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Who Is N0UN?

I was looking at some Ham Radio Blogs today and even though I find other Ham’s Blogs “technically” interesting, it dawned on me that almost all of them (mine included) are not “personally” interesting.  They’re all about DXing, antennas, contests, radios, etc., but very few of them have anything to say about the person who’s writing the Blog post.  You may catch a picture (or two) of them at some radio convention or swapmeet, maybe even a snapshot of them in their Ham Shack, but that’s about it.

So I figure I’m gonna change that right here, right now.

I’m 56 – born in August, 1960.  I’ve been a Ham 43 years.  My first callsign at 12 in 1973 was WN8QFB.  I have two awesome kids and three grandchildren.  I’ve been married 25 years to my flight attendant wife.  I love my family, Harley-Davidson Road Glide, lifting weights and of course I love my Ham Radio.

Somebody once said, “a picture is worth a thousand words” – here’s a few that speak volumes (click to enlarge):

My granddaughters:

My granddaughters

My wife:

My wife

Some of my non Ham Radio friends (you may recognize a few):

My friends

With some gym friends (will arm wrestle for food):

My gym friends

“STOP!  MOMMY!” – my three grandkids:

 

My 2nd Grade Report Card – nothing has changed:

2nd Grade - nothing's changed

Now a days I run a little Ham Radio company called “Ham Supply” that used to be called, “Idiom Press”.

Ham Supply

Rocky FlatsBack in the day I was a supervisor of “trucking” and a building specific nuclear material transport coordinator at a place near Denver called Rocky Flats.

After Rocky Flats I founded and ran a motorcycle rental company that I sold in 2004/5.

I live up here on the ridge southeast of Denver, a place we call “RF Alley”.  There’s quite a few Hams up here, including my buddy Keith, K0KE (he’s the famous “zero kilo echo”, lol).

And there it is – now you know a little about me and have a face to match up to my voice and Blog.

See you ’round the pileups!

73

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E31A Eritrea, Thin!

EritreaIn 44 plus years in this hobby, I’ve come to learn there’s big signals, no signals and everything in between.  I call those extra weak signals “thin”.  It can very well be thin signals build up as propagation shifts, but it also can be that with “barely there” thin signals that’s all you’re gonna’ get – and there ain’t no more.  After listening to E31A in Eritrea on 17 Meters for an hour this morning I decided they weren’t getting any louder so I gave it a shot – my best shot with 3 elements and 1,500 watts.

The recording below is about as thin as you can get.  You may have to listen to it a few times to adjust your ears to the QSO.

N0UN working E31A Eritrea 17 Meters SSB

 

QSL E31A via Zorro, JH1AJT or OQRS at Club Log (upon return)

E31A Online Log Check at Club Log

Some Photos of E31A from Champ E21EIC at DX Coffee

–·- ··· –

UPDATED (May 23rd, 2017):

N0UN working E31A 40 Meters SSB

 

N0UN working E31A 20 Meters SSB

 

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VU7KP Lakshadweep On The Air

VU7KP LakshadweepI’m not sure what’s wrong with people anymore.  They talk but don’t listen.  They speak without being spoken to.

We finally had a short 20 Meter opening to VU7KP on Lakshadweep Island, but only a few North American stations got through because Krish had to keep asking Europeans to stand by as he was calling “the America’s” only.  Every single QSO I heard VU7KP make was contested.  He rarely got a call on the first “hear” because of the non-stop intentional interference.

To make matters worse, when he was zeroing in on say, “who’s the Whiskey Seven, the Whiskey Seven only” – every VE3, Kilo Seven, and W6 kept calling.  One specific Ham with an obnoxiously long tape recording never heard him calling for “WHISKEY SEVEN ONLY” because I suspect his callsign recording was so damn long he couldn’t hear what the DX station was saying.  Kinda’ like putting your fingers in your ears and saying nah nah nah nah nah.  If you don’t hear it, he didn’t say it, right?  Between the Europeans not knowing what continent they’re on, and the North American stations not knowing their own callsign, and people calling on VU7KP’s frequency – it was slow going and very, very few stations go through.

Anyway, if you’re going to chase DX in this hobby these days, you have to develop some thick skin.  You have to let it roll off your back.  Do what I do when I need to vent my frustrations – get a blog like this and vent there, not in the pileups.

N0UN working VU7KP 20 Meters SSB

 

QSL VU7KP via W4VKU

VU7KP OQRS and Online Log Check at Club Log

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A52AEF Bhutan On The Air

Bhutan A52AEFA51AEF in Bhutan had a booming signal into Colorado this morning.  I think Joe-san was just as surprised to hear the United States as we were to hear him.  Propagation was excellent this morning.

N0UN working A52AEF 20M SSB

 

A52AEF on QRZ.com

QSL A52AEF via JH3AEF

 

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Midway and Kure DXCC Deleted

Midway, Kure Islands DXCC DeletedThe news is out on the ARRL Website:  KH7 and KH4 Kure and Midway DXCC Deleted.

But something to me smells fishy about these deletions.

President Bush proclaimed the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve in 2006. Laura Bush named it the Papahänaumokuäkea Marine National Monument early 2007.

Co-trustees in 2006 were the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the State of Hawai‘i. Today the co-trustee agencies are: the Commerce Department (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration); the Interior Department (Fish and Wildlife Service); the State of Hawai‘i Land and Natural Resources Department (DLNR) and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).

Nothing has changed other than a couple more government agencies are now co-trustees as far as I can see (imagine that – more government). Nobody was dropped out of co-trustee, just added.

All maps I can find clearly show Kure and Midway were part of the Papahänaumokuäkea Marine National Monument all the way back to its first designation (proclamation) in 2006.

I see where President Obama expanded the boundaries in 2016, but that expansion included nothing but water away from the original chain of islands. It did not include Kure or Midway as they were already included in 2006.

The ARRL states, “Midway (KH4) had qualified for DXCC status by virtue of its being governed by a separate administration. Because it is now under the administration of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, however, it becomes a deleted entity.”

Well, my question is – Midway was under the administration of the co-trustees of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument since 2006 (see above), and it is still administered by the same co-trustees. So why now, 11 years later is it being deleted? It doesn’t make sense to me.

Like I said, it smells fishy.  Could it be an epic April Fool’s Joke?  We’ll soon see…

N0UN

Papahänaumokuäkea Marine National Monument Website

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S21ZED Bangladesh On The Air

Sorry Folks, didn’t realize I had my Blog security settings too tight to comment on previous posts (all fixed now).

S21 DXpeditionDX World has all the S21ZED and S21ZEE information on their Website so no need to reinvent the wheel here.  Col does a super job of gathering DX News.  DX News that Hams like me Blog about.  S21ZED & S21ZEE information at DX World.

I worked two hard to reach places this evening.  S21ZED Bangladesh on 20 Meter CW, and a minute later made contact with 9N7EI Nepal on 20 Meter SSB.

Earlier today I was reading a post on eHam that questioned if the DXpeditioneers to Bangladesh brought amplifiers as it wasn’t mentioned in any news feeds he had seen.  I guess the recording below answers that question, lol.

N0UN working S21ZED 20M CW

 

N0UN working S21ZED 20M SSB

 

QSL S21ZED and S21ZEE via YL2GN or OQRS at Club Log – S21ZED and S21ZEE

S21 Website (lots of good information)

See you in the pileups!

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YI1SAL Iraq On The Air

YI1SAL QSL CardThe band conditions this morning went from zero to ten real quick.  When I first turned the radio on and started chasing some Cluster DX spots (don’t kid yourselves, you do it too), I had to make sure my antennas were plugged in.  20, 17 and 15 were just plain dead.  So I left the volume up on the white noise and started doing some work in the shop.  30 minutes later as signals stated coming out of the noise I put the soldering iron down – and started chasing some DX.

I landed 9G5X and TU7C on 17 Meter CW for bandfills, but the highlight QSO this morning was working Salam YI1SAL in Iraq on 20 Meter SSB.  In heavy QRM (deliberate and otherwise) and with half of Europe calling him, I was still able to sneak through.

N0UN working YI1SAL Iraq

 

For the deliberate QRMer breathing on his microphone causing intentional interference near the end of the recording, perhaps it’s time somebody should place a pillow over your head.  Me thinks that’s a quick cure for your breathing problem.

YI1SAL on QRZ

DX-News.net Post on YI1SAL

I’m not sure what Salam’s YI1SAL QSL route is, or if he has an online log up, but if it’s out there I haven’t found it yet.  If I do find it in the near future, I’ll come back and update this post.

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9N7EI Nepal On The Air

EI DX GroupI saw the 20 Meter DX Cluster spots for 9N7EI in Nepal when I woke up this morning.  A few spots from North America, a few from Europe.  I had the beams both set for 352 degrees last night, just in case.  9N7EI was “barely there” and under a bunch of QRM.  I fired up the CW filters – rig at 500 KHz, SCAF-1 filter as tight as it would go.  There were too many cops and too many people calling on the 9N7EI frequency, but like when Moses parted the Red Sea – the extra filtering gave me my chance.  And I took it.  Weak and watery, but in the clear.  I’m also glad I put up the new tower and GXP 18-4 last year because I couldn’t even sniff 9N7EI on the trusted KT-34XA.

N0UN working 9N7EI 20 Meters CW

 

9N7EI Website

QSL 9N7EI via M0OXO OQRS

9N7EI online log check at Club Log

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9G5X Ghana On The Air

Not quite sure how I feel about this.  On one hand a simplex DX pileup saves considerable bandwidth, on the other hand the QSO rate really drops and many stations are inevitably left out of the log.

Here’s a recording I took working 9G5X in Ghana this evening.  On the upside of a simplex pileup is the fact it only takes up 3 kHz or so of bandwidth – not 15 or 20 kHz as most split pileups do.  On the 40 Meter Phone Band there’s not much bandwidth to start with.  On the other hand you can hear some of the frustration from several stations that keep calling and calling and calling simplex.  Guess the old saying, “you can’t hear when you’re talking” rings true.

N0UN working 9G5X Ghana 40 Meters Phone

 

M0OXO QSL ServiceWhether simplex or split – any pileup (no matter the ops style) is still fun!

9G5X Website

9G5X Online Log Check and OQRS from M0OXO

9G5X on Club Log

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HZ1BL Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

HZ1BL The Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaIt’s been a while since I’ve worked into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (HZ, 7Z).  Now that late winter/early spring propagation is underway we are hearing the Gulf States better, as well as signals closer to straight over the North Pole such as India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, etc.

I listened to HZ1BL on 20 Meters for a few minutes this morning, but it appeared even though Maher was strong here in North America, to him Europe was even stronger.  Many North American stations were calling HZ1BL, but really not much of a chance against a strong European pileup to Saudi Arabia.  That all changed when Maher asked Europe to standby and listen for North America:

N0UN working HZ1BL

 

Hopefully propagation continues to improve in the upcoming months.  I’m looking forward to another great year of DX.

QSL HZ1BL via IZ8CLM

HZ1BL Online Log Check at Club Log

HZ1BL on QRZ.com

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EP2LMA, Iran On The Air

A few weeks ago on February 9th, I wrote an article about working the Alborz DX Group station in Iran, EP2C. EP2C Article Link.  In the comments to that article, EP7AHN (Homed) and EP2LMA (Mohammad) stopped by to say hello.

Fast forward to this morning.  I saw the 20 Meter DX Cluster spot for Mohammad EP2LMA and could hear him quite well, but after a few calls some super strong local USA QRM had popped up unannounced (doesn’t anybody ask if the frequency is in use anymore?), and quite frankly trying to work Mohammad through their conversation was now impossible so I gave up.  Then a minute or so later when they finally stopped I was surprised to see that Mohammad did hear my first call and he did not give upNow in the clear, I heard EP2LMA calling me.

30 watts and some determination is all you need sometimes, witness:

N0UN working EP2LMA

 

Through their hard work and dedication, it appears Mohammad and the Alborz DX Group are quite active now.  And that’s a great thing for Amateur Radio!

Thanks for the QSO Mohammad!

QSL EP2LMA via Pedro EA5GL direct.

EP2LMA on QRZ

EP2LMA on Club Log

Alborz DX Group Website

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9X2CW Rwanda On The Air

Rwanda National FlagI wasn’t sure if 15 Meters was open this morning when I saw the spot for 9X2CW in Rwanda, but I’m glad I went and listened.  Eric (SM1TDE) operating as 9X2CW was “barely there”, but sometimes that’s all you need.  He did build up and peak a real S7 into Colorado just moments later but any time you have a chance to work Rwanda, you don’t wait for the peak – you go.  Especially simplex!

N0UN working 9X2CW 15 Meters CW

 

QSL 9X2CW via home call:  SM1TDE

9X2CW Online Log Check at Club Log

 

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5A1AL Libya OQRS and LoTW

5A1AL Abubaker (front row, white suit)

5A1AL Abubaker (front row, white suit)

5A1AL is an old friend of mine since the 90’s. Abubaker would regularly stop by 14.240 with WA2JUN (SK) and the 240 DX Group.  He was using the 5A1A Club Station in Tripoli back in the day.  Abubaker then traveled back and forth to Germany to earn his degree and well, 5A was rarely (if ever) heard from again.

Until a few years ago when Abubaker came back on the air.

Abubaker had to jump through many, many hoops to get licensed as 5A1AL, get accredited by the DXCC program and figure a way to get (and stay) on the air.  And he did all this while starting his new family.

His determination has always made many of us that know him smile, and even today 20 years later, he still makes me smile – here’s why:

I saw the spot for 5A1AL on 17 Meters CW this morning around 1600Z, so I swung the monobander to Libya, and there he was – a new bandfill for me!  And then a few hours later when I uploaded my log to LoTW (Logbook of The World), imagine my second smile when I saw Abubaker 5A1AL had beat me to it as my QSO was already confirmed from his side!

N0UN working 5A1AL Libya 17 Meters CW

 

Like Abubaker told me recently, “in Arabic, we say there is a connection between our hearts”.  My old friend, I couldn’t have said it better.

I wish much love, peace and tranquility for you, your country and your family Abubaker, thank-you.

QSL 5A1AL via OQRS at Club Log, LoTW AFTER February 11, 2017 (See 5A1AL QRZ Page for Information).

5A1AL Online Log Check and OQRS at Club Log

 

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A5A Bhutan On The Air

Foundation for Global ChildrenIt was quite a surprise to hear A5A Zorro (JH1AJT) from Bhutan yesterday at 0118Z on 20 Meters so I figured maybe we’d hear him again around the same time today – and Zorro did not disappoint.  What really surprised me was as soon as I made contact with A5A, I spotted him to the DX Cluster and other than one Japanese station, Zorro called CQ for 10 more minutes without a single contact before he had to leave for breakfast and more meetings.  The only thing I can figure is Colorado has all the propagation this time of year?  Usually when a rare DX station is spotted to the DX Cluster it turns into a free-for-all, and it turns into one quickly.  Not this time though.

Zorro, I salute you my friend for the fine work you do, thank-you!

N0UN working A5A Bhutan 20M SSB

 

To learn about the humanitarian work Zorro does, click the logo above or visit the English page of the “Foundation for Global Children” at:  http://www.fgc.or.jp/english/

QSL A5A via OQRS at Club Log, or direct to JH1AJT

A5A Online Log Check at Club Log (awaiting 2017 update)

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3XY3D Guinea On The Air, Fun!

Eat Sleep Ham Radio DXThis indeed may be my highlight QSO of 2017 so far.  I’ll set the stage – it’s 2230Z, 3:30 in the afternoon local time here in Denver, 2:30 on the West Coast, 5:30 on the East Coast. Broad daylight across North America and the absolute toughest time to “compete” for a QSO, especially into Africa. Everybody across North America is hearing 3XY3D in Guinea well at 0330Z. Even tougher, a simplex CW QSO. I guess the only thing harder would have been a weekend when everybody is off and playing radio. It took 15 minutes of listening to the pile-up just for my ears to get accustomed to 3XY3D’s tone, speed and rhythm, but once I did – I snagged him.  Hard to believe listening to this recording that you can actually train your brain to hear your target coming through at a fraction of the strength of the stations calling, but that little peanut in my coconut can still do it. What a great pile-up!  We need more of these!

N0UN working 3XY3D 20M CW (simplex)

 

For a band that’s been dead, he was a lot easier to work on 15 Meters SSB this morning!

N0UN working 3XY3D 15M SSB

 

QSL 3XY3D via F5OZC

More 3XY3D information at DX-World.net

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