Tuesday, 19 May 2020

IC-9700 preamplifier power (again) and Asian Es at last.

Firstly, I hope this is the last posting on the topic of the DC power provided by the Icom Ic-9700 over the coax for preamps and other in-line items. AI4Y has produced this excellent video clip ...


This does not deal with the issue of using TX Delay to add sequencing to the timing, as M1BTR pointed out in  my last posting. AI4Y says that his SWR does not show a spike using his SSB preamps, and so he seems safe. I found the same thing, and I use a mix of SSB and SHF made preamps. However, to be safe, and when using other preamps, I would suggest adding some delay via the TX Delay control. I also have some added delay selected in the WSJT-X software which I often use.
I have mentioned that I am working from home. I have not had a "full-time" job since the last century, having been self employed with occasional part-time work since then. This suits me fine. The problem with the present project is that it is too big for my "office", which also contains the shack, so I have to set the work station up in the dining room in the East Wing of FVM Towers.

Mrs FVM is given to have a "proper" dining experience on a Sunday evening, I have to clear everything of a work nature away every Sunday afternoon. This week dinner was trout. As we live in an area associated with wonderful fishing rivers, it is only right we should enjoy some fine fish. And Sunday night's trout did indeed come from the banks of the River Tweed. From Berwick upon Tweed in fact. To be precise, from Aldi, in Berwick upon Tweed.

Faced with setting everything up again on Monday morning I decided to exercise my control as my own boss, and give myself the morning off. As my employer I deemed this to be expedient for me, my employee. Why rush to get everything set up on Monday morning?

So I used my time on the radio instead. This was partly down to a hunch that we might be due some Sporadic E. It turned out to be a very productive morning.

On 6 metres there was an opening into Japan and I heard several Japanese stations but as usual only once. After that there was an agreeable opening into Asia and I worked two new countries, A9 and 7Z.
50MHz FT8 stations worked at GM4FVM on 18 May 2020
 As usual click to enlarge if necessary. I worked 13 stations in 7 countries.

This was not easy as there was a considerable pile up on 7Z1SJ. I knew this would have been a new country for me, but pile ups are not to my liking so I went off and found A92GE instead. As it turned out David, A92GE, is further away anyway, so that made the best DX of the day 5326km. Not bad to the East. After quite a few attempts I did eventually work 7Z1SJ too.

All of this was on 50.323, as that is the frequency supposedly set aside for European stations to work outside their own continent. I had moved from 50.313 to find the stations from Japan, so I was already on 323 as all this emerged. There were, of course, European stations working other European stations on 323. It is easy to make a mistake. Then again this idea of reserving a set frequency for DX working is good practice not the law. Of course, all the European stations I worked were all contacted on 50.313.

I kept an eye on the 6 metre band but my main focus was on 4 metres. Last year I remarked on this blog how irritating it was that I had failed to work a station Cyprus run by Norman, 5B4AIE, on 4m. This irked me because we both heard each other, and because not only would it be a new country but a new continent (Asia) on that band. I was rather hoping for another chance of working Norman. As it happened it turned out differently ...
70MHz FT8 stations worked at GM4FVM on 18 May 2020.

My first 4m contact into Asia turned out to be with Efi, 4X1TI. I am not complaining. Norman is 3514km from here, whereas Efi is 3958km away. That is a new personal DX record for 70MHz for me. And then, better than that, I worked Norman too, to make it both countries. Norman often uses the callsign 5B4AIF for his "club" station, and this time he had 5B60AIF. Sounds like an informal type of club.

I was pretty chuffed to work 4X1TI as it has taken me years to repeat being heard in 4X on 70MHz.
70MHz at GM4FVM on 18 May 2020
So that is it, at 11:41 on 18 May 2020 I worked my third continent on 70MHz. That has only taken 43 years, 1 month 6 days and a few hours since my first continent on that band (Europe). Only 9 years and eleven months to the day since the second continent (Africa). Not that these things matter to me, you understand.

Worked All Continents on 4m? How long do I need for that?

Those other 4m contacts are pretty good too. Many of them are over 1500km and OH7RJ very nearly 2000km.In total 21 QSOs in 3 hours 32 minutes, 18 squares, and 9 DXCC. Oh, and two continents, one of which was new - did I mention that?

Now, I need to get my work gear out again and start proper activity.

The trout was great by the way. We must fish in the Aldi pool by the Tweed more often. They do not help you pack your bag at the check-out though.




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