Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Kentucky....fried chicken ?

Ok, yes another eye catching blog title post thats actually only to do with the US state of Fried Chicken, no sorry, Kentucky.

The bands today again are in the doldrums, no noise on 21 Mhz either (@ PC4T's post), so perhaps the sunspots asleep, so time to fire up DM780 and get on the PeSKy mode.

Put a few calls out on 14070.150 + 1800Hz offset, nothing, try calling a few stations back, nowt, hmmm, move down to 1200 Hz and put a call out, K8MWO, Bob from Kentucky comes right back.

Here is the transcript - What I like here is the battle of the band conditions, and more importantly the conversation, what a small world we live in.


13:53:10> Main






13:53:51> Main

Hi OM,

Report : 579 579

Name : Paul Paul qth Torquay in Devon,SW England, loc IO8ØFL IO8ØFL

Info : http://m6pcz.blogspot.com - www.qrz.com/db/M6PCZ

How copy? BTU OM, K8MWO de M6PCZ pse kn
atnR RST is .

My name is Bob Bob.

QTH is northern Kentucky Crittenden, KY Crittenden, KY

Loc EM78 EM78

Some QRM now QRM; missed your name. Plea h, your name OM? M6PCZ de K8MWO K



13:55:32> Main

Hi Bob,

Report : 599 599

Name : Paul Paul qth Torquay in Devon,SW England, loc IO8ØFL IO8ØFL

Info : http://m6pcz.blogspot.com - www.qrz.com/db/M6PCZ

Yes bands not so good today Bob !

How copy? BTU OM, K8MWO de M6PCZ pse kn
M6PCZ de K8MWO FB Paul. Good copy that time. I was in Devon last September. Through Devon and Cornwall all the way to Land's End. Very FB journey!

K8MWO Working Conditions:

---Transceiver - Icom-756 Pro III, 3Ø watts

---Antenna - KT-36XA 6-element tri-band yagi at 52 feet

---Interface - SignaLink USB

---Software - DigiPan

OK Paul, BTU... M6PCZ de K8MWO K
13:58:03> Main

Bob, my station

Radio : Kenwood TS-48Ø S-AT, 1Ø Watts, Home madio CAT + audio

Software : HRD + DM78Ø v5.Ø Beta

Antenna : 13Ø' End Fed long wire, 9:1 Unun

Operator : Created 1968, licenced 2Ø1Ø

Good stuff Bob, the road through Cornwall is slow takes 2 hours or more to get to Penzancee though not much at lands end

glad you enjoyed the south west !!!

My QSL is OK via eQSL.cc.

M6PCZ de K8MWO FB copy again Paul. Band is slowly opening here. WX today is going to be nice. Temp right now is about +7C. Age her is 64, licensed in 1958.

We came along the ~uth coast from about Brighton. Penzance. Lizard. tIusehole. Land's End. Up the north coast to Tintagel. Then back through Wells and RNAS Yeovilton to Gatwick. I am retired Naval Aviator here, so enjoyed the museum at Yeovilton.

OK etl, BTU... M6PCZ de K8MWO ee
14:01:21> Main

excellent Bob, lovely cathedral at wells and taht moat i hope you saw it that is a favourite place of ours



p"ae M6PCZ de K8MWO Yes, it was a good time Paul. We thoroughly enjoyed Wellbr and everything elseip

Your signal disappeared Paul. I will say 73 and hope you are copying thisr Will send you a QSL... CUL. M6PCZ de oa8MWO Sti 73et ce ete o14:03:34> Main
K8MWO de M6PCZ 73 OM and thanks for PSK31 QSO # 29 on 2Øm.

I know qsb toda y though

bob its been a pleasure talking to you today

K8MWO de M6PCZ sk
so long Paul... de K8MWO
14:04:42> Main
73 bob


I must excuse my spelling, what I try to do with most pesky qso's is to put an extra line or two of conversation in, however you are battling against time before the STOP command is reached.


Here is a picture of Bob in his shack, I really like it on QRZ finding these sorts of pics, I can imagine him sat there 3500 miles away from me 'talking' to me at his keyboard, nuts really isnt it.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Getting away from it all....

It's good to get away..as much as I have enjoyed the contest this weekend with my 9 qso's, I am obviously no patch on the big gun contest stations, to be honest I dont want to be, I like to listen and pick out the stations I want for DXCC or IOTA or just because it's a place I may have been on holiday.

I am also finding bands like 17m and 15m seem to attract the more exotic DX, so onto 15m PSK31 and I happen across FM5AA from Martinique.

Not sure where that is so onto QRZ.com to his page which says he's 285 miles away in France..something not right here.

Anyway I manage to work him, here's the qso..

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------QRZ QRZ  DE FM5AA PSE K ge Steee   teo r
a t e
 Q.8ao e.8CV de C
 Z QRZ  DE FM5AA PSE K ge Steoe   t r
 = s
15:25:09> Main
 M6PCZ M6PCZ de FM5AA FM5AA pse KK ereremØ(eoeono ?ì  Lee r   eeet
15:26:02> Main

Hi Frantz,
Report : 599 599
Name   : Paul Paul qth Torquay in Devon,SW England, loc IO8ØFL IO8ØFL
Info   : http://m6pcz.blogspot.com - www.qrz.com/db/M6PCZ

How copy? BTU Frantz, FM5AA de M6PCZ pse kn
teet,t t     e
15:27:52> Main

Hi Frantz,
Report : 599 599 very good signal
Name   : Paul Paul qth Torquay in Devon,SW England, loc IO8ØFL IO8ØFL
Info   : http://m6pcz.blogspot.com - www.qrz.com/db/M6PCZ

How copy? BTU Frantz, FM5AA de M6PCZ pse kn
µ xooi
UR REPORT 579 579
OP: Frantz Frantz
QTH: Martinique  Island
Grid Loc : FK94lo [253.6° 6,490.6km]

73 Paul  & TKS  de FM5AA  kn e r  e
et  e    e 15:29:56> Main

Hi Frantz,
all understood you are a very good signal today very happy to work you a first to Martinique for me
How copy? BTU Frantz, FM5AA de M6PCZ pse kn
AND GOOD LUCK FOR  2Ø1Ø,  & best 73's,  SK S15:31:09> Main
FM5AA de M6PCZ 73 Frantz and thanks for PSK31 QSO # 28 on 15m.
FM5AA de M6PCZ sk


You may have noticed I highlighted his grid/co-ordinates and also his IOTA, well off to my map on the wall and found him in the Caribbeabean, a little SE of Haiti and north of Venezuela.

Thats 2 IOTA I have worked now, the other being Rhode Island, USA which was special as we have been there.

For QRP of 10 watts the data modes allow you to work the DX very much easier than voice.

A little bit of Wiki info on Martinique -

Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 km2 (436 sq mi). It is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados. As with the other overseas departments, Martinique is one of the twenty-six regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic.

 The French flag is the official country flag with the snake flag being the un-official flag for Martinique.

UPDATE -  I dropped Frantz a line and I got a reply back -

Hi Paul,

Thank you for nice e-mail.

No problem about our qso Paul.

It has been my plaisure having a nice contact with your station.

Only a very hight level of QRM from stations calling on your msge.

I had to repeat several times that I was giving the keyboard to you.

It was an FB signal from your station on 15 mtrs last day.

Condx here was 50 watts from the IC-756 PRO III in an old

TH3-MK3 ( 40 years old ...!) at abt 45 ft hight.

Unfortunately we have more and more difficulties to operate

with QRP STNS due to a "particular operating way" of some stns from some parts

of Europe.......! it's not'it?.....

Congratulations for your operating equipment Paul.

Have a nice end of week.

73's de Frantz- fm5aa

Saturday, 27 March 2010

HRD Logbook and QSO map

I have been using Ham Radio Deluxe to control my TS-480 and my previous radio an Icom IC-735 for quite a while now, well before I recieved my license, it runs pretty well on my old serial port laptop, it sometimes gets a little slow if I have a lot of windows open, it must be a male computer as I'm rubbish at multi-tasking also.

Also in HRD is a logbook, this is very easy to use and have kept every qso to date, well I found out you can post your log online, and along with that a QSO map can be generated showing what types of contacts were made on what band, which continents, CQ zones, ITU zones and DXCC worked, all useful info.

See my log at http://www.hrdlog.net/ViewLogbook.aspx?user=M6PCZ - Currently It shows me on 21427.000 USB, where I am trying hard to work ZY7C from Brazil !!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

PCZ Reporter

I replied to a post on PC4T Pauls blog about the PSK reporter site, as you all probably know this great site can tell you where your data mode signal is being heard, well here is my version on the wall of my shack room showing all coutries I have contacted so far data and voice.

The best I have done to the west is Montana with N7AMK, Albert on 20m PSK31, for 4486 miles, going east I have worked RA1AOB, Dmitry on 40m PSK31 for 1465 miles.

To the north I had a very short and quite poor contact into Scotland on 80m LSB, and to the south I have worked TG9AHM on 20m PSK31 for 5319 miles and my best DX so far.

I have heard stations from JA and VK, though nothing from Africa or S. America as yet.

The currently very wet and sagging wire seems to be doing OK.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Home brew dipole

Been at work over the weekend which means I can find a little time for radio from the mobile, I only have a whip for 20m, however I found a nice plastic pole kicking about, around 10' long...

As a teen on the cb bands I made a dipole of which one leg was hung out my bedroom window, as my Dad would not let me put up an outdoor antenna, so yesterday I made a dipole for 40m as an inverted vee running N/S.

Using my HF analyzer made trimming it to 7100 a breeze and I was on the bands, then I found my new ears were picking up around S9 of QRM, not so good.

I did manage one contact though, GI8SKN, David in Carrickfergus north of Belfast, for a nice 5/9 both ways, my first into N.Ireland.

Thinking later I'm puzzled, as I put the dipole up to work Europe/USA, east/west.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

What contest ?

In my 11m Dx days a contact into Stateside was always a big thing, since I have gained my HAM ticket, I have been gorging on the good ole US of A !

At home this morning I started hearing stations calling 'CQ Contest', I was not sure if I could call back as I was not registered in any contests, so I left it.

This afternoon I had to go to work and in my vehicle I have a Kenwood TS-50 and a monoband whip for 20m, the noise on 20m is like S9 and mostly Europeans heard, I decided that I fancied trying to work some stateside, contest or not and I knew that if I was patient the band should quiet down and the American stations would come through better.

So around 2100 UTC I tune around the band, and find NN3W in Vienna, N. Virginia, he gives me a number then ask's is this my first contact, I say it is, so he gets 001.

Ok so I am contesting now, my next contact is FM/P/KL7WA from New Jersey - I get # 269, he gets 002.

Next up is AI2C from Maryland, I get 304 Louden, which is the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group (http://www.k4lrg.org/) and he gets, you guessed it 003.

So I am now officially a DX contester..?

PS - Does anyone know what the contest was today, was  it a Russian contest ?

Friday, 19 March 2010

Pretty pictures via SSTV.

The BBC this is definately not, welcome to SSTV !

I made my first contact this morning on this mode with IZ1MKE, Franco from Genova, Italy.

I am getting used to PSK via DM780 and it's macro's, this is not the case with SSTV and I have only a couple of pictures set-up and as yet I dont know how to insert the other stations info into a reply picture.

I recieved two pictures back Franco, please look away if you are under 18..or if it's before 2100 hrs UTC.

After the exchange of pictures I decided to monitor Franco..funny that !

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

PSK is the WAY to travel.

Well it's almost like flying, the little signal is travelling through the air, actually it is the only way to fly, at the speed of light !

Enough of that and getting to the point, PSK in 31,63 and 125 modes is proving to be a lot of fun currently, I have worked Mikhail 4Z5NF in Isreal on PSK63, also DO6BX in Germany on PSK125 and finally on PSK31, K0RDW Ron in Minnesota, a distance of 3925 miles, however I also worked for my best DX so far, K9WEY, Danny from Florida for 4229 miles.

Who needs BA when you have PSK..?

Monday, 15 March 2010

More Atlantic DX.

Had a qso with KA9WAR last night at 20.55 UTC on 20m USB, I was a 5/7 with him a good 5/9.

This is now my longest DX at 3720 miles.

I have also had a shot at working a VK on 40m via some 'G' stations this morning, unfortunately I was not heard, I could only just hear the VK about a 4/3 in the noise.

Friday, 12 March 2010

My first 24 hours as a radio Amateur..

I have my callsign - M6PCZ !!

WOW, what a 24 hours it's been, logged onto the OFCOM site this time yesterday, 3 days after passing the FL exam, then went upto the shack and fired up the laptop and radio.

Went onto 20m and with my first call worked S51AY in Slovenia on PSK31, then a while later YU7MK in Serbia. After that I spoke with Adam M6RDP who is local to me and a fellow member of the Radio Club, after Adam I worked again on PSK31, OE3YMB in Austria.

I then tried the handheld (Icom IC-7e) on the local club 2m net, not very good as only 1.5W output and I was indoors.

Today however in the mobile on the way home from work I managed to contact VA2PW, Peter from Quebec, Canada, whilst actually driving, I then stopped, he was 5/9 with my report 5/5.

I continued to listen to him working stations, so when I got home I answered his call again and was delighted when he called me back first call, this time I received a 5/6-5/7 report.

I am sat here writing this quite dumbstruck that my first voice DX contacts are across the pond for a and I've done them from the mobile and home QTH.

Happy is an understatement.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Foundation License PASSED !

Yes it has finally happened, after what seems an eternity since I started going to the Radio Club...well actually it was only mid January, the exam was taken and passed with a score of 24/25, so I am pretty chuffed.

Here is a pic of the three of us who took exams, Andy on the left who passed his Intermediate, Alan in the middle who passed his FL with a 24/25 also, and yours truly on the right.

I would like to thank everyone at the club for their help and support, and especially Ron and Pete who run the License course and club.