Sunday, March 16, 2014

A good day on 17m

We had another cold snap hit us here with a wind chill in around -20C  it was time for some indoor radio activities. For some reason I settled in on 17m not a band that I frequent all that often, not sure why but never seem to stay long on this band. When looking at the P3 band scope the band did not look very active but as I slowly scanned across the band I came across some stations calling CQ. The first station was ZB2FK on Gibralter. There was not much of a pileup at the time when I made contact and I did receive a 559 from him and with 5 watts from an MFJ 1788 loop antenna I was very pleased with that contact. I then came across IW1DFU calling CQ again on 17m and I gave him a call he did come back to me but I had to repeat my call but again he gave me a pleasing 559 report. I then came across KH2L in Guam and he was in and out with the noise floor but I was very happy the loop was even picking him up! It was time to put the filtering of the K3 to use. I dropped the filter to 250 hz and added the Audio Peak filtering feature and that
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was all it took to bring him off the noise floor and into plan old CW. There really was no pileup to speak of but some where in line before me and I wanted to wait my turn. The propagation was such that his signal was up around S5 and then just at the noise floor. This is the exciting type of DX I like to try to work, it's a challenge and it could be hit or miss. It is very unusual for me to even hear signals from this part of the world but today at times he is S5. When given the opportunity I dropped my call and hoped for the best. Have you ever had this happen.......I for sure thought he was coming back to me and it happen to be the one time he was in the noise floor but maybe I was not at his end but at a possible S5. So I came back to him..........but it was not to be it was if the static was playing head games with me and coding VE3WDMmmmmm. To make a long
story short one of his contacts had spotted him on a cluster and then all hell broke loose!! My time was up as a HUGE pile started. I'm not saying QRP stations have not busted pileups but time was moving on and dinner was soon going to be on the table. KH2L maybe next time, I am not at all disappointed as these types of events help sharpen your skills and really allows you to become familiar with your radio. 

8 comments:

  1. Hi Mike. Nice QRP work and I hope you grab KH2L the next time. 73 Dick

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    1. Good evening Dick, funny thing I was up early this morning and saw him spotted on the cluster. I thought at this time in the morning not much of a pile up states side should be found.......well I could not hear KH2L at all.
      Mike

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  2. Hi Mike, nice story. Yes, cluster is not always the friend of the DX-er. We have to be lucky to catch a station just before they are discovered. And 17 m is a nice band. 73 Paul

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    1. Hello Paul and very nice to hear from you, I found 17m to be a very good band and according to the P3 it was not supposed to be busy but most stations were up and down from the noise floor. Yes a cluster can be a problem for a low power mini antenna station like this one.
      Mike

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  3. I can remember the times you had to read DX information from paper. No internet/ DX cluster back then. I think the young radioamateur today has no knowledge of finding DX himself (or the "sound" of a DX station). Sometimes I really think of not switching on the computer and listen, just listen. It's a pity you didn't make it to KH2L this time, but that's life of a QRP station. 73, Bas

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    1. Hello Bas and good evening to you, I have found the same just roaming the bands for what's out there. But I do have to admit that do run the cluster just to see what is going on out there.
      Mike

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  4. Mike, been there done that. I either miss out because I don't hear them or they bust my callsign due to being a bit weak on the S Meter. But you a few highly successful contacts, great job!

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  5. Hey AK2MA it sure hurt when all the big guns pick up the action....I find it's better to move on at times (still trying to throw my call in before I go) as I can get more DX that way.
    Mike

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