Friday, November 28, 2014

6 Centuries and a most wonderful time of the year

I'm sitting here picking off band slots on 80 and 40 in CQWW CW test.  The A is 5 and the K is 1 and SFI is 181.  To say the least things are jumping

For me this is a most wonderful time of the year.  Turkey sandwiches family cheer and DX out the wazoo!!  I looks like it's snowing RF!!

I decided to pull a couple of screen shots which show the S meter reading below the 40 M band 

a few khz into the band 

and in the middle of the CW band

All S meter readings are virtually identical so I guess the RF storm doesn't have much effect on the front end.  These were taken with the front end filters turned off.

I finished off 6 centuries a few days ago.

The saga began when I decided a new direct conversion SDR deserved to see how much could be accomplished regarding DX.  I started on June 6th in the middle of the summer and by Oct 4th had 5BDXCC worked (4 months).  I decided to apply to LOTW and see what had been confirmed in mid November and had confirmed DXCC on LOTW.  I kept whacking at 80M as I had 55 more to go to finish that band.  I completed 6BDXCC a week ago a couple weeks shy of 6 months.  

The Flex 6300 and the Anan 100D both worked beautifully in completion of this task.  About half of of the total QSO's (around 700) was completed with each radio giving me a very good comparison between the two radios.  I pretty much just worked new band slots and spent the rest of the time listening which is my preference.  With the Flex 5000 I had run up my DXCC total to around 287 in 3 years.  With that radio I was pretty much exclusively 160 80 and 40 but it does give a relative idea how well the new radios compare to the older technology.  My antennas are simple verticals but only optimized on 80 40 30 and 20.  17 15 12 10 and 6 were based on tuning the 80M vertical.  I think if I had some kind of beam 9BDXCC would have been easily obtained.

Overall it's been a gas.  Unless I put up some new antennas this is about as far as I'm going to push this project.  I've never been one to chase the paper.  Both radios made making the QSO's like shooting fish in a barrel.  Many contacts even in the big pileups like the FT4TA DXpedition were made in less than 10 calls.  between DXLab suites Spot collector, DXkeeper and DXview, the DDUTIL software, CW skimmer and SDR bridge the whole rigmarole was incredibly efficient.  If you want to change your ham radio life get a SDR!

Hope one and all had a Happy Thanksgiving

73  W9OY