60m – a month later

Well, I’m now on 60m for a bit more than a month and the score grow up to 120 DXCC worked on all continents with 2700 stations.

Due to COVID-19, I’ve been at home more often than usual and active almost all evening and nights. In the first days, I was lucky to work 10 new countries a day but at mid-point, 1 new DXCC/day was already a good score. Now everyday I meet the same DX stations with no real way to improve the score.

Of course I missed a couple of DX contacts (6W, 60, 4U1UN, 3D2, CP). All other « heard DX » have been worked, most of them without any problem.

In the first 2-3 days, I missed VP8/O and TU5 who ran Fox/Hound mode but I was not skilled enough to understand the process. That’s a pity because both sent me a reply but without the final RR73 message, making 2 uncompleted QSO.(because I was not in F/H mode).

The possibilities are very good and there’s a worldwide coverage every days. The only concern is the lack of CW active stations. For sure, in the coming months, the number of DX expeditions will increase the number of active countries.

I’ll keep an eye on the 60m waiting for new slots.  Have fun guys !

Publié par Florent dans DX'ing, 0 commentaire

60m activity

From 13 February 2020, Amateurs in all French territories now have access to the new WRC-15 60 m Secondary Allocation. It represents as always the range of 5351.5 – 5366.5 kHz at a maximum power of 15 W EIRP. That’s not much but at least we have access to a new band and a new groundplay for DX’ers.

After almost 2 years without radio activity from my home-QTH, I finally decided to set-up an antenna and plug all radio equipment to show-up on 60m while I’m at home due to COVID19. As non-permanent antenna, I put a simple GP 1/4 wake made with a Spiderbeam mast and 4 radials. Of course it can be improved with a better radials groundplan but that’s enough for now.

I started on FT8 rather than on CW due to the lack of activity. Of course, I keep an eye on the waterfall and QSY as soon as I see CW signals but that’s not very often.

In less than a week, I made 70 countries including all continents very easily. I have been surprised to work easily many DX stations in Asia, Pacific. Of course, it counts for nothing as DXCC does not yet include 60m QSO but with some of my local friends, we have a challenge to work as many DX as possible.

With so many months off the air, I can easily say that I’m having a lot of fun right now like several years ago when I started DX’ing on 80 or 160m.

Next step is to reach 100 DX countries and then, after homework (building the top floor of the house), I will think seriously about re-installing the tower and all antennas. I’m seriously in lack of DX and expeditions of course !

Publié par Florent dans DX'ing, 0 commentaire

New cards from the print shop

I recently received cards from the printer to face the high number of paper QSL request. As QSL manager, every months, I send through the buro between 1 and 3 kg of cards. Most of the time they are processed under a month and replies are returnerd via buro.

I can easily says that the OQRS system on the website improved the process and avoid to load the QSL buro with un-necessary cards as many DX stations do not even want to collect cards. In addition to this point, it saves money as package shipping costs for buros is getting very expensive.

Publié par Florent dans QSL Manager, 0 commentaire

Ultrabeam – tout n’est pas Ultra

L’antenne Ultrabeam 4 élément que je possède est actuellement installée en version 3 éléments depuis déjà plusieurs mois.

L’utilisateur précédent l’avait utilisé pendant un bon moment mais semble t’il personne n’avait à s’en plaindre. J’ai pour ma part aucune reproche à faire et suis même totalement satisfait de mon investissement.

C’était sans compter sur la météo calamiteuse de cet hiver, où l’humidité se mêlait au vent, souvent violent. Lors du montage de l’antenne, j’avais mis du ruban adhésif au niveau du connecteur PL situé sur le boîtier du moteur de l’élément radiateur de l’antenne. Certes, ce n’était peut être pas le meilleur choix mais une option qui a résisté des années sur d’autres antennes.

PL ultrabeamPourtant, un beau jour, le ROS de l’antenne à commencé à s’affoler, dans un premier temps sur 10m/12m puis sur les autres bandes. Evidement barefoot, le problème disparaissait.
Entre deux tempêtes, j’ai démonté l’élément radiateur et quelle ne fut pas ma surprise de retrouver le connecteur d’entrée rongé par la HF (aidé par l’humidité).

A vrai dire, je n’avais pas noté que l’isolant était en bakelite, chose que j’ai en horreur. Un démontage complet du boitier et un changement de connecteur (Fiche N en Téflon) et l’ensemble est de nouveau opérationnel.

Personnellement, j’ai trouvé un peu « cheap » de mettre un tel connecteur sur une antenne de ce prix Vu les caractéristiques (Pwr IN), on aurait pu penser que tout est mis en oeuvre pour que cela tienne le choc. A priori non… ou alors la composante « humidité » n’a pas été prise en compte.

Il y avait déjà eu la reculade sur la tenue en puissance du balun en 50MHz…. ah ces italiens !!

Publié par Florent dans Home-Made, 0 commentaire