Ramblings from a G4 by Antony Turnbull G4CUS May 2009

Examining my log for the month of March I see that I have not been that active due mainly to the better weather and the need to tidy up the garden after the dreadful winter weather. I don’t think that I can remember such a long period of rain and high winds, the casualties being a few of the smaller trees and lots of branches strewn everywhere. Instead of the mic / keyboard, I have been wielding my chain saw!  Luckily all the aerials appear to have survived the ordeal. Having said that I did manage to enter a few hundred QSOs during the month of March because my limited activity was concentrated on three contests.

These were the BARTG HF RTTY, the ARRL INTERNATIONAL DX SSB and the CQ WW WPX SSB contests. I have to admit that I can only put up with giving out rst/serial numbers for a limited time, three hours on, ten hours off. This of course is not a winning formula and I am content to give out a few points at the same time as picking up some of the rarer pre-fixes. The WPX contest always produces weird and wonderful call signs, some of which are difficult to identify. Even logging software is unable to put a country to a call every time.

Two of the rarer countries activated by DXpeditions in March were Lord Howe Island (VK9LA) and Cocos-Keeling Island (VK9AA). I was amused to see arguments taking place on the DXcluster system as to which was the right call sign being spotted on a frequency as they were so similar. I did manage to work VK9LA on 20m RTTY and VK9AA on 15m CW. Both were working split-frequency and I nearly fell off my chair when VK9LA came back to my first call about 4Khz above his operating frequency.

VK9AA took a little longer.

Operating from the new Brede site has gathered momentum and we are now able to operate two HF stations with amplifiers simultaneously and a VHF station. We also still have HF and VHF facilities at the nuclear bunker site. There have been a number of examination successes and there is a queue of people waiting to take the course/examination.

DX countries worked during March include:-

Lord Howe Island,  Cocos-Keeling Island,  Mayotte Island,  Turks & Caicos,  United Arab Emirates,  India,  Haiti,  Antigua,  Namibia,  Indonesia,  Japan,
Micronesia,  Virgin Islands, Ethiopia,  Anguilla,  Barbados,  Falklands,  Qatar,  Thailand,  Kuwait,  Brazil,  Oman,  Israel,  Azerbaijan,  Saudi Arabia,  Aruba,  Cape Verde Islands,  Cayman Islands,  Senegal,  Brunei, Suriname,  Morocco,  Hawaii,  Curacao,  Nicaragua,  USA, Martinique,  East & West Malaysia,
Canada,    Tunisia and Argentina.

DX to look out for at the end of April and during May include:-
24/04-27/04      MM0BQI/p:     Lunga Island (EU-108)
25/04                3D2AD and 3D2DW:        Fiji Islands
27/04-29/04      T30M and T30DW:     Western Kiribati

29/04-05/05      JD1BLK and JD1BLY:     Ogasawara (AS-031)
01/05-15/05      OZ/I2AE/p:     Danish islands tour
01/05-12/05      PE25KP:     special call sign
02/05-05/05        JD1BMT:     Ogasawara (AS-031)
02/05-12/05       JD1BMH:     Ogasawara (AS-031)
04/05                3D2AD and 3D2DW:     Fiji Islands
08/05-16/05      9A0CI:     Vela Palagruza Island (EU-090)
10/05-11/05      SX2CM:     special call sign (Greece)
16/05-20/06      ZK2V:          Niue (OC-040)

Contests taking place during May include:-

AGCW QRP/QRP Party 1300Z-1900Z   May 1
10-10 Int. Spring Contest  CW  0001Z, May 2 to 2359Z, May 3
7th Call Area QSO Party 1300Z, May 2 to 0700Z, May 3
Indiana QSO Party 1600Z, May 2 to 0400Z, May 3
ARI International DX Contest 2000Z, May 2 to 2000Z, May 3
New England QSO Party 2000Z, May 2 to 2400Z, May 3
EUCW Fraternizing CW QSO Party 1000Z, May 9 to 2000Z, May 10
CQ-M International DX Contest 1200Z, May 9 to 1159Z, May 10
VOLTA WW RTTY Contest 1200Z, May 9 to 1200Z, May 10
FISTS Spring Sprint 1700Z-2100Z, May 9
His Maj. King of Spain Contest CW 1200Z, May 16 to 1200Z, May 17
Manchester Mineira All America CW Contest 1500Z, May 16 to 2359Z, May 17
Run for the Bacon QRP Contest 0100Z-0300Z, May 18
MI QRP Memorial Day CW Sprint 2300Z, May 24 to 0300Z, May 25
CQ WW WPX Contest CW 0000Z, May 30 to 2400Z, May 31

The last mentioned being the BIG one for the month. WARNING! The bands will be busy!

Good Hunting and plenty of DX.

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

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