Category Archives: DX

Articles and information about DX or distant stations outside the North American continent. Topics include working DX, DXpeditions, DX Stations, DX related antennas, software, and equipment and more.

Member Spotlight – B. Scott Andersen, NE1RD

NE1RD on Mt. Wachusett

Bio of B. Scott Andersen, NE1RD

I got my start in ham radio not long ago. In 2002, after years of encouragement from a good friend, I finally looked into the hobby. “You’ll love it,” my friend said. “It’s right up your alley.” I confess I was skeptical, and even a little uncomfortable watching him make a simple call on a 2m radio he had in his car. “Go ahead and talk,” he said. I was well outside my comfort zone.

I’ve tried to remember those feelings as I show new people our world. It can seem strange, and aspects of it still seem strange, even after all these years. “It isn’t just one hobby,” my friend admitted. “It’s 99 different hobbies. You just pick the ones that interest you.”

I have taken his advice, and now I’m involved in some of the ones that most intrigued me. Not long after being licensed, I entered my first contest. It was October of 2002, the sunspots were still active, and I worked over three hundred stations in just a few hours. I was completely hooked on contesting! A lot of the things that made me nervous in the car that day were absent here. There were no long conversations; they just wanted my exchange (5905), and on they went!

The thing that really captured my attention, though, was a DVD of a DXpedition run by the Microlite Penguin team and their trip to South Sandwich Island and Southern Thule. These guys were amazing! Small radios, lightweight gear, well-conceived but modest antennas, and they worked the world. This was something I wanted to do.

So, in the next few years, I spent most of my free time thinking about ham radio, and lightweight DXpeditioning in particular. Contesting just helped me increase my DXCC totals, and hone my skills. The culmination of all that thinking was captured in my blog “The 100 Pound DXpedition.” You can get a PDF of all these brief articles from a link on my website www.bsandersen.com

As part of this DXpeditioning interest, I also spent a great deal of time thinking about antennas, and portable antennas in particular. My book “Buddipole in the Field” was the result of some of this work. You can get the free PDF from the Buddipole User Group on Yahoo!, or from a link on my website. The Buddipole has provided a good platform for many of my experiments, and DXpeditions.

I’ve always been a nerd, interested in electronics, physics, mathematics, and the like. Ham radio has provided me a way to transition from the abstract to the concrete. It is one thing to think about radio theory. It is another to build a working radio. I’ve been building kits since the 1970’s, but ham radio has given me many new opportunities. I’m particularly fond of Elecraft kits having built two K2s, three K1s, and two KX1s. They are all fabulous radios, and building them was deeply satisfying.

I am still working, so ham radio sometimes takes a backseat to my responsibilities, but it is never far from my mind. I’ve also learned just a little patience through all this. Building up a country list for DXCC, and chasing various radio awards must be done over time (usually years) and it has paid off. I now have 8-band DXCC, WAS in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, ARRL Challenge, and various CQ WPX awards. They look great on my wall and are a reminder that anything worthwhile requires both hard work and patience.

After all this time, I’m still very much a student of the hobby. I’m shameless about asking questions and always try to take advantage of any opportunity to see and try new things. I can only hope that this passion continues through the coming years. It has been a joy for this first fifteen, certainly!

The Bouvet Island DXpedition 2018

Bouvet lies at 54 degrees, 25 minutes South and 3 degrees, 22 minutes East. It’s the product of a volcanic eruption that last occurred in 4,000 B.C.  Bouvet is 97% ice-covered, and with surrounding rocks and small islands, has an area of 19 square miles, with 18.4 miles of coastline.  Its location, ice, rock cliffs, high seas, harsh climate and surrounding pack ice and icebergs isolate it from human presence.  Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier first saw the island in 1739.  The island was not seen again until 1808.  There was a disputed landing by Benjamin Morrell. But, the first documented landing was by the Norvegia expedition in 1927, which named the island Bouvetoya, and claimed it for Norway. More on the Bouvet Island DXpedition…

Source: The Bouvet DXpedition 2018

The Bouvet Island DXpedition will give us a chance a very rare one! Please consider supporting if you can.

Fred, AB1OC

Ham Radio Across the Sea: CQ DX

        CQ DX Poem by Ray Andrews

CQ DX Poem Reposted by Layne, AE1N

Dials clicking Clocks a’ ticking
I’m calling CQ DX
The ham radio call
For anyone afar
Repeat: calling CQ DX

When a call comes in
Goosebumps on skin
Where will this call be from?

Listening static a low signal call
Beckoning in code to me
Another friend earned again
He’s/she’s way across the sea

Asia, Antarctica, Australia too
Hams are relatively few
Talking to each other the world over
Usually somebody new

Radio waves for exotic places
Chases down some local TeeVee
Instead of new friends, angry neighbors
Fingers pointed at me

Now in the phone and computer too
My wife says maybe she’s ex
Guess I’ll need to back way off
Of sending CQ DX

Hawaii Homeless Ham Still Finds Time to Work the World QRP

From Amateur Radio News – Hawaii homeless ham still finds time to work the world QRP

Reposted by Matt, N1ZGN

Honolulu, HI
16 July 2017

If you live in Honolulu you have seen the homeless on the beaches, in the parks, beside the road, in the woods, you name it, they are around. A lot of media attention has been given to the homeless problem in Hawaii, mainly on Oahu. If you are visiting Hawaii then it has probably stood out as you drive from the Airport to the hotels.

You may hear him on a QRP radio or if you are on Oahu you may hear him on the 2m nets or talking late into the evening. Alex, KH7CX, in some ways, may be unconventional. You see, Alex is homeless, sleeps on a bench, gets his mail and showers at a church, and uses a storage facility for his personal items. In his spare time his main passion is QRP-SSB DXing.

I’ve know Alex for maybe 7 or 8 years. I heard he was homeless before but he does not strike me as a homeless person. I know that is a stereotype for homeless people but looking at him you would not know he was homeless and we had never talked about it before and he is always happy, smiling, and ready to help. We recently had time to talk at a event that he helped out with.

So why is Alex homeless in Hawaii and still working his radio to make contacts? Living in Hawaii is expensive and the biggest expense is housing. Hawaii has an estimated 7,900 homeless, which is up 4%. That’s according to data from a released federal report, which says Hawaii ranked third in states with the highest rate of unsheltered homeless people. California, Oregon, Nevada, and Mississippi round out the top five. These are the latest statistics I could find and they represent the 2015/2016 count.

Of the 7,900 homeless living in Hawaii, more than half are living in places like the streets, vehicles, and parks. (Did you know it is illegal to live in a vehicle in Hawaii? There is a state law banning anyone from sleeping or living in their cars overnight. Habitating in a vehicle between six p-m and six a-m is a violation of the law on city and county streets,”)

Alex does handyman jobs, mainly on boats, and some of the boat owners trade his work for a bed on the boat and money or either money or a bed.

Does he feel safe? Surprisingly he does. He knows the others around him and stays out of trouble. He is concerned about the drug use that goes on around him and in the open but tries to stay clear of those areas.

He doesn’t have a cell phone and uses the public library computers to update his QRZ log and to look at the solar weather data. Alex recently educated me on the sun spot reports on QRZ. He looks at the K index and the Signal Noise Level Readings. He wants the K index as low as possible and the noise level low. He doesn’t care about the A index. It seems to work for him, he has worked all the continents. He even finds time to keep his QRZ’d logbook up to date.

As Alex says on his QRZ Page, “I operate exclusively open-air portable-QRP from a local Beach-Park using a Yaesu FT-817ND – Powered by an external 9 A/h 12.8 V Lithium Battery Running 5 watts into my self made resonant monobander “New Carolina Windom” antennas for 20m , 40m or 10m – ( performing just great without any tuner ! ): “.

Homeless Ham
QRP In The Park

The antenna is set-up in a flat -” Inverted V ” configuration with the apex at about 7m to 15m (22 to 49 feet) above the ground/sea level. Mainly beaming South and North, hung up between 3 coconut palm-trees.

He has managed to work all 7 continents with his setup ( in SSB ) ….with zero, or just a few, sunspots most of the time.

Alex says that he wants real QSL’s only and he doesn’t use a bureau. He says we are losing that feel of a card in our hand and have something to hold, feel, and look back on to remember the contact. He is homeless but still takes the time to send a QSL card, maybe a lesson for us all.

Stacy
KH6OWL
ARRL Public Information Officer – Honolulu
https://www.facebook.com/Hawaii-ARRL-319960095044617/
https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com/
https://twitter.com/PAC_SECTION

Honolulu