Dxing.Today Issue 9, 21st December 2017
Editor: Nick VK2DX Co-Editor: Dragan 4O4A

*** Past Week on 80m FT8: A Mixed Bag of Goodies

Judging by your feedback, the past week was not as spectacular as the one before. Nevertheless, despite rather average propagations and plenty of QRN, the faithful were rewarded. The QSO of the week is claimed by C93PA: "Made N7XR very happy this morning! Bob is trying for 30 years to complete 5 band WAZ. Only missing one was zone 37 on 80m, now confirmed!" Talk about patience and persistence! I too managed to log Johannes from Mozambique on 80m FT8 who was booming in for about 15 minutes at local sunrise. C93PA certainly made my week as well as two couples of VK4s who were at the right place at the right time.

Marc, V31MA from Belize did an all-night run making many Japanese callers happy. He is a seriously committed FT8 operator so if you haven't logged him yet, it is just a matter time before you will. Europeans were pleasantly surprised by the loud UA0FO from Zone 19 who appeared at EU's sunrise. Some of them believed it was a long path opening, however this is simply a matter of propagation following the 'path of darkness' during the Northern hemisphere winter. At the end of the day, LP or SP- who cares- as long as you get Zone 19. OH0KCE from Aland Island was clearly an easy one from Europe, as well as HB0CC, LX1TI, CU2DX, EA6AJ. Further to the East: A71AM, EK1KE and bunch of UN7. Plenty of Chinese to work too: and my goodness - BG5EEF almost broke my S-meter with his killer signal! I reckon if you are to sked a BY station then he would be your best choice.

Closer home: VK/ZLs were blessed with NP2Q, WP4G, a couple of Cubans and easy to get 3D2AG. VK5's worked EA8 and CU2 at sunrise, but overall, QRN was unbearable. US stations have almost disappeared with, once again, only the strongest being sporadically decoded. All in all, many serious chasers topped their totals by at least one or two so we pronounce this week - a success.

*** Good News For All LotW Users!

It has just been announced this week that LotW has struck a strategic partnership with CQ Magazine, the people behind WAZ Award programme. In the very near future (January 1 2018?) your LotW credits will be valid for WAZ. The submission process will be simplified and streamlined which is what we have been waiting for for years. Obviously, this is a big reason to finally set up your LotW account. Stay tuned for more!

*** What has Japanese Teppanyaki Wagyu got to do with DXing?

Let me be completely honest with you: I am not an overly social-friendly person. And family lunches with distant family members are not high on my priority list. Especially those which require a 700km round trip AND an overnight stay away from my radios! But last week I had no choice. After avoiding Canberra for 23 years, my XYL had organized a family event I could not avoid attending.

The rules were clear: I had to be civilized, talk, smile, communicate and was NOT ALLOWED TO PLAY CHESS on the phone. To cut the long story short, I was behaving and obeying the rules all day long - until we finally arrived at the restaurant. I quickly placed my order, and while the rest of the guests were struggling with their choices, I had a quiet moment to turn on my smart phone. Two clicks later, I was accessing my home station 350km away, remotely tuning 20m band, looking for a clear spot to put a FT8 CQ call. The band was not in great shape - it was 2pm in the middle of summer so the best I could expect was a ZL or an early UA6. To my shock, the very first CQ was answered by no one but V51YJ long path from Namibia, an ATNO on FT8. After a 60 seconds exchange, I could not help myself, and jumped up to to proclaim: "I JUST WORKED NAMIBIA, REMOTELY!!!". My XYL was not impressed, and the people around the table could not care less. And then it happened again: by the time my beef was served, I also worked J79WTA, the second ATNO in 3 minutes.

Yes, the possibility to remotely access and operate our small setups is our new powerful weapon. No matter where you are - on a bus, boring meeting or in a restaurant. You can be anywhere - your Dxing is just a few clicks away. To setup yourself up for remote access is super easy: all you need is a desktop remote access software installed on your base PC as well as on your mobile phone. I strongly recommend TeamViewer which is free for private use, but there are others like VNC and Screen Connect.

www.teamviewer.com

The next challenge: how to remotely turn my beam, change antennas and communicate with other hardware in a shack. Exciting times ahead!

*** Urban DXing

The two key compoonents of two-way communication are the ability to transmit a signal and the ability to receive it. And very early in the development of our competitive hobby we made an attempt to create a level playing field in relation to the output power. In general, we tend to talk about high power, lower power and QRP stations. We also say if you can't hear him you can't work him, recognising the importance of maximising your receiving capabilities. Yet, strangely we have done nothing to distinguish between amateurs situated in rural areas blessed with low background noise and those who are cursed by their urban noise polluted, unfriendly city environments. Rural and urban are two worlds, and urban DXing is countless times more difficult and more challenging than rural DXing.

This is the first time in the history of ham radio that we are trying to make things right. We, the long suffering urban DXers, demand to be recognised for what we really are. A bunch of hard working, persistent, heavily handicapped DXers.

Are you an urban DXer yourself? Well, it's easy to tell. If you live on a small city block of, let's say a thousand square meters or less, surrounded by hostile neighbours who hate your guts, with no room for antennas, or radials, suffering unbearably high noise levels generated by countless plasma TV's, solar panel inverters and other electronic junk ranging from neon lights, remote controls to aluminium plasma welders, then you're one of us.

Urban DXing sucks. If you are an UDXr, then ham radio sucks for you too. But, we'll never give up or give in. We'll continue to call CQ, contestand chase DX despite all the challenges. We proudly wear our badge. Denny ON4VT kindly created our logo. It is an apocalyptic image of a city surrounded with miasmic clouds of noise. It's created to be proudly displayed on your QRZ.com page and shared with your facebook friends.

Here's another thing: as of January 1st, next year, DXing.today will start issuing a very special set of diplomas exclusively to urban DXers to recognise their achievements. Actually, the diplomas are ready, and in the next issue we'll present them to you. Stay tuned for more.

*** Who is Who on 80M, JT modes

Our listing continues to grow - and we welcome all newcomers. Remember: this listing is "WORKED ONLY" so no confirmation is required at this stage. Whether you're competitive or not, it makes no difference: do let us know your totals and we'll list you as well. Submissions: mail@DXing.Today

*** Who is Who on All Bands, JT modes

What can we say - except than 'thank you'. Our all band JT modes listing is turning out to be unbelievably popular. You love it, we love it - so it's here to stay. To be included: send your totals to mail@DXing.Today - and make sure to let all your friends know about it :-) The Who's Who listing is a priceless little tool to help you assess your totals and compare them with fellow chasers. GL and happy hunting!

*** WAZ Activity Report (all 80M FT8)

This weeks reports were kindly contributed by VK7BO, Edgar SWL from Tasmania and your editors.

Zone CALL
1 NL7S
2
3
4
5 VE9DX
6 XE1H, XE1UYS
7 V31MA, TI5/N5BEK, YS/HR2DMR
8 NP2Q, WP4G, CO2JD, KV4MO, J79WTA
9 YV5DRN, PZ5RA
10
11 PY7DJ
12
13 LU1KFR, VP8LP
14 CU2DX, EA6AJ, HB0CC, LX1TI
15 E72U, T77C
16 RM1O, UA6CT
17 RD9D, UN7PHV, UK8LCK, UN1O, UN8GU
18 UB0A, RA0WHE
19 UA0FO, UA0ZL
20 TA1EE, SV5DKL, OD5KU
21 EK1KE, A71AM, EX2U
22 4S7RYD, VU3WEW
23 JT1BV, JT1BU
24 BA1PK, VR2XMT, BG7BDB, BD7OXR, BD7MYM, BG3ATI, BG5EEF
25 HL5BLI
26 HS0ZEE
27 DU7EYG, DU1GM
28 YB0COU, YB0MWM, YC4CHP, 9V1YC
29 VK6DW, VK6HZ
30 VK7AM, VK5XDX, VK3LDB
31 WH6HI
32 ZL1RPL, ZL4OL, 3D2AG
33 EA8PP, CT3HF, 7X2KF, EA8AKN
34
35
36 TR8CA
37 C93PA
38 ZS5LEE
39
40 TF3DT, JW2US

WAS 80M FT8, some of the most reported stations

US State CALL
AK NL7S
AL K4CY
AR N5RN
AZ K5XI
CA N6HC, N6CK
CO
CT K1LTJ, W1EQ
DE KJ3N
FL K9OM, KA1DJ
GA K4PI, K6EID, NU4T
HI WH6HI
IA
ID
IL WB9Z, NV9L, AK9S
IN W9NIO, N9MB
KS
KY AC4VM, N4HID
LA N5WA, AA5AU
MA WY1G, W1DYG
MD N3YUG, W6YTG
ME K7OP, NW1P
MI W8RLS, K8EB, KE8UM
MN K0TT
MO N0BQV, N7BD
MS K5WK
MT
NC N1UK, N4GBK, KK4YWI, KM4DVE
ND
NE AA0W
NH K1LO, N1EVK, NE1B
NJ N2NT, N2RJ, WB3FSR
NM
NV
NY K2QQ, KB2BAF, KK2DOG, KD2HRD
OH N9RC, KA8OAT, K3DMG, K8GRG
OK K5KC
OR
PA N3OUC, K3GMQ, KC3IPT
RI
SC K4RW, K9RX
SD
TN N4QWZ, K4SE
TX K5WAF, K5CD
UT KF7F
VA KR4V, WX4C, K1GG
VT
WA
WI NS9I, AA9A
WV N4MIT, KF8KT
WY

*** IOTA Action

By Peca, YT7DX and Dragan, K0AP

Once again, our IOTA gurus have crunched the numbers and have done the hard work for you by separating activities into 3 distinctive categories: A - ones which simply cannot be missed because they are rarely activated islands, B - 'do your best to get them' but it's not the end of the world if you don't work them this time and C - frequently activated, well within the reach of urban DXers like ourselves. GL!

A

AS-023 JE6ETN Tokunoshima-Island (Claimed by: 25.3% of participants)
Takahiro is resident, and he can be found during evening hours on 40M FT8. Besides, active stations are: JA6DJD, JA6FRI, JA6VAV, JR6CRW, JP6JKK, JG6KZD, JG6TRC, JH6DUI…

AS-088 A70X Al-Safliyah island (Claimed by: 7.2% of participants)
Al-Safliyah island A70X will once again be activated between 1-6 January 2018 by members of QARS. Last time was QRV in January 2017 and although the team made over 12000 Qso’s this IOTA is still considered very rare especially in NA.

OC-161 YC6RMT Nias island (Claimed by: 20.6% of participant).
Tony is the only active station from the island, he was active lately on 40M FT8 mode. Previous expeditions: YE6N in 2006 and YB6N in 2013

B

OC-013 E51DXX South Cook island (Claimed by: 46.3% of participants)
Mauri is active on 20M FT8. It is a nice chance to have a new mode from this island.

SA-046 PY7RL Itamaraca island (Claimed by: 33.3% of participant)
OM Lyra ricently renewed his family house, erected new antenna system, so we can hear him from time to time with an excellent signal. He is active mainly FT8/JT65 and he also operates from his permanent QTH in Olinda town. Grid for Itamaraca island is HI22OG, and for Olinda it is HI21NA.

C

EU-049 SV8DTD Lesvos island (Claimed by: 43.9% of participants)
Periklis is resident on the island, and he was active on 30M FT8. Besides, from this group we have active a lot of SV8 operators: CRI, CYR, FMV, JTK, PKJ, QDH, DBQ, DCW, DCY and SZ8N

EU-096 OG5N Bergholm island (Claimed by: 40.1% of participant).
Petri is resident on the island. He is active on CW/JT65/FT8 modes. From this group there are some other OH stations: OH1CQ, OH1MA, OH1SR, OH1TD, OH1EKU….

EU-125 5P8VW Romi island (Claimed by: 45.0% of participant)
Volker will be active til 23 DEC 2017, can be found on CW/SSB/FT8v

EU-049 North Aegean Islands. September, 2012 the entire island of Lesvos joined the Global Geoparks Network of UNESCO. Island of Lesvos, or Mytilini as it is also called, is like no other Greek island and perhaps no other place in the world. It is the third largest of the islands in Greece after Crete and Evia.

*** DX Reports

by Branko, YU1FW

C93PA, Mozambique
Johannes, PA5X, is very active from this country, using two calls: C93PA (QTH: Beura, loc KH70) or C91PA (QTH: Maputo, loc KG65). Johannes is the first who operated FT8 mode from this country. Nowadays, he is mostly QRV on FT8 modes, collecting points for DXCC, WAS. You can find him every day on 80-10M, with excellent signal provided by FTdx-5000, ACOM 1010 (800W) and Hexbeam (20-10M), endfed 80-30M. He will be QRV frew more months, QSL is OK via OQRS, direct, buro or daily by LoTW.

J28ND,Djibuti
Done,S53T (ex: A52CQ, A61BB, ST2T, YI9T, etc) has got J28ND licence, valit till end of 2019. Operating mostly CW, low power, with vertial antennae. Preffered frequencies: 7013, 10122, 14040, 18080. QSL via S57DX. Last activity recorded from J28 was in FEB 2017 by J28PJ.

TZ4AM,Mali
If TZ is on your "Needed" list, you certainly can found TZ4AM. Jeff operates only CW with IC-718 and 100W, G5RV, dipole for 20/40, you can find him during evening hours on 160-40M (1826 01:00, 3501 23:40, 7003 18:30 UTC). QSL via W0SA, also via LoTW.
Also, by the end of JAN 2018 you may find TZ/PD0FOX who is active daily on 20M SSB (mostly 14160-14195 kHz). Fox operates with 20W and GP antenna. QSL via home call, not before MAY 2018.

6W7/F6HMJ,Senegal
Jacques,F6HMJ will be QRV 25 DEC - 15 JAN 2018 as 6W7/F6HMJ mostly CW and some SSB 20-10M (maybe lower bands, too). Also, during vacations, from 25 DEC to 12 JAN 2018 Earl WA3DX will be active as 6W1/WA3DX(Dakar), 6W7/WA3DX(Mbao) i 6W6/WA3DX(Kaolack), 40-10M SSB and various digi modes.

5A1AL, Libya
Libya. A nightmare to any DX-er who chase QSOs on 9 or 10 bands. Shortly - don't ask, work first, worry last and go confirm your QSO! Fortunately, there is some activity from this rare DXCC by Abubaker, 5A1AL. OM Abubaker has been in Germany for a long time as DL1AL. Many succeeded to confirm their QSOs with 5A1A through Abubaker. He is mostly QRV 40-6M, uses DX-cluster and always announces his current activity. Almost 90% of time he is active on CW, however during last few weeks he have been spotted on FT8, too. QSL is OK via OQRS. He replies to every OQRS request and asks about your need for LoTW confirmation. For paper QSL there is some delay since he sends cards through friends in EU, not by Libyan post office.

From 18 to 24 APR 2017 from Libya was active 5A5A. What a surprise! Everybody thought that it was a pirate, but it was Dimitry, RA9USU (E30FB, TI9/RA9USU, TS2A, VP8SGI, 5A1A, 7O2A, 7O6T, etc...). During few days of activity, mostly on 40/80M Dima made about 3400 QSOs. Both 5A1AL and 5A5A are approved for DXCC.

*** The Good Guys: E6AG and M0OXO

Yes, we love our paper cards! Hats off to Grant E6AG and Charles M0OXO for their amazingly prompt service. What a great partnership!

*** RIP Jim W7EJ / CN2R

"There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go."

We have to learn to live without Jim, W7EJ/CN2R, who passed away recently. Jim wrote a big part of the contesting history and he is an idol to many of us. RIP Jim. You were and always will be in our hearts. The ham radio community truly respects everything you did for us.

*** Good Old-Fashioned Courtesy

"I got a new one" - Dxers proclaim in joy. Really? Are you sure? The truth is simple: only after the other party confirms your contact can you say that you've 'got' your QSO. In other words, you don't get anything until the QSL card arrives in the mail, or until LOtW says so. No wonder why old-timers used to say that the "final courtesy of QSO is a QSL card".

Unfortunately, it appears to me that we are getting less courteous to each other. While the switch from paper to electronic made the confirmation process faster, cheaper and easier, I feel that somewhere in the process we have lost the 'courtesy' bit. For a few weeks I've been trying to convince a dozen of ham friends around the world that I desperately need their electronic confirmation in order to complete my WAS and DXCC. And if you are a chaser yourself, you know how painfully difficult this can be. Some people simply ignore your emails. But worse than that are those who for some strange reason engage in lengthy yet unproductive discussion, trying to explain WHY they can not or don't want to confirm QSO. A list of excuses is long and weird: "I don't use LOtW; I don't know how to register: I don't have time. I no longer do paper cards. Paper cards are too expensive. I am environmentally friendly, but I have ARRL." All of this is just a lame excuse, especially if you are a DIGI operator: you click the keyboard 10,000 times per day so what is a big deal to click Ctrl+A and then just once click "upload"? Is this really so hard? Are you really that busy?

As hard as I try, I fail to understand the logic behind statements like "I am happy to make a two-way contact but I am not going to verify it." After all, what is the point of putting out a CQ call when you have no intention to complete the QSO? Or even worse - to call me and waste my time, leave me under the false impression that contact will be confirmed? Making the actual QSO could be incredibly difficult itself; we wait for the band to open; we fight each other to break the pile up; we invest our most precious asset -our time- to get into log - only to find that the person on the other side of the world will fail to do the most trivial last step. Frustrating!

If you read this article and still refuse to QSL or do LOtW, then I BEG YOU to reconsider your stand. QSLing is not difficult. It is not a waste of time or money. And quite frankly, if you can not or don't want to be bothered, then PLEASE get yourself a QSL manager. Believe it or not, there is an army of kind, honest hardworking individuals out there who would be more than happy to take care of your QSLing. They will devote their time and money to do YOUR JOB for FREE, and will do it cheerfully and professionally. If you can say NO to this then ham radio is not for you; and as such, you don't deserve your license. You are then what Australians would call 'a selfish little bugger'.

Best 73,

Nick VK2DX

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