vrijdag 26 april 2013

CQ MM DX contest

I very much like this CQ Manchester Mineira DX contest.
It's a DX contest, so you can work any station.
There were many stations calling CQ MM.
In total I worked 5 continents.

I participated a few hours on both Saturday and Sunday evening.
Especially the hours late in the evening are of interest to me, since I wanted to work stations from South America.

I very much like the QSO's over long distances.
The 15 m band was "the band" for an number of excellent DX QSO's.

Nearly all QSO's were made with the maximum power of 2.7 watts of my FT-817, using  an Inverted Vee as antenna.
Only in 3 QSO's I used 800 mW or 80 mW.

All QSO's to South and North America are good for 1000 Miles per Watt, since the distance is more than 2700 Miles.

Thanks to the organisation and the operators for the fine contest.

zondag 7 april 2013

CQ WPX SSB contest 2013 - 1000 Miles per Watt

I had great fun in the CQ WW WPX SSB contest 2013.
I worked with 58 stations from 21 DXCC countries from all over Europe.
But I also met 19 stations outside of Europe.
I did not expect to work so many DX stations and certainly not from South America. hi

Click to enlarge
To be sure that I would be heard with SSB, I choose to
use the highest available power of 2.7 W.

As a 100% CW operator, until now, I discovered in this
contest, that working with phone, is much easier and faster 
than operating with CW.

In this contest I discovered that working in SSB with QRP
takes about the same patience and perseverance as
operating with CW in QRPp *.
* QRPp is a power of less than 1 watt.

The advantage of CW over SSB is about 13 dB.
(20 x in power)
So 2.7 Watts in SSB, can be compared
with 2700/20= 135 mW in CW.

In Europe most of the QSO's were made on 20 m.
Most of the QSO's outside of Europe were made on 15 m.

1000 Miles per Watt QSO's
The table  below shows only the QSO's that were made with more than 1000 miles per Watt.
The table shows the day and the time.
UTC= 14 means the QSO is made between 14:00 and 14:59 UTC.
This is interesting, since the table also shows changes in propagation.
You can see that I could reach North America from 14:00 UTC on Sunday. (KU1T)

Every time I heard Gilles, VB2T on the band, I tried to make a QSO.
At first he could not hear me, but the propagation slowly got better, so I managed to make
a QSO after 18:00 UTC.

The first station from South America, Rogerio, PY2OE, could be worked after 18:00 UTC.

The QSO with the PQ5B contest team was made in the 5th band sweep.
In each band sweep I encounter the same stations again and again. Usually I call a few times.
When I am sure that my signal is not heard, or when the station is uninterrupted answering
other stations, then I continue the sweep.
After 19:00 UTC the propagation was good enough to make the QSO with PQ5B.
It took a lot of patience and perseverance, but I really enjoyed it.

Click to enlarge
Since I worked with a fixed power of 2.7 Watts in this contest,
every QSO over a distance of more than 2700 Miles is good for
1000 MPW.
In total 11 out of 77 QSO's were made with more than
1000 miles per Watt.

dinsdag 2 april 2013

CQ WPX SSB Contest 2013

Most of the QSO's that I make are contest QSO's, all in CW with the lowest possible power. Last year I made 29 QSO's in the CQ WW DX SSB contest with phone With the CQ WW WPX SSB contest comming up, I decided to participate in this phone contest.
I was inspired to use phone by fellow bloggers. Bas, PE4BAS who works from his car with 5 watts in SSB and Bill N2CQR, who was is working with a double side band rig,
with 3 watts. Listen to SolderSmoke #150.

Since I always use CW, phone is very unusual to me.
I had to figure out how to adjust the FT-817 for SSB.
I even had to look up the microphone. After that I placed a small power meter behind the set, to monitor my power while speaking. My maximum power is 2.7 watts, since a serious mismatch more than a year ago.
The antenna is an Inverted Vee.

I started on 15 m. After 6 QSO's most over more than 1000 kilometers with UR, UA TA and 4L, I knew that all was working fine and my wife and I went shopping. After a rest I made a few more QSO's later in the evening on 20m with VE3EJ over the largest distance and good for more than 1000 Miles per Watt. hi

On Sunday I worked European stations in the morning.
The signals had to be at least S9, for my signal to be heard. But I noticed that when the signals were S+ or S++ that my signal was not always heard. Probably because the signal were not stronger by a better propagation, but by an extra amplifier. hi

For me it's still a strange experience to hear the operators voice in a QSO. In CW no one ever told me that my signal was very weak. hi
The speed of the QSO's is higher than in CW. 
I could easily adopt to the style of the calling operator. Nervous or relaxed. I was surprised how easy it is to remember the received number in phone even with four digits.

Sunday after 14:00 utc I could also make a few QSO's with Canada and the USA. With more than 2700 Miles these QSO's
are all good for more than 1000 Miles per Watt. Click to see the interesting overview.

Later that evening I heard stations from South America. I never believed that I could make a QSO with 2.7 watts and the Inverted Vee in phone, but I did. With every band sweep I tried. First came the QSO with PY2OE and in the 5th band sweep I made a QSO with PQ5B. So my patience and perseverance payed off. hi
I will give an overview for the 11 more than 1000 Miles per Watt QSO's in a later article.

Thanks to the CQ WW committee for the great activity in the CQ WW WPX contest.
I had a lot of fun with low power.