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My station log from 08FEB09 till 15AUG14 has been uploaded to LOTW. I upload to LOTW every few days typically, depending on my activity on the bands. My earlier call was N5RKD; I changed my call to AI5I on 28JAN12. I've held an US Extra Class license since 1990. My UK A class license (G4NDH) was issued in 1981.

QSL Info:

I don't collect paper QSL cards unless the other station doesn't use LOTW. I will answer QSL card requests. I appreciate your SASE for domestic cards requested directly. Similarly, I also like postage for direct card requests for DX stations on HF. I will make an exception to the postage request for QSLs for EME contacts since there is more of a mutual advantage here and many EME stations do not use LOTW. However, I would appreciate a self-addressed envelope for the return. 

I use the ARRL Bureau for most DX cards. If you have requested a card from me and have not received it within a reasonable time, then let me know by e-mail. (Occasionally, the US Post Office loses my mail or delivers it to my neighbors.) Similarly, if you need e-QSL and I haven't done the upload routinely within a reasonable time, then an e-mail to me will get this fixed. I do respond to all QSL requests so, if you don't get your card or electronic confirmation from me, then there's some problem somewhere --- and we can get this issue resolved.

Sometimes I am asked to confirm contacts with LOTW --- and send paper QSL cards through the bureau for these contacts too. I don't quite understand this. However, if you do need a paper card in addition to a LOTW confirmation, then you should send me yours first. Otherwise, I am unlikely to track the double request --- and I have more interesting things to do than run a bureaucracy.

Here are the QSL problems I encounter: (1) wrong callsign on card, (2) wrong UT date, (3) wrong UT time or use of your local clock time instead of UT, (4) not in log, (5) indecipherable handwriting and (6) other incorrect information about the contact that renders the card unusable for awards. #4 happens because of crowded bands and/or poor conditions. But again, if you feel there's an error on my part, then let me know and we'll get things straightened out. I'll try to contact you by e-mail if I have some problem with your card.

Please do not request a card from me unless you do need it for some award, or you really want a paper QSL, or for some other compelling reason. I have many cards from each of a few individual stations for routine contacts on HF, usually during contests. (Some particular JA stations are especially compelled to send me a QSL card for HF contest QSOs, year after year. ) The US is not a rare entity, and New Mexico is not a rare state on HF. I don't begrudge the costs of the cards but I do bristle at the time it takes to respond to these "automatic" requests. I'd rather be on the air making contacts than doing paperwork. And, remember, Logbook of the World and e-QSL are faster and cheaper.

I do upload to eQSL if necessary.  Most of my QSLs will end up there eventually. I don't like eQSL for several reasons but I will be pleased to accommodate your request for more timely uploads.  I have AG status.  I have uploaded to eQSL all QSOs for N5RKD and AI5I up till 23DEC13.


I have been licensed continuously since 1981 but did not operate much between 1992 and 2008. My current station is modest --- 100W to a 43 foot vertical. I operate on HF mostly, and usually CW and digital modes. Occasionally, I am on meteor scatter with WSJT on 6 metres - 100W to a 5-element M2 beam. I am on 2m EME with 700+W to 18 elements (but limited elevation control).

81 2m EME initials worked since 13JUL14. 17 DXCC confirmed on 2m EME.



Some pearls of wisdom from the bands.


Seen on the cluster --- "amazing (RST) 509".    Those S-meters are tricky.


... and heard on 17m phone " ... I'm going to give you a zero and zero, it's that low ... "



Observations on recent DXpeditions



09FEB14 TO7CC banging away on 15m CW working the East Coast. Then he pauses and calls for West Coast. So, I see a problem: the US does not consist of the East Coast and the West Coast --- there's actually this piece in-between that glues CA to the East Coast.



A DXpedition to this rare an entity must surely bring out the hordes. Sure enough, they are all there --- the UP police, the tuner-uppers, the foul-mouthed (at least on CW), the malicious transmitters, the incompetent who cannot comprehend what the DX station is transmitting and, I suspect, a few others who just would like to get one QSO with this entity and who are going to wait patiently to be heard. I notice that many of the transgressors who don't get "UP" are US Extra Class operators with qrz.com pages extolling their extensive collections of antennas and equipment --- often expensive --- and their long pedigrees in Amateur Radio (often 4 or 5 decades). You can't blame the advent of "No Code" licensing for their behavior. I'm also amazed by the number of amateurs who think the DX station can listen to them send while the DX station is itself transmitting.

I wish that the FT5ZM ops would remember that there is more to the USA than the Eastern Seaboard. This evening (04FEB14 local), the DXpedition worked into the US on 20m. I estimate that out of perhaps 200 QSOs I heard, no more than 10 were with stations west of the Mississippi. Given that FT5ZM was coming in at good strength into NM, I don't think it was poor propagation causing the imbalance.

I'm also amazed by the number of stations who work FT5ZM (or other DXpeditions) and then thank the DX on the cluster.  Do they really think the DX is sitting there reading the cluster?



So much for amateur radio improving your geographical knowledge. TO2TT calls for "USA" then works a string of VEs. Sorry Canada, we've annexed you.

There are lighter moments however. I get a thrill from all the really Extra Class operators who report to the cluster that they've just worked TN2MS on 12m --- but it's really TO2TT. Time for new code readers?


K9W, Wake Island

So far, not an auspicious start. US sunrise, Sunday, November 3, Wake Island is S9+ in NM on 40m and the K9W operator is working all of the JA population first. It's been like this for the last couple of hours. I suppose they'll run out of JA QSOs eventually.

Then there are all the 1 by 2 US calls who announce to the cluster that they have finally worked K9W. But, of course, they haven't; they've worked 5J0R. Then this announcement starts a wave of celebratory announcements from others who also believe mistakenly that they have just worked K9W after the first announcement. This is then followed by a wave of cluster messages from more enlightened calls who feel obliged to correct the incorrect assignment . If you hold a 1 by 2 call, then wouldn't you listen first to hear the DX station announce his call? Or is it really time for new code readers? Or perhaps learning CW? (One 1 by 2 suggested on the cluster recently that the DX station should transmit at less than 30 w.p.m. What's next?: DXCC certificates in Cornflakes boxes?)

Just tried working K9W on 20m RTTY. Ugh. I rarely use RTTY and for good reason. There's no error correction, either in the coding or in the users' heads; the SNR penalty is quite high; the bandwidth used is unreasonable; and the mode seems to attract more than its fair share of amateurs who have trouble with the SPLIT concept (and, as usual, most of them are Extra Class US amateurs). With K9W, just now, the QSO rate seems to be one about every few minutes, and no pattern.

Some of the K9W operators are very good about identifying duplicate contacts --- "NO DUPES". Since K9W updates its on-line logs often, there really is no excuse for duplicate QSOs.

K9W seems to have worked through all of the issues. In the end, this was a very good DXpeditiion. They get my vote for DXpedition of the Year.


T33A, Banaba Island

A mixed bag, so far. Some really great operators on the DXpedition, and some who obviously are learning their chops in dealing with the huge pile-ups. They don't seem to update their on-line log much.

09NOV13: As usual, US sunrise, but the 80m operator seems obliged to work JA most of the time on 80m. And we weren't helped by some JA RTTY operation right on top of T33A. Must also be bad QRM/QRN since his QSO rate is about 1 in 2 minutes. And the op is going at about 24 w.p.m. maximum. Then he made the classic mistake: he answered a caller almost zero-beat with him and the floodgates opened --- everybody now calling on the T33A TX frequency. Time to get a new 80m operator.


XR0ZR, Juan Fernandez Island

Just a not very good DXpedition. Poor discipline, strange use of propagation, and generally poor signals here in NM. And they seem to attract the nutcase community. I hear more idiots calling on top on them than the other current DXpeditions, and more tuner-uppers. XR0ZR 30m CW just now (10NOV13 @ 0230z) is a mess. We do this for fun?

10NOV13 0913 local; 15m propagation is improving to western US. The op decides it''s lunchtime. Not sure why these guys are even bothering.Then later, they operate for a while and then are gone --- no QRX, no "BACK IN 30MIN", no "QSY (other band)", just poof, disappeared!

11NOV13: Early morning local time in NM. T33A and K9W DXpeditions are on the air, making contacts. XR0ZR? Nowhere to be seen so another sign that this is a part-time DXpedition.

XR0ZR, like T33A, claim they will use ClubLog and update frequently. That hasn't happened in either case for several days which also encourages the desire for "insurance" QSOs since we don't know if our QSOs have really made it into the log.

12NOV13 Well, they have managed to update the online log. I'm also trying to have a QSO with them on 30m but the operator is so poor, he's probably managing a QSO every minute or slower. This is no exaggeration. Maybe the local QRN is high?


JT65 users.

What is it about some JT65 users? I can be calling a specific station on JT65 and these other stations just fire up and assume that I'd really rather have a contact with, for example, Minnesota instead of VK on 80m. And they exhibit this sort of behavior persistently, so it's not just a 'slip of the keyboard'. This happened several times, with different operators, this morning.

And then we have the JT65 signals which appear in multiple places on the spectrum, simultaneously. These are usually at multiple separations of 120Hz which indicates that the radiated signal is also being modulated by rectified mains power. The offenders appear oblivious to this problem, although they are chewing up much more spectrum than required. Does nobody comment on these poor signals to the offenders?

On 20m JT65 this morning, I call "CQ AI5I DX" signaling that I want replies only from ouside the US. So what happens? Correct. I get a big US 5 area reply. This sort of thing happens a lot. Don't these ops understand the meaning of "DX"? Or because their stations are so compromised, any signal from outside the borders of their state is "DX"? This happened again this evening; I called for DX on 80m JT65 and I get answered by a station 600 miles away.


TPA# 381

Completed 160m CW WAS 07FEB11

Completed DXCC Challenge 26JAN14


SKCC# 7176T, NAQCC# 5356


Recent changes:

Updated EME initials total.

Revised my request for postage for some QSLs --- EME only.


Revised: 16AUG14 @ 01:20z

1189519 Last modified: 2014-08-16 01:21:10, 12978 bytes

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