Ramblings from a G4 by Antony Turnbull G4CUS June 2009

The bands were very variable during April. Even the bread and butter band (20mtrs) had its moments. Switching the rig on always brings surprises. One day the bands are full of stations, the next, well one wonders if the aerial is still connected! Having said that there was quite a bit of DX about (mainly on 20mtrs as far as I was concerned). I was however very pleased to work my old friend VR2XMT (Hong Kong), BD7NWF (China) and S04R (Dxpedition to Western Sahara) on 17mtrs SSB for new countries on the band using my 40mtr half-wave dipole. I was also able to work S04R on 30mtrs CW and 20mtrs SSB.

As reported earlier I changed my logging program towards the end of last year from Turbolog which I have used since its inception, to Ham Radio Deluxe. I have just about come to grips with most of HRD’s facilities now and am extremely impressed with what it has to offer, especially as it is FREE! It comes as a suite of programs which include the log book, DX Cluster, Digital Master 780 for transmitting and receiving most of the digital modes, PSK31 Deluxe, Rotator control, Satellite tracking and DXlab. You can change many of the features to suit your own needs and has good help facilities including an on-line user base.

When I produce this piece for Vital Spark each month I have to look through my log to see what has been happening on the various bands. I have now managed to get HRD to sort the log for me so that it lists the countries / bands worked. This has saved quite a bit of time, so computers do have their uses, when they work! For instance it now tells me at a push of a button that I had 187 QSOs during April from 55 different countries. If anyone is interested in trying HRD the web site is www.ham-radio-deluxe.com .

On the RAYNET scene we were involved with the ‘On Yer Bike’ cycle ride on Sunday 26 April which was a lovely sunny day and I think that everybody enjoyed themselves, even the riders! Linda and I were posted at Rickney Corner and enjoyed our sandwiches sitting in the sun. There was a record turnout of cyclists, about 530 of which only 20 failed to cross the finishing line.

As I write this the next event namely Jack-in-the-green has yet to take place, but I hope that the weather is kind to everyone, including the thousands of motor-cyclists who descend on Hastings during the bank holiday.

DX countries worked during April include:-

Cuba, Guadeloupe, Papua New Guinea, China, Hong Kong, Western Sahara, Mozambique, Singapore, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Israel, South Korea, Martinique, Taiwan, Japan, Reunion Island, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Asiatic Russia, USA and Morocco.

DX and special events to look out for, end of May and during June include:-
16/05-20/06      ZK2V: Niue (OC-040) QSL via N3SL
17/05-23/05      OZ5K: Romo Island (EU-125)
19/05                 F4FEP/p: Saint-Nicolas Island (EU-094)
19/05-21/05      GB100FAA: special event station

20/05-24/05      TK/IZ5FDD and TK/IW5ELA: Corsica
23/05-24/05      CG7GMT: special event station
24/05-25/05      SX2CM: special callsign (Greece)
30/05-06/06      9A/OE3WGC and 9A/OE3ZK: Palagruza Island (EU-090)
30/05-06/02      IL7G: Tremiti Islands (EU-050)
10/06-15/06      ZY0F: Fernando de Noronha (SA-003)QSL via PY2WAS
13/06-28/06      IY1GMN: special event station
19/06-05/07      5J0M: San Andres (NA-033)
20/06-21/06      SX2MT: special event station

Contests taking place during June include:-

Tue 0100 – 0300       ARS Spartan Sprint – CW
Thu 1700 – 2100         10 meter NAC – CW/SSB/FM/Digital
Fri 1800 – 2200              Digital Pentathlon (1) – BPSK63
6- 7      Sat 0000 – Sun 2400       Open Season Ten Meter PSK Contest – BPSK31
Sat 0400 – 1200           DigiFest Contest (1) – Digital
Sat 0600 – 0800           Wake-Up! QRP Sprint – CW
6- 7      Sat 1200 – Sun 1200    SEANET Contest – CW/SSB/RTTY
6- 7      Sat 1500 – Sun 1459    IARU Region 1 Fieldday – CW
6- 7      Sat 2000 – Sun 0400      DigiFest Contest (2) – Digital
Sun 1200 – 2000              DigiFest Contest (3) – Digital
Wed 0030 – 0230            NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint – CW
Fri 1800 – 2200               Digital Pentathlon (2) – MFSK16
13-14  Sat 0000 – Sun 2400    ANARTS WW RTTY Contest – Digital
Sat 0000 – 2400          Portugal Day Contest – CW/SSB
Sat 1100 – 1300           Asia-Pacific Sprint Contest – SSB
13-14  Sat 1500 – Sun 1500       GACW WWSA CW DX Contest – CW
Sun 0000 – 2359           SKCC Weekend Sprint – CW
20-21  Sat 0000 – Sun 2400       All Asian DX Contest – CW
20-21  Sat 0000 – Sun 2400    MIRK Contest – CW/Phone
Sat 0800 – 2200             SCAG Straight Key Day (SKD) – CW
Sat 1400 – 1800             Feld-Hell Club Sprint – Feld-Hell
20-21  Sat 1600 – Sun 0200    West Virginia QSO Party – CW/SSB
Mon 0100 – 0300             Run For The Bacon QRP Contest – CW
Wed 0000 – 0200             SKCC Straight Key Sprint – CW
26         Fri 1800 – 2200                Digital Pentathlon (4) – Feld-Hell
27-28  Sat 1200 – Sun 1200      H. M. The King of Spain Contest – SSB
27-28  Sat 1200 – Sun 1200      Ukrainian DX DIGI Contest – RTTY/PSK31
27-28  Sat 1400 – Sun 1400      MARCONI Memorial Contest HF – CW
27-28  Sat 1800 – Sun 2100      ARRL Field Day – All
27-28  Sat 1800 – Sun 2100      QRP ARCI Milliwatt Field Day – All

Good Hunting and plenty of DX.

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

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