Sunday, July 19, 2009

Not a Whole lot of Radio this week

I haven't been doing a whole lot of radioing this past week. I've listened here and there but not much in the way of operating. Although yesterday I did play just a little bit. We all, Robin, Ashby (KJ4EGJ), and me, contacted a couple of Special Events that were commemorating the Apollo 11 40th anniversary. I also made contact a special event on PSK31 celebrating the International Year of Astronomy. Thanks for the contact Walter (W2GSB). Another contact I made was with an OM in France, F5NMK. I have uploaded all contacts from yesterday to LoTW and eQSL.

Oh I thought I might mention that Robin (AJ4IJ) and I have both joined the European PSK Club (EPC) so if you see us on the waterfall give us a call as we are trying to work the many different awards they have. There are a bunch of them and so far we've both got about 7 or 8. Anyway, if you are into PSK then you should definitely check this club out. They have some really nice certificates for their awards.

Well that's all I have for now. I don't know of much else to write about at the moment so I'll be clear for now. 73 to all.

Tim - AJ4JD

Monday, July 13, 2009

Contest Statistics since I've been a HAM

I thought it would be interesting to do a bit of analysis of my contest results since I became a HAM and got into contesting. I've worked a few contests since I became a HAM back in April 2008. Some I just made a few contacts just for fun, and some I've worked with serious competition in mind. So below is a list of all the contests I've worked and sent a log into.

Tennessee QSO Party 2008
Vermont QSO Party 2009
New Hampshire QSO Party 2009
Louisiana QSO Party 2009
North Carolina QSO Party 2009
Wisconsin QSO Party 2009
New Mexico QSO Party 2009
Florida QSO Party 2009
West Virginia QSO Party 2009
Mississippi QSO Party 2009
ARRL November Sweepstakes SSB 2008
PSK31/63 Death Match 2008
PODXS 070 31 Flavors 2009
PODXS 070 Three Day Weekend 2009
PODXS 070 40 Meter Firecracker Sprint 2009
ARRL Field Day 2009 (Not formally a contest)
CQ Worked All Prefix(WPX) SSB 2009

I can't find the results on some of these but where I can I have them listed below:

* Tennessee QSO Party 2008 - (In state low single op - 33 contacts, 25 multipliers, 1,650 pts., 33rd out of 43) and In State Team: 10,000 pts. 4th out of 5 teams.
* Vermont QSO Party 2009 - Can't find any results.
* New Hampshire QSO Party 2009 - Can't find any results.
* Louisiana QSO Party 2009 - Can't find any results.
* North Carolina QSO Party 2009 - Single Op Low Power - 33 contacts, 25 multipliers, 1700 pts., 50th out of 86.
* Wisconsin QSO Party 2009 - Single Op Low Power - 31 contacts, 18 multipliers, 837 pts., 2nd of 5 Tennessee low power operators.
* New Mexico QSO Party 2009 - Single Op Low Power - 24 pts. - 43rd out of 62.
* Florida QSO Party 2009 - Results not available at this time.
* West Virginia QSO Party 2009 - Results not available at this time.
* Mississippi QSO Party 2009 -Results not available at this time.
* ARRL November Sweepstakes SSB 2008 - Single Op Low Power, 32 contacts, 24 multipliers, 1,536 pts, 783rd out of 881, 20th out 21 Tennessee low power stations.
* PSK31/63 Death Match 2008 -Class II category - 12,865 pts, 25th, out of 72 class II operators.
* PODXS 070 31 Flavors 2009 - Finished 36th in the Medium Power Cat. 3 QSO's, 3 Mult.
9 total pts. Had some serious AC Line noise that day.
* PODXS 070 Three Day Weekend 2009 - I finished 15th stateside. 166 QSOs, 104 Mult. 800
Bonus Pts. 18,064 Tot. Pts.
* PODXS 070 40 Meter Firecracker Sprint 2009 - Official results not available at this time.
* ARRL Field Day 2009 (Not formally a contest) - Result not available at this time.
* CQ Worked All Prefix(WPX) SSB 2009 - Official results not available at this time.
* IARU HF Contest - Low Power Single Op Phone Only - 72 contacts, 44 multipliers, 8,184 pts. Official results not available at this time.

So folks, that covers it. I have to say that the IC-756 Pro 100 watts into a Windom Dipole at 30ft. does a pretty good job. Although not all contests have been done on that setup. A few contests have been done over at Dad's (KU4ME) on his IC-7560 Pro into a ZS6BKV dipole, or the 80 meter inverted vee.

So with that, the next contests I plan on working are: Tennessee QSO Party, 80 Meter Jay Hudak Memorial, North American QSO Party SSB, PSK 31/63 Death Match, and I'm sure a few others. It will be interesting to see how much better I do compared to last year in some of these.

Well I guess that's all I have for now. I'll say 73 and good DX to all.
Until next time when I talk about the European PSK Club...

God Bless,
Tim - AJ4JD

Sunday, July 12, 2009

IARU HF Championship Fin

Another wonderful contest came to an end this morning at 8:00am EST. (12:00 UTC). I worked the IARU HF Championship contest for a few hours yesterday. Actually I worked it for about 4 hours off and on and made some really good DX contacts. In total I made 73 contacts and garnered a little over 8000 points. I still need to send my log off to the contest email but I will get that done at some point today more than likely. I've already uploaded to LoTW, but still have to get the log uploaded to eQSL. So if any of the contacts I made need to confirm, that would be the place to do it.

Anyway, to give you an idea on the DX I worked here's a list: England, France, Serbia, Austria, Sweden, Germany, Croatia, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Madeira Island, Romainia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Argentina, Venezuela, USA, Poland, Crete, Ukraine, Brazil, Spain, Slovak Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Portugal, Bonaire, Curacao, New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica, Virgin Islands, Morocco, Canary Islands, and Canada.
A total of 37 DX entities, including the U.S. Not to bad if I may say so my self. All my contacts were on either 20 or 40 meters by the way. I got started way too late to do anything on 10 or 15 but that's okay. There's always next year or the next contest.

Anyway, the contest was a lot of fun, and while I know I didn't score enough points to be any count, I still put forth a very good effort for the amount of time I put in. Until next time, take care, 73, good DX to you, and thank you to all the contacts I made yesterday.

God Bless,
Tim - AJ4JD

P.S. Next up, my contest results since I've been a HAM.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New EPC Member. Anticipation builds for the IARU HF Championship

Just thought I would let everyone know that I am now an official member of the European PSK 31 Club. My EPC number is 7880.
I'm also working on a post about my current contesting stats. Hopefully I can get that finished and posted tomorrow. Until then, I'm still waiting for the IARU HF Championship. This is a great contest. I worked it a little bit last year but I didn't submit a log or anything. I was still a fairly new HAM and didn't know much about contesting at that time. Anyway, this year I plan on putting forth a major effort like I did during the CQ WPX contest. Speaking of which, unofficial results have been posted and it appears that I'm sitting as the 4th place rookie stateside in the Low Power Single Op All Band category.

Well that really all I have right now. It's getting late so I'll get off the puter and settle down for bed.

Have a great Friday everyone. 73 and Good DX to all.

Tim - AJ4JD

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

10 Meters Booming.

Was there a possible Canadian French broadcast on my regular FM car stereo yesterday? That's right, yesterday in the late afternoon, I was returning home from dropping something off over at dad's(KU4ME) when I realized that Green Day had faded out and I was now listening to a woman speaking about Michael Jackson in French. I demonstrated this to my XYL Robin (AJ4IJ) with the shortwave in the house after telling her that propagation must be doing really well. I suppose this is what they call heavy Sporadic-E or E-Skip.
It was at that time she told me I'd better get in there and play with the HF. So, I just had to get in here this morning to mention that 10 Meters was booming in like crazy yesterday. I can only hope that it's booming like that again today. I wonder how much the huge sunspot, that's currently on the Sun, had to do with it? I'm sure that was a player in yesterday's conditions. Regardless, I got in there and called CQ for a few minutes and ended up with 4 contacts on 10 with stations in NJ, MD, MA, and IL. By the way, all contacts have been uploaded to LOTW and eQSL.
I would have played longer but the yard was getting closer to jungle status by the second considering all the rain we have had, so the lawn mower was calling my name. If conditions are that good again today, I will be sure to get in there and make more contacts. So if you happen to play radio this evening, look for me on 10 meters. I'll likely be in there.

Until then, 73 and good DX,
Tim - AJ4JD

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Updates for W4H and PODXS 070 40 Meter Sprint

So yesterday, we decided to take a break from the "Rat Race" and just play Radio. So with that in mind we decided to work a little bit of W4H in celebration of our Country's Independence. Robin (AJ4IJ) decided to give it a go on 40 Meters for a few minutes with no bites at all. So she decided to turn it over to me. So I tuned over to 20 Meters which was very busy with a contest and of course the 13 Colonies Special Event. (BTW we both worked 5 of the 13 yesterday.) So away I called CQ W4H/AJ4JD on 20 meters and ended up with about 5 or 6 DX contacts. The band was going really long but it was hard to pull stations out due to QRM etc. So over to 40 Meters I went and made a few more stateside contacts. That was about the extent of it for me. I made a total of 12 contacts and all have been uploaded to eQSL. I will get them uploaded to LOTW soon under the W4H call but they are uploaded under my call.
So 8:00pm rolled and it was time for Robin to work the 40 Meter Firecracker Sprint hosted by the PODXS 070 club. She did quite well racking up a total of 80 contacts and 33 mutlipliers for a grand total of 2,640 points. Of course we did take a break long enough to watch our neighbors across the street blow up about $200 worth of fireworks. She also got up long enough to let me make a couple of contacts. Enough to get an attaboy for my 070 certificate. Thanks Honey.

So that's about all I have for now. I should be posting soon and overview of my contesting experience since I've been a HAM and got into contesting. That should be interesting to say the least.
Until next time... 73 and Good DX to all,
Tim - AJ4JD

P.S. We are now on Twitter. You can follow Robin at and me at

Saturday, July 4, 2009

W4H - 470 ARG 4th of July QSO Party

Just thought I would make a quick entry about the special event that the 470 Amateur Radio Group has going on right now. W4H is the call for the event. We are celebrating the 4th of July. There will be several different operators in and around the Knoxville, TN area working the event. You will want to get their callsign as we all have our own QSL cards for the event. For example, if you make contact with me, you will want to send your QSL to my QTH as entered on for my call AJ4JD.

The event started on July 1 at 1:00pm and goes through to July 9th at 11:00pm EST. The frequencies we are operating on are as follows: 14.260, 7.260, 28.400, 3.960 mhz +/- 20khz per the ARRL instructions.

So that's all I've got for now. I hope to catch you on the bands either as W4H/AJ4JD or just as AJ4JD. Until then, 73 and Good DX to all.

Tim - AJ4JD

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another Field Come and Gone... Is it 2010 Yet?

That's right Ham fans, another Field Day has come and gone. How did you all do during Field Day? What do you find was the highlight of the day? Well I have to say that the highlights are our day was the opportunity to actually operate during Field Day. You see, last year on field day we were on vacation down in Florida. Needless to say, on Field Day we were on the road headed to New Orleans to see my folks and family and the only radio at my disposal was a Yaesu FT-90r. I had the radio tuned most of the time to 146.520 or 146.550. From time to time I would hear a brief QSO and then it was gone.

Of course, don't forget that we did have our own personal field day prior to going on vacation. 2 weeks before vacation we did go up to the field and set up all the stuff and made a few contacts. That was actually one of the first times I made any HF contacts.

Fast forward to Field Day 2009. This year we brought up the following for our operating situation:
- Yaesu FT-450
- LDG 200AT Pro Auto Tuner
- Power Supply
- Lenovo Net Book for computer logging with N3FJP's Field Day contest log, which we then exported seemlessly into our ACLog.
- A 1800 HP Gas Generator
- ZS6BKV Multi Band Dipole

I think that covers the equipment. Of course we brought snacks, fans, and a percolator for coffee.

Once we arrived and had some hot dogs that we picked up from a convenience store we got to looking around and found that one of the ropes we left up there for the antenna had gone missing. This rope by the way was a bit in the edge of the woods and out of site. The other rope is in plain view so we wondered why they only took the one. Well we assume it must have been hunters. Anyway, we got another rope up in a tree for the operation. This was just a temporary fix. We didn't have the sling shot or a fishing pole so we resorted to tying the rope to a bottle of Gatorade.
It wasn't much longer and we had the equipment set up and we were ready to call CQ. I spent a couple of hours calling and ended up with a total of 60 contacts. Robin (AJ4IJ) worked for just a little bit. She was pretty wore out from running around during the day getting supplies for the evening and getting things ready to go. Ashby (KJ4EGJ) towards the end of our evening finally decided to work some stations and ended up with 16 contacts. I was so proud. Mom (KF4SSI) and Dad (KU4ME) didn't work any. Dad was pretty tired from working on the Jeep all weekend as was I. That's right, we did get the Jeep in running condition. She still needs some work but at least she isn't spewing radiator fluid anymore.
As a final note, Robin had found earlier on QRZ'd that the QSO Radio Show was broadcasting on the air for Field Day and were taking calls from Field Day stations all over the world. Well it was around Midnight when Robin and Dad got the big idea about calling in and handed the phone to me. So I took the cell phone and made the call. I gave them my information and it wasn't long after that they called us back and I was on the air speaking with Ted Randall (WB8PUM) about our setup and our Ham Family. As a matter of fact on Ted Randall's site he has a streaming rebroadcast of the show.
So this year's Field Day was considered a success. We got setup in short order and in total made 82 contacts between us. As I know it, Dad worked some stations the next day but at this time I forget how many he made.

That's all I got for now. Stay tuned as I plan on posting on my contest experience and results over the first year of my Ham life and The First Annual 470 ARG 4th of July QSO Party special event. Until then, 73 and Good DX to all.

Tim - AJ4JD

P.S. You can get another view point on our Field Day adventure over at Robin's Blog.

Our Trusty Side Kick Enjoying Field Day

Robin Enjoying Field Day

Mom (KF4SSI) and Dad (KU4ME) having a blast

The Rope Raiser

Me (AJ4JD) calling CQ

The Net Book with the Beacon of Light
that provided us with Internet access

The Station setup

Ashby (KJ4EGJ) at the helm