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ZL2HAM New Zealand flag New Zealand

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QSL: DIRECT TO NI5DX

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My QTH is in lovely Nelson, the sunshine capital of New Zealand, on the north coast of the South Island. Nelson is a popular vacation spot even among New Zealanders.

I'm always interested in hearing what I sound like in other parts of the world. If you happen to make a recording, please send me a copy or link (it helps me monitor my signal quality, too). SDR WAV files or screenshots of a waterfall showing my signal are also appreciated (if my signal is ever wide, please let me know!).

I appreciate being spotted. I try to watch the cluster feed while I'm on the air; I don't monitor my email.

I generally upload to LoTW about once a month, and shortly after major contests.

My contest callsigns are ZM1G for SSB and ZL1G for RTTY.

Different hams have different approaches to pileups. Here's some info about how I handle them in SSB, and tips for reaching me in one:

  • Please use your full call. I will respond to a weak full call over a strong partial every time.
  • After you say your call, wait and listen for a bit before saying it again. If you repeat your call over-and-over, not only are you likely to miss my call, but it sounds like QRM to me. I listen for and seek out polite callers, especially in a crowd. If I call and you double with me, I'm unlikely to call a second time.
  • If you respond to my request to complete a partial call, please only give your full callsign at first.
  • Don't repeat parts of your call, or say it out of order. In high QRN/QRM, say your full call several times. If you say things out of order, it makes it much more difficult for me to identify the parts I'm missing.
  • If I ask for more than one repeat, please try different phonetics.
  • Please don't give me a signal report unless and until you hear me say your call correctly. Giving me a report is also confirming that I have your call right.
  • Wait until you hear me say "QSL" or "thanks" before moving on, in case I need a repeat. Until I say one of those words, your call is not in my log.

For RTTY pileups:

  • I use very narrow (200 Hz) filters. Be sure to call exactly on-frequency, or it's just QRM to me, and I won't be able to decode your signal.
  • Just send your call at first, three times. The reason for three is that I won't call you back until I've seen your call at least twice. If you send twice, and one gets garbled by noise, I can't tell which one is valid.
  • LIkewise for your exchange: send it three times (except 599 when required only needs to be sent once).
  • Don't tail end. Only send your call after I send CQ. Tail-ending means you're sending when I'm trying to listen for another caller, and it just slows everyone down, upsets me, and makes me not want to work you at all. When I do work tail-enders to make them go away, for some reason I find they have a very high error rate in my log.
  • Similarly, don't call over-and-over-and-over. Just send your call three times per attempt, and wait.
  • As with SSB pileups, please listen before TXing. If I call you, and you double with me, odds are I won't call a second time.
  • Tip: don't use dashes in your exchange. If a FIGS shift gets dropped, using dashes makes your whole exchange look like garbage. Using a space instead is a little slower, but it lets the decoder reset, and reduces the error rate.
  • If I don't respond immediately after a big flurry of callers, it's because none of them decoded well enough to call back. I will usually wait about two seconds before calling CQ again. If you can time it right, that's the time to call me in a pileup (but don't wait too long, or we'll double).

Three major pieces of hardware in my setup were made in Italy: the UltraBeam UB-50 antenna, the SPE Expert 2K-FA amplifier, and the ProSisTel PST-61 rotator. I also use a Yaesu FTdx-5000, microHAM MKII, and a Green Heron RT-21.

View to the northwest:

 

To the west:


 

Here's my tower. The antenna is an UltraBeam UB-50 (3-el on 6 to 20m, 1-el on 30 and 40):

 

I run a Skimmer Server site that feeds the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN). I'm using QS1R receiver that's usually confgured to listen on 160, 80, 40, 20, 17, 15 and 10. It's fed from a multiband fan-vertical / inverted-L (resonant on 40 and 80) that's located to the left of the tower in the photo above.

Recording of me working a pileup on 12m on 27 Nov 2012, as heard by YO2MLM:

Recording of me working another pileup on 17m on 23 Dec 2012:

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1500336 Last modified: 2014-12-06 20:50:21, 5518 bytes

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