News items for tag hamradio - Koos van den Hout

2021-11-29 I participated in the CQWW DX CW contest
Last weekend was the CQ Worldwide DX contest CW and I participated on Saturday and Sunday. Again a 48-hour contest so lots of chances to participate between other things in the weekend and getting a good sleep.

I was planning to get more contacts in the log but it was a busy weekend and I was tired. But in the end I made 98 contacts which is not too bad for a morse contest. Bands I used were 20 and 40. An overview:
Band   160   80   40   20   15   10
QSO's    0    0   62   36    0    0
Cty      0    0   26   12    0    0
Zone     0    0    9    6    0    0
Pts: 132  Mul: 53 Score: 6996
For as far as I can tell this has given me a few countries in CW I didn't have before: Corsica, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, North Macedonia, and two new US states: Delaware and Arkansas.

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2021-11-01 I participated in the CQWW DX Contest SSB
Last weekend was the CQ Worldwide DX Contest SSB and I participated Saturday and Sunday. This is a 48-hour contest so I had multiple chances for making radio contacts between other things to do in the weekend.

I was planning to participate in this contest with the idea of getting some new countries in the log, but propagation decided to not cooperate very well. Looking back at the log I see a number of 'well-known' stations: other amateur radio stations that I see active in other contests.

In the end I made 81 contacts on the 20, 15 and 10 meter bands. Overview:
Band   160   80   40   20   15   10
QSO's    0    0    0   75    2    4
Cty      0    0    0   27    2    3
Zone     0    0    0    5    2    2
Pts: 96  Mul: 41 Score: 3936

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2021-10-23 More 10 meter openings, and another new country
Things are going well with amateur radio: today I managed to make contacts with Australia and Indonesia on the 10 meter band in FT8 mode. That was a nice opening to the east, probably with some greyline on their side. It was morning here, so after the greyline for me.

And later when 10 meter was silent I tried the 20 meter band, where a station from New Caledonia answered my call. I realized later that was a new country/entity for me, by that time the contact was already confirmed!

Update 2021-10-25: Actually looking at maps made me realize New Caledonia is quite far away: the distance was about 16330 kilometers! I will need to tweak the generated maps on pe4kh.idefix.net a bit to actually show the worked gridsquares in New Zealand and New Caledonia.

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2021-10-17 New countries in amateur radio and enjoying 10 meter openings
I am sitting behind the radio running FT8 on the 10 meter band and it's open in some interesting directions. According to PSK reporter my signals have been received in India(!) but I haven't made any contacts to India on 10 meters. The interesting contacts I have made on 10 meters were a few new countries on that band: South Africa, Swaziland, Lebanon and Georgia.

Earlier Swaziland was completely new for me thanks to the 3DA0RU DXpedition visiting there. I also got the DXpedition to Sao Tome & Principe in the log: S9OK.

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2021-09-27 I participated in the CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest
RTTY Contest on websdr Past weekend was the 2021 version of the CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest and I participated. I had time to participate in a few intervals during the weekend and it helped that it was a 48-hour contest so I could get some more contacts in the log Sunday evening.

In the end I made 151 contacts, a really nice number.

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2021-09-18 New countries in the log: Trinidad & Tobago, Taiwan and New Zealand
I haven't written about new countries I had contacts with via amateur radio for a while, but today I finally got New Zealand in the log, which has been on my wishlist for a while. Indeed all countries that I don't have in the log yet are on that wishlist, but ranked according to Clublog New Zealand should be the 'easiest' for me.

This morning I had a contact using the FT8 mode with ZL4AS on the 40 meter amateur band. This means a contact over a distance of 18726 kilometers. And by the time I write this the contact is already confirmed via Logbook of The World.

The previous new country was Taiwan, last Wednesday using FT8 on the 20 meter band. That contact was with amateur station BU2FF who also confirmed very fast.

And a while ago I had a contact with a station in Trinidad & Tobago but I haven't seen confirmation yet.

So I am still going strong with contacts on amateur radio, sometimes finding that rare opportunity for a new country.

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2021-09-15 Linux, serial devices that aren't modems and modemmanager
9 pin serial connector closeup from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:9_pin_d-sub_connector_male_closeup.jpg
9 Pin serial connector closeup
Source https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:9_pin_d-sub_connector_male_closeup.jpg, license public domain
I always noticed that I had to plug in the USB cable for the remote radio with the radio switched off, otherwise the Kenwood TS480 would switch into transmit mode and stay there until I powered the radio off.

Annoying, and I thought it was something in the serial initialization. Recently I was thinking about this and remembered something about query sequences on serial devices triggering weird behaviour in other devices. From what I read about the Kenwood serial protocol the chance of a few stray characters changing something in the radio is quite possible.

So I considered what Linux software could do a query as soon as a serial port is added to the system. Well, modemmanager was the ideal candidate for this:
Package: modemmanager
[..]
Description-en: D-Bus service for managing modems
 ModemManager is a DBus-activated daemon which controls mobile broadband
 (2G/3G/4G) devices and connections. Whether built-in devices, USB dongles,
 Bluetooth-paired telephones or professional RS232/USB devices with external
 power supplies, ModemManager is able to prepare and configure the modems and
 setup connections with them.
And indeed, simply removing modemmanager made the problem go away. I can now plug in the USB cable when the radio is on and nothing happens.

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2021-08-17 Specific categories in contests can help win
I received the results of the Canada winter contest I participated in last December and my remark In total I got 3 different Canadian stations in the log and I entered my log. It won't be the winner in the DX category, but I appreciate the fact that the Radio Amateurs of/du Canada organize this so I do my part in making the scoring possible. works out differently: I am "First Place for The Netherlands in the category Single Op Single Band 20 meter".

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2021-07-24 I participated in the King of Spain SSB contest
At the end of June was the King of Spain SSB contest and I participated for a while. I just never wrote about it, but this week the log check report came in. With... 0 errors!

In total I made 34 contacts, 2 on the 15 meter band and 32 on the 20 meter band. So I entered as all-band station and I won't be ranked very high. I used the remote radio to get good reception on HF and have access to the 15 meter band.

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2021-07-12 I participated in the IARU HF World Championship 2021
This weekend was the IARU HF World Championship contest and I participated after fully planning this in advance. I made sure my contest logger was set up and communicating with the radio and the morse keyer in advance.

I participated on the 10, 15, 20 and 40 meter bands. In total 125 contacts. 70 in SSB (speech) and 55 in CW (morse).
Band   160   80   40   20   15   10
QSO's    0    0   32   53   32    8
Mult     0    0   22   24   13    8

Pts: 381  Mul: 67 Score: 25527
I had more trouble decoding morse than I hoped for and conditions weren't ideal. Not a lot of stations outside Europe, a few Asian ones and one US station in morse.

First conformations showing up on Logbook of The World, which gives me Bosnia-Herzegovina on 15 meters confirmed and Bosnia-Herzegovina and Switzerland confirmed in CW. Always nice to get some new things in the log but I usually only see that after the contest.

Raw score calculation when I submitted the log:
261 Qpts x 65 Mults = 16,965 (one or more Zones/HQs in the copied exchange not recognized).
I guess the problem with the exchange is with EO0HQ in Austria giving OV and not OVSV as expected but I am 100% sure I copied that correctly.
Read the rest of I participated in the IARU HF World Championship 2021

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