Posts Tagged ‘Amateur Radio DXPedition’

Upcoming Amateur Radio Event

August 3, 2015

I got this in my email inbox from fellow blogger Bill VE3CLQ…. 

Its speaks for itself and its worth a read…

Greetings all, coming up on August 29th is the W/VE Island QSO Party.  
Traditionally this event has been held in late October, and our club has activated a number of islands that day.  Due to the cold weather last year and the very poor participation numbers from Canadians, the US Island Award event sponsors have agreed to a permanent move of the event date into the warm weather of late August.
Over the past 7 years there has been less and less Canadian participation in the event, some due to the weather of late October, and some do to the issues related to lack of advertising by the management of the old, now cancelled, Canadian Islands Award program.  Hopefully this change of date and a lot more advertising can change this.
This email is being sent to hams coast to coast, and a few in the middle, in the hope that we can get the word out and start rebuilding this event in Canada.  If you write a blog, please write about and push this event, mention it on your club’s repeater, and most of all pick and island and get out there and take part.
We have had our first Canadian activation notice from the guys who live around Grimsby, Ontario, and they plan on being active both Saturday and Sunday (but the actual event is only on the Saturday).
Have a look at:  Details of who’s activating what will be posted there.

Speaking from experience this Island activation can be fun….  You get to take your portable gear out into the field and play radio in whats hopefully good weather for a few hours…. If the “Propagation Ghods” are co operating you should find out what its like to be controlling a pile up…  If not you will still make a few contacts and still have fun….

Here are a couple of hints for operating from an island:

Remember the locals-  Looking for rare DX is fine and dandy but…. working an hour on 40m and/or on 80m can give the close in operators a chance to get an island in the log as well.  The same could be said for making a couple of calls on your local 2m fm frequency.

maple island

Whatever battery you would take out to the field….  Double it.… I normally use a 7ah battery in the field with my ft 817 but after calling CQ for 4 hours non stop I did need to put in the 2nd battery to continue on with the activation of Maple Island back in 2005.

Spend more time on the air than getting on the air…. A simple multi band antenna that you can install quickly will usually get you more contacts that the more complex antennas.  You most likely will be time challenged  so keep it simple and use your time wisely


Test your station then pack it and leave it packed till your event.  Once you know everything works… pack it in its bag and DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING till you take it to the island.


If you pack it away complete then you can’t forget anything at home (coax, microphones and power cords come to mind speaking from experience)

Don’t forget the logbook and extra pens….  Know your operating location… Do you need to bring a folding table and camp chair or are their picnic tables???


If you do cause a pile up… and you feel overwhelmed don’t hesitate to slow things down to your speed…  They want you in the log more than you want them… and remember in 99% they have more power than you and most likely a better antenna so don’t get upset if you can’t work everyone you can hear…. but try and work everyone who can hear you…


Finally don’t forget to have fun….  It has to be fun because if its not… Why did you do it?


Trying to work the guy down the street….

July 21, 2015

Well its not as easy as it looks….

Craig VE3OP is on holidays in KP2 (US Virgin Islands)….

I heard him on Sunday evening on 20m SSB and he was working lots of Canadian Stations as well of the rest of the world…

But could not hear me!!!!

I heard him on Monday afternoon on 15m CW and he was working the world… If his statements on Sunday were correct he was using his KX3 and a Buddipole on the beach today….



But could not hear me..

The funny thing is that Craig lives across town from me…  Under 10 miles (16km) according to….

I don’t need KP2 in ssb or cw but I thought it would be a neat thing to make a contact with an Ottawa based station while he was on holidays….  I still think it would be neat…. and I have one more week to make it happen….

Hopefully the propagation Ghods will smile on me by then…


After the Ontario QSO Party

April 20, 2015

Well it was fun…

I had very limited time to participate in the event due to some non radio commitments…  I was able to get about 2 hours in on the Saturday evening and never made it back into the shack for the Sunday portion…  I did manage 14 contacts total between SSB and CW split almost evenly on 40m and 80m…


I was operating with the Flex 1500 (Elecraft T1 Auto tuner, 4:1 balun and 55 foot end fed longwire with 4 radials) which as you know has been the same setup I have used here for about 18 months now… 


Operating strictly in the Search and Pounce mode  was my choice of operating styles so….  If I heard you…. I called you but I was only looking for OQP stations just so I could give out the “OTT” (Ottawa) multiplier…  The score was nothing to write home about but it was a fun way to spend a few hours…  With the noise levels on 80m I was shocked that so many actually heard me well enough to copy the exchange (59 OTT or 5nn OTT)

I seem to have lots of time to play radio but it seems the weekends are all shot till the summer holidays….  Monday to Friday loads of time for DX’ing but Saturday and Sunday always seem to be booked….  My summer break will see the camper heading out for  Field Day in Eastern Ontario then heading to a location in Western Quebec for the RAC Canada Day Contest… Its going to be 2 weeks of camping with a couple of Radio Events splitting up the time…

After that Liz and I will be doing some short camping trips (within 200km of home) and the radio gear will be going along but the operating time will not be as much as I would like, but it will be more than she wanted it to be…

There are some plans in the works for the CQ WW SSB Contest in late October but for now its still just me thinking out loud…  Nothing carved in stone yet…  It depends on how well the camper behaves itself over the summer camping trips….

My ongoing quest for my QRP CW DXCC is going fairly well.  43 confirmed so far and I am awaiting LoTW Confirmations for another 15.  A few of those will not be confirmed and a couple more might get confirmed on EQSL but this is something that is not going to happen overnight.  I am impressed however how far my CW Signal has made it using  “5w and a wire”…  Although I am still not a CW Fanatic I have to admit that the mode does get a signal through…  This winter i hope to start into working for my Triple Play award which means I finally will have to figure out the digital modes…

In the meantime have fun playing radio…


Upcoming QRP CW DXPedition

November 27, 2013

It seems there will be a QRP CW DXPedition early in 2014…


Ulrich Steinberg, N2DE, will be active QRP for about 5 weeks from three DXCC entities in southern Africa, beginning in mid-January. In order, he plans to be on the air as A25US in Botswana, 3DAØUS in Swaziland, and as 7P8US from Lesotho. Steinberg said the exact dates and times will be determined according to his schedule “and on short notice.” He’ll be using an Elecraft KX3 running 10 W, CW only, on 20, 17, 15, and possibly 10 meters, if conditions permit. He may also get on 40 meters. As with his early 2013, 7P8US operation, he’ll operate 31 kHz above the lower band edge, targeting 14.031, 18.099, 21.031, and possibly 28.031 MHz. QSL via N2DE. — Thanks to The Daily DX

According to what we read above he will actually not be QRP as the release says that he will be running 10w with a KX3 and by normal standards QRP is considered 5w or less whatever mode.  But I have heard people taking liberties of the 5w defination in the past.


Above- The KX3 of VA3PCJ just for visual effect.  This one will not be going to Africa in Jan 2014

Is that 5w leaving the radio or is that 5w entering the antenna?

In most cases anyone operating QRP would be using a shortest feedline to the most efficient antenna they could find anyway so its really a moot point…


Above my FT 817 showing the Par attached to the LDG Auto Tuner with no coax in the line whatsoever

In my own case although I do need all 3 entities for my QRPDXCC and two of the Entities would be new ones for my DXCC the fact that its a CW DXpediton greatly narrows my chances of getting anything new in the log.  For anything new I would need to get the Flex running 5w CW to break what should be a really crowded pileup and then for me to correctly hear the confirmation that Ulrich heard me…  I might give it a try but not feeling overly confident in the outcome…

But in the meantime I am getting trying to get  FLDIGI set up on the laptop to run with the Flex so you never know…  If I manage a contact in the RAC Canada Winter Contest then perhaps I give it a try early in Jan when the DXPedition is supposed to start…

No matter what, I will be watching the DX Cluster very carefully…


A couple of interesting EQSLs arrived today

December 11, 2012

After supper I snuck downstairs and checked my email….  I noticed a notification from EQSL and so I headed over to their site to see what goodies had arrived for me…

Two cards stuck out (from the rest) each for their own reasons….

The first one was from a DXPedition I contacted on 20m back in July…  According to their page they were not doing the Electric QSLs of any variety (no eqsl or LoTW) but as HRD sends out a EQSL every time I hit enter in my logging program there was no way really to easily not send one out…

TO2D eqsl

Today this came in …

Which was a bonus…  Hopefully this also means that the DXPedition has decided also to upload to Logbook of The World as this would be a new one for me…

The second card was from a SWL.  I appreciate all the EQSL’s but the ones from a SWL are really special…  Its nice to get a signal report especially not from the area I was talking to and also there is a chance that the SWL will one day join our ranks as an Amateur.


ab4ug eqsl

I got my start with an old tube receiver listening to the BBC and Radio South Africa close to 50 years ago now….  There really was a magic of radio back then as computers (let alone the internet) were not around…  This even was before the madness called CB Radio had arrived…  Its always a treat to confirm a SWL Report…  and as this time I also had the EQSL from the party I was talking to at the time…  Its the first time that ever happened for me… Lots of QSLs and lots of SWL Reports but this the first that I got both…

An interesting way to end the day….


Got them 4 times so far…

December 6, 2012

Decided to strike while the iron was hot (so to speak)…  Although conditions have not been the best I have been able to grab the

5T0SP DXPedition on 4 bands so far…


Havn’t heard them on 20 yet and I am hoping for 10m…. Heard them on 80m (just) but I am hoping for slightly better conditions in the near future…

When they confirm on LoTW it will add to my DXCC count as it was a new one for me…


The evening is going GREAT as well

November 26, 2012

Talk about quick responses….

I’m sitting in the shack and listening on 17 m where I am supposed to be hearing the 5T0SP DXPedition in Mauritania Africa.  The cluster said they should be on 18.140 (listening up 10) and I have every thing set but hearing nothing.

Suddenly after about 10 minutes of static I hear ” 5T0SP listening up 10…”

I listen and instead of giving a report he calls again….

” 5T0SP listening up 10…”

This time I fire out my callsign and I hear back:

VA3QV 5/9…. 

Still shocked (its not supposed to be that easy is it?)…  I reply VA3QV 5/9 thank you and he goes on calling …  I am not hearing anyone else calling right now…

Just for a laff I decide to go to his  Club Log Site  and check out the details.  I type my call into the log search and find the following:

Less than 30 minutes from contact to confirmation…. 

It takes me longer to get a Pizza delivered…

I might have to wait a while for the LoTW upload but I have proof I got him and I can be patient…

Whatta day!


November – December 2012 Special Canadian Callsigns

November 15, 2012

I got this list from the Radio Amateurs of Canada Website and seeing that we have lots of events coming up that may or may not be using some callsigns you might not recognise I thought I would share them with you…

Thanks to RAC for providing the information:

2012-12-29 to 2012-12-30 CF for VA, CG for VE, CH for VO, CI for VY Diamond Jubilee Year of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
2012-11-28 to 2012-12-28 CK3B VE3JPP 50 years of Conservation NCC
2012-10-27 to 2012-11-25 VC3X VE3SSJ CQ WW DX SSB & CW contests
2012-10-27 to 2012-11-25 VC3J VE3JPP CQ WW DX SSB & CW contests
2012-10-27 to 2012-11-25 VD1M VO1MP CQ WW DX SSB & CW contests
2012-10-27 to 2012-11-25 VC2B VE2BR CQ WW DX SSB & CW contests
2012-10-27 to 2012-11-25 VC2X VE2IDX CQ WW DX SSB & CW contests
2012-10-27 to 2012-11-25 XL3A VA3RVK The Trans-Canada Highway 50th Anniversary
2012-10-27 to 2012-11-25 VC2T VE2TZT CQ WW DX SSB & CW contests

Now this list has me thinking because the first entry on the list tells me that I am allowed to use the CF3 prefix followed by my regular suffix for the time period that the RAC Canada Winter Contest will be running for…

The last time I did this was for the 2006 RAC Winter Contest when we activated Bate Island (CISA ON 283) at the same time that we participated in the contest using the callsign CF3RCS which in our case stood for:

Canadians Freezing 3 Real Cold Spot

We ran a multi op single transmitter station outside (solid roof but canvas walls) for the 24 hours of the contest.  FT897 and a 10m to 160m windom antenna along with 4 32 ah batteries and two propane tanks and a propane heater…  We almost froze to death but we did have fun….  Oh Ya…  Bate Island in in the middle of the Ottawa River between Ottawa and what was thn Alymer QC (Now called Gatineau)

Wonder if (6 years later) we are crazy enough to do it again???

Guys????  Anyone feel like going outside to play????


Thanks CY9M

July 31, 2012

This morning after checking the cluster this morning for CY9M as I has a faint hope that I might be able to get them one last time on 10-12 or 15m I noticed the post that mentioned that due to bad weather they were leaving early this afternoon (today instead of tomorrow) from St Paul Island.

I am guessing this means the WX tomorrow is expected to be bad as I can’t imagine them wanting to load up today in bad WX unless tomorrow was really going to be worse…

(usual disclaimer… check the cluster yourself for the most up to date information… I’m just passing on what I read on line! )

If you want to check the Environment Canada Weather Radar Map click Here

So thanks to the Operators of CY9M for giving us the pleasure of their company on the airwaves for the last 6 days.  I managed to get a new DXCC in the log on multiple bands (6m, 17m, 20m & 40m all ssb) and it kept me out of trouble for a few days…

It was fun…


Its the start of the Weekend

July 27, 2012

Between the Olympics starting up and this being the IOTA contest weekend I think I know what I wll be doing this weekend…  On the radio side of things I have gotten the Olympic Amateur Radio Special Events Station 2O12L in the log twice now.

Contacts have been made on 17m and 20m.  Depending on band conditions I can hope for contacts also on 40m and 80m with a slight chance of 15m.  Don’t think I have much of a chance on 10, 12 and I have nothing up for 160m


In addition to all the hype about the Olympics (radio and non radio) this is also the IOTA contest weekend.  As you know this stands for Islands on the Air.  This years event has me stoked because not only do I have a chance to get a few new DXCC into the log but one of those new DXCC entities is a Canadian Territory.

CY9M is operating from St Pauls Island off the East Coast of Canada.  As I type this I can hear CY9M operating on 20m giving out contacts…  Sad part is that I can hear the people causing the pile ups…  I just can’t hear the reason for the Pile ups…  According to their website they will be active on several bands before the contest starts and then they will be active on 20m for the contest.

I will be spending lots of time in the shack or close to a radio this weekend in the hope of getting them in the log….



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