Thursday, December 29, 2011

Topband Holiday Gift !!

Gifts from "TopBand"

To my surprise...
 160 meters gave many of us a nice holiday gift last night.
Late Wednesday afternoon I decided to turn on the K3 
and see if  I was hearing any signals on Topband.
(As many of you know Topband has been poor this season so far.)
At around 6 pm local time or (23:00Z)
I was hearing a few signals from Europe
but nothing to get excited about.
Signals were mainly weak but seemed workable.
I checked the DX cluster and found several spots.
Actually more spots than I had seen in a while.
During the next 45 minutes I managed to put 4 DX contacts in the log.
UR5 , HA8, ON4, DL7
Not great ... (yet) ... but a start.
Anyway .... It was time to get ready for church,
so I turned the rig off and planned to check the band again after church.
When I returned, I turned the rig back on around 9 pm or (2:00Z).
To my surprise, the band was wide open into Europe !!
I managed to put 22 contacts into the log from 9pm to 1am (02:00 to 06:00)
not bad for a band that seems to be just waking up.
I ended up working 18 countries in 4 zones.
Austria, England, Euro Russia, France, Hungary
Poland, Finland, Czech Rep, Bulgaria, Netherlands
Norway, Italy, Romania, Ukraine, Germany
Belgium, Lithuania, Sweden
Zones ... 14,15,16,20
The neat thing was ... 
As I watched my gray line map throughout the night,
 I could see the signals peak for each country
 as the gray line moved across Europe.
The odd thing I noticed ...
 was that most signals were 559 with qsb both ways 
most of the night.
Although they did peak higher at sunrise times.
The band was quiet as well
unlike the night before.
It was "Holiday Magic" for radio !!
What a great Holiday gift.
Thanks "TopBand" !!

73 de N4LA

Friday, December 2, 2011

80 Meters : New Country - New Zone !!

Thanks Mr Wu !!
 I worked Mr Wu in Taiwan this morning on 80 CW
For a new country / new zone (Zone 24)
Qso time was 12:19Z
He was 449 to 559 with qsb when I worked him 
just after sunrise .. and his signal was still building !!
I received a 559 signal report.
I used the APF feature on the Elecraft K3 for the 1st time
during the qso with Mr Wu ... and I was very impressed,
as it made his signal pop right out of the noise !!
Conditions were Good on the low bands this morning
as the Aurora level was only at 1 ...
which created a possibility for good polar path openings.

73 de N4LA