Category - DX & Contesting

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!

 

                           

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)

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. 

PJ4/M0SDV – QSL Preview

Finally after long delays of my own doing QSL cards for my PJ4/M0SDV in March are now in the printers. I hope to receive the cards and send them out within 10-14 days.

During my stay in Bonaire I made 1,600 QSO both CW and SSB. I also took part in CQ WPX as PJ4V (Click here to see results) I also activated Curacao as PJ2/M0SDV from the PJ2T station where I took part in the Russian DX Contest making around 600 QSO’s

QSL Via Clublog OQRS or Direct

 

PJ4V, The Results

Back in March of this year I went on a trip to Bonaire along with good friend DK6SP. We spent around 2 weeks on the island in total. During this time we operated holiday style as PJ4/Homecall and we participated in CQ WPX SSB as PJ4V. Our Team for this contest was; DK6SP, M0SDV, PJ4DX, PJ4NX and PJ4KY.

We entered the Multi-Two category, High power. Using Equipment borrowed from the island residents and some of our own. The station consisted of 100% wire antennas. 

Antennas: 160m Inverted L, 80m Vertical, 40m elevated vertical and Inv V dipole, Spider beam @ 12m ,MW0JZE Hex beam @ 10m

Other Equipment: Yaesu FT 2000 with Acom 1500, Yaesu FTdx 5000 with Aplha 9500, Home brew filters and 6×2 switch by DJ8OG, Laptops x2

Our claimed Score was 5859 Q’s, 1252 Pfx and 27.9 Mil Points

Our Final adjudicated score was 5653 Q’s, 1235 Pfx and 26.18 Mil points, Leaving us 2nd World, 1st South America and 1st Bonaire. I feel the team worked very well together. This is the first time Multi-Two has been attempted with these guys and it was a pleasure to operate with them. We could not have hoped for such a good result. Only Bigger and Better for the future.

 

 

 

European HF Championship – 2018

Today held the EU HFC contest. This is a 12 hour contest of high rates and all about proving who is the best. This contest is Single Operator Only and QSO’s are allowed only between European stations through out the entire contest. 

This year I entered All band, CW High power. Using my contest call sign M7K. So my thoughts. I had some slight equipment issues, meaning that I could not get full power output on 80 or 40m, and I had no antenna for 160. However 20-10m worked perfectly even getting a small opening on 10m for a few hours. I do not think I took full advantage of the 10m opening with such a little number of multipliers on that band.

For the first four hours of the contest I managed to hold a steady rate of 100 Q/h. It may sound like a lot but it leaves a lot of time just calling CQ. Then after four hours the rate started to slow some more. Making around 70 Q/h rate overall. I put this down to poor conditions and lack of activity. This contest is known for its high rates So you can imagine that I was surprised to be going so slow. 

In the end I decided to go QRT after 9 hours, deciding that the extra 3 hour wouldn’t affect my positioning a great deal. My results are posted below. Also see comments on 3030 Scores

 

Equipment:

Kenwood TS590 SG, Ameritron AL572 Amplifier @400W

Hex beam @12m,  40m dipole @15m , 80m 1/4 wave vertical, No 160m Antenna