mults, But again 40m offered almost constant pile ups to the end.

A huge Thank you to Chris G0DWV and his wife Tina for being my hosts for the weekend and making my time there very enjoyable. 

Station:
Radios: Icom IC 7851 + Expert 2KFA  + Microham MK2R+
Antennas: 160m top loaded Vertical, 80m four square, 4 elements 40m & C31XR
Wintest Logging

Callsign        : M0SDV
Operating time  : 38h48

BAND QSO S/P DUP POINTS AVG
———————————-
160 147 36 0 438 2.98
80 496 50 22 1485 2.99
40 800 53 20 2397 3.00
20 972 59 33 2913 3.00
15 234 37 2 702 3.00
10 0 0 0 0 0.00
———————————-
TOTAL 2649 235 77 7935 3.00
==================================
TOTAL SCORE : 1 864 725

I’m going to Togo – 5V7EI

I recently received a phone call from team leader Dave EI9FBB asking if I would like to join their DXpedition to Togo with the EI DX Group. Of course I could not refuse this opportunity to join a Dxpedition team. This will be my first real DXpedition. However not my first DX activation. I have been QRV from a few different countries around the world but this will be my first large scale operation. Previous operations include; MS0YHC , DL/M0SDV, PJ2/M0SDV, PJ4/M0SDV & PJ4V. I expect intense pile ups like I’ve never heard before from this top 150 DXCC entity.

Thank you to Dave EI9FBB and the EI DX Group for this amazing oppurtunity! See you in the pile ups, de, 5V7EI

(Click the logo to see the 5V7EI website)

The Holidays are coming

As we approach the festive season many companies are starting to slow down for the year. Here at United Radio we like to push through to bring you the very best and fastest service. However our postal carrier here in the UK, Royal Mail, start to slow their collections. 

Last post for mail to arrive before Christmas is 18th December. After this time Mail posted is unlikely arrive before the 27th December. Therefore I will have a Close down period for 1 week between 20th – 27th December. This gives me time to spend time away from my desk and with my family through the festive period.

I would like to thank everyone for their support over the last year. And I wish you and your families all the best and Happy Holidays. 

Kosovo – Z66DH

A team of four Young, Enthusiastic and talented operators all under the age of 26 will embark on an adventure to a top 50 DXCC entity, Kosovo. They will be QRV from the 10th December for 12 days. They will operate 160-10m SSB, CW and Data including FT8 Fox & Hound mode.

The operating team will be; Philipp DK6SP, Tamas HA8RT, Florian OE3FTA & Horia YO3IMD

                                                                      They have 3 sponsors

I will provide a full QSL service for this DXpedition using OQRS and Club log. Please see the QSL Instructions or Cluck Here to visit the QRZ page

EL2EL/4 – NEW IOTA AF-111

The QSL work for Brand New IOTA AF-111 DXpedition EL2EL/4 is under way. The QSL card has been designed and is currently being printed by Top Quality printer Max ON5UR. This design was initially published by DXworld on Social Media. 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the biggest aims of this DXpedition was to raise money for the MAF (Mission Aviation Foundation) and The locals of Liberia. This was done with a just giving page and OQRS donations. With £2000 raised before the DXpedition and ever increasing donations being made with QSL requests Via OQRS and direct letters. An Incredible effort! 

The team made almost 5000 QSO’s from the Brand New IOTA, So far we have had 500 QSL requests using QORS and less than 20 Direct letters. This is a very good outcome and a great for success for OQRS which is growing in popularity each and every year.

I Hope for All direct requests to be in the post within the next 10-14 days, LoTW has been uploaded. In the meantime there is plenty of DX to work whilst you wait.