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FREE Dxing.Today Issue 0   18 October 2017

Editor: Nick VK2DX Co-Editor: Dragan 4O4A

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*** Another DX News Bulletin? Really? 

With so much amateur radio DX information already available online, who would want to start yet another DX related resource?

The answer is simple: a small team of dedicated DXers who have been playing radios for decades, passionate about chasing'em and sharing the joy and excitement with YOU. 

Yes, thanks to the Internet, there is no shortage of great DX resources, news bulletins, DX forums, free online information, clusters and spotting networks. Yet the mere quantity of information would not necessarily help a small DXer working 'the new one'. With so much data to process, with so much raw information to handle, our ability to FOCUS on what is important actually diminishes. What we need is not more DX information but rather processed, organized, digested and intelligent DX information, delivered in a timely manner. 

Our small team is ready to take up a challenge of being such a source. We strongly believe that you will find our DXing News a valuable and indispensable DX tool. 

We call simply call ourselves - DXing.Today. 

There is one more reason why we have decided to offer our time and efforts to you.

Right now, we are on the very edge of the new era of low band DXing. Thanks to K1JT digi modes, working a rare and distant DX is now well withing the reach of even the smallest pistol! Many stations all over the world running modest power and inefficient antennas are now routinely working DX on 80m - and even on 160m. Things which were not possible in the past are now well within our reach. This is a true DX game changer! So with the help of DXing News Bulletin, you will be in the best position to work not 100 but but perhaps 300+ DXCC on 80/160m. To complete your low band WAZ; to find who to chase and complete your WAS. 

There has never been a more exciting time to be an amateur radio operator than today! 

Thank you for joining us, happy DXing and best 73 from our DXing team. 

*** Our mission statement: work them all, one by one! 

Make no mistake: the end of Solar Cycle 24 is still a few years away and it could take a decade before 12m and 10m bands will be on fire again. Logically,  during the bottom of the cycle, amateur activity shifts towards 40/80/160m band. 

Instead of worrying too much about what can not be done, let's focus on great DX opportunities which lay ahead of us. 

As said before, our goal is to help you work your first 100 DXCC, 40 WAZ zones and 50 US states on 80m and 160m. For the sake of clarity and simplicity, we will adopt a 'Band by Zone' format which we hope you'll find easy to follow. 

Our prime focus is on K1JT digi modes, and this time, 80m band in particular.

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Zone 1 

Canada NT VE8EV is recently active on FT8 with a very decent signal.
Alaska KL7J, NL7S and KL7HBK are regular as well. 

0ve8ev1resized.jpg 

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US Zone 3,4,5 - see WAS reports below 
Bermuda: VP9GE copied in EU only by CU3 
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Zone 6 
Mexico: XE2ST, XE2CQ, XE2YWH, XE1H and XE1UYS. 
XE2CQ is probably the loudest of all Mexican sources in all directions! 
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Zone 7 
Costa Rica: TI5/BEK is very active from his new QTH in Costa Rica, on 80m almost daily. TI2CC has been spotted too.
Belize: V31RJ 
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Zone 8 
Cuban station are very active on FT8. CO2II, CO8LY and CO3JA have been worked recently.
Dominican Republic: HI8PLE
Guantanamo: KG4HF - activity by KG5WV and W6HGF > 20 OCT 2017 
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Zone 9 
Columbia: Siso, HK3W is the most active station from Zone 9. Look for him on weekends. 
Killer signal, great operator. QSLL via LOtW and direct. Also HK3J/2
Surname: PZ5RA reported on 16 OCT 2017, decoded for an hour (4O4A) 
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Zone 11 
ZP4KFX wored by number of JA's 
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Zone 13 
It is amazing how well LU5VV can hear and decode on 80m! Worked around the world. LU2FFD, LU7YS and LU1YT were recently logged as well. 
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Zone 14 / 15 / 16 Europe 
Luxembourg:  LX1JX
Azores: CU3AK
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Zone 17 
Recently worked: Kazakhstan: UN6TA, UN6J, UN7ECA,  and UN2G.
Uzbekistan: UK8LCK and UK8AEA 
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Zone 18 
There are a number of active Russian stations from zone 18. Most recently worked are RK9UE, RW0SR and RA9HO. 
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Zone 19 
Activity from Zone 19 could be sporadic. The most active stations are RA0FF, UA0ZK and RA0CEN.
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Zone 20 
Dodecanese: SV5DKL is very active on 80m. QSL via LoTW or direct.
Crete: SV9CVY
Turkey: TA1IFV and TA1L
Israel: 4X1SK
Cyprus: 5B4ALX 
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Zone 21 
A difficult zone for US  West coast!
Oman: A45XR - Chris with a killer signal!
UAE: A65DR, A61QQ.
Kuwait: 9K2BM
Azerbaijan: 4K6N
Armenia: EK1KE, EK7DX 
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Zone 22 
India: It is great to see so many Indian stations on 80m, FT8 mode. Worked recently:
VU2IT, VU2MSA, VU2ABS, VU2LBW and VU2NKS.
Sri Lanka: 4S7VG and 4S7AB. 

0vu2lbw1.jpg 
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Zone 23 
Sporadic activity from JT5DX who is often loud, but could struggle at RX end. 
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Zone 24 
China: the most active 80m FT8 station remains BD7OXR. BG4VRG is another one to chase.
Taiwan: BV2FB
Hong Kong: VR2ZXP and VR2ZMZ 
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Zone 25 
It is great to see that K1JT modes have been so well accepted by our Japanese friends.
I am pleased to report working 107 unique JA's on 80m in just 2 months. (VK2DX) The most reported JA in Europe is JA5FKX with a monster signal! 
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Zone 26 
Thailand: HS0ZEE 
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Zone 27
DXpedition activity: T88UW reported working a number of EU stations on 80m.
Philippines: DU1JM and DU1IST. 
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Zone 28 
West Malaysia: 9M2/JE1SCJ is active around his local midnight, over the weekends.
Indonesia: another Asian country with flourishing 80m FT8 activity! YC2YIZ, YB6HAI, YE6YE, YB8RW, YC1CWK, YC6JRT, YC4CHP, YB8SFE, YB7GRNa and YB0MWM are just some of the calls recently worked. 
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Zone 29 
Australia. Call areas: VK6 and VK8. Active in the past week: VK6DF, VK6DW, VK6LMK. VK8NSB was active a couple of evenings with improved signal.
Christmas Island: VK9VKL decoded number of times recently on 80m with no takers? 

0vk9vkl1.jpg

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Zone 30 
Australia. Number of 'regulars' from VK1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 are active at their evening time looking for South and North America. The best time to work VK2/3/4/7 from Europe is now around 19:30 UTC. 
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Zone 31 
The second most difficult zone from Europe!
Hawaii: Only two stations have been worked on 80m in the first week of October: KH6U and AH7C who was worked by F5UKW- great job Cedric! 
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Zone 32 
New Zealand: look for ZL2FT, ZL2DD, ZL1HD and ZL1SW - all worked in the past few days.
Fiji: 3D2AG and 3D2TS. Unfortunately currently only active in their evenings.
New Caledonia: FK8GX appeared briefly on 80m October 7, 2017.
Samoa: 5W1SA
North Cook Is. E51WL
Niue DXpedition: E6AG good activity on 80m! 
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Zone 33 
It was great to see Roman Levichev operating on 80m FT8 operating as CN2MA (while setting up station for CQWW contest!) Roman will travel to EA8 after the CQWW.
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Zone 35 
Haro, XT2AW has been decoded as far as VK4! 
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Zone 38 
There is a nice bunch of South African stations active on 80m FT8. 
Not very loud at my end, but definitely workable. ZS2EZ, ZS4JAN and ZS5LEE are often decoded at SR.
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Zone 39
Mauritius: 3B8CW, 3B8FA and 3B8IK. Expect activity around 17-18 UTC.
Reunion: FR4OO, FR4OZ
Madagascar: 5R8UI 
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Zone 40
Iceland: TF3ARI
Faroe: OY8W 
NON-REPORTED ZONES [80m band, FT8 only] : 2, 10,12, 34,36,37 

*** WAS Report 

DXpedition to North and South Dakota? Well, while this sounds like a joke, but there is HUGE demand for ND and SD on FT8 on any band, and especially so on 80/160m. Another state in big demand is Wyoming. East coast: Delaware remains in high demand for stations from Asia / Pacific.

Look for NY3C. Unfortunately KJ3N from DE does not use LoTW nor replies to paper card requests.

If you have worked all 50 states on 80/160m with FT8 mode then please let us know- we would love to congratulate you! 

Of course working WAS on 80m from Europe is quite a challnge, but some are slowly cracking it on FT8 mode. Below are some of EU reports: 

ND    KG0YL 80M         16 Oct 2017 12:09 FT8  
NE    W0N   80M         16 Oct 2017 01:56 CW 
SD    K0JV  80M         16 Oct 2017 01:40 FT8  
CA    K6DTT 80M         17 Oct 2017 04:10 FT8   CA, few QSOs with Eastern EU in SR 

*** Other reports
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PX 
A43   A43YL 40M   7145  17 Oct 2017 16:25 SSB   Omani Women's Day
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IOTA 
AS-140      S21ZDC      17M        17 Oct 2017  10:05 CW 
AS-140      S21ZDC      40M        17 Oct 2017  16:24 CW  

*** 80m Band Notes from a small city block 

Trying to work DX stations on 80m from a small urban block could be a real challenge! Not taking in account the obvious - the ineffective transmitting antenna and total lack of receiving antenna- here are my top 7 reasons which could prevent you from working a new one: 

1. Lack of 'radio' time.

Yes, unless you are enjoying your retirement and suffer from insomnia, you will actually struggle to be on the air as much as you want to. The 80m is a 'night band' so staying up late or waking up early is often difficult. After all, ham radio is just a hobby so don't worry too much if you miss that great opening or miss on working that juicy DX. You'll work him some other time. 

2. QRN

This is your real enemy! Unfortunately, there is not much you can do when you see your S-meter needle jumping around like mad. Under heavy QRN you can expect to decode only the strongest signals, and these are the guys you've most likely already worked. Before setting my alarm clock I always check http://www.lightningmaps.org . If you see lots of lightning activity in the radius of 3000 km or less from your QTH then you'd be better off staying in bed. At my location, on average, 1 day in 3 would be low QRN, one modest and one with QRN+++. 

3. Watch your A and K !

The K-index quantifies disturbances in the horizontal component of earth's magnetic field with 1 being calm and 5 or more indicating a geomagnetic storm. While I do keep daily readings in my notebook, I am yet to find a direct correlation between A, K and DX propagation. I've worked some great long-haul DX when A and K were extremely high and CQed endlessly when A and K were close to zero. But high K is never good news. 

4. Plasma TV QRM

There is nothing more annoying than your neighbor's Plasma TV. And there is nothing you can do about it. The good news is that Plasma TVs don't last for more than 5-6 years and most likely your neighbor will eventually replace it with an LED. Put up and shut up! 

5. Dead band

I am sure you are very familiar with the 'dead band' phenomenon. When the band is dead, it's simply dead. You can CQ as much as you like, with no reply. Solution: go back to your warm bed. 

6. Selective propagation

There is one (and probably only one) benefit of being so far away from the major ham centers: thanks to many European reporters, I can see how the 'propagation' move watching my signal being decoded. For example, typical 80m opening to Europe follows one of 3 major trajectories: via European Russia to Scandinavia, via Ukraine to Central and South Eu and via India, Saudi Arabia to South Italy and Spain. Each path is completely unpredictable and often stations 200km apart will receive my signal at hugely different strength levels. Which means if I plan a sked with a particular station, there is less than 30% chance that propagation will cooperate. 

7. Very short band opening

A typical opening from VK2 to VE9 is only 10-15 minutes. Yesterday I worked my first CU3, Azores Island. The entire opening lasted less than 3 minutes - just enough to complete FT8 QSO. Blink and you'll miss it. 

It goes without saying that I don't claim to be an expert in any of the above. These are simply my notebook scribbles so if your mileage varies then I wouldn't be surprised at all. 80m is one of those bands though - and this could be the very reason for our obsession with it. 

*** Your DX / SWL reports are more than welcome! Have any 80/160m DX news? Or any DX news in general? We would LOVE to hear from you. Please email your reports to info@DXing.Today 

DXing readers are especially interested about any activity from Zone 1, 2, 31, 34, 35, 36 and 37. Feel free to share your own low band story - how many DXCC/Zones/WAS have you worked on 80m/160m FT8/JT65 mode? 

Please feel free to invite your ham friends to join us by subscribing to Dxing.Today. TO SUBCRIBE: go to www.DXing.Today - yes that is our URL. 

*** Contributor's credits for this very first issue go to Peca YT7DX, Brank YU1FW and Alan VK7BO. 

Best 73,

Nick VK2DX

mail@DXing.Today

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