Well it’s been a while since the last post. DX activities have been neglected in favour of the excellent World Cup and this year’s cricket test match series which has seen the beleaguered English team actually deservedly win a couple of matches.
Sporadic E wise I have easily surpassed my season’s targets (200 squares and 50 DXCC) on 6m. At the time of writing I have 214 squares and 58 DXCC. Still got some supposedly easy ones to go as well such as Z3. I’m well pleased with this year’s season and feel set-up for next year to stretch and get beyond 225 squares and 65 DXCC.
We have had one or two excellent TV DX openings and OIRT as well. Here’s a couple of videos from 3 July 2014 and the mainly Belarus OIRT logs on the same date can be seen at:
I had a triple whammy identification process: audio was parallel to web stream at http://www.streamsolution.it/onair/RadioDelta.asx, RDS PI Code 5362 appeared on XDR GTK display and there was a clear jingle id!
FMLIST is a simply superb resource. It does get very slow at times and I wish the operators would accept donations or adopt a membership scheme – something like £20 or €25 per annum would be excellent value to take advantage of this resource. Something akin to the QRZ.com XML subscriptions for automated lookups which are around $30 per annum.
I have not bothered too much with Band II this season. It’s a zero-sum game in London with Ofcom’s abdication of its responsibilities for keeping the band clear. In any case my priorities were 6m and some Tv DXing before the latter becomes impossible due to the digital uhf take-over.
It’s mid-August and the NA MF season has started already! We’re still getting some LA DX as well with a good Peruvian opening on 5 August. More details on that one in the next update!
It’s the Sporadic E (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sporadic_E_propagation) season at the moment. The season in the northern hemisphere is generally accepted to start 1 May and finish 31 August. However it possible to hear Sp E in April and (more rarely) other months. However this four-month summer season is generally accepted to be “The” season.
This year in the UK it started quite slowly and you had the usual culprits on Skywaves bemoaning the awful season – some people just don’t understand the meaning of sporadic I guess. However that all changed the last couple of days with a sustained opening to Eastern Europe Monday 2 June and a smaller Scandinavian focused opening 3 June. The previous 3-4 years I have wasted too much time doing Band I Tv dxing. My urban location in the London ‘burbs mean that there’s an awful load of muck in the video passband and getting good video is practically impossible (i.e. I have a S9 baby monitor on 49.850 Mhz and various carriers, data signals etc).
So this year I decided to focus on getting my 6m scores up. I like to set targets in my dxing and this season I determined I should reach 50 DXCC on 6m and 200 locator squares. Thanks to this superb opening I am now at 54 DXCC and 199 squares – new countries worked on 6m include SV9 Crete, EA8 Canary islands and ZA Albania.
Given the complete lack of F2 propagation on 6m this sunspot cycle high (sic) I think a final target of 60 DXCC and 250 squares on 6m should be achievable with 3-4 years. For 6m I use my Icom 7600 into a Sandpiper 3 element up at about 10m on the Tennamast or the Diamond V2000 triband co-linear- the beam being far superior of course.
I could not quite resist doing a bit of TV and OIRT dxing. The morning of 3 June saw some very strong Band I TV carriers – I view the audio output from my AOR AR5000 into Spectrum Lab on the PC. So i fired up the separate PC I use for TX dxing – this has a flyvideo 3000 card inside with the saa7134 chip. I feed my HS Pubs VF1004 4 element (45-70 MHz) into a 4-way tv distribution amplifier from Maplin (brand NIKKAI). One output goes to the AR5000, another to the Sony XDR (see below), the third to my JVC 610 tv and the fourth to the HS Pubs D100 narrow bandwidth converter whose output is fed into the Flyvideo TV card. I then use dscaler and freerun to view on the PC. So this morning I was watching Ukrainian 1+1 TV on channel R1 on the JVC, 1+1 on channel R2 on the PC, listening to OIRT stations on the Sony XDR and monitoring TV carriers in Spectrum Lab.