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VE3MGY Canada flag Canada

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First Licensed in 1991 ( with Basic, Advanced, and Morse Code Endorsements ) and was issued the callsign VE3SQZ. Since then I have held a number of different callsigns but currently I hold the calls VE3MGY, VY2MGY, VE3SQZ AND VA3DVC. I also hold an ISC General Operators Commericial Certificate ( GOC ) as well as an Aeronautical ROC(A)and Maritime ROC(M) certificate. 

But it really all started back in the 1960's when, at the age of 6 or 7, I got a AM/FM radio for christmas. We only had two audible AM stations on the East Coast during the day on AM at that time ( and only one on FM ) BUT at night I used to tune up the AM band trying to pull out weak station ID's in the QRN and managed to hear many far away places like New York, Chicago, Ohio, Texas, and even California - which was amazing for a 7 year old who only heard of these "exotic" places from the conversations of grownups. I didn't know it at the time but I had just started my MF DX'ing career that would continue for over 40 years and would help me develop the skills I would need many years later when competing and DXing on 160M.

In the 1980's I was a Radop / Telop in a Communications Regiment in the Canadian Armed Forces and MF/HF propagation completely fascinated me and still does to this day. The Forces was also where I entered my first Radio Competitions ( Multi Op by contest standards ) where Canadian Signal Units competed against other Signal Units in their respective Divisions and then those Divisional winners went on to compete in the Nationals against the other Divisional Winners for the much coveted Malloch Trophy which was awarded to the overall winner as being the best Signal Unit in Canada. And we won it - twice! I also won my first Single Op plaque for being the top student on the Tel/Op RTTY course. Ironically I did not win the top student plaque for the Rad/Op course which was the one I was really trying for. 

This is a picture of my very first MF/HF Radio - a AN/GRC 106A Set.  However "my" 106A set was actually owned by the Department Of National Defence - I just got to operate it. We also used the AN/PRC 25 and the AN/VRC 46 sets ( both VHF ) and the TA-43 Field telephone in the Forces but I was amazed by the magic and ability - as well as the challenge - of MF and HF.

After the Army I looked into Amateur Radio and found that it had the same HF band segments with the same propagational characteristics with only slightly different frequencies than I was used to operating. Since then I have been involved in everything from DX'ing ( I have the usual 6 Band DXCC, WAZ, WAS, etc. etc. - mostly from contesting ), SSTV, Packet, QRSS, ULF, ELF, LF, MF, HF, VHF, UHF, SHF, AM, FM, SSB, CW, PSK, RTTY, Satellite, AM and NDB DX'ing, NCS, CanWarn, Contesting and EME.

BUT when I found 160M I was completely hooked. It was the extraordinary challenge of DX'ing on MF that drew me in. When I also started Contesting I combined both of them together for the ultimate MF challenge - Audentes Fortuna Juvat. Now I spend my time either Contesting or chasing DX on Top Band between contests. My favorite mode is, and always will be, CW. I also do SO2R ( and sometimes SO2V or 2BSIQ ) in most contests I operate. Its hard to get rates of 200+ / hr with wire antennas in the trees and SO2V / SO2R / 2BSIQ is the only way to try and stay competitive with the bigger and better stations.

I started out running QRP ( 5 watts ) with a Ten Tec 509 and a 160M EFHW up in a tree for the first number of years but these days I am usually running Low Power ( 100 watts ) and really enjoy chasing 160M records as well as competing on all bands using all modes but more so on the "Low" Bands of 40M, 80M, and ​especially TopBand - 160M - which is my favorite band for DXing and Contesting

 

                                                                

The following are some of my better Contest results ( mostly on 160M of course ) 

#1 World in the CQ160 CW QRP ( won twice and hold Canadian Record )

#1 World in the CQ160 SSB QRP ( won 4 times and hold Canadian Record )

#1 World in the CQWW CW SOSB 160 ( won once and hold Canadian Record )

#1 World in the CQWW SSB SOSBA 160 ( won once and hold North American Record )

#1 World in the CQ WPX SSB SOSB 40M(T) ( won once and hold World Record )

​#1 World in the British Common Wealth Contest QRP Division ( won twice and hold Canadian Record )

#1 North America CQ WPX SSB 160 ( won 8 times and hold North American Record )

#1 North America CQ WPX SSB SOSBA 40M ( won once and hold North American Record )

#1 North America CQ WPX SSB SOSBA 80M(T) ( won once and hold North American Record )

#1 Canada in the CQ160 SSB LP ( won 6 times )

#1 Canada in the CQ160 CW LP ( won twice )

#1 Canada in the CQWW CW SOSBA 160 LP ( won 5 times and hold Canadian Record )

#1 Canada in the ARRL 160 QRP ( won 8 times )

#1 Canada in the ARRL 160 ULP ( won 5 times and hold Canadian Division Record )

#1 Canada in the ARRL 160 M/O ( won 4 times and hold  Canadian Division Record )

#1 Canada in the ARRL SS SSB M/O ( won twice and hold Canadian Division Record )

#1 Canada in the ARRL SS CW SOU ( won once )

#1 Canada in the ARRL SS SSB SOU ( won once and hold Canadian Division Record ) 

#1 Canada in the RAC Winter SOSB 160 ( won 6 times and hold Canadian Record ) 

At my first "real" QTH in FN04 I had 5 towers but when I moved to FN03 there were thousands of trees and clearing the forest was out of the question. With some trees over 100' tall I decided to try utilizing wire antennas up in some of the higher ones and found that they actually worked very well for the time that we were there. I was even able to put up a full size 160M Delta loop with the apex at 140', it took up over 3 acres but it worked very well. Now at the new QTH in EN92 I am just 2 miles from Lake Erie and sitting on some of the most fertile land in South Western Ontario and I am in the process of rebuilding the antenna farm. I have also noticed that there is very different propagation down here from what I can see so far on 40M, 80M and 160M. As well the ambient noise level is almost always -127 dbm ( 300 hz bw ) on all bands so it is a really quiet EMI / RFI environment for weak signal ops. Last but certainly not least is the fact that the Elgin Plateau where the QTH sits is located 141' above Lake Erie and provides some noticable gain on my take off angles on almost all frequencies. The only thing really missing here is a salt marsh.

Currently the antennas consist of about 23,700 feet ( 7.3 Kilometers  ) of wire spread out over a few acres for Space Diversity Reception as well as Polarization Diversity Reception and are fed with over 2,000 feet of feedline and are designed for operating on the lower bands of 40M, 80M and specifically 160M. They consist of:

[1] An 80M Inverted V at 55’ running North / South fed with 450 Ohm ladderline. Also used for RXO on 160 and SO2R from 10M through 80M.

[2] An 160M Inverted V at 55' running East / West fed with 450 Ohm ladderline. Also used for SO2R from 10M through 80M.

[3] A 1/4 wave Inverted L for 160M at 85' with 130 1/4 wave radials fed with RG8U-LL.

[ 4] A 530' Beverage used for 3.5 MHZ and 1.8 MHZ running 330 - 150 Magnetic. Fed with LMR400. ( QRV for the winter season only )

[5] A 500' Beverage used for 3.5 MHZ and 1.8 MHZ running 035 - 215 Magnetic. Fed with LMR400. ( QRV for the winter season only )

[6] A 500' Beverage used for 3.5 MHZ and 1.8 MHZ running 090 - 270 Magnetic. Fed with LMR400. ( QRV for the winter season only )

[7] A full size 160M inverted V at 100'.

[8] A 80M Doublet at 50' running North / South fed with 450 Ohm ladderline.

[9] A 20M Extended Double Zepp running North West / South East and fed with 450 Ohm ladderline.

[10] A full size 160M Horizontally polarized Delta loop.

[11] A 80M 1/4 wave Inverted L at 50' fed with RG8U-LL and utilizing a 128 1/2 wave radials.

[12] A 1,220' low noise 160M / MF / NDB RXO loop.

​[13] A 160M BOG running 050 - 330 Magnetic.

​[14] A 160M BOG running 010 - 190 magnetic.

For HF the primary Rigs are an Elecraft K3 ( with the KRX3 sub receiver for Diversity RX ), Elecraft KX3, and Icom 7600 while my Secondary Rigs are an Icom 756 PIII - and a Icom 756. My old MFJ TNC-2 from the early 90's was replaced by A Rig Blaster Plus and handles all of the digital modes. Four antenna tuners and five computers handle all the antenna switching, modeling, all digital modes, greyline DX'ing, propagation forcasting, contest logging, as well as general DX logging and Computer Aided Transceiver Control ( CAT ).

Currently using 2 HEIL Proset Plus headsets which enables me to reverse the polarity of the incoming audio streams in the headset making the audio eminate from the inside out not outside in as with other headsets and is paramount to copying weak signals that are near or even in the noise. Using the K3 in Diversity mode allows two separate audio streams to be fed independently of each other to the headset allowing one stream to listen to the vertical TX antenna or a choice of 6 RX antennas while the second audio stream also has a choice of the vertical TX antenna or 6 different RX antennas. Once the best RX antenna is found both streams can then be instantly synced to it if needed. On 160M sometimes a signal can fluctuate between vertical and horizontal polarization on two differently polarized RX antennas and can sound a bit like auroral flutter and would be very hard to copy without using diversity RX.

After 40 years and over 25,000 hours ( as of 2015 ) of being on MF and HF I heard the ultimate radio phenonmenon - a LDE - Long Delayed Echo - of a few seconds my signal returning to me about 24 seconds after it was transmitted. I was on 14 Mhz at the time and it was just barely audible and had a heavily distorted almost backscatter or auroral flutter quality to it with almost all of the CW tone missing and sounded very much like a spark generated transmission. The audio entered my passband and then faded out after a few seconds and was shifted down about 800hz in frequency. Due to the sequencing of the received signal in the LDE I was able to match it with the original transmission that had been transmitted 24 seconds earlier. LDE's should not to be confused with the normal echos you can sometimes hear on the higher frequencies when your signal circles the earth and hits your antenna from the opposite direction after about 133 ms. I was fortunate enough to have it recorded digitally as I was competing at the time in a contest but never discovered it till months later when I was reviewing the audio files. For a quick description of what LDE's are you can try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_delayed_echo

I have included one of the articles I have written that relates specifically to contesting and DXing on 160M. This particular one I wrote for CQ Amateur Radio in 2003 and it will give you an idea of the basics of propagation on 1.8 Mhz and show you how to get started either competing or DX'ing on Topband. The two links below will give an in depth explanation.

If you want to know more about Contesting in general check out http://www.qsl.net/zs1an/contesting_faq.html

If you want to know more about 160M and the challenge it presents check out http://www.spacew.com/cq/cqmar98.pdf

Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, who is very knowledgeable on all things related to 160M, has a number of excellent articles about 160M and is a very good read for anyone who wants to better their understanding of "Top Band" as well as increasing their contest scores and DX totals at http://myplace.frontier.com/~k9la/html/160m.html

I hope to work you on the air in either a contest or DX'ing.

Please QSL with SASE for paper QSL

73 es DX,

Brian, VE3MGY

 

 

8558699 Last modified: 2018-01-04 16:37:01, 17551 bytes

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QRZ Logbook Summary for - VE3MGY
Latest Contacts for VE3MGY at QRZ.com
dedateband mode grid Country op
NJ9U 2014-01-25 160M CW EM78ch United States PHILLIP D HUSTON
WM9I 2014-01-25 160m CW EM58rp United States Joe
AA3B 2014-01-25 160m CW FN20ei United States JOSEPH W TRENCH
AB4KJ 2014-01-25 160m CW EN52vc United States MICHAEL S IRIZARRY
KA8G 2014-01-25 160m CW en80wc United States Dave
N9JDL 2014-01-19 40m SSB EN71ak United States LARRY A HOUSOUR
KC2WUF 2014-01-19 80m SSB FN20sq United States David A Bean
VE3OMP 2014-01-19 80m SSB EN82tx Canada Paul Bold
WA3DQS 2014-01-19 80m SSB EM95od United States ANDREW V BEARY
NB8I 2014-01-19 160M SSB EN91cj United States Mark J Baker
KD8SPF 2014-01-19 160m SSB EN90hu United States STEPHAN R SIMON
KD4GNM 2014-01-19 160m SSB EM78pb United States Danny Goodrich
K2PI 2014-01-19 160m SSB FM18cq United States ROBERT J HARVEY
KA8G 2014-01-19 160m SSB en80wc United States Dave
NB8I 2014-01-19 80M SSB EN91cj United States Mark J Baker

Book Totals: 1384 qso's   1342 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM


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