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“SDR in Europe”

40 Meter Selfie SpottersI saw some DX Cluster Spots for a few 40 Meter DX stations this morning, but turns out it’s the same old roundtable group of Lids self-spotting.  No chance to work the DX.

All these Lids are on the West Coast.

Nothing new there as these asshats have been self-spotting for years, but what did catch my attention this morning was they briefly discussed the remote receiver stations they use.  They log into Web SDR receivers around the world to listen to DX and to also hear their own signals.  I think the guy who was talking about the remote receivers in Europe this morning broke their secret code or something because they sure changed the topic quickly, lol.  I suspect they didn’t want that news to leak out.

“I think I’ll start calling them the “40 Meter Kardashian Selfie Spotters”, or maybe the “Kardashian Clan”.

If the day comes I can’t work a DX station from my QTH (both tx and rx), I don’t need Ham Radio – I’ll pick up the phone.

What a waste of the DX Cluster window.  Narcissism is, as narcissism does.

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QRO vs. QRM

QRO vs. QRMIt’s come to my attention that a few simpletons in our hobby believe that high power stations (QRO) are somehow worse than QRM.  Some of these “little pistols” (they call themselves) believe “big gun” (high power, high gain antenna) guys have some sort of unfair advantage, and on more than a few occasions have cost little pistols some QSO’s.  They say these QRO guys and their big stations are bad for the hobby.  QRO stations are examples of what’s not needed (or wanted) in our great hobby.

I think it’s kinda’ creepy they think this way.

My thoughts are a high power station’s odds of working that rare DX station in a pile-up are much better than some low power station.  A QRO station that does have a clue in what he (or she) is doing, well, they’re in and out of most DX pile-ups rather quickly.  One and done.  Sometimes in seconds.  A little anti-climatic, but nonetheless – it’s over.  Free to go cut the grass.  Change the oil in the car.  Go for a ride on the motorcycle.  They’re surely not cluttering up the airwaves or taking up bandwidth, right?  Through years, even decades in this hobby you assemble knowledge and you build a station capable of hearing (and being heard), and now you’re expected to step aside for some little pistol because he’s been calling for hours?  He’s “entitled” to a QSO because he’s a little pistol?  Bwahahahahaha, now that’s  funny!

Ham Radio QRO vs. QRMAnd while Mr. QRO is out to dinner with his wife, the low power G5RV guys are still calling, and calling, and calling, and calling, and bitching, and complaining on forums and chat boards – hours, sometimes even days later.  I’ve also know a few of these QRO complaining clowns that after hours and hours of calling, they never did work the DX station, but they feel if you called enough times and sent $5 USD then that counts for a legitimate QSO.  I did not know that was considered a Ham Radio two-way contact!

So who is really the QRM?  The QRO guy that’s in and out, or the little pistol guy that incessantly calls for hours, days, maybe even weeks?  Even when they forget they’re operating split once every 10 or 20 calls, that’s still 100 times too many to call on the DX transmit frequency.

Seems to me these QRO complaining Lids have got their panty’s in a twist – over nothing.

There’s room in this hobby for everybody.  QRP, QRO, and everything in between.  But when you start throwing your opinion around, remember others have opinions too.  It works both ways, just as a real two-way QSO should, QSL?

Life’s too short for QRP.

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Phantom DX Cluster Spot

Unbelievable.  It’s 9:15 PM local time here in Denver and the DX Cluster Alarm screams, “Kilo Nine Radio X-Ray Spotted Victor Kilo Zero Zulu Lima On Twenty One Point Two Eight Five Megahertz“.

So what do thousands of Hams around the world who have “VK0” alarms set do?  They fire up their amps and swing their antennas while going to 21.285 – we all go hunting that rare VK0 that was spotted by a Stateside station.  That’s what DXers do.  Could be Macquarie.  Could be Antarctica.  Could be some VK0 that slipped the news.

And what do we find?

K9RX Phantom VK0 SpotK9RX in South Carolina purposely “phantom spotted” VK0ZL so he could drum up DX on 15 Meters.  There is no VK Zero, there was no VK Zero, there’s not going to be a VK0.  Click to enlarge.

Listen to this explanation:

K9RX Justifies His Self Spot of Phantom VK0ZL

 

Boy, what a way to get attention.  Well, you wanted the attention, you got it.  Be careful of what you wish for comes to mind…

Good grief.

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3W3RR/Jail Roman (Romeo) Vega QSL

Originally posted on May 1st, 2015

3W3RR/Jail QSL CardI like QSL cards.

Through 43 years of on again, off again Ham Radio I have boxes upon boxes of QSL cards. Thousands of them. 99% are everyday QSL cards, but there’s a few that stand out.  The one I received today is on top of my short list of memorable cards.

Presently Romeo is locked up at Lompac Federal Correctional Institution in California.  As his QSL card states, “As of the day your QSL arrived, 12 years 3 months of continuous incarceration have passed since my February 2003 arrest in Cyprus, and my subsequent extradition into the hands of the United States.”

If you don’t know who Romeo is, you haven’t been a Ham for very long.  I don’t pass judgement on Romeo as I don’t know the facts.  I do know nobody’s heard his DX signal in a long, long time.

Here’s a few links to some information on Romeo.

3W3RR/Jail Roman Vega Website (3W3RR.com)

A long list of Romeo’s past Ham Radio DXpeditions

3W3RR/Jail QSL CardI’ll bet you, the good reader of this Blog didn’t know that although the United States accounts for 5% of the world’s population, the US accounts for 25% of the entire worlds prisoners.

Let that sink in for a bit.

Incarceration in the United States via Wikipedia

N0UN

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SV2/SV1RP/A Mt. Athos On The Air

SV2/SV1RP/AWhen I saw the DX Cluster spot for SV2/SV1RP/A on 20 Meter CW something about that call caught my attention.  Then I remembered.  Mount Athos!

Anybody know if George (SV2/SV1RP/A) has been DXCC approved?  George was there on Mount Athos a few years ago too.  From this article on DX Coffee it appears George trained Monk Lakovos (SV2RSG/A) who earned his ticket in 2015.

I believe George and Monk Lakovos operated from the Koutloumousiou Holy Monastery, and Elder Apollo (SV2ASP/A) operates from the Dochiariou Holy Monastery.  If I remember what Zorro (JH1AJT) told me a few years ago when he was on Mount Athos, there’s something like 20 or 21 Monasteries on Mount Athos.

As you can hear in the recording below, my hand was shaking so much from all the excitement, I barely gave George his report and number, lol.

N0UN working SV2/SV1RP/A 20M CW

 

SV1RP on QRZ

QSL SV2/SV1RP/A via SV1RP Direct

 

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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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