Tag Archives: DX

The Joy of the QSO by Mike AD5A

In the September issue of Amateur Radio.com, Mike, AD5A, shares his thoughts about his QSO Joys … Layne AE1N

The Joy of the QSO by Mike AD5A

18 September 2017

Since my retirement, I suppose I’ve had a little more time to think, philosophize if you will, about the important things in life. As my work career fades into the past, I’ve quickly come to realize that events and issues from my work-life, at the end of the day, weren’t that important at all. The things that I stressed and fretted over where simply mirages of importance that faded away as time passed.

So, I’ve asked myself, what is it about Ham Radio that’s so important? Many of us spend a lot of time in the hobby, so where is the meaning, where is the value added to our lives? Many of us chase awards, join clubs, go on expeditions and have many significant achievements in our ham careers that bring a certain level of satisfaction. However, what we soon learn is that it’s the chase, not the finish that’s exciting. I’ve enjoyed very much chasing DXCC Honor Roll, WAE-TOP, IOTA, SOTA and competing in a variety of contests. However, once the objective is achieved, the excitement of working toward the goal is gone and the sense of accomplishment is not quite as satisfying as the thrill of the chase.

So in my thinking about what’s lasting and important about ham radio, at least to me, starts from a simple QSO. QSO’s bring joy in many ways, i.e., marking a needed entity of the list, working a new club member, getting that rare country that you never thought possible, whether QRP or QRO or perhaps a special contact on Top Band or the Magic Band. It’s QSO’s that bring joy. However, many of these QSO’s are the 599, TU type of QSO and are more focused on accomplishment or earning some award than the relationship side of ham radio.

As I’ve progressed or maybe matured or perhaps just gotten more sentimental, I get a lot of lasting joy from a simple rag-chew. Does a rag-chew bring my recognition, no? Will it qualify me for any awards, maybe, but probably not But what it does do is allow me to meet real people with similar interests as me. Since I retired I find that I have more and more rag-chews with the most interesting people. And I am starting to come across guys multiple times and we pick up where we left off from the previous QSO. It’s wonderful. I don’t have to worry if I’ve already worked them on the band I’m on, they are glad, at least I think they are, to take my call and have a chat, I don’t have to worry about getting a “worked B4” response.

I’ve found there’s lots of unexpected pleasure in the simple things. A simple QSO gives me lots of satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong, you may well hear my call in a DX pileup or calling CQ in a contest, but I’ve learned to stop and smell the roses and the roses of ham radio, to me, are the relationships you can build and develop through conversational ham radio.

My mode of choice is CW, but I don’t suppose it really matters what mode you use. Just get on the air and have a real chat, you might find it brings a little more meaning to the hobby.

Mike Crownover, AD5A, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Texas, USA. Contact him at [email protected].


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


I was just ‘Puttering around’ in the Ham Shack this afternoon The transceiver was sitting on 30 meters on 10.113 mHz and I had the earphones off my head on the desk. The I heard a CQ on frequency from VK3CWB.  No! Can’t Be! Must be some pirate. After all Australia is half way around the Globe from New England and such DX does not come in at 5 PM in the Afternoon!  I decided to answer the CQ. And he came right back to me! Still disbelieving, he have me 5-5-9 and handle of ‘Moz’. He was reading 5-6-9!  It was real! My 100 watts and phased verticals are working! Who says the bands are dead? For a double-check, I went to his QRZ page:  https://www.qrz.com/db/VK3CWB

Besides explaining his Handle, Moz has a very interesting take on Morse Code QSOs which I reproduce here:

The changing nature of CW by ‘Moz’, VK3CWB

It seems that these days, nobody converses anymore. Why is that? Have all CW ops become machine operators who can only send 599? Is the quick contact – signal exchange the only form of the modern QSO? Or is it, that the new generation simply cannot use CW effectively, and do not have the capacity or the skills to go beyond a callsign exchange?

There is a time and place when a signal report is the only exchange. There are also other times, where a conversation can actually take place. Unfortunately, very few elect to actually converse in CW these days. I always endeavor to exchange the basics, RST, name, QTH, rig, ant etc. The only time I will give a signal report only, is when there are many calling, and I want to give as many as I can, the opportunity for a quick contact while the band is open.

Many operators pride themselves as being High Speed senders. It used to be common etiquette to try and match the sending speed of the person sending CQ. This also seems to be a thing of the past! Under marginal atmospheric conditions, fast CW can be quite difficult to copy! Hence bands like 160m, 80m and 40m demand that ops, listen, think, and then send at an appropriate speed.

We VK ops become very frustrated with some operators, during our summers [North American Winters] when static -QRN is extremely high. EU ops become critical and complain of our inability to hear their signals amongst S-9 summer QRN! So be patient and understanding as we try our best to accommodate those who want to make a contact. Please remember that it is not the quiet conditions of winter on the opposite side of the world!

There is a new generation of “ruthless”‘ CW ops who will do anything to be worked. They don’t listen, and who do not care who they interfere with, and they constantly call over the top of the station your are listening to. These operators have me wondering as to what has happened to the operating practices of amateur radio? The days of good etiquette, good manners, and friendliness seem to have become a thing of the past! There are many times, where bad “ON air” manners have made me decide to go QRT.. If the hobby is no longer enjoyable at times, why do it?

The Pirate – QRM dilemma : 2016 QRM on all bands received in VK

In recent years the amateur bands have become the band of AM , FM and SSB pirates. Most of these stations eliminate from Asia, and are found all over the bands on 28.000 – 29.000 MHz, 24.9 MHz, 10.1 MHZ and 7MHZ. These same stations are now also heard on SSB down on 40mx, particularly in the CW section. So please be understanding of our situation, if we VK’s ask for a repeat because of the QRM !

P.S. Of course it doesn’t hurt that Moz has a full size Moxon on 30 meters up 75 feet! — Layne AE1N