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9W6EZ East Malaysia flag East Malaysia

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QSL: PAPER QSL - LoTW - EQSL (BURO IS SUPER SLOW)

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XML Subscriber Lookups: 150633

                

Setup

Transceivers 

  • Yaesu FT 897D
  • Kenwood TS-120
  • Icom IC-706 (for mobile)
  • Kenwood TS50
  • RadioShack HTX-10 (10 meters, 25 w)
  • Magnum 1012 Handheld (10 meters, 5w)

Antennae

  • 4 element Yagi  @ 30 ft (10 meters band)
  • Vertical antenna @27 ft (monobander 10 meters, used for 40 meters as well)
  • Moxon for 6-meters (20 ft)
  • Hamstick (40 meters, mobile)

Power Supply

  • MFJ-4230MV

Amplifier

  • I don't have one.. running barefoot here -

Antenna Tuner

  •  MFJ-941E
  •  MFJ-901B
  •  Sears 10/11 meter

and the rest of my gears ...

  • Citizen Band: Sears SSB, Cobra 29, Uniden PC68LTW
  • 2m Mobile: Icom 2200H, Yaesu FT-2900R
  • Base Ant: 6-el (2m), 13-el (70cm)
  • Handheld 2m/70cm: VX7R, IC-T22A, FT60R, IC-2GXAT, TYT TH-UV3R
  • Motorola Series: Saber, GP300, GP628 Plus, HT1000, VISAR
    •                   Radius SP21, Radius SP50+, Spirit SV12, Spirit SU21
 

 
Online Log
 

1. Search in the Club Log

 

2. Search in the HRDlog
 
Last logged : June 15, 2016

 

3. View the last 300 entry on QRZCQ : http://qrzcq.com/log/9W6EZ

 

 

QSL Cards

Don't bother to include SAE with stamps/dollar/irc coupon. These cards are for you. But you have to send yours first.(My address is shown below). Well, if you are willing to ease my burden then you are welcome to include irc/dollar bills.

latest!! **** I am suspicious with the mails with $$ inside. Those guys at the post office might be able to smell it. So a better option would be by PayPal.****

My Paypal account is at 'zabion@yahoo.com'.

You may use the button below to link to my PayPal BUT I still need your QSL card for my collection, please. However if you really need my card urgently, do let me know.

 

Paypal received as of  July 22, 2016:-

HB9BEM, I1YDT, DL6WA, YO9GJY, F1BFD, 

PD9DB, W1JCW, PY2KNK, OZ6TW, DB1WT,

IZ1YUH, PA3ATZ, IK3GBG, EA5UJ, W1ASB,

EA7LM, W6PHO, W6EWS, IW1RIU, IZ5TLD,

W8FDV, JI1DFO, KB6VME, JA5OXV, JA1UNR,

G0IFC, DO5MFJ, EU1FQ, FM5AN, N1BKB,

SQ5NRY, NA7US, KG7JWD, K7IPP,

 

 

QSL CARDS RECEIVED DIRECT: SEPT 2013 - July 22, 2016

All QSL cards received by March 2016  have been replied

    CARDS SENT DIRECT TO MY MAIL
No Country Callsigns
     
1 ARGENTINA LU7HVN (INTERNET),
2 AUSTRALIA VK3TCX, VK3OHM, VK8GM, VK5ADO, VK2ZMC, VK4OZI, VK6YV
3 AUSTRIA OE6GND, OE6VHF, OE3GGS,
4 BELGIUM ON4PM, ON3JFG,
5 BRAZIL PU2FTJ
6 CANADA VE7SA
7 CANARY ISLAND EC8AXS
8 CHINA BD6FDZ, BH2RO
9 DENMARK OZ6TW
10 EAST MALAYSIA 9W6IVY
11 ENGLAND 2E0MNG
12 FINLAND OH6NVC
13 FRANCE F4GAJ, F5II, F8AWE, F1BFD, F4GYI, F8FBB, F4GHS
14 GERMANY DK4TP, DL4MFL, DL6DQW, DL5KCZ, DL4DZL, DL6MIG, DG8NBR, DL6BLD, DF3NA, DK2AY, DL6WA, DK3WE, DL1B, DL1DSR, DO5MFJ
15 GREECE SV1QFF
16 HUNGARY HA6IAY, 
17 INDONESIA YB0VB
18 ISRAEL 4X1RU, 4Z5LX,
19 ITALY IZ2WFL, IZ1RGI, I1SNW, IW4EOI, IT9CCB, IW1RIU, IZ5TLD
20 JAPAN JA2IBR/1, JG1SMD/1, JA8DCR, 7N2TNI, JA9SJI, JA1XPQ, JA4SVS, JP3WAU, JF2WXS, JE2SPG, JG3HEQ, JG3TOV, JA8BRV, JS6SDQ, JA2LHG, JH1JQA, JH1RLT, JH1OIB, JS6SYR, JE3SSL, JA9BXN, JR3UPT, JA6TEW, JR1UBR, JE1HRC, 7M2KGJ, JG1TSG, JM7EJW, JK1CYF, JH2KKW, JM1IQX, JR1DQK, JH1CMW, JA1BWD, JK7RKF, JR3LSV, JF8QNF, JA1BRL, JJ3LLT, JA3QID, JG1RET, JA1RAE, JA1FIO, JH0QYS, 7L1CYC, JA5PXG, JM2SVG,  JR2VWD, JM1IQX, JA8DFQ, JH1QKG, JG1WOG, JR4BXW, JA0LLH, JE6LML, JI1IXW, JF3BDN, JR1TXA, JG1LPL, JA1JPM, JH7GZF, JA5PXG, JA8DCR, JJ1NLR, JA0XON, JH1FRR, JS6TGX, JA8DFQ, JG1MVE, JI1DMC, JA1FIO, JA1OVF, JH6DQS, JS3OSI, JR1DLC, JQ2NBN/1, JG1VKW, JH9DRL, JE1AJG, JH1URB, JP1KOA, JF7XKP, JE1UMG, JA3CXB, JO3PTW, JR1GFX, JA7LOX, JG3RXZ, JM1SZY, JP7JCJ, JA7GFN, JA9ZBA, JA9ABA, JA2XN, JA1WZG, JP3AGX, JL3LSF, JH6CDI, JA1VOK,  JM1IQX, JH7OHS, JF1KJC, JA1KXT, JA4VKL, JH1TAA, JE1FFU, JA8BHI, JG6XYS/1, JF2JFP, JH7DUM, JR1JGA, JH1KZQ, JL1FUQ, JR1MRG, JH4CFK, JH5DHX/5, JA8DFQ, JA2AH, JR3UIC, JA5OXV, JA4RNA, JH1NWN, JI1DFO, JJ2RON, JF4QWZ, JA4DZ, JH4CFK, JA1UNR, JA9HIZ, JS6TGX,
21 KUWAIT 9K2NO
22 MARIANA IS AH0J
23 N ZEALAND ZL1COR
24 NETHERLANDS PE1GNP, PD7YY, PH7Y, PA3ECZ, PA3FZH
25 NORWAY LA6ZFA
26 POLAND SQ6WAF, SP9MRN, SP6JZL, SQ6WZ, SQ5NRY, SQ9DDR,
27 ROMANIA YO7CDB, YO2BS,
28 RUSSIA R0TR, RV3FV, RA4AAT
29 SLOVAK REP OM6MF, OM3CHY
30 SOUTH AFRICA ZS1LS, ZS1RJQ, 
31 SOUTH KOREA HL1ZBC, 6K2IXG, HL5FAM
32 SPAIN EA1GIB, EA5LV, EA6AG, EA3FUJ, EA1EMB, EA8AXT,
33 SWEDEN SA5BYS, SA7AUW, 
34 SWITZERLAND HB9RUZ, HB9BEM, 
35 TAIWAN BV0LH, BV3CE, BM6GJL
36 THAILAND HS1NGR
37 USA AG6HE, WA7EDI,K8MWO, K3UHU, WX2JIM, W4RJ, NW8U, WA2ILB, AE3T, WV4VAM, N5ZVW, KE7WUD, KDZPFG, K7YFP, W0BWW, N6KZ, KJ6ZQP, K7CXN, KB8TLL, K0JJL, K9ZXG, NB0O, N7AYU, KJ6MBW, K5XIT, K6ELE, KB6IGK, KJ6UPL, W5ZN, N7WWH, K6VMU, W6AOZ, WD9Q, KG7FDW, KK6BT/4, AA0ZP,  AD5WB, K6CL, KJ6OHI, KI0KN, KK6FUT, W9VG, WA5DTK, KD6MDV, W0PE, K7GSE, K5ZOL, N4SVC, KD4AMP, ND6H, AA4FL, KG7HQR, KD5QHV, KE5BQK, K7RCS, KO6E, KD7KMZ, W6AER, KE6HLW,  WA2VYA, W7MGB, W6EWS, K6KQV, W8FDV, K6KQV, K3JZ,  KB6VME, N1BKB, W4FS, KG7JWD
38 WEST MALAYSIA

9W2VTC, 9M2RDX, 9W2JMW,

  SWL OE1-100-1007

 

QSL Cards Received thru BURO .... after 2 years!

  • December 17, 2015 : Bundle of QSL cards received from Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters' Society (MARTS)
  • June7, 206: Sent the reply to Malaysian BURO /MARTS
  • July 1, 2016: Bundle full of QSL Cards reply sent back to me. Wrong Address?
  • July 19, 2016: Sent back to Buro.
    CARDS SENT VIA BUREAU
No  Country Callsigns
1 AUSTRIA     OE1DPS, OE3PFS, OE3DSB,  OE8TLK, OE6GND
2 BELGIUM ON7HM
3 BRAZIL PT2NP, ZZ80SP,
4      CHINA B4YOG,
5 GERMANY DC0KK, DL1BWU, DL2AYK, DM2DMI, DK3BK, DL3VZL, DG4NAT, DL5EBE, DL5XDL, DF6LI, DJ6NI, DL7GDF, DG8DBW, DL8YBM, DO9TOH
6 ITALY IZ2ZEX
7 JAPAN

JA0DET, JA0DOM, JA0ELW, JA0FBG, JA0FIL, JA0HNN, JA0QE, JA0XIR,  JG0MIB, JH0EPZ, JH0IQI, JH0INP, JH0JDV, JH0DSX, JH0QYS, JH0WJW, JI0LQJ, JR0WZR,

7K1CPT, 7M1JXA, 7N1GMK, 7N1XEM, 8N1HQ, JA1AJK, JA1BON,  JA1BTR, JA1CXA, JA1DGE, JA1DXA, JA1EMQ, JA1EPJ, JA1FNA, JA1FWS, JA1GLM, JA1GTW, JA1IFC, JA1IXX, JA1JNY, JA1JPB. JA1KTZ, JA1LLG, JA1LDX, JA1LZB, JA1NAQ, JA1NGW, JA1NEZ, JA1NFM, JA1OGI, JA1OGX,  JA1OSN/7, JA1PVI, JA1QAD, JA1QOP, JA1QS, JA1RJU, JA1RNU, JA1SFL, JA1SHF, JA1SJV, JA1STY, JA1SVP, JA1TAA, JA1TLE, JA1UOC, JA1VGV, JA1WWH, JE1BAB, JE1GLP, JE1GZB, JE1MMX, JE1LFX, JE1LOI, JE1MBF, JE1OLF, JE1QNH/1, JE1REU, JE1RXJ, JE1SHW, JE1WNL, JF1BUT, JF1ELR, JF1IRW, JF1MNG, JF1SEK, JF1TLT, JF1URP, JG1GZH, JG1IUF, JG1REY, JG1WTB, JH1CML, JH1CZK, JH1EBO, JH1EML, JH1GEX, JH1GNU, JH1HGI, JH1KWG, JH1KWG, JH1KWR, JH1OBS, JH1OCC, JH1PCE, JH1PWA, JH1QQN, JH1SOD, JH1UBK, JH1URT, JH1VRM, JH1WFS, JI1ANI, JI1CUL, JI1DMH, JI1ETU, JI1LET, JI1LMY, JI1OOB, JI1TDA, JI1WCP, JJ1DTX, JJ1FIC, JJ1KKT, JJ1NYW, JJ1NZH, JJ1PLS, JK1AFI, JK1NSR, JL1ABJ, JL1KLK, JL1SEN, JM1FBF, JM1SMY, JN1OZR, JR1CJD, JR1DUF, JR1EEU, JR1EMM, JR1EMO, JR1FBA, JR1GTF, JR1JGA, JR1MEG, JR1TPI, JR1VAY, JR1WLR, JS1KKY

7N2UQC, JA2AHF, JA2BNV,  JA2CGA, JA2CX/3, JA2DKX, JA2FGE, JA2FSM, JA2JGB,  JA2IJU, JA2INL, JA2JGB, JA2KPW, JA2QQC, JA2STO, JA2XN, JE2BOM, JE2GWO, JE2IMX, JE2LUN, JE2RBK, JE2URF, JF2VHS, JF2VNV, JG2AJK, JH2AZW, JH2BTM, JH2CHY, JH2GZY, JH2HZM, JH2MYN, JI2KQL, JJ2ONH, JK2VOC, JL2SPJ, JM2AAX, JM2LEI, JQ2HJR, JR2AGH, JR2PEB, JR2TRC, JR2ULS

7L3PXO, 7M3IWB, 8J3K60A, JA3AER, JA3CG/1, JA3DLE/1, JA3DPX, JA3EBT, JA3EKL, JA3GWE, JA3HWZ, JA3LXJ, JA3LWB, JA3NKS, JA3OLO, JA3QNI, JA3RAZ, JA3SWR, JA3TJA, JA3UVR, JA3VGL, JE3BMU, JE3DJB, JE3EDJ, JE3PRM, JF3GFH/1, JF3JSZ, JF3PLF, JF3PRS, JG3IFX, JG3LEB, JG3SKK, JG3KMT, JG3UVN, JG3UQU, JH3CBA, JH3CGT, JH0OHO, JH3OXM, JH3XEF, JI3BXL, JI3CEY, JI3IJG, JJ3JJL, KL3CEY, JL3MCM, KN3NPP, JN3OBS, JN3XEZ, JO3IEE, JO3DDD, JR3BWF, JR3GSW, JR3HZW, JR3NDO, JR3CNQ, JS3CGH, JS3CTQ

7L4LKK, 7L4XDT, 7M4OAQ, 7M4QVQ,  JA4AKL, JA4BXL, JA4DRK, JA4DWG, JA4DWR, JA4ESR, JA4KTG, JA4LKB, JA4NJE, JA4RZE, JA4UDN, JE4NAN, JE4URN, JH4ADV, JH4JPO,  JH4LNI, JH4OYD, JH4SDM, JH4UYB, JI4UUG, JG4FLT, JN4FNZ, JO4BHU, JR4FNW, JR4KTR, JR4NMV, JR4NUN JR4PDP,

JA5CTW, JA5DNJ, JA5DVK, JA5EXC, JA5EZG, JA5IBP, JA5JFB, JA5JWQ, JA5RA, JE5JHZ, JH5ATF, JH5HDA, JH5PXJ, JI5QNG, JR7JID/1

8J6GNB, JA6AKE, JA6BDB, JA6BRZ, JA6EOE, JA6FAP, JA6GCE, JA6GGD, JA6IGO/6, JA6JYN, JA6JNF, JA6RCH, JA6RJK, JA6UFF/6, JA6UJS, JA6WGI, JA6XBH, JE6CMG, JE6NSK/6, JF6OOY,  JG6UIB, JH6CYW,  JH6FTJ, JH6HZH, JJ6JGJ, JJ6VAR, JJ6WZS,JR6BU, JR6EXN, JR6FC, JR6IKD, JR6RAY, JQ6QNQ, JS6SYR,

JA7AQZ, JA7BTX, JA7BWT, JA7CZU, JA7DSY, JA7EWW, JA7FKF, JA7GFN, JA7JRC, JA7MOL, JA7ODY, JA7SPJ, JE7RVY, JG7AFV, JI7GYU, JI7XIZ, JL7IWF, JR7GWL, JR7KIA, JR7PFS,

JA8ABZ/1, JA8CMC, JA8FET, JA8GMZ, JA8JEP, JA8NSF/1, JA8VGQ, JH8XVH, JE8CIC, JE8VZK, JJ8DEN, JJ8SBL

8J9ONO/9, JA9KA, JA9SW/1, JA9IIC, JH9DPB

8 LAOS XW8BM
9 LUXEMBOURG LX1FC
10 MARIANA IS AH0BOT
11 NETHERLANDS  PA0ZH
13 OGASAWARA JD1BLY
14 PHILIPPINES DU1/JA3FJE
15 POLAND SP3LA
16 RUSSIA R0CAF, R0FAB, UA0LW
17 SAMOA 5W0UU
18 THAILAND HS0ZLW
19 UKRAINE UR5QBB, UW7LL
  SWL NL-8992-R26, PD0RUD,
     

 

        

Send your QSL card DIRECTLY to the address below.

[edited Oct 2014 - Not a single card sent via Buro has reached me! So you guys better send it directly to my address

edited Dec 2015 - I have received cards from the BURO. Two years to reach me!]

 

 

 

 

 

Antenna Setup

Latest antenna setup [March 2015].
 
My antenna setup history
  • March 2015 - 4-element Yagi at 30ft. This should be the final setup for my ten meters antenna. 10m Moxon converted to 6-meters Moxon. It  needs some adjustment and would be raised at 20 feet only.
  • Aug 2014 - MOXON gains additional 7 feet. New height  at 29ft. Looks promising.
  • May 2014 - 10 meters dipole brought down to give way for a new 2-element MOXON  at the same height. Hoping for the best!
  • May 2014 - 3-element brought down and replaced by a simple dipole for 10 meters @ 22 feet. Managed  to get about 200 European stations in 10 days with this antenna.
  • Apr 2014 - 50Mhz dipole gains  further elevation (28feet) [photo shown]. 8 feet advantage surprisingly brings obvious improvement.
  • Feb 2014 - a homebrew dipole for 6 meters added @ 20 ft [photo shown]
  • Dec 2013 - [photo shown] my homebrew 3-el. I was not impressed at all with this yagi. Used for RX mainly when the  vertical was too noisy.
  • Nov 2013 - 5/8 monobander (10 m) Vertical antenna at 27 feet. This antenna has proven to be reliable and worked thousands of stations.
  • Sept 2013 - Inverted V [photo shown]- worked 50 stations with this till the arrival of my vertical in Nov 2013
  • Sept 2013 - random wire at 5 ft high (for my first contact with JA6WJL) - Pic will be added later

 

 

 

Summary of my QSO (Sept 9, 2013 - May 25, 2016)

Total Stations

(6, 10 & 40 meters only)

11,938

(Sorry, only one QSO per station per band entered into the QRZ logbook. Use eQSL or LoTW  if QSO made more than once)

 
Total DXCC 177   (Confirmed - 143 LoTW)  
Nil QSO for these USA States

RI, VT

 
Top Countries
  • Japan (3,695)
  • USA (2,381)
  • Russia (789)
  • Italy (516)
  • Australia (435)
  • Germany (369)
  • China (234)
  • Poland (200)
  • Spain (198)
  • Brazil (192)
  • Ukraine (189)
  • France (163)
 
Top USA States
  • CA (770)
  • WA (236)
  • TX(204)
  • AZ(203)
  • OR (140)
  • CO (99)
 
Top European Countries

 

  • Russia (EU & Asiatic) (789)
  • Italy (516)
  • Germany (369)

(Total Europe - 3305)

 

40 meters

Total Stations / DXCC

[ started 15/10/2015]

1,720 / 71  

6 meters

Total Stations / DXCC

810 / 15  

Digital Mode [Started Jan 18, 2015]

Total Stations/DXCC

  • JT65    - 2,680  (84 DXCC)
  • PSK31 - 192    (37 DXCC)
  • RTTY  - 559   (46 DXCC)
 

 

Awards & Certificates

 

 

 

        

              

          

          

 

         

 

     

               

        

          

          

        

      

                                          

 

[Below] My first contact on 10 meterss with JA6WJL with my HTX-10 on a random wire tied from my window grille to the fence, at 5 feet high!

 

[Below] My Ten-Ten cert. I'm proud to be the first 9W station (according to them) to have participated in the Winter CQ contest. And the rest of my club membership certificates

         

         

 

My Family

 

Photo 4: My 10 year old son, Ezron (58OK001). He would take the exam in four years time

3 Photo 5: Eziel 4 years old. She likes to walk around the house calling 'CQ CQ CQ THIS IS NINE WISHKEY SIX ECHO ZULU.

 

Photo 6: My wife Elsa.

 

Leicester University during winter

spring time

***********************************************************************************************************************************************

 

 

My Story [10 meters Activities... and now on 40m (oct '15)]

 

July 4, 2016 [0045z]

A box with over 500 QSL cards sent to MARTS (BURO) was returned back to me last week. I don't see any other address used by MARTS aside of the P O BOX. Furtunately it was a registered parcel! Sorry my dear friends... It has been years (to many of you) since the day you sent your card to your BURO and my reply is still stucked.

 

May 25, 2016 [2330z]

Propagation on ten is not really encouraging except for Asian and Oceania region. Occasionally I would be able to hear Russian and Middle East stations but none from USA and EU. Meanwhile the hunt for a better (better than my 10m vertical!) 7Mhz antenna has stopped for a while after I read some new development regarding this country Amateur Radio certification review. The Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters Society has formed a so called working group to pursue and maybe work on a proposal for the new Ham Classes system. Some of the changes are

  • Abolish CW exam (for Class A)
  • Increase Class A  HF power from 400w to 1K
  • Add all HF bands to Class B from the existing 10m & 40m!! (Power remains at 50w)

May be I don't have to hunt for a 40m antenna now but wait for an all band antenna! Hopefully this proposal would be  seriously considered by the authority. I am not after the Class A as well (it would be 9M6XXX instead of my 9W6EZ) as I do not want to lose my 2-letter prefix.

 

April 14, 2016 [0100z]

At last, QSL cards reply VIA BURO is now ready for shipment. It took me a couple of months to reply the 500 or so QSL cards, mostly from Japan and I am sending the bundle to the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmission Society MARTS soon. I have no idea how long would they take to compile it and send to the foreign BUROs. It took them 2 years to send me the bundle of QSL cards. If the process (from MARTS to oversea, then oversea BURO to the stations)  takes another TWO years, then it means the whole process has taken 4 - 5 years for one station to get a QSL confirmation from me! Why didn't you guy just use a eQSL or LoTW?

No good antenna yet for 40 meters..., which means still having  frustrating times reaching Europe on 7Mhz. BTW 40 meters has logged more than 1600 stations & 69 DXCC since October last year, but only 30% of them on Phone/SSB. If only I had a bla bla bla.....  

 

March 26 2016 [0200z]

We all love WPX SSB contest. I think it attracts the most contesters compared to other contests. Sadly my favourite band was not that open.  I could not hear any NA stations on 28mhz! I logged about 220 calls last year in the same contest, all on 10 meters and I was determined to break my own record. However in the end that did not materialize eventhough I managed to get many JA stations on Ten. Total counts stands at 250 with the help of 40m.

Contest on 7mhz has never been easy for me. I would call CQ contest for an hour and I would be lucky to get an answer from one or two stations!. I have higher success rate answering CQ from North America compared to EU. I think 99% of AUDIBLE American calling CQ contests did answer back when I called them. This was not so with EU. There were many BIG signals from EU but they turned deaf as usual to my low power / barefoot signal. Success rate for EU?  Maybe less than 25% !

 

Feb 24, 2016 [0015z]

I've addded a 'donate' button link to my PayPal as there are more people enquiring about it. I still need your QSL card though (I love collecting them) even if you have contributed through PayPal. However there were cases where I received more than the cost of card/postage so I assume these guys really need my card desperately. I would try to send the card ASAP. BTW I am still in the process of replying the 500 or so cards sent via BURO. I need to be fair to everyone.

 

Feb 20, 2016 [2300z]

I have raised one mini dipole (with coil) to about 25ft agl and guess what, its performance is not as spectacular as I have thought. It is just a little bit better than my vertical. Well at least I tried. Let it be up there for a few weeks and then I'd decide what to do next. So in conclusion, nothing can beat a beam! :) A full 40m dipole is better than my tuned 5/8 10m  vertical of course but I have no space for a 60ft wire. I would put the photo of  my latest setup soon.

Meanwhile I have received four calls from the authority regarding the complaint I made about the mails. The Federal Public Complaint Bureau, the state PCB and the  local post office guys have contacted me within 3 days after I lodged the report. Well according to these post office guys, all mails have to go through the royal Custom Dept before going to the postoffice, (basically they are saying that they are innocent and the customs are the culprits). I asked for their precaution steps, and they promised to monitor my mail from now on (they would mark & record if my mails have been tampered with beforehand). I have received three mails since, and all were in good shape. Hmmm...think about it....

 

Feb 10, 2016 [1000z]

The photo shows the last three QSL cards I received from HS1NGR, K3JZ and JA1UNR. All three have signs of being cut and reglued. K3JZ acknowledged that he did put USD2.00 inside (and is missing now) while JA1UNR had given his $2 via PayPal much earlier.

I need to lodge an official complaint to the PostOffice. No thanks to these theives for returning my cards but last year I lost many cards (more than a hundred?) to these irresponsible men. So guys, be safe... PLEASE USE PAYPAL if you want to contribute.

 

 Feb 2, 2016 [1200Z]

Being on HF for about two and a half years now, I couldn't stop noticing some common arguments and humor among our ham friends around the world. Here are a few (some which include me unfortunately)

  • Argument regarding max power of JT mode. Some insist that it needs to be maintained a QRP while others object. QRP doesn't work with my station at all. Aside of the noise (affect my RX), my station is far from ideal so there is no way anyone can hear me even on 5W. At one time (early in the morning), I could hear so many EU stations, but when I call CQ, even at my max 50W, no body seemed to notice my presence. Not even one spotted me at all in the pskReporter.
  • Stations declining to entertain 'not-so-DX' stations. This happens a lot of times on digital or phone. One would call 'CQ DX' and when someone from the same continent (not the same country!) answers him, the response would be 'DX only please!'. His response is about the same length as a 'QSL, Five Nine, 73'. Why doesn't he do that?
  • And what about 'QSO before' (never happened to me though). Giving a signal report is not a problem if one is able to give that annoying response.
  • One funny thing that I have heard a few times during DXpedition. This 'good guy' (even local station here) answering the one from remote island with up to 3 or 4 callsigns! Helping hand among the hammers I guess...
  • And how about giving a 5&9 report when he could barely hear me. Maybe that is a SOP for an dxpedition (as with the contest 59-001 and so on)
  • How is one supposed to tune his transceiver? Yawning 'aaaaaaaaaaaaaa' to the mic? Or sometimes I could hear 'oollaaa... ooolllaa... ooollaaa....' . Can't they just go on QRP to do that?
  • Hopefully no one has noticed me callling NA1SS on the wrong frequency for my first 3 months! (now I am on the correct uplink freq for region 3, but still no luck with ISS)!
  • Long time ago I heard a station calling CQ CONTEST when it was already over for 20 minutes. Somebody did remind him and he responded 'Oh am I getting older or something wrong with my clock'?
  • Some stations are so taboo to self-spotings. Many people (including me) have done that, even those on dxpedition!
  • Forgive me especially to my fellow JA friends. Some of the Japanese words and names  have quite unpleasant/funny meaning in our local dilect in Borneo. During one QSO, a friend introduced his name which means 'my ITCHY nipple' and there was quite a long silence before I could go introducing myself.
  • Some 'musicians' are heard from time to time imitating the melodious JT65 tone. This brings smile to me and my boy as both of us blow saxophone as well. I wonder if that trumpet sound could really be decoded.
  • When I started my HF hobby 2 years ago, I remember calling CQ for hours on 10 meters, without knowing that the band was TOTALLY dead. I didn't know dxcluster or any beacons then. But it did bring some surprises to me, such as getting responses from new countries in the middle of the night..etc
  • I remember when my daugher was still learning alphabet, and she was saying it quite fast when she accidently said '..A, B. C, ...   O, P, Q, R, Z. which didn't really impress my XYL at all!
  • Long time ago, I heard one rare call and I was amazed I couldn't hear anyone answering him aside of him giving 59 report to stations. Guess what happened when I answered him on that frequency...

 

HAPPY DX!

 

January 7, 2016 [0200z]

Here comes 2016 and 10m is not showing any improvement! Once a while I could hear JA stations but it is a -VE for EU and NA. The fun is still there anyway for 40 meters. No antenna yet for 7MHz but my 10m vertical has been faithfully helping me to get almost 1000 QSO on this new band in less than three months. I would be changing the coax cable this week so there should be some noticeable improvement on my TX. (I am not sure if RX would improve at all!). See, I have been using the RG58 (some say it is almost useless) for my vertical and according to the online calculator, if I am to transmit 50W, at least 10% would be lost along the line. However since I have been using the lowest quality of all RG58 in the whole wide world, I can say 35% of the power dissipates through the cable, and not only that, another 15% loss due to aging factor, and how about the loss in the tuner itself? So I might have been pushing less than 25W through that vertical.

 

December 21, 2015 [1100z]

A shortened 40m dipole is my next project. Actually I have started it today, and it should be high 20ft  AGL before christmas. I have all the material (except for aluminum pipes for the telescopic mast). The vertical has to be serviced as it has been up for more than a year.

BTW I am using my 6m Moxon as my 40m antenna for the time being. I am surprised that it receives very well but it has to work hard on TX.

And look at this! Santa delivered them last week These are the cards I received from the BURO.

I have counted and put all the QSL cards on this page, almost 500 altogether, mostly from Japan. I love surprises but it may take me months to reply all these! Can't they send it at least quarterly?

 

December 17, 2015 [12000z]

I'v got an unxpected parcel from the post office today. This christmas present really surprised me. Guess what, a box full of QSL cards from the BURO! Those are the cards from 2013 to 2015, two years of QSO from the stations who opted to send by Bureau. I still prefer direct to my address though. I have not counted them but there are hundreds of cards altogether, mostly from Japan. I will list all the callsigns in this page as soon as possible.

Ten is down while fourty is kicking. My collection during the recent 10m ARRL contest is only a fraction from my achievement last year ( over 300 QSOs, just from the 2nd day of contest alone). And I did not even get a single NA stations this time.

My vertical is back to normal. I found a bad soldering work on my UHF-coax joint. No more pole beating!

 

December 11, 2015 [0300z]

My contacts on 40m (2 months old) have exceeded the accumulated QSO on 6m for the past 2 years! 28mhz vertical is doing its job eventhough it has been behaving strangely lately (SWR shooting up to infinity,  and only would return to normal after some rituals being performed  like beating the mast with some Haitian wood. No I am kidding, the SWR does go up to the MAX and shaking the antenna pole would remedy it. I don't see any scientific explaination there but it has been in my O&M for the time being!) An Aluminum dipole is being considered again...Meanwhile there is one more major contest to go this year and I hope the 10m will add more some contacts (it has been put aside for a while due to poor propagation).

 

November 12, 2015 [0200z]

After almost 3 three weeks on 7Mhz, these are my observation:

  • No convincing propagation when the sun is up (made contacts till 8am and starting 3pm though). Due to atmospheric noise? However the pilots 30w seem to be always audible on 8.942 (contact with Singapore & Manila Radio), even during the day. It may change during the summer.. Fingers crossed.
  • Band is ALWAYS open at night but a FB/good signal is only there when you are on high power, especially on PHONE. My low power is easily drowned in a slightest QRN/QRM. I think I would need a very good antenna to operate phone on QRP in this noisy band!
  • Digital & CW are the best weapons (on 40m) against the QRM from the neighbouring countries. Yes, they are having nets on the bottom side of the permitted 7.000 - 7.200 band. They are strong even to EU and NA, as told by stations I worked from these regions)
  • Yes, any long /random wire would be good on RX. Go ahead with that any pieces of cable. You would hear even the distant DX. But TX would be another story.
  • ... AND no contacts yet with the Eastern side of USA!]

 

November 7, 2015 [1300z]

My ten meters vertical is still alive and kicking on 40 meters even though I am missing many stations due to the high noise level picked up by this omni directional antenna. This humble antenna helps me to reach 10,000 stations (different call/band/mode) my target for the month of September 2015. The vertical is a bit shy to the stations from Europe. I could hear many stations from EU but they turn deaf to my signal. After three weeks, I made 300+ contacts on 40m, from almost 40 countries... That vertical is not bad at all..

I have been mesmerised by the beauty of certificates/awards especially the digital ones. This is one of the rare occassions when my wife has to agree with me when it comes to radio stuffs. :) BTW no ARRL DXCC award yet. It is just too costly for me ($55 for an award?).

Hoping for 6 meter opening this winter....

 

October 27, 2015 [0330z]

Is the 40 meters killing my eagerness to CQ? Life is just too easy with 40 meters. I can hear NA every night and opening to EU late at night till morning, not to mention the daily net by the neighbouring countries namely Yankee Bravo and Delta Uniform. Swarm of bees sound would fill up the frequencies every evening when hundreds of stations give their call to the net control.  Life on 10 meters is not as easy as that. I understand 40 meters is the least effected by sunspot cycle so I can just stay smiling 24/7 throughout my life with ham radio. Daytime propagation however is totally NIL on 7Mhz and I rarely see spots around Asia/Oceania between 8am - 3am local time.

I have stopped looking for an antenna for 40. I have tried two long wire antennas but they are no better than my humble 10m vertical. An inverted V would be the most suitable for me but that would be for next time. My vertical managed to reach (remember i am on barefoot, low power) USA and some part of Europe during the recent CQWW contest. My category was on 10m/lp but I answered  and call CQ on 40m and have them, about 70 stations, sent as checklog. On the other hand, my achievement for 10 meters was not as impressive as last year. I managed to get about 450 stations in 2014 and sent my log late, and failed to get my 1st place award or even my participation certificate!! This year my count stays at about 250 and hopefully my participation cert would be issued. :)

The 10m band is open to NA now but my primary objective this year is to get as many DXCC possible for 7Mhz. I have logged more than 200 stations, from 23 countries in my first ten days on 40 meters. Europe is harder to get even though their signal is big big 59 to my ear. I am amazed to hear that some US stations receive me better than the Asia/Oceania stations. Could it be because of the low angle radiation from my 10 meters vertical?

Well, plan to proceed with CW exam is to be called off for now. I guess it would take me many many years to get bored with 10m and 40m.

 

HF LIFE ON 40M STARTS TODAY (15/10/2015) !!!

MCMC has announced an additional band (40m) for license B holders.

 

October 15, 2015 [1200z]

Today marks the change of direction, at least to my hf hobby :).  The authority has just given a nod to 40 meters as an additional band to us, the  License B holders. This is really a touching news to many of us especially when 10 meters is going downhill and probably would stay down for the next ten years. Thanks to those who unrelentlessy fought for this band for the past years.

Now back to work. I don't have an antenna for 7mhz and I don't have a space for a 20 meter wide dipole. At the moment, I use my 10m vertical to make some QSO on digital. I think only 10% of my signal is able to go out of this antenna. That would qualify me to be in a QRP category!

Well nothing to rush with a stable band. I hear Asian/Oceania stations almost every night on this band. While I am typing, I have just made a QSO with K7CWA, my first NA stations on 40 meters!

Now, which antenna is small enough for my small backyard (considering that I have 4 existing antennas tied to my fence). Oh I remember asking the same question when I started on 10m 2 years ago.

 

September 28, 2015 [0900UTC]

10 meters band is still asleep. No joy so far. Meanwhile my first ever CQWW RTTY contest brought me a good tally (compared to my other RTTY achievements).  I see that most of my contacts are repeat OM (ones I have in my log). I am hoping to get at least 25% new callsigns. Funny, I managed to get one station from Argentina while I was beaming to the North in the middle of the night (about 1530 utc). That wass really a looong journey for the signal to travel. May be we could have done it better if both of us had pointed our yagi south.

 

September 7, 2015 [0000z] - edited

The band seems to have gone down this season compared to last year. I hope the sunspot graph is  not going down steeply. At this month last year, ten meters had been showing signs of good propagation pattern. My All Asian collection (concluded just now) is only a quarter from my achievement in 2014. However I am glad that I managed to get a contact with a station who gave me a signal as 59-85, the oldest in my log.  Ham guys do live longer.

While ten is dormant, other bands are kicking. My vertical (on tuner) is able to get strong signal on all bands. An upgrade to the license is the best solution I suppose. Meanwhile my target to get 10,000 different callsigns (on different mode & band) by September (2nd year on hf)  seems almost impossible.

The long gap of inactivity on 28Mhz gave me time to sort out my log and had them sent out for some awards. I am particularly fond of European digital mode certs which are full of creative graphics. I have 138 DXCC confirmed on LoTW but the fees for ARRL awards are not cheap especially when the local currency dipping down compared to USD. That DX Century Club certificate is an award  we are eyeing  for when we starts this hobby.

 

August 7, 2015 [0000z]

Ten meters band is still down. Other bands seem to be kicking forever. I have been collecting some nice SSTV photos on the  14mhz and 21mhz. With my 28mhz antennas I could hear NA stations with signal up to 59+ 20db especially on 20 meters!

I am in the middle of sorting out the 10-10 members that I worked throughout the past 2 years. Out of the 1800 North American stations that I have, I am pretty sure I could get at least 500 calls with 10-10 number! My target is to get about 300 American counties with 10-10 numbers. They are offering beautiful certs for counties award, prefix awards etc, and all for FOC (for TenTen member only).

I have just received my awards certificates from Russia (worked 100 districts), and two from Japan (worked all 47 prefectures, and worked 200 cities).

 

July 25, 2015 [1500z]

RG58 cable was replaced and my 70cm Yagi is working like a charm now!

 

July 24, 2015 [0200z]

No, 10 meter band is still down. It went alive (as expected) during the recent IARU Championship contest (managed to get a dozen of |EU stations), however I didn't manage to double the total number of stations last year.. about 3 stations short! However I trippled up the total score due to more multipliers this time (thanks to the IARU HQ stations).

I have been thinking hard about my UHF project. My 70cm yagi is up 17ft but the performance is just equivalent to a rubber-ducky! I don't blame the design (13-el design, with hair pin matching) but I am suspicious with the old RG58 that I have. I need to have it fixed before 28Mhz is busy again.

 

July 10, 2015 [1000z]

My yagi is only at 30 feet up  but since it is clamped to the 2 inch dia aluminum pipe, I am quite worried seeing it swaying and tossed around by the Pacific typhoons. Well there are 3 thyphoons passing the northen map of my QTH. The strongest is the third one (Nangka, hitting now) able to reach 200km/h but my qth should only be experiencing about a portion of that.

I have my masts  tied with guy wire but that doesn't keep me from worrying. I would wake up at night and look through my bedroom window to check if my antennas are still there. Scores of roofs have been flown away around my area. A baby has been flown several hundred feet away from home by this strong wind.

A three months hiatus is bad enough for 10 meterss. Europe and NA have been enjoying the 6 meterss for the past few weeks. My 10,000 target by September seems to be almost impossible now however I am crossing my fingers as I am starting to 'see' signal from Japan and Europe on digital.

IARU contest this Sunday would tell more about the propagation. Last year, I managed to get about 40 stations only. Hopefully I would be able to double up that number this time.

 

June 16, 2015 [0800z]

Earthquake has been the hot topic for the past 10 days. Since day 1, the local ham guys have been busy assisting the SAR team and relaying the updates to the whole 9M6 land. I am pretty sure the authority is starting to recognize the importance and contribution of the amateur radio especially in the event like this.

It has been a couple of weeks since the last opening to Europe.. and the 10m band has been quiet since. Except for a JA and VK few stations on JT65, the band is considered dead. I have been busy making another antenna, this time a 13-element for 70cm. This has been the easiest project so far due to the size. Performance? Not so good so far. I suspect the old cable as the culprit. T&C is still progressing.

 

May 27, 2015 [1030z]

My six element for 144Mhz is complete and is twenty feet off the ground now. It is 'looking-up' 30 degree to target the oncoming space station. I did aim it to the moon last night as it was sailing on the west but I could not get any activities.

BTW I couldn't get a 1:1 SWR at 145.000Mhz. The meterss shows about 1:1.5 which should pose no problem to my equipment. It goes to unity at 143.500. I guess I need to trim the driven element for a few mm but that would be next time.

It has been a terrifying month for 10m. Very minimum activity.  My call  (on digital) is received within Asia but no report from America. ]

 

May 20, 2015 [1345z]

My latest project  is building a 6 element 2m Yagi using the leftover aluminium pipes. The mission? ..to get NA1SS. I have made four attempts (it doesn't pass my QTH everyday!) since last year but none of the spacemen were able to hear my 50w via a whip antenna. I hope this yagi would make a difference. At the same time I would try to monitor any EME activities on 2m. I would be the happiest man on earth if I could work any DX with  power under 100w with 6-element antenna. It is 80% done now.. and I would be using the hair-pin matching system to tune this yagi. Hold on Luna, I'll be there soon!

 

May 11, 2015 [0800z]

I received ten QSL cards only for this past 3 weeks and as expected these are the mails that didn't contain any dollar bill inside! (Only IRC coupons or those without anything) It seems that I have lost hundreds of mails to some irresponsible individuals... those people who are able to SCAN the content of the mail... I wonder what do they do with the QSL cards after stealing the money. 

So DO NOT SEND CASH INSIDE YOUR MAIL. IF YOU WANT TO CONTRIBUTE, PLEASE DO SO THRU PAYPAL : 'zabion@yahoo.com'

IRC Coupon seems to be okay.

 

May 5, 2015 [0400z]

EU has been open this past few weeks however the noise level on my side is very high. I am targetting to get a total 9000 stations by May and hopefully I would be able to gather another 1000 new stations between June and September. 10K  by 2nd anniversary is my ultimate goal!

BTW America has been quiet this few weeks.., as it was last year! AND it is going to be quiet througout the summer. However I hope JT65 would make a difference this time. I remember getting only 7 new NA stations between May and September in 2014 on 10 meterss!

More people are sending PayPal to my account. Please do still send your card as I love collecting QSL cards around the globe.

 

April 13, 2015 [0000z]

Total stations have reached 8000. Over a thousand on digital alone. JT65 has really brought life to my 10-meterss hobby. Next target would be a 10k by my 2nd anniversary (September 2015) of ham on hf.

I would be sending my awards application to JARL soon. I have gone through all JA callsigns (about 2k of them!) and I was glad to find that I have worked stations from at least 200 cities in Japan, from every single prefecture available in Japan (there are 47 prefectures in Japan). Next one I would be looking towards districts in Russia. Let's see if I have worked at least 100 districts in Russia!

I have not been receiving QSL cards lately. And the bundle of envelopes I received a month ago were with IRC coupon only. (??? strange) . I am not accusing anyone but those who want to send $$ to help me with the postage, Paypal would be a better choice. A few stations have already sent through paypal and it is much safer than putting in the dollar bills inside an envelope. Those people at the post-office are not angels!  Anyway paypal account is 'zabion@yahoo.com'.

 

March 26, 2015 [0400z]

Added an Icom IC-706 to my collection. Bought it cheap but it was quite disappointing at first. Output power on 10m (SSB) peaked at 30w eventhough FM showed 100W. I managed to fix it today by playing around with the mic gain adjustment (R511) inside. (Thanks to 9M6LF and the internet). It now shows 100W when I whistle loudly to the stock mic, HM-103.

Secondly the max output for 6 meters is 50w and not 100w! I thought all 706 come with 100W on hf? I may not need a 100W now but one day I would be using one. Lastly the RX on 2 meters is really poor. My hand held (on rubber duck can do better!). I am not going to fix that now as I still have many VHF radios around here.

 

March 12, 2015 [0200z]

After four days with 4-el, it is not too early to say that I am very happy with that antenna. No great opening on 10 but I love the 'penetrating sound' it makes, in contrast with my vertical or even my moxon which are much noisier.

Ten meters moxon has been cropped into a six meters. I haven't achieved a satisfactory SWR yet but something else has bothered me. Now I realize that I haven't heard the beacons from Japan or Australia for almost 3 months. I had been thinking the magic band has lost its magic however when the JT65 came into play, thing seems to be much clearer now. I had been reported with big signal from JA and VK stations on JT65 mode but their signals are very weak to me. Two weeks ago 9M6JU/Kazu answered my CQ and gave me a 59+ but I could barely hear him.

After reading some postings from the internet, I see a common problem with FT897 six meters RX which may turns deaf for some unlucky owners. It is a transistor Q3034/2SC5374 that needs to be replaced. ..still searching for some cheap one..

 

March 9, 2015 [0800z]

A brief one. 4-el is up now. New ear and hoping for the best. I am tring to cut the 10m moxon antenna this evening to convert it into a 6 meters moxon.It should be a quick job with a couple of drilling only.

Meanwhile the ARRL SSB contest has ended with a handful of stations only. I spent a total of about 3 hours (didn't join the first day, and NA opens about 1 - 2 hours daily). Hoping for the best with the new antenna!

March 6, 2015 [0200z]

One and a half year has passed since my first contact on HF, and I have less than 18 new stations to work before my total stations reaches 7,000. JT65 has been filling my time with a constant QSO at least 20 stations per day. And most of them are new to my log!  No contacts on Feld Hell and no SSTV yet (I missed the NA1SS SSTV the other day).

And another good news is that my 4-el Yagi is half way to the top. I wouldn't be raising it alone this time. This antenna is not really heavy but it is quite hard to lift it high and and move around in a small backyard. Come Sunday and I would be having a better ear. Hopefully I would be able to hear the 'pile-up' as others have been telling me about. My moxon has been denying many stations in the last 10 months. BUT it seems that it performs well on TX (they hear me very well, and give me 5/9 while I could hardly hear them!).

I would still be using that Moxon, not as a 10 meters antenna but I would crop it for my 6-meters antenna, replacing my dipole. That dipole is another deaf antenna of mine. I was on the JT65, 6 meters last week calling CQ but received no response. However a day later, a VK station told me via email that my signal was strong (-10) to his QTH and he did try a few times to call me.

Good luck and enjoy this hobby! 73

 

Feb 16, 2015 [0200z]

Well at last I made contacts on RTTY! It was not at the right time to learn though because there was a WPX RTTY contest.. but at the same time this would be the time when other stations are eager to answer your call. I started on the 2nd day of the contest (as usual) and tried to use the MMTTY but I was lost with its macro. Eventually I downloaded a MMVari by JE3HHT and I managed to start my first contact. I still am lost to how to put the auto-increment on the NR/RST serial. I had to manually type the number, for every single QSO I made. The fastest I could take to make QSO was one station in a minute which not impressive at all in any RTTY contests. Well I ended up with about 90 contacts (I was aiming for 100) which I could easily have double if I knew all the macros (esp the NR auto increment).

Is RTTY meant for contest only? Waterfalls were everywhere during the contest, but just a minute after 2359utc just now, 10 meters became a dead band.. I tried to CQDX on 28088 for about 5 minutes but only one JA station responded. Where art thou RTTYers?

So I have 3 digital modes to play with now; PSK31, JT65 and RTTY. I like the efficiency of JT65, and I like the challenge of making-it-faster on RTTY. PSK31 appears to be humble but it requires narrower bandwidth and has the advantages as well. I had one contact on PSK63 and it is just super fast.

And the winner is.... Phone.. :) Nothing can beat hearing the voice of the operators ten of thousands kilometerss away....

 

Feb 1, 2015 [1030z]

Well NA did come back this morning after almsot three weeks... I managed to work more than a dozen NA stations in an opening about 15 minutes. But it is too late! Damaged had been done! I had been  'forced' to use the digital side of this hobby. (I tried more than ten freeware digital-mode softwares for RTTY, BPSK31, JT65 and FeldHell) If it wasn't for the dead-band, I would have never started using digital mode!

I started with BPSK31 after cursing JT65 for being slow and unimpressive.. However I have to appologize to everyone (especially to the die-hard JT65 fans) for saying that. It turned out that this mode is the most reliable  (at least to me!) of all modes for weak signals.

Now that I have bought an interface (just a piece of cable!) for my FT897 to the PC, I don't have to worry about noise intefering with the TX and RX. Listen to this friends, the band is not dead on the digital side. There are thousands and thousands of stations out there who are operating on digital mode only. I am not sure why.. but it may be due to their simple setup that they have... or some may prefer the quiet side of the ham radio. But most of all, it (esp JT65) can really pull out  the faintest signal of all and still give you the correct callsign and signal report. Isn't that appealing?

After getting used to JT65, I found out that I can get a 3 minutes free (I let the software do the sequence by clicking in advance the button for the next process to make) while the QSO is taking place. It is good enough to have a quick shower, or dress up or feed your chicken, etc  while waiting for the 'Answer Call' 'HIS REPORT' and 'Send RRR'. This morning I even managed to trim my 7 year old lychee tree while exchanging signal reports with a DX stations. Well the shortest time (legally?) taken would be 5 minutes for the JT65. I have encountered a station who responded to my CQ by giving me his report on his first TX. If I did reply him with 'DXCALL R-10 73', that would bring the QSO time to 4 minutes instead of the normal 6 or 7 minutes. :)

BTW I have logged almost 200 stations from more than 20 countries this past 5 days on JT65 alone AND 99% of the stations are new to me! I was really surprised with this fact.  So it is true when they say 'it's totally a new world with digital'... there are new people out there!

I tried RTTY yesterday but to me it is not so good for weak signals... lots of garbages on the screen with the MMTTY.

Lastly, 4-element yagi is still on the floor. It is quite hard to find thick aluminum pipes around here. Well... ahaa.. no rush... band is not dead yet!

 

Jan 20, 2015 [0630z]

My neighbours might have been wondering of the sudden silence from my radio room. Even my XYL (who normally complains about my CQ CQ noise) was curious."You radio is okay?"

No. It isn't dead yet. Only the band is dead! I had nothing else to do inside my radio room on Sunday till I realized that there was still activity on digital side on ten meters. Fast forward, DigiPan was installed, an old PC mic was hooked, and there it was, BPSK31 on RX. Life was not hard at all. Just let the mic rest on top of the radio speaker, and you would be able to see the signal comming in. TX is a bit tricky as we have to make sure the signal is nice to hear (by the DX)  and my hand is not really steady enough to hold the radio mic near the PC speaker while the Digipan is on TX . ALC (as I read from the internet) has to be zero. Well, thanks to the YouTube demo by K7AGE...I learn many things from this nice OM. After a few hours for the past 3 days, I managed to get 5 countries. The first one was  UA0LOF with a 599 report.

A better way (I think so) is using a cable which we can plug to the FT897 data port at the back and putting the two male plugs to the mic and speaker holes at the back of your PC. This way we can get a clean signal on TX and RX alike.

..and the best way of all is buying the digital interface.. This will cost you for at least $100 but I myself is not going for that now. I am very  content with my 'conventional' way ..., at least for now.

BTW I did download JT65 and managed to 'see' the exchange of report by DX stations but it is a very slow process. PC clock must be syncronized first. etc etc.. I guess this one doesn't impress me so far. 

I would try RTTY and Feld Hell next. I love the idea of FH graphics popping out on the screen... bla bla bla..

 

Jan 12, 2015 [0300z]

My Yagi is still on the floor. Aluminum pipes for the poles are not hard to find but I haven't got the time to go to the hardware store.

I was listening to VK6IA last night working Europe. The thing that puzzled me was that while he was really loud, I couldn't get the slightest signal from EU. Reports were given at 59+ (according to VK6IA) but it was 00 to my side. Why is the band behaving like this? If Thailand and Australia can work Europe, what is wrong with Borneo reception to EU stations at this hour (around 1300UTC)? Skip zone?

Is it that my 2-element antenna is really not sensitive at all? Well it is possible. The height is not there... And my beginner FT897 is lack of filterings I guess.. (It has the DSP which I seldom use)

well... actually when I really look at the cluster now, I found out that one or two stations mentioned the QSO was via LP! I was beaming North West when the EU was beaming away from me. I will try listening from the South East side tonight. There are lots of things to learn.

Meanwhile I worked a Russian station on AM recently. It was really noisy but I was really excited to get my first AM on ten meters.

 

Jan 2, 2015 [0200z]

I failed to get a NA on the first day of 2015. Band was bad to America but propagation is quite okay (but noisy) to EU now. That was exactly how the band behaved last year. NA should be fine by the end of this month while EU should be fine between 0800 and 1000UTC.

My antenna is ready but I need to buy a new mast as this yagi is much heavier than my moxon. It is a 4 element monobander yagi. The moxon is using a one inch (25mm) mast (tied to a 1.25 inch Al pipe on bottom side). I should be using three different sizes this times; 35 into a 38, and the 38 into a 44mm pipe... and I want it to be about 33-35 feet above ground.
 

Dec 15, 2014 [1000z]

Short update:

Total QSO 334,  61 multipliers AND most important of all I have 145 new stations! It didn't quite make it into 167 (targeting half of the total QSO) but I'm happy to bring my total DXCC into 145.

 

Dec 15, 2014[0800z]

Contest is over and QSO stands at 340. I am happy to get some new stations (hopefully half of those are new!). I think I have two new DXCC as well, Nicaragua and Cayman Is.

 

Dec 14, 2014 [1500z]

The band has been quiet over here for five hours now. Only EU and American stations are busy in the ARRL 10m contest (as seen in the cluster). I did not join the contest on the first day (as usual)and  I still have about an hour tomorrow (between 2200z -2359z) when the band opens up during the sunrise, just before the closing of the contest.

I managed to exceed  my 120 QSO last year ARRL 10m contest as my QSO now stands at 280 (46 multipliers). However I don't think I can break my October  CQWW contacts at 480 stations. I tried calling CQ to Europe this afternoon (lots of EU stations heard) but not a single EU stations responded to my 50w (except Asiann stations). I am sure most of EU stations were coming with 1kw output.

Come tomorrow and I'd try to get at least 20 more stations to make it 300.

BTW I'm glad to hear that 9W6RAL is improving. Hopefully he could be in the air the soonest.

 

Dec 11, 2014 [1530z]

I've just had a nice QSO with VK4VN/Steve (and it was 1.30am past midnight Steve's time!). I caught him with the back of my moxon when I was calling Europe. It started with big 59 the gradually lost him in the QSB. They say 6m is the magic band but 10m is equally full of surprises. I guess that is what they call 'Sporadic E'.

Band has been poor this past 3 days. The good news is that I am waiting for my yagi antenna which should be here by early next year the latest. Hopefully it can fit my backyard and would end my deafness! According to the math, it should give me at least an extra 5db.

 

Dec 2, 2014 [0800z]

Yes! North Dakota is marked as yellow now (I didn't even realize that K0LU/Leon is from ND until I saw the QRZ award map). The big BUT is that I still have to get three more states instead of two. CT is not covered yet as the QRZ assumes W1AW (I missed the /#) is from Connecticut. The QSO was on the Jan 29, 2014 and I doubt the station was in CT. According to W1AW schedule, it was either TX or MN! Most probbably it was W1AW/0.

Meanwhile if QRZ are to come with awards now, then I have still 8 states without QRZ.COM confirmation; SD, ND, PA, IA, MD and the three remaining unreached states.

1. South Dakota - QSL via LotW

2. North Dakota - no QSL

3. Connecticut - no QSO!

4. Iowa - QSL via LoTW

5. Pennsylnavia - Direct/paper QSL received; LoTW qsl.

6. Maryland - no QSL.

7. Rhode Island - no QSO

8. Vermont - no QSO.

Edited Dec 20, 2014: Maryland has a QSL on LoTW. I am left with North Dakota, and the 3 unreachable states.

 

Nov 15, 2014 [1000z]

QRZ logbook is still down but I am not concerned at all. I upload my original ADIF file from N1MM to many logging sites such as eQSL, ClubLog, QRZCQ, LoTW and a few others. Only HRDLOG shares the same log with my QRZ log, just for counting purpose. While N1MM logs and counts every single QSO (started using N1MM in September), QRZ gets the first QSO only (for that particular band). Anyway QRZ.COM is the best site for me and there is no reason to whine like a baby. All clusters that I use link me directly to QRZ database when I click on a callsign. What else do I want? I am only paying less than $3 a month for the premium membership! THANKS QRZ and I believe you would resolve the problem soon.

 

Nov 11, 2014 [0300z]

Today I've got 5000 stations worked, (minus the duplicate and callsign error), thanks to my 2-el (though much to be desired). Band has been good and managed to work EU and NA to the total of almost 150 in a day. May be I can slow down now a bit.

 

Nov 5, 2014 [0137z]

Yes! I reached my 1k USA stations today! I am happy to achieve the goal which I initially predicted to be by the year end (About half of my 480 QSO in the contest was new ones!). But still I need to work three more states. (Thanks to VK2FJC/Richard for reminding me). I don't know if I can get VT, RI and ND stations before the band turns silent in the next few years.. well hopefully I would be still here in the next two or 3 cycles. I hope to get into the North Eastern side after I get a better antenna (next year?).

The 5000 mark is getting nearer, about 200 more to go. My son has been counting each day. I hope to get into the 5000 by christmas. BTW I did get two new countries in the recent contest and the most recent one is FT4TA. (my luck that day.. his signal went audible 5/7 for just less than 3 minutes! Normally I could barely hear him).

 

Oct 27, 2014 [0200z]

CQWW is over and I managed to break my March CQ WPX record by getting almost 500 QSO. Not so impressive as I didn't join the first morning (0000 UTC Oct 25) and I did so poorly with Europe stations where I should be getting lots of countries. According to N1MM, it is just over 23 zones and 30+ countries. I am hoping to get many new stations (at least half!) from the total QSO in the contest. I need to get total 5000 stations on 10m, by this year end. I doubt it if I got any new countries during the contest. There was one TG (Guatemala) station but lost him in the QSB. That should easily have been my number 136 DXCC!

Working America was much easier than Europe in the contest. I could hear many big signals from Europe but they seemed to turn deaf to my 50w signal. I guess it was their 1kw plus signal that I was hearing.

9W6RAL is still in the ICU. Hold on there Gearald. Keep on fighting!

 

Oct 25,2014[0000z]

I've just got a shock that a friend 9W6RAL/Gearald has been admitted to the hospital for brain hemorrhage two days back. Hoping that the operation yesterday is successful.

Bright day today and good luck with the contest guys! I will be joining you guys around 1000UTC (After sunset Saturday).

 

Oct 23, 2014 [0200z]

Band (esp to NA) has been good for the past 2 weeks. I am happy that my counting for USA stations is picking up its pace again. Looking forward to the thousand mark by the end of the year for USA stations.

QSO confirmations or QSL is not that quick as the QSO. Paper QSL is only 25 DXCC, QRZ confirmation is 75 DXCC, eQSL is 83 countries and LoTW is 93 for 10 meters band (103 for both 10 / 6 meters according to LoTW). I have not started sending QSL cards for the purpose of getting QSL reply because I was preoccupied by responding to others' QSL cards. I got hundreds of one dollar bill from those who sent me QSL cards and I should be using these notes to get my QSL cards from the remaining 110 countries (only 25 DXCC confirmed by direct QSL). However it wont be easy as they are well guarded by my son who loves to keep them 'forever' in his safe.

Frustration again. One station from NA mentioned to me that 'there are many stations calling you' when I couldn't hear anyone! How I wish if I had a better antenna. Actually I have found some beam antennas that wont hurt my pocket so much. A moxon antenna has a gain about 3 or 4dB over a dipole. A 4-elemet yagi is about 8 or 9 dBD which is a great improvement and should be enough to double up the DX QSO. Building one is not in my mind now as I have no time for that and I have failed once with my 3-el. Come new year 2015 hoping that I would have some extra monies for a lightweight antenna which wont demolish my neighbours house in case it falls down.

I think I have eliminated some unwanted noise in my RX.. but it might be a coincidence only. I managed to bury a 8 foot pipe yesterday for my antenna mast grounding system. I don't know if it has effect on the RF signal but for sure I am much safer now from  lightnings. Almost 20 years ago, I was once hit by lightning while holding a 2m handheld. My antenna was a 3-el on top of my house, strapped to the chimney  (not my present QTH) and this house was on top of a hill. Not a good idea without a grounding system at all! It was not a direct hit I guess as I am still alive today  but it managed to give me a big shock, good enough to make me 'shatter' my teeth (I could hear them!) and my ICOM  IC-T22A was thrown 10 feet away from me and I was down to the floor.

edited [0730z]: That IC-T22A is my favourite handheld and is the model of my first radio. I love it because of a few reasons. Battery compartment which requires 4 AA batteries is really efficient especially when operated on low. It lasted me for more than a week then with every charge. This model has Air Band and that is really an extra plus. That was my only radio after getting my license and used the same radio for more than 10 years. It could easily trigger our repeater located about 150km away. In the end, I owned 3 IC-T22A, two of which are still running.

 

Oct 9, 2014 [0400z]

I told you so. Year 2014 is still very forgiving even the cycle is on its way downward. It was October last year when NA band was really open and for the past few days NA stations are ringing my ear with their 59 +20db signals. Hopefully those who have just aquired their license would setup at least a simple wire dipole so that they can enjoy the fun of 10meters DX communication. There are many inexpensive CB radios which can be modified (some are 10m ready) for 28mhz. Ten watt is more than enough when the sky allows so.

It is time for me to replace my coax.I have been using RG58 since I first made my first 2m 3-el yagi way back in 1996. I read that in HF, my output might be losing up to 10watt from my initial 50w tx. A better one (still not the best though) the RG8 would lose about 5w from the same output power. That 5w difference might not bring any difference to ear of the dx station  but I am hoping my RX would be better with this fatter cable. My RX not satisfactory at all. I think I lose 1 or 2 db from my poor grounding and connection faults. Come new coax and I would do adjustment to the moxon so that no more tuner and meters required!

 

Sept 30, 2014 [0300z]

I am still waiting anxiously for a good opening to America. It was October 2013 when their signals started to boom in into my inverted-V antenna. Europe has been fine for the past few days but DX from America is really hard.

Now that Inverted 'V' is mentioned, let me summed up my antenna performance so far. Between Sept - Nov 2013 about 50 contacts were made with Inv-V. Then my mighty vertical came into the action which brought me more than 3000 contacts between Nov '13 and May 2014. My rectangular Moxon has produced about 800 so far in four months. It bore less fruits due to the inactivity of the sun in June & July.

So which one is superior? Well I find that the Moxon can give me one or 2 db higher (may be due to less noise) and that is the only reason why I am sticking to it now. However don't forget that vertical antenna has lower take-off angle compared to a dipole or yagi. By theory it should be able to reach farther compared the beam antenna. I haven't been able to get any UK stations with the Moxon. I have more than 700 NA contacts with a vertical while only a handful QSO with my present antenna. That beam antenna needs to be higher to gain lower take-off angle.

 

Sept 18, 2014 [0145z]

After getting a total of about 15 stations (in three days) from NA, Central America, Europe, Asia and Oceania,(including TY1AA/Benin), I decided to pull off the chords from my 'Palomar' amp. Local friends have reported of distortion with my audio which I blame it entirely on this cheap linear. DX stations might (or might not) have received my voice at acceptable level but I am not happy with the performance at all. I don't want to create disturbance to the neighbourhood with its lack of harmonic filterings. I heard that the genuine  Palomar products  (USA, out of bussiness for 25 years)  were good but it seems that the one I acquired is a fake one (China made?, no labels at all except for the word 'Palomar').

So HTX-10 is back to the original state and waiting for a good opening to be running again.

Lesson learnt: Newbies please save your monies for reliable products. (Now eyeing for a HeathKit)

 

Sept 17, 2014 [0815z]

A year old on 10 meters with 3,600 stations and 121 DXCC which should have made me content. I didn't achieve my 5000 goal by September 9 however. There are rooms for improvement which hopefully would materialize by this year end. I am curious what that 2 element Moxon would see if another 10 feet is added. Sorry no tower and no expensive antennas please. I have no money to procure all those. I have been doing all the setting up by myself (DIY) and I am very happy with the performance so far. However the words 'I wish' keeps on haunting me whenever I receive  report from friends that 'many stations' were calling me which I was not able to hear at all... which brings me to the question 'Is propagation reciprocal'? How is it that I am transmitting at 50w and he is able to hear me while I am not able to copy him with his 100 watt? Many stations in Europe have given me a 59 report when I could barely hear them.

Is propagation reciprocal? The answer is yes, but QRM is not reciprocal or my radio may lack filtering which may result in noisy rx on my side. And could it be my antenna as well? I may add another 10 feet in the near future to make it exceed the  full wave height.

I will be using the HTX-10 throughout the month of September to remind myself of this humble single band radio with which I made my first QSO exactly a year ago. It is no longer a 20w since I have bought a linear amp to double up its output.

 

Sept 9, 2014 [0800z]

What a contest! I didn't get that many stations (about 300 QSO, total of 7 hours spent), but that experience leaves me with  good memory till many years to come. Most of my contacts (may be 99%) were from Japan and I have a contact with a 82 years old operator and a young one at the oage of 11. Eight two years old? That means I can still enjoy three more solar cycles if I live that long.

And as anticipated, the band was open wide during the contest, well at least within ASIA-OCEANIA regions! How did they know that? BTW I have been hearing American stations for the past week but I was not strong enough for them to notice.

 

Sept 2, 2014 [0800z]

At last American stations are audible after months! I heard KQ6PK/Troy having a QSO with a VK station at about 0000z. It was quite strong at 55 but he was the only one heard from NA. However prior to that, I've got a strong 59 signal from Brazil (PT2AP/Alex), my first SA station for months. All these are indications that the band is shaping up.

 

August 28, 2014 [1130z]

At last my LoTW account is working after months of trying. My third TQSL cert arrived today (I've 'wasted' the other two!) After failing to install it a few months ago, I actually had given up if not for 9M6YBG with his step by step instruction (with print screen photos!). Thanks Mr Go YBG!

I have a total of 970 QSL in the LoTW (out of 3200 QSO). Why do I need LoTW? I have no idea at all since I am so content with QRZ logbook. I am not an award chaser. I do have account with eQSL and HRD and they are updated from time to time (whenever QSO count reaches a century). May be I was just curious with the difficulty as reported by many. By the way, why do they (ARRL) want to make the setting up so complicated?

So here are my QSL so far:

1. Direct (cards) - 150

2. QRZ.COM - 736

3. LoTW - 970

4. eQSL - 1015

5. iQSL (HRDLog) -199

 

I guess most of us use eQSL for confirming our contacts! I believe some if not many of the stations confirmed the contacts on all three logbooks (eqsl, lotw & hrd).

BTW the band is open to Europe for the past two days. I have been 'watching' the activity but I didn't have time to call CQ yet. Hopefully the band to NA will follow suit soon!

 

August 21, 2014 [0015z]

No NA, no Europe, NO NA1SS and no good opening. It was September when I had my first QSO during the All Asian CQ Contest last year. The band was wide open then with NA, SA, Asia, Europe, Oceania and Middle East all coming strong. Will it happen again? It is merely 2 weeks away and there is no signs at all. I started with a random wire tied to my window and I should be doing better than that after a year experience. Beam antenna is now at 29 feet high, just a few feet short if a full wave of the 28mhz.

Band to Japan however, is quite consistent. Thanks to JF2FMP/Jimmy for your regular (almost daily) response and the signal report. I really appreciate that my friend.

 

August 6, 2014 [0200z]

Fourth attempt failed. That ship passed close enough (less than 400km up] but didn't acknowledge my existence. Is  2100z a sleeping time for NA1SS? (I read their sleeping period is between 2130 - 0630 UTC).

 

July 28,2014 [0000z]

Well guys, 10 meters is still down except for the activity on 12,13 July during IARU CQ Contest. Maybe events like this could ignite the ionization up there, if not how would they know one year in advance that there would be a good propagation on that particular date??

But that doesn't happen all the time. I didn't hear anyone on ten during the recent IOTA contest expect for three VK stations. The 20 meters was really alive from my QTH. Stations from UK and EU were 59 for hours. How I wish...

The ISS would make several passes (visible) early August. I haven't finished my 5-el Yagi so I would still have to rely on my mobile whip on top of my house roof for my 4th attempt.

My son has been active listening to 8.942Mhz and the AM Air bands since the unfortunate incidents involving several airlines these last two weeks. Sometimes listening to the pilots communicating with the tower/ground would bring tears to my eyes. Condolences to all the relatives of #MH370, #MH17, #GE222 and #AH5017 victims.

 

July 9. 2014 [2330z]

My third attempt had been unsuccessful. This morning was the closest yet for ISS (about several hundreds km away) but there was no response from NA1SS. Perhaps they were  busy watching the heartbreaking score at the time - Brazil 0: Germany 5 (at 2100z). I will have to wait for another few days for that ship to hover over my house.

On the other hand, I might proceed with my 2m 5-element yagi. Many thanks to 9M6YBH/GO  for the info regarding DX on 2m. I know  Mr Go has been successful on all sorts of modes (phone,CW, digital) on VHF/UHF so I would dearly consider all his advices.  The EME stuff is very new to me and it feels funny to think having a yagi aimed at Luna.

So sayonara to the samba nation and we have to wait for another four years (not too bad compared to the 11-12 years solar cycle!).

 

July 2, 2014 [1500z]

Well, I would deviate a little bit from DX on 10 meters starting today. Let's see how many days do I take to contact NA1SS. I am getting ready with my VHF and my vertical and will keep on looking up to the 'sky' for the apperance of ISS everytime it passes my house! It did pass once (exactly on top) today but I guess they were asleep.

SSB on VHF would be next but I have no time to make a 5-element yagi now. Save that for the year-end.

 

July 2, 2014 [0700z]

Thanks Troy (KQ6PK) for the QSO! It has been a long time since my last QSO with North America station. After the disappointment seeing USA exiting the World Cup, Troy's 55 signal has really made my day. I was reported 53. (I was on 50w + Moxon antenna at 25 feet high)

BTW KQ6PK was my first USA station (my first NA station was KE5JA) I made back in October last year when I first started my HF hobby. Is this an indication that propagation to NA is opening up? However getting a QSO with NA at 2.00pm local time (0600z) is really unusual. 99% of my QSO with USA was made between 2300z - 0200z.

So I'll keep my fingers crossed and see the 10 meters band opening up this summer.

Edited (Dec 17, 2014): Correction, KQ6PK was my FIRST contact from NA. KE5JA was in Russia when I got a QSO with him on the 6th October 2013. Log was corrected to RA/KE5JA - Sakhalin Is, Russia.

 

July 1, 2014 [00:00z]

My goal to get a total Stations of 5000 by September still stands regardless of the absence of activity on 10 meters throughout the month of June. I have about 3,000 DX stations worked (minus the local stations, duplicates and those rejected QSO. BTW I have more than 10 stations who claimed 'NO QSO' with me. Either I didn't hear their call correctly or otherwise). Anyway, I am just hoping there would be opening this July and August for me to get the 2,000 new stations.

A friend sent me a text early this morning (after France - Nigeria WC match) that one local ham friend 9M6BZ / Zainal A Armstrong has just passed away. I met him a couple of times in person and had QSO with him occasionally on 2 meters. I know he was one of the founders of Borneo Amateur Radio Club and was a very experienced DXer. Condolences to his family.

 

June 11, 2014 [0800z]

Still no NA for almost three months. The sun spot number went down to below 50 last weekend. Not much activity for the past week. 50mhz has been dead on my side of the earth. However the SFI and SN  seem to have risen up and stayed around 150. Hopefully I could hear Europe these next few days.

The low sunspot counts gave me room to experiment Frequency Modulation on Ten. I have been lucky so far (about 25 QSO) with JA stations. The experience is really different from single sided band with lots of QSB except for a few excelent signals from the JA stations. Amplitude Modulation is quite hard and I couldn't hear anyone on this mode so far (except for a qso in 6 meters last time).

.

May 27, 2014 [0500z]

Just a brief one. Special thanks to those who willingly spot others into the cluster. Two guys (Asia region) namely JF1NUV on 10 meters and JR6EXN on 6 meters have been consistently spotting DXers for almost on daily basic. Awards should be given to these guys!

Their effort really helps those with basic setup (like mine) to get 'attention' from others. Self-spotting is not welcome eventhough I am seeing many doing it everyday. (confession.. I do it sometimes).

One day somebody would come out with a site or applications especially made for self-spotting stations for them to get proper attention from other DXers. QRP stations would benefit. Those dipole or inverted-V wouldn't be disappointed... hehheehee please don't take it seriously!

 

May 27, 2014 [0400z]

The ten meters is dead again. I could hear only 2 stations for the past three days and one QSO with a JA station. Just imagine if this was the case for the next 10 years! Well..I think CW is to be dearly considered now.. seriously. I was listening to the recent WPX CW contest using my iPhone CW applicationn and I was able to decode some of the QSO. I could hear SA, NA callsigns quite easily.

I have a 2 element for 10 meters band as a replacement for my 3-el. This Moxon design is much lighter and has a smaller footprint compared to the normal 2-element. I worked about 20 European stations last week just a day before the band went dead. I hope this one does not disappoint me.

In the mean time, something is urging me to try 2 meters DX. It is rather unpopular in my area here as they enjoy local FM / VHF community but not the DX. I read in some forums that on a 'good day' SSB in 2 meters would reach hundreds or even thouands miles away. I have many lengths of unused aluminium tubes, enough to make a 5 element or even 7 element yagi. Just wait and see.

QSL cards update: All cards received till 31 April 2014 have been replied. I have about 35 more cards  unopened (received in May).

 

May 18, 2014 [0700z]

Target 3000 in my QRZ.COM logbook  for May is accomplished. The number of different stations worked is slightly less as there are about 4 or 5 QSO by the same station on the same band had been confirmed and  I was unable to delete them. (Only one QSO per person per band is entered in the QRZ.COM). Next target is 5000 for September!

At last my total QSO for Europe has exceeded the number of NA. There are more Italian stations now compared to Russian/Asiatic Russian stations. Most of the Italian stations I worked came with 59 report (I wonder why) and they are more aggresive in making a contact compared to other countries.

There is still no opening to NA after almost 2 months. Even JA stations are quite difficult to get. Europe is okay for now. I'm just hoping there would be good opening to NA during the summer. BTW I feel envious with the 6 meters daily opening experienced in NA and Europe. I guess it happens every year in the month of  May/June.

My 2 element antenna would be up by this month or early next month. Hopefully this one is superior to my vertical. 

 

May 6, 2014 [1:45z]

I've got my first QSO with NA station in 4 weeks, today! W1AW/7 was coming 5/5 into my vertical. Aside of him, I couldn't hear anyone else from the States.

Europe has been open for the past one week but my antenna is not that powerful enough to get the most from that region. However a little compliment should be given to my dipole as I have been using that antenna (at 24 feet) for the past 5 days now and I have been able to get almost one hundred European stations. I think it is not superior to my vertical in the TX but it is certainly a winner when comes to the receiving side as it is really quiet compared to my vertical.

So what is the next plan? Having gained the height (20+ feet), I would now try to add an element to my dipole. I am pretty sure it would give me a little extra dbi.. am looking for some 2-element design...

My target for May = 3,000 stations worked, about a hundred more to go. And hopefully I would be getting the total of 5,000 towards September 2014, exactly one year since I started my hf/DX hobby.

When would NA be open again?

 

April 22, 2014 [0300z]

The latest addition to my 6 meters QSO countries is a DU station. I was really excited to get DU1KA with a 5/5 report which brings my total to 11 countries. Prior to that I was kept busy with a huge pile up when the excellent band was opened for about 30 minutes yesterday. I couldn't go faster enough than the rate of four stations per minute.

My yagi is down to earth. The stripping work has started. By this weekend that 3-element would be a history only and dipole would be taking its place. BTW I have only three NA stations for the past 3 weeks. Imagine when the cycle is at its lowest level... there wouldn't be even Asian or Oceania stations heard.. That makes me sick to think. On the positive side, it may give me chance to get aquaintance with digital world such as the RTTY and BPSK.

April 14, 2014{0800z]

It has been a week since my last QSO with North America stations. The propagation is quite weak to my vertical antenna however I am glad that the band to JA and Oceania is wide open. I still have three more states to go while my DXCC stands at 111. I am still not eligible to get any awards from ARRL or even eQSL as there are many stations who have not confirmed the QSO.

The homebrew 3-element needs to be taken down. I would try to strip it into a dipole and raise it by 10 feet. It is very much easier to raise the height up this way and at the same time it saves me the curse from my curious neighbours. :)

April 4, 2014 [0600z]

Worked RI1ANT/Antartica just now! Thanks and this brings my 7th continent into my logbook.

 

April 1, 2014 [02:00utc]

By the end of yesterday (31/3/2014) my DXCC countries count stands at 107. I'd never thought it could go this far when I was really struggling in the early stage (Sept, Oct 2013). I had to work a bit extra harder compared to other stations who may not have problem with contacting DX stations due to their superior working condition.

My target now (though I don't really know how) is to get the remaining five states in America. I may be emailing stations there and arranged for a sked if it is really effective.

Next, I would be fixing my mobile 10 meters antenna (Wilson Trucker 2000) and would be using my HTX-10 as a mobile rig.

March 31, 2014[04:00utc]

The CQ WPX contest has passed for about four hours already. The band was filled of battle sounds. I could hear frustrations when two or more stations using the same frequency. I was listening to one station calling CQ contest when another stronger signal came in doing the same. This irked the first station and prompted him to shout 'this frequency is in used you stupid head!!!!'. I have his callsign but I haven't seen his QRZ.com page yet. hehhe.

I missed the morning of the 1st day of the contest and only started at 12:00utc. Fortunately the opening to Europe was quite good that night. I didn't get many but I have broken my QSO record in the last contest in December. I managed to gather more than 200 QSO compared to the 120 in the ARRL contest. Nothing much I can do with a vertical antenna and with my output power at merely 50+. Obviously my signal would only be noticed after a pileup is gone.. or when a station starts calling CQ with nobody else noticing.

I haven't checked all the 200 or so stations but I am pretty sure I have at least two new countries there which means I have got 100 DXCC in my log! The lastest additions are Bosnia, Singapore, Andaman Island (Krish) and a few other islands. I didn't have a chance at all when the station from Suriname was calling CQ contest last night. Huge pileup til the band died down. I think many stations have forgotten the contest hearing a rare (is it?) callsigns in the air.

..which brings me to the most difficult task of all ie getting confirmations. I am not sure if QRZ.COM confirmation is recognized by ARRL but I would work hard to get all types of qsl methods available. QSL card is my favourite though QRZ is instant while eQSL is favored by many. I don't have a LOTW (how do I join it?).

March 28, 2014 [03:00utc]

The last five nights have been really fruitful. There has been good openings to Europe at night local time and I managed to get hundreds of new stations. The number of QSO I made this week is ten time more than the contacts I made with Europe for the past 6 months! As a result, I have made drastic achievement as shown below

  • Number of DXCCs is 99 (one more to go for a century!)
  • European countries worked 37 (from the total 50 as per listed in the Wikipda.com).

Thank you mother nature for the good propagation. It doesn't happen every day, not to me with my vertical antenna.

As for the USA states, I have only five more states to go and all of these are on the north-eastern side of USA map. The opening to Europe actually allowed me to get three notth-eastern states this week.

 

March 17, 2014 [12:00utc]

I've got my Magnum 1012 today! According to Yeticomnz.com that was the last one in stock. It comes together with a rubber-duck antenna which seems to be unimpressive at all. I will be ordering a hi-gain 1012 duck soon. Looking toward my first QRP qso with this handheld 10 meters radio. (edited Sept 2014 - This handheld is not impressive at all. Signal which is 55 on my FT897 becomes 51 with this radio. No QSO yet, and it has been kept away)

Well since my last update, I have added a few more countries to my collection, PNG (P29FR) being one of the latest DXCCs. Fifteen more to a century!

March 3, 2014 [02:15UTC]

Wow! I wish the 10 meters band was like that everyday. 28.300 - 28.790 was fully packed during the ARRL contest. I managed to give a 59/50 watt to two or maybe three dozens NA stations before the contset was brought to an end just now. I am not sure if I would send my log yet but since this was my first ARRL contest experience and I might send my log in.

BTW the 10-10 has just released the result of the Winter 2014 phone contest. It seems that 9W6EZ is the only Malaysian participated in the contest. There were only two from Japanese stations from Asian region. I guess this contest is not as glamorous as the ARRL or All Asian or the WorldWide contest as there are only about 80,000 10-10 members worldwide todate. Indeed I am having fun with this contest on 10m!

I think my 3-el yagi project is considered a failure so far. I would concentrate on improving my 6m antenna as it is much smaller in size thus making it easier to setup and installed. I would raise it by another 10 feet and add an element to my dipole.

The magic band really brings a new experience to me. There is an opening everyday within Asia/Oceania but reaching farther than that really requires patience. I have only one station from Oman so far. The rest are from JA, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and VK land stations. Exactly after a month on 6 meters, I have more than 100 stations worked and 95% are JA stations. Arigato!

Feb 21, 2014 [13:15UTC]

The QRZ logbook reaches 1000 counts today and I am quite happy but the task waiting ahead is pretty difficult. I need 29 more DXCCs to make it a century! However I am not going to talk about that today... instead let's see how many confirmed QSO have I got so far.

  • QRZ - 289
  • eQSL - 203 (some overlaps with QRZ confirmed qso)
  • QSL card (sent directly)- only 40 so far!
  • iQSL - about 30 of them

Total confirmed is about 550. So what happened to the rest?

  • 90% of JA stations say they send cards through BURO. I haven't received a single card from our Buro here. I think there should be more than 150 cards there.
  • Some are waiting for my cards. I have to check those who have not confirmed our QSOs in any of the above means and start sending my cards right away.
  • There are groups of friends who don't care about QSL at all. All they want is fun in the radio, making friends, killing some boring times etc. One day I would be one of these guys. I wouldn't care about achievement then.

Feb 20, 2014 [13:33UTC]

When RED means stop. Well thats what the Solar-Terrestrial prediction shows today. All bands are closed, they say. However I am still hearing distant signals on the QRN filled band. DX cluster is still full of spots. Maybe it is time to learn PSK31 on DigiPan. I have the cable and I think I could transmit but I am not good with that macro yet. Let the red continue and I would be an expert in PSK.

I need 20 more DX stations to complete my 1000 counts in my log. I have to minus the local stations as I don't consider them as DX stations. Minus the duplicate records (Alex of QRZ has helped delete some duplicates) I think I would be able to get the 1000 this week unless the red continues.

The DXCC counts is rising lazily. The last one is HZ1XB (Saudi Arabia) which I worked last night. Prior to that, I had a nice QSO with this nice retired professor in Israel, 4X1XS/Marvin. Thanks Marvin for the words of encouragement. Newbies like me really need that kind of morale booster emails.

Earlier this week I have a QSO with one young boy, the youngest I met so far. He is VK2FCOR/Correy 10 year old, the son of a fine daddy Richard/VK2FJC. How I wish if my 10 yr old son had the license as well. It will be another 4 years till he is old enough to take the exam.

Feb 15, 2014 [10.00UTC]

I pasted the cool map from HRDlog here. From this photo the distribution of my qso becomes much clearer. There are areas I am unable to penetrate with my vertical. Mel/KD7DCR wrote to me some detailed technical tips regarding antenna which I would dearly consider. Thanks Mel from Montana.

Feb 13, 2014 [6:00UTC]

At last I made a contact with a UK station, M0DAZ. It was quite hard to get his full callsign right. Once he said QSL I was jumping in excitement after checking his QTH as Nottinghamshire England.

Well my QSO (of different stations) is reaching a thousand soon. Aside of targeting 100 DXCCs, I would also like to have QSO with all the states in America. Out of the 220 US stations worked, I have only covered 33 states. There are about 15 more to go and most of these states are located on eastern and northeastern parts of the country.

[No contacts for these states: DE, IN, IA, KY, MA, ME, MD, MO, NH, NY, NC, ND, RI, SD, VT, VA, & WV]

Top 3 leading states (Feb 12, 2014)

1. California - 54 stations

2. Washington - 36 stations

3. Texas - 21 stations

Feb 10, 2014 [13:00UTC]

Well, I told my wife that I would slow down my pace after I have made my 1000 QSO/stations. Let's see if I can keep my promise. :))Well I will never stop even until I get 100 DXCC countries. 9M6XRO/John once told me that by this week, he would be getting his 150,000 QSO since he moved to East malaysia in 2005.

I find that it is even more challenging working a station with my poor setup. For the past 2 days, I was getting a pileup from America but I could only get a handful before the signal faded away. I am pretty sure that wouldn't be the case if I was using a 7-element yagi at 30 meters high.

I have been getting many advices from other ham operators thru emails, most of whom urging me to keep on the pace and to have the patience. Some say I am doing very well with a vertical,while others ask me to upgrade my antenna. I am not able to do so now as aside of $$$ problem, I do not have a ample area to move around. I will dearly treasure all the technical guidance concerning the ham setup.

Todate (after 5 months in 10 meters)-

1. STILL NO U.K STAIONS!

2. 62 DXCC countries.

3. 790+ stations worked.

Feb 6, 2014 [3:50UTC]

I had decided not to update this page until I managed to contact FT5ZM which I finaly got yesterday. Why do they report 5&9 when the signal is only say 43 (they have trouble reading it)? With my vertical I could only give him 53.

Well there has been several new progress with my 10 meters hobby. I have added a few more new DXCC countries ie Uruguay (CX3DAM), Colombia (HK4BKB), Laos (JA8BMK) , Mayotte (FH8PL) , Bhutan (A52JR) and one Argentina which I am still working out to confirm his exact callsign.

Band has been nice for the past few days. If I were on holiday I would be able to get 100 stations in a day with my vertical. Those with yagi would receive 59 all around.

... still no UK station. I had QSO with EI2CR (Ireland) but he was on portable in Saipan Island.

Feb 1, 2014 [15:45UTC]

My achievement as of today (after 5 months on HF) :

  • managed to get about 560 DX contacts on 10 meters.
  • managed to get 52 DXCC countries
  • Got my first QSO on 6 meters today.

Next mission:

  • To get my first UK station
  • To get 100 DXCC countries
  • To get more South American, African countries.
  • To raise the height of my Yagi

Feb 1, 2014 [15:30UTC]

YESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!! I've got my first 6 meters QSO at last! I called CQ for an hour in the 10 meters without anyone responding . As I was about to sign-off the radio, something urged me to try the 6m. I have a dipole antenna for 6m but clamped at about 15 feet only, sharing the same mast with the vertical. After calling CQ for a few times, I was startled by a very loud response from JS6SYR/Yoshinori followed by JH6CDI/Nariaki. Both reported me as 57.

But that was not only the surprise with my first two contacts. Later on when I checked my output power, I was really shocked to find that it was only 5 watt. A few weeks ago, when I was playing around with the 6m band, I tuned the power to the minimum. I could have got more contacts had the power been much higher.

Jan 31, 2014 [15:45UTC]

I got my 10-10 number today. It is #76936. I am not sure yet how this would help me to get more dx. BTW I have migrated to V2 logbook. It has more features compared to the first version. I didn't even know that I have already 52 DXCC to-date. I need 48 more to go for a century DXCC. I found 3 duplicates (sort the list using callsign and browse thru them. It is pretty easy).

Meanwhile it has not been a fruitful experience with FT5ZM. With the vertical antenna, their signal is not that good except for today (57 signal) but my 50w would be easily drowned by the super power stations. Funny thing about the expedition is that I am hearing many many stations (with 59 signal!) which callsigns prefix I have never heard before. So where have they been when I made my CQ? :) I guess I need to have a 1,000 watt output to reach them as well.

I was away for one day holiday. I did bring my HTX10, SAE battery, dipole wire and my tuner. I made a simple inverted V on the balcony of the resort with the ends tied to the wood planks on floor level. After CQing for 20 minutes, I was responded by Makato, JE1AON with a 59 report. Thanks Makoto! It was only 15 watt!

Jan 27, 2014 [15:00UTC]

Another great day on 10 meters. This time I worked a neighboring state station 9M8WAT without effort. Sarawak has been a skip zone to my station however the band was quite good today for short distance QSO (within 1000 -3000 miles).

I am still looking forward to stations from Singapore, the Phillipines, and few others from this region. AND STILL NO U.K. STATIONS!

Jan 26, 2014 [15:00UTC]

Spain is the latest DXCC thanks to Jose, EA2KC. That was after ten minutes of trying and hurting my throat. I have never been to Spain but everyone seems to love Spain because of the music, or the football. or for other reasons. BTW I love both classical music and soccer.

Meanwhile I was using my TS120 this morning. Report was good especially with the audio. Funny thing is that the frequency drifted away. I read that it is not uncommon with a vintage radio.

I have not raised my 3-el Yagi (still at 17ft) but I would try to use it for TX tomorrow. I found out that after placing the mast for my vertical away from the yagi, the swr (and impedance) became much better. If I could get some good report tomorrow using that antenna, I would surely raise it a few feet up.

Edited [27/1/2014]: I worked� XW8BM with strong 59 from Laos. I was reported 59 as well by this nice Japanese (JA8BMK/Toshi) who was operating from a hotel in Laos.

Jan 23, 2014 [14:00UTC]

I got my fourth station from Germany today thanks to DL9NC, Uwe Egen. I thought the band was closed when I switched on my radio. After about half an hour, I realized that my tuner was not properly set. Anyway I did visit a few places in Germany and spent a night in Frankfurt. But before that we spent a wonderful morning at Lindau where I took some of my favourite photos.

The pic below is the unedited original pic of two swans making the shape of heart (I call this picture The Making of Love). This photo was taken in Lindau itself.

 

This is the most familiar angle an amateur photographer (like me) would snap of Lindau lighthouse. Sorry for the photo quality. There was no digital camera back then. This photo was re-snaped from a photo album using an iphone.

Jan 22, 2014 [13:30UTC]

I am a happy man tonight. I have two new European countries namely Finland (OH6RE and OH6TN) and Poland (SP8AWL). I have never been to this countries but i am very glad to have worked stations which I've never expected to have QSO with.

The other stations who responded to my CQ were from Denmark, Italy and Austria. Italy is one of the most beautiful countries on this planet. We drove around for 2 days visiting places like Florence, Lago de Garda, the tower of Pisa, Milan and Venice back in 1990.

We had the privilege to use the Monaco Grand Prix track (I didn't drive but my friend managed to do two laps).

We stopped by at the Lago de Garda

Had the privilege to ride this TAXI.

On the way to Switzerland from Italy we went through the Alps mountains/range in Austria. We couldn't resist the temptation to scale a mountain (by the road side) about 13,000 feet above sea level. It was really a spectular scenery from the mountain top. We spent a night at a YMCA camping ground in Austria.

Jan 21, 2014 [13:00UTC]

I worked two european stations today. The first one was ON61D / Hugo from Belgium. I have never been to Maarkedal but I had an unforgottable moment in Brussels. We were driving around the city when we bumped to the rear bonnet of one local car near a traffic light. We, being the guilty party waited for the driver to come out and scold us, instead he sped off to our relief. Later on the police told us that he could be driving a stolen car.

The other station was Frank, F2GL from France. From the voice, I can tell that Frank is an eldery man. Nice QSO Frank! I was telling him that I spent a night under the Eiffel tower after a tiring journey from Dover. After going up the tower, we decided to call it a day and parked our car underneath the tower. Early morning a policeman came to us. No ticket given. He was greeting us good morning. Very nice country with lots of places to go.

Jan 17, 2014 [10:00GMT]

After almost 500 stations worked, my humble HTX10 was revisited this afternoon. This was the rig I used to get my first two stations (10 meters band) back in September last year. There was a widespread blackout in the west coast for several hours this afternoon and I was compelled to get my ten meters 25watt-output RadioShack. I used a small SLA battery enough to push the power to 20 watt. After about 10 minutes calling for CQ, Les VK4VIL responded and gave me a 53 report.

73!

Jan 15, 2014 [11:00GMT]

I have several 'special' stations this past one week. They are special because they are my first stations in their respective country, AND I got the QSO is a strange way. Firstly, I was ending a QSO with F5CAC (Christian) and when a '59 plus' station asked me to QSY 5 down. And true enough, he was excited to work on my 59 signal all the way from Switzerland (HB9AFI). I consider this special because this is one of my favourite European countries (I remember being awaken by the sound of cow bells early morning while camping in Lucerne back in 1990).

Earlier on I had a brief encounter with a station from Norway by the name of Erik (he managed to spell it before he fadded away). All I could get from the qsb and qrn-filled qso was LO5WKO. Unfortunately the callsign was not in the QRZ.COM or other database. I was so determined to get it that I spent a few hours browsing thru the list in the QRZ.COM database. I needed to get this fjord country! Then after 2 days while I calling CQ (yesterday), a station from Norway responded. He is none other than Erik, with the callsign LA5WKA. Bravo!

An hour ago, I got another cloudy qso with an even stranger callsign, Four-Xray-Foxtrot-United-Ecuador (4XFUE). That callsigns is not in the QRZ.COM as well though I know the station is from Israel. I made a search for all callsigns ending with starting with '4' and ending with 'UE'. I found a Miki,4X4UE, sent him an email and to my delight he responded within a few minutes. Shalom!

It is really a pure delight working a hard way to get one single QSO. That is the fun of the game!

Jan 14, 2014 [1:00GMT]

My antenna analyzer is here. It is really fun to use. Well, the goal is to get a 50 ohm impedance and lowest swr, right? I was able to make a dipole antenna for 6 meters in a few minutes using some cable. I am looking forward to get my first QSO in 50Mhz.

BTW, the China made analyzer says my yagi antenna has a resonance (and a unity swr) at 28.800 mhz. It means I need to elongate it a few more centimeterss for it to resonant at 28.450. I will be doing this soon. Funny that even my trusted vertical antenna has impedance of 37 ohm before tuning up. Can I trust this toy? Well, it is quite accurate when counter tested with my Diamond meters.

Jan 10, 2014 [10:00GMT]

At last I managed to work out 9W2/9M2 stations after four months on 10 meters. Congratulations to 9W2FLD, Hanif (and myself!) for our qsb filled QSO. I think he was able to receive me better than I did. I believe he is using a FT897 on the ever popular G5RV. Working with Rizal/9M6RDX is much easier (59) with his much better working condition.

Now I need to work on Sarawak, Brunei, Singapore, the Philippines and a few other SEA countries. All these are inside the skip zone region and it is quite hard to even hear them in the air. For farther DX stations, I am really hungry for UK stations... which I think would be very hard to do with a vertical antenna. However my vertical has been faithful so far and it is going to give me half a thousand different stations/callsigns by the end of this month. Let's see what my son has to say about this new target.

Jan 1, 2014 [13:20GMT]

Mission accomplished! I managed to get 400 dx stations (with different callsigns) by December 31, 2013 since I started this 10 meters hobby back in September. I don't enter callsigns twice into my QRZ logbook so it is easy to count. (Yes, I would delete either one if the other station also logged the QSO. Isn't it cruel?). BTW I have only received a few QSL cards so far. I believe some of them sent their cards thru bureau which I doubt I could receive in the near future.

In the meantime I'm still waiting for my antenna analyzer. I would really want to at least, tune my yagi eventhough it wouldn't be that impressive at its present qth. I have worked a dozen of stations with the yagi but the report I received so far is not as impressive as my vertical antenna.

Happy New Year 2104 and 73.

Dec 28, 2013 [14:20GMT]

I was really taken by surprise by ZS1PZ (and later ZS1RJQ) responding to my CQ at 10pm local time. I was about to take a shower and decided to switch on my FT897 to listen to the static noise. I was tempted to call CQ CQ a few times and I was shocked to hear a 55 signal from South Africa. Good qso, and good people out there, and good experience for newbie like me. This hobby is really becoming an addiction to me.

 

Earlier, my HTX10 on dipole wire at 7 feet above ground, managed to get a strong signal from OM3TWM. My vertical was full of QRN and I hardly could hear him but on HTX10, it was 5/5 easily. So in the end, TX using the FT897 (vertical antenna) and RX on HTX10 (dipole wire). Say thanks to the $15 radio shack and the wire!

Dec 27, 2013 [4:30GMT]

Is there really a relationship between sunspot number and propagation? (of course silly me, the scientists have proven that!). I have seen (back in October) that even if the Sunspot number is <50, I was able to get many QSOs. Aside of the the noise (QRN), there shouldn't be any problem working with a single hop contacts. Or is there? I have been hearing several Asian stations on regular basis (almost daily!) and their signals are 53 the lowest. I have to commend JE1AON (Makoto) who has been responding to my CQ every morning (2200-0000GMT). He is always loud and clear. In the evening (about 1200GMT), I always hear VU2XO (Patel) shouting from India. From Hong Kong VR2XMT has been a regular and almost 5/9 on every CQ he makes. I guess these stations are on single hop (within certain radius from my QTH). Stations closer than these seem to be deaf (skip zone). I haven't had QSOs with any closer stations (South East Asia countries) for the past 2 months.

I would keep on shouting every morning (2200 -0000GMT) on 28.456 and evening (0900 - 1100GMT) for the next few weeks until I get the pattern or a formula for the relationship between Sunspot number and 10 meters band.

Dec 26, 2013 [05:47GMT]

The Inverted V has been taken down. Its 3-pole and the wire are obstructing the 3-element when I rotate the yagi. It is converted to a dipole (at 7 feet) which proven to be useful when the rain static was really unbearable on the vertical (S9 noise)and the yagi. There was a heavy downpour yesterday and I could hear nothing but the rain static. Being the highest, I guess it receives the most torture from the nature. Suprisingly, the longwire/dipole tied to my window frame was able to pickup signal without interference from the rain.

In the meantime the non-impressive yagi has to stay up there for a while. I am not going to do the trimming without an antenna analyzer. I am ordering a made in China analyzer and hopefully I would be able to get it within a month.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year 2014!

Dec 16, 2013 [09:52GMT]

This blog is now getting nearer to the end. My yagi is functioning now (bit high on SWR) and I am just doing the final touch-up aka trimming off the driven element for better VSWR. I am glad that I was able to reach Alaska with the antenna.

How well does it perform? At 17 feet (and surrounded by housing estate) we cannot expect to be blown away by the result. I can say that it is only a slightly better than the 5/8 vertical.

I don't have the space to erect a tower... furthermore I don't want to scare my neighbours too much.. they have been busy spying on me from their kitchen for this past few weeks.

The recent ARRL contest really brought lots of surprises to newbies like me (I'm into hf/10meters for 3 months now eventhough I got my license B in 1997). It is nice to hear the band coming back to life at 00:00UTC on Saturday. After spending a total of about 4 to 5 hours, I managed to get 120 contacts. I am glad to have achieved that with my 50watt on a vertical antenna. I know I could get much higher count had I not been out the whole day on Saturday. And the lucky station who got my century 59/100 is a lady from Indonesia YB1JYL (Jilly, the only Indonesian station out of the 120). I will be sending my QSL card to her soon. I will be sending my card also to the 59/001 (WA7NB) and 59/120 (N7UQ). Note that my first and last contacts are both from Tucson Arizona.

Dec 13, 2013 [3:07GMT]

We have the ARRL 10 meters Contest this weekend, but at the same time I intend to fix my yagi this Sunday as well. Or I may have to rely on my vertical antenna only. I am unable to reach Europe/Middle east with the vertical. I made about 50 QSO this past 3 days but they are mostly JA and USA stations. The yagi is directed Europe (it is not motorized!) and I am really hoping my hairpin matching system would improve the antenna.

BTW I have put our family photos up there. I will put the pics of my dog and orchids later on. hihi..

 

Dec 9, 2013 [01:50GMT]

At last I got my first South America QSO! The next ones would be from the UK, Africa and other countries in Europe.

I decided to lower down my Yagi. My matching system didn't work. I used the beta hairpin match yesterday but the SWR was really high and even with a tuner it still showed 2.5. I guess I need to adjust the element itself which I am intending to do now. I would redo my beta hairpin and move the choke balun up near the feed point... hoping I would get better result this time. I might get rid of my Inverted V as these poles are all standing side by side (with the vertical mast) and I think it does contribute to the loss or distruption to the pattern of my yagi signal.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2014!

Dec 4, 2013 [01:15GMT]

Yagi is 15ft high now however I found out that its performance is just in par with the 5/8 vertical. Is it that the SkipMaster 5/8 actually a very good antenna or is it my yagi which is still not properly setup? Firstly 15ft is two feet short of halfwave for 10 meters. I may raise it again this weekened. Secondly, is commercial balun needed here? I am using an ugly balun which I have no way to test if it is functional or not. BTW my SWR is 1.3 so I can keep my tuner for the time being. Thirdly, I suspect I have bad coax connection to the driven element. I will tighten them this weekened. Lastly, I have to blame the surrounding elements as well. There is a telephone metal pole about 15 feet away, at the end of my reflector, with the cable running across above my setup. And there is a 20ft high tree about 20 feet in front of the antenna.[edited: I have forgotten to mention that I live in a double storey housing estate with the height of about 25 to 30 ft]

Anyway it has been a good experience making my own home brew directional antenna. I have constructed many 2 meters yagis but dealing with a 17ft width element is really challenging considering the fact that my backyard space is really limited (20ft x 20ft).

No more update till there is a good news. BTW there is still no South America and UK contacts. :(

Nov 30, 2013 [14:30GMT]

My yagi is beaming North West now but still 10 ft above ground. Performance is inferior to the 5/8 at 20ft. However it is better than my inverted V, with the centre at 20ft. I will be raising the yagi by 5 to 7 ft tomorrow.

 

Nov 29, 2013 [08:20GMT]

Nope. The graph is crawling up again! Thanks VK6RO for assuring me that it is not the end of the world... at least not for this coming two years. Fully assured, I went ahead with my beam antenna but so far it is only resting at 10 feet above ground. (I will raise it by 5 ft next week). I was really surprised to hear the RX as very much quieter than my 5/8 vertical. It is temporarily facing the north-east which means beaming to North America across the Pacific ocean. I will change the direction (manually of course) later as most of the opening is between Europe and VK land.

Propogation has been good this past two days. My son was jumping up and down yesterday when I got my first Germany, Italy and France QSO. Am still looking for my first South America & UK contact.

BTW my 5/8 is doing really well (except for the noise). Now I have an Inverted V connected to the TS-120, a SkipMaster 5/8 vertical to the FT897 and the 3-el Yagi to the TS50. This page updates will QRT soon after my Yagi is fully beaming at 15feet. (This page isn't a blog, its for Biography. :) )

Nov 25, 2013 [12:35GMT]

My vertical is up 10 feet higher now. The 5/8 is perching at the end of my 20ft stainless steel mast... however the propagation has been really poor this past two days. I could only hear a couple of Victor Kilo stations but only for a short time. Cycle 24 is going off and I have to wait for another 11 years?!! It is useless to put up my yagi if the sunspot number is getting less and less.

Nov 22, 2013 [16:30GMT]

I bought a roll of wire to be used as as guy wire today. All elements are clamped to the boom. However my aluminum mast will only be delivered monday. The 5/8 vertical would go on top of the 20ft pole while my 3 element would sits somewhere at 15ft.

 

Nov 17, 2013 [14:10GMT]

At last my clamps are ready. They were quite heavy but after a bit of cutting works, I managed to reduce the weight by half. BTW I ordered the wrong material for mast. The StainlessSteel SCH. 40 is very heavy. I will stay with a thick (at least 3mm) aluminium tube for the yagi. Come monday and I will start raising my directional antenna.

 

Nov 17, 2013 [12:30GMT]

I've added FT897D to my ham setup. I love the concept of all-band-in-one but I have to admit it that I didn't really like the audio at first. It was very thin. However after playing around with the Noise Reduction system and the receiver bandpass Filter, I think I am falling in love with the radio.

I bought this set partly for the 6 meters. I don't know if I can ever hear anyone on 6 meters. It is pretty dead to me.

My Skip Master 5/8 is 10 feet above ground and surprisingly, it receives better than my Inverted Vee at 20feet. I shall be getting a 20ft pole by this week. I am positive the reception will improve drastically.

Nov 3, 2013 [22:00GMT]

I was away for a week. My 5/8 vertical should be arriving this week. The clamps for my elements are expected to be ready this week as well. Hoping for the best! Still no South American contact.

Oct 20, 2013 [01:01 GMT]

Strugling to be heard... My 50w on center-fed wire is easily drowned by the super-watt. I think that is the fun of it. I can only make a couple of contacts each day due to my working condition. Hopefully I can have my 3-el this week. I am thinking of getting 50 or so QSOs with the inverted-V before switching to directional antenna. BTW, I got my first Hawaiian contact yesterday. Aloha!

Oct 15, 2013 [14:00GMT]

Yagi is not ready yet. Balun arrived today. Cross clamps/right-angle clamps are difficult to find. I have asked some machinists to make a few for me.

In the meantime, I had my first QSO with Australia and Sweden this past 3 days. Am still looking forward to having QSO with UK, Middle East and South America.

Oct 11, 2013 [14.00GMT]

I managed to work out Mario from South Africa tonight after 10 minutes of trying. My Inverted V was unable to pick up his signal but my temprorary 3-element (now 2-el after the reflector was blown off by strong wind), which is about 10-foot above ground, was able to get his faint signal. As his signal became stronger, my 50w was able to be heard by my first South African contact. I really need my yagi to be properly setup! BTW, I received my 1:1 balun today. Now I am waiting for my stainless steel clamps.

Oct 9, 2013 [1:00GMT]

A very strong and steady signal 59++ from N7MZ from Maryland! I was reported 59 by John as well. Propagataion seems to be very good this past two mornings (it would be night time in America). I could hear South America very well. Am looking forward to contacting South America with my Inverted V very soon before I have my 3-element beam.

Oct 8, 2013 [1:30GMT]

After about a month, I've got my first ever contact with continental USA. Thanks to KQ6PK for picking my 50w signal! You did come 57 (sometimes 5&9) to my rig.

I did something funny 2 days ago. Since I did not have the clamps / u-bolts etc, to attach my elements to the boom, I used some nylon strings to temporary attach them together. I raised it about 10 feet off ground. Well, I managed to get two contacts from the land of China. Just imagine what it could achieve if it is properly setup and raised 30ft up! It didnt last too long. The string was not strong enough to hold the elements as the reflector fell off due to strong wind. Do they sell cross-clamps around here?

Oct 6, 2013

No, I couldn't finish my Yagi today. I still need wooden boards to connect my elements to the boom. Some suggested the to the use of white chopping boards. How to fix the board to the boom (and element to the baord)? I have two options.. stainless steel clamps and SS hose clamps..

The elements are ready. The boom is ready. The mast is ready. My balun is NOT ready... so I have to wait for a few more days.

The Oceania-DX was 'fun to listen'. I envy those hammers with thousands of QSO while I was only able to get less than a dozen of dxers. I did spend a couple of hours on the first day and half an hour today. I guess I didn't even try my best at all, partially because I feel I have the humblest antenna of all with my QTH surrounded by hills. But most of all I was really tied up with other things that I missed most of the openings. However I am really happy to get QSOs with Guam, Indonesia and Russia. The Australians were 59 but my working condition didn't allow me to be heard by them. I heard several European with 59 as well but my signal got drowned in the pile up. See you soon!

Oct 4, 2013

Okay, my MFJ-901B tuner is here. Well,I really don't know how is the correct procedure to do the tuning-up. I am being ignorant or just lazy to read the instruction. However I managed to get less than 1.3 reading on 28Mhz. I can see that the TX output is able to go beyond 50w now. Come Sunday, I'll do the final touch to the 3-element!

Oct 2, 2013

Started cutting the tubes. I have to replace the 3/4" as they are too thick (3mm thick).I'm going to use a 1.25" boom instead of 1.5". I will use stainless hose-clamps for connecting the two sizes of tubes (3/4" & 7/8"). Trying to find some u-bolts in the meantime.

Sept 29, 2013

Due to high SWR (more than 2.5:1), I have adjusted the mic gain/carrier so that my output would only be max 25w even though the rig allows for 50w (I think this rig can shoot out 100w if the antenna is properly tuned up). I don't want to damage my vintage. Let it be on QRP til it is ready for higher output. I think my MFJ tuner will be home in the next few days.

With such low output during this bad propagation, my signals were still managed to be picked by VU2XO and BV1EJ for a short QSO before my signal faded off.

Hoping to start the 3-el YAGI project this week.

 

Sept 27, 2013

Still no yagi. My aluminum tubes would only be sent next week. BTW I managed to get a short QSO with HS5NMF from Thailand yesterday with my newly acquired TS120S. I enjoy using this vintage. Tough, and proven to be reliable. I don't really like the increment per rotation though. The increment is too big and I need to be super slow dialing it otherwise lots of signals would be missed.

Sept 25, 2013

I got my TS-120S today. It is working well without any issue. My HTX-10 would be resting for the time being. Now everything is ready except my Yagi. Hopefully by next week my 3-element would be completed.


Sept 23, 2013

I have made up my mind. This 8ft boom 3-el 10 meters yagi would be my next project. For the time being, I would do it without a balun. (btw can I just get the one from ebay? They are only about $20 each). I think this would squeeze-in nicely at the back of my house. I am not sure how high would I raise it though. This page will be updated.

Here is the design. I have not asked permission from the owner. His url is at http://w4rnl.net46.net/ant19.html

L. B. Cebik, W4RNL


Sept 21, 2013

The shortened boom version of a 3 element yagi is still too big for my back yard. I have just found a design called 2 Element Cubical Quad. Am thinking hard....


Sept 13, 2013

How about a mini version of a directional antenna? While waiting for the 'sky to open up' I am thinking of home-brewing a shortened boom of a 3-element Yagi. I haven't found a design yet that fits my 20' x 20' backyard. The classic 3-el does fit in but it looks very tight to move around.


Sept 12, 2013

I have done some improvement to my antenna setup. I used two 15ft pole on each side to raise the level of the dipole ends. The angle should be about 68 degrees each side (about 136 deg total). My antenna is officially called the 'Inverted V' now. As predicted my SWR now goes to about 2.5 because the overall length is 'getting longer' (remember my dipole is meant for 11 meters). I think my rig can only tx about 75% of its capability. No worry though...my antenna tuner would be coming soon.

Now that everything is okay I will keep my fingers crossed as the 10m band is pretty quiet now. If the Solar Flux Index and the Sunspots are indications of hf propagation then I think I would not be able to hear or qso with any distant members for the next few days. (or weeks? months?.. may be I have to wait till next year?)

Meanwhile there will be no further updates to this biography till the next 'opening'.

edited:- Now I really consider my self LUCKY for being able to have my first DX from Japan with solid signal. It was a humble antenna tied to my fence - window about 5 ft above ground, about 15Watt out of my HTX-10. Reading many posts in forums really makes me sick with myself for not appreciating my first DX qso. It may never happen again with that kind of antenna!

73 for now.

my email is zabion@yahoo.com


Found This site today: http://www.hfradio.org


Sept 10, 2013, 8:12pm

I managed to put up a 20ft 1" GI pipe today, with the help of my son. It took me a couple of hours to finish everything (including an hour finding a 40ft RG58 & coaxial connector, soldering etc). I do not intend to put mast guy wire as it stood up solidly, buried a foot down and tied half-way (8 ft up) to my fence.

So there it was standing taller than my 4 year-old mango tree. Each side of the wire tied to the fence. Then my 10-yr old son said "Dad, your math is wrong. The wires are not of equal angles". He was right.. the pole is way too much to the right. Okay then... I would move it later on.

The SWR is lower than 2 and I am content with it so far. It was on the red side before.(I tested it on my 11m/CB radio and the needle barely moved.) I forgot to mention that this dipole wire was meant for my CB radio.


Sept 10, 2013

A friend of mine asked me to write a bit about my experience 'listening' to the recent DX contest. Okay to be frank, I was not only listening. I didn't tell you earlier that my tx was picked up by JA6WJL in the first day and 9M4DX in the 2nd day of the contest. I was surprised with JA6WJL signal with a pure strong 59. Well that was my first ever QSO outside of Malaysia. I guess the opening that day was really great that my center-fed wire dipole which is a mere 5ft off ground managed to travel thousands of miles away. (Have I told you that it was tied to my window frame on one end and to the compound fence on the other end?)

I have a confession to make. I have been sinning this past 2 days envying one ham-member 9M6XRO having endless contacts with his 5969 report all around. His signal must be really loud and clear even to farthest region on this earth. It is exciting! May be many of you have been in the air for more than half a century so I guess having such QSOs doesn't bring any excitement at all compared to newbies like us. However to me, after being on 2m for almost 20 years I still find it is exciting to meet new friends in the air.

As planned, I would go ahead with my antenna improvement. I will update you all from time to time. I am not interested in increasing my TX power.

Any idea how improve my antenna? e-mail to zabion@yahoo.com

73 de 9W6EZ.


Sept 9, 2013

Hi everyone. I decided (this month September 2013) to go beyond the local 2M band after getting my license in 1997. I don't have a proper setup for 10 meters other than a simple half-wave dipole wire tied to the fence and my window at the back of my house. I am using a $15 HTX-10 from ebay I bought a month ago. If properly tuned-up, I believe it can give me a 25 watt output however I am still waiting for my MFJ antenna tuner. For 2M, I have numbers of handies (namely, T22A, FT60R, VX7R to name a few) and 2 mobiles (IC-V8000 and a FT2900).

I'm looking forward to my first few 10m QSOs. BTW I had fun listening to the recent Asian DX contest. I was able to pick-up many 59 signals but due to my poor working condition, my TX was not able to go through . I am intending to buy a 20-foot pipe today for my long-wire. I am looking forward to giving you a 5943 report in the near future. I will keep you all updated!

73 from the island of Borneo

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QRZ Logbook Summary for - 9W6EZ
Latest Contacts for 9W6EZ at QRZ.com
dedateband mode grid Country op
9W2VVH 2016-07-28 40m JT65 OJ03lp West Malaysia HUSSAIRY ARIE
JA5TDE 2016-07-28 40m JT65 PM74bb Japan Kimiteru Oono
JR2CAK 2016-07-28 40m JT65 Japan
GD0TEP 2016-07-27 40m JT65 IO74SD19 Isle of Man Andy Kissack
JH3IJF 2016-07-27 40m JT65 PM74un Japan Tetsuyuki Ueda
JH0WWB 2016-07-27 40m JT65 Japan
F4CHF 2016-07-26 40m JT65 JN35HW52 France KESTER RICHARD
F5BDK 2016-07-26 40m JT65 JN18iv France MARIO BECUWE
R3TGW 2016-07-26 40m JT65 Russia
UR5LOS 2016-07-26 40m JT65 KN89ew Ukraine Vladimir Rokhmanko
JA1QML 2016-07-26 40m JT65 QM05bq Japan Yoshio Sakurai
JH1LZU 2016-07-25 40m JT65 PM95si Japan Kiyohiko Oishi
JI1RWG 2016-07-25 40m JT65 PM95sr Japan Ray Katoh
JR1JDU 2016-07-25 40m JT65 PM96se Japan Kyoichi Kaneko
W5BK 2016-07-25 40m JT65 DM92gg United States BRADLEY L HYDE SR

Book Totals: 12170 qso's   2931 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM

DX World Award#2447
Granted: 2015-08-23 08:15:03   (9W6EZ)

Endorsements:
  • 10 Meters Mixed
  • 10 Meters Phone
Grid Squared Award#293
Granted: 2015-01-15 11:21:13   (9W6EZ)

Endorsements:
  • 10 Meters Phone
  • 10 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • 10 Meters Digital
  • 40 Meters Digital
World Continents Award#298
Granted: 2015-01-15 11:21:06   (9W6EZ)

Endorsements:
  • 10 Meters Phone
  • 10 Meters Mixed
  • 40 Meters Mixed
  • 10 Meters Digital
  • 40 Meters Digital
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