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...

Únor 2010

YI9PSE - Iraq / Kurdistan on 160m...

28. února 2010 v 23:22 | Petr, OK1RP |  Band reports

The First DXpedition to Kurdistan

Welcome to YI9PSE - IRAQ 2010 DXpedition. There is more information about our DXpedition.
N6PSE has been issued the call sign of YI9PSE by the Iraqi Ministry of Telecom, and is planning a multi-national DXpedition to Northern Iraq (Kurdistan) for April of 2010.

The Team

YI9PSE Team is composed of the following operators:
  • N6PSE - Paul Ewing
  • N6OX - Bob Grimmick
  • JH4RHF - Jun Tanaka
  • AH6HY - David Flack
  • N2WB - Bill Beyer
  • YI1UNH - Heathem Sabah
  • K3VN - Al Hernandez
  • K3LP - David Collingham
  • WØUCE - Jack Ritter
  • W5KDJ - Wayne Rogers
  • FM5CD - Michel Brunelle

The Pilots

YI9PSE IRAQ DXPEDITION 2010

We'll be active from 10 to 160 meters (include Warc bands) in CW, SSB and RTTY with
At 5 stations at the same time in different bands and modes.

EQUIPMENT

StationLocationTX/RXPAAntennas
Station Nº1CW 1ICOM IC-7600ACOM 10003el SteppIR Beam for 10- 20+30/40m
1/4 Wire Verticals for 40 & 160 Meters
300' Wire Beverage
Station Nº2CW 2ICOM IC-7600ACOM 10002el SteppIR Beam for 10-20 meters
1/4 Wire Vertical for 30 & 80 Meters
300' Wire Beverage
Station Nº3SSB 1ICOM IC-7600ACOM 1010C3S Beam for 10-20 meters
SteppIR BigIR Vertical 40-10 Meters
Station Nº4SSB 2ICOM IC-7600ACOM 10102el SteppIR Beam for 10-20 meters
80/160 Vertical
Station Nº5Digital 1ICOM IC-7600ACOM 1010SteppIR BigIR Vertical for 10-80 meters

BAND PLANS

BANDCWSSBRTTY
1028.02428.49528.080
1224.89424.94524.920
1521.02421.29521.080
1718.07418.14518.100
2014.02414.19514.080
3010.104
10.140
407.0047.065 / 7.1807.035
803.5043.780
1601.8241.845

26/Feb/2010

The YI9PSE team has started the time-consuming task of gathering and packing the equipment that will be needed for the DXpedition. We have also tested most of the equipment.
All plans are moving ahead. Team is looking for additional Club and Individual Sponsors.

Thank you,
The YI9PSE DXpedition Team.

QSL via N6NKT
George Williams
3600 Springbrook Dr
San Jose, CA 95148
USA

All donors of $5.00 or more, will be sent a QSL to your QRZ address.
You don't need to mail us your card.
You may donate directly to N6PSE, or via our PayPal.
You can also send your card and a SASE to George Williams-N6NKT.
LOTW will be updated in late 2010.
Thank you.

---

It is not so far from EU it should not be hard to work them. On the other hand the big pile up can be expected as it is rare area. YI9PSE

Good luck on 160m !

73 - Petr, OK1RP
...-.-

Arogancy, anarchy or woodenheadedness ...?

28. února 2010 v 20:07 | Petr, OK1RP |  Operation topics
Hello,

CQ WW 160m, SSB part is ongoing on our lovely band and I am completely disgusted, fed-up, narky and totally in proper paddy. If You are asking why then just try to open the radio and tune through the CW portion of the band !!! If it's contest over when You are reading this post then be happy...
 
SWL-@ 1832.0 WA2HMM 1908 28 Feb United States
EA9IB 1832.5 ER4KAA TEST 1907 28 Feb Moldova
RN6AH 1834.6 I4FYF CQ-160-SSB 1906 28 Feb Italy
SWL-@ 1825.0 9A2VR nice signal 59+ 1903 28 Feb Croatia
RN6AH 1811.2 EK6TA CQ-160-SSB 1900 28 Feb Armenia
IK0XBX 1818.0 UR5EAW 1900 28 Feb Ukraine
RN6AH 1828.0 SV2FLQ CQ-160-SSB 1856 28 Feb Greece
RN6AH 1847.5 HG10P CQ-160-SSB 1855 28 Feb Hungary
S51TJ 1934.0 S56P cq 1854 28 Feb Slovenia
S51TJ 1934.0 S569 cq contest ssb 1854 28 Feb Slovenia
UU7J 1936.6 EW8DD 1853 28 Feb Belarus
RN6AH 1829.9 9A2DQ CQ-160-SSB 1851 28 Feb Croatia
EA9IB 1830.0 9A2DQ TEST 1847 28 Feb Croatia
IK0XBX 1820.3 M8M 1846 28 Feb England
IK0XBX 1838.6 OL4A 1844 28 Feb Czech Republic
 LY7M            1812.1 CR2X         CQ-160-SSB                         1915 28 Feb   Azores
LY4A 1864.0 EE3R 1914 28 Feb Spain
9A1UN-@ 1817.6 DJ1YFK vy rare 1913 28 Feb Germany
LY4A 1817.6 DJ1YFK 1913 28 Feb Germany
 RN6AH           1811.2 EK6TA        CQ-160-SSB                         1900 28 Feb   Armenia
IK0XBX 1818.0 UR5EAW 1900 28 Feb Ukraine
 LY7M            1810.7 LY9A         CQ-160-SSB                         1910 28 Feb   Lithuania

All the CW portion is full of vile telephonists without morality. Why I can't use the CW portion of the band when they are wheezing to their microphones ?!


FOOTNOTES
1. CW is permitted on all frequencies but is exclusive where shown.
2. Digimode refers to the digital modes RTTY, AMTOR and Packet (including new systems like PACTOR and CLOVER).
3. NB (narrow band) includes all digital modes.
4. RTTY includes all digital modes.
5. Some operating frequencies may not be allowed in certain countries or may be shared on a secondary basis.

REGION 1 CONTEST FREQUENCIES

CW
3.500 - 3.560
14.000 - 14.060

SSB
3.600 - 3.650
3.700 - 3.800
14.125 - 14.300

PURPOSE OF THE IARU BANDPLANS
The IARU bandplans have been compiled and modified over the years to reflect changes in operating requirements and are to be used as a guideline by the individual societies of each country. Unique situations in certain countries may require slight modification to that individual country's own bandplan but the impact of any changes must take into consideration their effect on other countries.
These bandplans are voluntary and as such cannot legally be enforced, except in some countries in which the bandplans are written into the national regulations. The vast majority of amateurs in all countries do conform to the IARU bandplans and it is in our own interest that it should continue to be this way. The plans are prepared in a democratic way with input from any country's member society. The plans are discussed, modified and voted upon at IARU Regional General Assemblies with each country (large or small) having only one vote. If an individual or group is not satisfied with the bandplans as they are and has a suggestion for improvement then he should submit it, with as much documentation as possible, to his IARU member society.
IARU bandplans are for your benefit and have withstood the test of time for over sixty years.


IARU HF BAND PLAN
(Shown together with the band plans of Regions 1 and 3 for comparison purposes)
This BAND PLAN was approved by the XIII General Assembly of Delegates of
IARU Region II held at Porlamar, Margarita Island, Venezuela from

Region 1 --- Africa, Europe, former USSR countries, Middle East (excluding Iran) and Mongolia.
Region 2 --- North and South America including Hawaii, Johnston and Midway Is.
Region 3 --- The rest of Asia and Oceania.
Region 1Region 2Region 3
1810 - 1838 CW
1838 - 1840 Digimode except
Packet, CW
1840 - 1842 Digimode except
Packet, Phone, CW
1842 - 2000 Phone, CW
1800 - 1830 CW, Digimode
1830 - 1840 CW, Digimode
(DX CW window)
1840 - 1850 Phone
(DX Phone window) - CW
1850 - 2000 Phone - CW
1800 - 1830 CW
1830 - 1834 RTTY, CW, DX
1834 - 1840 CW
1840 - 2000 Phone, CW

The 160M "No Excuses" Homebrew Vertical by John, K6MM

27. února 2010 v 10:10 | Petr, OK1RP |  Antennas
Hello,

some months ago I attended on the web seminar about the 160m antenna for limited space. Excellent presentation done by K6MM was named "No Excuses" homebrew vertical. I found this design very interesting so I am preparing some hardware and I will try to work on it in the summer time because my post stamp lot is quite similar to the John's one.

When I discussed about this antenna on few hamfests then I have got several emails about the antenna construction and I was asked for contact to John, K6MM etc.

So there I am posting the link to John, K6MM page where You can find all informations regarding his nice project.

I will be glad to get feedback over here about the performance in Your location.

73 - Petr, OK1RP
...-.-

Crappy Chinese cables in Your shack by Alan, N5NA

17. února 2010 v 17:11 | Petr, OK1RP |  Technical topics

Watch Out for Crappy Chinese Cables!

At the beginning of the ARRL 10M Contest a couple of weeks ago I noticed several "squalling" noises across the band. I had heard these before but hadn't investigated. I thought it was probably from the Ethernet cabling in my house I decided to see if I could do something about it.

First I disconnected the coax from my rig, the noise disappeared. I reconnected the coax and turned off my router and wireless internet radio. The noise was still there. Next I disconnected the coax from the remote sensor for my SWR meter. The noise was still there. Hmmm, that's strange. I disconnected the coax from the antenna from the back of my amp. The noise was still there. Next I disconnected the jumper from my rig from the back of the amp. The noise was still there. At this point the only thing connected to my rig was a 6' coax jumper. I disconnected it and the noise disappeared!

That coax jumper was factory assembled with molded strain relief at the PL-259's. I replaced that cable with a homemade cable and the noise stayed gone.

I cut open the factory cable and found the coax had maybe 10% coverage, if you could call it coverage. It was junk. If I'm not mistaken I bought that cable from one of the large dealers at Hamcom. Below are a couple of pictures. It looks pretty until you cut it open.



A few months ago I was getting ready for the Texas QSO Party. I was testing a USB>Serial adapter that uses a separate USB cable. When I connected the adapter there was a noticeable noise increase in my Elecraft K3. Again, I tracked that noise down to the USB cable, which was a piece of junk from China. After replacing the USB cable with a Belden cable I didn't hear any noise from the adapter.

Moral of the story, beware of crappy cables from China! 73 - de Alan, N5NA.
---
Inspired by Alan and his article I started to check all of my coaxial cables in the shack. Well because of tons of cables over here it's not the "one evening project" but some strange results are available even now...

I found that after changing some of the cables for high quality one I noticed the SWR changes on LF/HF bands and also I noticed some noise improvement. It not solved my noise issue completely of course but even just noticable changes in the noise level seems that cables was not good and put me in troubles with weak signal reception over here.

I am going to check all of my cables !

73 - Petr, OK1RP
...-.-

DXpedition to Kermadec Island (ZL8)

17. února 2010 v 12:03 | Petr, OK1RP |  Band reports
Raoul Island calderas
Hi,
there I am sharing the informations about the DXpedition to Kermadec Island (ZL8) in November 2010 posted by Chris, DL1MGB. This short announcement was published on the Topband mailing reflector and for more details You should check the website below...

Hi all,

here our announcement for ZL8X:

After very successful activities from Norfolk Island (VK9DNX 2007, over
60,000 QSOs) and Willis Island (VK9DWX 2008, 95,000 QSOs) we are proud
to announce our DXpedition to Kermadec Island (ZL8) in November 2010.
The core team from VK9D*X plus additional high experienced operators
(DJ5IW, DJ7EO, DJ9RR, DK1II, DL1MGB, DL3DXX, DL5CW, DL5LYM, DL5XL,
DL6FBL, DL8OH, DL8WPX und SP5XVY) will operate seven high power stations
for about 17 days from 160m to 10m in CW, SSB and RTTY. More information
on http://www.kermadec.de/. There you will find all stuff around the
DXpedition ZL8X. Besides a newsletter and the RSS feed we have also
installed a Facebook group to inform you about the latest news.

Hope to get you on 160!!!

73s Chris DL1MGB

Well according to the team memebers attending this DXpedition we can expect their focus also on LF and TB also. We will see which antennas and radios they will use.

73 - Petr, OK1RP
...-.-

TX4T - French Polynesia on TB ...

15. února 2010 v 1:25 | Petr, OK1RP |  Band reports

TX4T - French Polynesia

DATES and OBJECTIVES

9th to 25th February from Tahiti, DXCC entity = French Polynesia, all 9 HF bands, 160-10 m.
With feedback from recent operations from the 2 other FO DXCC entities, we changed our plans and we will stay in this more current country but we will make a strong effort on low bands (160 and 80 m) to try to address the many requests from all continents.
Entries in the WPX RTTY and in the ARRL DX CW contests are also planned as all operators are contesters.

OPERATING MODES AND FREQUENCIES

BandCWSSBRTTY
1601831.5 down 5-101842 up
803503 or 35233790 down EU / up USA
407003 or 70237085 up7038 up
3010103 or 10108
10148 down
2014003 or 1402314170 up14088 up
1718073 or 1807818130 up18108 up
1521003 or 2102321280 up21098 up
1224893 or 2489824985 dwn24928 up
1028003 or 2802328490 up28098 up


Note : The CW listening frequency will always be up (except on 160m), starting at just 1kHz or 2kHz up depending on the pile-up size. However on 160m CW where the listening frequency will be down, the actual split will be announced.

Equipment

STATIONS

It is planned to run two stations simultaneously:
  • K3/100 + Acom 1010 amplifier,
  • K3/100 + THP HL-1.1 Kfx solid state amplifier,
  • Dunestar and ICE band pass filters,
  • Keyers, paddles, CW /RTTY interfaces, boom-mike headsets.
  • One K3 as spare radio.

ANTENNAS

Planned antennas are:
  • 160 m inverted-L supported by 18m Spiderbeam pole, on the beach or in the ocean
  • 80 m phased array of 2 quarter wave verticals, l/8 spacing
  • 30/40 m vertical
  • 17/12 m vertical
  • 5 band Spiderbeam at 9 m.
  • Beverage or K9AY receiving antennas.

I am looking for them every nite even just to try if i will be able to hear them from my location but sri no beeps untill now.

73 - Petr, OK1RP
...-.-

J38XX - Grenada on 160m...

15. února 2010 v 1:11 | Petr, OK1RP |  Band reports

J38XX Grenada

DL5AXX will be active from Grenada Island 10-24 February 2010 as J38XX
He will focus on Low Bands
He will be active in ARRL DX CW Contest 20-21 February 2010 in SOAB Category
QSL via home call
http://dxing.at-communication.com/en

Grenada Island J38XX ARRL DX CW Contest 2010 DX News

I heard him on 1812 up on 14Feb after midnite with nice 559 sigs in jo60. Unfortunately no QSO although there were not so mni takers.

K3: AGC off, RF 12h30, AF 12h00, NTCH 920Hz masking.

73 - Petr, OK1RP
...-.-

Base loaded half sloper - part I.

11. února 2010 v 22:12 | Petr, OK1RP |  Antennas
Hello all Topbanders,

it's really long time ago when I posted the last article. I would like to send my appologize to all of You. I hope that I will be able to update this place more often...

In preview articles "Antennas inspiration"we talked about different antennas suitable for small pocket size lots. In fact I am still looking for some of that also as my fixed QTH is so small that I have no more than 10m x 15m garden available and just 6m high roof. No tower, no trees around.

Some time ago I found interesting article about shortened half sloper writen by Don, WD8DSB. There is what I found as the first on the internet about this type of the antenna:

Rugged 160 Meter sloper...

Our best selling antenna is our 160 meter, ruggedized version of our popular "half-sloper". We have been building these antennas for over 12 years. They work and work well.
It's features heavier, 14 awg insulated wire, a built-in SO239 connector and a solid cover over the coil. Ideal for 100-150 watt radios, this antenna solves the problems of working "top-band" and eliminates the need for a tuner. Trimmed to resonance at your favorite spot in the band this antenna offers omni-directional performance with minimum effort.

We start with a tightly wound 14 awg insulated wire coil
This is the finished antenna, ready to be hung on your tower.
The radiator wire will be left several feet long to allow you to "prune" it to the length that tunes it to the exact spot in the band that you need. Once tuned near the center of the band at your location the antenna will cover the entire band without any retuning or tinkering. Note: this antenna can withstand quite a bit of power but we have NOT tested it above 150 watts. We don't build "high-power" antennas. We build antennas that give you that extra performance.

This antenna ships 75' in length and will be trimmed back to 68' or less on installation. It works best when attached to your tower at about the 45-50' level. This allows the wire to be angled down to the ground at a comfortable angle (somewhere near 45 degrees) and attached to a suitable support 8 or 9 feet off the ground ( to keep someone from touching it while you are transmitting) 45' or so away from your tower.

We have had one of these on our tower for 12 years with no problems

We have made several improvements to the design over the years. The one shown here is a very early production model. (12 years in use...)

73 de Stan, KC5UYF

OK, it sounds good. What is important is that the installation need to have grounding point and some pipes or way to simulate the vertical part of the half sloper going to ground or better to the radials system.

The minimal height seems to be around 8-10m. Of course not for DXing but to come to TB in general. I am going to thinking about that...and need to find the original post from Don, WD8DSB.

73 - Petr, OK1RP
...-.-