Wednesday, March 11, 2015

9Q0HQ Dem Republic of the Congo

One of my favorite things is to run across a DXpedition that's a new one for me.  I reset my DXCC last June when I started using the Flex 6300 in earnest.  9Q0HQ is my 231 st country since June.  I've also been angling to record a DX contact to demo how I use skimmer.  I thought this was that contact but the audio wasn't turned on so woe is me.  One of these days...

This is my latest favorite configuration.  I have both slices (VFO's) in the upper pan and the lower pan I use to monitor something.  In this case I'm basically monitoring the same freqs as the upper pan, but I'm using the lower pan to feed a separate skimmer for a total of two.  

 Each skimmer decodes independently so the callsign list in one is not exactly the list in the other, giving me a greater insight into the behavior of the pileup and where the DX is listening.  I use the skimmer closest to SSDR as my VFO B tuning device.  I lock VFO A so if I bump something the DX doesn't go flying off freq.  I use very tight 50 hz CW filters and 5 hz is enough to be off freq 

The station was fairly loud with QSB  I have a 1/2 wave end fed vert over about 4000 ft of wire as one ant choice.  The vert is a very effective low angle radiator,  My second choice is a G5RV style dipole up about a half wave, which is also effective but not nearly as low angle.  9Q0HQ is about 6700 miles strait shot over water from my QTH and tonight the dipole was slightly better.  I also have a N4UQ tricked out Alpha 78 amp which I hardly ever use, but I decided to use the amp more.  It does perfect QSK and puts plenty of fire into the wire but it does tend to heat up the shack compared to my solid state amp.  No matter this is a honey of an amp.

The pileup was pretty dense as the DX didn't spread things out much.  He was working up and down in about a 1.5 khz range even thought the pileup was spread over about 6 khz  It is SOOOO nice to be able to figure this stuff out at a glance.  After about 15 minutes he was in the log

73  W9OY