2014-08-17

International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (ILLW) 2014

This is my brief log of two-way contacts with lighthouses and lightships during the 2014 ILLW:
 
CALLSIGN  kHz   MD  ILLW No DATE       UTC
LA1J      10107 CW  NO-0004 2014-08-15 17:45 

DM2C      10116 CW  DE-0021 2014-08-15 20:51 
CT7/ON7RU 10109 CW  PT-0025 2014-08-15 21:13 
S51LGT    10114 CW  SI-0001 2014-08-16 05:46 
8S7GL     18140 SSB SE-0004 2014-08-16 08:37 
SZ5RDS/P  18151 SSB GR-0003 2014-08-16 09:21
SZ5RDS/P  10106 CW  GR-0003 2014-08-17 22:00
DF0WLG    10116 CW  DE-0009 2014-08-16 16:27 

OG5A      18135 SSB FI-0003 2014-08-17 09:35 
LY2FN/P   10109 CW  LT-0001 2014-08-17 20:55
 

The best catches were: 
  • OG5A/FI-0003 Lightship SS Helsinki
  • SZ5RDS/P/GR-0003, the inaccessible lighthouse on an islet near Kastellorizo. 
I hoped for a contact with SZ5RDS/P on 50 and/or 144 MHz for locator square KM46, but VHF propagation conditions were poor.

See a photo of LS Helsinki: http://files.qrz.com/a/og5a/ss_helsinki.jpg



2014-08-13

50 MHz Sporadic E season - final account

Map with 50 MHz QSOs-QSLs for the 2014 Es season (updated 2014-08-22)
We are near the end of the 2014 summer Es season. The results for stations in Greece were rather poor: 
  • On 6 m (50 MHz) almost no double hop conditions, so very few QSOs with Portugal, Scandinavia and the British Islands. 
  • On 4 m (70 MHz) we had very few openings. 
  • On 2 m (144 MHz) we had no openings. SV1BJY is quite unhappy with this situation (Band closed, mind closed...).
  • On 10 m (28 MHz) many Es openings, mostly discovered by listening to the propagation beacons near 28.2 MHz, but with rather weak signals.
I regularly watch DX Maps and noticed that in other places in Europe and North America there were good Es openings almost daily. Only Greece was missing the party.

My personal results: 
  • Seven (7) new DXCC entities worked on 50 MHz: HA, EA8, 4U1ITU, TK, TZ, ZB2 and 7X
  • Six new DXCC entities (6) confirmed: HA, EA8, 4U1ITU, TK, ZB2 and TZ. Wating for a paper QSL from 7X2ARA.
  • At last, I managed to get 100 locator squares confirmed on the Logbook of The World (LoTW) and earn the ARRL VUCC award on 6 m! A good number of stations uploaded QSOs to LoTW within days of the QSO. My current VUCC-50 total is 107 (101 awarded + 6 pending).
  • I installed a vertical antenna for 70 MHz, a new band for me, but managed very few QSOs. Had only two QSOs with OK and one with LX.
  • On 10 m (28 MHz) also two new DXCC entities: ER (confirmed) and 7X.

The map shows the results on 6 m. Locator squares with LoTW or paper QSL confirmations for 2014 are filled in orange, squares worked but not confirmed (yet!) are filled in yellow. 
 

2014-08-08

Patience is rewarded: CQ WPX CW at last !

My CQ WPX certificate with "450 pfx" and "Europe" endorsements

I just returned from the Post Office, where I found a big yellow envelope from CQ with my certifcate #3344 for the WPX CW award. The postmark was July 29, 2014 but the certificate is dated 30 November 2012 ! 

The Europe endorsement sticker had arrived years ago and I had stored it carefully for the day I would receive the certificate. BTW, I have received all other WPX certificates (Mixed, SSB, Digital) within a few weeks of my application, only the CW certificate was missing. 

As of August 8, 2014, my WPX award status is as follows:
WPX AwardCertificate
No
PFXContinentsBands MHz
Mixed22561200EU, AS, NA3.5, 7.0 14, 21, 28
SSB3159650EU, AS14
CW3344400 EU-
Digital142700EU, AS3.5, 7.0, 14, 21

All contacts for all four WPX awards were confirmed via the ARRL Logbook of The World (LoTW). After I received the last pending WPX certificate, I submitted a LoTW application for the 1200 endorsement in Mixed plus a number of additional pfx, band and continent stickers.