Sunday, 30 March 2014


Another great weekend on the bands, even if I did have to shut down a few hours early. 10m was very active both days, but Sunday morning was just outstanding on that band, with most of Europe calling CQ there it seemed.

Friday evening was a feast of the South Pacific, on 10m  I managed to work JA3BOA, JR3NZC, JA1ZGP, and JI2ZEY in about 4 minutes.  After I cleared with the last Japanese station I was called by an Hawaiian station, and managed to work three of them in a row, and then I snagged ZL4PLM in Christchurch, New Zealand.  I don't think I've worked a ZL in the last two years.

I didn't work steady at it on Saturday, just a few hours here and there.  I'll be very honest and tell you all that I just wasn't into it for some reason.  No idea why, my mind was just elsewhere.

Sunday morning I was back at it with renewed vigour, obviously a good nights sleep helps a lot.  Two new countries dropped into the log before noon, UA2F in Kaliningrad, and 4V1JR in Haiti.  Both stations were caught on 10m.

I managed to work stations on 80m through 10m, but I mainly stayed on 10m.  I'm also going to have to rebuild my 15m vertical dipole, it's not working as well as I thought it would, and it also seems very "hit and miss" with its contacts.  I think I'll switch it to a regular dipole and see how that works out.

The FT-950 was the rig in action this weekend, along with the 80m OCF dipole and the 15m vertical dipole.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

QRP to the Field

I stumbled on this while looking for information on this years event.........

QRP to the Field will be held two weeks later this year so it can be held in conjunction with International SOTA Day and the 10-10 Contest.  This will give us more available contacts and a chance at some good DX.

The new date for your calendar is: Saturday, May 3rd, 2014.  Timings are 1200 UTC to 2359 UTC.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

2m Challenge

Had a great day today on Fort Henry Hill....believe it or not.  The new information centre is closed and because of that the 30 or so plasma screens are shut off and the local noise level is back down to zero.

Today was the Frontenac Club's 2m Challenge.  A simple contest 1 point per contact using both SSB and FM.

We could have done with a few more stations on the air, but those who did take part had a good time.

I decided at the very last minute to head up to Fort Henry and I didn't take that much gear with me.  It was a shake the winter cobwebs off type of day.  It was still cold, -12C under a brilliant blue sky and about a 25 kph wind.  Lots of kite flyers up on the hill today.  My feet froze in my winter boots for some reason, but any excuse to turn on the engine and pump some heat into the truck cab.

Anyway, rig of the day was the FT-857D, and the antenna, which is shown below, was a very simple 2m dipole made from Buddipole parts on a 18' painter pole........and it worked very well.  This was the first time the 857 has been out of the box since last October's County Emergency Exercise if I remember correctly.  It doesn't get used very much, and as a result everytime I do use it, it becomes a learning experience all over again, and of course it hardly ever gets used for VHF use. 

Got to work several 2m QRP stations today, which is always nice to see, and had the winter cobwebs blown off.  Hopefully spring is just around the corner and more portable ops will be on the table.

A very dirty VE3CLQ mobile station

Saturday, 8 March 2014

10m action

What an amazing day on 10m!   The band has been wide open into Europe and the Middle East just about all day, and the stations have been wall to wall.   As well as 10m, 12m and 17m have been very active as well today, with lots of great DX showing up.
I was very pleased at 1555Z to have Dattatry, VU2DSI, from Ahmednagar, in Central India pick me up, and on my first call to him.  Made my day!

I cannot remember ever actually hearing an Indian station on the air.  I've seen lots of them posted on the DX Cluster, but to work them on the very first call is just amazing.

The past few months have been fantastic on 10m, I remember my Dad, the "original" VE7CVQ, working the world on 10m back in 1992/1993.  Let's hope these conditions last until months end and the next big contest!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Weekend Round-Up

clip_image002What a great weekend on the bands! The ARRL International SSB Contest certainly brought hams out of the woodwork and on the air.

When I looked at the SFI numbers on Thursday to see what was going on, I thought we would all be twiddling our thumbs on Saturday and Sunday, but instead it turned around and the conditions where pretty good after all.

40m didn’t make me smile very much; I only managed to make a total of four contacts on that band all weekend long. I was hearing lots of stations, the problem was nobody was calling “CQ Contest”, and nobody was answering my CQ calls either. Both 20m and 15m sort of got left behind in the rush that was 10m. I made 31 contacts on 20m, 30 contacts on 15m, and 261 contacts on 10m.

Furthest contact of the weekend was with JA2AXB in Shizuoko City, Japan on 10m.

The Band Police must have taken the weekend off as I didn’t hear any of them about all weekend. However, there is one gentleman, and I really do use that term loosely, who spent a couple of hours Saturday afternoon jamming contesters on 14.235. Apparently it was his personal frequency and he objected most strongly to anyone who got close. His foul mouth and racist rants had to be heard to be believed. I hope somebody caught his callsign and managed to tape him so the FCC can also hear him. He certainly doesn’t deserve to be a ham with his attitude.

Let’s all hope the last weekend of the month is just as good for the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest.