Category Archives: Contacts

2011 CQ WW CW – 3 new DXCCs worked

This past weekend was the very popular CQ WW CW contest and I didn’t plan on participating much at all with other things to do with family and friends, but that isn’t exactly what happened. Well on Friday night I didn’t participate at all, but when I woke up on Saturday morning, before anyone else in the house was up yet, I fired up the radio and didn’t get up again until there were 172 Qs in the log!

Saturday morning I woke up, made some coffee, sat down, configured the macros in N1MM and turned the radio on and picked 15m. I started at the bottom of the dial, tuned a station, worked them and tuned up the band to work the next station. It’s always easy to do this at the start since every station needs to be logged. After getting up to the top of 15m and working any others I marked but didn’t work, I switched to 20m and did the same thing there and again on 10m. I finally got up and hopped in the shower, came back, worked the same three bands and had 256 Qs in the log before I needed to call it a day and head out. 15m had the most Qs after I was done for the day.

It’s nice working stations in ZL, ZS, VK, etc on the 1st or 2nd call with my little 100 watts and dipole antennas. I think with 15m and 10m open and active, it even makes 20m more enjoyable without ever single station trying to pack into the only band most people could work them on. I got back home after 11pm local time on Sat night and told my wife I’d just scan the band and see what was happening before I came up, and then 60 mins later I was done and turned the radio off again with another 45 Qs.  I worked 40m on Sat night and was able to log a bunch of Caribbean stations but there were also plenty of EU stations I was able to hear and work. Usually 40m isn’t a band I do well on for “DX”, but it was ok on Sat night. I called it quits with 301 Qs.

Sunday morning I woke up kind of late, made some coffee and figured I’d see what was happening on the radio while everyone was still asleep. 40m still had some stations on it but they were all US stations and I had worked them already for the multipliers they provide. I flipped to 20m and started my tuning up and down the band working any new stations I could copy. After about 1 hour I flipped to 15m, spent 30 m scanning the band and then hit 10m. Worked 10m for 1 hour and the rest of the time I was on the radio I flipped between 10, 15 & 20m working any new spots. I operated assisted with the DX Cluster providing spots beyond just the ones I heard and marked myself. I tried to avoid jumping to new spots but as the day progressed I spent more time working new ones for multipliers than I did working stations on countries I had already logged on that band.

On Sunday I was able to work 3 new DXCC entities I had previously not logged.  I was able to work AH0BT on Mariana Island on 15 & 20m. I worked E51MAN on North South Cook Island on 15m though it was hard to here a QSL/TU since there was a PD4 station sending his call over the E51 station. And finally I worked ZK2V in Niue on 10m for a 3rd new one logged.  Hopefully I’m in all their logs and they use LoTW or I’ll be sending off for QSL cards.

I finished up on Sunday on 40m working more Caribbean and Eastern European stations for what ended up being a total of 573 Qs in the log. Not bad since I didn’t think I’d operate much this weekend.  I ended up with 93 DXCCs just on 15m so I was close to working DXCC just on that one band, but I did end up working 117 total entities across all the bands, which I don’t think I accomplished in any previous contest. Some of the rarer CQ zones had large pile ups, if I could even hear the DX station, so I didn’t focus too much on the zones, but I did end up working 30 different zones. I ended up working 13 stations on 4 bands with most being in the Caribbean area.

I worked 400 different operators in the 573 Qs, many of which have become familiar calls. The most stations worked in any one country was Canada, followed by Spain, Germany, Brazil and Italy.  305 of the Qs were worked on countries classified as EU followed with 125 by those classified as NA (primarily Canada and many of the Caribbean entities).

Here’s a map of the contacts based on their grid squares (click to enlarge):

Here’s the N1MM score summary showing contacts, counties and zones by band:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Cnty   ZN
    7      75    202    40   15
   14     152    419    73   23
   21     219    614    93   23
   28     127    338    61   19
Total     573   1573   267   80

Score : 545,831

Logs have been uploaded and sent in. Hopefully I’ll see some QSLs on those new entities. Thanks for all the contacts and enjoy the holidays!



Random contacts on a good weekend

No contest this weekend but with conditions being so good it was easy to make some contacts to new places on new bands. Since I’ve only been licensed since 2007 and the conditions have been poor, having the bands open like this is a real treat.

Over the weekend I worked random stations mostly on 10m and 12m for a total of 42 contacts to a total of 30 different DXCCs. I worked stations on RTTY, SSB, CW and even a couple of long distance 10m FM contacts.

Some of the more interesting contacts were location in: South Africa, India, Israel, Marquesas Island DXpedition, New Zealand,  DXpedition to Guernsey, and Cyprus along with many others. Even had a couple of short chats with some ops that recognized my call from contesting and and hope to work each other in coming contests.

Great fun!


TY1KS – Benin DXpedition

Right after getting home from vacation, my parents were up visiting for the week. I spent no time on the radio other than a couple of short attempts at trying to log ST0R before they finished up but wasn’t able to get in their log.

Late Saturday evening I noticed TY1KS in Benin Africa posted on 20m SSB so I turned on the radio and the station was coming in pretty well, so I set up to be about 7 up as he was working 5-10 up and after maybe 3 or 4 mins I was able to work him for a new DXCC. Today I checked their online log and I show up just as I would have expected. Once the DXpedition is over which I think is any day now, I’ll use their OQRS to request a QSL card.

I’m not sure of the exact maidenhead locator grid square but for Grand Popo Benin it looks to likely be JJ06ug JJ06vg.


C21YY – Nauru – Worked for a New One

Last night I was getting everything set up for Saturday’s NAQP RTTY contest and saw C21YY spotted in Nauru. Nauru is an 8 square mile island in the South Pacific with a population around 9300 . It is the worlds smallest island nation and 2nd least populated country after Vatican City. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of it before. Lucky for me Pekka OH2YY from Finland has heard of it and is there operating as C21YY. He was on 17m phone running simplex when I made contact with him about 11:30pm ET (0330z) using my G5RV wire antenna and 100w from my Kenwood TS-2000. Logged in the books for a new one!

This morning I got on and saw C21YY spotted on 20m phone so I figured I’d try him again. He was working split in the Extra portion of the band which helped me with less of a pileup to contend with. After about 10 mins I was able to get an exchange through to him on 20m phone and log him on that band.

The snippet of info on the DXpedition shows HF SSB only from July 11th through the 20th and to QSL direct via his home call of OH2YY so he’ll be receiving a QSL card from me shortly. I’ll hold off until he’s wrapped up in case I get lucky and work him on another band.

Time to do some things before the NAQP gets going.


2011 IARU Summary & a Busy Ham Sunday

There was the 24-hour IARU ham radio contest this weekend from Sat morning to Sun morning. I checked things out Sat morning and didn’t hear much and had plenty of other things to get done so I didn’t fire up N1MM and start logging. made a few contacts but there wasn’t much in the way of propagation so after about 25 contacts I took a break and did other things inside/outside.

I checked back around 2000z (4pm local time) and there was more activity so I fired up N1MM and started logging contacts. 10m and 15m had very little activity that I could hear so I spent most of the time on 20m. Worked about 1.5 hours, had 35 contacts and took about a 90 min break. Came back, conditions were better and I spent the next 2.5 hours operating finishing up with 121 contacts and hit the sack for the night for an early morning alarm. Nothing exotic in the log but some good contacts and a few stations contacted across 3 bands.

Score summary:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Mlt   HQ
  3.5       3      3    0    3
    7      26     46    6   12
   14      88    246   11   25
   21       3      3    0    3
   28       1      1    0    1
Total     121    299   17   44

Score : 18,239

I got up early on Sunday morning, picked up N2CG and drove to the Sussex hamfest about 1 hour away. It’s the largest hamfest in the immediate area and up until this years trip to Dayton, it was the largest hamfest I had been to. Shortly after getting there I spotted a light duty Radio Shack rotator, control box and rotator cable that looked in excellent shape and picked it up for $25. Tested it at home and it seems to work well. Strolled around the rest of the day and just picked up some connectors. Saw lots of folks I know and chatted with some vendors. Weather was great if just a bit warm in the sun. I also watched NB2F, Dee, work some satellites from his portable station. I really enjoy the satellite contacts.

We also had our clubs monthly meeting Sun night where I won the 50-50 and about $30. I can’t complain about that – paid for my rotator from the hamfest! Since I usually am the guy going around hawking the tickets a couple of folks commented in jest, but I don’t pull the winning ticket. Also seems that we might look to create a contesting group within our club which could be a lot of fun.

Before heading to the club meeting I was doing a few things and noticed that Jan Mayden was spotted on 20m RTTY. I tuned in and had a light but mostly printable copy on them. I tried for a while sending my call out but had no luck. I needed to head to the club meeting for a while so I shut everything down. After I got home JX5O was calling CQ again and was a bit stronger so I put out my call after each CQ and after a bunch of attempts they came back to me as K2DSR. I resent K2DSL and he came back with the correct call for a 20m RTTY contact with them. Though I made a couple of previous contacts, this one contact alone covers my DXCC Mixed, 20m and RTTY awards.

A very diverse ham radio weekend. Next weekend is the NAQP RTTY contest on Saturday afterrnoon and evening so you’ll know where I will be.


Worked a new one – Jan Mayden – JX5O

I was excited to hear of a DXpedition to Jan Mayden because it is a new DXCC for me. I never had heard of it before so I did a bit of investigation. It’s a volcanic island in the Arctic that is part of Norway about 300 mi east of Greenland and 400 mi northeast of Iceland.

Operations really started today and I caught JX5O first on 17m SSB and it didn’t take long to work them. From here out it is gravy though I want to also work them on 20m and on RTTY to cover my primary DXCC awards that I have. I then caught them on 20m CW which wasn’t as strong a signal for me but I’m pretty confident he came back to me, I sent TU and he replied TU right back.

Once they are all done I’ll head to their QSL info page, make a nominal donation, and wait for the card. That’ll get me heading off for the evening with a smile on my face.

Update: After a local 2m net I noticed a spot on 20m SSB for OD5NH in Lebanon so I put out my call and Puzant came right back to me. Woohoo! Emailing him per his QRZ page before sending for a QSL card. Definitely a good night!


Saudi Arabia Logged for a New One

I checked the cluster to see if there was any QSO party activity going on as I worked some yesterday on SSB and would try and make a few more contacts. I saw a Saudi Arabia station spotted on RTTY so I tuned to 14.085 and I was able to copy the station. HZ1PS was working the ARI contest and coming in pretty clear. I needed to crank down the RTTY filter tight on the TS-2000 because there was a nearby station that was very strong.

After he finished working a station I sent my call twice and he came back with AGN AGN so I sent it again and he came back to me! Even in the contest he was sending more than just the serial number. Here’s the MMTTY log file edited with the noise taken out.

K2DSLU 59 428hRWI 428 K2P
 HZ1PS 599 001 001 DE K2DSL

It looks like Peter uses LoTW so hopefully I’ll get this one confirmed. Thanks for the new one Peter and very 73!

Edit Monday May 9 – Overnight my contact with HZ1PS was confirmed on LoTW. Thanks very much Peter!

Updating HRD for Award Tracking

HRD (Ham Radio Deluxe) is the everyday ham radio logging program I use. I use N1MM for contesting and export the ADIF after a contest and import that ADIF into HRD and maintain all contacts there. HRD has recently been upgraded to support ham radio award tracking for awards such as DXCC, WAC (Worked All Continents) and WAS (Worked All States) and I wanted to start taking advantage of the new feature. Because automation is only available for a portion of the process, it takes time and effort even with all these tools, to get things tagged properly.

HRD now supports uploading/downloading of LoTW QSOs & QSLs within the program. Previously it was manual or you could, like I did, you use a terrific program from Stephen WD5EAE called Ham Radio Deluxe Utlities (HRDU). HRDU still has many valuable feature/uses but it looks like the upload/download to LoTW can be handled within HRD natively now. HRD will set any download QSLs to the Verified status which means they are acceptable to submit as an award contact if needed. For paper QSL cards, you need to do that manually when the cards come in. Here are some links to info on HRD & LoTW:

HRD LoTW Upload function
HRD LoTW Download function

If you used HRD Utilities to download from LoTW, all the LoTW QSL Received statuses will be set to Yes and those all need to be Bulk Edited to Verified in a one-time update.  To update all the LoTW records marked as Yes from HRDU, specify a filter of LOTW Received Contains Y and that will show you all records that are matched QSLs in LoTW. Highlight all records, right click and select Bulk Editor / Any Fields / Fields tab / Add Field. Select LOTW Received in the Field drop-down and select Verified in the List drop-down. Click the Ok button to update them all.

The newer award feature within HRD will show which various supported awards (DXCC, WAS, WAC, etc) have Verified contacts (paper or LoTW) that could be applied. Here are some links to help explain the new HRD QSO status workflow and awards functionality:

HRD QSO tracking & Awards
HRD QSO Status (PDF)
HRD Award Status

Make sure you also upgrade your tQSL program. Many folks are still using v1.11 and v1.13 is required. You can find the link to v1.13 of tQSL at with the link being on the right side. Download the zip file and run the enclosed exe file to upgrade.

Continue reading Updating HRD for Award Tracking

2 new DXCCs worked – No NA RTTY Sprint

I’ve been busy with non-radio activities over the past couple of weekends and this weekend was no exception.

On Saturday I was able to work 2 DXpeditions that have been on-going. One is the 4A4A Dxpedition to Revillagigedo Islands off the western coast of Mexico. I worked them on 20m phone and it already shows in their online logbook. The other about 30 mins later was the Sable Island DXpedition and I was able to work N1SNB/CY0 also on 20m phone.  Sable Island is off the eastern coast of Nova Scotia Canada. Both of these contacts are for new DXCCs so for me so I’m glad I was finally able to hear and work them while at the radio.

Saturday night was the 4 hour NA RTTY Sprint but I was unable to be at the radio. My younger daughter was in her high school’s spring musical and Saturday night was their final performance so that’s where I was. She and the entire cast were terrific and gave a fantastic performance. I hope those that got on the air were had fun and racked up the Q’s in this fast & fun contest.

I’m going to be out of town next weekend with my older daughter so unless her plans change I won’t be on the air for the BARTG HF RTTY contest either. I might be able to sneak in just a couple of hours on Friday night at the start of the contest if we don’t have to leave until Saturday morning.


96 QSL Received Cards via Bureau

Came home today to a large package from the NJDXA, the 2 call area incoming QSL bureau. In the package were 96 QSL cards. I scanned through them while I counted and I don’t think any are for new DXCCs but possibly some new bands/modes. I’ll have to log them which will take a little time and figure out if there are any received which I haven’t yet already sent out a QSL card. Always fun getting a package of QSL cards!