Top band DX-ing is real ham radio challenge. 160m is also referred as the "Gentleman's band"...
160 meters - DX-ing on the Edge...

Březen 2008

5T5DC on 160m band

24. března 2008 v 20:52 | Petr, OK1RP |  Band reports
5T DXpedition 2008
German HamRadio DXpedition 5T Mauritania 2008 started on 15th Mar 2008. They are working well on few bands at the same time and their signals are quite good even on low bands. They had issues on 160m at the beginning but now seems to be all solved and they are ready all bands.
15.03.2008 - 30.03.2008
EQUIPMENT: IC756 ProII, K3, IC746, FT840, FT857, 2x ZZ750 (750W-PA), 1x 500W-Transistor-PA.
ANTENNAS :1x V160, 1x V80, 2el-phased GP (40m), 2x Spiderbeam (20-10m), 1xGP (40-10m), 1xGP(WARC), Beverage, K9AY loop, Digital-mode equipment, Pactor-equipment...
Their Topband antenna is 18m tall vertical using the Spiderbeam fibre-glass mast support. It is combined with beverage and K9AY loop so it sounds good for serious operation on 160m.
March 22th 2008 - Latest news from 5T.
Now 39294 QSO in the log on all bands, only 10m is running not so well, propagation to far stations are down.Yesterday the first QSO on 160m SSB are in the log. Today following bands are planned to work this night:
80m SSB 160m SSB 30m RTTY (2200z to 0100z)
First on 160m from 2000z to 2100z 5T5DC will look for JA only and lisn 5 down.
-------------------
March 18th 2008 - Latest news from 5T.
After long 3 days without news from the crew now here the latest.

Antennas:
All antennas now ready to use and the crew is on air from 160m to 10m. Any problems with the 160m inverted-L antenna are removed and we hope we can bring up a good signal around the globe.
For 80m the crew has build a new inverted-L antenne and mount this.
All stations now are running but we only can operate from 5T with legal limit only 100W all bands.
We hope we can get a permission to make more power next days. We will inform you.

Team:
All crewmembers are in fine shape after a little time to acclimatize from 5 degree in germany to 45 degree and hot sun in Mauritanie.

Log:
Now the Pactor is running well and we hope to update the log daily.
For the 5T Crew is DX-Cluster or Internet not available
Please remember: Maretanie is one of the poorest Countries of the world. It is not Europe not America it is just Africa.

Pictures:
First impressions you can find at http://www.5t2008.de/index.html
QSL INFORMATIONS:
QSL-Manager: DH7WW

ULRICH MOECKEL
MULDENSTR. 1
08304 SCHOENHEIDE
GERMANY
QSL direct (green stamps prefered) or via bureau. No eQSL.
73, good luck in the pile up,
Petr, OK1RP
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Antennas inspiration - part II.

22. března 2008 v 19:04 | Petr, OK1RP |  Antennas
Hi,
As I promised there is another antennas inspiration - receiving loop which I found on internet long time ago. ( Sorry I do not have original link of it but I found original text copy so I am going to share with You. If some of You know the originator then do not hesitate to email me and I will add these information)
I looked for good receiving small size loop so I tried all what I found and which seemed to be usable for me. One of the most popular receiving antennas with small size are different types of 5" to 6" size loops made using the coaxial cable.
160/80m coaxial receiving loop
To construct the 160m loop you'll need 20ft on RG-59. Fold the RG-59 in half. On the 160m loop, it would be about 10ft from the end. On the 80m loop, it would be about 5 ft. from the end. You then mark the center, then measure 1/2 an inch on both sides. Strip away the outer cable, the braid, and then the foil covering the center conductor insulation. I then usually use heat strink to weatherproof what I've cut away.Then cut some schedule 40 one inch pvc pipe into 3 lengths. Each should be 45 inches long. Cut one to 56 inches. That one will be the mast.Assemble the lengths you cut into a "T" configuration.
Measure from the center 43 1/4 inches on the three 45inch lengths. Drill a hole large enough to pass through the RG-59. For the 80m loop. Drill three holes 20 1/2 inches measured from the center of the "T". Loop the 20ft RG-59 through the holes drilled at 43 1/4 inches, then loop the 10ft length through the holes drilled at 20 1/2 inches. Install the male type "f" and weather boots on the RG-59 you just looped through the "T". Attach the 20ft cable to the 160m matching box. Also do the same with the 80m box. I find it easier to aim the 160m box with the SO-239 down. And the 80m box with the SO-239 up. That way the it will keep the harness short. Drill the mounting holes through the box, once you pull the loop tight.To tune the loops, attach each loop separately to your transceiver.
DO NOT APPLY RF TO THE LOOP. This will damage the components, and probably your transceiver. Place the dial of your transceiver to the part of the band you want to use the loop on. Then adjust the the trimmer capacitor for maximum noise. Do this for both loops. Then attach the harness. The loops should be ready for use. I usually weatherproof the boxes and frame. And I add a wood dowling to strengthen the mast.
Construction of the boxes appears as follows:
The trimmer values are aprox. the values shown above. However I've used ARCO 468 for the 160m loop and ARCO 467 trimmers for the 80m loop, with great success. RG8X can be of random legth. I usually cut them to fit between the boxes. The lead to the receiver can be of any length.
I tested this antennas for couple of months on my portable QTH where I had chance to use other antennas and compare them. The signals come from this coaxial loop was significant worse than signals from even short beverage (164m) or from TX antennas like 200m half square or inv.vee but I have to say that s/n was much better as finaly expected.
Comparing to K9FD or other similar loops this type is more complicate to build and tune properly and impedance matching is not as easy as can seems to be if it should work on both LF bands.
In fact I used it as two monoband loops on 160m/80m bands so I did not used the feed line box or splitter as shown above. I did not made any exact measurements but it seemed that an interaction between both loops caused antennas patern.
73, Petr OK1RP
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4S7NE - QSL via ...

22. března 2008 v 18:00 | Petr, OK1RP |  QSL info
Hi,
thanks to Bill, W4ZV I can share the information from Nelson, 4S7NE about QSL cards and easiest way how to get the card from him.

"I have a problem with IRC. It cannot be changed in the local post
office. I have to take it to Colombo General Post Office which is
50kms away, traveling itself costs me about 3 to 4 dollars. Anyway I
normally wait till I collect about 10 which takes some time and then
go to Colombo. Please tell others to not to send IRC. A G.S allows me
to buy stamp value twice that of an IRC. Please pass the word around."

73s
Nelson 4S7NE
/published on Topband mailing list on 22Mar08/
The address of Nelson, 4S7NE is:
Nelson Ranasinghe
18 Katana Housing Scheme
Demanhandiya 11270,
SRI LANKA
73, Petr OK1RP
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TX5C - Clipperton 2008 Dxpedition on 160m - End

16. března 2008 v 21:44 | Petr, OK1RP |  Band reports
WX causes early QRT of TX5C
As many of DX journals and bulletins reported (courtesy of Bernie at daily-dx) TX5C had big problems with local wx and even the set-up. On 14 March 08 was on the internet available information that due to consistently poor wx and rig problems from the wx it looks as if TX5C will QRT as early as Friday. They have been really beaten up by tropical storms and high temps!
Operators tried to be QRV as often as possible but unadequate conditions on the island impacted their operation so much that team had to change original plan to stay untill 17 March on the air.
TX5C - News from the team dated 15th March 2008
TX5C went QRT 1400z March 15th 2008, two days earlier than originally planned. Due to both weather and sea conditions, the Captain of the Shogun determined that an earlier departure was required to ensure the safety of his crew and our team. We began moving equipment offshore two days prior in challenging conditions. By the time the last team members were extracted from the atoll late in the day, all but one of the zodiac spare propellers had been broken on the reef. The Shogun pulled anchor at 0130z March 16th and as the sun set, the team watched Clipperton Atoll slowly fade from view.
TX5C made 71,794 qso's in 156 hours (6.5 days) of operating.
What we can say...? Well its just hobby and first of all we have to safe our health! So mni of operators in the world did not worked them and some of them will send negative comments for the TX5C operation for sure.
In my oppinion we should say "Thanks to the TX5C team for their effort"!
73, Petr OK1RP
...-.-

TX5C - Clipperton 2008 Dxpedition on 160m - Operation

13. března 2008 v 22:58 | Petr, OK1RP |  Band reports
TX5C - News from 12 March 2008
Q's now total 41,564. Yesterday we had three major thunderstorms that tore up the camp. Generators in both the SSB and CW camps went down and took repairs to get back up. Winds toppled antennas and they had to be repaired. We lost our 15 meter SVDA in the SSB camp which was destroyed by the winds. We will attempt to straight out or replace the broken aluminum today. Two of our CW keyers went down and we cannot repair them. So our operators are sending cw the good old fashioned way but it's reducing our q rate. Morale is high and despite the weather we are all working as hard as we can. The thunderstorms are also causing our noise levels in the night to be extremely high. These thunderstorms have been increasing in size and frequency for the past several days. Although they blow through in about 15 minutes, they dump on average about an inch of rain or more and are accompanied by very strong gusting winds.
TX5C - Continents
By band - All modes
QSOs (with dupes)
BandEUNASAAFASOC
1600.40%97.80%0.50%0.40%0.90%
8011.00%71.50%0.80%0.40%14.20%2.00%
4024.00%49.30%1.60%0.80%23.00%1.40%
3013.50%65.90%0.70%0.30%19.20%0.40%
2012.00%76.00%1.80%0.20%7.20%2.70%
177.00%78.90%2.00%0.50%10.40%1.20%
152.50%79.10%4.50%0.90%12.20%0.80%
120.10%91.60%3.70%0.30%3.40%0.80%
100.20%89.50%7.20%0.10%2.20%0.90%
50
Well according to comments coming from the TX5C team it seems that the operating conditions on the island are extremely strange. Lot of storms and uncomfortable humidity/temp may impact the operator's job !
I would like to ask everybody to be patient on the bands. In fact I never read as mni stupid spots and comments on DX-Cluster as for TX5C. I never read so mni crying like "they not focusing for my direction, they calling this instead of that, they are not on this band, why not cw now, why not split wider..." etc. like I read for last 5 days. I am pretty sure that most of spots originators never been on any DX-expedition like that and nobody know in which current conditions TX5C team works on the island.
So STOP Your cry-spots, stop Your comments, stop Your mentoring "how they should do it" and ensure that YOUR behaviour is correct on the bands. Please ensure that You are not calling them more the 1-2max., You are not making cop on QRG, You are calling at right time (no reply with ..5abc when op asking 1yw?), You are calling when the path to TX5C is opened etc.
I would like to wish You good luck in the pile-ups and on the end of an article small notice...PLEASE awake to fact that TX5C team has not 2x 9 complete setups for CW/SSB available 24/7 so its not possible to compare them with other expeditions where they had it...
73, Petr OK1RP
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TX5C - Clipperton 2008 Dxpedition on 160m - Start up...

8. března 2008 v 9:37 | Petr, OK1RP |  Band reports
TX5C is close to start their operation
The team is working hard on the both CW/SSB camps now. As the CW camp is almost finished the TX5C is close to start of their operation on the air. All is depending to local weather situation.
Be prepared to looking for them on 160m according to propagation forecast and their band plan.
I will post more details about 160m operation immediatelly when they will be on that band. The TX5C News by date I will be posting as comments below that article in "Komentáře" section.
73, Petr OK1RP
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TX5C - Clipperton 2008 Dxpedition on 160m

6. března 2008 v 14:57 | Petr, OK1RP |  Band reports
N6OX to lead Clipperton2008 Dxpedition:
Bob Grimmick, N6OX, will lead an international team to Clipperton Atoll in early March 2008. On the 30th anniversary of the 1978 FO0XA-XH dxpedition to Clipperton Atoll, the goal of our dxpedition is to make 100,000+ qso's worldwide. Organization and management provided by John Kennon, N7CQQ, David Anderson, K4SV. Major sponsors include Icom America, Northern California DX Foundation, SteppIR, Alpha Radio Products and the International DX Association.
The TX5C Landing Permit on Clipperton Atoll has been granted by the French authorities.
Special 30th anniversary commemorative Clipperton DXpedition envelope issued.
We are on Clipperton Atoll! It's 0133z as we write this. We had a successful landing and have loaded quite a bit of our camp gear to the island. Our base camp is set up and we're all tired but full of enthusiasm! In the morning we will begin the construction of our operating stations on the north side of the island exactly where we had hoped to be able to land. We are excited about this as this location will provide the best paths for us to work the world. We will update this page in the morning in more detail but we wanted you all to know we are safe and are on the island.
TX5C BASE CAMP

Bandplan

CW
SSB
RTTY
160
1827
1847
80
3507
3797
3577
40
7007
7057
7037
30
10107
10127
20
14024
14197*
14080
* 14235 for US Generals
17
18078
18140
18101
15
21024
21295
21080
12
24897
24947
24920
10
28024
28495
28080
6
50107
50127
These frequencies are only a guide. We will always be working split and will regularly announce our listening frequencies. Our goal is to makeover 100,000 QSO's and will pay special attention to working some of the more difficult areas like Europe and the Middle East.
We are not going to operate on 60 meters.
TX5C ANTENNA INVENTORY:
1
160M cw balloon vertical
1
160M cw top loaded vertical
2
Beverage antennas for 160m
1
K9AY loop RX antenna
160m top loaded. Vertical portion is 60 feet and the 4 top hats are 46 feet long. The ground plane consists of 4 132 foot radials.
To be able to make own time schedulle for QSO with TX5C on 160m You can visit the link with excellent Propagation charts provided by N6BV.

QSL Information:

Send your qsl requests through the Bureau or direct to:
N7CQQ ARC
P. O. Box 31553
Laughlin, Nevada 89028
The log will also be uploaded to LOTW once the official log has been certified.
Good luck in the pile-up to all Topbanders,
73, Petr OK1RP
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