A few contacts and some “neat stuff”

The quest for QRP DX continues (although slowly) with HA9RT in Hungary (20m ) becoming QRPDXCC entity number 51 in the log.

ha9rt

He did say I had a great signal but I think (once again) his beam and tower heard a weak signal and thought it was great… What do you think???

9a8dx

I also managed to get 9A8DX (Croatia) in the log on 10m and AC0ML  (USA) in the log on 20m so I am still making contacts but it was easier “back in the day” with the FT 450…  Regrets????  Not yet…. Well maybe just a little…

Before I sold off all my 100 w rigs my sole exposure to QRP SSB was a couple of outings a month in the local Parks stretching out a decent wire antenna and playing for an afternoon…

This daily operating with 5w and a vertical is slightly harder than I thought it would be and although I am not discouraged I find myself not spending as much time in the shack as before.  In the 100w days it was easier to just sit in front of the rig knowing that if I heard something I could work them…  Now I can still hear them (nothing wrong with the RCVR in the FT 817) but I find myself not being able to work them in some cases with 5w.  I tend to sit in the shack for an hour or so and if I have no luck then try again in the afternoon…

magicianandrabbit

I do have some tricks up my sleeve though and I’ll talk about them now…

A few of you might remember that I had mentioned that I had bought myself a new Samsung Galaxy Android Tablet…

samsungalaxietab

Well now that I’m getting used to it a bit more I have included some really great Amateur Radio Applications and they are helping me in my quest for DX.

The first application I use is the simple DX Cluster.  I can check the DX Cluster from anywhere I have internet access…  My local Timmies and my local Starbucks both have solid WIFI hotspots (FREE) so that covers most of the places I visit on a regular basis.  For the rare times I’m not out having a coffee….

hotspot

I do have a Wind Mobile 3G mobile Hotspot which covers the rest of the time.  This little toy is the same size as my cell phone and gives me a solid 3G connect just about everywhere I would want to go in the City of Ottawa.  In my opinion its an excellent bang for the buck (for me).  I don’t travel that much so….  Their coverage is still lacking in parts of Eastern Ontario as they build their network but for me it works…  The data plan I have is just fantastic… One of the loyality benefits as I have been with them since they arrived on the scene in Ottawa.

Now the other APP which has been helping me I just found out about…  its a little gem called glSDR and its a FREE app available on the Google store.   It turns your android device into a SDR (Software defined Radio) Receiver.  This RCVR connects to several (you pick which one) remote receivers and you can go from there…

Amateur_radio_prefixes_in_Canada

I’m guessing it was just dumb luck but I have a receiver to the east of me in VE9Land and a receiver to the west of me in W8Land and between the both of them I can hear more than I can hear from here at home….

uscallmap

So while I’m not in the shack….  I can check the cluster…. If I see that the bands appear to be opening up I can check on the SDR radio to see if I can hear anything….  If I’m hearing stuff then I can head back to the shack and fire up the FT 817 and try and make some QRP Contacts….  Its a system thats working for me….

As an example I was checking in to the 3730 net last nite and the NCS was in Pickering Ontario…. The band was starting to go long and I was getting him S7 here in Ottawa (about 200 miles away) and my noise was about S7 as well so it was difficult copy.  I turned on the Galaxie and connected to the VE9 Remote Rcvr and he was coming in at S9 with a lower noise floor.  Armchair copy…..  It did not help him hear me…  but it did help me hear the net….

A few of you might remember me saying that I was doing this in the past with an ECHOLINK system that was remoteing the same way and I was using it as a split rcv…  Its the same idea but with much more modern technology and I can do it from anywhere I have a internet connection….  Do I need to rush home if the bands are open….  yes…. but now I know if I need to rush home….  Its working for me…

va3qv_britannia_2012

The added bonus is as I mentioned above, it works anywhere I have an internet connection so I can now check the DX Cluster from my local Parkbench or Picnic Table once the warmer weather gets here…  Another tool for the DX inventory…  I am also testing out a logging program which is Android Based…  it won’t replace HRD but it could cut down on the paper trail while in the park… More on this later…

Enjoy the DX my friends…

73bob

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