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MM0TWX Scotland flag Scotland

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After working one DXCC Honour Roll, 5B DXCC and 198 Zones from one country (IK2BHX), 309 DXCC countries from anoter country (HB9DSU), and making not far from 150,000 QSOs from a number of semi-rare DX locations, in May 2014 I settled back in Glasgow, and was looking for some challenge to keep my DX enthusiasm going. Here, I have the fortune of living in a beautiful Victorian villa, on the South side of the city, surrounded by a mature garden with tall trees. It is a corner of paradise, but the building is listed as an historical monument and therefore, NO VISIBLE ANTENNAS. As a die-hard DX hunter/gatherer, however, I do not intend to give up. I therefore decided to pursue a cutting-edge, competitive DXing activitiy using almost invisible, no-gain wire antennas.

Starting in June 2014, my challenge is to work the DXCC Honor Roll and 2,000 band points using a single wire antenna (a 41 m long windom - at a respectable height, 18 m). I believe this is hard, but achievable. I do this for my own enjoyment, and to demonstrate that a top-level DX activity is possible with absolutely ordinary means, from an antenna-restricted city lot.

RESULTS SINCE 1 JUNE 2014 USING ONLY THE WINDOM ANTENNA

CW only DXCC

282

6 10 12 15 17 20 30 40 80 161
38 211 188 173 191 194 96 69 26 0

 

IN THE SHACK

SUNSDR 2 PRO

Russian made and absurdly good, this latest generation Software Defined transceiver (HF, 6 m and 2m!) has a GUI that blows the Flex out of the water.

TEN TEC OMNI VI plus

The most advanced edition (mod 564) of the CW operator's dream. That's the radio I end up using 90% of the time.

EXPERT 1K-FA

Everything has already been said about this incredible machine,

 

These are some of the QSOs I suffered most for, hence the most satisfying:

November 2014, FT4TA, #9 most wanted DXCC. One hellish week: many, many hours in the gargantuan pileups, small signals and an impenetrable wall of continental europeans. First qso (12 ssb) by pure chance. Second QSO (10 cw) by sheer insistence, on the last day of operations and with still 12 KHz split...

February 2015, K1N, #2 most wanted DXCC. Another agonising first week, in which signals in Europe were very low and the expedition only worked North America, despite having 20 or 30 kHz of European wall calling them. Then, again by pure luck, I caught them as they just started on a new frequency on 20 cw. Two calls and country #227 was mine. Exstatic. Then I managed to work them on 4 other bands, including 80 m.

March 2015, E30FB, #19 most wanted DXCC. The pattern remains the same. Six days of suffering, checking and re-checking the bands and spending many frustrating hours in the usual gargantuan piles. Mostly poor signals, and when the signals were good, the DX was working either JA or NA...  Until conditions were right and I got them on 20cw for ATNO #233.

November 2015, VK9WA, #24 most wanted DXCC. Almost ridiculously a carbon copy of all the previous "difficult ones"... A full week of monitoring the bands, and I only ever heard them for about an hour on 40, and (barely) sometimes on 30, with obvious no chance. And then a loud 17 m CW signal comes up (NEVER heard them before on that band...) and I quickly nail tham for ATNO #261.

January 2016, VP8STI, #4 most wanted DXCC. Amazing stroke of luck. Excellent operators, but very poor signals; on the thrid day of operations I was in huge a dogfight on 17cw - for an hour - and then saw them spotted on 12cw. Went up there, pretended I could hear them (ESP level...), called once, they came back with MM0? Gave my call again and worked them for ATNO #264.

April 2016, FT4JA, #8 most wanted DXCC. Catastrophic propagation conditions: not a single signal (let alone from FT4JA) on any band from 18 Mhz up until 2pm local. Then faint signals from the DX, with an unbreakable EU wall.  It's 30 metres again that save the day, with a couple of calls, after many, many hours on the higher bands. ATNO #271.

And this is my "black list", that is the DXpeditions
I did NOT manage to work since June 2014:

November 2015: TX3X, Chesterfield
January 2016: K5P, Palmyra

 

AWAY FROM THE RADIO...

My name is Pete. I call myself "an Italian from Glasgow", as this describes both my origins and where I feel I belong. I took early retirement from an academic position, and I now belong to the endangered species called "working musicians". A medical doctor specialising in public health and a university professor for 15 years, for all my adult life I've had a parallel career as professional recording and performing artist. A George Benson-style smooth jazz guitarist, the music I composed, recorded and produced together with my wife, Scottish major labels singer Angela Higney, has appeared on some 200,000 CDs worldwide. Now that the record industry is officially dead, I remain very active on the "live" circuit, playing an almost incredible average 120 live gigs per year. You will find more information and a few videos on my music website at http://bluepete.wix.com/pete

Apart from music and ham radio, my other passion/obsession is mountaineering.

 

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