Monthly Archives: February 2009

New logged and confirmed DXCCs

In the past week I was able to log the following new DXCCs for me:

station country
4U1UN United Nations HQ
TA3AX Turkey
V51AS Namibia
VP2VVA British Virgin Is.
YS4M El Salvador

The UN station is a stones throw from me but they never seemed to be on the air when I was on the radio. Seems there was a guy and gal switching between 20m and 40m. They were in the non-US phone portion of the phone band on 40m so I wasn’t able to call them on 40m but easily snagged them on 20m.

And over the past week, the following new DXCCs were confirmed:

station country
C4N Cyprus
EY8MM Tajikistan
H7/NP3D Nicaragua
HG7T Hungary
JW5NM Svalbard

Svalbard and Cyprus were paper QSL cards that I received from local US QSL managers. The others were via LoTW.

Edit: The mail came today and among other direct QSL cards was one from Vp9/W6PH so Bermuda is a new confirmed DXCC for me.

My LoTW confirmed DXCC count is 87 and I have 10 11 paper QSL confirmations so I have 97 98 confirmed DXCCs right now. Thanks to all the ops that worked me and confirmed their contacts. I sent out a bunch more paper QSL cards direct and via the bureau for entities I don’t have confirmed yet.


My K5D Desecheo Island Summary

I was very excited to make my first contact with the K5D DXpedition at Desecheo Island.  My first contact was on 17m SSB on Feb 13th. I then made 11 more contacts on different band/modes over the course of their stay and was excited after each one of them.

I had a very easy time making all the contacts with the exception of my 2 RTTY contacts. Those took the longest amount of time to check off my list. For the SSB and CW contacts, I’d be shocked if any of them took longer then 5 minutes of calling. In a couple of cases, they came back on the first call. The only band/mode I tried on that I couldn’t get was 20m CW. Seemed every time I could hear them they were only listening for Japan or EU stations.

Near the end of their DXpedition, I probably could have made dozens of contacts on bands/modes I already had logged but didn’t feel the need to burden them or prevent someone else from making a contact. One contact on each band/mode was plenty good for me.

All the ops I interacted with and listened to were top notch. Some were better at handling the pileup then others, but I imagine it was a monumental task to deal with for even the best operators.  They just did a phenomenal job!

Here are the contacts in the order they occurred and all are confirmed on their online log. I will be using their online QSL request system to get a paper QSL back and they indicate they will upload to LoTW in a year.

Date / Time   Band   Mode
2/13 19:32    17m    USB
2/15 03:45    20m    USB
2/15 11:53    40m    LSB
2/18 15:05    30m    CW   * My first CW contact ever
2/18 15:43    17m    CW
2/20 00:55    80m    LSB
2/20 12:20    40m    CW
2/21 19:40    15m    RTTY
2/23 20:08    17m    RTTY
2/25 03:16    80m    CW
2/25 13:54    15m    CW
2/25 15:57    15m    USB

Thanks again to all those that participated in the K5D DXpedition!


Latest confirmed DXCCs

Over the past 2 weeks I’ve gotten the following countries verified via LoTW:

Tajikistan, Nicaragua, Hungary, Corsica, Cong and, Belize

That brings my LoTW confirmed DXCCs to 87. I have additional 8 confirmed DXCCs via paper QSL cards so my total is 95 confirmed DXCCs.

I’ve sent out a few direct QSL cards in the past couple weeks so hopefully a few new DXCCs will come back from those and/or the bureau. I currenlt show about 37 DXCCs where I’ve logged a contact but don’t have either a paper or LoTW confirmation.


My first CW contest

After using DM780 to read/send CW to K5D using the CW KY functionality the Kenwood supports on the same serial connection, Dave K2ZC created a cable for me to connect my PC’s serial port to the key connection on the back of the radio. This is a more standard way of keying supported by programs such as N1MM as well as DM780.

With the new cable from K2ZC I jumped into the ARRL International DX CW contest this past weekend. I would listen on the frequency to get the info and then send my call out and when the DX station came back to me, it was decoded on the screen and I would respond with my report. Because it seemed most of the stations in the contest are using a computer to generate the code, the computer does an excellent job of decoding it and showing it on the screen.

I used DM780 to decode the transmission and N1MM to send/log. It all worked very well and I was able to make 209 DX Qs over the weekend. Not bad for a CW contest and not knowing morse code yet! By the end of the weekend I could pretty reliably recognize my own call, 5NN for a report and TU which is typically the first response back after sending a report.

New logged DXCCs this contest: El Salvador, San Marino and Turkey.

Here’s my score summary from my first CW contest:

        Band    QSOs    Pts  Cty
           7      67     201   38
          14     142     426   60
       Total     209     627   98
            Score : 61,446


First CW contact is K5D Desecheo DXpedition

I haven’t yet learned morse code but I have my radio hooked up to my computer and DM780 (part of Ham Radio Deluxe) supports the KY command function which allows the same RS-232 connection between the PC and the Kenwood TS-2000 to also key CW. DM780 also converts morse code to text on the screen. Yesterday, I tried my first computer assisted CW contact and it was to contact the K5D DXpedition on Desecheo Island.

I already have logged 3 SSB contacts with K5D on 17m, 20m and 40m. Yesterday I made CW contacts with them on 30m and 17m. On 17m they came back on my first call!  This morning I was able to confirm, via the web site that they are both in their logs.  That is one heck of a way to start off with a CW contact!

Now if I could just get them on RTTY. It should be easy but the problem is that there are so many operators and they aren’t used to or don’t know how to operate split that they are transmitting on the receive frequency and it is hard enough for me to copy K5D without the QRM that it is nearly impossible for me to do it with all the QRM. Add on top of the ops not xmiting properly are all the self appointed policeman which then come on top of the K5D frequency and start yelling at them. Hopefully I’ll catch them at a good time so I can get one RTTY contact in with K5D.


Another confirmed DXCC – the Congo

Yesterday as I was trying to get the Desecheo Island K5D team on RTTY, they went QRT and a Republic of the Congo station TN5SN came on and caused quite the pileup. I was able to make a contact with him on 20m RTTY and Nicolas has already confirmed the contact on LoTW!

According to LoTW right now I have 83 confirmed DXCC entities.


2009 CQ WPX RTTY Contest

This past weekend was the CQ WPX RTTY contest. A single operator is allowed to work 30 hours out of the 48 hours the contest runs. I worked close to 30 of those hours. In the end I made 525 contacts.

I had a difficult time working well in run mode. Stations were packed together, overlapping and often multiple stations (different parts of the world) causing QRM on each other. I guess with a wire antenna, you can’t block out what you aren’t listening for like you can with a beam.  When I did go into run mode, I felt like I just wasn’t getting enough contacts coming back to me and I felt more productive doing S&P. I just couldn’t get any decent runs going of more then 4 or 5 stations before it seemed like I was calling CQ for minutes on end without anyone coming back.

Some of the stats from quickly analyzing the log shows I made a QSo with 46 of the 50 states only missing out on Idaho, Montanna, West Virginia and Vermont. Had a few contacts with both Hawaii and strong Alaska stations. I also logged 4 new DXCCs for me which were Nicaragua, Armenia, Corsica and Belize. Corsica is already confirmed on LoTW.

In the afternoon on Sunday I switched to 15m after seeing some spots in the cluster and made 5 quick contacts with strong signals from Uruguay and Argentina. After I made the 5th contact the band closed on me and I could hardly hear them even though they were just booming in a minute ago.

In eQSL I’ve seen 3 contacts come in which I don’t have in my log. All 3 call signs seem familiar, so either they weren’t patient enough for me to confirm (QRM and they moved on before I could confirm) or I made mistake in commiting the QSO to the log. It isn’t as if I have a contact entered like their call sign but just slightly off, so I’d say it is the former and not the latter.

Here’s my score summary:

 Band QSOs   Pts  WPX
 3.5   93    228   46
   7  135    442   77
  14  279    528  150
  21   18     44    8
Total  525  1242  281
 Score : 349,002


K5D Desecheo DXpedition and Svalbard

I got Desecheo!! At 1932z I made a QSO with K5D (op WB9Z) split on 18.145.
He was listening on 18.145 and I was on 18.154.5. He was listening up
18.150 to 18.160.

I called almost the entire time from when they went on at 1600z. For me,
it was up and down a lot where I could hear him great and then not hear
him. He’s been very strong now for about 15 mins before I contacted him.

Can’t wait until I can confirm I am in their logs which will be viewable
on the web. I hope to make some more including on RTTY.

Earlier in the week I had a QSO with Svalbard which is a new DXCC for me.  I sent off a direct QSL card to JW5NM.


A LoTW milestone for me

I happened to notice this morning that the number of comfirmed QSLs on Logbook Of The World (LoTW) just hit the 2000 mark. As of 7am this morning I have 4089 QSOs loaded and 2000 QSLs confirmed. That is almost 50% via LoTW.

LoTW shows 81 confirmed DXCCs and I have 8 confirmed via paper QSL cards. I have 31 other DXCCs logged but not confirmed via LoTW or paper QSL cards.


CIS DX RTTY Contest – 1st place North America

I’m very excited to come home and open a large envelope from overseas which contained a contest award certificate. It’s for the 2008 CIS DX RTTY Contest and is in recognition of coming in First Place in North America for Single Op Low Power!

I recently got a certificate for 1st place in my area as a rover with very little points but this is a real surprise! The entry from just after the contest is – and the full results from the contest are at

Thanks to the Scottish-Russian Amateur Radio Society for running the contest and the certificate. I’m truly honored!