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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Lists for the Serious DX’er

In light of the recent discussions on the WVDXA Email Reflector about the necessity of being “in the know” in order to be a serious DX’er, I was struck by the “How’s DX?” column in the August 2020 QST.  This column is written every month by long-time WVDXA member, Bernie, W3UR.  Knowing how seldom the following entities appear on-the-air will alert you to when you need to "pull out all the stops" to work one when it does show up.

The August column gives a HUGE amount of pertinent information needed by the aspiring DX’er.  I have re-printed below (with permission) three “Lists” that can provide the DX’er with a wealth of knowledge about what countries are the rarest.  There is a good deal more valuable information in the printed “How’s DX?” column and I suggest you read it to get the most out of what Bernie, W3UR, has put together.

The following “Lists” are from the How's DX? column on pages 76-77 of the August 2020 issue of QST which is edited by WVDXA member, Bernie, W3UR.

=====  Re-printed from QST with permission. =====

Top Ten Most-Wanted List

Most of the loyal readers of this column are familiar with Club Log's Top Ten Most-Wanted List ( It's a listing of the rarest DXCC entities.  As of the end of May 2020, the top 10 most-wanted DXCC entities were (in order from 1 – 10):

P5    North Korea

3Y/B    Bouvet lsland

FT5/W    Crozet lsland

BS7H    Scarborough Reef

CEØX    San Felix lsland

BV9P    Pratas lsland

KH7K    Kure lsland

KH3  Johnston lsland

3Y/P    Peter I lsland

FT5/X    Kerguelen lsland


Inactive List

Another list that some like to follow is the top ten most-inactive countries list.  This list includes the DXCC entities that have shown no activity for the longest duration. The top ten for this list (in order by years, not time on the air) are:

CEØX    San Felix lsland (18 years)

KH3    Johnston lsland (17 years)

BV9P    Pratas lsland (16 years)

KH7K    Kure lsland (14 years)

3Y/P    Peter I lsland (14 years)

YVØ    Aves lsland (13 years)

EZ    Turkmenistan (13 years)

BS7H    Scarborough Reef (13 years)

3Y/B    Bouvet lsland (12 years)

KP5    Desecheo lsland (11 years)


Activity List

This list may be unfamiliar to most readers. It's the top ten most-wanted countries that have had one or more active amateur radio operators within this year. These countries are:

SV/A    Mount Athos (SV2RSG/A)

4U_UN    United Nations Headquarters (4U1UN)

6O    Somalia (6O1OO)

T3Ø  Western Kiribati (T3ØTM)

KH8    American Samoa (AH8M)

ZL7    Chatham Islands (ZL7DX)

S2    Bangladesh (S21ED).

Z6    Republic of Kosovo (Z61DX, Z62FB, etc.)

TT    Chad (TT8SN)

5A    Libya (5AlAL and 5AØYL)

It should be noted that there are multiple licensed amateur radio operators in Turkmenistan (EZ), however, they have not been authorized to get on the air since August 2006.  Syria (YK) has several licensed operators, but they've said they won't go back on the air until the civil war is over.  South Orkney Islands (VP8/O) has an Argentine Naval Base on Laurie Island, LUlZA, and is occasionally on the air with authorized military operators.  Tristan Da Cunha and Gough Islands (ZD9) have Andy Repetto, ZD9BV, but he has not been active for a while.


=== "Reprinted with the permission of W3UR and the ARRL. © Copyright ARRL." ===

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Third WVDXA "Virtual" Meeting

On Saturday, June 13, 2020, the WVDXA gathered via Zoom to hold our Third "Virtual" meeting.  Attendance was down substantially over the First and Second meetings.  We had 14 attend the April meeting, in May we had 20 attend, but only 10 were able to attend the June meeting.  Hopefully we can improve that on the next meeting...  Those who do take the time to attend have reported having a GREAT time!

You can see a screenshot of the meeting on the right of this Post.  Click on the picture to see a larger image.  Note: there is plenty of space available for your image to appear in future meetings!

If you have not joined the WVDXA "Virtual" meetings, you might think of doing so for the next one.  Members attend using external Webcams, built-in laptop cameras and a couple even use their cell phones.  Plus, this is good practice for the upcoming WV State ARRL Convention, usually held at Jackson's Mill near Weston, WV.  This year the State Convention will be held on ZOOM.  Details and a schedule of events can be found on the State Amateur Radio Council's website here:

Monday, May 11, 2020

Second WVDXA "Virtual" Meeting

May 9, 2020 - Virtual Meeting
On Saturday, May 9, 2020, the WVDXA gathered via Zoom to hold our Second "Virtual" meeting.  Attendance was up by 43% over the First meeting!  We had 14 attend the April meeting and in May, we had 20 attend.  YIPPEE!  Looks like this method of meetings, at least during the pandemic, has turned out to be rather popular.

You can see a screenshot of the meeting on the left of this Post.  Click on the picture to see a larger image.  However, it was taken before "late-comer" Jim, K4JWA, joined and after Bernie, W3UR, had to leave.  The meeting lasted one hour and from the comments received later, it was a big success.

If you click on the above image, you can see how people have chosen to identify themselves in the bottom left corner of each thumbnail.  The "speaker" is identified by a yellow border around their image.  The "speaker" in this screenshot happens to be the "King of DX" -  WOW!

John, W8WEJ, has attended both meetings and just contacted me with a request.  Because of his location and inability to travel long distances, John asks if when we return to regular "in-person" meetings, we might take advantage of the Zoom platform to include those members who can not attend in person.  That sounds like an OUTSTANDING suggestion and, if we can work it out, I think it would be a great addition to future WVDXA meetings.

If you have not joined the WVDXA "Virtual" meetings, you might think of doing so at the next one.  Members attend using external Webcams, built-in laptop cameras and a couple even use their cell phones.

Friday, April 17, 2020

First WVDXA "Virtual" Meeting

On Saturday, April 11, 2020, the WVDXA held its first "Virtual" club meeting.  With the "Stay at Home" restrictions currently in place plus the "Social Distancing" requirements, it is not possible to get together in person.

So, by using the Zoom Video Conferencing application, the club had a wonderful meeting in cyberspace!  A total of 14 WVDXA members showed up (literally, "showed up") and everyone could see and hear everyone else.  Plus, as a nice benefit, we had members from many states away who normally do not make it to a regular WVDXA meeting.

Out-of-state members who participated were: N8NN who joined the meeting from Florida (you can see the palm trees behind him in the screenshot above), WV4TN from Tennessee, W8UV from Delaware, and W3UR from Maryland (sitting outside in front of his Grand Mansion.)  Also, we got to see John, W8WEJ, from Vienna, WV, who has not made it to a meeting for many years.  And, relatively new members Bryan, NU8J, and Steve, WB8III, were there as well.

In addition to the above named members, we also had W8TN, WW8RT, W8IW, W8OI, N8RR, WT8V and K8OHZ.  Quite a diverse turnout.  Click on the photo on the right for a screenshot taken during the meeting.

Surprise visitors included W8OI's better half, Nancy, and W8UV's "keeper", Karen.  Plus, one of N8RR's furry felines showed up briefly as well.

Two of the attendees connected by cell phone and the rest from laptops or desktop computers.  The meeting went off with nary a hitch, just one or two very minor issues that were quickly resolved.  The only negative was we were not meeting at a place where food was served!  That's normally a mainstay of our meetings so I for one missed that!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Which PacketCluster Should You Use?

Do you use a PacketCluster which is displaying ONLY spots posted by U.S.A. or NA stations?  I don't.  I use VE7CC which displays spots from all over the world.  There are many other Clusters you can use which do this but I just happen to like VE7CC.

Why do I do this you may ask?  Yes, I do receive a LOT of spots which do not benefit me at all.  For example, in the image at the Left is a spot (the Blue one) for 9K2HS in Kuwait (6,700 miles away) on 160-M which came in at 1836 GMT.  That's 1:36 p.m. local time for me or 4 hours BEFORE my Sunset.  Absolutely no chance in Hades that I could make this contact on Top Band or even hear 9K2HS at that time.  (Click on any image to see it larger.)

However, seeing this spot alerts me to the fact that there actually is a 9K station operating on 160-M and that is a Band-Point which I need.  If 9K2HS is still there after my Sunset, maybe I'll get a chance to work him.  At least I know he is operating on that band.  And, most importantly, I can be ready for him before anyone in the U.S.A. or NA spots him.  (In this case I did not see 9K2HS show up that day after my Sunset.  But I did work 9K2HN a week later!)

The next morning I got up at 0945 GMT (4:45 a.m. local time) and got on the radio.  I saw some spots for E44RU on 17-M but at that time of day (3 hours BEFORE my Sunrise) there were absolutely no signals to be heard at my QTH on 17-M from anywhere.  Still, I put the radio on 18.095 MHz and set up for FT8 F/H as indicated by the spots I saw and just kept doing other things.

Then, just as the Sun peeked above my horizon - at 1250 GMT I first copied E44RU.  I started calling him at 1253 GMT.  It took me an hour and 23 minutes to finally make the QSO but I did make it running 1,100-watts to a 17-M Inverted-V (no beam.)  And, if you note on the PacketCluster list on the Right, there were ZERO spots from ANY U.S.A. or NA station during that period!  And, while I was trying to work him, I NEVER saw him call or work a U.S.A. or NA station.  Still, he did work me!  I was there calling him because I saw spots from other parts of the world which alerted me to the fact that E44RU was on 17-M FT8 F/H at that time.

Had I been monitoring a PacketCluster which was displaying only spots from U.S.A. or NA stations, I WOULD NEVER HAVE KNOWN E44RU WAS ON-THE-AIR!  As the image at the Right shows, there were NO spots from my part of the world for E44RU during this period - yet, as it turned out, E44RU was indeed definitely workable, in fact I DID work him, and it gave me a New Band-Point for the Challenge!

The end result is that I made the log (see the image on the Left) and scored a New One which I may have totally missed by only watching spots from my part of the world.  Restricting your PacketCluster spots to only those from your area can LIMIT the possibilities for you to work many stations!

This is a "DX Tip and/or Trick" sponsored by the West Virginia DX Association and comes to you FREE with your membership.  Those WVDXA Dues are worth every penny - right?

Thursday, March 5, 2020

WVDXA Supports Club Log in 2020

Upon unanimous consent of the membership, 'da Prez made a donation to Clublog in the name of the WVDXA in the amount of $100.00 U.S. (£74.78 British Pounds).  This will help support the operation of this great resource that many of us use at least weekly (if not daily!)

This 2020 donation has been credited to the West Virginia DX Association.  This brings our total donations to Club Log to $598 since 2013.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

February 2020 WVDXA Meeting

What a MASSIVE turnout at our February 2020 meeting!  The sign-in sheet contains 32 names!  Here are those who attended this meeting: W8TN, Evelyn Stewart, WW8RT, KD8IZK, KD8BZY, N8RR, K8OHZ, NØULL, NU8LL, N8ULL, W8IW, K8RRT, N8DX, WA8ZDL, N4HT, WE5P, W8OP, WA8WV, W8OM, WV8FV, WV8RC, K8BT, K8KT, K8WEE, KB8KIM, W8UQ, W8OI, KD8VNN, AB8RL, W8HC, WB8III, and K8YYY.

That's a BIG meeting for us!  We certainly stretched the new venue (Ryan's) to near its limit.  I suspect the great turnout was due to Hal, W8HC, giving his presentation “VP6R Pitcairn Island 2019 DXpedition” which included many beautiful photos and videos of the trip along with Hal's commentary.

Speaking of the presentation, I have received MULTIPLE comments about how much folks enjoyed it.  Hal, W8HC, gave us a great insight into how a major DX'pedition requires WAY more work than many realize.  A fantastic element of his presentation was the history lesson about how Pitcairn Island came to be settled.  I can tell you the audience was "riveted" to the screen during this presentation as evidenced by the photo on the left.

As a large benefit of our getting together, we almost always have at least one ARRL Card Checker attend since ALL THREE ARRL Card Checkers in WV are members of the WVDXA. And, in fact, this meeting did see all three (W8HC, WA8WV, and W8OP) attend.  I don't know if Alan, W8OP, or Hal, W8HC, checked any cards, but I know that Dave, WA8WV, (seen in the bottom right of the above photo) was kept busy checking cards. A shot of him (and his Green pen) actually checking cards is shown on the left.  Click on any photo to see a larger image.

In fact, Dave made one WVDXA member VERY happy by checking his QSL Submission!  Tim, K8RRT, gave Dave his application and those confirmations put Tim over the 2,000 level on the DXCC Challenge!  You can imagine how happy this made Tim.  And, just to be able to attend this meeting, Tim had to get a workmate to fill in for him so that he could leave work early for the meeting.  Plus, Dave checked a few QSL's for Charlie, N8RR, leaving him needing only THREE MORE confirmations to reach the 3,000 Challenge level!

Those who attended the meeting came from all across the state with several attending from the Far North Enclave of the WVDXA: Wayne, KB8KIM, came from Randolph County, Bill, K8WEE, came from Summers County, Steve, WB8III, and Alan, W8OP, came from Fairmont in Marion county.  In addition, several came from other states: Jack, N8DX, came from just north of Cincinnati, Ohio, Harry, N4HT, again came from Lexington, Kentucky, for his second WVDXA meeting and he brought his friend, Bill, WE5P, also from the Lexington, Kentucky, area for his FIRST WVDXA meeting!  You can see Harry, N4HT, and Bill, WE5P, in the top photo above with N4HT on the left.

Back to the presentation, this was the first time we used the Laptop Projector which was secured for us by Steve, WW8RT.  It has always been a hassle to try and find someone to bring a projector from their work so we can use it.  Now, thanks to Steve, the WVDXA now has its OWN projector!  THANK YOU, Steve!

Who knew that hams used their hands so much when speaking?  As you can see on the left, Alan, W8OP, in the foreground and Dave, W8IW, in the background made extensive use of their hands in their conversations.

And, some were so excited to be here that they had that "deer in the headlights" look.  Steve, WB8III, in the red shirt on the right seemed to always look surprised in any of the photos that Hal, W8HC, and I took.  I just assume that was his excitement at being able to participate in a WVDXA meeting!

Finally, the group voted to make another of our annual contributions to support Club Log.  This is the SIXTH time the WVDXA has made a financial contribution to Club Log.

In the end, everyone left the meeting having satisfied (for a brief time) their desire to talk about DX.  Another extremely successful WVDXA meeting, for sure!

Monday, November 25, 2019

November 2019 WVDXA Meeting

WOW, it was WAY TOO long since our last meeting!  You could certainly tell that by the fact that no one wanted to leave - Hi!  Of course, it might have been the food since we all know DX'ers travel on their stomachs! Note that in the photo of the 14 hams who attended (shown above), I had to add Jimmy, W8JA, as an insert because he was stuck downstairs when the photo was taken.

W8UZ  -  N4HT
Roger, KD8BZY, and Becky, KD8IZK, kindly offered their home for the second time as a location for this meeting.  In addition, they supplied the bulk of the food which included two spiral hams which Roger cooked.  There must have been at least a dozen positive comments about that ham.  WOWZER was it good!!  My biggest regret is that my wife refused to bring any of it home when it was offered - bummer!  (Sure wish I had known that!)  As I recollect, we enjoyed hot baked ham, potato salad, coleslaw, rolls, a shrimp cocktail platter, a veggie platter, deviled eggs, a Kentucky Bourbon cake, craft beer, Mary's Ellis' excellent cake, Evelyn Stewart's brownies, banana nut muffins and cookies, broccoli casserole, and probably some other items I forgot.  What a wonderful spread!

PowerPoint Presentation
We had 17 persons attending: W8JA, W8JA's mom (Oleta Aeiker), Oleta and Jimmy's Caretaker (Brenda Thornton), K4JWA, K8KT, WT8V, N8RR, W8IW, K8RRT, WA8WV, W8TN, W8TN's XYL (Evelyn Stewart), KD8BZY, KD8IZK, W8UZ, N4HT, and W8OI.  Unfortunately, Hal, W8HC, made a critical error with his calendar and just HAD to attend the WVU football game.  Boy, Hal, you would have had more fun here!  Those sharp-eyed among you will notice two calls for hams who have never attended a WVDXA gathering before.  Don, W8UZ, from Woodburn, INDIANA, and Harry, N4HT, from Lexington, KENTUCKY, made quite a long trip to attend!  Both have joined the WVDXA as our newest members and everyone at the meeting was pleased they came.  Their presence enhanced the camaraderie of the meeting immensely. You can see their photo on the right.  [Click on any photo for a larger image.]  And, one WVDXA member who lives in Delaware, telephoned and spoke with some of the group to tell us how he wished he could attend.  Phil, W8UV, your presence was indeed missed but we are SO glad you made a brief appearance anyway!

Discussions Abounded
W8TN, N8RR, and KD8BZY gave a PowerPoint presentation on "Small Station EME."  It is interesting to note that those three are the only known EME operators currently active from West Virginia and all three belong to the WVDXA.  DX is DX!  After the presentation there were many questions from several of those attending.

Karl, K8KT, collected donations for the upcoming W8S, Swains Island DX'pedition.  And, Dave, WA8WV, checked QSL Cards for the ARRL.

On the right is a photo taken by Garry, W8OI, of part of the multiple discussions which lasted all afternoon.  Even the rain did not dampen anyone's enthusiasm.

Now sometime in the near future, possibly January 2020, we will have a really exciting presentation.  Hal, W8UC, will be there to show us and tell us all about his recent DX'pedition to VP6R, Pitcairn Island.  That will be a real "barn burner" for sure!  DO NOT MISS this next meeting.  If you notice in the group photo at the top of this post, you will see Dave, WA8WV, was already sporting his VP6R tee-shirt.  Way to go, DAVE!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

April 2019 WVDXA Meeting

This Post is a "tad" late but still I wanted to report a bit on our April 20, 2019, meeting.  The meeting was held at Golden Corral in Cross Lanes, WV.  I made arrangements with Golden Corral a couple of weeks before the meeting to secure their "Meeting Room" and told them we expected about 20 to 25 people to attend.  Well, it seems that a week before our meeting date, another group asked for (and received) permission to use the same room for a birthday party for a 90-year old gentleman!  So, we "shared" the meeting room for both events.  I think the WVDXA behaved admirably under these circumstances although there was some grumbling overheard from the other group who apparently expected to have the venue all to themselves.

We actually had 22 persons attending: W8TN, W8TN's XYL (Evelyn Stewart), K8JQ, WB8CQV, WB8CQV's XYL (Janice Jones), WB8CQV's son (Jonathan Jones), WV8RC, WV8FV, WA8WV, W8JA, W8JA's mom (Oleta Aeiker), Oleta's Caretaker (Brenda Thornton), N8RR, KD8VNN, K4JWA, W8OI, WW8RT, W8HC, K8RRT, KE8LSK, WA8ZDL and W8OP.

W8TN gave a PowerPoint presentation on "QSL'ing Tips & Tricks." And the new web page was presented "live" on the Internet.  Also, from the Internet, W8TN presented a brief view and description of the ARRL's Logbook of the World (LoTW) web site and how that system can be used to confirm QSO's without the need for a physical QSL card.  Finally, a brief view of the WVDXA's new Chat Page on was presented.  Note: you can click on any photo here to see a larger image.

W8JA's mom, Oleta, and W8JA
Since we were "sharing" the Meeting Room, the Birthday Group asked for us to be quiet for a bit as they recognized their family member on his 90th birthday.  Everyone (including the WVDXA members) sang "Happy Birthday" to him.  The honoree was so thankful to the Lord for letting him live so long that he got up, asked for quiet in the room, made a few remarks and then unhurriedly sang two verses of a hymn of praise.  It was an unexpected special moment that we applauded. Of course, the WVDXA remained silent about the fact that W8JA's mom, Oleta, who was in our group, will celebrate her 95th birthday in just 5 months!

Steve, WW8RT, collected donations for the upcoming T3ØGC - West Kiribati DX'pedition.  Then W8TN noted that the WVDXA has supplied $20,556 to 32 various DX'peditions plus $498 to ClubLog.

Great fellowship and camaraderie were had by all and the joining of our meeting with the Birthday Party made our gathering truly memorable!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Have You Worked UA4WHX?

In the last few days, Vladimir Bykov, UA4WHX, has been operating from Mayotte as FH/UA4WHX.  You can see some photos from his current operation by visiting this DX-World page ( FH, Mayotte, is only No. 103 on the Club Log Needed List.  However, I'm sure Vlad is filling in MANY Band/Slots for a lot of folks and even handing out the occasional ATNO!

Do you realize just how prolific this single DX'peditioner has been over the years?  He has operated from dozens and dozens of countries giving New Ones to thousands of DX'ers.  Just during the last month he has operated from the following places.  Click on the callsign to link to the DX-World page describing the operation with photos.  S70VB - Seychelles, 3B8VB - Mauritius, 3B9VB - Rodrigues Island, FR/UA4WHX - Reunion Island, and currently FH/UA4WHX - Mayotte.  Particularly note the write-up on the 3B9VB operation regarding Cyclone Gelena passing right by Rodrigues Island while Vlad was there.

He is a one-man operation running just 100-watts to wire antennas.  Check out his innovative antenna set-up on his QRZ web page.  Note that he also holds a U.S. Amateur Extra Class license - AC4LN.

Unfortunately, Vlad does NOT use LoTW so you will need to QSL him directly.  He has detailed instructions on his QRZ web page about sending for a QSL.  He does accept QSL requests via PayPal so that should speed up the process for sure.

I have scoured the Internet for an exhaustive list of calls for UA4WHX's operations but can not find such a list.  So, I used a few sources to put together the following list.  I plan to check this list against my own log to see if I have some gems just waiting for a QSL from Vlad.  You can see the actual QSL's for many of the calls below at this web site.  Also on that web site is a link to a 2009 audio interview with Vlad by OE1WHC.  You can gain some very interesting insights into Vlad himself and what it is like to operate from these DX locations by listening to this 14 minute interview.

Here is the list of callsigns which I have found were UA4WHX operations:  3B8VB  -  3B9VB  - 3D2VB  -  3DA0VB  -  4K0VB  -  4LOB  -  4O7VB  -  4S7VG  -  4W0VB  -  5H3VMB  -  5H3VNS  -  5R8VB  -  5T5TI  -  5T9VB  -  5W0VB  -  5X1VB  -  5Z4/UA4WHX  -  6W/UA4WHX/P  -  6Y5/AC4LN  -  7P8VB  -  7Q7VB  -  7V7V  -  8P9/AC4LN  -  8Q7VB  -  8R1/AC4LN  -  9A8VB  -  9H3WHX  -  9J2VB  -  9U0VB  -  9X0VB  -  9Y4/AC4LN  -  A25VB  -  A35VB  -  C50VB  -  C91VB  -  CE/UA4WHX  -  CE0/UA4WHX  -  CE0Z/UA4WHX  -  CE7/UA4WHX  -  CE8/UA4WHX  -  CE9/UA4WHX  -  CN2VB  -  CP/UA4WHX  -  CP4WHX  -  AC4LN/CT1  -  CT8/UA4WHX  -  CT9/UA4WHX  -  D20VB  -  D44TVB  -  D60VB  -  E40VB  -  E7/UA4WHX  -  EA8/UA4WHX  -  EA9/UA4WHX  -  ER0VP-UT/UA4WHX  -  ES0VB  -  EX/UA4WHX  -  EY8/UA4WHX  -  F0/AC4LN  -  FH/UA4WHX  -  FK/AC4LN  -  FR/UA4WHX  -  FW/AC4LN  -  H40VB  -  H44VV  -  H7/AC4LN  -  HB0/AC4LN  -  HB9/AC4LN  -  HC2/UA4WHX  -  HC8ART  -  HH2/AC4LN  -  HI8/AC4LN  -  HK0/UA4WHX  -  HK3/UA4WHX  -  HP1/AC4LN  -  HP8/AC4LN  -  HR1/AC4LN  -  HR2/AC4LN  -  IT9/UA4WHX  -  J20VB  -  J3/AC4LN  -  J73/AC4LN  -  J8/AC4LN  -  JT1FDC  -  JY8VB  -  KD4DZH  -  KH0/AC4LN etc.  -  KH6/AC4LN  -  LU/UA4WHX  -  UA4WHX/CX  -  LY/UA4WHX  -  O19VB  -  OA7/UA4WHX  -  OD5/UA4WHX  -  OJ0/UA4WHX  -  ON9VB  -  P29VVB  -  PY/UA4WHX  -  PY0/UA4WHX  -  PY8/UA4WHX  -  PZ5VB  -  R/AC4LN  -  R00BVB  -  R00KVB  -  R00QVB  -  R11PVB  -  RI0BV  -  RI0BV/P  -  RI0KV  -  RI0POL  -  RI0QV  -  RI0QV/P  -  RI44ANT  -  S70VB  -  ST2VB  -  SU9VB  -  T10VB  -  T20VB  -  T30VB  -  T88VV  -  TG4/AC4LN  -  TI1/AC4LN  -  UA4WHX/2  -  UK/UA4WHX  -  UN8/UA4WHX  -  V31BV  -  V51VV  -  V63MB  -  V73VV  -  VK8VB  -  YJ0VB  -  YL/UA4WHX  -  YS1/AC4LN  -  YU9VB  -  YV5/AC4LN  -  Z2/UA4WHX  -  Z38VB  -  ZA/UA4WHX  -  ZK1/AC4LN  -  ZK2VB  -  ZP9/UA4WHX

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Exporting WSJT-X logs to LOGic & other logging programs

My logging program, LOGic, has been promising for many months to add a fix that will allow WSJT-X QSOs to automatically become a part of my LOGic log.  I have been logging those QSOs on paper and then later typing them into the LOGic program.  But I finally got tired of waiting for the fix and decided to learn how to export my FT8 and other QSOs out of WSJT-X and into LOGic. 

I thought that would be simple.  I was wrong.  It took many hours for me (not the most computer literate guy in the world) to finally make these transfers work quickly and smoothly.

WVDXA President Clark Stewart W8TN suggested I put a "how-to" into writing in case others have been having similar problems with their logging programs.  I won't go through all the other methods I used, all of them taking several steps and wasting time before QSOs would finally get into my logging program's log, but here is the explanation of what I finally did.

First, in order to import into LOGic I must click on an "import" tab and then an "ADIF" dropdown tab.  That brings up a window that allows me to browse for a file's location.  I can then browse to most places; like desktop, documents, downloads, etc.  However it will not find the directory where wsjtx_log.adi is located.  Specifically it will not browse me to C:\Users\Garry\AppData\Local\WSJT-X\wsjtx_log.adi.  Even when I typed all that into Logic's window, it would not take me there.  It just kept telling me the file was not found and instructing me to check spelling and try again.  I must have done this 50 times over the past few days.

However, I finally discovered a way to get LOGic to the right location.
I remembered that LOGic's export window always opens at the last place that it found and used an export file.  I figured that LOGic's import window would do the same.  If I could only get it to the right location in the first place, it ought to automatically go there the next time.  So, I went into the WSJT-X program and put my cursor on the wsjtx_log.adi file and right clicked.  That took me to a "send to" button where a dropdown allowed me to send a shortcut to the desktop.  LOGic's import window went there without problem and did the import, and now (voila) every time I call up LOGic's import window it takes me to C:\Users\Garry\AppData\Local\WSJT-X\wsjtx_log.adi automatically.  Eureka!
Whew.  What a struggle.  Now the process is simple as long as I remember to erase the log file in WSJT-X after each export.  That way only the new contacts are added to my log each time I import in LOGic.  Otherwise the QSOs that were transferred before will be transferred again putting duplicate QSOs into my log.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

WeeeeHooooo - September 2018 Meeting

WVDXA Banner from 3YØZ
Steve Gillispie, K8LZ
YES, SIR.  Today's WVDXA Meeting was a Doozy!  We met at Golden Corral in Cross Lanes and had a bumper turn-out of 29 persons including some who had not been to a WVDXA Meeting before or in a long time.  Those attending were:  W8TN, his wife, Evelyn, KD8VNN, KD8BZY, KD8IZK, WW8RT, W8FG, W8OM, WA8ZDL, W8HC, AB8RL, W8OP, AA8WZ, N8RR, K8KT, WV8RC, W8IW, W8OI, WB8GSD, WB8CQV, Jonathan Jones, Jeffrey Jones, Janice Jones, K8JQ, K8RRT, W8JA, Oleta Aeiker, K8LZ, and W8ZT.

Steve Gillispie, K8LZ, brought a box packed with cables and goodies to distribute to the deserving and he did not take any of it home!  This was Steve's first WVDXA meeting in a LONG time.  Steve belonged to the WVDXA during an earlier manifestation of the group!  He was good to share some of his "Al Hix" stories with the group today.  Steve's photo is on the upper-right.  Click on any photo to see a larger image.

In just 11 days, Jimmy, W8JA's mom, Oleta Aeiker, will be 94 years young!  The group wished her a Very Happy Birthday with a great round of applause!  You can see a candid photo of Oleta on the left.
Oleta Aeiker

K8KT, W8OI, K8JQ, Nancy, etc.
On the right is a shot of some of those attending that includes Garry, W8OI, and his wife, Nancy, in the foreground.  Karl, K8KT, is expounding on something to Charlie, N8RR, who is out of frame.  And in the rear, Rick Robinson, W8ZT, (seen standing) is passing on his knowledge to Steve, K8JQ.

Another WVDXA member who has not been seen at one of our irregular meetings in awhile is Steve Courts, K8JQ.  You can see a candid photo of Steve below on the left.  Click on any photo to see a larger image.  W8TN pointed out that back in college he was "blown-away" by watching Steve (who is naturally left-handed) copy code by writing it with his left hand while he sent with his right!  This has made Steve quite the contester!

After everyone consumed a few thousand calories, W8TN narrated a slide show of some 385 slides.  He described the 1985 DX'pedition to Clipperton Island on which he was a team member.  W8TN wore his yellow T-Shirt for that DX'pedition.  As he stated, this DX'pedition was nearly half-a-lifetime ago!  You can see his photo in that shirt on the right.  Click on any photo to see a larger image.

W8TN - FOØXX '85
Steve Courts, K8JQ
The meeting was nominally scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. but by 12:35 p.m. there were 5 to 7 WVDXA members already in the room beginning to eat!  The meeting finished promptly at 3:00 p.m. and there was a half-hour or more of socializing before the room was vacated. 

A lot more people showed up than had posted to the reflector they were coming.  It seems that some had plans that fell through and allowed them to come.  For others it depended on how they felt today.  All-in-all it was an EXCELLENT turn-out and I think everyone had a WONDERFUL time!  From what I saw of the conversations, I think this was a really great meeting!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

July 2018 Meeting

With the temperatures in the mid-90's, it was a great time to gather together some 20 members of the WVDXA for a FANTASTIC meeting.  The venue this time was the QTH of Roger, KD8BZY, and Becky, KD8IZK, near Sissonville.  Roger and Becky have a really nice place and although the parking was a little limited, we still managed to pack their house full of hams.  So many that the cat was totally confused by all the people!  Those attending were:  KD8BZY, KD8IZK, W8TN, WA8WV, W8IW, KC8BFF, WW8RT, K8KT, N8RR, K8YYY, WA8ZDL, W8OM, KA8SYV, Paula Wildi, W8OI, KD8IPW, K4JWA, K8ZDL, WV8FV, and WV8RC.

Food was in abundance and very tasty!  Roger and Becky supplied the hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, trimmings, corn on the cob and even the cold beer!  Others brought a huge fruit salad, baked beans with little wieners, and the dessert table had cheese cake, Mary's (WA8WV's XYL) cake, Evelyn's (W8TN's XYL) brownies, cherry pie, apple pie and probably more things that I can't remember.

For a "program" W8TN gave a brief demonstration of the WVDXA Chat Page using his cell phone and the cell phones of others who were there.  Tim, K8RRT, although stuck at work, responded during the demonstration from his cell phone (PSSSST, don't tell his boss!)  There were about 5 people present who were not signed up on the Chat Page so they got a look at some of what it can do and I expect several will sign up soon.

The first order of business was by Charlie, N8RR.  Charlie discussed the history of the WVDXA "Japan on 6-M" pin.   Pete, K4OM, was (to the best of our knowledge) the first person in WV to work a station in Japan on 6-M.  Club member Phil, W8UV, (then K8UNV) had previously worked Japan on the Magic Band but Phil was living in Ohio at the time.  Pete, K4OM's QSO took place 10-years ago.  At that time, Pete had a badge made that said, "I Worked JAPAN on 6-M!"  He wore it proudly to emphasize his accomplishment.  I believe Greg, W8GG, (also in Ohio) worked a JA in 2009 but I don't know if the badge was passed to him before he became a SK.

Then in 2010, Charlie, N8RR, managed to make a QSO with Japan on 50 MHz. and Pete passed the badge to him to be worn until someone else in the WVDXA worked Japan.  Charlie worked a 2nd station in Japan on 6-M in 2011 but no one else in the group managed to make a contact. 

Well, Charlie has had the "burden" of carrying that badge for 8 years until this summer, with the advent of WSJT-X and the FT8 mode making it a little easier to work the very difficult path to Japan.  You can see Charlie at today's meeting wearing his badge in the photo on the left.  (Click on any photo to see a larger image.)

Then on June 19th of this year, things opened up and Charlie with his big EME array, managed to decode several JA stations and to work JA7QVI.  The next day he hit the "Mother Lode" and worked 13 JA's.  The big antenna system was proving it's worth.  Then, another couple of JA contacts came the following day.

But, things were looking up for the rest of us as Tim, K8RRT, decoded 3 JA's and called some plus his signal was decoded in JAPAN!  This proved that those of us without the EME size array have a chance.

Finally, on June 29th, it happened!  THREE WVDXA members, W8TN, W8OI, and W8HC each worked JA stations on 6-M!  And on July 9th, TWO more WVDXA members, WB8CQV and KA8SYV both managed to score their first 6-M QSO's with Japan on 6-M.

So, in the space of 10 days, FIVE WVDXA members managed that most elusive of 6-M contacts - Japan!  Well, this placed Charlie in a dilemma.  To whom was he to pass the "Japan on 6-M" pin?  As usual, Charlie (a born problem solver), came up with the most elegant solution.  He had badges made for EVERYONE who worked Japan on 6-M!  In the photo on the right you can see three of the five recipients of those badges.  Charlie also planned ahead by having an additional 5 badges made for the next WVDXA members who make the contact!

To summarize, the WVDXA Summer Bash was a HUGE success!  No one left hungry and all had an amazing time.  Our THANKS to Roger and Becky for opening their home to the group and for all the work they did preparing the food and their home!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

April 2018 Meeting

On short notice, the WVDXA gathered together at the Golden Corral restaurant in Cross Lanes, WV, for one of our irregular meetings.  This meeting was to allow the members to view an exciting presentation by Hal, W8HC, on his recent DX'pedition to 3YØZ, Bouvet Island.  Since the date was picked quickly, we were at the mercy of the restaurant as to what times they had available.  The only slot left on Saturday, April 21, 2018, was from 11 a.m to 1 p.m.  But, even with those constrictions, we had a really good attendance.  Nineteen persons signed the attendance list and included: Clark, W8TN, Paul, WV8PR, Tim, K8RRT, Eric, K8OHZ, Marissa Mynes, Seth, W8FG, Charlie, N8RR, Karl, K8KT, Alan, W8OP, Lonny, WA8ZDL, Garry, W8OI, John, WB8CQV, Jonathan Jones, Janice Jones, Steve, WW8RT, Tom, AB8RL, Terry, AA8WZ, Hal, W8HC, and Terry, WV8V.  You can see a few of those attending in the photo at the right.  This was taken during Hal's presentation as everyone was paying apt attention to the screen.  Click on any photo to see a larger image.

The Golden Corral has a very nice meeting room which has doors that can be closed to keep the noise from the rest of the restaurant from being a distraction.  Plus, there are blinds on the outside windows which worked great to keep the sunlight from interfering with Hal's presentation.  A special thanks is due to Becky, KD8IZK, who provided the laptop projector and screen for the presentation.

Upon arriving the members picked their meals from the buffet and we arrived at that time when both breakfast and lunch foods were available.  While eating there was a great deal of interaction between club members.  This is one of the best aspects of the WVDXA meetings.  Lots of good information was shared at this time.

Just after noon, Clark, W8TN, presented the Treasurer's report on behalf of the Club Treasurer, Dave, WA8WV, who was unable to attend.  Once that piece of business was out of the way, he introduced our own internationally recognized WVDXA member and DX'peditioner Extraordinaire, Hal, W8HC!  Hal's presentation included slides and video/audio which detailed the planning and execution of the recent attempt to activate 3YØZ, Bouvet Island.  Bouvet is the second most needed country in the world and this was the most expensive DX'pedition ever mounted with a budget of $750,000. 

It was amazing to see the planning, preparation, staging, moving, traveling, training, and just flat-out effort these people engaged in for the sole purpose of activating a rare DX entity.  Hal gave us a peek into the "behind the scenes" activities which most folks are never aware of but which happen on nearly all DX'peditions.  Hal shared his insight and knowledge freely with the WVDXA and his presentation was very informative as well as entertaining.  Hal shared facts with those attending that were not made available to the regular ham community and the very real dangers faced by this group of intrepid DX'ers was staggering.  To travel to a location where there is simply NO OTHER LAND withing 1,000 miles puts you in a very lonely and dangerous place.  Then to have a failure of one of your two engines followed by a failure of the only spare replacement part, leaves a sinking feeling in the hearts of those involved.  The word used most often by members who attended to describe Hal's presentation was "AWESOME" and that is a fact!

Above, on the left, you can see a photo of one of the slides from the presentation which shows the DX'pedition members onboard the M/V Betanzos surrounding a Banner for the WVDXA.  In addition, all the members of the 3YØZ DX'pedition signed the WVDXA Flag and in the photo below, you can see Hal presenting that to WVDXA President, Clark, W8TN.
I expect that those who saw this presentation will be forever changed in how they view DX'pediitons in the future.  For that, the WVDXA gives a very big THANK YOU to Hal, W8HC.

Monday, December 4, 2017

December 2017 WVDXA Meeting

Who would have guessed that we could have a wonderful get together at the home of Jim, Mary and Hunter Adams?  Well, we did - AGAIN!  This meeting was scheduled on Sunday due to the fact that Jim, K4JWA, was working all available Saturdays.  With a nominal start time of 1 p.m., folks started arriving before 12:30 p.m. obviously anxious to take advantage of the camaraderie that always exists at these events.  When I arrived, Hunter, KD8SZF, met me in the driveway and directed me on where to park plus he carried in my items for the SwapFest.  The Adams' home was ready for the influx of hungry hams with tables set up, a laptop/projector/screen ready to go, and even the Christmas Tree was decorated.

Before the afternoon ended, we had a total of 27 in attendance: W8IW, Janice Poe, K8KT, W8TN, Evelyn Stewart, WV8FV, W8OM, K8YYY, W8HC, K8TW, W8OP, KA8SYV, Paula Wildi, WW8RT, K8ZDL, W8OIW, W8OI, Nancy Ritchie, K4JWA, KD8SZF, KD8IPW, WV8RC, KD8VNN, Connie Hardway, W8JA, Oleta Aeiker, and W4ER.  Unfortunately, 7 folks had to cancel their attendance due to colds and personal issues or we would have had 34 in attendance.  Only 16 folks are shown in the above photo because several had to leave early before we got around to taking the group photo.  Click on any photo to see a larger image.

Note that in the photo above, you can see our Brand New WVDXA Flag!  I was not scheduled to receive this flag until this coming Tuesday but it showed up late Saturday afternoon.  As produced, the flag only had 2 grommets so Evelyn quickly sewed a couple of backing strips to the corners without grommets and my grandsons, Owen & Grant, installed new grommets at those corners.  At the meeting, we presented the flag to Hal, W8HC, who will be one of the team on the 3YØZ DX'pedition to Bouvet Island.  He will take the flag to Bouvet where it will be hung in one of the tents and later signed by the team members!

The food at this meeting was outstanding!  We had pulled pork BBQ with buns for sandwiches, Cole slaw, potato salad, three kinds of brownies, chips, dips, Salsa, white Coconut cake, chocolate chip cookies, French Vanilla and Coconut Creme pies, shrimp cocktail, vegetable tray, iced tea, sodas, and water.  YUMMM!  Believe me, NO ONE left hungry!

We had three presentations at the meeting.  First, Hal, W8HC, showed a video of a helicopter circling Bouvet Island.  This video was just shot just a couple of months ago.  Team SubICE was there drilling the first ever ice core on Bouvet Island, as part of the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE.)  Here is the link to to that 6-minute video on YouTube:

Next, Karl, K8KT, and Clark, W8TN, gave a PowerPoint presentation on their trip to Sweetwater, TN, back in August to view the Total Solar Eclipse.  Karl showed a printed photograph of the "Diamond Ring" photo they captured.  See that photo on the right.

Last but not least, WVDXA member, John, W4ER, came from Mobile, AL, and gave a presentation on QRP/Portable operation.  John had a PowerPoint slide show with photos showing several of the places he has operated (43 states and, I think, 8 countries!)  He also brought a half dozen QRP radios that he has used over years and after showing them and describing their features, he passed them around for all to have a "Hands On" experience.  John is Jimmy, W8JA's, brother so with his visit here he was also able to bring their mom, Oleta, so she could be part of our meeting.

Below is the "No Dues" DUES REPORT submitted by the WVDXA Treasurer, Dave, WA8WV, who was not able to attend because of a cold:
Since starting this great group in 2003 we have collected $1800.00 more or less. Thought I would give you an idea of what our "NO DUES" DUES have covered:
-    Placed a brick in The ARRL Diamond Terrace as a memorial to Al, W8AH
-    Made FOUR donations of $100.00 each to Club Log.
-    Purchased W8AH QSL’s  ***Have a few for those who have not seen the cards.   
-    W8AH Incoming  Bureau expenses
-    Paid the W8AH licensing fees
-    Placed a WVDXA advertisement each year in the State ARRL Convention booklet
-    Paid for the WVDXA shirt setup expenses
-    Miscellaneous meeting and club expenses
-    Purchased the WVDXA Club Flag

Today the balance is $170.01
At today's meeting we collected $50 in donations to the WVDXA Club Treasury bringing the current balance up to $220.01 total.  Eight donations were also collected for the K1B (Baker and Howland Islands KH1) DX-pedition.  Roger, KD8BZY, who is collecting those donations was not able to attend so those donations will be forwarded to him.

After the presentations, a door prize drawing was held with W8OM and KD8IPW being the winners!  The door prizes were donated by Tim, K8RRT, who was unable to attend today's meeting because of work.

Finally, the SwapFest met with some success.  Jim, K4JWA, sold a few items (I bought some heatshrink and Evelyn bought a desktop organizer), plus I sold my West Mountain Speakers.  I'm not sure what other transactions may have taken place at the SwapFest but those who did buy or sell something should forward the appropriate "selling" and "buying" fees to Jim, K4JWA.  Yeah, I'm sure ya'll will do that, right?

From the comments that were posted on the WVDXA email reflector after the meeting, I think pretty much everyone had a FABULOUS time - as we always do.  This is such a great group to belong to that we should get some kind of award don't you think?