2023-05-29 I participated in the CQ WPX CW Contest
Last weekend was the CQ World Wide WPX Contest CW organized by CQ Amateur Radio magazine. The term 'WPX' stands for 'Worked All Prefixes'. The objective of this contest is to get contacts and exchange information with as many different other radio amateurs using morse code. Points are awarded for each contact, based on which amateur band and whether they are in the same or different continents. Multipliers are calculated from the number of different prefixes contacted. The prefix of my callsign PE4KH is PE4. The score in this contest is calculated from the points per contact multiplied by the number of unique prefixes. This makes a station with a rare prefix popular so radio amateurs get special calls or go to special places to be that rare prefix. This is also one of the big contests with a lot of participation from all around the world. In the days before the contest there were already a number of stations set up in special places busy on the air making contacts, testing their equipment and their setup to get the maximum score in the contest. This testing in the days before the contest already allowed me to get a number of new countries in morse in my log: Azerbaijan, Antigua, Argentina, Madagascar and Hong Kong. In the contest I made 171 contacts: 33 on the 10 meter band and 138 on the 20 meter band. With 215 qso points, 138 multiplier my claimed score is 29670 points at the moment. I had fun in the contest and all the practice with callsigns and serial numbers in morse has helped! During the contest I added Australia, Qatar and Kaliningrad as new countries in morse in the log. I have now had morse contacts with 101 countries in the world, and now I'm waiting for confirmations via Logbook Of the World.
UpdateI received a very fast confirmation for Australia already from VJ3A Steve. That was a 16490 kilometer contact with morse!
ThoughtsIn preparing for this contest I considered adding an antenna to get access to the 15 meter band. Now looking back I think I might get different contacts (more countries maybe) on 15 meters, but it would not have added a lot of contacts.
2023-05-21 I participated in the King of Spain CW Contest
This weekend was the His Majesty The King of Spain CW Contest and I participated. There wasn't a lot of time due to other things in the weekend, I was making contacts in the contest for less than four hours on Saturday evening and less than two hours Sunday. I made 77 contacts, 7 on the 10 meter band, 55 on the 20 meter band and 15 on the 40 meter band. Propagation wasn't cooperating very well although there were some interesting openings. One opening on the 10 meter band resulted in a contact with Nepal on the 10 meter band, a completely new country in amateur radio for me.
UpdateAnd the contact with 9N7AA Robert in Nepal is already confirmed! Thank you!
Update 2023-05-26I had a contact with HZ1TT Ali in this contest and that contact is now confirmed, adding country number 85 to the list of confirmed countries in Morse.
2023-05-12 A good evening for morse contacts
Yesterday evening I turned on the radio and looked for some interesting morse contacts. With some help from the Reverse Beacon Network I searched for interesting stations. I had contacts with a few special event stations. There are extra special event stations active from the United Kingdom to celebrate the coronation. And two new countries in morse for me. One was Saudi Arabia where HZ1TT Ali was calling and I managed to get through this time. I've tried contacting him in morse but failed earlier. The other one was DL5CW Andreas active as MJ/DL5CW from the island of Jersey, and Jersey counts as a separate DXCC entity. I also had a short chat in morse with a station in Ukraine. This was much more of a personal contact than the short contacts with special event stations or rare countries.Read the rest of A good evening for morse contacts
2023-05-07 New entity in the log: San Andres & Providencia island
I saw a DX Cluster spot today for a country/entity I hadn't had a contact with before, or not even heard of at all: Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina which consists of two island groups in the Carribean and it's a part of the country of Columbia. But a separate entity in amateur radio terms. This is again a bit of geography I was never told during my education, but amateur radio has a lot of these geographical surprises. Brazilian radio amateur PY8WW Renato is active there this weekend and as the qrz page shows he likes going on DXpeditions. This brings the number of entities in amateur radio I have had contacts with up to 170, half of the current total of 340. I can probably add that I'm now starting with the difficult half!Read the rest of New entity in the log: San Andres & Providencia island
2023-04-30 I participated in the UK/EI DX Contest CW
I was looking for an opportunity for morse contacts and saw the UK/EI DX Contest CW 2023 in the calender for this weekend. So I participated, with some last minute additions to my contest logger. My original idea for this contest was that this would make stations from all parts of the United Kingdom active in Morse, including entities I still want to get in the log. From the parts of the UK I don't have Guernsey and Jersey in morse and I'd like to get Northern Ireland confirmed. That plan did not work out, from the UK I only heard stations from England and Schotland. Checking the Reverse Beacon Network confirmed this, very little activity from those parts of the UK. I made 68 contacts total, 48 on the 20 meter band and 20 on the 40 meter band. What did work out is that all the practising I did in morse at contest speeds seems to help, I had less trouble decoding callsigns and serial numbers. I regularly practise contest morse with the Contest trainer by Hanz YL3JD.Read the rest of I participated in the UK/EI DX Contest CW
2023-04-05 I participated in the EA RTTY Contest 2023
This year I participated in the EA RTTY Contest again. This is a contest organized by the Spanish Amateur Radio Club Unión de Radioaficionados Españoles and they organize nice contests! I participated Saturday afternoon and Sunday end of the morning. Other things needed my attention in the weekend too. I ended with 56 contacts, 53 on the 20 meter amateur band and 3 on the 40 meter amateur band. The 40 meter amateur band was mostly unusuable during the daytime due to interference. I thought I was going to end the contest with less than 50 contacts, but calling CQ I had a last minute sprint with 11 contacts in 10 minutes.Read the rest of I participated in the EA RTTY Contest 2023
2023-03-29 New country in my log: Rwanda
Last Sunday I spent nearly 3 hours trying to get the 9X5RU Dxpedition to Rwanda in my log in CW (Morse) but that didn't happen. This morning I got them in my log on my first try. On the 17 meter band. The technical differences weren't that big. Ok, I was using the Kenwood radio remote today and propagation seemed to work better. But the main difference was that on Sunday it was very busy with amateurs from all over Europe and today I was one of the few callers. I guess the work week has a strong influence here!
DX never sleepsI guess this turning 'easy' because I tried on a workday and not in the weekend was one of the results of 'DX never sleeps', a different time can help get the contact. The DXpeditions want the highest number of possible contacts so finding a time they are less busy can help in getting the contact. In the first few days/hours all the 'big gun' stations with huge antennas and amplifiers want that contact, after that the simpler stations with some patience also have a good chance.
So far with 9X5RULater in the morning I also got the contact on 12m CW. This was harder than 17 meters, I had to give my call 8 times before it was logged completely. After the contact was complete I looked at the signal meter and saw that it barely moved so it was a weak path. Earlier I made contacts with 9X5RU on 17 and 20 meter FT8. But I want to work on my list of countries contacted in morse, so I wanted to make the contact in morse too.
Update.. no success in the afternoonAfter 17 and 12 meter band CW I also tried to make the contact on the 10 meter band, where 9X5RU was active in the afternoon. But by that time the US has woken up and has good propagation to Rwanda because of the daylight. I couldn't get through and I heard a lot of US amateur radio callsigns being confirmed.
2023-03-12 I participated in the EA PSK63 contest
This year I participated in the EA PSK63 Contest again. This is a contest organized by the Spanish Amateur Radio Club Unión de Radioaficionados Españoles and they organize nice contests! This is a 24-hour contest between 12:00 UTC on Saturday and 11:59 UTC on Sunday. Contacts were made Saturday afternoon and evening, and Sunday morning. The last contact was logged at 11:59 UTC on Sunday! I went for the 20 and 40 meter bands and checked a few times whether there was activity on the 10 meter band. In the end I made 182 contacts, 1 on the 10 meter band. Besides the usual search and pounce approach (looking for other stations calling CQ) I also called CQ for periods. This got me a nice amount of contacts in a short period. The peak was 4 contacts within 2 minutes. With the new Yaesu FT-991A radio it's also possible to find a free frequency, center it in the passband at 1500 Hz and then turn the bandwidth of the receiver down. Big signals outside the passband have a lot less influence with this radio so I can receive signals on 'my' frequency better.Read the rest of I participated in the EA PSK63 contest
2023-03-08 Ten years as a radio amateur
Ten years ago, on 6 March 2013 I passed the test for the Dutch novice amateur license. It's been a fun 10 years! I made lots of new friends, learned new stuff and had great experiences. It's a great hobby, I really like it as a hobby that's absolutely not work. Amateur radio is a hobby with lots of subhobbies. I got into different subhobbies than I expected and started in. And the subhobbies I do get into may even change again, depending on what I get interested in or lose interest in.
2023-02-20 I participated in the ARRL DX CW ContestItems with tag hamradio before 2023-02-20
Past weekend was the ARRL DX CW Contest and I planned to participate beforehand on the 20 meter band like I did in the ARRL DX CW Contest in 2022. But this year the HF propagation was much better and I got contacts with stations in the United States of America and Canada on the 10 meter, 15 meter and 20 meter amateur bands. The contacts on 10 and 15 meters were most during the period of daylight in both parts, the contacts on 20 meters later in the day. In total I made 89 contacts:Band 160 80 40 20 15 10 QSO's 0 0 0 16 37 36 Mult 0 0 0 11 19 17 Pts: 267 Mul: 47 Score: 12549Currently this gives me New Mexico as a new US state.