Dxing.Today Issue 7, 6th December 2017
Editor: Nick VK2DX Co-Editor: Dragan 4O4A

*** Past Week on 80m FT8

Finally! After too many dry days to count, the 80m went on fire! Of course, the main action was in the Northern hemisphere, and Europeans in particular had the great share of action. However it was the Olof G0CKV operating as 3B9HA from Rodriguez Island who has stolen the show. What an activation! His strong signal was not coincidental - simply all the ingredients where there: a low band vertical right on the beach, great operating skills coupled with many hours of on-air time. It was a real pleasure both watching his signal on waterfall and listening to it - loud and clear. At his sunset he worked NA, Asia, Pacific and Europe almost simultaneously. No doubt, he made many deserving chasers happy. Thank you Olof. In case you've missed him, you still have one more week to catch 3B9HA.

Equally important was the appearance of VO2RAC from Labrador, Zone 2. While the 'coverage' on 80m was rather modest - limited to QSOs with NA and Europe, Zone 2 is one of the most difficult ones with only a handful of stations active on any mode- especially FT8. But more about Z2 later. Those lucky ones who managed VO2RAC should be congratulated - well done you lucky wombats!

RI1ANO From South Shetland and VP8LP from Falklands are mighty DX regardless of where you are. Both were active this week with not only very respectable signals, but also hearing well. Bob VP8LP is a QSO-machine and so is Alex, UA1OJL at Bellinghausen Base.

According to reports, HC8LUT boys at Galapagos are having fun on 160m. Unfortunately the 80m band does not appear to be of any priority. They are sadly missed in VK/ZL/JA. Nevertheless, quite a few stations in Europe worked them with solid signals.

Tom, HZ1FI was on air on Friday night pulling an 8+ hours shift on 80m. What a great effort! If you're one of a handful who missed him (myself included!), the good news is that Tom is in Riyadh for few more months. He is planning a 2 weeks break around New Year flying back to Germany, but will continue his activity upon return to HZ. Great signal on 80m - easily decoded well past local sunrise.

Once again, Europeans had plenty 'easy ones' to chase: ZA/IW2JOP, 7X2KF, CT3HF, couple of Z35, TF3DT and TF3VET, 2D0DRM, CU3AK and EA6VQ who had a killer signal all the way down to VK.

Things were good down under as well: A71AM, dozen of BY/BV/VR2, 3D2AG, 9M2TO, YB's and a good stack of Russian stations from Z19, 18 and 17 kept us busy. A number of Scandinavians were loud in VK2/VK3 from our midnight local time until the early morning hours. However the show stopper was HR2DMR from Honduras who appeared on Monday evening (his sunrise) and worked quite a few JA and couple of lucky VKs. Dan is an avid 'all rounder' : contestman, IOTA activator and DXpeditioner. I could see his signal building up until it was steady copy just about the noise level. Good enough for a solid two-way QSO. The opening lasted 15-20 minutes - and that was it. Perfect timing!

Finally, a word or two about one of the toughest DX on 80m at the moment; one that would challenge even the big gun European stations: AP2HA from Pakistan. Hasnat only runs 20-30 Watts into a low mutiband wire. I have watched even Russian stations struggling to work him - not to mention a number of Europeans who called fruitlessly. But given the right conditions, anything is possible. It would take an extraordinary opening to decode his signal in VK but I remain an optimist - and so should you.

*** ZONE 2 - and what is so special about it?

Before I attempt to answer this question - a brief introduction. When in August this year a few of us decided to set our "Urban Dxing" goals for 80m JT modes, it was obvious that working 100 DXCC would be a nice achievement. To have a bit more fun, we've 'thrown in' a chase for all 50 US states, which is another level of challenge. Indeed, working a KL7 and KH6 on 80m from Europe could be quite a difficult, but not impossible. And then, to make things really tough, we set our goals to work all 40 Zones as well. Now, if you are just a casual DXer, you may object: how come working 40 zones could be more difficult than working 100 countries?

But if you give it a serious go, you will soon find that it really is. And I hear you objecting again: there are some contest stations who work 40 Zones in less than 48 hours. Surely, it cant be that difficult? The answer is still the same: yes, it is! Not only big contest stations run plenty of power into directional antennas, but they are working them on CW or SSB. There is far less DIGI activity in certain parts of the world which is a very limiting factor. Not to mention the most obviously problem: as an urban DXer with no room for neither proper transmitting nor receiving antennas, an unpleasantly high background noise, plus a constant QRN, 80m IS a challenging band for all of us.

So which zones are the most difficult to get? The simple answer is: those which you can only 'get to' by crossing either the North or South Pole path. Plus those with very sporadic amateur activity. Or worst case: when those two negative align in one zone. The bottom line is, no matter where you are located on the planet, there is one or more WAZ zones which are going to seriously challenge your determination and persistence.

And then again, there is one zone which is very difficult to work on JT modes, even if you are in North America: zone 2. Officially this zone covers the north-eastern part of North America: VO2 Labrador, the portion of VE2 Quebec north of the 50th parallel, the VE8 Northwest and Nunavut Territories east of 102 degrees (Includes the islands of King Christian, King William, Prince of Wales, Somerset, Bathurst, Devon, Ellesmere, Baffin and the Melville and Boothia Peninsulas, excluding Akimiski Island. Quite a large territory, yet hardly any active amateurs!

Now, the next logical question is which VE stations are in zone 2? This is actually a very tricky question. The simple answer is:
- all VO2
- some VE2
- most VY0.

Basically, you can only be certain with VO2's and all other VE2's must be presumed not, unless proven to actually be located within zone 2 boundaries. And you would be very 'unlucky' to find out that your VY0 is not zone 2. (Which is actually a great news if you also chase IOTA's).

Over the years I have managed to work only a dozen or so Zone stations. Only one of them was on WARC band, and - you've guessed - none on 80m or below. But new FT8 mode has opened a completely new level of 'possibilities' so it is now just a matter of being at the right place at the right time.

Finally, here is a piece of good news: VO2RAC has been appearing almost daily on 80m FT8 in the past couple of weeks. This is a special Canadian Anniversary callsign shared between a few Labrador operators but according to VE3KI, the call is exclusively used for activities from Zone 2. It goes without saying: if you see them, call them with no delay!

Our 'Who's Who' listing clearly demonstrates how difficult it's going to be for anyone of us to work WAZ on 80m FT8/JT65.

A cynic once said that only hams who never graduated from school collect radio amateur diplomas, but All Zone 80m DIGI WAZ is one piece of paper which you definitely want on your wall, and you can be very proud off.

So what is your most difficult zone?

*** Who's Who

To say that some of us are taking the rank list seriously would be an understatement! Take for example our own co-editor, 4O4A who hasn't slept for days trying to 'up' his total. Thanks to a bunch of really cool ones, Dragan managed to climb on to the top of the list with a very impressive 125 DXCC worked in just 4 months. Well done mate, congrats. ON6NG and F5UKW (who almost lost his vertical in a storm!) are steadily adding to their totals as well. But as we've said before, the purpose of the Who's Who list is to motivate you to get out of your comfort zone (20m band!), roll your sleeves up and join us for some fun.

To submit or update your totals: mail@DXing.Today . We mostly welcome new additions to list!

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

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

Zone CALL
1 NL8F, VE8EV, WL7CG
2 VO2RAC
3 VA7CRZ
4  
5 VE2RO
6 XE2EX, XE2YWH
7 HR2DMR
8 CO2JD, KV4ZY, HH2MK, WP4G
9 9Y4DG, 9Z4Y, HK3W, YV5JBI
10 HC8LUT
11 PP5XA
12  
13 RI1ANO, LU5VV, VP8LP
14 2D0DRM, CU3AK, EA6VQ
15 RN2F, ZA/IW2JOP
16  
17 UK8LCK, UK7AEA, UK7AL, UN7TK, UN7FU,
UN7JID, UN5J, UN9GGH, RD9D
18 UA9YAD, UA9YHJ, RU9UB, R9UEA, RA0WHE,
RN0SR, RW0SR, UA0SM
19 UA0ZK, UA0ZEO
20 TA1CM, SV5DKL, 4X1KS, ZA/IW2JOP
21 A71AM, AP2HA, HZ1FI, A45XR, EK1KE
22 VU2IT, VU3WEW, VU2ABS
23  
24 BG4DRL, BD7OXR, BG4VRG, BH5HAI, BH7PFH,
BD7MYM, BU2EC, BV2FB, BV3UF, BV1EK, BV2KI,
VR2XMT, VR2XYL,
25 JR4VEV, JE7JDL, HL5BLI, DS1JFY, JA5EXW
26 HS0ZEE, E20FSF
27 V63DX, DU1AVC, DU7EYG
28 YC1CWK, YE1AR, YB0MWM, 9M2/JE1SCJ, 9M2TO,
YD2JIS
29 VK6DW, VK6HZ, VK8NSB, VK6WE, VK6BMW
30 VK3ZAZ, VK2AHE, VK1AZ
31 WH6HI
32 3D2AG, ZL3RJ, FK1TS
33 CT3HF, 7X2KF
34  
35 TR8CA
36  
37  
38 ZS4JAN, ZS1A,
39 3B8CW, 3B9HA, FR4PG
40 TF3DT, TF8VET

*** WAS 80m FT8, some of the most reported stations

US State CALL
AK NL8F, WL7CG, KL7QW, WL7SJ
AL WA4HXC
AR WB5XX, KE5TD, KG5DVC, W5JAY
AZ KY7M, WO7R
CA N6ED, WA5VGI
CO W0LSD, K0YQ
CT K1VG, WF1H, W1SSN
DE  
FL AB4UF, AE4NT, AA0NO
GA KK4WX, W6IZT, K1OYQ
HI WH6HI
IA KD0ZV, K2DSW
ID  
IL K9XD, AK9S, KC9OMS
IN K9LZJ
KS N5SD
KY  
LA KE5KG
MA KC1FOX
MD K1BZ, AI1W
ME W1ONE, KC1GNH
MI N8CC
MN K0TT
MO NI0C
MS  
MT  
NC KD2T, ND7J, N2TU, N9ATV, K4JJW
ND  
NE  
NH WW1WW, WB2MJG
NJ N2MWX
NM  
NV  
NY W2JDB, K2ZJ,
OH WB8ART
OK  
OR  
PA K3UA, W3RGA, N3OUC
RI KA1ERL, K1RI, K1QN, KG6JOI
SC K4SPD, KG6MC, K4YYM
SD  
TN  
TX KK7JS, K5CD
UT K7XB
VA WB8YHF, KZ4AK, AI4WU
VT  
WA K7YCH
WI NS9I, W9G
WV WV8DOH
WY WB7S

*** 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

OC-160 VK4EI/P Hook island (Claimed by: 19.7% of participants):
XYL Lyn is currently on Hook Island, look for her on 20m SSB (14.183 KHz ANZA net).

OC-227 VK4EI Sweers island (Claimed by: 19.4% of participants):
This is Lyn's permanent QTH. Again, when at home, she is active daily on ANZA net on 14.183 KHz. Check her QRZ website: https://www.qrz.com/lookup/vk4ei. Skeds are welcome. QSL via NR6M. Interestingly, OC-227 was first activated by PA3EXX in 2004 who operated as VK4WWI.

B

OC-075 YG5YUD Batam island (Claimed by: 24.7% of participants):
Yudhi appeared on 21.074 MHz FT8 mode. YG is a novice license category, with permit to operate DIGI and CW only, 10 Watts (no WARC bands). Yudhi is expecting to upgrade his license soon, so expect SSB activity in the near future. Others stations active from Batam: YG5WPW, YF5RFU, YE5TA, YE5XY. YB5AQB Bob is now KH6KG, however upon his return to Batam island he should be on air again. He loves 160m band.

OC-150 YB9GWR Sumbawa island (Claimed by: 24.4% of participants):
Christanto je very active local ham, preferred modes FT8/RTTY. Other active stations: YB9KA, YB9GCC, YB9GV, YC9KQB, YC9JBI. Recently YB9/DL3KZA was active from Lambok (Dxing.Today Issue 5).

SA-018 CE7KF/CE7VPQ Chiloe island (Claimed by: 29.3% of participants):
Recently active on 18150 SSB and 21074 FT8. Also residents: CA7CAQ, CA7TFA, CE7PGO. Another good opportunity to work SA-018 is during major contest; look for CB7R and 3G7R.

C

AS-015 9M2MRS Penang island (Claimed by: 49.6% of participants):
Rich - PA0RRS is on Penang, staying until end of January 2018. . Local operators: 9M2TO -Tex (logged over 327,000 qsos!), 9M2KT, 9M2LC, 9M2SX, 9W2ABY, 9W2ER, 9W2DX.

EU-080 EA1GIB/M Arousa island (Claimed by: 39.2% of participants):
Manu is occasionally active on 20m SSB.

OC-010 V63DX Pohnpei island (Claimed by: 36.5% of participants):
Shoi is a frequent visitor to Pohnpei, especially around major contests. So far he was active under various callsigns: KC6SI, V6T1, V63A, V63B, V6A and V6B. This year in particular Shoi is active on FT8 mode.

NA-221 XF2L Lobos island: sadly, the upcoming activation has been cancelled because the permit granted to stay on the island was simply too short.

*** DX Reports

by Branko, YU1FW

Z81D, Republic of South Sudan
Diya, YI1DZ, is again active from Juba, the capital of the South Sudan, mostly in afternoon hours od 20, 17M SSB.
QSL via OM3JW.

ZC4KM,Sov Base Areas Cyprus
CQ zone 20,ITU 39,IOTA AS-004
Adrian, G0KOM, will be QRV from UK base on Cyprus from 5 DEC to 12 DEC as ZC4KM. That is the first activation of ZC4 since JAN 2017 (ZC4DB, ZC4JB, ZC4SB) and FEB 2017 (ZC4A, ZC4ZM).
QSL ZC4KM is OK via home call G0KOM, also LoTW.

4Y1A, Austria
Members of the International Amateur Radio Contest DX-Club (4U1A) will be active as 4Y1A, celebratin International Civil Aviation day (7 DEC), from 7-14 DEC 2017.
All modes, including CW, SSB and digi.
QSL via UA3DX

8P0,Barbados
Helmut, DD0VR and his YL Bigi, DE3BW will be cruising Caribbean islands 17 DEC to 20 JAN and will be active as follows:
- 17-31 DEC - Barbados (most probably as 8P0VR)
- 31 DEC - 10 JAN - Martinique, FM/DD0VR
- 10 JAN - St. Lucia - J6
- 10-14 JAN - Dominica, J70VR
- 14-20 JAN - Guadeloupe, FG/DD0VR
QSL via Home call DD0VR.

E44YL, Palestine
Elvira, IV3FSG, arrived to Bethlehem where she will be QRV as E44YL from 6 DEC to 18 DEC, all bands, SSB and DIGI modes.
She will be joined by Lyubisa YT3LP.
QSL via IK3GES.


*** Santa is coming! OH9SCL from Santa Claus Land

It was great to once again work OH9SCL. I've heard them on 80m FT8 on two nights, and managed a QSO on 30m. According to their website, "Santa┬┤s own amateur radio station OH9SCL has been busy since December 1986, operating in Finnish Lapland at the Arctic Circle. The North of the country is well-known as Santa Claus Land as we have been told since childhood here in Finland. Most activity takes place during December, operated by local radio amateurs helped with visitor operators."

HO HO Fins. Well done to cheering us up.
Can't have enough of Santa? Check out Santa Television: https://www.santatelevision.com

Best 73,

Nick VK2DX

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