Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1 Update on DX and Lowband Activity

January was interesting - the Palmyra and VP8 dxpeditions generated a lot of interest and a lot of contacts.  the VP8 crew were certainly braving the elements to keep the island on the air.  I was not able to work either group, but now that VP8 is on Thule as VP8 I’ve been able to hear them faintly on 40m so I’m confident I will get them in the log this week.  Another VP8 will be up and running later this month, so lots of activity from the Southern Ocean.  Speaking of that, got my card from St. Helena for 12m and 15m, ATNO for me. 

Please keep the DX Code of Conduct in mind as you work the DX

Low Bands
My vertical continues to work well with the loading coil on 80m.  This weekend, I built a similar coil for 160m, and it tunes up well, I hope to put it on the air this week.  I bought some weather proof DC connectors to use in swapping the coils out.  Basically, I have a plug on each coil, plus a plug on the open ends of the feed wire to the antenna, so that I can easily change them out.  I made a stub connector with another plug, basically just soldered the ends together, that allows me to use the antenna without the coils on 40-6 meters.  The LDG autotuner at the base of the antenna continues to work well.  Pictures of the coils and the connectors are below.  

This weekend I spent some time on 40m, and I found it to be in great shape around 0300z on the 31st.  I worked Ukraine, Kuwait, Slovenia, and Bulgaria with great signal reports.  I’m only running 100w from the Kenwood TS-590s.

6 Meters

 I noticed several good openings on 6 meters during January - none during the ARRL VHF contest, however.  As I’ve said before, I remain convinced there is more opportunity than we know on 6 meters, we just aren’t on there enough.  Listen and call and see what happens, and watch the DXMaps site for openings.

Finally, remember the meteor scatter crowd most mornings on 50.145 around 0700z 

Please send along any reports you have and I will include them here as they come in.

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