144 MHz tropo opening of end of 2018 and beginning of 2019

Below the map of the QSO’s I have been lucky to work on 144 MHz during the period December 25th, 2018 to January 6th, 2019. The conditions lasted for days, thanks to a steady high pressure system over Western Europe. Stations on the North coast of Spain were hearing the OY beacon but unfortunately there was no activity from the Faroes Islands. In JO10XO, I was out of the North-South duct but I could benefit however from excellent conditions from South-West to North-West. UT1FG/MM was worked while in IN66, JO12, JO25 and JO36 (3 new #). I missed IN67 as I was out for the New Years eve. The map depicts SSB, CW and FT8 QSO’s.

Tropo opening 144 MHz end of 2018

SAPCE




UT1FG/MM – Yuri

2019_01_06_21_02_48_https_s3.amazonaws.com_files.qrz.com_g_ut1fg_IMG_1476453682005_V.jpg_InterneYuri, UT1FG is often active as UT1FG/MM on 144 MHz. He operates from the ship “Goldeneye”, a bulk carrier sailing under Cyprus flag. On the QRZ.com page of Yuri, one can see the ship.

The Goldeneye has left San Lorenzo in Argentina on 8/12/2018 with Riga (Latvia) as destination. Yuri has been active during the travel from several “wet” squares on 144 MHz. I have been lucky enough to work him when he was in IN66, JO12, JO25 and JO36. Three of them were new #. The mode Yuri used was FT8. On likes FT8 or not is another discussion ! I wanted to know the full (6 digits) loactors where Yuri was when I worked him. Provided the latitude / longitude position of the ship can be received by costal stations receiving AIS (Automatic Identification System) frames emitted by the boats (161.975 and 162.025 MHz), it is quite easy to derive the QRA locator. I describe here the way I proceeded.

I go the either vesselfinder.com or marinetraffic.com. One has sometimes a more recent position that the other or vice-versa. The AIS frames contain the latitude and longitude of the ship ; these are broadcasted on the above mentioned frequencies. Once received by a costal AIS station that reports the received postions of the ships to vesselfinder or marinetraffic over the internet, one can retrieve the latitude and longitude of the ship. Below is an example with marinetraffic. Look for “Goldeneye” on the top right when accessing the website and you will get this if you select the Goldeneye from Cypris, i.e. [CY] (click on picture to enlarge) :

2019_01_03_09_34_39_Vessel_details_for_GOLDENEYE_Bulk_Carrier_IMO_9637131_MMSI_210764000_Call

From there, you can see the latest postion of the ship, its past track and even its forecasted route.

2019_01_03_09_30_44_MarineTraffic_Global_Ship_Tracking_Intelligence_AIS_Marine_Traffic2019_01_03_09_28_28_MarineTraffic_Global_Ship_Tracking_Intelligence_AIS_Marine_Traffic2019_01_03_09_32_19_MarineTraffic_Global_Ship_Tracking_Intelligence_AIS_Marine_Traffic

On the top right of the picture above, one can see the latitude and longitude of the ship, expressed both in DD and DMS. Feeding an online QRA locator calculator2019_01_03_09_39_15_QTH_locator_calculator (e.g. www.giangrandi.ch) with these data and one get the QRA locator of the ship. In the present case, it was in JO24KH. Again, this is possible provided the ship is under the coverage of a costal AIS receiving station. Otherwise, satellite positioning of the ships is also possible but this is a paid service.

End of January 2019, on his way from Estonia to Brazil, Yuri has activated again wet squares on 144 MHz. Yuri is transmitting with 20W into a 5 elements antenna. Hereby a screenshot from JO35 :

UT1FG-MM JO35 30012019
Many thanks to Yuri for activating all these wet squares !

 SPACE




Marconi Memorial VHF CW Contest 2018

Compte rendu du contest MMC VHF des 3 et 4 novembre 2018 ; il s’agit du seul contest VHF dédié uniquement à la télégraphie (CW). Je n’ai été actif que très partiellement, à savoir durant seulement 8 heures sur les 24 que compte le contest. Propagation relativement normale, qui a néanmoins réservé quelques belles surprises. En effet, 3 stations slovaques, ainsi que 6 stations italiennes ont été contactées, toutes relativement facilement. L’essentiel de l’activité restante en CW sur 144 MHz se trouve à l’est (ça n’est pas nouveau). Au Royaume-Uni et en Belgique, il y avait peu de monde, et encore moins en France et aux Pays-Bas, qui deviennent des “déserts télégraphiques” (hormis quelques stations, toujours les mêmes). J’ai vraiment beaucoup apprécié ce contest, c’est toujours un grand plaisir de pratiquer la télégraphie, même si je la trouve particulièrement archaïque et évidemment sans avenir (rares sont ceux qui en doutent encore…). Comme quoi, on peut aimer les modes numériques (comme le FT8) tout en restant un fervant amateur de télégraphie ; les deux ne sont pas incompatibles.
Station utilisée : 2×9 él. DK7ZB et 1,2kW

Activity report of the MMC VHF contest of November 3rd and 4th, 2018 ; it is the only VHF contest exclusively dedicated to telegraphy (CW). I have been very partly active, during only 8 hours amongst the 24 the contests lasts. Relatively normal propagation, with some nice surprises though. Indeed, 3 Slovak, as well as 6 Italian stations have been worked, all fairly easily. Most of the remaining CW activity on 144 MHz takes place to the East (this is not new). In the UK and Belgium, very few people, and even less in France and The Netherlands, these become “telegraphic deserts” (except few stations, always the same). I very much liked this contest, it’s always a great pleasure to practice CW, even if I find it particularly archaic and obviously future less (who still doubts it…). One can like the digital modes (like FT8) while remaining a fervent amateur of telegraphy ; both aren’t incompatible.
Station used : 2×9 el. DK7ZB and 1,2kW

# QSO’s : 145
Points : 69242
# DXCC : 13 (G, GM, HB9, OE, OK, OM, DL, ON, PA, F, I, SM, OZ)
# WWL : 64
Average km/QSO : 477

Top 10 DX QSO’s :

OM6A           JN99JC      1074 km 
IQ5NN          JN63GN      1016 km
OM3KII         JN88UU      1005 km
OM2Y           JN88RS       990 km 
OK6M           JO80OB       941 km 
IZ5FDD         JN54PF       897 km 
OE1W           JN77TX       893 km 
IK4PMB         JN54MM       859 km 
OK1KCR         JN79VS       846 km 
OL2J           JN79TI       844 km

MMC VHF 2018

Vidéo Youtube (10 min) – Youtube Video (10 min) :

https://youtu.be/Isid7yTmPmY

Ecoutez mon signal enregistré par OM3KII (opérateurs OM3EI, Roman et OM2ZZ, Rado. Enregistrement fourni par Michal, OM2DX) :

Listen to my signal recorded at OM3KII (operators OM3EI, Roman and OM2ZZ, Rado. Recording provided by Michal, OM2DX) :

SPACE




IARU Region 1 VHF Contest 2018

Compte rendu du contest IARU VHF des 1er et 2 septembre 2018. J’ai été actif durant seulement 7h30 sur les 24 que compte le contest. Bonne propagation dans toutes les directions, sauf peut-être vers le nord. Toutefois pas de signaux super QRO, mais la possibilité de faire des QSO plus facilement que d’habitude, notamment OM3KII contacté en SSB alors que les fois précédentes c’était en CW. Etant donné mon temps d’activité limité, je me suis attaché à chercher les DX plutôt qu’appeler CQ ; je n’ai fait que quelques rares sessions d’appel, ce qui explique le nombre limité de QSO’s et la moyenne km/QSO elevée. Un très bon contest donc que celui de cette année, avec 20 QSO’s à plus de 800 km. L’activité était également assez soutenue. 7 stations EA contactées, 6 stations I, 3 stations GM, 2 stations SP,…
Station : 2×9 él. DK7ZB et 1,2kW

Activity report of the IARU VHF contest of September 1st and 2nd, 2018. I have been active during only 7h30 amongst the 24 the contest lasts. Good propagation all around, except perhaps to the North. No super QRO signals though, but the possibility to make QSO’s easier than usual, in particular OM3KII worked in SSB whereas it has always been in CW so far. Given my limited activity time, I have been focussing on searching for DX’s instead of calling CQ ; I have just made some rare calling sessions, which explains the limited amount of QSO’s and the high km/QSO average. So, a very good contest the one of this year, with 20 QSO’s beyond 800 km. The activity was fairly strong too. 7 EA stations worked, 6 I stations, 3 GM stations, 2 SP stations,…
Station : 2×9 el. DK7ZB and 1,2kW

# QSO’s : 140
Points : 74152
# DXCC : 17 (G, GW, GD, GM, HB9, OE, OK, OM, DL, ON, PA, F, SP, EA, I, OZ, SM)
# WWL : 65
Average km/QSO : 530

Top 10 DX QSO’s :

EG1SDC         IN73EM      1069 km 
ED2C           IN82FQ      1048 km
IQ5NN          JN63GN      1016 km
OM3KII         JN88UU      1006 km 
EE2R           IN83FD      1005 km 
EA1MX          IN73XK      1000 km 
EA1SA          IN83EI       989 km 
EA2XR          IN83KI       967 km 
OK6M           JO80OB       941 km 
EA3LA          JN12IK       913 km

VHF IARU Region 1 September 2018

Ecoutez EA3LA (JN12IK) dans la petite vidéo Youtube ci-dessous (désolé, le son est un peu faible). Le FT-857 indique “28.210” mais il est suivi d’un transverter 28>144 MHz, la fréquence réelle est donc “144.210”.

Listen to EA3LA (JN12IK) in the short Youtube video below (sorry, the sound is a bit weak). The FT-857 indicates “28.210” but it is followed by a 28>144 MHz transverter, the real frequency is then “144.210”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yFMhTJuIvw

SPACE




Subregional VHF Contest July/Juillet 2018

Compte rendu du contest subregional VHF des 7 et 8 juillet 2018, j’ai été actif durant environ 10 heures sur les 24 que compte le contest. Propagation relativement bonne le samedi après-midi, surtout vers l’est (le signal de SN7L était très fort). Beaucoup de recherche de DX et quelques rares sessions de CQ de temps-en-temps, ce qui explique le faible nombre de QSO’s. Entendu TK/F1NSR en JN42QR mais le QSO n’a pu être complété. J’ai trouvé qu’il y avait moins de stations allemandes que d’habitude.
Station utilisée : 2×9 él. DK7ZB et 1kW

Activity report of the subregional VHF contest of July 7th and 8th, 2018, I have been active during around 10 hours amongst the 24 the contests lasts. Fairly good propagation on the Saturday afternoon, mainly to the East (the signal from SN7L was very strong). I was particularly focussing on searching for DX, next to rare CQ sessions from time to time, which explains the limited amount of QSO’s. Heard TK/F1NSR in JN42QR but the QSO couldn’t be completed. I have found there were less German stations than usual.
Station used : 2×9 el. DK7ZB and 1kW

# QSO’s : 150
Points : 66128
# DXCC : 16 (G, GW, GI, EI, HB9, OE, OK, OM, DL, ON, PA, F, I, SM, SP, OZ)
# WWL : 70
Average km/QSO : 441

Top 10 DX QSO’s :

OM2Y           JN88RS       990 km 
F6FZS/P        IN93OA       917 km
IZ5FDD/4       JN54PF       897 km
IK4PMB         JN54MM       859 km 
OK1KCR         JN79VS       846 km 
SP7VC/3        JN71VQ       833 km 
F6DRO          JN03TJ       820 km 
F4CWN          JN03KN       816 km 
SN7L           JO70SS       815 km 
OK1KKI         JN79NF       813 km

Subregional VHF Contest July 2018

SPACE