Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Interesting coincidence - I recorded a ham's historic moment

N6TV's antenna array
Just a quick follow-up to my FT5ZM QSO. Immediately after my QSO, I made a video recording to show the signal strength from Amsterdam Island. The first QSO I recorded in that video was with N6TV, Bob, who lives in San Jose, California. Bob has been in touch by email to say that the QSO he made with FT5ZM, recorded by me, was a very special one for him:
My friend N6GQ just forwarded the link to your FT5ZM video.  The very first QSO in the recording is with me!  Amsterdam Is. & St. Paul is my all time LAST ONE (Mixed DXCC) that I need confirmed, so this was a very special QSO for me.   I think it's amazing that it was recorded and forwarded to me so fast.  Small world, eh?
Small world indeed. I am so thrilled to have been able to capture Bob's historic moment as a ham. This is the one we all aspire to. I presume he has 339 DXCC confirmed and needs this as #340 to complete his mixed DXCC. Well done Bob and glad to have been there to record it!! Here's the video again, and you can hear N6TV being worked at the very beginning:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Amsterdam Island has become DXCC #303 in my log

My perseverance has paid off. I have been at the radio on and off for prolonged periods trying to work FT5ZM Amsterdam Island all day. First it was 10m SSB. No joy. Then 12m CW. No success. Then I QSY'd down to 15m SSB, where my friend Don EI6IL worked them but they faded out soon after. I then tried 17m CW, where the pile-up was 20 Khz wide!! No success there either. So finally I hit 20m CW, and long into the darkness they were still a good signal here on my hexbeam.

At long last, just eight minutes ago, I heard what sounded like my callsign coming from FT5ZM. He gave "I2KC 5NN". I replied: "DE EI2KC EI2KC 5NN BK" and he said "EI TU". Brilliant stuff. That's DXCC #303 in my log. Chuffed.

Above is a video showing the signal strength from FT5ZM immediately after I worked them.

FT5ZM Amsterdam Island is QRV... and the madness starts!

After a bit of a HF hiatus, I am back in action hunting DX. The first "biggie" of 2014 is here. FT5ZM Amsterdam Island went QRV this morning, and as you can imagine, there's chaos on the bands! This is a video recording made in my shack of some of the action on 10 metres SSB. They're a good signal here, but so is all of Europe!! And worse for EI is the fact that in relation to FT5Z, we are "at the back" of Europe, so to speak. It could hardly be worse for us . . . except, of course, if we were in Iceland! Listening on 10 SSB and 12 CW it became apparent that no G or EI stations were getting through, although some Scandinavians were being picked up. The best we can hope for is that the pile-ups die down over the coming days and that small stations like this can start to break through. The 12 metre CW split is quite compact, and the signals there are huge. I don't particularly want to spend my whole Sunday in front of a radio . . . but sure you know I probably will !!!