Friday, 24 October 2014

CQ WW SSB DX Contest

Tonight is the start of this years CQ World-Wide SSB DX Contest.  This kicks off at 0000Z and runs till 2359Z on Sunday. 

The bands are terrible right now (at 1530L).   Currently the SFI is at 227.  The SC is 126.  The 'A' Index is 10, and the 'K' Index is 4. 

Hopefully the bands will pick up soon, with the solar flux index above 200, and no geomagnetic storms in the forecast, band conditions should be excellent.

Rules for this years contest can be found HERE.

I'm going for a may be a long night J

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

2014 W/VE Island QSO Party from ON-022

10m Buddipole Dipole
It was a grand weekend for the Island QSO Party, the weather was good for the most part (not as nice as years past), but the wind cutting across the island was a bit too sharp on Sunday afternoon to be really comfortable.  Sunday was 7C with a 35 kph wind blowing in our faces.

I managed to work stations on 10m, 20m, 40m and 80m, but the vast majority was done on 10m.  Band conditions were pretty good really, the SFI was 160, SN was 60, the 'A' Index was 15, and the 'K' Index was 3.  We've all worked in better conditions, but we've all worked in far worse.

Don VE3MNE and Mark VE3EOG and myself worked on Simcoe Island, ON-022.  Don operated his own station under his callsign, as did I.  Mark had never done an island activation before, so he came along to see how things are done, and I think we have a convert.  Operating from Simcoe Island is great as there is no RF noise at all, and you can hear many more signals than from the home QTH. 
The Go-Box in action, out of the wind.
Don used his 31' vertical and I used my Buddipole as a dipole.  Both Don and myself used our go-boxes with FT-857D's in them.  Lots of DX to be had, thanks to the stations that spotted me on the cluster, and a BIG thanks to Stephan, ZS6SKY, for calling me from Johannesburg, South Africa, he called me on 10m at 1547Z on Sunday.  It was a Five-Six contact each way, with me using the Buddipole mounted on a 16' painter pole.  Yahoo!!

There were lots of JOTA stations on the air over the weekend, and it was great to talk to the Scouts and Cubs on the radio.  As well as JOTA we also had the New York, Iowa, South Dakota, and Illinois QSO Parties on the air, so there was no shortage of stations to talk to.  But, as well as all that, there was also lots of great European DX rolling in on 10m and that kept me busy.

As you can see from the picture on the right, I operated beside my truck, semi sheltered from the cold wind, but I wish I had taken a pair of gloves with me, my hands froze and it was difficult to log.  Don worked out of the cab of his truck so he could stay sheltered as well.

All in all, a great weekend.  It's a shame that more Canadian stations do not take part as it's lots of fun, and always a good time.

Here's a few more photo's from Simcoe Island, ON-022.

Don VE3MNE operating his station out of the wind.

The set-up on Simcoe Island.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

New Toys.....

The new look at the Shack
It was a great trip into Toronto yesterday, Don VE3MNE, Mark VE3EOG, and myself drove to Radioworld and Durham Radio for our annual candy feast...It was a successful trip.

Two bits of Yaesu gear jumped into my basket, a new desk mic, the MD-100A8X, and the matching speaker for the FT-950, the SP-2000.  Both of these items work as advertised and do great job.  I'm really enjoying the desk mic, and I'm getting some very good reports on it.

The speaker has built in audio filters that really do clear up the hash behind the voices.  Normally I use my Heil Pro-6 headset, but there are times that I like to use a speaker, and this one will do very nicely.

We also made a side trip to the Bass Pro Shop in Vaughan, a couple of Km north of Radioworld.

If you're an outdoorsman it's heaven!!  I cannot imagine even one piece of outdoor gear that you could not buy there.  They even have an indoor archery range right in the store, the place is HUGE!!  ......and yes, I did buy a couple of non-radio related items there.....

I have a suspicion that this place will be one of the regular places we stop at in the future.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

W/VE Island QSO Party - 2014

This coming weekend, October 18th & 19th, is the W / VE Island QSO Party.  Held each year this is the perfect opportunity to get out and do some portable operating from
one of your local islands.

If you can't get out....operate and work them from home.

This years Rules are HERE. And, don't forget to submit your logs!

This year from the Kingston area you'll hear VE3FCT operating from Simcoe Island, ON-22, and Dave, VE3DZE, operating from Wolfe Island, ON-009.  It looks like it will be a cool day, with temps around 9C, but at least there's no rain in the forecast.


Late addition, Tim, VA3TIC, and Derek, VE3HRW, will be activating Washburn Island, ON-289 on Sunday.