IARU Region 1 U/SHF Contest 2021 – 10 GHz

Compte rendu du contest IARU R1 U/SHF des 2 et 3 Octobre 2021 (bande 10 GHz). J’ai été actif environ 9 heures sur les 24 que compte le contest. Il y a exactement 20 ans que je n’avais plus participé à un contest hyperfréquences ! A l’époque, c’était uniquement en portable. Depuis août 2021, j’ai remonté une station 10 GHz en fixe à la maison. Cette station est certes modeste (2,5W et une parabole Procom prime focus de 48 cm de diamètre), mais semble répondre pleinement aux attentes. N’étant actif que sur 144 MHz et 10 GHz, il ne m’était pas possible durant ce contest de monter successivement d’une bande vers la bande de fréquence supérieure. Aussi, la majorité des skeds ont été pris sur le chat d’ON4KST, à l’exception de quelques QSO’s réalisés en random, grâce au rain-scatter largement présent ce WE de contest. Sur les 22 QSO’s réalisés, exactement la moitié ont été faits en CW ! En fin de contest, j’ai tenté un QSO avec Rudi, OE5VRL (plus de 780 km de distance, ce qui est énorme sur 10 GHz) ; nous nous sommes entendus mais n’avons pas pu malheureusement compléter le QSO (en airplane-scatter, “AS”). A part un QSO avec F6DKW, aucune (ou presque) activité en France. Surprenant pour un contest IARU. Les journées d’activité hyper semblent recueillir bien plus de succès.
Station utilisée : parabole PF Procom de 48 cm et 2,5W

Report of the IARU R1 U/SHF contest of October 2nd and 3rd 2021 (10 GHz band). I was active for about 9 hours out of the 24 hours of the contest. It has been exactly 20 years since I last participated in a microwave contest ! At that time, it was only in portable. Since August 2021, I have set up a fixed 10 GHz station at home. This station is admittedly modest (2.5W and a 48 cm diameter Procom prime focus dish), but seems to fully meet the expectations. Being active only on 144 MHz and 10 GHz, it was not possible for me during this contest to successively move up one band to the higher frequency band. So, most of the skeds were taken on the ON4KST chat, except for a few QSO’s made in random, thanks to the rain-scatter widely present this contest WE. On the 22 QSO’s made, exactly half were made in CW ! At the end of the contest, I tried a QSO with Rudi, OE5VRL (more than 780 km distant, which is huge on 10 GHz); we heard each other but unfortunately could not complete the QSO (in airplane-scatter, “AS”). Apart from a QSO with F6DKW, no (or almost no) activity in France. Surprising for an IARU contest. The hyper activity days seem to be much more successful.
Station used: 48 cm Procom PF dish and 2.5W

# QSO’s : 22
Points : 4658
# DXCC : 5 (G, F, PA, DL, ON)
# WWL : 12
Average km/QSO : 212

Top 10 DX QSO’s :

DR9A           JN48EQ       382 km
G4ODA          IO92WS       370 km
PI4GN          JO33II       359 km
DL3IAE         JN49DG       343 km 
DL3IAS/P       JN49BO       317 km 
DF0MU          JO32PC       285 km 
G4ZTR          JO01KW       260 km 
G0WZV          JO01KV       258 km
G3XDY          JO02OB       250 km 
F6DKW          JN18CS       239 km

IARU U-SHF October 2021 10 GHz



IARU Region 1 VHF Contest 2021

Compte rendu du contest IARU R1 VHF des 4 et 5 septembre 2021. J’ai été actif environ 15 heures sur les 24 que compte le contest. Comme d’habitude, je me suis attaché principalement à chercher les DX’s (mode “S&P”), pas à faire beaucoup de QSO’s, même si j’ai quand-même appelé “CQ” de temps-en-temps (avec quelques pile ups à la clé). Il restait un peu de la bonne propagation des jours précédents sur la Mer du Nord, mais aussi vers l’Est. Enfin, l’ère “covid” semble derrière nous, il y a longtemps que nous n’avions plus vécu un contest avec autant d’actvité. C’était un réel plaisir ! Au final, 20 DXCC et 90 WWL contactés en un contest ! Un sked tenté avec OY9JD, nous nous sommes entendus mais n’avons pas pu compléter le QSO malheureusement. Particulièrement content aussi du QSO avce F6KEH/P en JN13LP, dans le déprtement 34. Département avec lequel c’était mon 1er QSO tropo en 34 ans d’activité VHF !
Station utilisée : 2×9 él. DK7ZB et 1,2kW

Report of the IARU R1 VHF contest of September 4th and 5th 2021. I was active for about 15 hours out of the 24 hours of the contest. As usual, I was mainly looking for DX’s (“S&P” mode), not doing many QSO’s, even if I did call “CQ” from time to time (with a few pile ups). There was still some of the good propagation of the previous days over the North Sea, but also towards the East. Finally, the “covid” era seems to be behind us, it’s been a long time since we experienced a contest with so much activity. It was a real pleasure ! In the end, 20 DXCC and 90 WWL contacted in one contest ! A sked attempted with OY9JD, we heard each other but unfortunately could not complete the QSO. Particularly happy also with the QSO with F6KEH/P in JN13LP, in the department 34. Department with which it was my 1st QSO in 34 years of VHF activity !
Station used : 2×9 el. DK7ZB and 1,2kW

# QSO’s : 222
Points : 103727
# DXCC : 20 (G, GM, GI, GW, GD, EI, LX, HB9, I, OE, OK, OM, DL, ON, PA, F, EA, SP, SM, OZ)
# WWL : 90
Average km/QSO : 467

Top 10 DX QSO’s :

OM6A           JN99JC      1074 km 
OM3W           JN99CH      1027 km
OL9W           JN99CL      1023 km
OM3KII         JN88UU      1005 km 
OM2Y           JN88RS       990 km 
EA1SA          IN83EI       989 km 
EA2XR          IN83KI       967 km 
OK6M           JO80OB       941 km 
EA2T           IN93IA       932 km 
IO2V           JN54WE       928 km

IARU R1 September 2021


CT3 <> ON Tropo path on 144 MHz

On August 19th, 2021, I had the surprise to see “CT3KN” (IM12MT) on my screen in FT8 on 144 MHz at 10:56 UTC. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make a 2 ways QSO over that 2614 km path, 2-3 dB were missing to achieve it ! In 2011 and 2019, I already worked the Azores Islands (CU8) on 144 MHz in Tropo. Nevertheless, I never thought the path to CT3 (Madeira Island) would ever been possible. Indeed, if the sea propagation seems sometimes without “limits” (see the QSO’s on 144 MHz between D4 and EA8 and the Caribbean Islands), when there is land in between, that is another story. If on the path to the Azores the amount of land is very limited, on the path to Madeira, there is about 750 km of land to cross, with as many opportunities to have the tropo sea duct being interrupted.

Nevertheless, knowing that G stations as close to me as JO01/02 made their way to the Ricardo (CT3KN)’s log on August 18th evening, I called “CQ” from time to time with the antennas heading to the Azores on the 19th. And it paid ! Below a screenshot taken at my station :

CT3KN 144MHz Tropo SS WSJT 19082021

And here is the screen at Ricardo’ side at the same time :

ON4KHG at CT3KN side 19082021 reworked

Ricardo is using 80W and 2×9 elements antennas. I’m using 1,2 kW and 2×9 elements too. It makes a difference of more than 10 dB, which is somehow reflected in the reports seen. I saw Ricardo -19 dB at best and he saw me -11 at best. At -11 dB, my signal was barely audible in a reduced bandwidth. Hence, even in CW, a QSO would have been hard to achieve (at same RF power level both sides).

In the morning of August 19th, 2 EA1 stations lying on the path (both in IN73DM) have been worked too. EB1B has been worked at 07:27 UTC and EB1FNS at 09:42 UTC.

After analysis of the PSK Reporter data and my log, one can see :

  • 06:22 UTC : CT2HXM (IN60CR) sees my signal -12 dB. Thierry sees also G0MBL in JO01 at 07:23 UTC, nobody else around or in between. This can be MS or Tropo but I assume it was more MS than Tropo. See the map below.
  • 07:27 UTC : I make QSO with EB1B in IN73DM (-08 dB / -08 dB)
  • 09:42 UTC : I make QSO with EB1FNS in IN73DM (-08 dB / -01 dB)
  • 10:56 UTC : uncomplete QSO with CT3KN in IN12MT (2614 km)
  • 11:40 UTC EB1FNS sees my signal +15 dB. So, the duct seems to be stronger now, provided the antenna at the EB1FNS’ side was heading the same QTF (to me ?) at 09:42 too.

This is the complete path :

CT3KN Google Maps
CT2HXM, Thierry sees “local” stations and my signal at 06:22 UTC. G0MBL (JO01) is seen at 07:23 UTC. Surprisingly, no stations in between or around G0MBL and I. However, I checked PSK Reporter and there were not many F stations QRV on the path between 06:10 and 06:40 UTC (F0FWC and F0GFI, both in JO10. F4KKV in IN98. F4ELJ in IN78). At 07:27 UTC, about when CT2HXM sees G0MBL, I have worked EB1B but CT2HXM doesn’t see me then. So, the spot of 06:22 is probably MS, unless CT2HXM has turned his antenna between  07:23 and 07:27. Or, since I was in QSO with EB1B, not CQing, PSK reporter didn’t report my signal around 07:23-27 UTC at CT2HXM’ side ?

ON4KHG - CT2HXM 19082021

Looking at Hepbrun’s Tropo maps, the duct was clearly visible. It seems it peaked (for my location) between 09:00 and 12:00 UTC. The map below shows the Tropo forecast at 09:00 UTC on August 19th :

Hepburn Maps

This was a very thrilling experience, even though we couldn’t complete a 2 ways QSO !

In such nice tropo conditions, working Ricardo (CT3KN) should be easy in Meteor-Scatter (actually “Tropo-enhanced MS”). Hopefully, as from IM12MT, Ricardo is located on the North side of Madeira, while Funchal (the capital city), is located on the South side, obstructed to Europe by mountains. I’m looking forward to try in MS with Ricardo, if not trying again and succeeding in Tropo !


Subregional VHF Contest July/Juillet 2021

Compte rendu du contest subregional VHF des 4 et 5 juillet 2020. Je n’ai été actif que partiellement, à savoir durant 9 heures sur les 24 que compte le contest. Je me suis attaché exclusivement à chercher les DX’s (mode “S&P”). Une activité de contest “normale” semble enfin peu à peu reprendre en cette fin de période “covid”.
Station utilisée : 2×9 él. DK7ZB et 1,2kW

Activity report of the subregional VHF contest of July 4th and 5th, 2020. I have been partly active, during 9 hours amongst the 24 the contests lasts. I exclusively focused on hunting DX’s (mode “S&P”). Normal contest activity finally seems to be returning at the end of this “covid” period.
Station used : 2×9 el. DK7ZB and 1,2kW

# QSO’s : 73
Points : 43001
# DXCC : 13 (G, HB9, OE, OK, DL, ON, PA, F, I, OZ, OM, EA, SP)
# WWL : 40
Average km/QSO : 589

Top 10 DX QSO’s :

EA2T           IN83FD      1005 km 
OM2Y           JN88RS       990 km
OK1KTW         JN89IW       908 km
OL1B           JO80IB       905 km 
IW5BUX         JN54PF       897 km 
F6KPH/P        JN03CB       885 km 
OL7M           JO80FG       885 km 
OK1KHL         JO80AC       858 km 
OK1KCR         JN79VS       846 km 
OL2J           JN79TI       844 km

VHF Contest July 2021



Reception of 144 MHz beacons OY6BEC and IQ2MI in Tropo on July 23rd, 2021

Good Tropo conditions on Friday July 23rd, 2021 on 144 MHz.

Reception of the beacons IQ2MI in JN35WW (first time heard) and OY6BEC in IP62MD.

Beacon reception 23072021

IQ2MI-BIQ2MI/B is the Europe highest VHF Beacon, located at “Capanna Margherita” refuge, at 4560 m asl. The power is only 500 mW into a dipole !

Below, you can hear the recording of the beacon received on July 23rd, 2021. There is a transverter 144 > 28 MHz in front of the FT-857, so that the “real” frequency is 144.415 MHz, not 28.415.

Morse code translation :
V V V de IQ2MI/B JN35WW BAT 13.82V SUN 14.03V TIN 29C TOUT -32C www.arimi.it

Message format :
“V V V de IQ2MI/B JN35WW BAT nn.nnV SUN nn.nnV TIN xxC TOUT xxC www.arimi.it

VBAT = battery voltage
VSUN = photovoltaic panel voltage
TIN = radio box temperature (°C)
TOUT = external temperature (°C)

You will hear that there is another beacon on the same frequency, it is DB0JW in JO30.
Well, I have some doubts about the outside temperature… -32°C mid day during the summer (even if the altitude is high) ?

Now, heading north to the Faroes Islands, the 2m OY6BEC is located in that radome, in IP62MD :