2021 DX
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Click for previous years 1999 - 2020

Jan
My towers are down for maintenance but some interesting winter Es around on 6m I
Radio activity is limited to what I can do from the workshop down in the valley LF / HF + QO-100.
I have not been able to take full advantage of the amazing 50MHz SpE over the past few days but did catch the end of the trans-Atlantic opening on Friday evening (15th Jan). Only 3 FT8 QSOs but not bad for a tri-band white stick at 3m and a barefoot IC-7300.
As for QO-100 I have been following the amazing work from Felix DL5XL and Theressa DC1TH as DP0POL/MM aboard icebreaker Polarstern heading for the German Antarctic base. On the deck of an Icebreaker running cw / ssb pileup on 3cm whilst manually pointing dish as ship moves - who said repeaters were boring -SR2O (single radio 2 operators).
Sat 16th just worked DP0POL/MM in IC45 for what is probably the last /mm operation before they arrive at base. Completing a string of new wet grids for me: HK98 HK82 HJ99 HJ98 HJ95 HJ94 HJ93 HI94 HI91 HI90 HH99 IH09 IH05 IG08 IG04 IG10 IF19 IF10 IE26 IE25 IC47 IC46 IC45 (and I only took notice once they got south of EA8 ) Click on the image to see map  produced using LogAnalyzer3.2 from DL4MFM. Missed them in ID field:-(


Feb
7th - downloaded the new WSJT-X rc and trialled Q65 - seems to work well even with Doppler and ms pings in the way:-)
27th - 4 x 8 OP-DES array back in the air and tested on MR 3JA QSOs (1 JT65A and my first 2 Q65A)
28th - 6 x 12LFA for 144MHz back in the air (not tested yet). 1 OH and 2 VK 50Mhz EME QSOs

Mar
23rd A few nice test QSOs on 50MHz EME new mode Q65A culminating in a "pile-up" demonstration QSO with Lance W7GJ as part of his Zoom presentation to Cherryland Amateur Radio Club in Traverse City, Northern Michigan.

Apr
18th - Finally some Es down in to equitorial Africa AND some TEP to S America:-)
21st A day of global TEP!! Usual NA/SA plus trans pacific and trans Atlantic with VP8 worked in EI :-)
22nd quiet day - not much TEP - I came home then.... LU5FF wkd DK1MAX 1937z

May - as the Es season kicks in I will not be reporting fully here - just highlights
3rd First decent trans-Atlantic opening of the season coincided with 60mph + gales so all antennas down;-)
5th First JAs into Med on 50Mhz
6th First JA spots for DL and OH
7th The season is up! Spots from ZF to HZ:-)
11th - 15th - a few days away is always a sure fire way to kick start the season. Working QRP remote to an omni but still worked plenty:-)
18th - 20th - away again so the best openings simultaneous Mid-east, EU Africa, S America, Carib and N America!!
23rd another day of 60mph winds but good fun on my BigWheel. WX calmed in the evening so big array time - 13 DXCCs to the west from PY to VP9:-) Lifted my annual country cound to 84. Some big signals on SSB also incl Chris 9Y4D
31st The season begins to build but still no JA this far west. A couple of XW1 decodes yesterday and VU. Afternoon was better with good opening to W0 / W9 with spots down to XE 29 NA in the log. TZ4AM in on CW in the evening both direct and scatter wehilst he was working NA

June - I will not be reporting fully for June - too much info! - just highlights
1st & 2nd 2 good days - band wide open with multi-hop Es from EU mornings to Asia and VK plus evenings to NA, Carib and out to HC and HK. In IO70 it was very hard work with huge QSB single shot decodes and not many QSOs. G stations further east faired better in both directions.
3rd Great conditions but hard going with deep QSB. New countries for 2021 were 9M2TO, VU2BGS, XE2X, ZF1EJ, HK3O and P43A plus S01WS on SSB Taking my count for 2021 so far to 108. Many others worked and nice to see the band full of some big SSB and CW signals. Band still open to Caribbean at 1am when my eyes closed:-)
4th Not much to East but open to NA and Carib virtually all day but nothing new - quit early at 21:00z. USA had some amazing multi hop to Middle East.
5th Open to VO1 from 0800z ;-) Nice to be called by HP1AVS in Panama at 21:20:-) Still open when I closed at 22:30z
6th - 7th I was away -m band was open:-)
8th-15th open multi hop every day but JA a bit thin;-)
16th several flags (reception reports) from Western Australia, Vietnam and Hong Kong but only contacts were with China and Taiwan
17th open from dawn to very late ( but I retired at 22:30z)
5Z4VJ
18th open from JA BV BY to W XE and Carib
19th big JA morning then W XE and Carib afternoon / evening
20th Amazing opening to Kenya 5Z4VJ worked by many, I was at the beach all day:-)
21st OX and NA out to Pacific NW
22nd very early NA and out to XE and Carib later
23rd not qrv - a quiet day it seems
24th Ghana mid afternoon and NA / Carib plus HC / HK -but no Kenya;-)
25th
26th open to W Africa and Carib from noon to past midnight also HK, HC, HP plus intermittent NA. TG9 also in but not worked
29th An interesting day! 6 S Korean stations worked plus a shed load of Japan. Then later in the morning an early opening to Kenya. Again I missed Andy as I was cutting logs:-( S Africa ZS6BUN was heard in S EU (the first EU - SA this cycle??) Evening brought the usual Carib stuff plus Burkina Faso and South Sudan both of which I missed:-( Great day - no cigar.
30th - 2nd Big openings but I was elsewhere having a wonderful birthday:-) Happy Burfday

July
2nd Big afternoon/evening opening to NA out to West Coast. Only got on late but lifted my squares total to 1307:-)
3rd busy Saturday but an X-flare at 14:29 (first in 4 years) so looked looked for some action late afternoon. I went up hill to work (I thought) N America. Nice surprise ET3AA on FT8 for DXCC#261 - and confirmed in the log via ClubLog:-)
4th
5th Well, that was an interesting day very big JA / HL opening in the morning (not much BY/BV here). Whilst this was going on I was beaming around 25deg to N JA I receivied multiple flags from 2 VE6 stations (middle of their night so automated I guess). Then Two KL7 stations started to work into Europe. For John KL7HBK this went on for over 6 hours and covered from EI to E Europe at amazing strengths he stayed on right through his night. Only 1 decode here:-(. For me it then opened to the Pacific NW USA with big signals from CN CM CN CO DN DM for over 2 hours. During this the band was virtually silent in other directions EXCEPT that VP2V and KP2 (the two Virgins) were very loud. I went for dinner but the band seems to have crashed globally about 18:30z. We'll see what happens later;-)
6th 04:00 and UR0MC has just worked a ZL !! A slightly late opening to JA then the usual afternoon / evening Carib and US E coast and mid-West. My GU84 PA blew the trip and I wasn't on-air at the time - looks like serious job:-(  Meanwhile pressed my EA8 EME SSPA into service @ 1kW out.
7th GU84 was "just 3 diodes s/c in the 3000v supply. On restart the s/c took the slow start resistor. Will be an easy fix when a full set of 12 diodes arrive from RadioSpares tomorrow:-)
8th Big PA soak tested and tidyed up. Not yet back in service
9th Usual flood of JA Japanese stations plus a few HL Koreans. I was heard by Joel KG6DX on Guam but no QSO. JD1 Minami Torishima was also active - but nothing here;-)
10th - 11th My "official" Birthday Bash in Bristol Happy Burfday
12th
13th WOW! The first true TEP of the new solar cycle. Several hours of TEP to S Africa - 5 ZS on FT8 and Paul ZS6NK on CW (not complete due to noise his end:-( [ I assume that the northern end was extended to us by Es] I waited for the evening TEP to S America but it didn't happen;-)
22nd A fun evening to NA Central America, S America and the Carib! FT8 on 313, 323 and 333 was full and SSB/CW very busy. 66 SSB QSOs plus 50 on FT8. Highlights V31MA, YS1AG, TG9 and HD1QRC90 (That's HC to you:-)

August
2nd A nice afternoon West Coast opening on 6m (final curtain?) Plus FS/W8HC for DXCC # 134 this year.
4th Nice to get a new square (DL74) this late in the season 165915 -21 0.1 2602 ~ G8BCG XE2ML RR73 Gracias Martin !
7th Coming to the end of the Es season on 6m so paying more attention to other things. Nice surprise on QO-100 this afternoon. 9M2CQC Sion in W Malaysia worked out of the blue and confirmed on LOTW WITHIN 2 HOURS:-)

September
9th On 3rd July I worked ET3AA on FT8 for DXCC#261 - Nice surprise confirmed in the log via ClubLog today:-)

End of Es season 50Mhz summary :(@10th Sept 2021)

2021 to date SSB CW DATA EME TOTAL unique
QSO 88 3 1943 13 2034
DXCC 10 2 132 5 134
Grid 58 2 593 7 608
Field 14 2 63 7 63
           
All Time SSB CW DATA EME TOTAL unique
QSO 14147 1904 9413 444 25472
DXCC 192 178 202 96 261
Grid 907 546 1013 212 1317
Field 75 82 118 77 133

I achieved Worked All Continents on 50MHz more than a decade ago but getting a Certificate was such a PIA that I never bothered. Well, the German National Amateur Radio Society DARC will now issue an IARU WARC Certificate as a pdf Free of Charge and based on automated LOTW QSO Confirmation - simples! AN OFFER TOO GOOD TO MISS!
7th 50MHz EME initial using Q65A-60 with K7MAC
19th 50MHz EME initial using Q65A-60 with ON7EH and ET3AA QSL received in mail:-)
20th 50MHz EME initial using Q65A-60 with VK2XN

October
1st Despite the high K-index a nice surprise 50MHz EME contact with Bob ZL1RS in North Island New Zealand this afternoon on my moonset and his moonrise "long path". Also 2 EME QSOs with Lance W7GJ to test my systems prior to his trip to FO and TX7 in a couple of weeks. Confirmed my nice negative horizon with Lance copyable down to -1deg after moonset.
2021-10-01 16:25:28Z minus 1.0 deg 1624 -24 2.7 1468 : CQ W7GJ DN27 (fat lady singing I think)
2021-10-01 16:23:24Z  -0.7 deg 1622 -19 2.7 1468 : CQ W7GJ DN27
2021-10-01 16:21:10Z -0.5 1620 -19 2.7 1468 : CQ W7GJ DN27
2021-10-01 16:19:15Z wow -0.3 1618 -18 2.6 1468 : CQ W7GJ DN27 array only
2021-10-01 16:17:22Z -0.1dg 1616 -24 2.7 1468 : CQ W7GJ DN27
2021-10-01 16:13:19Z 1612 -22 2.6 1468 : CQ W7GJ DN27
2021-10-01 16:11:56Z  last 0.5 degree monitoring 190


2nd More 50MHz Q65 EME Contacts: N0TB and (new init #242) Fred PY2XB - just managed to complete on moonset with my moon at -0.9 degrees. Country # 134 this year
3rd Another test EME QSO with W7GJ - I am still deaf - working on it!
4th re-configured my 50MHz eme system for more RX flexibility using IC-7300. Three 50MHz EME QSOs at my moonset: W6BBS, N7NR (new init #243) and K9RX
9th Testing "standby" 50MHz 6M8GJ - just missed completing with Bint YB2MDU with degradation at 4.8 on my moonrise (started late and ran out of ground gain)
10th Finished testing and re-making all connectors on my 50MHz 4 * 8LFA array. Completed with Bint YB2MDU at MR on the big array with degradation around 7  1223 -21 2.7 1127 : G8BCG YB2MDU RR73 q3 Country # 135 this year.
10th S9OK Sao Tome  (would be an ATNO for me) and J5HKT Guinea Bissau into S Europe all afternoon - no links to here but I had a feeling;-) . At 18:15z I decided to put out a QRO CQ towards J5 and hey presto the band awoke. An easy FT8 QSO with J5HKT
Country # 136 this year. They were in for 30 mins or more and peaked at S7 here. They were worked by Kev G0CHE and at least one EI. Video clip
S9OK - too much flutter11-14th Spent every afternoon chasing S9OK but it wasn't to be. Today 14th it got close - a brief interconnect giving 2 ONs (you can guess who) each a QSO with sigs up to +11. Sadly it never moved here but was VERY close: Here is S9OK with too much scatter, flutter and MS to decode - I was desperately calling:-(
FO/W7GJ16th WooHoo At 01:13z (02:13BST) I completed a 50MHz Moon Bounce EME contact with Lance Collister FO/W7GJ in the Austral Islands French Polynesia. After an initial setback Lance is now up and running - GL to all my Lunar-tic Six Metre friends.
17th - 21st Monitoring Lance - AMAZING!
18th New EME initial with DK2PH on our MR

 

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