Ramblings from a G4 by Antony Turnbull G4CUS February 2008

It has been a busy month on the air, mostly due to contests of various types. I am not one to go into a contest seriously, (well not since HERC gave up taking part in the VHF / UHF ones from Fairlight) just giving points away and trying to find new countries, islands and prefixes. This month however my arm was twisted and I entered the RSGB Affiliated Societies SSB 80m Contest (AFS) on Saturday 19 January as part of a team of three representing BSARS.

The other two ‘combatants’ were Steve M0SSR and Tony G4KLF. Those two plus another Steve had actually taken part in the CW section of the same contest a week earlier. Learning from experience of this particular contest (a couple of years ago) I made sure that I had a frequency an hour and a half before the start! Even so some kind person decided they would come within 1.6kcs for the duration. The S-meter did not go below S9 because of his sideband. However I enjoyed playing with the FT2000’s filters and shift facilities and its amazing what one can hear through the QRM with these modern DSP units. I enjoyed the contest as did the other two, I think.~

During the same weekend was the UK DX RTTY contest but I have yet to work out how to operate two contests simultaneously on two different modes. However I did have a dabble on RTTY on Sunday thanks to Linda’s understanding nature!

Outside of contests I have yet again been mostly active on RTTY / PSK31 and was pleasantly surprised a few days ago when a ZL3 came back to one of my RTTY CQ calls. My best DX on this mode to date.

Last month I said that Bosnia-Herzegovina would be issued with the E7 prefix from January 2008. Apparently there have been administrative / political problems and the new date has been set for 01.01.2009. Watch this space!

DX countries worked during January includes :-
Iceland, USA, New Zealand, Surinam, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Aruba, St. Helena, Australia, Azerbaijan, Guinea-Bissau, St. Barthelemy (new entity, hence BIG pile-ups), Iran and Thailand.

DX to look out for from mid February :-

S21XJ    (Bangladesh)                         SSB / Data          QSL SM4XIH
3Y0E        (Bouvet Island)                     next few weeks        QSL LZ3HI
DP0GVN     (Antarctica)   IOTA AN016     three months             QSL DL5EBE
J20MB        (Djibouti)                                    until end of March        QSL F4FMI
V73RY        (Marshall islands)   IOTA OC028    until May            QSL N7RO
V55SRT       (Namibia)                                until September          QSL IZ8EDJ
C91R           (Mozambique)    mostly RTTY     until August         QSL CT1BXT
S21YV        (Bangladesh)                           until 11 March             QSL KX7YT
ZK2PM       (Niue)                                     one year                        QSL VK3APM
8R1PW       (Guyana)         CW only          22 Feb – 29 Feb           QSL G3SWH
VP6DX        (Ducie island)    IOTA OC182    until end Feb
C56YK        (The Gambia)                          until 6 March                QSL ON7YK
C56JC       (The Gambia)   PSK/RTTY     until 5 March            QSL ON4LAC
XU7ADI       (Cambodia)                                until end of Feb         QSL SM5GMZ
JD1BLY      (Ogasawara)    IOTA AS031    until end of Feb      QSL JI5RPT
TX5C          (Clipperton island)                    7 – 17 March         QSL N7CQQ

HF Contests from mid February include :-

16/17   0000 – 2359   ARRL DX                             CW all bands   RST + power
21        2000 – 2130   RSGB 80m Club Championship CW  80m        RST + SN
23/24   0000 – 2359   CQ WW 160m                    SSB 160m       RST + country
23/24   0600 – 1800   REF                                            SSB all bands  RST + SN

As you can see, February is going to be a busy ‘on-air’ month yet again!

Good hunting and plenty of DX !

Antony Turnbull –  G4CUS. From the Vital Spark, February 2008.

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