My station log from 08FEB09 till 30MAY16 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.
DX Stations: Please do not divide the US up into "West Coast" (i.e. CA, OR, WA, and possibly AZ) and "everythng else", Stations in the Mountain West are at a disadvantage working EU/AF DX because of distance and the East Coast US hordes.
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.
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. I operate on HF mostly, and usually CW and digital modes. Occasionally, I am on meteor scatter with WSJT on 6 metres - 800W to a 5-element M2 beam. I am on 2m EME with 700+W to 18 elements (but limited elevation control).
167 2m EME initials worked since 13JUL14. 27 DXCC confirmed on 2m EME.
Please do not call me if you are located in the USA and I am calling specifically for Europe ("EU") (or some other region). It's rude and it covers up the DX I am looking for. It's challenging enough to get through the US East Coast hordes without deliberate impediments.
This evening I called explicitly for DX on 80m JT65 because I can hear the Carribean and EU. So, what do I get? Yes, THREE US stations call me. I'm beginning to think I should give up on JT65 and just work CW.
Observations on recent DXpeditions & rare activity
31JAN16 Sheer mayhem today on 20m CW.
01FEB16 Big signals into NM on 12m CW. So, they stop abruptly. Now they are only on at ESP levels on 20m CW though yesterday they claimed 6 simultaneous stations. Still, as long as they work the US East Coast, all is well.
02FEB18 13:40z VP8SGI on 12m phone, working by numbers. And still the East Coast hordes complain, even though there are no W5s, W6s and W7s to get in their way since we have no propagation from those call areas.
Yes, it's all that you thought it would be. Mayhem; absurd pile-ups; Extra Class US amateurs who don't know about split operation; amateurs who think the DXped will hear them on the DXped frequency or, better still, hear them when the DXped is transmitting; foul language on both CW and SSB; world-class whining on the air and on the DX clusters; crowing about contacts --- "VP8STI first call, easy"; Extras using CW who can't read CW but just assume the DX clusters are correct; ... For this, we want Congress to create rules to address HOA restrictions?
14JAN15 I don't think this one will win DXpedition of the Year. The 30m CW op might be managing 1 QSO every 30 seconds, if we are lucky. I don't know if this means conditions are poor (they seem average) or their set-up isn't very good. Their 30m signal seems weak in NM. The pile-ups are big, of course, but the 30m op doesn't need so much "filler".
And the 80m signal at my SR doesn't seem much better. Maybe it's time for them to connect up the antennas?
15JAN16 K5P strong in Mountain West on 160m CW at Eastern US SR. What's the plan? Yes, you have it. Work JA.
16JAN16 K5P on 30 and 40m this mornng. Pitifully weak signals in NM --- perhaps S2. And because the overall QSO rate has been so poor, the hordes are still here as everyone tries to get at least one K5P qso in their log. Usually by this time in a DXpedition, the crowds are thinning out. Oh, and K5P has to satisfy EU. I don't remember the Kerguelen DXped being so fastidious about satisfying the US demand. We'll also see how accommodating the EU masses are during the Juan de Nova DXped.
But you can feel the frustration building on 40m CW. Abusive and foul language (on CW!), tuning-up, deliberate interference ... all on top of a miserable signal at NM SR --- maybe S3 on QSB peaks, if we are lucky.
Whoa! I thought CW was bad but I took a look at the 20m RTTY operation this afternoon. There are even more US Extras who have no clue. TX'ing on K5P frequency, TX'ing while K5P is TX'ing, begging for a contact, ...
17JAN16 S9 signal here on 30m CW at 11:00z --- possibly the best I have heard them on 30m. But K5P must work EU. An hour later, K5P is in the mud. Are we ever going to get a shot at K5P on 30m in western US?
18JAN16 Good signal on 30m CW at 11:00z-ish --- in the log. K5P 80m antenna is now fixed --- good op on 80m CW, cruising along at 32wpm with great rhythm and handling the pent-up 80m demand from the US.
23JAN16 K5P really hitting their stride now that propagation has improved. Overall, a very good DXpedition.
16NOV15 As usual, we have the malcontents, the clueless and the egotists all calling or jamming on the DX frequency. But VK9WA ops are working their way through the huge pile-ups quite efficiently. They have been true to their words on their web page --- they announce their call and "listening up" frequently, and stick with a partial call until they get it.
17NOV15 Well ... not exactly demonstrating competence this morning. 80m station seems confused about which frequency they are on. 30m station came and went very quickly. 40m station is too late for US west. Maybe there's some weather problem?
20NOV15 Finally, I hear them on 30m CW. But the op is not very good --- no rhythm, lots of extraneous filler ("5NN 5NN"), often loose dits and dahs, and wrong signals ("5NNN"). It's SR for the US west but the op is determined to work mostly JA with a few EU stations thrown in. EU I can understand because there is grey line to Europe, but JA nearly all the time? And because the operation is so poor, the US frustration is building up.
22NOV15 At last, I hear them on 40m CW. VK9WA lasts for about 10 minutes, then goes QRT. I don't blame them --- the indiscipline was bad with many callers on the DX frequency. When you look up the profiles of the offenders, you see that mostly they look like reasonable people. Some of them even have the "DX Code of Conduct" on their qrz.com pages!
A while later, VK9WA comes back on 40m. This op isn't very good and loses control of the pile-up. So, it's all tuning up on his frequency, calling out of turn, calling on his frequency, "helpers" not helping, policemen, ... Welcome to the fun and exciting world of amateur radio HF DXing. Then VK9WA op calls for "VE" and then works "WB9MSM". Now at western US SR he goes QRT. These guys are really amateurs. And besides, as long as the East Coast US gets theirs, all's well.
VK9WA comes back once more for 40m CW. 1 qso per minute. Works mostly 6- and 7-land, mountain west SR peak having long passed. Half of OR, WA and CA are calling now so, yes, it's time to go QRT again.
Completed 160m CW WAS 07FEB11
Completed DXCC 1000 Challenge 26JAN14
SKCC# 7176T, NAQCC# 5356
Revised: 30MAY16 @ 23:11z
7358494 Last modified: 2016-06-03 21:44:53, 10609 bytes
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