It hasn’t been amazing to find a 1995 WRTH at a recent hamvention for two bucks, but reading one of the stories it featured in its last pages. Named “Shortwave broadcasting begins it slow long fade (but International broadcasting endures)”, it’s a visionary altough sharp picture of what would happen in the following fifteen years by Dr. Kim Andrew Elliott, a personality that in radio domain needs no introduction Read more →
Archive for category: Spectrum obsessions
It’s the kind of thing you wouldn’t live. Your blog provider sends you an e-mail, calling quits. In two months, servers will be shut down. Panic. You need a solution, an easy and rapid one. “From DC to Daylight” was born in June 2011. Neither seven months, and I was already facing the need to relocate. I checked and discovered that, aside lately, I’ve been talking to you a lot: some 66 posts were there. I then started looking Read more →
It happened me to hear WPX or CQ WW, in the past, but this was the first time I had the chance to launch myself in the struggle, being licensed since three months. First decision I took was to avoid any extra equipment: on oct 29th and 30th I wouldn’t have had all the time needed to devote myself completely to the contest. So, I decided I would go – as we say in Italian – in “what comes will be taken” mode. Expectations Read more →
Guys, even before someone between you will speak, I’ll recognize you’re right. I’m chronically late in updating this blog, and I’ve a lot of things to talk you about, including my first ever CQ WW contest, as well as some 10 meters always more incredible openings (enough to tell I worked D2AM last week-end!). Time will come for all these stories, believe me. However, today, there is something coming first, as Read more →
Do you remember that old Jack Daniel's advert, in which barrelmen show the secret ingredient of their recipe is giving their whisky the time needed to become one of the best? I think that every OM should be like JD employees: never too hurry to make "that special" QSO, never too willing to have in their shack the last radio. Rapidity is never a good advisor. In a previous post I explained how much I love to go vintage when it comes to work /P. Last week, I experienced the same feeling in a fixed QTH. I was at my elmer's home, and we both felt the desire to fire up one of his FT-101, that was unlit since too much time. A few radios can give you that "warm" and "plenty" sound, especially on low bands. To obtain the better result, we hooked the Yaesu to a magnetic loop my buddy built (he's miles ahead to me, as far as autoconstruction is involved) for 80 and 40 meters. If you never tried such antenna, please do that as quick as possible (you can find projects and instructions easily on the net). It's simply incredible. You tune the radio on the frequency/signal desired, then you regulate first its aiming, then its resonance via the capacitor on the loop, and you simply zero any noise, with the most perfect 1:1 ROS you've ever seen. It's not probably the main choice for DX, but for a local traffic (where local should be intended in HF terms) you can't beat that performance. Also because a magnetic loop really works high end with a reduced size: the 40/80 meters loop hasn't more than a meter diameter (and, consequently, it can easily be plugged to the banister of your balcony, not needing any bigger space). So, after choosing 40 meters (it was 17.00 UTC, yet a bit early for 80 mt.) we tuned on M0UNN working several stations. Fine regulation of the capacitor and, in seconds, he was coming in really well. The temptation to try a call, and see if the loop would made it with around 100 watts, was impossible to resist. The result is in the video below. Needless to say, yours truly enjoyed this QSO as much as working T32C. Why? First it was vintage true ham radio (my father isn't an ham, but I love to think he would have used one of those transceivers if he were in his youth), then it was smooth (and who said that with low than 5/9 you're not readable?!), and in the end it was made at the proper moment. Like Jack Daniel's. Cheers, and good CQ WW to everyone!
Yet another five stars day on ten meters. The band sounded open already at 8.00 UTC. I did my first QSO on 28 MHz at 9.45, with US5ZCW passing me 5/8 from Ukraine. Then, at 10.19 UTC Turkey was a first signal of skip getting longer. TA3CY from Izmir had me 5/3. Then, two others QSO, always from eastern Europe, with the channels starting to be really crowded: UR5ET (5/8), and RU3ZG (5/5). The pattern was looking like the one we experienced in the last weeks (propagation gradually opening to the East, then "switching" to central and northern america), and SV8/HB9AAI at 10.55 was another nice contact (and he even gave me a beautiful 5/9). Then, the unexpected and so far unheard (for me, obviously) happened. At 11.17 UTC, on 28494,8 kHz, a voice in English deserved more attention, due to its accent. It paid, as it turned out to be VK6EH. He didn't hear me, but it was a pleasure to stay on the channel and listen to him work his long way to Europe on ten meters. Not the strongest signal ever, but readable, and hey… when has it been the last time you heard "down under" on 28 MHz? Pushing "record" was a natural pulse.
I stayed on Wayne's signal some more minutes (probably, my best ever QRB on this band, as an SWL), then decided to move, but finger remained shortly on the dial. 28527 revealed at 11.17 UTC a strong station, working a pile-up that wasn't terrible at the beginning. However, just the time to give out three or four times the callsign, and 8Q7DV (an Urali team in the Maldives) ended buried under calls from Europe. Let's check the last part of this clip to understand what "rapidly gaining popularity" means (and on 10 meters you don't know how it will last, so that's why everybody's hurry to work the DX).
I took a break to have lunch, and when I came back to the shack, propagation was still sparkling, with some arabic peninsula stations booming in. Many of them were working split, and had lots of callers. A61UU has been the one who heard me, at 12.47 UTC. As for all my QSOs, I'm proud as I made it with a vertical homebrew antenna (the "fishing rod" by my elmer IX1VKK) and nominal 100 watts. QRB to Ajman, QTH for A61UU, is 4809 km, which is my 2nd ever long distance contact on 28 MHz. I had from Abdul a fine 5/8, and I passed him the same. It wasn't the first time I worked A61, but everything on ten has a particular taste, given by the unpredictability of the propagation.
By 13.00 UTC, the band was alive with north and south American stations. I tried the big hit, and succeeded only partly. LU5FF did hear me indeed, but even if I litterally shouted in the microphone any time he asked me to repeat my prefix, I didn't manage to have him read my "X" between "I" and "1". He ended the QSO by passing 5/5 to I1CKN. I know he copied me, and this makes for even more satisfaction (two continents other than mine, in a single day!), but I don't think I'm properly in his log. However, this has probably been the best ten meters opening in the serie that started some two weeks ago. Sadly, switching from Daylight Saving Time will easily make the party end, with much more obscurity each day. So let's take every opportunity the next days will bring. To put it with a Tweet I read yesterday night: DX is everywhere on 10 these days!