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QRP365 Update 35

August 30, 2015 1 comment

It’s Sunday August 30th 2015 and I have now completed week 35 of my QRP 365 Challenge.  For those who are new to this, this means that for the whole of the year, 2015, I shall use no more than 5W and just CW or Datamodes, no phone at all.  At least one QSO a day – hence 365.

So how did I do this week?

23/08/15: IT9QAU, 5W, CW on 14.061MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

23/08/15: DK1IO/P, 5W, CW on 7.026MHz, a distance of 422mi (680km) / 84.4mi (136km) per Watt.

24/08/15: EJ7NET, 5W, CW on 7.005MHz, a distance of 387mi (624km) / 77.4mi (124.8km) per Watt.

25/08/15: OE5CCN, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 722mi (1164km) / 144.4mi (232.8km) per Watt.

26/08/15: SV2/RW3AL, 5W, CW on 21.014MHz, a distance of 1409mi (2273km) / 281.8mi (454.6km) per Watt.

27/08/15: DF5WBA, 5W, CW on 14.029MHz, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

28/05/15: LZ2RS, 5W, CW on 14.055MHz, a distance of 1363mi (2199km) / 272.6mi (439.8km) per Watt.

29/08/15: SP9UXB, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 850mi (1371km) / 170mi (274.2km) per Watt.

30/08/15: IZ3ETC, 5W, CW on 14.0325MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi ( 307.4km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was LZ2RS with a cracking 1363miles (2199km) worked. Nice for a CW contact now my CW skills are improving.

The first two listed above were QSOs I had last Sunday after writing up my account for week 34.  I then decided that I was going to attempt to work a CW QSO every day this week.  However, the conditions on HF have been awful following a large amount of solar activity and on a couple of days I had to resort to using a digital mode (JT65) as my 5W of CW was just not strong enough to carry it seems.

20150829_101436

The full shack at M0CVO QTH now.  Only the FT-DX1200 is currently in use for CW and the TS-480SAT for digi.

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 6th September 2015.

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QRP365 Update 34

It’s Sunday August 23rd 2015 and I have now completed week 34 of my QRP 365 Challenge.  For those who are new to this, this means that for the whole of the year, 2015, I shall use no more than 5W and just CW or Datamodes, no phone at all.  At least one QSO a day – hence 365.

So how did I do this week?

17/08/15: DD9ZZ, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 410mi (661km) / 82mi (132.2km) per Watt.

18/08/15: IC8XIL, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

19/08/15: UX1BZ, 5W, JTT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1405mi (2266km) / 281mi (453.2km) per Watt.

20/08/15: US5XD, 5W, CW on 14.021MHz, a distance of 1454mi (2345km) / 290.8mi (469km) per Watt.

21/08/15: EU1KY, 5W, CW on 14.039MHz, a distance of 1195mi (1927km) / 239mi (385.4km) per Watt.

23/08/15: R9XAC, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 2507mi (4043km) / 501.4mi (808.6km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was R9XAC with a cracking 2507miles (4043km) worked. Not quite 1000 miles per Watt but getting close.

You may have noted that there was no QSO recorded on the 22nd August (Saturday) above.  There was a geomagnetic storm in progress all day following a M4 flare from the sun (yes, the sun burped) which made QRP power levels into an OCFD an impossibility and then later in the day and evening we had thunderstorms which meant the radio was out of action.  This shows the limitations of QRP in some aspects and the challenges we must sometimes face.

I did fit an FFt-1 board into the Yaesu FT-DX1200 on Friday which enabled a full function AFT scope and both RTTY and PSK decode functions.  It also enables CW decode but, as both the tone and keyer speed must be matched to enable this function to work correctly, it is still generally easier to decode by ear.  It was enjoyable to make a couple of CW QSOs on Thursday and Friday – amazing how much easier it is when the noise floor is so much lower.  Well done Yaesu in attaining this with the FT-DX1200.  Makes a lot of difference.

IMG_20150821_122401 IMG_20150821_131049 IMG_20150821_132109

The FFT-1 board, the inside of the FT-DX1200 before and after the board is fitted.

IMG_20150821_155331 IMG_20150821_155825

Showing RTTY and PSK decode functions.

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 30th August 2015.

QRP 365 Update 33

It’s Sunday August 16th 2015 and I have now completed week 33 of my QRP 365 Challenge.  For those who are new to this, this means that for the whole of the year, 2015, I shall use no more than 5W and just CW or Datamodes, no phone at all.  At least one QSO a day – hence 365.

So how did I do this week?

10/08/15: IW3IEA, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 737mi (1188km) / 147.4mi (237.6km) per Watt.

10/08/15: IK0OEF, 5W, PSK63 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 999mi (1612km) / 199.8mi (322.4km) per Watt.

11/08/15: YO5PHL, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1148mi (1852km) / 229.6mi (370.4km) per Watt.

11/08/15: UV1GA, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1454mi (2345km) / 290.8mi (469km) per Watt.

12/08/15: S57YK, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 820mi (1322km) / 164mi (264.4km) per Watt.

13/08/15: S55OO, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz,  a distance of 834mi (1345km) 166.8mi (269km) per Watt.

14/08/15: DL2OCE, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 449mi (725km) /89.8mi (145km) per Watt.

15/08/15: SP3QYJ, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 742mi (1196km) / 148.4mi (239.2km) per Watt.

15/08/15: DK3HO, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

16/08/15: UT7MT, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1685mi (2718km) / 337mi (543.6km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was UT7MT with a cracking 1685miles (2718km) worked.

I am still getting used to the array of new features on the FT-DX1200 so the QSOs listed above have all been achieved using the TS-480SAT.  However, for your entertainment there follows a link to a youtube video to me receiving 4L4A on the FT-DX1200 (CW) showing how clear the received signal is with the excellent roofing filters and narrow bandwidth:

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 23rd August 2015.

QRP365 Update 32

It’s Sunday August 9th 2015 and I have now completed week 32 of my QRP 365 Challenge.  For those who are new to this, this means that for the whole of the year, 2015, I shall use no more than 5W and just CW or Datamodes, no phone at all.  At least one QSO a day – hence 365.

So how did I do this week?

03/08/15: F5UJK, 5W, PSK63 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 487mi (785km) / 97.4mi (157km) per Watt.

03/08/15: DL65DARC, 5W, PSK63 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

06/08/15: OM3DM, 5W, PSK31 on 14.070715MHz, a distance of 919mi (1482km) / 183.8mi (296.4km) per Watt.

07/08/15: DD9ZZ, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 410mi (661km) / 82mi (132.2km) per Watt.

08/08/15: IK8DYE, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

08/08/15: IZ8QKJ, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHZ, a distance of 1069mi (1725km) / 213.8mi (345km) per Watt.

09/08/15: SV5BYP, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1796mi (2897km) / 359.2mi (543.6km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was SV5BYP with a cracking 1796miles (2897km) worked and a new DXCC for the Dodedecanese Island of Rhodes.

You may have noticed a gap between the 3rd and the 6th of August in the log list above.  This was due to the fact that I was away for a family break fishing at Woodland Waters near Ancaster (IO92RX).  I took along my trusty FT-817ND, a dipole for 20m and one for 40m, a straight key and set up in the lodge.  However, using low power to call CQ on CW only and being surrounded by hills and woodland proved too much of a challenge and although several attempts were made daily whilst away, no reply was forthcoming and so, no QSO.

DSCF0039 The holiday set up

However, upon my return I did purchase a shiny new Yaesu FT-DX1200 transceiver from Martin Lynch & Sons which was promptly delivered the next day (Friday).  I am only currently using this radio for CW (the filters and front end processing make for a beautiful clear tone).  I have not managed a QSO on it yet but will keep trying daily (still only using a 5W carrier).  The radio has many features and capabilities and so there is quite a lot still to learn.

CLzTMbKWEAAM2_6  The new FT-DX1200

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 16th August 2015.

QRP365 Update 31

It’s Sunday August 2nd 2015 and I have now completed week 31 of my QRP 365 Challenge.  For those who are new to this, this means that for the whole of the year, 2015, I shall use no more than 5W and just CW or Datamodes, no phone at all.  At least one QSO a day – hence 365.

So how did I do this week?

27/07/15: DL0SOP, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 519mi (837km) / 103.8mi (167.4km) per Watt.

27/07/15: DG2BZE, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

27/07/15: DL2KMK, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

28/07/15: PD3HIM, 5W, JT65 on 14.076 MHz, a distance of 250mi (404km) / 50mi (80.8km) per Watt.

29/07/15: OE1VZ, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 771mi (1244km) / 154.2mi (248.8km) per Watt.

30/07/15: IK7XTG, 5W, PSK31 on 14.07015MHz, a distance of 1102mi (1778km) / 220.4mi (355.6km) per Watt.

31/07/15: DL6AH, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

31/07/15: UT7MT, 5W, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1685mi (2718km) / 337mi (543.6km) per Watt.

01/08/15: DG2BZE, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 469mi (757km) / 93.8mi (151.4km) per Watt.

01/08/15: UT1AN, JT65, on 14.076MHz, a distance of 1454mi (2345km) / 290.8mi (469km) per Watt.

02/08/15: IW0GBO, JT65 on 14.076MHz, a distance of 953mi (1537km) / 190.6mi (307.4km) per Watt.

As can be seen the best DX this week was UT7MT with a cracking 1685miles (2718km) worked.

A lot has been happening this week, not least was the update to Windows10.  Had 7 PCs to update here (including two tablet PCs) and then fingers crossed as I tested all radio software with it.  Suffice to say that after 4.5hours of downloading the update and installing it, FLDigi, PZTLog and Winlog32 all work perfectly under the new OS.  If you have also installed the new operating system from Microsoft I would advise that you go into the settings and turn off such things as “Allow apps to use my advertising ID” in the privacy section.

I am hoping that funds will allow me to add something new to my radio collection shortly – yes I am still looking at the FT-DX1200 but also found a 2nd hand FT-2000 for about the same price.  Another quandary for me to sort out….

Again, finding time to operate the radio is proving to be more of a challenge at the moment as our son is on his 6 week summer holiday.  Unfortunately his interests don’t involve radio so days out need to be arranged. The challenge is set for 365 days but amateur radio is a hobby and family and other commitments have to take precedence sometimes.  I am hoping to be active from IO92RX sometime during next week as well so listen out for me there.

Until next update..

Next update will be on Sunday 2nd August 2015.