What a start to the month! I had to lower all antennas here, as we were expecting a big storm to pass through, and it certainly did! I was pleased I had lowered the antennas, as winds hit almost 90MPH in the early hours of the 1st. Thankfully, it had passed through by daylight.
The month had a distinctly “west coast of NA” feel to it, with many CA, OR, WA, UT etc stations coming in very strongly, whilst east coast stations struggled. The 4th and 5th on 12m were great to JA, with loads worked.
Some of the notable DX worked this month were: YJ0TT (12m), TJ9MD (10m), 7O8AD (15/12/10m), 7O73T (30m), VK9XY (20m), ZL7A (17m), PR0T (12 & 17m), 4W8X (30m RTTY and 40m FT8), 9L5M (10/15/12m), GS2MP (Shetland, 30m), H44WA (17/12m), and many of those were new slots, or ATNO’s.
I was away until the 2nd of the month, so a slow start.
Tuesday 3rd was a “JA on 10m” kind of day! Loads worked up until around 0930UTC, when the band started to close to JA. I was struggling on a busy band, so sent QSY 080, and they were calling me before I even transmitted! Great fun!
Wednesday 4th – 10m wasn’t as lively at all, but I did manage to get 8J1RL (Japanese Antarctica Research) on 10m FT4, plus a few others.
Thursday 5th, loads of JA on 17m, plus VK6DU, but I then saw ZD9W spotted on 15m FT8 in F/H mode, so I QSY’s to see if I could hear him. Saw a few decodes, although not consistent, but the pile-up was massive, so I wasn’t sure of a contact. Then I started getting a few more decodes from him, so called, and WOW, he got me! That’s an ATNO for me, and DXCC #308 in digimodes.
Friday 6th – after a short spell on 30m, I went to 12m, and oh boy!, it was another JA kind of morning with loads logged.
On the 6th, I managed to get ZD9W on 10m FT8, and on the 8th, I got him on 12m, so very happy with that. Not only that, but also on the 6th, I found TX6D on 30m for a new slot, and on the 7th, I got them on 17m & 15m FT8. I don’t need FO-f on 20 or 12m so I am now looking for them on 10m.
As of the 9th, I have logged 7621 QSO’s this year, with 216 DXCC’s.
On the 10th, it was another “JA” morning on 10m, and later that day, it turned out to be a west coast US afternoon on 12m.with loads from WA, AZ, ID, OR and even VE6. The 11th was very similar, with loads of west coast US stations logged on 10 & 12m. Later on, I managed to get TO8FH on 12m for a new slot.
An early session in the shack on the 12th made me very happy! T2C in the log on 17m – an ATNO for me, followed by E6AM on the same band – not a new slot though. 17m also produced a load of JA stations, plus a few EU stations. Moving to 15m in the afternoon gave me TO8FH on 15m for another needed slot, and while beaming over the pole, I later got called by a VK6, plus a few G’s and west coast US stations. Propagation paths can be rather weird at times!
The 13th was the day I and two other GU’s were travelling to the RSGB Convention on the 9.30am flight to Gatwick, so I was up extra early, and managed a quick session on 30m from around 0430UTC. Wow, CA/AZ/OR and VE7 logged, along with a host of other US stations, a PY and a few EU’s up until 0515UTC, when it was time to get ready to leave.
The flight took longer than planned, so we were late getting on the road to the convention. We had planned to visit Bletchley Park on way, and that was really amazing, although we didn’t have enough time to see it all. A return trip is required next year! The Convention was great fun, and we returned home on Sunday evening.
JARTS RTTY Contest – 21 – 22 OCT Managed to find some time to play in the Japanese RTTY contest, but not until later on Saturday afternoon. STarted on 15m, as there were a few stations around, but conditions weren’t that great. I moved to 20m, which seemed better, and was working NA and also UK & EI stations, which was a bit odd. My final QSO of the day was with KH6ZM on 20m. On Sunday morning, again, 15m wasn’t great, so back to 20m for an hour. For some reason, I decided to check 10m, and ended up working a few JA stations quite easily. Moved down to 15m, and oh boy! The band was alive, and some more JA stations in the log. Conditions were very strange though, as I worked GM, GW, G and even EI on both 10 & 15m, but alongside NA as well.
I ended up with 370 Q’s for 130203 points, which was way better than I had expected with a K index of 5. 15o Q’s on 20m, 130 on 15m and 90 on 10m.
Monday 23rd started well for me, with T2C in the log on 15m FT8, followed by a few other contacts later in the day. Now up to 8500 QSO’s this year.
Well, the 30th was a bumper day for me! It started with getting YJ0TT on 10m FT8, which not only surprised me, but was also an ATNO for me. A bot later that day, I then got E51JAN on 12m FT8 for yet another ATNO, and then I finished the day off with YJ0TT on 20m. All in all, a very good day.
Well, what a month so far! Wife and I went away to Chesterfield to stay with her brother & wife, and we went to the Chatsworth House Country fair on the 2nd, which was AMAZING! We also went to Matlock Bath for the first time, and I have to say that it is a beautiful place to visit.
That trip meant no radio for a few days, as I also had to catch up with some other jobs on our return. However, since then I have managed to get on air quite a bit since then. Sadly nothing new to report, but loads of QSO’s made on various bands.
As of the 19th, I am now up to 7063 QSO’s in the log for this year, which is my best tally so far in any year, and we still have a little over 3 months to go yet! And – there is CQWW RTTY coming up!
Well, CQWW RTTY produced 183 Q’s on 10m single band, low power. Not a bad effort for around 12 hours total. I had 22 Zones, 48 DXCC and 36 States/Provinces. Some nice DX too, such as P49X, ZF2SS, FY5KE, V31MA, TI2OY, HI8SDR, PZ5RA, 6W/IV3FSG, HK3TU, VU2IBI, A60A, A44A, 9N7AA, A71AE, XE1YL, several JA’s, and even MJ0X!
As of the end of the month, I have 7362 QSO’s in the log – my best year yet!
Also, on the 30th, I made it to 70 years old 😁
First of August began well, with 1A0C finally logged on 10m for a new slot. The Sporadic E cloud was hopping all over the place, and their signals ranged from nil to +00 over several minutes, and I wasn’t able to hear any of the callers, which made finding a clear QRG difficult. Having failed a few times, I thought “OK, one last go”, and they called me back with a report! Thankfully, the Es stayed there long enough to complete the contact!
On the morning of the 4th, I was woken up early (for me!) by a lot of noise outside, and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I made a coffee and played a bit of radio on 17m. Managed to work KH6, KL7, ZL and a couple of VK7’s, plus a host of JA and Europeans. The last contact in the log was my number 120,000th QSO on the bands for that morning, and takes my 2023 tally to 6244 QSO’s, with 210 DXCC worked this year.
Over the weekend of the 5th/6th August, our club (Guernsey Amateur Radio Society – GU3HFN) were putting on a stand at the Vintage Agricultural Show with special call GB5VAS. However, severe gales and torrential rain prevented us from attending on the 5th. Thankfully, on the Sunday morning, it was bright and sunny, and the wind had died right down. Had a great day, and got some interest from a few locals…. Also, during the show, our local Lions Club president invited us to put our stand up at the local Donkey Derby on Saturday 19th, which we did, and used GB5DD. We were all set up by 10am, but it was a slow start, as most of the activity didn’t start until after 1pm, but we had some very serious interest in the hobby, so we can only hope that between this and GB5VAS, we encourage even one or two new people into the hobby, it will have been worth it.
2 more entities added to the CQ Marathon tally as of 21st August – FM5GB on the 20th on 10m FT8, and KH0/KC0W on the 21st on 17m FT8. Now standing at 212 DXCC this year, with almost 6600 QSO’s made in 2023. This will indeed be a bumper year for contacts.
July has started OK-ish, but the higher bands have been poor – that is until the 5th, when I managed to get 4W6RU on 10m for a new slot – Happy dance!
Sadly, so far, nothing on 6m, but I live in hope….
Most activity has been on 20 – 10m FT8, but with some FT4. On the evening of the 4th, I was on 15m chasing the last few 13 Colonies stations, but failing, and then CQ’ing, and working a few JA stations. Then I got called by Gus K2GT, and he is in Hawaii. Got a -12 from him and he was -15. Not bad as I wasn’t beaming his way. Then Terry HP1SEB called me – sent -14 and got -08 back, again beaming the wrong way. I also saw Don VA7ZT at -15 and tried calling him, but it just didn’t work. We used the messaging facility within JTAlert, and he said he could hear nothing from Europe, only Pacific area stations and NA, yet there were loads calling him. We tried a few times to have a contact, but when he was hearing EU, we weren’t hearing him. Funny old game, this propagation stuff….
I’ve now got 4W6RU on the bands I needed – 10 and 12m, and both on the 5th July, so very happy with that.
On the 7th, I saw 9Q1ZZ being spotted on the cluster, and I hadn’t got that on 17/12/10m. On the morning of the 8th, as I was about to go out, I saw them on 10m FT8, and at good signal strength. However, there were 50+ stations all calling them. As I was about to go out, I told myself that I would give up at 0915UTC if they weren’t in the log. Well, that was close, but finally got them at 0912UTC. Then on the morning of the 8th, again about to go out, they were on 17m FT8, but not as strong as the day before. Still, I decided to try anyway, and managed to log them at the very last minute. After being out all day, I then saw them spotted on 12m, and very strong too! This time, there was no rush to get them in the log, but guess what…. I got them first shout 😁
Some recent DXCC entities worked include OH0, HP, 4W, and that 9Q.
Well, as of 1930UTC on the 27th, I have now made 6000 QSO’s this year! Just shows what retirement can do for the hobby… Also managed to work 1A0C on 15m FT8 – not a new one, but still good for the CQ Marathon this year, taking my tally so far to 209 DXCC entities, and all 40 CQ Zones.
I have been watching out for T31TT on FT8, as it would be a new one for me, but I just wasn’t hearing them.
Then, on the 7th June, I actually decoded them on 15m FT4. Called many times, but then the signal went from -07 down to -24, then nothing more. However, I did manage to work Atsuo 5W1SA on 12m FT8 for a new slot, so not all was lost.
On the 8th June, I was due to fly off for a long weekend away, but then saw some spots for them on 17m FT8… And, I could actually decode them. I tried calling, and finally got them in the log about 10 minutes before I had to leave for the airport! Then it was a bit of a rush to close everything down before leaving. It made my weekend so much happier.And then I saw that they were going QRT early doe to a medical issue Phew! Just in time.
I have also filled in two new slots with VU7W, but those will be for the next LoTW submission. Update as of 18th June – managed to work him on 12m for the last slot I needed!
6m has also been fun, with many new grids worked, and a new DXCC too! I managed to work Frank 3A2MW on FT8, and also Mohammed A92EE, both now confirmed on LoTW.
And, as T31TT is now showing on LoTW, I will now submit an application for all the new slots on LoTW – all 53 of them! That was done on Thursday 15th June at 1300UTC, and this morning (16th), it has been verified! That takes me to 307 entities worked on digital modes.
A few hours after submitting my application, I was called by Rashed A61R on 6m, which is a new DXCC for me on 6m. That is now one for the next application on LoTW, along with VU7W on 20/17/12m, although I am still waiting for LoTW confirmation, as I have only just done the OQRS on Clublog.
So far this year, I have made just over 5100 QSO’s – all digital (RTTY, FT8 & FT4) 👍👌
I also participate in the CQ Marathon each year, so look for CQ Zones that I need, and any DXCC that will count. I do not work stations on the same band/mode just to get another entity, so one has to be patient and see if you can find them on another band. As of 21st June 2023, I had 199 DXCC and all 40 Zones, which – as yet – is my best ever tally. On Thursday morning (22nd June), I managed to work 3B8HK on 15m FT8, which now takes me to 200 entities worked so far this year.
At the end of June, I have made 5437 QSO’s and got all 40 CQ Zones and 202 DXCC. Not a bad tally overall!