Tropo on November 6, 2018

41 QSO, 30 Grid squares, 3 Grid fields, 11 countries.
Best ODX – UT8AL

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YL100 – Latvia 100 years

On 18 November 2018 Latvia will celebrate its centenary.
Radio amateurs in Latvia from November 1st to 18th, 2018 will activate special callsigns with prefix YL100 to commemorate this event.
5 different callsigns are used with YL100 prefix – one from each of 4 Latvia’s historical regions and one from the capital city – Riga: YL100K, YL100L, YL100R, YL100V, YL100Z.
3 kind of  Awards are possible for QSOs with a special callsigns during these 18 days.
Here is my first one, the simplest, 3rd class Award. Second one – 2nd class

Last target – 1st class Award,  for contacting each of the 5 different YL100 callsigns at least on 4 different bands. More or less it is real on 160. 80 and 40 meter bands. Hard, but possible on 30 meter band. Because we are too  close in distance to Latvia, so so called “death zone” make nearly impossible for QSO on 40 and above HF bands.
But!  hope it will be possible on VHF bands, including EME.
And it was possible! During NAC-144 (06.11.18), all 5 calls were presented. Award rules are here.
Let’s see….

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New DXCC: TR8CA (Gabon)

In the end of August I found in EME chat a new callsign – TR8CA, whom I worked in year 2001 via satellite AO-10, and later on many HF bands on CW, RTTY and SSB. Sure. it was surprise for me! But at these days Alain started his EME tests to late for me: the moon was already below horizon. But 29th of August I saw his trace for the first time! He started every morning from 05:00 utc during approximately 1 hour. I called him many-many times without success. And his signal was up to -22 db, so I could not understand, why he did not hear me? Alain answered to others, not often, but answered to some “Big Guns”, like I2FAK, UA3PTW, RX1AS ….. With my power over 1KW at the splitter and 21 db antenna gain… I was completely frustrated…. Let say, I spend around 5 hours on next 4 days to call TR8CA! But today, the 1st of September this dramatic story was finished: we completed  our first EME QSO! 
I was so glad, that instead of taking a screenshot, I accidentally deleted the interface itself!
Thanks to Alain: he was nice and sent me his  screenshot.

Thus I’ve got DXCC # 177 and grid square #1018!
Thank you, Alain!
This QSO confirmed by QSL card and via LOtW.

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The ARRL WAS Award2 Meters

I am proud to announce the receipt of the diploma “The ARRL WAS Award 2 Meters” (Worked All States Award)  #211. All necessary QSO have been confirmed in LOtW, so the application was issued within a few minutes.

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1000 Grids On 144 MHz!

Today there was a remarkable event for me: I work grid number 1000 on 144 MHz band! The station was N4EME. They are the EMERovers Amateur Radio Club and currently operated from FM25fh near Cape Hatteras North Carolina.
Team has a nice setup: 4×12 el. LFA antenna and a good power.

The QSO was easy: just called and got answer. No pile-up.
They reported -23 db for me.
More info and pictures about EMERovers are here and here.

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Mozambique in the air. C8T 2-15 May, 2018

The Belgian Lions DX-Team (OT8T) are announced for a DXpedition to Mozambique during 2-15 May 2018. All HF-band and 144 MHz EME with 2X11 el. H-pol antenna and 1,2 Kw SSPA.
I am not so much interesting in HF. Just will look and if hear on some bands, than will try to call. Mozabique is confirmed on 40, 20, 15 and 10 M bands. So, just interest…
   Another deal on 144 MHz. It’s a new DXCC for me. And I tried…
6th of May. QSO was not easy. It lasts for 16 minutes! I think, the reason was in a very special conditions on the Earf-Moon-Earth trace between Estonia and Mozambique on these days.
The spatial offset and Faraday rotation did their “black work” very amicably
. Look on the table. There we can see, that the spatial offset was changed to the opposite just during our QSO.
After 0244 utc I have seen C8T only in vertical polarization.
Another reason, should be, why Marc hear us so bad – big QRM from HF station, which antennas situated on a few meters from Marc’s 2×11 elements stack.

QSO complete. Marc informed me via N0UK chat, that my best signal level was -22 db… Such a situation often arises when QSO with southern Africa.
Any way, I am happy to get DXCC # 176 and grid # 999.
Thanks for the patience, Marc!

7th of May. Polarity offset -04 deg, Degradation -4.1 (-4.5 yesterday). First call (as ES1RF) to C8T and immediately answer. Just 3 minutes for QSO! So different conditions…
C8T was heard up to -16 on this morning.

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Two DX-pedition in the air at the same time

Great event: the lunatics are happy! Z66EME and 3B8MB ( Rep. of Kosovo and Mauritius Island) in the air. I made a one time screen shot from my MAP65 software.
Both station are loud today. And both stations have  had a problems from the beginning of operation/ But seems all is solved now.
Z66EME was a new DXCC and new grid square for me. And Mauritius I worked before (in 2011). This expedition was situated in a new grid LH80TA and it was a new for me.

It was not a problem to complete QSO with both stations. I the pile-up very important to find clear place on the band around central frequency. Just look at the MAP65 and take attention regarding to doppler shift. If all is done correct, then you have much more chance to be heard by the DX station.


Thus, my DXCC score on 144 MHz was increased to 175 countries and grid square score to 998. Two more grids – and I will celebrate 1000 grids on 2 M band. Hope it will happens soon.

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My DXCC # 172: TD9FYC (Guatemala)

PA2CHR-Chris and PA3FYC-Jos, are activated via EME rare country – Guatemala. They intended to activate 3 bands: 144, 432 and 1296 MHz. The call signs are: TD9CHR and TD9FYC. Details are here.

On 24th of February our common window with TD9FYC was opened at 19:08 UTC. I was disappointed by the huge local noise level (over 20db!) from the azimuth of 210 degrees. Which, however, happens almost daily. Around 22:02 this noise suddenly disappears and I started to see( and hear!) TD9FYC on 144.137 MHz. Theirs trace was 19/-22 in QSO with IK2UWL and next CQ. Using MAP 65 I found a clear QRG and called them. From the first call I’ve got an answer! Can not say, it was easy QSO, because I waited for possibility around 3 hours. But we are, “lunatics”, have a lot of patience….
during our QSO TD9FYC was -23 db. on my screen. I received in H-pol. So DXCC # 172 and grid square # 989.
Next try on 70 cm will be on 3-4th of Mach. Team has a schedule, which we can see here

No easy, but complete QSO on 70 cm too. On 4th of March, 05:17 utc.His -23, mine -22 db.
Spatial offset on 3-4 of March was -84 to-88 degrees. I have only H-pol antenna on 70 cm, so impossible to see even faint trace. But Chris install his 30 el antenna in a way, that could manually change H/V pol. And he worked successfully with European stations exactly on V-pol.

Expedition’s log and some pictures are here.

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144 MHz: 171 DXCC worked, 171 DXCC confirmed

N0w all worked 171 country by DXCC Award on 144 MHz are confirmed.
Waiting for a SUPER RARE 3Y0Z (Bouvet Island) expedition. The expedition team currently on the way to the island by “Betazone” ship. Easy to follow them.

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4x2M18XXX accident

A strong gust of wind last night broke the anchorage of the antenna actuator. The antenna array under the wind pressure turned almost 110 degrees. But one of the arrows (Vertical 2M18XXX) was caught on the guy. This saved the entire antenna from further damage. Once again I was convinced that the antennas of  M2 Antenna System Inc. are very strong.

The 10 mm steel lever was bent and broken through the bolt hole. So, impossible to repair and I made a new one.
Terrible weather on this winter!!

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