Re: [DX-CHAT] Make a better spot

2006-07-21 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

I like the antenna codes ,but would include things like

Bev, Vert, K9AY, 4SQ etc... easily flexible, though... the antenna
codes aren't very cryptic.
1L is good for generic horizontal wires.   Vert probably better  for
verticals...


Could add WN (wet noodle) for really easy-to-copy-on-anything signals...


Might be good to use something offbeat as the seperator, maybe *.
Also, maybe add TX ERP for those worked, HRD for not

1830.5 VK0XX 449*W3*Bev/4SQ*1kW
21050.0 CT1XXX 579*W3*4L*65W
144.210 AE3XX 59*FM19*6L*HRD

I'll do it if you will... I think it's a compact way to include more info.

Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] Gary Stone

2006-07-21 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

I can appreciate that... but I think it already happens to a certain
extent, right?

The first spot of all is useful to let you know the DX freq.  The rest
just let you know who else is hearing the DX.  Now, it could be that
one might make the case that the DX should only be spotted once.  I'd
come down on this side if it were possible to keep people from
duplicating spots when they're excited.

Since people are going to spot the same DX over and over again, I
think it would be cool to have formatted data of station details.
If the format was codified and a lot of people used it, you could get
all sorts of data on band conditions, statistics on who uses what
antennas when and how well they work.

Some mods to cluster software would let you add automatic info when,
for example, you spot a 20m spot and you always use your four element
yagi on 20.

If it's formatted properly, the cluster could also be modified to
strip it out of the spots sent to those who don't want such
information.

Something to think about, I think... I like the idea of data rich
cluster spots but I can see how the cluster is information overload
anyway...

Tops on my list is finding the DX before it's spotted... sometimes I
wish we could cancel DX spotting entirely and cool the pileups off,
but barring that, I'd like to make it as useful as possible.

Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] 4O3T

2006-07-24 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

This is what drove me to get my Extra back in 1999... there were a
bunch of good DXpeditions, every once and a while I'd be lucky and
they'd be on 14.025 listening up, but mostly not.

Montenegro is going to be as common as YU anyway, I expect... this
isn't exactly a rare one.

Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] How do we make better DXers?

2006-07-30 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

The DX just has to be strict about who gets to get through.  The
pileup should be held up until WK7 gets to get through, or the DX says
the whiskey kilo seven please and is met with silence.  Yeah, QSO
rate may plummet, but that's just what has to happen to keep the
pileup in line.

I'm in favor of the DX giving specific instructions to keep the pileup
in line.  I've worked some hard ones on 30m because the DX sent UP
17 instead of just UP and three-quarters of the pile didn't follow.

The  more the DX can reward the good, skilled, and polite DXer with
the contact at the expense of the brute-force jerks, the better the
pileups will get.

Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] How do we make better DXers?

2006-07-30 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

I think long-term blacklisting is too harsh.  I don't think that the
people who are calling out of turn are necessarily doing it because
they're bad people.  I think it's because they know it increases,
rather than decreases their chance of getting through.

I'm OK with short-term blacklisting though.  A quick KQ3XX come back
tomorrow, no contact today is likely fairly effective.  It should
just be for a single band-mode-day though.  It'd give the bad apples
many chances to modify their behavior.


Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] How do we make better DXers?

2006-07-30 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Joe,

Didn't mean to single out your prefix!  I did a qrz.com search on
KQ3XX just in case ;-)

My favorite (and this happened a bit on 6m today when it was open to
the Carribean) is this, and I'll be the lid this time... that's safe.

DX: 6 Yankee One Victor QRZed?
DX: Kilo Quebec Three Foxt***NOVEMBER THREE OCEAN X-RAY*** and 9 in FK18.
KQ3F (who can luckily hear over me) thanks you're five and 9
DX: Thanks this is Six Yan***NOVEMBER THREE OCEAN X-RAY*** QRZed?

Gotta love it.  I'm working on worked all currently transmitting
stations by the way.  The situation in the big unruly pileups seems
exactly analogous to capital area traffic, by the way.  There are
times around here, if everyone just let one single person in from the
merge lane and just left a little, tiny bit of space for traffic to
move around, the Beltway would move at 60MPH.  Since everyone's being
skittish and selfish and watching out only for themselves, traffic
moves at 23MPH.

The selfishness, of course, is totally misplaced.  The best thing for
the DC metro drivers and the callers trying to break the pileup to do
to get through is calm down and be orderly.  Things will happen much
more smoothly, you'll get your to the end of the commute faster or get
your contact sooner.

Oh well, don't think KH8/S is going to happen for me this time, but I
did work 2 new 6m band-countries today so I've had a good one.

73,
Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] Stupid splits...

2006-07-30 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Peter,

I am, of course, referring to the current situation, but he's not the
only time I've heard this.  A certain DXpedition to the near-antarctic
on 40m CW was a travesty some nights this way too.  I know ops get
caught up in the pileup, but sometimes you've just got to hit the
split reset button and come back to 1kHz up.

I could never figure out what was going on with 3Y0X on 40CW.  I
worked 'em on 30m, 20m CW and I got them on FORTY METER SSB.  I live
in an apartment and use magnet wire antennas and a barefoot FT-857D!!!
They were awesome ops doing everything right except that 40m split
just got so wacky.

OK KH8SI on 30m now... wish me luck, here I go...

Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] How do we make better DXers?

2006-08-03 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

The US call districts are still mostly populated by the right numbers,
though this is a good point, especially when taken worldwide.

Calling one 1 and then one 2 and one 3 and so forth has the advantage
of NOT taking into account propagation (you're not trying to get only
1's, 2's, 3's before the band closes)

What it does do if done correctly is slashes the pileup size on
average by a factor of TEN and makes the other 9 numbers very patient
because they know that in a few QSO's they get their chance.

They can, as Charlie said, go get some coffee, or they can spend the
next nine QSO's listening and coming up with a calling strategy.  It
takes the pressure off. It's less stressful than taking ten or twenty
from each district as propagation fades out.  Having worked
DXpeditions that are using this method, I think it's a great way to
thin a pileup.  Since a lot of successful pileup breaking is listening
and thinking, this gives you 9 out of every 10 QSO's to work on that
instead of yelling into the microphone.

73,
Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] How do we make better DXers?

2006-08-03 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Peter,

I'm never more frustrated than when I'm losing propagation and the DX
takes 15 4's then 15 5's then 15 6's then 15 7's then ***permanent
fade***  ... I would have had 4 other shots to work them if they were
only taking 1 per district. Guess it's a matter of personal
preference.

Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] How do we make better DXers?

2006-08-03 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Peter, you make a good point.

Regarding 3Y0X, I think it probably goes to show that the raw skill of
the operators at pileup handling is much more important than any
subtle variations in technique.  I certainly had a lot easier time
getting through to them (3 bands) than to KH8SI (zero bands).

Actually, I felt a little silly later on in the 3Y0X operation,
because I duped them on 30m (as per their request when the log wasn't
working) because the first contact was a bit questionable, and so in
the first few days of the operation I fought through the 30m pileup
twice with my little invisible doublet and 100W, only to have them
begging for contacts by the end of the operation.  Even when the
pileup was enormous, though, I knew there would be some way to get
through.  The rate was good, the ops were predictable and in control.

I *think* they were working by numbers on 40M SSB when I got them but
I don't remember for sure.  I feel like I just happened to tune to
them to see how their SSB sig compared to CW and they were on 2's so I
figured I'd dump my call in when the 3's came around.  I almost fell
off my seat when they came back, I usually don't even consider 40M SSB
a useful DX band-mode given my antenna and power, but after the
contact was over I listened on my TX frequency and only a handful were
calling.

Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] re How do we make better DXers?

2006-08-03 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Only one way around it!  One call district for each grid square, worldwide.

73,
N34595OX

Only 34,592 call districts to go before they get to me.


but I've seen operators literally go by prefix (i.e. W1, K1, N1) so

I wouldn't know whether to call or not!

73 - Jim AD1C
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Re: [DX-CHAT] digital Changes to FCC SSB allocations

2006-10-12 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Did you really say that?!

One of the best DX ragchews I ever had was on Pactor with a ZL.  We
typed back and forth for over an hour, and everything got through
despite miserable condx and fading propagation. A phone or CW QSO
would have been constant repeats.  Honestly, I'd say that my mode
preference in radio these days runs is CW over digi and digi over
phone.

Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] Omnibus After Effects, or, The Day After

2006-10-12 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

The only downside I see right now is going to be extra crowding in the
big digital *contests*

Digital tends to creep down to the x.025 range but not too much
further right now... it's going to be interesting to see what smaller
digital subbands will do.

Otherwise, I think it's great, especially if the Tech Plus and Novices
get more overlap with the higher classes on CW... there's a lot more
to do on CW if you get General-class priveleges on 80,40,15 and 10!

Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] Omnibus After Effects, or, The Day After

2006-10-12 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

And the fact that the VECs have to change all the exams


And the fact that we all have to remember some new subband edges!  I
think I've got a weird holdover from operating a lot of 80m phone DX
when I was an Advanced.  I still think the phone subband stops at
3775.

Actually, I guess 3600 will be easy to remember.  I do think it's cool
that we'll get more phone overlap with the rest of the world on 80.
It's a good time in the sunspot cycle for this change, though I'm
going to have to add another tap on the 80m matching coil on my
vertical.  I've got one tap that covers CW between 3500-3570 and
another for phone : 3750-3830.  Didn't really think I needed those
frequencies in between ;-)

73,
Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] I just have to say this....

2006-12-27 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

It appears that
there is just no way to pass on to today's teenagers the wonder of radio,


There's no opportunity.  I would imagine that ham radio was much
bigger in the general public conciousness in 1956.

I just stumbled upon ham radio in 1995 at 15 years old as a result of
thorough geekery and a little bit of CB.  DX hooked me.  None of my
friends got it.

You can turn the radio on and let them listen to the beeping or the
donald duck voices and tell them that they're coming in from faraway
Place X and they just don't get it.  I think it's because DX isn't
about distance, but that's all you can really talk about... it's not
about contacting foreign nations; you can do that on the internet.

DX is about the quality the band has when the K index is zero and it's
four in the morning and the lake effect snow is howling outside...
It's about staring out the window into the darkness as you spin the
knob and you're not in the shack; not really, anyway.  You're out
*there* somewhere, looking for the DX.

DX is about the emptiness of a quiet open band.  It's about the
potential to trip across a new one faintly bleeping a CQ and being the
only one up to answer.

I get it.  Not many people these days do.  I think the magic is there
but it's changed and it's more subtle.  Instant contact with any point
on the globe is routine but you have to know how to get a hold of
them.  My girlfriend gets it.  There used to be a phone booth out in
the middle of the Mojave desert.  It was for some mining town; they'd
drive four or five miles out to the booth to use the phone if they
needed to.  Most of the time it was an empty phone booth in the middle
of the desert with no one around for miles.  She used to call it and
listen to it ring...

Put a signal out there, see what comes back...

Dan
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Re: [DX-CHAT] P5BCST

2007-03-07 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Stands for North Korean Broadcast.

Not ham, though I gather it's an intruder.  Probably tripping
everyone's alarms though; VR2 someone has been spotting P5BCST
daily.
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Re: [DX-CHAT] Radio-Amateurs+ART

2007-03-20 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Has anyone tried to report him to the Belgian spam authorities?

There are often email addresses to which you can forward offending messages.

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Phone to CW DXCC ok

2007-04-24 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Boris, I think this one is the proper one for this situation:


a) Mixed (general type): Contacts may be made using any mode since

November 15, 1945.

You can't get credit for your phone DXCC or CW DXCC, but you can
get credit for mixed.  Cross mode CW/Phone counts as any mode.

Good to know.  I was really itching to call HZ1IK on CW last night
when he was coming in well on phone on  7080, but after reading the
cross-mode doesn't count for DXCC comments around here, I held back.

Next time ;-)

By the way, cross mode CW (me) to SSB (big guns) works really well on
VHF since all I have is a 5 element yagi at 9m high on the chimney and
50 watts...

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] BS7H

2007-05-02 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

A 5 Element Yagi Up 90',
and a Linear Amp


Would really help on this one.  I can hear them near DC on 20m and 30m
with a 25 foot high delta loop and a big vertical respectively, but
not much chance of working them.

I'm hoping to put up a  BS7H-special antenna tonight, vertical beam
right on them.

Hope the K=0 holds out and I hope condx on the rocks hold out as
well... good luck to all.

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] BS7H

2007-05-02 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

ENJOY all
the Lids, CB'ers, and QRM you invited in !!

Yes, because every ill-behaved person jamming the pileup is obviously
a recently minted U.S. Extra Class amateur.

Maybe we should look at the motive... who has more reason to jam  a pileup?

A brand new Extra all excited about DXing and who's seen the
impressive and bizarre spectacle that was BS7H in '95 and just has to
make sure they get this one...

---OR---

Someone who already has them in the log and doesn't want someone else
catching up to their total?

- - - - - -

I personally don't think it's either... I think it's jammers who like
jamming, which we've had for a long time, and a few people who are
frantically searching a vast swath of 20m hoping to find the sweet
spot to get through and forget to switch VFO's before they transmit...
they're lids, maybe, but forgivable ones.

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT]

2007-05-02 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

NO CODE!
Carfull what you wish, because you just might regret it


Care to hazard a guess why there are jammers and lids all over the CW
operation too?

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Best BS7H quote I have seen

2007-05-05 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

To ALL de IZ8DEO 1824Z : 10.104 the mother of the idiots is always pregnant


Fantastic!

BS7H a no go for me.  Gotta wait 'till next time.  I should have some
big aluminum in ten years

Heard 'em well on 20m several mornings but couldn't pull the trigger.

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Best BS7H quote I have seen

2007-05-06 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

I didn't really need a super-fancy antenna system either. No stacks,
no long-boom monobanders, just a Force 12 C31XR up 70' or so (3
elements for 20m on a 31 foot boom),
but  having a legal-limit amp
and diversity-receive on the Mark V really did make things go easier.


Compared to my 100W and Moxon rectangle at (maybe) 30 feet, that's big
gun stuff ;-)


I couldn't believe the cluster-crabs whining like girlie-men, and
especially one nutjob in 8-land who needs some serious couch time -
or at least a tribander, good feedline and a decent amp for next
time.


Exactly.  This moron probably was trying to get them on a G5RV strung
North-South with 100W and had done the same with N8S and other recent
DXpeditions where propagation favored the Eastern half of the US.

I can't believe the nerve of people who think they're entitled to a
contact with the DX just because there's a DXpedition on.  It doesn't
matter that they're a poor operator, it doesn't matter that their
antenna system is garbage and they're running low power, they think
it's the DXpedition's fault.

The fact of the matter is that those of us on this coast who have
built a radio station that can be used to contact some guys running
medium power to simple verticals on some rocks 8000 miles away are the
ones who get the contact.  It's a team effort, but I think the major
monster DXpeditions who can work EVERYONE in a particular geographical
area have made some people decide that everything must be that way,
even if it's technically impossible.

I worked 3Y0X from an apartment building using a hundred watts into a
100' magnet wire doublet.  I got them on 20m and 30m CW... AND 40M
***SSB***.  I think anyone with the same setup and some persistence
could have done the same.  Given propagation and the ridiculous
conditions on BS7H, that's practically impossible, to work Eastern US
stations with similar equipment.

I'm young, I have time to wait.  I'm just happy that I was still
hearing them well enough to call on 20m after 14024 BS7H Faded Out
spots started hitting the cluster.  I made my best effort from here
given constraints of other commitments, time, and money, and my best
effort wasn't good enough.  No whining here, but you can bet I'll be
really ready for the next one.

73,
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Best BS7H quote I have seen

2007-05-06 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Dan, you hit the nail on the head. If you fancy yourself a DXer you
need a station to cash the cheques your mouth writes, first and
foremost. If all you can afford is 100W and a wire, then you're a
fair-weather DXer (solar-wise).


Fortunately for me on 30m and below that wire is 60 feet long and
vertical.  I got VU7RG on Day 1 on 40m CW!  Now that I'm thinking
about it, I shoulda stuck a phasing coil in the middle of the 60
footer and used it on 20m !!


I had to
visit a better station to work the rare ones (my club's station, with
a Cushcraft X9 at 120' and a kW in the shack).


I've always resisted that.  Even when I was in college and we had an
X9 at the club station (K2CC), it was the rig in my dorm room and a
wire or nothing at all.  Just a personal handicap on the whole DXing
biz, but you're not going to see me whining on the cluster.  Of
course, I was dorm hamming at solar max last time so I was knocking
down new ones (T30 comes to mind) on 10m with a 12 foot wire.

The U of MD station, W3EAX, has the big tribander stuck north right
now but that would have been just fine.  I'd prefer to wait for the
next one...


I went with the Force-12 C31XR
and have not regretted it for a minute. 6dB over dipole on 20, 6.8
over a dipole on 15 and 7.4 over dipole on 10, 70 feet up, fed with
3/8 hardline and connected to an AL-1200 legal-limit amp and a
pretty good transceiver.


An achievable station for many hams if they're serious about the DX,
for sure.  I'm still a renter, so a 70 foot tower is really out.


If you can't afford a good station or you've chosen to live in a
CCR-restricted property that's fine; nobody's going to point their
fingers at you and laugh, unless you start to whinge when you can't
break through the piles of the bigger operations.


Exactly.  Ultimately, it all comes down to the choices you make about
your ham radio activities, and I think you can do things even on  a
shoestring budget.  Heck, if I'd dropped a few hundred bucks on a used
amp before this operation went up, and put up my $70 beam for day 1
instead of day 3, I might very well have them in the log.  I chose to
not make a huge deal of this one because I'm planning on DXing for
another 40 or 50 years... I put a little work in and built the beam
and put it up in a couple of configurations just to see if I could
squeak through.

I read that email on scarboroughreef.com ... you know, the profane guy
with atrocious spelling... and I wondered what piece of crap he was
trying to work BS7H on because I read his comments while I was hearing
them just fine here near DC on my delta loop at 25 feet, and I have
power line noise!


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Best BS7H quote I have seen

2007-05-06 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Quote W2AGN:


You know, following this thread is enough to turn one off DXing. The ones that
worked BS7H are sneeringly demeaning those who didn't, criticizing their
operating, etc


No, a mix of people who worked and didn't work BS7H are sneeringly
demeaning a few VERY, VERY vocal whiners who think the BS7H guys did
something other than the very very best they could.

They don't say it in so many words, but they chalk up their inability
to work very difficult DX to the DX station's mistakes or the actions
of the masses in the pileup.

They don't understand that to get through to a rock on the other side
of the world while there are thousands and thousands of callers takes
solid preparation, a good station, and good operating skills.  They
want to blame someone else for their lame station and operating
ability, and they want to do it on the cluster.

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Stupid countries (formerly BS7H thoughts)

2007-05-10 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Agreed ... where it s not possible to even set up a table for
operating without first building a platform to create a level
surface, that entity certainly fails any test of common sense.


3Y0X on Peter I. first had to set up tents before they set up tables
so the ops wouldn't get buried in snow and freeze to death.

Should we delete it too?

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] BS7H QSO Stats

2007-05-17 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

This throws a lot of whining into sharp perspective.

They didn't work the U.S. enough?  We're second only to JA.

Totally impenetrable JA wall?  JA was only 900 hams ahead of the U.S.
total.  Granted they had 3x the QSO's but who around here had a real
shot on, say, 40m.

BS7H impossible from the east coast?  Zone 3 only had 600 more QSO's
than zone 4 and zone 5, which were equal.

21kqso to Asia, 16kqso to EU, 7kqso to NA... sounds like they did a
good job working the propagation...

Lots of selfish hams stealing away the chance for people to get a QSO
from BS7H by working them over and over again?  I don't think so.

2.5 times  as many people got only one QSO as who managed to get two.
2 times as many people managed to get 2 QSO's as got 3.  This includes
*all* regions.

Whoever got 24... wow.

73,
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] BS7H QSO Stats

2007-05-17 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

How did they figure the US zones - by call sign which isn't too accurate
now.

That might be right, but I don't think it's *too* inaccurate.  I think
the overall situation is still that the numbers more or less match up
here.

If you want to do a sample, just type random 1x2 calls into qrz and
see if the number matches.

I just ran n1aa through n0ad... maybe 10% of 'em were not in their call areas.

So stuff 400 more qso's into zone 3, maximum.

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] BS7H QSO Stats

2007-05-18 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Looks like I was off by 5%... I figured 10% of Zone 5 calls weren't
actually in Zone 5.

Still a pretty good distribution across N.A.


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Re: [DX-CHAT] ZS8MI

2007-05-21 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Although it seems he manages MOST of them


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Re: [DX-CHAT] 3B6SP expedition?

2007-06-07 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

I could use ZS8 too...

I hope the 3B6 guys are able to get underway soon... all I saw was a
cluster spot from a GM station that said something like back to 3B7
...

I've got my fingers crossed that condx hold out... we don't need
85/2/0 solar condx for 3B6 from here but it sure wouldn't hurt.

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] VU7RG QSL

2007-06-15 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Got mine yesterday .. yes, vy nice card.


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[DX-CHAT] TN0VB

2007-06-21 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

Apparently UA4WHX is in TN now?

Anyone know how long he's staying?

I need it for an all time new...

73,
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Post War QST?

2007-09-28 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
I have Jan 1942 reprint because ARRL sent it to me when I renewed ;-)

Really fascinating read for my 28 year old self, actually... glad I have it.


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Re: [DX-CHAT] a disgrace to ham radio

2007-10-19 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
I guess the only solution is to ignore if you can and steal their pleasure.

If we could get every single ham who wanted to work the DX to have
infinite patience and totally ignore the jammers, they'll go away.

The DX will always hear everyone in a split pile, and there will
always be a good fraction of the pileup that can hear the DX and not
the jammer just like I could on 40m.

If no one sends UP or LID or the FU I've heard a few times, then
the jammer is just going to hear the DX soldier on in the face of
jamming, apparently unhurt.

It won't cure the problem (some jammers are very persistent) but it
will help if they generally think they're too weak to be heard.

I can't explain why things have gotten so much worse lately, unless
the general downturn in society in general.

I don't know either but there is something I've observed.  Some DX
operations get almost NO jamming, some are jammed constantly.  I don't
think it has much to do with the loudness or rarity of the expedition.

That smacks of a deeper story than people are jerks

I think some jamming is probably specifically targeted at certain
individuals or DX groups for personal reasons.

5L2MS has had fierce pileups but I haven't heard much intentional
transmission on their TX frequency, have you?

They're mind-bendingly loud in NA too on some bands...in Western
Africa and in great demand, and yet, I heard a fair bit of intentional
jamming on C52C on 40 and now this report of the same on 30.

What's the difference?  Maybe I'm wrong, maybe 5L2MS is getting jammed
just as much, but I haven't noticed that if it's true.

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] A disgrace to Ham radio

2007-10-19 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
My experience listening to C52C on 40m was that the jammers couldn't
touch 'em ;-)

Tuners, intentional QRM, other such BS and C52C was just sailing over 'em.

Doesn't let the QRMers off the hook, but it is something I like to hear.

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] FR5DX QSLing: The rest of the story

2007-10-31 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
 I won't speak for Herik, but he is very sensitive to his QSLing complaints.   
 He
 loves ham radio and I'm sure one of the reasons he's not on much any more is
 because he doesn't want to hear complaints about not QSLing.   To my knowledge
 he is fastidious about getting every QSL returned, whether direct or via buro.
  He returns what he receives.

Yeah, I like how the implicit assumption here is that the mail thieves
are dumb enough to be fooled by simple disguise tricks or nondescript
envelopes.

All it takes is one or two envelopes to the Reunion address that are
addressed conspicuously and have dollar bills in them, and the
dishonest employee can JUST REMEMBER THE ADDRESS.

Then they can just open everything.  It doesn't matter what it looks like.

Personal mail from France will get through just fine, but everything
that fits the disguised-QSL mold won't make it through.

Hell, I got a letter from the postal inspector when I tried to send a
card to a stateside manager *also in Maryland* with a small cash
donation.  The card and envelope came back with the letter from the
inspector but the dollars disappeared into Baltimore somewhere, never
to be seen again.

If it's happening in Baltimore, you can sure bet it's happening in
places with even more crippling poverty.

If it's a choice between feeding your family well and letting some guy
get his QSL cards, or even half his mail, which would you pick?
Anything they can  open and destroy that won't get them fired is a
goner.

73,
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Culture Change on DX Cluster?

2007-11-01 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
I think it's fine if you're rare DX and not getting any responses...

However, I've come to think no one should ever spot someone that
already has a pileup.  Obviously self spotters are too busy at that
point to spot...

Pipe dream, of course.  Never gonna happen because people like to brag
to the cluster too much (I've done it too, I wish I hadn't).

I think it should work thusly:

Station calls CQ three times with no response on an open band: spot him

That's it.  Otherwise, let people find him themselves.

There are just too many cluster clickers out there.  The cluster is a
useful tool, but there are just too many who show up and obviously
can't hear the DX.

I'm sure this is a common complaint of small, weak stations... and for
the time being, I'm medium-weak, but personal failure in pileups is
not really what this complaint stems from... I usually get through
anyway.

It's just that you come across some good DX calling CQ, chances are so
did three other guys.  If you beat them out in the pileup, you know
they're there, let them enjoy their QSO and don't call in the rest of
the world to compete with them.

It's the courteous thing to do.

This is especially true of DX stations who are not so hot at handling
a pileup.  With three or four callers, slowly building, a bunch of
guys will get to make a contact before the pileup gets too big for
them to handle.

If I spot him right after I work him, the pileup instantaneously gets
too big and after 1 or 2 more QSO's, he's going to QRT.

People watch the cluster and build up giant stations so that they can
ensure they can get through in 1 or 2 calls ... that's fine if you're
feeling life's too short and you want to work 'em all, but if we all
stop spotting the good stuff, then DXing starts to come back to skill
and tuning more than brute force.

Again, pipe dream, but keep it in mind when you and that brand new
KC2xxx station find the good DX on 20m at the same time.  You make it
through first on your 70' high tribander... do you go spot it or let
the KC2 have the thrill of a lifetime with their freshly strung 20m
dipole and shaky CW?

73,
Dan


73,
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] How do you view new DXCC countries?

2007-12-11 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
I view
it as more of a pain in the a** having to work them and collect QSLs to
maintain my position on the Honor Roll.

Shouldn't someone who's working harder than you get to take your spot?

The rules are the rules Re: addition of new entities and I would say
new political entities are about the cleanest, easiest call there...
new country = new country!

I think it's good for DXing to add new easy ones.  It's good for
people with limited setups to have some excitement and it does provide
a way for Honor Rollers who aren't doing anything to have their
standings decay  and make room for new guys.

Besides, don't you want to eventually be pushing 390 active+deleted
someday?  ;-)

73,
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Re:A52AM

2007-12-17 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
 I'm with you,
 personally - that there was a valid license was in force before that
 date,

Presumably there is strong suspicion or proof of 1kW operation prior
to the cancellation, so I think it makes sense to invalidate the whole
operation.

Otherwise it'd be like saying all P5/N3OX contacts before they caught
me and put me in jail would be valid even though I never had operating
permission...

100W power limit in A5, eh?  Makes me nostalgic for 2000 conditions on
17 and 15m ... just looked up my A52A Q's

73,
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Ungrateful

2008-02-10 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
 Exactly - she's out there doing it and that goes a long way in my book.

I thought she was doing a *good job*.  She wasn't making 100 QSO/hr
rate but when a whole bunch of people decide W7 please? means N4 and
NN3 and KP4 and NF5 should keep calling, and you have to make every
single QSO with a pileup that never, ever ever changes intensity,
you're not going to have a stellar rate.

You could go up and spread 'em out but then you're going to QRM half
the band with a pileup that never, ever changes intensity.

The continuous caller problem is upsetting.  I heard some guys in
there on 14205 that should have known better, guys I respect
otherwise.

We should all tie our continuous calling buddies down and beat it out of 'em ;-)

*smack* THOSE LETTERS AREN'T IN YOUR CALLSIGN *smack*

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Pileup control

2008-02-10 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
That was a transcription of an actial qso, you can copnfirm with
W4AMP if you would like, other calls left incomplete to protect he
guilty.

No doubt, no doubt... I heard exactly the same junk on 14205
yesterday, and I'm sure it's going on on 18160 but fortunately I don't
have to listen to it.

However, I think any deviation from a solid

1) Throw out a partial
2) Work them, stick with them
3) *confirm the QSO*
4) QRZ?

pattern is bound to get even those with *some* self restraint riled up
and calling out of turn a bit.

if the DX station has persisted for 4 or 5 calls and others refuse to
stand by whose fault is it? What option does the DX then have to
maintain control.

We all need to shut up. There is nothing, ever, ever, ever ,ever that
any DX including TI9KK could do that could possibly excuse not
standing by for completion of a QSO.

However, the overall health of the pileup does have a lot to do with
*hope* vs. *despair*

If you were one of the thousands of #1,#3,#4,#5,#6,#7, #8 or #9 EU
waiting quietly and patiently while TI9KK worked #2 only for half an
hour, and your heart leapt when she went EU only and then minutes
later she goes back to *specifically calling* #1 USA, you are not
going to be hopeful that you will get through.

I'm trying to run a clean operation over here.  If I think it's a
nearly impossible QSO I'll just hang it up and wait for a more
favorable shot.

I personally think DXing would be more fun if everyone felt the same
way about that.

But the reality is that there are some folks out there who will be
patient and quiet only up to a point and will break and start QRMing
in their simple desperation to get through...

To focus the discussion, if you've been listening for an hour as the
DX calls #2 for a half hour, takes all callers for a while, then goes
back to #1 after never cycling through the numbers, should you
*really* respect the call for #1's only?

Again, as soon as partial is pulled, every single person who doesn't
have that partial needs to shut up, but I can't say the same for
respecting a call for by-numbers or EU only or NA only  when there's
been no evidence of that actually working for anyone.

Now back to Europe only on 17m, different op.  Let's see how that goes.

73,
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Pileup control

2008-02-10 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
 If the replacement op comes back on and starts on ones again it's
 going to be bedlam ;-)

It's official, the replacement op came back and just started taking
anyone and everyone.

Again, I'm just a lazy W3 who doesn't appreciate the DXpedition, don't
worry I understand that.

But would it have been so hard for the previous op to say hey, I
stopped EU only at #6, why don't you pick up EU only at #7

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Pileup control

2008-02-10 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
Inexperienced operators belong
on low rate bands (e.g., 10 meters, 6 meters) at the end of an
operation not on prime bands the first day of an operation - if
they belong on an operation of this size in the first place.

I don't think that's really fair.  I think for an inexperienced op she
was doing quite a good job.

Now there's another op who has a problem... he called EU only by
numbers... I had great hope, he did #1-#6 EU only holding it very
well... even-handedly switching numbers... EU ONLY EU ONLY, no
problem... then he got to #7 and started taking U.S.A. stations he
just worked ONLY USA STATIONS and is now on to #8.

What do the #7,#8, #9, and #0 Europe stations do next time ?

Maybe he's also an inexperienced op?  Harder to tell which one he is...

Now they've done an op switch without even getting to #9 and #0 at all

---

I think all DXpeditions need to do with inexperienced ops is say
look, don't try anything tricky, just pull callsigns out and stick
with them until you've got the QSO.  Make sure you end with XX6YY
thank you TI9KK QRZ?

I'm sure comments of don't criticize, it's not your money it's not
your operation you're lazy in your chair on the internet etc etc are
due my way at this point, but all of these problems should be
avoidable with a little briefing.

The ops I've heard so far are not bungling much and are maintaining a
reasonable rate... a simple do NOT run by numbers from the team
leaders would have avoided a lot of strife!

The 9's and zeros around the whole world and the 7's and 8's in Europe
just got stiffed on 17.

If the replacement op comes back on and starts on ones again it's
going to be bedlam ;-)

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Ungrateful

2008-02-10 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
What we're seeing is another side-effect of the lower of license
requirements.

Ron, don't even go there.  I don't want to name-and-shame as G0OIL
says, but of the two worst ones I was hearing yesterday one was
licensed in '86 and the other I know has been a ham for quite a long
time (not sure exactly how long) as well and is someone I respect for
his work in ham radio, and have only ever heard him being a very good
operator otherwise.

I don't doubt that there are a good number of brash, lawless new ops
out there.  I've heard some of them too, but if the older more
experienced ops set a good example and are the successful ones in
doing so, we'll be better off.

I hear a lot of stuff about new ops coming from the CB bands and so
forth... but honestly, if you're a new operator and come from the CB
hobby where transmitting is the whole point, you actually *have an
excuse* to be a bad, continuous caller until you learn better by
listening to the way things are supposed to go.

Guys who have 22 years in the hobby do NOT have an excuse.

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] DXpedition Expectations

2008-02-10 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
Mike,

I think you're on to something.

TI9 is apparently #87 in the DXCC most wanted for 2006.  I'd believe
that... there are other things I would rather knock down but there's
not a whole ton of activity.  It's good DX and lots of people need it.

OK, so ZK2 is #75.  I'd believe that, right?  It's occasionally active
too but harder from the U.S.A. and much harder from EU.

TI9KK has monster raging pileups.  I saw a spot for ZK2CC on 40m last
night and one called 'em.  100W.

The apparently more-rare ZK2 wasn't attracting as much attention as
TI9.  An East Coast USA station with 100W and a vertical (albeit a big
one) can one-call #75 on the list.

It was late at night, many people probably asleep, sun up over much of
EU by then but #75 gets no pileup and #87 gets this:

http://n3ox.net/files/TI9KK_pile_021008_40m.mp3

We can't draw the strongest of conclusions because it really wasn't
prime time for pileups on the ZK2 but now that you've mentioned it I
wonder if the big announcement and coverage and the delay and callsign
change and whatever have brought TI9KK to the forefront of everyone's
DX awareness ...

At any rate, we've got a couple of CW stations down in Cocos to work
as of this writing and SSB seems to be going well on 17 now.   I'm
sure things will hit their stride and we'll get 'em where we need 'em
(though I'm a little bit terrified of listening the first time they
hit 160m )

It'd be interesting to know what OTHER good DX everyone is working
while hordes call the TI9 stations.

I don't blame them for stirring up a lot of attention, this stuff is
expensive and no one is going to donate to a DXpedition they don't
know about... but I think there really might be something to this
sentence:

 However, the combination of the anticipation of a rare place being
QRV, the talk of needing this or that band and the final event of the
station coming on the air makes for an explosive mix that finally
ignites in the inevitable fracas of the resulting pileup.

Dan


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[DX-CHAT] TI9KK CW

2008-02-11 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
Gotta give them praise for low band CW operations!  They're really
holding it down on 80/160 tonight.


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Re: [DX-CHAT] directional CQs

2008-02-21 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
 I must admit the
  hours-on-end of EU only on the low bands got very tiring very
  quickly.

And yet they've made about a fifth of the QSOs with EU than they have
with NA on 160m and just 2/3 the number of QSOs with EU as they have
with NA on 80m.  Go figure.

In the meantime, poor ZS's get stuck with a whisper and no one
straining to hear them in particular.

VP6DX has too loud of a signal on 160m and 80m in the states to NOT
stand by for other areas.  Everyone with 30W radiated power and a
passing interest seems to be able to work them on 160 and 80, which is
awesome, but that's an awful lot of people compared to the usual crew
vying for TB and 80m QSOs.

Peter, I'm sort of interested in seeing how this discussion plays out
on a reflector with some international participants ;-)  I don't know
if you saw but the original poster KA3NRX in the epic eHam thread
managed to snag himself an 80m QSO (with 100W + G5RV I do believe)...
despite the frequent and thorough EU EU EU EU.

The way the QSO stats and my personal experiences watching people work
this one have played out, the only people in North America adversely
affected by VP6DX's incessant EU'ing are the terminally impatient and
those who are scared of being awake after dark.

And in reference to the original post, Charles,  I did witness VP6DX
on 160m calling for EU/SA at least... guess that was last night.
Not very often you get anyone calling for South America unless they're
an EU guy looking for better lowband DX than us stupid W3's ;-)

I'm sure the UA4's and OH's SM's and LA's who get approximately 30
minutes of propagation to VP6DX on 160m would love to stand by for the
first five hours of a nine to twelve hour mutual darkness with great
propagation listening to an excellent signal they're not supposed to
call.  I'm sure the Africans who get even less propagation wouldn't
mind a standby for them... but if there are so few of them as to make
the rate *zero* on the average attempt, it's unlikely they're going to
get much window.

I'm sure satisfied with my 11 band slots worked at quasi-convenient
hours with 100W from a 50x100 foot lot in the DC suburbs with no
tower... and no one was spoonfeeding me.

You can continue to think that it should just be strong vs. weak
without an appreciation of how much stronger a fairly weak NA could be
in VP6 than a moderately strong EU but I think it's going to get you
some bad karma Re: some very needed SE Asian expedition that just
works JA's all day ;-)

I sincerely doubt we'll ever see six
hours-on-end, every day, of NA only, EU-stand-by when a DXpedition
starts up from some place where propagation to EU is better than it is to NA.

That would appear to be a different issue than your other objection,
that no one should be spoon-fed

73,
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] numbers directional CQs

2008-02-21 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
If an operation decides to do anything other than general calls then
by continent is fair -- just alternate regularly so one side doesn't
feel like they're getting the short-end

I think the issue here is ops who *feel* they're getting the short end
vs. ops who *are* getting the short end.  I personally think VP6DX is
striking the perfect balance between EU and NA and it's reflected in
the stats.  They're giving a very fair shot to DXers in those two
areas based on their knowledge of propagation.

Go look at the stats page and tell me who's missing out on VP6DX QSOs.

Now the points you guys are making certainly extend to DX that isn't
quite as  good at knowing how to balance propagation vs. open calling
so maybe that's an issue, but I think VP6DX has it down cold.

Anyone know of a table of # of hams per continent so we can normalize
the VP6DX stats table to reflect per capita QSOs?  Would be
interesting in discussing the original question.

- - - -- - --

Peter, I'm with you on by-the-numbers.  There are lots of reasons but
I rarely hear it going really, really well.

And I understand that the waiting that probably makes people freak out
in by-the-numbers pileups could be totally unbearable if you spend
your precious 40m operating time listening to the big signal of VP6DX
going EU EU EU but that's different... but that's your decision to
make and I feel that there's plenty of precedent and plenty of
information on the internet for you to realize that until 0500 or 0600
or 0800 or so you're not going to get a shot.

NA DXer, do you really, really, really want a 40m QSO?  Don't sit
there fuming while they call EU, drink a half gallon of water or set
your alarm, go to bed, get up at 0900Z, work them in two calls and go
back to bed.

I've seen a fair number of comments on the cluster from people who are
just crouched over the radio in their presumably precious operating
time getting upset and tired because they're waiting there listening
while VP6DX works EU instead of working other DX, sleeping, or doing
something productive!

I made my 160m QSO last Friday morning pretty easy, just woke up a
half hour before sunrise or so.  It would have been kind of stupid for
me to stay up all night to do that.

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Directional CQs

2008-02-22 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
It seems to me that if they have spent a bunch of their money,
perhaps with some backers too, they can operate
any way THEY think is best for them, not us

Why don't we just apply this to the whole of ham radio.  Whoever
spends the most money gets to make the rules.

Don't get me wrong,

1) I very much appreciate what the DXpeditioners are doing
2) I think personally that many/most of them do a very good job
3) I think they largely do it because it's a fun and/or rewarding
adventure that puts some spice back into their love of DX

All this is good, all DXers should be generally appreciative, patient,
and avoid being *unjustifiably* critical of DXpeditions.

However, it really makes me worry for the future of DX and DXing fun
when some hams have the attitude that spending $10,000 of your own
money to go to some hellhole of an island to operate ham radio should
make them into Ham Radio Gods whose operating procedures are
sacrosanct.

Not everything that a DXpedition might do is OK.  In the case of
VP6DX, I think they're running a ship-shape, ethical, and fun
operation and really doing a fantastic service to the ham community.
They're keeping the pileups largely under control to use a reasonable
amount of band space and using the tactics that their excellent ops
know to keep rates high.  I think most DXpeditions fall into this
general category.

However, it would be possible for a DXpedition to spend hundreds of
thousands of dollars, operate for two weeks, make 100,000 contacts and
still be guilty of bad operating practices!  If that statement costs
me a rare DXCC counter from some grudge-holding DXpeditioner, let it
be so, but there *are* things that a DXpedition could be doing
unwittingly that make for big, bad, unruly public relations nightmare
pileups or to unfairly treat some subgroup of amateurs calling.

DXers are not the only ones in ham radio, and the DXpeditions and
DXers have a general responsibility to run a clean operation that
treats the entire world ham population fairly no matter WHO PAID FOR
IT.  The airwaves belong to all of us, from guys with a bamboo beam
and a WWII era rig on a little island to the teeming hordes of NA, JA
and EU superstations.

And I think in that context, the present discussion is about what is
fair treatment of the worldwide DXer  (and in the case of pileup
control, the general ham) population.  Spending the money to go on the
DXpedition does NOT give you the last word in that discussion.

Having a fantastic team of propagation and operating experts and good
organization and planning DOES give you a serious high ground from
which to decide the best operating strategy, which is why I will
staunchly defend VP6DX's decision to work a lot of EU EU, but it is
not about money or simply being in a rare location.  It's about
running a fair and ethical, expert and fun operation that respects the
WHOLE worldwide ham population and their rights to the airwaves, DXers
and non-DXers alike.  There are things that I've heard major
DXpeditions do that I feel are very much like screaming fire in a
crowded theater and I can't support that, even if they did pay fifty
times normal price for their ticket.  Again, I find that MOST
DXpeditions are running a good show, but there ARE unwritten rules of
fairness that they have to play by, we all do, and if they and we
don't, we're sunk.

73,
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Concern (long)

2008-03-06 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
My FJ/G3TXF contact has not been confirmed in LoTW.

My YU8/G3TXF contact has.


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Concern (long)

2008-03-06 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
  YU8/G3TXF is confirmed as Serbia, not as Kosovo.

Yeah, I know... but it's the latest QSO I had with  somewhere/G3TXF.

New band country confirmed on 30m anyway ;-)


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Clipperton Group

2008-03-18 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 9:25 AM, David  Johnson [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 The satellite phone they have requires a beamed signal to the satellite and
  in the rough sea with the ship rocking and rolling they can't keep a
  connection.  It worked fine when they were on land.

And for those with selective memories that  want to say but they
uploaded from the ship while they were on the WAY to Clipperton let
me excerpt the website:

In true ham spirit, we did what they said could not be done...connect
to the satellite while in motion.  We had an excellent connection and
now expect to be able to update our website daily before we get to
Clipperton...so keep watching THIS PAGE!!

They also mentioned calm seas and beautiful WX at that point.

73
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] On-Line Logs

2008-03-18 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
  Depends on the band G. My 160 QSO with 5T5DC posted overnight, but
  if it didn't show up until dusk tonight, no big deal :-) !! (and
  *wow* do they have a nice signal on 160!)

Mine too, and they heard my 100W.  They had such a nice signal I had
no question that I got in (though a little surprise)

http://n3ox.net/files/5T5DC_031808_0403Z_160m.mp3


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Re: [DX-CHAT] On-Line Logs My 2 cents worth...

2008-03-18 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
After they sign off VP6DX sends qrz up. I go up 5 and call and he sends
back KA2BZS we worked before QRZ

I know they want to discourage duping but most people who dupe are
doing it because they didn't think they got in.

It doesn't really take that much longer to send KA2BZS 5NN than KA2BZS B4

If we didn't have such a problem with idiot constant callers and
people calling before the QRZ? this would rarely be a problem, but
I've had occasional trouble with completing hard QSOs with big
DXpeditions when they THINK they have you OK and they don't.

I raised TX5C's attention on 160m and they had me as N3MX ... I sent
my call five or six more times with them listening for me and their
confirmation at the end got lost in the static crashes.  I don't know
if I got lost in the QRN or just in the din of the pileup that heard
my de N3OX N3OX N3OX 5NN BK and started calling right then, but I
lost the QSO as far as I'm concerned.  I *don't* know if I lost the
QSO as far as TX5C was concerned.

 I would have hated to work them in the clear later on in the night
and just be told B4 (though I would have taken it, I got no chances
at all after that ;-) ).  I want the chance for a QSO I know is a QSO.
 I suspect most people won't be chronic dupers for the sake of boredom
but maybe I'm wrong about that?

Dan


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[DX-CHAT] Recordings of DX

2008-03-18 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
So I posted this:

  Mine too, and they heard my 100W.  They had such a nice signal I had
  no question that I got in (though a little surprise)

  http://n3ox.net/files/5T5DC_031808_0403Z_160m.mp3


And  had a couple comments about that not being me in the file
above... I realize now that a lot of people record their topband QSOs
but this isn't one of those ;-)  Now that I look at my post it really
does look like I posted what I thought was my recorded QSO!

I didn't.  I took some audio of them later in the night because they
had such a nice signal.  Don't want anyone thinking I'm a TOTAL lid,
counting other people's QSOs as my own ;-)

- - - - - -

Got me thinking though that I might start recording my own QSO's...
and wondering how many out there do it?  It would be fun to go back
and listen to them I suppose.

Do you roll tape on your own QSOs?

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] W4RNL SK

2008-04-22 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
Cebik was, before retirement, a professor at The University of
Tennesee (I believe he was in Electrical Engineering, but not sure).

Actually, it was Philosophy.

Proof against those who feel you have to be an electrical engineer to
contribute useful technical knowledge?

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Marion Island

2008-05-11 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 1:10 PM, RUSSELL KELLAM JR [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Wasn't the ZS8 supposed to be QRV this weekend ??
 73 Russ W4UBC

He's a scientist that will be on Marion I. for a year, right?

I doubt that going on the air is the #1 priority , but the website says this:

Petrus plans to start construction of the antennas soon and will be
QRV as ZS8T by the middle of May.

Just be patient and watch out for fakes (as per the website) ... of
course, WFWL, but it seems like the jokers are using the  uncertain
start time to their advantage.  The only ZS8T spot in my SpotCollector
record or on DX Summit is a 15m CW spot and as far as I know Petrus
doesn't do CW.

This isn't an ordinary DXpedition so I wouldn't expect a big entry
onto the bands all of a sudden.  Keep your beams on ZS8 and keep your
ears open ;-)

73,
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] UP machine

2009-01-05 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
 Where do you get one of those UP machines that seems to be needed to work
 E44M?

 Do you get it on e-bay?


No, it comes free when both LIDS and DX COPS forget that ham radio is
supposed to be fun and no one in the real world actually gives a damn if
you're on the Honor Roll or have 5BDXCC.

Does that machine works on other than the DX station's frequency?


No, of course not ;-)

73
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] UP machine

2009-01-06 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
 Danhuman nature ensures that there will be cheaters in any endeavor;
 amateur radio is not an exception.


I know... it's just a particularly silly context for cheating. If you take a
dive in boxing at least you get some money.  If you cheat  at Harvard at
least you get  a diploma that helps you get a job later.  If you cheat at
ham radio?   But some people just can't help themselves.


I can only tell you from personal experience when you get over 300 countries
 the new ones come quite slowly.  I am happy with one or two new ones a year
 these days.


Me too.  TX5C was my #300 and nothing since.   Much of what I need is on
tough polar paths that I never seem to find open.  Nothing even heard.

But I've been hunting 160m DXCC (OH0X couple nights ago was my #98 worked)
and knocking down band countries, so I'm still having fun.

Kind of hoping to work one more 160m country to get to #99 and then work
TN5SN for #100 on Topband and #301 all time but I doubt that's going to
happen .. you never know though ;-)

73
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] UP machine

2009-01-07 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX
 I haven't worked many Asian stations recently.


Yep.


 I was lucky to get the last VU7 and BS7 operations when there was a little
 sunspot activity (not much).


I couldn't get the BS7.  I heard them for a grand total of 1/2 hour on SSB
and I'm only 100W  a 20m Moxon (which I actually built to work them ;-) ).
I called anyway but no joy.

VU7 was another story.  I snagged VU7RG on day 1 on 40m CW right before
sunset.  Turns out propagation between here and VU7 is really fantastic.
They were very loud.  I got a 17m QSO a few days later.

But VU4 is a much more polar path from here and I couldn't hear them at all
even though I heard the more recent VU7 a little. Totally different world.



 But I only worked a couple JA's in CQWW CW. And they were tough to work.


Yeah.  I heard a DU on 40CW longpath the other day but couldn't make it
through.  Not much hope for, say, that V8 or XX9 that I still need or
whatever.



 The upcoming KP5 operation should be an easy one hopefully, for those of us
 in the USA.


Should be a good one for a lot of folks.  I have a N3KS/KP5 card sitting
here from a really lucky break when I was living in an apartment ;-)

There's a good chance that KP5 will be my #99 or #100 on topband though
but that's going to be CRAZY.

Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Descheo Island

2009-01-26 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX


 IC 706MKIIG barefoot
 10-15-20 Rotateable Dipole at about 25 feet
 135 Foot wire dipole - fed with window line at about 50 feet -- wiht LDG
 AT200 Pro tuner for 10 - 80 (160 is miserable)
 3 Ele Cushcraft Yagi on 6 at about 30 feet




 I want to try to make contact with Descheo island this february, as well as
 improve my over all DXing.  Right now in this economy, hardware upgrades are
 not much of an option -- so im looking for techniques and the like.


You'll have no problem, in my opinion, if you  stick to your guns and call
cleverly.  KP5 is a chipshot from NA... as easy to work as KP4 if you didn't
have the massive pileups.  Your signal strength is no problem, you're going
to be an easy 59+10dB in KP5.

You'll just have to find the pattern in the pileups and drop your call at
the right place.  CW helps, in my opinion, but SSB should be possible.   I
got a contact with N3KS/KP5 in their brief stay on Desecheo on 30m with a
station worse than yours.

I was living in an apartment at the time, running a barefoot FT857D into a
100 foot magnet wire doublet via a remote tuner.  My antenna was only up 25
- 30 feet vs. the 50 foot high doublet you have.  The night before they left
the island, I snagged them on 30m CW they were a small operation in
great demand and only stayed a couple days.

And whatever you do, do NOT be afraid to call on the first day.  Don't wait
it out to wait for the pileups to get smaller.  Get in there every day until
you get them even if you feel like you're up against a wall of kilowatts.
You *can* get through with good timing, even in the first couple of days.
It'll be a real bummer if they have to go home early.

And pay close attention to their operating pattern and published
frequencies.  My barefoot + big vertical station got VP6DX QSO #1 because I
got frustrated in some 80m CW pileup and decided to check VP6DX's
pre-published CQ frequencies.  Lo and behold, I get to 7002 and hear CQ CQ
de VP6DX up 25, with not a soul on 7027.

Right place, right time, and you don't even have to fight a pileup at all,
and for KP5 that means it's as easy to work as KP4 !

But with these big DXpeditions with excellent ops, you can even fight your
way through the piles.  I got several QSOs with TX5C in the first few days
of the operation, again, still barefoot... I've got somewhat better antennas
now than I did in my apartment days, but certainly not more than a few dB
absolute maximum over what you've got except on 160m and possibly 80m in DX
land , though probably not.




73
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Descheo Island

2009-01-26 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

  The team wishes to work folks like you with modest stations and has ask
 the big guns to hold off a bit.


While that's nice of them, I don't think it's necessary.

The little pistol's #1 weapon in the pileups is to act like they're a big
gun.

A well timed and well placed in frequency 100W to a dipole ***can*** beat a
kW to a 4el yagi manned by a sloppy DXer on 20m.  Forget about what stations
you're trying to beat because first of all, you don't know, and second of
all, they're not more than 20dB louder than you are and while that's a lot,
on CW the good op on the other end can intentionally copy the weaker one,
and on SSB you can sorta hear a -20dB station through the louder one.  Not
well, but maybe well enough to come back with The Whiskey Eight?

A DXer with excellent skills  with high power and a big antenna is very hard
to beat, but they get out of your way reaaaly fast.  They listen a
little, figure out where to call, call once and they're through, and off to
another band.

The only reason I need to be a bigger gun at this point in my DXing is
because I can't hear SE Asian stations/expeditions at all when they're on.
I need a big 20m beam on a tall tower so I don't keep missing Spratly, etc.


73
Dan


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Descheo Island

2009-01-29 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX


 The bigger question is: what can we do constructively to improve things?


I say don't spot interesting stuff that already has a self-sustaining
pileup.

People who don't care to listen to the DX or can't hear the DX probably
can't find the DX on their own anyway.


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Re: [DX-CHAT] Most memorable QSO

2009-02-12 Thread Dan Zimmerman N3OX

 I thought it might be interesting to wrap this into a future column of
 WorldRadio.  If you have a memorable DX QSO, I'd like to hear about it.
 What made it memorable for you?


Might have told this story on here, but here it is again if I did.

So it's an afternoon in January 1999, my fourth year as a ham.  I'm a
sophomore in college home at my parents' house for winter break and I've got
all the time in the world to do some DXing.  At the end of summer 1998 I'd
put up a little two element homebrew beam for 10m, and the band is pretty
good with the sunspots on the uptick.

I'm tuning around 10m with the little beam pointed WSW because I know the
Pacific guys come in.  I'm kicked back in my chair, I think with feet up on
the desk, twirling the VFO knob.

All of a sudden... *crack!* ... something lets go in the chair and I nearly
fall over backwards on the floor.  Some bolt pulled out of the bottom of the
seat or something; cheap office furniture... but it's what I like to sit on,
so I go get some tools out of the workbench and start working on lashing it
back together.

There I am, sitting on the floor fixing my chair, when I hear a CQ, not
quite zero beat on the frequency where I stopped tuning when I fell over,
but totally readable.

A few seconds later I have Terry, VP6TY, in the log for an all time new
one...

73
Dan


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