Ramblings from a G4 by Antony Turnbull G4CUS July 2009

ramblings-of-a-g4-july2009-qslcardAs I reported in the ‘DX to look out for’ section of last month’s Vital spark, the Dxpedition to Niue Island (OC040) has been in full swing since mid May and is due to end on 20 June. What I hadn’t realised was that it is a one-man operation. No big team with shift rosters. As of 31 May he had 8000 QSOs in the log! So far I have managed to work him on 20mtr CW. I am hoping for an RTTY and SSB QSO before Chris packs up. If you think you have worked him but are not sure, you can check his log on www.zk2v.com.

During this period 10mtrs has shown some life and there have been plenty of European stations to be worked. I have not heard any DX on this band for a long time.

On 10 May I had a PSK31 QSO on 17mtrs with V73RS from Kwajalein Atoll in The Marshall Islands (OC028). Rob stated that he had not had a QSL with England on this band and so I sent him a QSL card direct with two dollar bills (something I don’t do very often). A week later I received a card from Rob direct with two dollar bills and so we are quits!

There has been a lot of talk lately about the bad operating techniques employed by some during DX chasing. Roger Western G3SXW who is a well known DXpeditioner wrote a rather depressing article in the May CDXC Digest concerning ‘DX demotivations’ including deliberate QRM on Dxpedition frequencies. I must say that I agree with his sentiments and have experienced most of the problems he mentioned while trying to work the DX.

These include people who persistently call on the DX’s frequency despite him/her working split, people who keep calling the DX even when the DX is talking (can they hear the 20station at all?), self-appointed frequency policemen and those who just cause interference on the frequency by making noises, talking over the DX or who play recordings of other people’s qsos over the DX. I experienced this a week ago when I was trying to work Monk Apollo, SV2ASP/A on Mount Athos but due to all the above I gave up. Where will it all end? The RSGB tried to get international agreement on ways to combat this bad operating/ deliberate qrm. They failed to get enough support.

Towards the end of May Linda and I decided to go down to one car (insurance and road tax) as we do not do a lot of mileage and both cars end up sitting together in the garage. After a lot of test drives in various makes we decided on a Toyota Prius T Spirit which is a hybrid petrol-electric car rated at 65.7mpg and £15 pa road tax. Needless to say before the final decision was made I insisted on a communications test using my FT897d on 2mtrs and 70cms as well as on the short-wave bands. This amused the sales staff no end and they let me go ahead on their forecourt. The tests were completed to my satisfaction and the deal was struck. There are plenty of gadgets to be investigated including built-in sat nav, automatic reverse parking (YES, take your hands off the wheel and watch it spin all by itself while it parks itself!) and voice recognition for audio, sat nav and various other facilities.

The wonders of modern technology, as long as it doesn’t go wrong. On getting the car home the first thing I did was to fit the VHF/UHF and short-wave aerial bases to the hatch back. I am glad the salesman did not see me dismantling the rear door strut to attach the necessary earth braid for HF. On switching to 2mtrs (S20) the first station I heard was M6MCP calling CQ. We had a short qso and it turned out to be Marie-Claire, one of the First Brede scouts who had just passed her exam through BSARS. We were joined by M6FBS who had passed the same exam at BSARS. Jonathan is one of the scout leaders at Brede and he managed to get the right suffix! I then qsy’d to HF and had a few qsos on 20mtr SSB. This concluded the tests and appeared to have no effect on the car’s electrics, thank goodness.

DX countries worked during May include:-

Puerto Rico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Japan, Niue, India, Azerbaijan, Ogasawara, USA, Marshall Islands,  Asiatic Russia and Minami Torishima. These came from 217 qsos in 49 countries.

DX and special events to look out for in July include:-
To  02/07      TT8CF: Chad
To  20/07      8J040M-8J940M: special event stations
To  20/07      IY0GM: special callsign
To  20/07      IY0NGM: special callsign
To  24/07      5N0OCH and 5N0EME: Nigeria
To  August   VP9400: Bermuda. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Bermuda
For another year      S79DF: Seychelles. Operator is Davide IZ3EFL

Contests taking place during July include:-
Canada Day Contest    0000Z-2359Z, Jul 1
Venezuelan Ind. Day Contest    0000Z, Jul 4 to 2359Z, Jul 5
DL-DX RTTY Contest    1100Z, Jul 4 to 1059Z, Jul 5
MI QRP July 4th CW Sprint    2300Z, Jul 4 to 0300Z, Jul 5
DARC 10-Meter Digital Contest    1100Z-1700Z, Jul 5
FISTS Summer Sprint    0000Z-0400Z, Jul 11
IARU HF World Championship    1200Z, Jul 11 to 1200Z, Jul 12
DMC RTTY Contest    1200Z, Jul 18 to 1200Z, Jul 19
CQ Worldwide VHF Contest    1800Z, Jul 18 to 2100Z, Jul 19
North American QSO Party, RTTY    1800Z, Jul 18 to 0600Z, Jul 19
Run for the Bacon QRP Contest    0100Z-0300Z, Jul 20
RSGB IOTA Contest    1200Z, Jul 25 to 1200Z, Jul 26

Good hunting and plenty of DX.

Antony Turnbull –  G4CUS. From the Vital Spark, July 2009.

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