Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Great News....CQ SOTA!!

Summits on the Air (SOTA) is coming to VE3 land !!!   Starting on the 1st April the VE3 SOTA Association becomes active.

This has been a long time coming.  The process was started 10 years ago by Martin VA3SIE, and finally we've got there.

There will be around 1000 summits available for activation, the majority of them up in North-West and North-East Ontario.  But.... there are over 100 available in Southern and Eastern Ontario.

This is the URL that will hold the VE3 Summit Date:   It will not be active until 0001 on April 1st.......and that's not an April Fool's Joke !!

Friday, 23 March 2018

The 2018 Western DXpedition...

In a previous posting I mentioned that I would be operating at night from some pretty rare grids during my trip.  This may be of interest to those of you taking part in this years ARRL International Grid Chase.

Hopefully these will be of some interest to those chasing Grids.  Some of these are in the middle of "nowhere", and probably haven't been activated in decades, if ever.  The ham population in some of these grids is zero.

I have checked the ARRL site to see if any of these grids have been activated for the Grid Chase, and most of them are shown as having zero contacts so far.  So this trip will be a good opportunity to get them on the air.

Those Grids will be:


My plan is to operate during the evening from my campsite using wire antennas and my Buddipole system.  I'll also be on battery power, so I will operate as long as the battery lasts.    I'll post a few frequencies here before the departure date in May.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

VE3FI and 60m

Just a general statement here:

I do not now, or in the past, have an antenna that will load up on 60m.  Today I received over 20 eQSL's from European stations looking for confirmation of QSO's last February.

If it was just one or two eQSL's I would write it off as honest screwups when entering the call sign in their logs......but 20+....Hmmmm!!

So, if you had a 60m QSO last February with a station using the VE3FI callsign, I can 100% guarantee that you where not talking to the real VE3FI.

Apparently Long John Silver lives !!

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

ARRL International DX Contest - SSB

Not a bad weekend on the bands, even if the propagation numbers were not the best.  We started off Friday night very slowly, contacts on 40m and 80m could be heard, but they where way down in the mud.  In fact it took about an hour before things got better, but for most of the weekend I had a S7 to S9 background noise.  They recently built two new houses across the road from me, and boy are they RF dirty!!

Saturday morning we awoke to SFI = 66, SN = 11, A Index = 6 and the K Index = 1, no different from the night before at 0000 UTC.

Given the late date in the current solar cycle there was lots of good DX to be had out there.  Both Saturday and Sunday the go-to bands where 15m and 20m.  The majority of my contacts where on 15m....I had a great run there.  Lots of EU and Russian stations in there as well as most of the Caribbean islands.   The EU stations where in there early in the morning and late in the afternoon, the remainder of the day it was the Caribbean and South Americans who kept me busy.  No new countries in the log this weekend though.

As usual, the downside was the usual large crop of "tuner-uppers" doing their business right on top of the DX - I guess these LIDS just don't know enough to move off frequency a couple of Kc and do it there.   On the plus side I didn't hear any band police out and about - how refreshing.

All-in-all a great weekend, over 200 contacts in the log, and now we wait for the last weekend of the month when we have the CQ WW WPX DX SSB Contest, and get to do it all over again.