2022-04-23 New country in amateur radio: Iran
A notable and rare country in the log today: Iran. I've seen Iranian calls on the air a few times but it is rare. Today I saw EP2C on the air in FT8 in the 17 meter band and got the contact. Confirming it is the next step: they have a QSL manager so I'll have to pay a few euros to get a paper card. Although the call seems active on Logbook of The World.
2022-04-20 I passed the morse exam in Belgium
In October 2018 a morse course started at my local radio club under the leadership of Ab PA5ABW. Around March 2020 the people still going strong practising morse thought they had a chance of passing the morse exam in Belgium. But that pandemic happened, borders closed and gatherings of radio amateurs were impossible. Why go to Belgium? The Dutch telecommunications authority does note whether you have 'CW included' or 'CW not included' but there is no exam possibility in the Netherlands. So in the past doing the exam in Belgium, presenting the certificate to the Belgian telecommunications authorities to get it converted to a certificate the Dutch authoritities accepted and converting that certificate to a Dutch 'CW included' note was the way. When there was an option of a Morse exam in April 2022 in Belgium again there was a note the Belgian telecommunications authorities were not willing to do the 'conversion' for foreign radio amateurs who weren't living in Belgium. This seemed to kill the route to get the much coveted 'CW included'. After writing an article about this a suggestion came to 'skip' the Belgian telecommunications authorities and present the Belgian certificate to the Dutch telecommunications authorities. Later there was news from the Veron amateur club: Morse examen doen in België voor een ‘CW included’ aantekening kan nog steeds with a statement from Agentschap Telecom (Dutch telecommunications authorities) stating they would accept the certificate from the UBA club in Belgium at this time. So when that became an option we registered for the exam in Belgium and kept practising. Personally I had to change to using actual pen and paper and not a keyboard because the exam would be using paper! Between October 2018 and April 2022 we practised for about three and a half years. That means I practised morse in one way or the other for almost every day of the week. The three of us went to Diest last Monday and all passed the test. On Tuesday I sent scans of all the needed documents to Agentschap Telecom to get those three letters removed from the amateur radio license document, going from "CW not included" to "CW included".
2022-04-10 A contact with a Brazilian radio amateur in morse on the 10 meter band
As noted before Brazil was a rare country for me on 10 meter until a few weeks ago but it got easier to get those contacts with the 10 meter band getting better due to the changing sunspot cycle. I changed this even more yesterday with a morse contact with PY2ZEA on the 10 meter band. I heard him calling and getting a lot of short contacts into Europe. At first the signal started fading into the noise but about 20 minutes later it came back slowly and with more calling cq for new contacts. I gave it a try and on the second attempt he got my call correctly and we exchanged some messages. More than just a signal report and a call, I told in morse that this was my first morse contact into Brazil.
2022-04-06 I participated in the EA RTTY contest 2022 last weekend
Last weekend was the EA RTTY Contest 2022 edition. At the last moment I decided to participate because I appreciate the contests organized by the Unión de Radioaficionados Españoles. Conditions were good: I made contacts on the 20 meter amateur band Saturday afternoon, on the 40 meter amateur band Saturday evening and even got contacts on the 10 meter amateur band on Sunday morning. Hasn't happened a lot in the last few years: contest contacts on the 10 meter band. Including a contact with a station in Brazil which was a bit remarkable: I had my first contact with Brazil on the 10 meter band only 2 weeks earlier! For most Dutch amateurs Brazil is 'easy' DX, but my antenna points mostly to the East / South. In the end I made 135 contacts which is a nice score for this contest.Read the rest of I participated in the EA RTTY contest 2022 last weekend
2022-04-01 Mention of my igate
In 2020 I built an igate: a device for receiving status packets on amateur frequencies and got it succesfully receiving packets and publishing them to the APRS network. Since then the hardware has been in a corner of the radio shack receiving packets, building a good coverage of received packets and doing fine. Today I noticed in Razzies April 2022 a Dutch-language electronic magazine of the Radio Amateurs Zoetermeer a nice mention of 'my' igate:De enige gateway die dapper stand houdt is PE4KH-10: nota bene een iGate naar ontwerp van onze club: een RAZ iGate...or translated: the only gateway still standing strong is PE4KH-10: notably an igate made to the design from our club: a RAZ igate. It's nice to get this mention! The hardware is in the corner of the shack just doing its job and nothing else.
2022-02-21 I participated in the ARRL DX CW contest 2022
As I'm trying to make more morse contacts the 'easy' way is to participate in contests in morse. Last weekend was the ARRL DX CW contest and I heard quite a bit of contest morse on the 20 meter band. I tried a few contacts and after two contacts got the reply 'USA ONLY'. So I looked up the ARRL DX contest rules and found out that indeed for non-US/Canada stations only contacts with US/Canada are valid. Since I didn't hear any stations from that area in the late afternoon I left it at that. But in the early evening after the sun goes down but before the propagation on 20 meters dies down completely it is possible to make contacts with North America. So on Saturday and Sunday evening I used that 'window' to get several stations in the log. If these get all confirmed I should get several new US states in morse. It was also a good practise in decoding callsigns and return information in morse with noisy conditions.Band 160 80 40 20 15 10 QSO's 0 0 0 30 0 0 Mult 0 0 0 16 0 0Raw Score: 84 Qpts x 16 Mults = 1344. The objective for this contest is to expand knowledge of DX propagation, so I already met that objective with fine-tuning my operating window to have a good opportunity to work US stations in morse.
2022-02-16 Closing 2021 in amateur radio
I noticed I didn't do a "Closing 2021 in amateur radio" post yet, so time to catch up. Looking back at the Review of 2020 in amateur radio with plans for 2021 I can say:
And the plans for 2022:
- Practising morse has happened! Just no exam yet, but that is mainly due to the current circumstances
- Satellite contacts: none.
- Morse and phone in contest: yes!
- New qsl cards ordered and in use
- More and more morse, and that exam. There is an exam date now and it will be possible to get the wanted 'CW included' on my radio amateur identification
- Again satellites
- In contests: try to get more morse and phone contacts.
- Use the better propagation to get contacts on different bands
More detailed statistics over 2021And I had to check my own notes again how I got these numbers last year, so I'm adding the sql queries I typed at the mysql/mariadb client. With the database behind cqrlog available I can make all kinds of queries.
By monthThe influence of months with (digital) contests isn't as strong as in previous years.+-------+-----+ | month | cnt | +-------+-----+ | 1 | 234 | | 2 | 204 | | 3 | 238 | | 4 | 161 | | 5 | 131 | | 6 | 111 | | 7 | 211 | | 8 | 19 | | 9 | 232 | | 10 | 204 | | 11 | 191 | | 12 | 101 | +-------+-----+Query: select month(qsodate) as month,count(id_cqrlog_main) as cnt from cqrlog_main where year(qsodate)=2021 group by month order by month;
By bandNo real surprises there. And the feeling that 10 meter was improving isn't showing in the statistics yet.+------+-----+ | band | cnt | +------+-----+ | 40M | 699 | | 20M | 849 | | 17M | 151 | | 15M | 40 | | 10M | 243 | | 2M | 51 | | 70CM | 4 | +------+-----+Query: select band,count(id_cqrlog_main) as cnt from cqrlog_main where year(qsodate)=2021 group by band order by freq;
By modeAlmost double the number of morse contacts compared to the previous year.+-------+-----+ | mode | cnt | +-------+-----+ | JT65 | 2 | | PSK31 | 3 | | FM | 19 | | FT4 | 35 | | PSK63 | 226 | | CW | 240 | | SSB | 267 | | RTTY | 386 | | FT8 | 859 | +-------+-----+Query: select mode,count(id_cqrlog_main) as cnt from cqrlog_main where year(qsodate)=2021 group by mode order by cnt;
2022-02-14 I participated in the CQ WPX RTTY 2022 contest
Last weekend was the same as in 2021: the PACC and the CQ WPX RTTY contest in one weekend. Since the CQ WPX RTTY contest is 48 hours and the PACC contest is 24 hours I participated in both. Not for 48 hours, I had a normal weekend otherwise. In the end I made 106 contacts in the CQ WPX RTTY contest. 50 contacts on the 40 meter band and 56 contacts on the 20 meter band.
2022-02-14 I participated in the PACC 2022 contest
Last weekend was the weekend of the Dutch PACC contest, 'our' contest organized by the Veron. Open for radio amateurs from all over the world, making contacts with Dutch radio amateurs especially interesting. I decided to only do morse in the PACC this year, to get the practice with contest-speed morse and maybe improve the number of countries with morse I have in the logs. In the end I made 43 contacts. The report:Callsign: PE4KH Category: SINGLE-OP ALL LOW CW Band Qso Cancelled Dup Point Penalty Mult Score 160M 0 0 0 0 0 0 80M 0 0 0 0 0 0 40M 38 0 0 38 0 6 20M 5 0 0 5 0 4 15M 0 0 0 0 0 0 10M 0 0 0 0 0 0 ----------------------------------------------------------------- 43 0 0 43 0 10 430I'm not going to be the winner in my category with this score but I'm happy with my amount of CW contacts.
2022-01-17 I participated in the UBA PSK63 contest 2022Items with tag hamradio before 2022-01-17
As the UBA PSK63 is the first radiocontest I participated in after the start of my HF career in 2015 I decided not to miss it this year and get some contacts going. My first article about the UBA PSK63 contest: Playing in a radio contest. Last weekend was the 2022 edition of this contest and I participated on Saturday and Sunday. The bands didn't seem as full with PSK63 signals as I have seen them in other years. Most remarkably the PSK63 traffic seemed gone late Saturday evening. When I tried again Sunday end of the morning the traffic was back. Returned serial numbers suggested stations with more time and/or better reception could get enough contacts in the log. In the end I made 74 contacts. I started on the 20 meter band on Saturday afternoon, switched to 40 meter after dark. Late in the evening I tried to make a few more contacts but saw only a few other stations on 40 meter. On Sunday I resumed in the 40 meter band and made a number of contacts there. In the last hour of the contest I switched back to 20 meter in the hope of finding a lot of new calls there but only one new call showed up, the rest was in the log already. So I squeezed out a last few contacts on 40 meter before the end of the contest. I may have switched back to 40 meters a bit too fast according to the rules of the contest, I'll see what happens. Anyway, a good contest. I see a few things to improve in how I participate in digimode contests that aren't really huge: better timing, especially trying to get more contacts during daylight hours on higher bands.Read the rest of I participated in the UBA PSK63 contest 2022