2018-02-18 Two new countries in the log and I participated in the Russian worldwide PSK contest 2018 5 hours ago
Two new countries in the PE4KH log: Oman and India. Oman was Friday afternoon when I was home early and decided to turn the dial over the 40 meter band to make some phone contacts and heard A41CK call. Who took my call on the second try! India was late Friday evening. The call VU2NKS showed up in FT8 and it had a direct pile-up (lots of people answering). But with some persistance from my side and good operating skills from the other side the contact was made. And this weekend was the Russian Worldwide PSK Contest so I participated Saturday afternoon / evening and a bit Sunday right before 12:00 UTC. I managed to start Saturday 12:00 UTC sharp calling CQ. Which worked at that time for getting contacts. I chose the 40 meter band category because I expected most radio time this weekend would be after sunset. In the end I made 64 contacts. Not a very high score, but I had times were several contacts happened in short succession so I am improving in digimode contesting.Read the rest of Two new countries in the log and I participated in the Russian worldwide PSK contest 2018Band QSOs Dupes Points Mults 160 0 0 0 0 80 0 0 0 0 40 64 0 388 28 20 0 0 0 0 15 0 0 0 0 10 0 0 0 0 ====================================== Total 64 0 388 28 Claimed score is 10864 points
2018-02-11 Plotting the number of amateur radio contacts 1 week ago
After the end of January I decided to plot the number of contacts again. January is a busy month with two contests for me but I did not make a lot of contacts outside of those contests this year. I added contacts from holidays and the PE4KH/P activities to the total count. Some more work on the plot script, I think bars look better than a line graph. But you could spend hours in gnuplot making the plot just right... The new script:set output "qslcount.png" set terminal png size 640,300 fontscale 0.7 set timefmt "%Y-%m" set xlabel "Month" set ylabel "Number of contacts" set xdata time set style fill solid set xtics format "%b %Y" set xtics rotate set grid set boxwidth 0.75 relative set autoscale xfixmin set autoscale xfixmax plot "dataset-qsocount" using 1:2 title "Contacts/Month" with boxesUpdate: And indeed the change in x autoscale was one bit more 'just right'. The first graph was in February 2017: Rising number of amateur radio contacts.
2018-01-15 I participated in the UBA PSK63 prefix contest 1 month ago
As planned I participated in the UBA PSK63 prefix contest in the weekend. Activity was Saturday evening and Sunday morning interrupted by some good sleep. Compared to my experiences in the ARRL RTTY roundup one weekend earlier the 40 meter band decided to act quite differently. On Saturday evening it was quite hard to make a contact. A lot of interference, no far away stations and it was hard to get heard by the other side. I stopped before 22:00 UTC (23:00 localtime) because I thought some sleep would be more effective than getting annoyed by the lack of contacts. Indeed, Sunday morning things got better although I heard only nearby signals on the 40 meter band, including some Belgian stations. No serious DX. Belgian stations are good for extra multipliers so it was good for the score. In the end I made 76 contacts. The last contact was started by a CQ I called at 11:59 UTC but it was only answered at 12:00, so it does count but I had to note it in the log as originating at 11:59 where the software normally logs the moment I see the callsign for the first time. Log submitted and de Veron afdelingscompetitie updated.Read the rest of I participated in the UBA PSK63 prefix contest
2018-01-12 I am planning to participate in the UBA PSK63 contest 1 month ago
As in previous years, I am planning to participate in the UBA PSK63 Prefix Contest in the upcoming weekend. I can't participate for 24 hours since other things have to be done too in the weekend including the all important 'sleep'. I just finished the preparations:Read the rest of I am planning to participate in the UBA PSK63 contest
On Saturday evening the 20 meter band will probably be closed by the time I am available for contesting. So I'll start on the 40 meter band. The choice for 40 meter band only or all band will have to be made on Sunday morning, depending on the amount of new contacts I can make in the 40 meter band.
- The endfed antenna for 10/20/40 is hanging outside
- The contest macros have been updated to call CQ UBA PFX TEST
2018-01-08 I participated in the ARRL RTTY Roundup 2018 1 month ago
For the past weekend I had the ARRL RTTY Roundup planned, meaning I had reserved time in the family calendar. Other things had to happen too but I reserved time for contesting and made sure I had the right macros available before the contest started. I hoped to find time to set up the endfed antenna before the contest but that did not happen so it was the first thing to do when we got home at the beginning of Saturday evening. In the contest I only operated on the 40 meter band. Most of the time I was able to participate were in the dark when I did not expect the 20 meter band to cooperate and I thought that operating in just one band would make me end higher in the rankings for that more specific category. Only after the contest I read the rules exactly and noticed that this specific contest does not differentiate between single and multi band operation. In the end I made 95 contacts. Local noise is high in my current setup so only the strongest stations came through the noise. I made only one contact in CQ mode, the rest was search and pounce. Propagation wasn't really good until late in the evenings when I managed to score some US contacts. I did see someone from Prince Edwards Island in Canada but that station did not hear me return. I noticed WP2B did not give me a US state but a serial number and found out that is a US Virgin Island callsign, so that was a new country for me. In the end a nice contest. For upcoming contests: check the rules / propagation predictions and plan my strategy.Read the rest of I participated in the ARRL RTTY Roundup 2018
2017-10-30 I participated in the CQWW DX contest 3 months ago
This weekend was the CQ World Wide DX Contest. This is indeed another phone (voice) contest, so I connected headset, footswitch and the remote head of my radio. I had some time to participate on Sunday early afternoon and Sunday evening. On Sunday afternoon the logical band to try was 20 meters, on Sunday evening 40 meters. In the end I made 51 contacts. All I did was 'search and pounce', checking for stations calling CQ that I could understand good enough and transmit my call back to them in the hope they would hear me. Some stations had me on the first try, some took several tries and some never heard me. The DX that got away was a Kazakhstan station who could not decode my call even after several tries. I used the yfktest contest software for Linux again. This wasn't very hard as yfktest has a standard definition for the CQWW DX contest. I heard both serious contest stations and single operators just calling CQ on the air. Interesting was to work OH1LWZ/M who according to his qrz page is really contesting mobile from his car or bicycle. For next time I have to check the compression and gain settings for SSB on my Yaesu FT-857D radio when using the headset. Claimed results:Band QSO Qpts Dupes Countries Zones ------------------------------------------- 20 40 48 0 15 5 40 11 19 0 9 6 ------------------------------------------- ALL 51 67 0 24 11 =========================================== Total Score: 2,345A few times I heard the contest call PA0AA of my radio club who worked very hard to get the antenna at the club ready for contesting, but only in the background when I was trying other calls. It would have been nice to get them in the log.
2017-10-09 I participated in the Russian worldwide Digimode contest 4 months ago
Past weekend was the Russian worldwide digimode contest edition 2017. I mounted the endfed antenna outside and participated when time was available. Thinks went good in search and pounce mode, there were multiple instances of making more than one contact in the same minute according to the log. Calling cq gave less response but I also got some contacts logged that way.Band QSOs Dupes Points Mults 160 0 0 0 0 80 0 0 0 0 40 46 0 280 32 20 41 0 129 35 15 0 0 0 0 10 0 0 0 0 ====================================== Total 87 0 409 67 Claimed score is 27403 pointsSince I operated in more than one band and with power above QRP levels I entered in the SINGLE-OP ALL HIGH category.
2017-09-25 I participated in the CQWW RTTY contest 2017 4 months ago
This weekend was the CQ WW RTTY Contest 2017. I participated when possible in an otherwise very filled weekend. In the end I made 81 contacts, 32 on the 20 meter band and 49 on the 40 meter band. One station in the US, KI1G in the state of Rhode Island (a new state). And the counter of worked DXCC's went up one, so I was browsing the log trying to find out which was the new country and it turned out that I made the first contact with Luxembourgh, LX7X. I will put that call on the list for a QSL card. Finishing the log took a while. I set fldigi to contest style "CQWW RTTY" and used that template to export the log. But the logged CQ zone and state did not show in the Cabrillo export. I had to do that all by hand. Next time prepare the macros to log this correctly!
2017-08-28 I participated in the SCC RTTY 2017 contest from the radioclub location 5 months ago
Again this year had the SCC RTTY contest in the same weekend as the barbeque of the radio club so the solution was to work in the contest from the location of the radio club. I set up with the endfed antenna in the available field. That field is close to some houses so I had some interference. And the main problem was that the computer control between the laptop running fldigi (the contest logging software) and the radio regularly gave problems, usually leaving the radio in transmit mode. The laptop and the computer interface aren't shielded very well which is probably a reason, combined with the use of the endfed antenna which is known for causing interference since it's an asymmetric antenna. In the end I made 53 contacts. Less than the number of contacts in previous SCC RTTY contest but I had limited time and local noise was higher than I expected. For a next time I am working on a common mode choke to limit interference to the computer and maybe some noise. And probably next time I contest at the radio club I will try to use a different antenna location.Read the rest of I participated in the SCC RTTY 2017 contest from the radioclub location
2017-07-16 I participated in the DMC RTTY 2017 contest 7 months ago
Or maybe I should use the word 'played' again: 6 contacts. It was a weekend with not much time for radio and when that time did happen propagation wasn't cooperating very well. The advantage of contests is that there are a lot of stations who want to hear every other station, so I used the last 20 minutes of this contest just to answer a few calls and get in the log.
2017-07-09 I participated in the IARU HF Championship 2017 7 months ago
My activity in radio contesting has been in digital mode contests, with one exception in a mixed-mode contest where I also made some voice contacts: the ARI International DX Contest in 2016. But this weekend I seriously entered the IARU HF Championship in 'phone' (speech) mode. I made 59 contacts, 50 on the 20 meter band and 9 on the 40 meter band. I managed to work a lot of the HQ stations I heard active for the various national radio clubs. I heard no serious DX, but the local noise at home is prohibitive for voice contacts anyway. My personal reason for entering this contest was reading about its role in the world radio team championship in the book Contact Sport: A Story of Champions, Airwaves, and a One-Day Race around the World by J.K. George. I used yfktest for the contest logging and found the biggest fixed font I can use which makes the 80x24 xterm almost fill the entire screen. See the screenshot. Claimed results according to yfktest:Read the rest of I participated in the IARU HF Championship 2017Band QSO Qpts Dupes Mult1 Mult2 ------------------------------------------- 20 50 112 0 23 0 40 9 13 0 8 0 ------------------------------------------- ALL 58 124 1 31 0 =========================================== Total Score: 3,875
2017-06-18 I participated in the Ukranian DX Classic RTTY Contest 2017 8 months ago
I participated in the Ukranian DX Classic RTTY Contest 2017 this weekend. I prepared the antenna and the contestmacros Friday evening, but I knew most of Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning would be unavailable. Local noise was bad, it seems interference from solar panels is on the rise and it was a quite sunny day. On the other hand, there was a 10 meter band opening Sunday afternoon, giving me some new multipliers with 8 contacts on that band. But no serious DX in the whole contest, I just saw Eastern Europe and Asiatic Russia active, unlike when I participated in the Ukranian DX Classic RTTY contest 2016. The end result is that I made 70 contacts in somewhat less than 6 hours of operating time. So I participated in the SINGLE-OP ALL 6-HOUR RTTY category.Read the rest of I participated in the Ukranian DX Classic RTTY Contest 2017
2017-05-21 I participated in the EU PSK DX Contest 2017 9 months ago
I noted the EU PSK DX Contest in the contestcalendar and decided to participate. Conditions did not cooperate very well and I found some issues with my setup during the contest. But in the end I made 57 contacts. Not very good given my scores earlier this year but I think the big issues with local HF noise started after the previous contest.Read the rest of I participated in the EU PSK DX Contest 2017Total number of QSO in your log is 57, Including 0 QSO with errors, Valid QSO - 57 Band QSOs Dupes Points Mults 160 0 0 0 0 80 0 0 0 0 40 0 0 0 0 20 57 0 117 64 15 0 0 0 0 10 0 0 0 0 ====================================== Total 57 0 117 64 Claimed score is 7488 points
2017-04-03 I participated in the EA RTTY contest 2017 10 months ago
This weekend after the antenna installation was done I had some time to participate in the EA RTTY contest 2017. I only participated on Sunday afternoon on the 20 meter band so I entered in the SO20 DX category. The end result was 35 QSO's (contacts). Less than the results I had in the EA RTTY contest in 2016 but I had less time and energy available.Read the rest of I participated in the EA RTTY contest 2017
2017-02-24 Seeing the same amateur stations in contests 11 months ago
As I process the eqsl confirmations that come in after the Russian Worldwide PSK contest 2017 I start to notice some callsigns are showing up regularly in (digimode) contests. My highest number of confirmed contacts via eqsl which are related to contesting come from YO9AGN, S58X, S51AF, RA3GZ, HG3FMZ, EA3HKA, 9A4FS. But the number one callsign I have confirmed via eqsl is not a contest station but the Veron club station PI4AA where I try to call in to the net almost every month.
2017-02-20 I participated in the Russian Worldwide PSK contest 2017 12 months ago
This weekend I had time to use the radio and after trying to get some more contacts on the 30 meter band Friday evening I decided to participate in the ongoing digimode contest in the weekend. This was the weekend of the Russian Worldwide PSK contest 2017 (https TLS certificate is broken at the moment). I had fun doing it, had 124 contacts in the contest. I now have two new countries in the log: Kuwait and Suriname. And Kuwait already confirmed via Logbook of The World. I just uploaded the log (with the last contact rejected as it was too late):Read the rest of I participated in the Russian Worldwide PSK contest 2017Band QSOs Dupes Points Mults 160 0 0 0 0 80 0 0 0 0 40 52 0 320 28 20 71 0 223 33 15 0 0 0 0 10 0 0 0 0 ====================================== Total 123 0 543 61 Claimed score is 33123 pointsComparing it to my results in the Russian WW PSK contest 2015 I did a lot better. At that time I still had limited access to the 40 meter band which limited my options for PSK traffic.
2017-02-12 Rising number of amateur radio contacts 1 year ago
I noticed recently the number of radio contacts made by my new callsign PE4KH which I started using in March 2016 was getting close to the number of radio contacts made by my previous callsign PD4KH between March 2013 and March 2016. A typical rise in contacts, mostly due to my skills improving and participating in contests. So I wanted to view the rise per month and did some searching how to ask the cqrlog databases and plot the results. Oh, and now PE4KH has more contacts after a few new contacts logged in PSK31 mode on the 20 meter band today.Read the rest of Rising number of amateur radio contacts
2017-02-06 I participated a bit in the Vermont QSO party 1 year ago
Read the rest of I participated a bit in the Vermont QSO partyI still try to make radio contacts to far away places even with current radio propagation at low levels. At the moment the last hours of the afternoon before sunset seem to give options towards the west (USA and Canada). Last week I got home early one day, fired up the radio for PSK31 on 20 meters and saw K2EQ again. This Sunday I saw in the fldigi screen:
Vermont Counties map, from Vermont county map - WikimediaCQ Vermont QSO Party K1VMT K1VMTand answered with my call without having any idea what the Vermont QSO party is about, but having Vermont in the log would mean a new US state. The exchange was made and I dug up from the noise that the answer included LAMoille which is a county in Vermont. It all made a lot more sense when I viewed the Vermont QSO party website. I kept an eye open for CQ's from other Vermont stations but never saw any. So I entered my log with one entry for the Vermont QSO party.
2017-01-15 I participated in the UBA PSK63 prefix contest 2017 1 year ago
I had the UBA PSK63 prefix contest in my planning again this year. This year I set up the antennas in advance, checked the contestmacros and I was ready. Some things at home delayed the start a bit, so I did not fire of a CQ UBA PSK63 PFX TEST right at 12:00 UTC but I managed nicely. In the end I made 133 contacts. I started on 20 meters but that 'dried out' soon especially after the sun started to come down. I switched to 40 meters and this was the first time in this contest that I had access to the part of the 40 meter band below 7.050 MHz, which is where all my 40 meter contacts were made. Late in the evening 40 meter started showing some more distant stations, I saw Indonesia and Surinam callsigns but they did not hear my reply (which was not for lack of trying). Total 133 contacts, 59 on the 20 meter band and 74 on the 40 meter band, so I entered as SOAB (single operator all band). A simple script counts 65 prefixes on 20 meter and 52 prefixes on 40 meter so that would make my claimed score 15561 points. Looking at my contesting results the rates of contacts are improving (even with radio propagation getting worse) so I think I am doing fine.Read the rest of I participated in the UBA PSK63 prefix contest 2017
2017-01-09 I participated in the ARRL RTTY Roundup 2017 1 year agoOlder news items for tag radiocontesting ⇒
This weekend I wasn't planning on radio contesting but some other plans got changed and in the evenings the 40 meter band around 7.040 MHz was filled with the deedle deedle of RTTY signals. It was the ARRL RTTY Roundup so I participated some hours. Given the limited time and the not so optimal propagation I did not expect a top score. In the end I made 62 contacts. Better than my score in the ARRL RTTY Roundup 2016 where I made 24 contacts (after logs were checked).Read the rest of I participated in the ARRL RTTY Roundup 2017