Are you an HF DXer wanting to control your status of DXCC entities, awards, etc. on the different bands and modes, but don’t want to spend you time doing it?
Are you a VHF/UHF/SHF/Satellite DXer wanting to control your status of squares on the different bands and modes, and you want to do it visually on maps of locators.
Are you fed up of checking up and down manually you listing of worked and confirmed DXCC or squares?
Would you like to send your summaries of activity to the HF or VHF-managers and magazines, but don’t do it because it takes your little free time?
Don’t you want to say “I have worked 150 DXCC (or squares), more or less” any more?
Have you tried many logbook programs, but any of them fits your activity on the bands?
You can see more exciting stuff by looking at our posts.
Somehow my interest about radio comes from my childhood. Those days I was already fascinated by listening to international broadcasters on the old tube radio of my grandmother and trying “strange” antennas in order to improve the range of my “walkie-talkie”. Anyway, let’s say that I officially began in 1983 when I got my VHF license (EB6KU).
Although it took me some years to get ready on my own for VHF DX’ing, I used to participate in the VHF contests with the Radio Club Mallorca team (EA6RCM). We had little experience and few equipments but a lot of willpower and effort. Without any doubt my interest about the VHF was born those days.
Later I shared the activity on HF and VHF for some years, moving finally to the last one. As an anecdote I remember that the first station I heard with my own station (144-28 transverter and collinear antenna) was SV1OE by sporadic-E on June 1985. An encouraging beginning, without doubt !.
The experiences I remember the most are those related to portable operations. I specially remember the National UHF contest in 1984 when I operated, together with EA6JD, EA6UV and EA6UW, from “puig Galatzo”, a 1025 m. high mountain that can only be climbed by foot. We spent a week moving the material day after day, including a 2.5 KW. generator, an FT-902 as IF for the transverter and two 20 elements Yagis. We didn’t win the contest, but the experience was unforgettable.
There are also difficult to forget the first big tropo and sporadic-E openings. I was fascinated with their charm and how easy was to work so far away stations with so little working conditions (10 W and 11 elements).
I was soon interested about Meteor Scatter. Many times I tried to listen on random, but without success. I suppose that because due to the lack of preamplifier and mainly of information. Even so I made a program for the ZX-81 in order to be able to transmit QRQ and I came out on the European VHF net for the first time in order to get some skeds. There I found, in general, many HAM’s that helped and supported me with my first tests. Finally and using a “mechanically-braked” tape I completed my first skeds with DK2PR on January 1986.
Regarding the Moon Bounce on 144 MHz, although I had heard some stations via the moon, I didn’t try any QSO till I got a good power amplifier. On January 21st, 1991 I called W5UN with a single Yagi, but without an answer. The day after I got a phone-call from an EA6 HAM passing me a message from Dave telling he had heard me perfectly well but that he had had problems to reply. One week after we made the QSO very easily. From that moment on I began to plan to be regularly active with an array. I want to thank the support I got from EA2LU and EA3DXU at that time. In 1992 I had a 4×17 Tonna array with which I was regularly active, giving the chance to work a new country to many stations around the world. In 1994 I set up an array of 8×17 M2 that I used till Nov-2001 when it was destroyed in a wind storm. In Oct-2004 I set up a new array, similar to the former (8×17 M2 5WL), but making it more robust and slightly improving the gain. With this array I currently can work stations as small as a single long Yagi and 50 W in JT65B and with some more power even in CW.
Listen to KB8RQ calling CQ via the moon as received in my station.
Listen to my own echoes on the moon
Listen other recordings of my signal in different propagation modes
My first tests on 23 cm. were during the summer of 1989. In this band any QSO is very exciting from Mallorca, if you take into account that the closer stations are more than 200 Km. away (a real DX). Without doubt, one of the most exciting moments in my live was when I heard from JM19QS the CW signal from YT3WW on 1296.100 MHz via tropo. confirming my reception, in one of the first ever QSO (if not the first) between EA6 and YU on that band.
Since then I have had the chance to meet many VHF DXers and it has always been a good opportunity to share impressions about our common hobby.