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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Riley Hollingsworth STAYING with the FCC

After thinking over his decision to retire, Riley Hollingsworth, Special Counsel for the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, has changed his mind and decided to stay with the FCC for now. He feels there are still some items "on the table" that he wants to see completed before he quits.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Did You Work the CQWWDX Phone Contest?

Did anyone else in the WVDXA work the CQWWDX Phone Contest besides Hal (as 4XØC) and myself? Leave a comment to this Post if you did. I managed about 5 hours on Friday night and entered a single-band 80-M log with 69 QSO's and 10,208 points. I managed to work 43 countries and 15 Zones including a QSO with C5ØC for a new one! Did anyone else operate? I heard W8GG calling in the same pileups I was in so I know Gregg was up all night, hi!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

VooDoo Contest Group to Activate Guinea as 3XY5D

This is the 14th consecutive year the VooDoo Contest Group has activated a country in West Africa for the CQWWDX CW Contest. They will operate with seven 1 KW stations into monoband antennas under the call 3XY5D. Logs will be uploaded to LoTW soon after the contest.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

K3LR Super Station Featured in Video

HERE is a 15-minute extremely well-produced video from Icom Radio News. It features the K3LR Super Contest Station operating in the CQWWDX Contest and ends with a brief introduction into the Islands on the Air (IOTA) program.

Riley Hollingsworth Retiring from FCC

According to the ARRL Amateur Radio News, Riley Hollingsworth, of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, will retire January 3, 2008. For 9 years he has been the strong arm of the FCC in Amateur Radio enforcement issues.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

W8OI Works Morocco on 160

What a thrill! Tonight I worked CN2R on 160.

Now that might not be a big feat for you top band pros but I had only worked 21 DXCC entities until tonight on 160, and most of them have been in North and Central America. I don't have a linear that works on 160 and my antenna is an inverted vee which is coil-shortened to about 120 feet, but resonant. It just goes to show that either:

A. Blind squirrels find nuts once in a while, or
B. Persistence pays off.

Now let me go get that C5 who has eluded me for three straight nights.

Hey, 160 is fun! How come I missed it all those years until now?

Contest Keyboard Overlays

Have trouble in the contest remembering which F-key will send the message you want? Then download THESE Excel templates for the program you are using, print them out and attach one to your keyboard. They are created in Microsoft Excel and if you do not have a version of Excel on your computer, you can download a free "reader" from Microsoft HERE. There are two versions available for each program, the ones marked "5 per page" simply have the same overlay repeated 5 times so you can just print out 5 copies on one sheet of paper. If you have Excel then you can modify the contents of any of the "cells" to display text that fits your own station. For example, you can replace the words "my call" in the template with your own callsign. Of course, you can also modify this concept to fit your general logging program!

Please Vote in the New Poll

There is a new "Poll" on the WVDXA Blog - see under our logo on the right. This question relates to the feature that was added to the blog several weeks ago. Wherever there is a link to another web site, a small icon (like a balloon) is displayed at the end of the link. If you hover your mouse over that icon, a preview of the link's homepage pops up.

It has been suggested that this feature is not too useful and slows down the page loading. So, please vote in the poll on the right. If it is not that useful to the WVDXA members, we will remove it.

Special Event Ops Needed at Radio Museum Nov. 3

Famous Grand Ole Opry star Little Jimmy Dickens will be at the Museum of Radio and Technology on Saturday, November 3. Will you? You are needed to man a special event station.

On that date the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame, housed at the museum, will induct 32 more honorees. Yes, Little Jimmy Dickens is one of them and he says he will be there to accept the honor. Lots of others are being inducted too - local disk jockeys you grew up with, newscasters, pioneering chief engineers, early station owners, and WV natives who are now nationally known like Bob Orr, CBS news correspondent, and David Selby who played Quentin Collins on "Dark Shadows."

The Tri-State Amateur Radio Association (TARA) has announced it will operate a special event station from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the radio museum's hamshack. A certificate will be sent to those working the station. Only problem is - TARA is having trouble finding enough operators. They would especially like some from the WV DX Association because they know what good operators DXers are.

If you can spare an hour or two on that day, I encourage you to do it. It'll be fun, and you'll be helping our friends at TARA who have allowed us to use their equipment for WV QSO Party events, and other events, in the past.

Please let me know if you can. We need to pencil you in for a specific time if possible.

Garry, W8OI

Monday, October 22, 2007

E4 on the air?

Intel via Bob, WA8VPN. Tnx

Maybe a pirate?
From DX summit.

DL5MG     10117.0 E44AI       Palaestine ?                  1546 16 Feb 2007
KK1L 742100.0 E4A 2151 04 Mar 2007
EB6ABR 7065.0 E4ADM arcala de henares 1114 22 Apr 2007
NN6EE 14025.0 E41/OK1DTP Wrkd _99_ The gud Ol_Days! 2150 23 May 2007
W4ASS 14260.0 E4ASS 1618 28 Jul 2007
W6BK-@ 18073.0 E4HHO test spot 0205 03 Oct 2007
N4VN 18079.2 E4BDC 1229 22 Oct 2007
W4FZ 18079.2 E4BDC Wkd Simplex 1251 22 Oct 2007
K8BJ 18079.2 E4BDC via k2yyk 1311 22 Oct 2007
RA6AX 18079.2 E4BDC pirat QTF 330 1311 22 Oct 2007
UA3KW 18079.2 E4BDC PIRATE FROM 270 DEGREES FR EU 1316 22 Oct 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

WVDXA Meeting

It was a great evening! Food and fellowship was great. Sorry not everyone could make it.

Look for 4XØC this Weekend

Good ol' WV boys, Hal, W8HC, and Jerry, K8OQL, will be operating this coming weekend (Oct. 27-28) in the CQWW DX Phone Contest as 4XØC. If you hear or work them, please send an email to the WVDXA Reflector ( or get on the WVDXA Chat Page and announce it there.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

N1MM Contest Logging Program

As demo'd at the October WVDXA Meeting, the N1MM FREE Contest Logging Program is available for downloading HERE. The program is NOT a general logging program but intended to handle your contest logging. The resulting log can easily be imported into your general logging program or uploaded to LoTW. It supports all major DX contests, interfaces with your rig, uses your sound card as a Digital Voice Keyer, automatically generates CW messages, supports RTTY and other digital modes, produces automatic beam headings, sunrise/sunsets and Band Maps from Packet and Telnet spots and MUCH more. Those at the meeting saw how easy it is to load the voice messages with just a couple of keyboard clicks.

BTW, did I mention that this program is FREEWARE? That means NO CHARGE. It also has an extremely detailed 389 page manual as a PDF file. Check out all the Features of the program HERE. Use the Menu (Home, Support, Help Files, Downloads, etc.) at the top of the MAIN page to navigate to all the various features.

I have paid BIG money for contest logging programs that do not have 10% of the features of N1MM. And NONE of them have the documentation this program has. It is cheap at 10 times the price (that's 10 times $0.00 in case you missed the fact that this program is FREE.) Even if you already have a Contest Logger, you should at least LOOK at this program. You just may be very surprised.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

DX Tidbits from the OPDX Bulletin

DX'ers - Our 8th region QSL Bureau Manager, Jay Slough, K4ZLE, has signed on to the 2008 Clipperton DX'pedition. Also, Wayne, K8LEE, has signed on to the trip. That sounds good for the possibility of a 6-M QSO, right Phil?

Last Chance to Work KH3, Johnston Island ??? - Skipper of the USSV Dharma, Susan Meckley, W7KFI, may leave KH6 after November 1 for Johnston Island. Susan was told that she is the last official operation from KH3-land as the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has delcared it a closed island. It took Susan 7 months to get permission from the USAF to stop there. Susan is expected to use the callsign KH3/W7KFI and prefers the CW mode (she states "I can get many more QSOs in.") Visit her WEB SITE to hear an interview she had with Art Bell (W6OBB - Radio Host of "Coast to Coast AM") and read about her travels on her QRZ WEB SITE. Also, you can track her progress on THIS WEB SITE by entering her call. Susan is 73 years old!

Credit for the above items to KB8NW/OPDX/BARF80 the Ohio/Pennsylvania DX Bulletin and W8TN.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

WVDXA Instant Messaging

Today the WVDXA Blog Team added a new feature to the "Hints & Kinks of the WVDXA" Blog. You can see it in the sidebar right under the WVDXA Greyline Map. This is an Instant Messaging (IM) service that will allow anyone on this page to communicate in "real-time" to anyone who is "Online." This is quite similar to the WVDXA Chat page.

If you already have a Google account, click on "Sign In". Otherwise, you will need to create a User Name and sign up by clicking on "Create an Account Now". I would suggest you set User Name like this:

User Name: W8TN.Clark
User Name: W8TN.WV
Because User Names need to be at least 6 characters long. Of course, you can choose whatever you want. Once you have signed up you can enter into a IM session with anyone who is on the page or you can invite others into a "Group Chat." You can even "Pop Out" the IM window and move it around your screen. This can let you watch DX Summit and see the IM screen at the same time.

This IM feature is a "Google Gadget" that is just a web-based application. You can also download GoogleTalk to your computer as a program and have the same functionality all the time. If you do that, I can tell you how to make a slight mod to the program so that the IM window always stays "On Top" of all other windows. Just ask.

Full instructions on how to use this IM feature of the WVDXA Blog are HERE and you can find the GoogleTalk "Client" HERE to download to your computer if you wish.

The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy

Ever want to improve your ability to copy Morse code? I know I have, and do, want to improve my meager skills. A recent post to the DX-List email reflector by AD5VJ, got me to look into it a bit more. HERE is an ARRL article that talks about copying high-speed code on a "mill" (typewriter) and in it they mention THIS web site where you can download for free (or purchase a printed copy) of a book by NØHFF described as "A Manual For Learning, Using, Mastering And Enjoying The International Morse Code As A Means Of Communication."

You can download either a web-page version or a PDF version. I chose to download the PDF version and at first glance, it appears very well written. I'll be reading this as time permits and trying, little by little, to improve my CW skills so that I can more easily chase that elusive DX.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

W8TN Snags 9UØA on 80-M

WOW! With just hours left before their DX'pedition ends, I took one last try to see if 9UØA was on 80-M Monday night and they had a very good signal about 0140 GMT. 10 minutes later, they were in the log! And, 4 hours after that, my 80-M QSO appeared in the ONLINE LOG.

I feel really good to have worked them on 30-M, 40-M and 80-M considering I only have an 80-M Inverted "V" with a 6:1 SWR on the low end of 80-M. This is really getting me interested in finishing the installation of the SteppIR. Then I can work them on all bands like W8DL, hi! But, the moral of this post is that even if you don't have the best antenna, give it a try - you might just get lucky!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Final Report of the VK9WWI DX'pedition

K4UJ's DX-IS Blog has an an excellent write-up on the recent VK9WWI 2-man DX'pedition HERE. If you worked or heard this operation you will enjoy reading about their set-up and the conditions they faced. Quite a good showing on Top-Band as well as many other bands for such a small operation!

Listen to Your QSO with CN2R

Dave, WA8WV, sends the following tip:

"FYI folks. If you have ever QSO'd CN2R; mostly during contests then give this a try. It is really neat. If your call isn't in there then try another call."

I searched for the call "W8AH" and was able to listen to Al make a QSO with CN2R about a year before he died.

Friday, October 5, 2007

View Your LoTW Account Offline

Have you ever wanted to look at your Logbook of the World DXCC Award Credit Matrix when you are not logged in to your LoTW account? Well, here is a simple way to do that. When you are viewing the ARRL Award Credit Matrix in your Internet browser, go to the "File" menu of your browser and click on "Save Page As. . . " (in Mozilla Firefox) or "Save As. . ." (in Internet Explorer.)

That will save the entire web page including the data. Then, you can call it up on your computer by just clicking on the saved page and have the scrollable credit report in front of you any time you want without needing to log in to LoTW. It will look exactly the same as it does when you are logged in. Save a new page as often as your records change.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

W8TN Works 9UØA on 30-M/40-M

Never say NEVER! The only antenna I have at the new QTH is an 80-M Inverted "V" that Tim, KC8UHE, helped me string up so that I could work 3B7C. Well, tonight I had some time so I thought I would see if I could "tune" the antenna to work 9UØA on 30-M. It was not easy, the best match I could get was 2.6 : 1 even WITH the tuner. But, after many, many tries, I made the QSO! I then tried it on 40-M and was able to get a 1 : 1 match with the tuner. But, many more people were calling and even with the Alpha at 1 kW output, it took an hour. But, I snagged a 40-M contact as well. HOORAY! Now if they will just show up on 80-M where my antenna is resonant!

Update. They did come on 80-M but were pretty weak. I stuck with them through their sunrise (they peaked nicely) but had no luck working them on the band for which my antenna is cut. Go figure!

W8OP Works P29NI - Papua/New Guinea

Alan, W8OP, reported today: "Just worked P29NI @ 0959z on 7.002 up 2. He's a true 559 to 569 here." This 4-man DX'pedition, now operating fromTakuu Island (OC-283), has a web page HERE and is expected to do 80-M and 160-M operation.

Need a Ham Band Frequency Chart?

Are you confused as to where you can operate on a particular band? Want to keep those "OO" cards from piling up in your mailbox? Well, the ARRL has a nice Ham Band Frequency Chart that you can download and print out HERE. It is available in either COLOR or BLACK & WHITE depending on the printer you have. This chart is all on one page.

Or, HERE is a web site that has separate pages for each band. It has special frequencies noted like "Gentleman's Agreements" for each band and space is left for you to record you favorite frequencies. It is also available in COLOR or BLACK & WHITE.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Contests for Non-Contest Purposes

Many DX'ers are NOT Contesters. They just want to work new band-countries and not run up a score in a contest. But, a contest is a great place to fill those holes in your DXCC Credit Report. A contest many times brings operations on bands where you may not usually find a particular DX station. So, use the contests as a tool to pick up those much needed contacts.

A good way to plan for a contest is to see what operations are being planned by those people who like to travel to a rare (or not-so-rare) DX location and play radio. HERE is a web site that lists those planned operations. There you can find the plans for these operations and many times the callsigns they will use. Other useful info is also available (like whether they plan WARC band operation before or after the contest.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

VP6DX Ducie Is. News Release No. 4

It looks like the VP6DX operation in February 2008 will be using the new Elecraft K3 transceivers for their 7 stations. Five of those stations will have Acom amps. They plan to operate 160-M through 6-M so it's time to get those antennas tuned up and ready for this big operation. Unfortunately Jan, DJ8NK and Martti, OH2BH had to withdraw but they still have a great team consisting of: DL3DXX, DL6FBL, DL6LAU, DL8LAS, ES5TV, K3NA, N5IA, RA3AUU, SP3DOI, SP5XVY, SV1JG, UA3AB and WA6CDR.

The operation plans to have online logs and has a goal of making at least 100,000 QSO's. However, as with any major operation, this will be expensive. $140,500 for the boat charter (including food, fuel, generators and tents)!

The WVDXA has received a request for a donation toward the costs of this operation. I can forward the PDF donation request to anyone who is interested. Does the club want to put together a group donation? If so, let me know and I will take care of it. We can take a collection at the upcoming meeting as well.