17 January 2014

Early Morning net on 40m

Today things were interesting on our early morning net on 40m 7020KHz. For the past two days the band has been opening a bit later each morning. Yesterday it only opened at 06:50 local time to ZS4SF in Welkom and ZS6AJY in Benoni area.

Today the net did not open at all during our usual time  of  6:30am local to 7:00. I did QSO with ZS6AJY OM Barrie but his signal was only a 559 and did not come up whereas normally he is well over 599+20dB. I heard Dave ZS6AZP just down in the noise but could not copy.

I called CQ until 07:25 but no takers. I am sure Dave was listening and would have answered if he had heard me.

ZS1JX in Worcester was booming into Joburg 599+ until 07:15am when he went QRT.


QRV 06:30 - 07:30
SUNRISE 5:32am Local
SUNSET 7:05pm Local
TEMP 18C@07:26am Local
LOW 16C (Forecast)
HIGH 32C (Forecast)
SFI 121
K 01
XRY C1.4
304A 163.5
Bz 0
SW 371
PF 0.2
EF 139

ANT W3EDP up 20ft/66ftHoriz
QTH KG33xx

COMMENTS: EF is elevated.

Herewith is an interesting audio recording made by Jan ZS6BMN for 2014-01-16.
Thank you Jan.

05 January 2014

QRV in Cary NC Temp -7C/23F

Today I deployed my end-fed into a tree at our friends home back in Cary NC. The weather was very cold, in fact the coldest day so far this season with more on the way next week. I was only able to get the antenna up about 15 feet. I could tell that the antenna performance was not great since I struggled to get an answer to my CQ in spite of the band being quite active. I managed a QSO with K4KTM just located in N Raleigh NC and also with a QRP station OM Bob in Newnan GA. Bob was running 1 Watt into a doublet antenna. I copied Bob 559 and he gave me a decent 579 signal report.

I am now en route back to Johannesburg where the temperatures are around 80F.

That will be a change!

An Ice Sculpture in Cary NC. My friends back yard!

01 January 2014

QRV in Augusta Georgia

Happy New Year and may 2014 be a good one to us all!

We spent an enjoyable 2 days with our friends in Augusta Georgia. Home of the famous US Masters tournament.

Of course I had to get on the air! I soon discovered that I had left my SWR meter behind in North Carolina. Nevertheless I was able to peak the tuner by ear since of course the loaded Q is high for this end fed half wave antenna.

The QTH is not ideal for radio since they are located in a hollow and below a dam wall. I was able to get my antenna up as a sloper with the end about 30 ft agl.

I achieved 2 QSO's:

Om Del in Orlando Fl gave me a 599 report! Note that his antenna is a Force 12 multi-band beam. That tells the story about QRP.

I also received a 559 report from om Stu in Louisville Ky. Not sure what antenna he was running.

My operating conditions were my Norcal 40A @ 2 watts into an end fed halfwave up 30ft. Operating from the back porch with a temperature of 50F and sunny.