Unless you were asleep at the dial you probably heard a lot of yelling, begging, and contacts being made on the HF bands yesterday. From 1200Z yesterday to 1200Z today stations were on the air doing what contest stations do – making contacts. Ahh, yes, it was the weekend for the IARU HF Championship.
I hadn’t planned on participating until I started seeing some islands starting to be advertised on the spotting networks. Since I’m still chasing the islands I immediately seized the opportunity and started making contacts. 80m was also open to Europe in the overnight hours (particularly after 0400Z) so I was able to pick up a few countries there as well.
Here’s some of the places I put in the log during the contest:
- Aland Islands, 20m CW
- Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, 15m SSB
- Isle of Man, 20m CW and 40m CW
- Faeroe Islands, 40m CW
- Aruba, 80m CW and 40m CW
- Germany, 80m CW
- Canada, 15m CW and 80m CW
- South Cook Islands, 20m CW
- Portugal, 80m CW
Most, if not all, of these contacts were either new countries, new bands, or new modes. That brings my current DXCC count to:
- SSB – 118
- CW – 65
- Data – 106
- Overall – 165
Looks like I will be competing in the upcoming Maryland QSO Party and helping out with the ARRL Rookie Roundup – RTTY, both as K3CAL. Those contests should be a lot of fun!
Oh, and a checklog has been submitted to the ARRL.
I’m currently planning on two IOTA DXpeditions: Smith Island (NA-140) and Hatteras (Pea) Island (NA-067). The DXpedition to Smith Island is up in the air due to my having to sail there but the latter to Hatteras Island will definitely happen unless there is some hurricane that forces us to stay home.
Smith Island is a small island in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. Available only by boat, we’ll be sailing there to operate from the marina using shore-based antennas and transceivers. I’ll provide an update as it gets closer to the time to make our way south. Operation will be over the last weekend in July 2013 for the annual IOTA Contest. Operation will be most likely be 10m through 40m phone. I may be able to do some CW as well depending on how much practice I get before then.
Smith Island isn’t going to happen for the IOTA contest this year. I will try to make it over there later this year, however.
I’ll be on vacation August 4th through the 10th on Hatteras Island. Operating will be vacation-style and I’ll try to be available 6m through 40m, phone and CW. I know this island group has been well represented in the past so I don’t expect many pileups but maybe I can work some rare ones myself!
Again, I’ll update this post as time gets closer for these events to happen.
I received the QSL cards for the N4I DXpedition today. Received QSLs have been answered and will go out in tomorrow’s mail.
The Core Banks (Cape Lookout) DXpedition team will be heading to the island tomorrow morning. We plan to have at least one phone and one CW station on the air this weekend (digital modes are an option as well). We will be QRV as N4I beginning Friday through Monday and we will be active during the IOTA Contest.
Hope to put you in the logs!
I had the pleasure of doing a mini-DXpedition over the Memorial Day weekend on Hatteras Island. The YL and I setup a 20m SSB station in the tent using a MFJ 20m SSB Travel radio, a hamstick rotatable dipole, a 12ah battery, and a 18w solar panel.
Overall, the test was a success. Contacts were made in eleven different countries utilizing only ten-watts of output power. While time was short for operating (hey, this was a vacation, too!) I did find that operating during the grey zone (twilight) yielded the best results. Pointing the dipole towards Europe yielded excellent results on both sides of the antenna. This was a test for the upcoming IOTA contest in July where I plan on activating an island either on the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina. More about that later, though.
DX cards have been sent via the bureau and all contacts have been uploaded to LoTW.
Got a return QSL from EA6SX today. Before you say “You didn’t have Spain?” you should know that this isn’t exactly Spain. Turns out it this is from the Balearic Islands in the Med. Contact was made on 16 Mar on 17 meters.
Thanks Mike for the QSL!