Having gone through the summer with very few chaser QSOs with activators in USA/VE this last week HF Condx are improving - notably also whilst the USA/VE activator sigs on 20m are still fairly weak the USA chasers I have heard have been at very good strength.
Recent transatlantic QSOs this week:
N9XG W1/DI-007 20m CW
N9XG W1/DI-006 20m CW
WX4TW W4C/CM-077 20m CW
WF4I W4C/CM-020 20m CW
KX0R W0C/PR-090 20m CW
VA2VL VE2/BL-042 20m CW
Its well worth EU stations listening out and looking for USA/VE spots now late afternoon for sure.
Really glad we have SOTAWatch back up now - thanks to the MT support team for fixing it.
Coming to autumn period soon as even tree;s starting to turn should hear more states side soon.
I can confirm that. I had a Sota qso with George, N1GB with 5 Watts in SSB last week.
I’ve worked N1GB a couple of times from summits on 20m CW including yesterday. He’s usually the loudest signal and blows my ears out. I think he has some good antennas!
On his QRZ.com page you can have a look at his antennas … also worked him with great signals in October 2016 and March 2018 on SSB!
Many thanks for the heads up Phil. It is looking good for the Trans-Atlantic S2S event on 3rd November when I hope conditions will be even better.
Yes good to hear sota sounds across the Atlantic again although very weak at the moment on ssb but did work ve1pvh/ve2 on SSB 4/9/18 1606 gmt on 20mtrs. Don.
When would you say is the best time of day at the moment for an EU-NA contact - that 16:06 GMT (UTC) is 18:06 with me and getting a bit late to get down from any high summits (of the few that are still reachable in November as the cable cars stop operating at the end of October for maintenance).
I suspect late afternoon to dusk is going to likely be the time though - if open might 15m be a bit earlier than 20m?
I have US contacts in my log on 20m CW from summits at 11.04, 11.15, 11.50 and 13.35 UTC over the last 3 weeks. The US stations were all home stations with big antennas though.
Having one end with a big tower and beam helps a lot and in the current conditions, I’d be very happy with such a contact but S2S with both ends running simple antennas and often low power is a challenge, making the contact on SSB rather than CW makes the challenge and accomplishment even greater.
Hence I need to know when the “peak time” in conditions normally is, to give me the best chance in November for the EU-NA S2S event. Before then though in about a weeks time, I have a semi-local semi-difficult (for me) 8 pointer planned here and in a couple of weeks a simple summit on Skye - who knows, I might manage a contact into NA from Skye being a lot closer to NA than here in Souther Germany - but I doubt it, as I’ll only be running 5 watts most likley.
Hi Ed.Not hearing much before that time except of course the high power home ops.
Seems like 20mtrs is the preferred band at the moment and not seeing spots for many 15mtrs activation’s. Don.
What antenna are you using, Phil?
OK so it’s going to need to be a local easy access 1-pointer, late afternoon in November for the EU-NA S2S event in that case - I actually have a simple summit I haven’t activated this year yet. Perhaps I’ll have the Antron A-99 working by then?
As well as good conditions we also need some free space for the QRP S2S contacts, so perhaps 17m or 15m is worth a go. 20 & 40 are the usual choices but all we need is a contest and I can forget hearing any weak signals with the portable rigs I have!
I now have a Hexbeam at 12m high fed with Ecoflex 15. Produced by the guy in South Wales. He always has a waiting list so I have to wait from Feb-June to get it. Pleased with the performance though and build quality, worth the wait. Other Hexbeam makers are available!
Hi Phil,I to have a Hexbeam but waited longer for mine.
After about 14 months use the swr went high on more than one band.
Although on visual inspection with binoculars all appeared ok,I suspected may be
water ingress to the centre column.
After dropping it down I found the wire element solder joints had parted from the solder tags in the wind.They had stayed detached under the heat shrink which is why it was not visible.
When I ordered it I had requested N connectors on the feed point and the balun but he forgot and fitted so239,not happy about that.
I have since removed the balun.
I rang the guy about the problem and said not happy with the problems and said I would modify it myself I requested a new set of solder tags and heat shrink,only the tags arrived.
After I modified it I worked a station in VK who said he had the same problem.
I then had a phone call from a g4 in Cornwall suffering the same problem along with
the Poldhu club station and it was Ant of Hexbeam suggested they rang me to explain my mod.
Quite happy with the performance,beam is 11mtrs AGL and location is 173mtrs ASL.
Yes Spiderbeam in Germany is one and a LOT of clubs around Germany now have them after the complete station kits from the 65 WRTC stations were sold in advance to German radio clubs (to raise money for the event). I wonder which club got the kit from the world champions? No actually all kits were identical - Spiderbeam Hexbeam, 40m additional element, 80m dipole, mast and rotator, tent, generator and a few other bits and pieces.
I thought Spiderbeam only made three element yagis with V shaped directors and reflectors in a “square” pole configuration versus the classic Hexbeam with two W shaped elements in the “hexagonal” pole configuration. Was it a special they did for WRTC?
Listened to GT0OOO/p on the IoM this morning (1400z) on 14 mHz SSB hoping he would finally build strong enough to call but it never happened. I saw OE/HB9BIN/p spotted on 14.062 and quickly QSY’d to CW and copied Juerg well with a 549. Our QSO qualified me for global mountain hunter. Woo hoo! Thank you Juerg!
Sorry if it sounds a bit like bragging, but you folks understand the rush. My wife tends to roll her eyes at these things.
same here, in the last days I could copy a number of W / VE activations with good signals.
Tomorrow I could try an afternoon activation (abt 15-17 utc) and see if I can bag some S2S EU - NA on 20m…
Keep an eye on spots,73 de Ignacio.
You are right, spiderbeam and hexbeam differ that way (W against V driven elements).
Their version for WRTC was, as mentioned, a mix of a Spiderbeam, plus a 40m rotary dipole crossed 90 degree respect the tribander plus a 80m dipole inv V, all shared in a common mast.