October 21st, 2013 by K2DSL

I didn’t get started until noon (ET) / 1600z on Saturday as I had plans on Friday night and went to help a local ham lower his tower on Saturday morning. When I got on the air, the bands were hopping and it wasn’t hard to stay busy.

I configured N1MM to enable Spot all S&P calls since everyone can run assisted and use the DX cluster. That means any call I log that wasn’t already in the bandmap gets spotted. Not sure if there’s something online that tells me how many spots I sent to the cluster (DXWatch seems to max out at showing 50) but I’d say there were a lot. Even near the end of the contest I had a few ops that sent me a message as we worked on another band thanking me for the spots.

I had the NA4RR hexbeam pointed at Europe until late in the afternoon and turned it around to point to the NW to start having the JAs come in, which they did. The JAs were mostly on 15m as usual but I started to hear them on 10m. Once some were spotted, more showed up and I worked 11 JAs in a row on 10m and 15 JAs worked on 10m in the span of 1 hour.

Later in the day on Saturday I saw a spot for N2YBB who is Mike L the ARRL Hudson Division Director operating in the NY QSO Party that was going on so I worked him. I ended up working a total of 39 NY stations on 40m and 80m SSB whenever I wanted to take a short break from hearing diddle.

Once it was good and dark, I worked stations on 40m and 80m until I headed off to bed with 341 Qs after Satuday’s effort.

Sunday morning I got up, got on (7:30am ET / 1130z) and the bands were still as good as they were on Saturday. Was able to work TA7I in Turkey on 10m (new band already confirmed via LoTW) as well as 15m. I also worked KG4HF in Guantanamo Bay on a 5th band in the contest. KG4HF happened to be the only station I worked on all 5 bands. I previously worked KG4HF last weekend on 17m.

My club was having their fall foxhunt and I was going to participate, but the bands were too good and I was having too much fun so I just drove over and gave someone the club’s debit card to pay for pizza after the event. There was a good turnout at the foxhunt but I don’t have info on it yet. So I headed back home after a short break and got back into the contest. I spent the rest of the contest bouncing around between the bands and calling CQ at times with some success. The higher bands were good enough that even near the end of the contest there seemed to be more activity on 20 than on 40m and certainly than on 80m.

Some other notables worked in the contest – Turkey (TA7I) on 10m & 15m & TA1BM on 15m, 2 different United Arab Emirates stations on 15m, Guam (KH2F) on 15m, New Zealand (ZL1BYZ) on 10m & 15m and South Africa (ZS6A) on 10m.

I wrapped up with 663 Qs in the log over the course of about 21.5 hours according to N1MM with a break being > 30 mins. Looking back over http://3830scores.com , this would be the highest QSO/Points I’ve logged for this particular contest with over 100k points greater than last year, but I missed most of Sunday last year. I worked 58 different DXCCs with the US being the most logged followed by Japan with 42 contacts.

This contest uses Age as the exchange, so excluding 00′s for the ladies and 99′s for clubs and eliminating multiple contacts with the same operator, the average age of what was sent was 59.2 years and the median was 60. The youngest age was 27 and the oldest age was 84. The age most logged was 64.

Here’s a map of the contacts using ADIF2MAP (click to enlarge):

2013_JARTS_RTTY

 

Here’s the N1MM score summary:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  DXCC  Areas
  3.5      34      68    3    8
    7      84     176    9   14
   14     156     396   36   15
   21     245     650   44   21
   28     144     414   39   13
Total     663    1704  131   71

Score : 344,208

Thanks for all the contacts & 73,
K2DSL

 

October 13th, 2013 by K2DSL

A real busy weekend so I had minimal time to get on the air but for 90 mins I was able to work the fun Makrothen RTTY contest where the exchange and points are based on grid squares and distance. A few contacts = a lot of points! Friday night I had things to do when the contest first started and made just a few contacts later in the evening on 40m & 80m .

Saturday morning I was up at 4am ET (0900z) for our club’s hamfest. Weather was great and I brought 11 cards with me for out local DXCC Card Checker to validate them. All went well with checking the cards. Our local checked W2IRT had a bunch of folks stop by to get their cards checked. I then needed to leave the hamfest for a wedding so I came home, get ready and while waiting for my wife I worked some more stations in the contest before heading out for the day.

We stayed overnight at a hotel so by the time we got home from the wedding early Sunday afternoon, the 3rd session for the contest had just ended. Ended up with 63 contacts with maybe 90 mins of time on the air.

 Band    QSOs    Pts
  3.5       6   11490
    7      10   44690
   14      12   83668
   21      27  147270
   28       8   50930
Total      63  338048

Score : 338,048

73,
K2DSL

 

Posted in Misc | No Comments »
October 2nd, 2013 by K2DSL

This years CQ WW RTTY contest was my first real contest after getting back on the air with a shiny new NA4RR hex beam to replace my wire dipoles taken down from Hurricane Sandy. I operated low power (100 watts) and non-assisted (no DX cluster).

Friday:
Friday night some friends came over and other than showing how it worked, I didn’t operate the first 3 hours of the contest and got started at 11pm ET (0300z). I operated until 1:30am (0530z) on 40m and 80m and ended up with 95 Qs before heading to bed for 5 hours.

Saturday:
Saturday morning I took a quick spin through 80m and then 40m. I heard a couple JAs on 40m but they couldn’t hear me. I switched to 20m for 1 hour mainly work EU stations. I popped into the shower and then back in the chair on 10m. I was ecstatic to see 10m open and there was a lot of activity – 90 mins worth! I worked two Saudi Arabia stations on 10m including HZ1PS who sent a real nice personal message. I later worked HZ1PS again on 20m on Sunday and he sent another nice personal message. Thanks Peter!!

I also worked Oman on 10m and with 200 Qs logged in the contest, I stopped operating for 2 hours and went over to our clubs Portable Day at a county park about 20 mins away.  They had 7 different stations setup within walking distance using portable power with wire antennas strung on poles and trees. One station was running just 3 watts into a wire antenna in a tree and on 10m had a nice QSO with Sardinia like they were standing next to us. Another station was running a KX3 connected to a netbook making some CW WW RTTY contacts on 10m with a wire running between a pole and a tree branch. The weather was gorgeous and everyone was having a blast.

I got back on the air about 2.25 hours later, made some contacts on 10m and then switched to 15m which was hopping. 90 mins later of S&Ping EU and SA stations I took a quick look on 10m and logged some new stations.  I switched over to 20m and spent over 1 hour there spinning up and down the dial logging anything I could hear. Around 4:30pm ET (2030z) I switched back again to 10m and came up a New Zealand station. I headed back to 15m and pointed Northwest as it was time for the JAs to start coming in and within 30 mins they were coming in as I tuned the dial. I’d sneak back to 10m from time to time and see if anyone knew was calling CQ before heading back to 15m. On one switch back to 15, I went up to the top of the band to work my way down and there was a Korean station coming in just calling CQ. I listened twice to make sure I printed it correctly, and when it came back HL2WP again I sent my call and he came back to me. I sent my exchange, he asked for a repeat on the state which I sent, and then I got his QSL. I just logged my first Korea contact! I stayed on the frequency  seeing if anyone else would show up as he kept calling CQ but after 1 minute with no one else coming back to him I tuned away.

I spent the remainder of Saturday on 20m before heading to 40m and 80m, popping back to 20m from time to time. One of the contacts on 80m sent a nice message about my blog – thanks N1QD (Joe)! I called it a night about 11:30p ET (0330z) with 511 Qs in the log.

Sunday:
Woke up a bit later and got on about 7am (1100z) and spun through 80m and 40m logging over 30 stations, mostly in the US, but necessary state multipliers. I then switched to 15m and spent 2 hours working the band logging new multipliers such as Georgia, Iceland, Surinam (‘ol reliable PZ5RA). I switched to 10m for a short while, back to 20m and then back to 10m. Around 11:50am ET (1550z) , 10m got very quiet. The activity dropped considerably. I spent the rest of the day on 15m and 20m popping back to 10m from time to time. Though there were some new stations on 10m, it was much less after than on Sat and Sun morning until just before noon. Good thing 15m was hopping as the band was full from below 21080 up to 21150. As quick as you could nudge the dial there was another station to log.

On 1 band switch from 20m back to 15m, I entered 21125 into N1MM to tune to that frequency so I could see how far up the band stations still were. I could just hear a station calling CQ. I sent my call and I got an immediate reply. I sent my report and received a TU so 5W1SA on Samoa was in the log. At the time I thought that was another all time new one for me (like Korea) but I had previously logged another station a couple of years ago. Still, I was thrilled and I stayed on frequency to see if anyone else came along. After a few more CQs, N2QT came on frequency, sent out his call and exchange and I went on my way.

As it got dark out, I hopped on 40m and 80m, worked stations, ran a bit, worked some more stations, ran a bit more, and then the contest ended. I wrapped up with 895 Qs and 847k points which is a bit down from the previous year. But it was a fantastic contest and I took some time out for friends, visit club members at the park, and to keep an eye on the NY Giants play horrible football for 4 games in a row. It was great to be back on the air and making contacts with so many familiar calls again.

Here’s my N1MM score summary:

  Band    QSOs    Pts   ZN  DXCC  State 
   3.5      90    123    9    12    32
     7     161    260   14    30    37
    14     240    600   19    54    31
    21     284    742   21    61    22
    28     120    326   16    50     5
 Total     895   2051   79   207   127

Score : 847,063


Here’s a map of the contacts made using ADIF2MAP
(click for a larger picture):

2013_CQ_WW_RTTY_Map


Here are some stats:

DXCCs worked: 82
DXCCs worked with just 1 contact: 22

Mainland US states worked: 43

Unique stations worked: 631
Stations worked on 5 bands: 6
Stations worked on 4 bands: 14
Stations worked on 3 bands: 40
Stations worked on 2 bands: 98

Top 5 entities worked – name / # Qs / % total:
United States – 273 – 30%
Germany – 57 – 6%
Canada – 54 – 6%
Italy – 43 – 5%
Spain – 30 – 3%

 

Thanks again to everyone for participating and I can’t wait for the next contest!
73,
K2DSL

September 22nd, 2013 by K2DSL

Today was a short 4 hour BARTG contest that uses 75 baud RTTY. The difference between the standard 45.45 baud and 75 baud is 66 wpm vs 100 wpm so the transmission speed is faster. This morning before the contest I was on the air and 10m was open so I was hopeful there would be some 10m activity during the BARTG contest but I didn’t hear any and I called CQ for about 5 mins without any activity.

Most of the activity was on 20m and I called CQ on all bands. Not a huge amount of activity but there were short bursts followed by auto-repeat of CQ and me watching the NY Giants play one of their worst football games in their history. I also pointed the NA4RR hex beam to Asia but didn’t hear any JA stations participating on 15m or 20m.

Here’s my score summary:

  Band    QSOs     Pts  DXC  Area Cont
     7       7       7    0    1    0
    14      90      90   18    5    1
    21      34      34   12    4    3
 Total     131     131   30   10    4

Score : 20,960

Here’s a map of the contacts using ADIF2MAP (click to enlarge):

BARTG_Map

Next weekend is the CQ WW RTTY contest so I’ll hopefully be on the air as much as possible. Maybe 10m will be active next weekend.

73,
K2DSL

September 15th, 2013 by K2DSL

It’s that time year when summer winds down and contest season and American football start up. This weekend had all that with cool evening temperatures dropping into the 40s, a VHF contest, WAE SSB contest and a Giants home football game.

Friday night after work, I made a dozen WAE SSB contacts with 10 contacts on 20m and 2 contacts on 40m in a short time on the radio.  I needed to then gather up things to head out the next morning.

Saturday morning I woke up early and got ready to head to where we keep our club’s equipment (towers, generator, antennas, coax, tents, tables, etc) to help load up the equipment for a trip to the top of a mountain not far from the Tappan Zee Bridge and Hudson River. A group of us met there and pulled out what we needed and loaded it onto a 24 ft rented truck for transporting to the contest site. The weather was gorgeous and a little cool when we started out, but all that lifting gets you warm pretty quick.

Around 9:30am we were at the location and unloading the equipment. We had small teams of people working on the 6m antenna, the 2m/220/440 antennas, the generator, the food area, etc. Everyone was helping out doing something. We had a 6m antenna on a nice 2 section crank up aluminum tower that worked well and the 3 other bands stacked and on another 1 section tower we raised up. We also had a station setup to handle 2m/220/440 FM and a vertical antenna for each. Here are some pictures of the setup and start of operations. Click any picture for a larger view.
20130914_113158

20130914_11320720130914_124608

20130914_124548

20130914_160634

20130914_160658

We were on the air right at the start of the contest with one tent housing the 6m station and the other larger tent with the 2m/220/440 stations. I operated the 6m station for a while and though I was able to consistently make contacts, there were no openings out west or south. I stayed around until 9pm and set out for home.

Sunday morning I woke up and made some more contacts on 15m and 20m in the WAE contest. I also exchange QTCs with the EU stations. Sending QTCs is me providing the EU station with a list of (up to) 10 previous contacts not yet given out by me with the time of the contact, the callsign and the serial number the EU station gave me. In the CW and SSB versions of the WAE, we give EU stations the info while in the RTTY contest it can go either way. It’s a good twist and N1MM makes it simple to do. I ended up sending all my QSOs as QTCs which essentially doubles my # of contacts. In the end I ended up with 73 actual Qs logged and 72 QTCs for a total of 145 QSOs as counted in WAE contests.

  Band   Q/QTC  QSOs    Pts  Mlt
     7    QSO     2       2    6
    14    QSO    24      24   30
    21    QSO    47      47   42
    21   SQTC    72      72    0  <-- QTCs sent to the EU stations
 Total    All   145     145   78

Score : 11,310

I wrapped up the ham activities and headed to get my daughter going to college in NYC to join me at the home opener for the NY Giants. It was great spending time with her, but the Giants played poorly and it wasn’t a good football game if you are a Giant fan. It could be a long season ahead! :-(

The contest season is getting ready to get into full swing and hopefully I’ll be able to spend a good amount of time participating and trying out the new NA4RR hex beam.

73,
K2DSL

September 9th, 2013 by K2DSL

Thanks to both Rob KC2RDW and Niko AA2NI, I am really back on the air now. This weekend they both spent a good part of their Saturday helping me get the NA4RR hex beam mounted up in the air on a Radio Shack rotor I had picked up at a local hamfest a year or so ago. Together they figured out the best plan to get the pole made up of two 1.25″ steel pipes securely mounted on the back of my garage and then get the rotor and antenna on top of it all. We hit a bit of a snag with the mounting brackets I had not well suited for the 1.25″ pipe (though it states it can accept up to a 1.25″ pipe) but they improvised and it worked out fine.

I did measure the height but based on the poles and the rotor I’d guess the bottom of the hex beam is about 18 feet (5.5 meters) or so off the ground and it is working fine. In some tests on Saturday and Sunday after it was up I was able to easily work Namibia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, a dozen Japan stations in the All Asia contest and even snagged a new DXCC working ZD7DC on St Helena Island in the South Atlantic.

After we got the NA4RR hex beam up, Niko shot a line perfectly placed into one of my trees and we pulled up a line attached to a spare G5RV I had that will allow me to work 40m and 80m in addition to the bands covered by the hex beam.  This replaces the G5RV that was taken down, along with my triband fan dipole when a huge tree fell across my property taken down the wire antennas (and my gutters along with other things) during Superstorm Sandy the end of last October.

Thanks so much Rob & Niko – you made a very happy ham again!

Below are some pictures taken while getting things set up.  Click any picture to see a larger version.

20130907_104008

NA4RR beam getting ready to mount into the rotor. I spray painted the beam (fiberglass polls, center post and center hub) with Rustoleum Painter’s Touch flat black. Makes it less noticeable in my environment as black vs the brighter grey/silver.

 

20130907_104029

Mounting brackets on the side of the garage

 

20130907_104018

Niko (AA2NI) and Rob (KC2RDW) getting ready to mount the beam onto the end of the rotor

 

2013090795121921

Rob (KC2RDW) on the garage roof

 

20130907_150913

Picture of the setup from our deck

 

20130907_150931

Close up of the beam with rotor

 

73,
K2DSL

July 28th, 2013 by K2DSL

Why waiting for the family to get ready, I figured I’d download JT65-HF and give it a try. The hardest part seemed to be finding the actual download. I was not able to download off Sourceforge as the link kept telling me the file wasn’t found. The ARRL has a link at http://www.arrl.org/hf-digital but it is for an older version. I eventually found the current version at http://jt65-hf.com/downloads/ .

You need to have accurate time and need a time check/sync program that is more frequent than one built into Windows. I would suggest the free NetTime program at http://www.timesynctool.com/ which installs as a Windows service.

Installation and configuration was very straightforward for me. Configuration involved just specifying my call, grid square, soundcard input.output and PTT port. I have a SignaLink USB and just needed to select the SignaLink in the drop-downs for input and output devices. I did reduce the audio gain on the main screen until the signals were the only noticeable output on the waterfall. I watched a couple quick YouTube videos to get the idea and I was off and running.

Using JT65-HF is essentially point-and-click. A JT65 cycle occurs as follows:
1) On the top of each minute 47 second transmission occur.
2) There is a pause for 13 seconds which allows everyone to select their next action
3) #1 repeats

A typical QSO is a station sends CQ and at 47 secs after each minute you can see what stations are calling. You double click on their CQ in the list before it hits the top of the minute and the program sends your call back to them for 47 seconds. Your radio is transmitting for the full 47 seconds. Assuming the CQing station picks up your call, he has ~13 seconds to initiate the action which QSLs it from his end. You have 13 seconds to see it and either double click the acknowledgement or click on Send Report. The next 47 seconds your radio is in transmit sending the report. The CQing station then sends 73 and you send 73.

Here’s a screen shot of an exchange (click to enlarge):

jt65-hf

 

1) EA3CS called CQ (green highlighted line) at 20:01z and I decode it at 20:02z
2) I double clicked that line which captured his call and grid square and told JT65-HF to send my call and grid square
3) EA3CS acknowledged and sent my signal report (red line) which I receive at 20:04z
4) I double clicked his response which captured my report and told JT65-HF to send EA3CS his report
5) EA3CS replied back confirming with RRR (red line) at 20:06z
6) I double clicked his QSL and it sent him back EA3CS K2DSL 73

You can see from the times that I saw his CQ @ 20:02 and finished sending my 73 as the last exchange which completed at 20:08. So it’s a 6 minute QSO. Not fast but interesting. It required no typing and just double clicking. You want to remember to re-enable the Enable Multi option or you will just continue to decode the offset for the QSO you just had vs the bandwidth for the waterfall. The program has a built in log which can generate an ADIF file of contacts you can import into your favorite logging program.

73,
K2DSL

July 27th, 2013 by K2DSL

 

ordered the NA4RR Hex Beam last weekend and it arrived a few days later in 2 boxes via FedEx. Here’s a picture of the boxes as they arrived. The taller box contained the main center post and the 6 fiberglass arms, each arm made up of 3 segments that fit into each other.  The smaller square box on the chair contained all the other components – instructions, main hub, bolts/nuts, pre-cut wires for each band and the bungee cords.

na4rr_boxes

Here’s a picture of the box with just the instructions removed. On the left in the ziploc bag is the ferrite balun I ordered along with the antenna. The coated wires for each band were wrapped neatly and individually labeled. The bolts to secure the center hub to the main post and the pole, along with lock washers and bolts were packaged in a small envelope you can see looking into the center of the main hub. Just looking at the components in the box (click the picture for a larger view), you can tell everything was well organized and meticulously packed.

na4rr_main_parts

 

I’m lucky to have a friend like Rob (KC2RDW) who came over this morning with some tools, spare parts and an antenna analyzer. Rob has previously built his own hex beam so he’s very experienced in it’s construction and has helped others put hex beams together.  Rob mad a great suggestion that we use the patio table with the umbrella removed as a way to get things setup as it allows you to move around and under the antenna as needed. We started with the hub placed on a spare metal pole. The hub has each of the tubes that accept the fiberglass poles numbered so it is easy to align the components and keep everything straight. Using the supplied bolt we attached the main center pole to the hub with the coax connector at the back. Once that’s in place we unwrapped the 3 parts of each fiberglass pole that were shipped grouped together. Each is marked so they go into the center hub and into each other properly. It took 15 minutes to attach the center post and slide the 3 parts for each pole together and in their respective slots. Here you can see a close-up of the marked center hub with one of the fiberglass poles:

hub_marked

 

The next step is to take 6 of the bungee cords and place the S hook on one end into the end of each fiberglass pole and the other end onto the eye bolt at the top of the center post. This step gives the hex beam it’s familiar inverted umbrella shape. There are 2 other bungee cords that attach between the fiberglass poles on the front of the beam to keep things in place. This takes 5 minutes and it is helpful to have 2 people for this with one bending the end of the pole up as the bungee cord is attached to the center post.

The next step is to take each of the wires and secure it to the center post and route them through the rings on each pole until you come all the way back to secure the other end to the center post.  You start with 6m which is the shortest wire and closest to the center pole and go out from there. As previously mentioned, the wire for each band is neatly wrapped and labeled so there’s no guesswork. Here’s a picture of one of the center hubs with 2 bands attached and a picture of the loops on each of the poles that the wire passes through:

center_post_connection
pole_loops

Once looped through all 6 poles, the connector at the other end is attached to the opposite side of the center post completing the wiring of each band.  This process which entails unwrapping the wires for each band, looping them through and bolting each end takes about 30 minutes. It is helpful to have two people doing it to pass the wire for each band through the loops.

With all 6 bands wired up and connected, the last step in the setup is to attach the coax. I’m reusing the coax from my tri-band fan dipole that was torn apart last October when a 70 ft tree fell across my yard during Superstorm Sandy. We ran the coax through the hole in the hub and placed the rubber grommet around it. Rob placed a loop at the top of the coax and attached to the connector on the back of the center post. A little electrical tape to hold the coax in place and the antenna is complete! It’s now about 90 mins after Rob arrived which included looking at where I wanted to put the antenna, moving the patio table into place, and getting the pole in place before we even started. We don’t have a rotor on it yet so Rob just points the NA4RR hex beam ENE.

The antenna is only 6 feet off the ground but we head inside to check things out. We hook up the coax to TS-2000, power everything up and check out how things look. Well, it looks FANTASTIC! From 6m to 20m, as we tune the bands the SWR is between 1:1 and 1:1.5 and we’re hearing signals. What I immediately notice is that on an empty frequency my S meter which was never lower than S3 and more like S5 is showing nothing. If I wasn’t hearing others and seeing the S meter move when someone was on frequency I would have thought that nothing was plugged in.  The first contact we make is with a PI4 station in the Netherlands and everything seems to be working well. Rob checks each band with his nice RigExpert antenna analyzer and things look good.  I’m now back on the air after about 9 month hiatus.

Rob and I talked about where I was going to more permanently mount it and what I need to get. Once I have all that in place we can get the rotor on the pole and the antenna on the rotor. I’d expect the bottom of the hex beam hub to be about 18-20 feet off the ground once everything is in place.  Here’s a picture of the completed antenna in the middle of the back yard supported by the patio table at 6ft off the ground. Click for a larger view.

completed_na4rr_hexbeam

I’ve made 7 contacts to EU stations and a 6m contact to a strong Alabama station and everything appears to be working well. The NA4RR hex beam is a terrific value for a well constructed plug-and-play hex beam. With everything pre-cut and well labeled, it’s ready to go with detailed instructions that make assembly foolproof.

I’ll post some more pictures once the antenna is up higher with the rotor attached. Thanks again to Rob KC2RDW for all his advice and help both pre and post purchase! It’s great to have the headset on again and be back on the air!

73,
K2DSL

July 20th, 2013 by K2DSL

I have been off the air since Superstorm Sandy brought a 70 ft tree down across my wire antennas. With spending all free time since then dealing with the aftermath of the storm, being extremely busy at work and then my younger daughter’s high school graduation party for her entire class, I just didn’t put in the effort to get any antenna back up. I even missed Field Day for the 2nd year in a row as it took place on my daughter’s graduation weekend.

This morning I ordered NA4RR’s hexbeam antenna! NA4RR’s design is based on G3TXQ’s design as other similar hexbeam products are. I investigated other comparable models from DX Engineering, Traffie and K4KIO. I decided on the NA4RR since the design was similar, the online reports/reviews were all excellent, and the price was the lowest. Everything is pre-cut and assembly time is reported around 1 hour. I’ll be relying on some help from my local club friends, a few which have hexbeams, to assemble the antenna and get it in the air once it arrives and we can all find the time.


Soon!!!
K2DSL

February 27th, 2013 by K2DSL

In the latest ARRL Contest Update there was a photo taken by N0AX (Ward) of K1DG (Doug) and K3LR (Tim) with a copy of a 1958 Sports Illustrated magazine.  Inside that Sports Illustrated issue is an article titled “The Battle Of The Hams“.

Some of my favorite snippets from the article are:

“a hobby—amateur radio—that is distinguished by one of the most grueling international competitions in all sport”

“It takes about six months before logs, sent from the six continents, can be tabulated and checked.”  - Some results still take that long.

“Depending on just how serious he is on the subject, the DX contest man will not only kill himself in a contest, but he will spend the better part of a year getting ready for the exquisite torture of 48 hours of almost continuous operating.”

I don’t know if this story is true, but you will chuckle… “Zone 23 is mostly tundra and Tibet, and hams there are as rare as centerfielders. Robert Ford, an R.A.F. radio operator, put Zone 23 on the map, operating from a monastery for a few months eight years ago. Then he was captured by the Communists and became famous as a man who survived five years of attempted brainwashing and Red torture. When he was released in Hong Kong three years ago, the first Westerner to greet him was a British colonel. The officer was a ham first and an Englishman second. He threw his arms around Ford and cried, “Thank God you’re alive, Bob. I’ve been sweating out your QSL card for six and a half years.”

You can read and print the entire 1958 Sports Illustrated article. The article is all still relevant today, 55 years later.

73,
K2DSL

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