News items for tag hamradio - Koos van den Hout

2023-03-12 I participated in the EA PSK63 contest
PSK63 contest in fldigi 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.

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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.

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2023-02-20 I participated in the ARRL DX CW Contest
CW contest filling the bands on a websdr 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: 12549     
Currently this gives me New Mexico as a new US state.

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2023-02-17 More new countries/entities in my log
My search for new countries/entities continues and some interesting ones show up.

The big DXpedition for Januari was going to be the 3Y0J DXpedition to Bouvet Island. I hoped to get an opportunity to make that contact. In the end between the first rush of the high power stations and the early end of the expedition I have received signals from them for about 20 minutes before they stopped for dinner that day.

The day my new Yaesu FT-991A radio arrived I got Reunion Island in the log in FT8.

In the last weekend of the WRTC 2023 award I was trying to get those stations on the 15 meter band and when I had those in the log I looked for other interesting stations on that band. Which showed me an active station on French Guiana for that weekend only, busy in the R-E-F contest in morse. So I submitted my log for that contest with 1 entry.

In February I got Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Martinique as new countries in the log.

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2023-02-13 I participated in the PACC contest as a morse operator at the radio club
Past weekend was the Dutch PACC contest and I decided to participate at the radio club with the group and call CQ in morse. I sat at the radio together with another (very experienced) operator and we worked together. He was (lots) better at getting callsigns from the noise but at the understandable callsigns I typed fast and together we got a nice number of contacts in the log.

After about two hours fatigue was setting in so someone else took over. As an experience in morse contesting this was really nice for me. I also did some other stuff, there is always something to repair during a contest. And lots and lots of cables. This hobby isn't 100% wireless!

Two things to improve for the next time if I want to do this again: bring my own headset and make sure it's comfortable for long use and bring my own audio splitter and extension cable.
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2023-01-29 Having fun with the WRTC 2023 award
Last year a World Radiosport Team Championship was planned again, this time in Italy: the World Radiosport Team Championship 2022 Italy but due to well-known reasons international travel from all corners of the world to Italy wasn't a good idea, so the news was: WRTC 2022 postponed to 2023 ! - WRTC 2022 Italy.

In the first half of 2022 they had an award to promote the event among radio amateurs: WRTC 2022 Award - WRTC 2022 Italy and I participated during those months and got digital awards. Contacts were in different modes (SSB, CW, FT8, RTTY) on a lot of HF bands with special event stations in regions of Italy.

In January 2023 they are doing it again, this time only in CW and SSB and only on bands that are also active in the WRTC contest in July, this time with stations in multiple countries: WRTC 2023 AWARD : January 2023…headset on! - WRTC 2022 Italy. So I'm trying to get different stations in the log on different bands. It's working out fine so far, I even got a new country in CW (Indonesia). I also used the clubstation to get these special event stations on the 80 meter band.

This is fun and a good promotion for the upcoming WRTC.


In the end I made 122 contacts with WRTC special event stations in January 2022.

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2023-01-27 I bought a new radio transciever: the Yaesu FT-991A
Eight and a half years and over 14000 contacts after I bought a Yaesu FT-857D I thought it was time to upgrade. The basic requirements haven't changed a lot: HF, 2 meter, 70 centimeter bands, SSB, Morse, FM, support for computer control. What I wanted to improve on is noise filtering, handling of strong adjacent signals and a waterfall display.

So the choice is the Yaesu FT-991A although I also looked at HF-only radios from Yaesu but decided on this one in the end. This will be the base station radio for a while and I will only use the FT-857D for operating away from home.

The basic installation went fine and I think this is a great amateur radio and good value for money. It is an advanced technological device so I had to dig into manuals and on-line documentation several times to get things set up the way I wanted it.

The good innovation is that the Yaesu FT-991A has an USB port on the back. This USB connection gives the computer 2 serial ports and audio over USB. The first serial port is for Computer Aided Tuning (CAT) control which can control the radio from the computer.

I directly wanted to set up an udev rule to map this to a fixed symlink so I can start rigtctld easily. The new rule:
SUBSYSTEM=="tty", ENV{ID_MODEL}=="CP2105_Dual_USB_to_UART_Bridge_Controller", \
        ATTRS{idVendor}=="10c4", ATTRS{idProduct}=="ea70", \
        ENV{ID_USB_INTERFACE_NUM}=="00", \
The ENV{ID_USB_INTERFACE_NUM}=="00", filter only makes this rule activate on the first of the serial ports offered by the CP2105 chip.

My current experience is that the noise filtering is indeed better which helps a lot in the noisy RF environment at home.

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2023-01-21 2022 in amateur radio for me
QSO count for PE4KH until December 2022 Time for an overview of what happened in amateur radio in 2022 for me. Like previous years I will look back at the plans and what happened. Looking back at Closing 2021 in amateur radio the following results are clear:
  • The morse exam finally happened and I passed it.
  • More morse contacts in contests and in general
  • 18 new countries/entities in the log
  • More countries/entities in morse in the log
  • Satellite contacts: none
  • Used the improving propagation
The plans for 2023:
  • Try to get more countries/entities, especially in morse. I am working towards DXCC in morse: 100 entities confirmed.
And one thing is both a result of 2022 and an item for 2023: I ordered a new radio: a Yaesu FT-911A, HF, VHF, UHF all mode at the end of 2022 and it was delivered last week. That will be a separate post.
Read the rest of 2022 in amateur radio for me

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2023-01-16 I participated in the UBA PSK63 prefix contest
PSK63 contest in fldigi Like a bit of a yearly event it was time for the UBA PSK63 prefix contest last weekend.

On Saturday propagation on the higher frequencies was not cooperating a lot so I went to the 40 meter band late in the afternoon. On Sunday things were better, I even got one whole contact on the 10 meter band. A lot of the contacts were in search and pounce mode. On Sunday I ended with the last half hour of the contest calling CQ UBA PSK TEST and managed to get a few new stations in the log. Some of those contacts came at a fast pace with even a small pile-up where I had to ask only one prefix to answer.

I ended with 111 contacts logged, which is a good number for a digital mode contest.
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2023-01-09 I participated in the ARRL RTTY Roundup
RTTY Contest on websdr This weekend was the ARRL RTTY Roundup and I participated. Not for very long because there were other things in the weekend, including the New Year's celebration at my own radio club.

In the end I made 30 contacts, Saturday evening and Sunday evening after dark. On Saturday evening it was hard to find another station, not a lot of signals and a lot of noise on the 40 meter band.

Raw score: 30 Qpts x 21 Mults = 630

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