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eHam Forums => DXing => Topic started by: K0AP on January 18, 2013, 06:49:21 AM



Title: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: K0AP on January 18, 2013, 06:49:21 AM
News from DX-World.net web site.

http://dx-world.net/2013/zs8d-marion-island/

73 Dragan K0AP


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: KY6R on January 18, 2013, 07:00:06 AM
This is awesome.

I worked Pierre, ZS8M and will write the next DXCC Sleuth about Marion Island. I have some really great ideas and hints and tips on how to snag this one. This entity is so special to me - I will write the next DXCC Sleuth by the end of this weekend.

This is always a very exciting entity to have activated - and Pierre is one of the nicest hams I have met over the years - glad to see he is the QSL manager and is supporting this operation.

When someone asked if I thought if awards were silly - the answer is No - but the Award is stories like working Marion Island. That one QSO (and 5 months of pursuing it before I finally worked it) run rings around a trophy, plaque or certificate.

Stay tuned.


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: AF3Y on January 18, 2013, 07:10:48 AM
Thats great! ;D   BUT............... cant they send someone down there that can work a little CW?  I hate to have to get in the screaming matches.  Matter of fact, I Dont think I will.

Maybe the next one can do something besides SSB ???.

73, Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: K7KB on January 18, 2013, 07:31:24 AM
Thats great! ;D   BUT............... cant they send someone down there that can work a little CW?  I hate to have to get in the screaming matches.  Matter of fact, I Dont think I will.

Maybe the next one can do something besides SSB ???.

73, Gene AF3Y

Considering this would be a ATNO, I don't care if he's using EME, I'll figure out a way to work him :)

John K7KB


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: KF7CSO on January 18, 2013, 07:36:34 AM
All SSB all the time is fine with me for now.  ;D


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: NU1O on January 18, 2013, 07:36:47 AM
Thats great! ;D   BUT............... cant they send someone down there that can work a little CW?  I hate to have to get in the screaming matches.  Matter of fact, I Dont think I will.

Maybe the next one can do something besides SSB ???.

73, Gene AF3Y

I'm just happy to see there will be a licensed ham there.

73,

Chris/NU1O


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: N2RJ on January 18, 2013, 10:11:19 AM
I worked Pierre, sent for a QSL but never got one back... maybe it got lost or something. Oh well, at least I'll be able to work this one hopefully.


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on January 18, 2013, 10:27:38 AM
I didn't work ZS8M as I didn't have the antenna for it.  I remember not seeing a big pileup as most people can't hear ZS8M that well.  I wonder what kind of antenna ZS8D will use.  And whether or not he will use an amp.  Anyone recall what Pierre was using equipment wise?

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: NU1O on January 18, 2013, 10:32:26 AM
I didn't work ZS8M as I didn't have the antenna for it.  I remember not seeing a big pileup as most people can't hear ZS8M that well.  I wonder what kind of antenna ZS8D will use.  And whether or not he will use an amp.  Anyone recall what Pierre was using equipment wise?

73,
Jonathan W6GX

That is an easy path for those of us on the East Coast and he was always weak or not copyable.  He could not have had a beam and amplifier.

73,

Chris/NU1O


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: KE8G on January 18, 2013, 10:43:25 AM
Thats great! ;D   BUT............... cant they send someone down there that can work a little CW?  I hate to have to get in the screaming matches.  Matter of fact, I Dont think I will.

Maybe the next one can do something besides SSB ???.

73, Gene AF3Y

Considering this would be a ATNO, I don't care if he's using EME, I'll figure out a way to work him :)

John K7KB

This would be an ATNO for me, but no way do I want SSB.  I guess I'll wait until someone who knows CW makes a tour of duty there, before I work it.

73 de Jim - KE8G


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on January 18, 2013, 11:20:53 AM
Thats great! ;D   BUT............... cant they send someone down there that can work a little CW?  I hate to have to get in the screaming matches.  Matter of fact, I Dont think I will.

Maybe the next one can do something besides SSB ???.

73, Gene AF3Y

Considering this would be a ATNO, I don't care if he's using EME, I'll figure out a way to work him :)

John K7KB

This would be an ATNO for me, but no way do I want SSB.  I guess I'll wait until someone who knows CW makes a tour of duty there, before I work it.

73 de Jim - KE8G

What do you think ZS8D's reaction might be if he read your comments?

Do you have any respect for anyone who can't work CW as fast as you can?

Was there a point in your life when you were just starting out on CW?

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: AB8MA on January 18, 2013, 11:28:53 AM
I seriously doubt that it was even be remotely possible for me to ignore an ATNO running SSB. Assuming I could hear them. :)

I do share the wish, though, that they would forgo the mike.


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: KE8G on January 18, 2013, 12:00:25 PM
Thats great! ;D   BUT............... cant they send someone down there that can work a little CW?  I hate to have to get in the screaming matches.  Matter of fact, I Dont think I will.

Maybe the next one can do something besides SSB ???.

73, Gene AF3Y

Considering this would be a ATNO, I don't care if he's using EME, I'll figure out a way to work him :)

John K7KB

This would be an ATNO for me, but no way do I want SSB.  I guess I'll wait until someone who knows CW makes a tour of duty there, before I work it.

73 de Jim - KE8G

What do you think ZS8D's reaction might be if he read your comments?

Do you have any respect for anyone who can't work CW as fast as you can?

Was there a point in your life when you were just starting out on CW?

73,
Jonathan W6GX

Jonathan,
I most certainly do have respect for someone who doesn't know CW or refuses to work CW, or works it faster or slower than me, just as I hope folks would have respect for me only wishing to work CW!  And how is my comment a slam to ZS1BCE/ZS8D?  If he chooses to learn or not learn CW, that is his prerogative! I choose not to work SSB, that is my prerogative and opinion! 

That's why I said I would wait for an ATNO when I have a chance of it being CW!  Just as I am very sure there are hams out there that wait for ATNOs when the op is only working CW & they would rather have SSB, RTTY, PSK, etc. 

I think you are really reading more into my statement than there actually is.

To each his own... it's only a hobby!!!

73 de Jim - KE8G


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: KY6R on January 18, 2013, 12:16:16 PM
I will post a picture of the antenna at ZS8M, and explain how to work them even on the West Coast. He only ran 100 watts.

I will write the blog later today - its one of my favorites and best "fish stories".

73,

Rich
KY6R


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: AJ4RW on January 18, 2013, 12:34:16 PM
I'm excited that I will have another chance to work Marion Island.  I didn't pursue it when it was active a couple of years ago.  I guess all the CW preferred operators can get your mics out and start practicing screaming into it cause I bet for the first few months the pileup will be crazy.  I'm glad my DVR is working fine!


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: AF3Y on January 18, 2013, 01:11:55 PM
Thats great! ;D   BUT............... cant they send someone down there that can work a little CW?  I hate to have to get in the screaming matches.  Matter of fact, I Dont think I will.

Maybe the next one can do something besides SSB ???.

73, Gene AF3Y

Considering this would be a ATNO, I don't care if he's using EME, I'll figure out a way to work him :)

John K7KB

This would be an ATNO for me, but no way do I want SSB.  I guess I'll wait until someone who knows CW makes a tour of duty there, before I work it.

73 de Jim - KE8G

What do you think ZS8D's reaction might be if he read your comments?

Do you have any respect for anyone who can't work CW as fast as you can?

Was there a point in your life when you were just starting out on CW?

73,
Jonathan W6GX

OK, Jonathan, I will answer your questions as best I can.

What his reaction might be? He would probably chuckle, or he might EVEN think about trying a little slow CW just to pacify those of us who REALLY dislike working SSB pileups.

Positively! I have respect for anyone who tries to learn and use CW.  And.... Who said anything about fast CW? I am actually not proficient in what you may call "Fast" CW. (and you dont need to be either. 10 -15 - 20 WPM of good clean CW will get you an enjoyable QSO with just about anyone that I know.) HOWEVER, I can damned sure copy my callsign and "5nn tu" at 30 - 40 wpm, not like the lids who use code readers, or whatever, and cannot copy their own callsign at even 15 - 20 wpm, and totally screw up the works in a cw pileup.

Yes, I remember "Just starting out" on CW.  I did NOT want to learn it. I had to only learn 5wpm to get my General class license, and then I swore that I would not EVER try to get any better. I had a mental block that kept me from really liking CW, UNTIL I got proficient (10- 15 WPM) enough to have a cw qso without getting a stomach ache. hi hi It really was not that hard, and then I discovered that the really good DX I wanted to snag operated down there in the CW/Extra class portion of the bands more often than not. SO, I learned it.

If you dont like CW, or dont want to ever learn it, that is your choice. I have been there. I understand, but I promise you, once you can work CW comfortably, you will not care a whole lot about fighting SSB pileups any longer. YOUR decision. GL either way.

73, Gene AF3Y



Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: K0AP on January 18, 2013, 01:32:44 PM
I will post a picture of the antenna at ZS8M, and explain how to work them even on the West Coast. He only ran 100 watts.

I will write the blog later today - its one of my favorites and best "fish stories".

73,

Rich
KY6R

I hope ZS8D will be able to put up more efficient/better antenna than ZS8M. ZS8M’s puny signal was not getting through very well at all. I was extremely lucky to work him one morning on 20m which later appeared to be one of the last Qso's before his departure from the island.

73 Dragan K0AP


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: KB3LIX on January 18, 2013, 02:14:37 PM
I don't care if he is using tin cans and string,
I'll be callin IF I can hear him.

Have to strike when it is available.


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on January 18, 2013, 05:26:35 PM
Thats great! ;D   BUT............... cant they send someone down there that can work a little CW?  I hate to have to get in the screaming matches.  Matter of fact, I Dont think I will.

Maybe the next one can do something besides SSB ???.

73, Gene AF3Y

Considering this would be a ATNO, I don't care if he's using EME, I'll figure out a way to work him :)

John K7KB

This would be an ATNO for me, but no way do I want SSB.  I guess I'll wait until someone who knows CW makes a tour of duty there, before I work it.

73 de Jim - KE8G

What do you think ZS8D's reaction might be if he read your comments?

Do you have any respect for anyone who can't work CW as fast as you can?

Was there a point in your life when you were just starting out on CW?

73,
Jonathan W6GX

Jonathan,
I most certainly do have respect for someone who doesn't know CW or refuses to work CW, or works it faster or slower than me, just as I hope folks would have respect for me only wishing to work CW!  And how is my comment a slam to ZS1BCE/ZS8D?  If he chooses to learn or not learn CW, that is his prerogative! I choose not to work SSB, that is my prerogative and opinion! 

That's why I said I would wait for an ATNO when I have a chance of it being CW!  Just as I am very sure there are hams out there that wait for ATNOs when the op is only working CW & they would rather have SSB, RTTY, PSK, etc. 

I think you are really reading more into my statement than there actually is.

To each his own... it's only a hobby!!!

73 de Jim - KE8G

Jim,

Your comments came off to me as derogatory towards the operator.  After all he's trying to do us a big favor by activating this rare country.  Perhaps this wasn't your intention.  This is just my perception.

Instead of shunning this operation you could have encouraged the operator to take on some CW lessons.  You could tell him that there are many operators looking for a CW contact as an ATNO regardless of how slow his speed is.  If you were able to influence the op then it would be a win-win for you and the operator.  This to me is what the ham radio spirit is all about.

Lastly, I have not met anyone who says they don't use SSB and sticks to their words.  At first I didn't belief that you would pass up an ANTO.  I got the answer I was looking for after I checked the logs from a few rare dxpeditions.  My hats off to you.  Just curious, what made you not want to use SSB despite an opportunity for ATNO?  I too find SSB pileups a PITA but I don't have a compelling reason for not wanting to use SSB especially for an ATNO.  I'm wondering what your compelling reason is?

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on January 18, 2013, 05:45:28 PM
Thats great! ;D   BUT............... cant they send someone down there that can work a little CW?  I hate to have to get in the screaming matches.  Matter of fact, I Dont think I will.

Maybe the next one can do something besides SSB ???.

73, Gene AF3Y

Considering this would be a ATNO, I don't care if he's using EME, I'll figure out a way to work him :)

John K7KB

This would be an ATNO for me, but no way do I want SSB.  I guess I'll wait until someone who knows CW makes a tour of duty there, before I work it.

73 de Jim - KE8G

What do you think ZS8D's reaction might be if he read your comments?

Do you have any respect for anyone who can't work CW as fast as you can?

Was there a point in your life when you were just starting out on CW?

73,
Jonathan W6GX

OK, Jonathan, I will answer your questions as best I can.

What his reaction might be? He would probably chuckle, or he might EVEN think about trying a little slow CW just to pacify those of us who REALLY dislike working SSB pileups.

Positively! I have respect for anyone who tries to learn and use CW.  And.... Who said anything about fast CW? I am actually not proficient in what you may call "Fast" CW. (and you dont need to be either. 10 -15 - 20 WPM of good clean CW will get you an enjoyable QSO with just about anyone that I know.) HOWEVER, I can damned sure copy my callsign and "5nn tu" at 30 - 40 wpm, not like the lids who use code readers, or whatever, and cannot copy their own callsign at even 15 - 20 wpm, and totally screw up the works in a cw pileup.

Yes, I remember "Just starting out" on CW.  I did NOT want to learn it. I had to only learn 5wpm to get my General class license, and then I swore that I would not EVER try to get any better. I had a mental block that kept me from really liking CW, UNTIL I got proficient (10- 15 WPM) enough to have a cw qso without getting a stomach ache. hi hi It really was not that hard, and then I discovered that the really good DX I wanted to snag operated down there in the CW/Extra class portion of the bands more often than not. SO, I learned it.

If you dont like CW, or dont want to ever learn it, that is your choice. I have been there. I understand, but I promise you, once you can work CW comfortably, you will not care a whole lot about fighting SSB pileups any longer. YOUR decision. GL either way.

73, Gene AF3Y

Hi Gene,

Thank you for your candid response and your willingness to share your experiences.  I'm totally sold on the concept of using CW for dxing.  I just need to find the time to reach my goals and one day be able to proudly say that I'm proficient at CW.

I know many forums members here prefer CW over SSB.  My only request to those ops is that instead of putting SSB in a bad light, try to say something good about CW.  Publicly shunning SSB could easily intimidate those wanting to learn CW.  I just think that a lot of good could be done if we just choose our words wisely.

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: N5UD on January 18, 2013, 05:55:13 PM
For me 13 and 20 WPM sent with a straight key at the FCC office. If code was required, you always had to pass it first. No written, and no credit for it.
All or nothing. Any goof up and a long trip back home. Better luck next time !

N5UD the one and only


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: NU4B on January 18, 2013, 06:34:46 PM
Thats great! ;D   BUT............... cant they send someone down there that can work a little CW?  I hate to have to get in the screaming matches.  Matter of fact, I Dont think I will.

Maybe the next one can do something besides SSB ???.

73, Gene AF3Y

Considering this would be a ATNO, I don't care if he's using EME, I'll figure out a way to work him :)

John K7KB

This would be an ATNO for me, but no way do I want SSB.  I guess I'll wait until someone who knows CW makes a tour of duty there, before I work it.

73 de Jim - KE8G

DITTO! I'd rather get a root canal than fight that mess. At least you get a couple pain pills on the way out the door so it doesn't hurt so much, versus learning words that would make a sailor blush (or used to make a sailor blush... anymore I guess not  ;D)


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: AF5C on January 18, 2013, 07:16:32 PM
Maybe he will do PSK so we can all get our canned macros ready!

John AF5CC


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: NU1O on January 18, 2013, 10:25:42 PM
I most certainly do have respect for someone who doesn't know CW or refuses to work CW, or works it faster or slower than me, just as I hope folks would have respect for me only wishing to work CW!  And how is my comment a slam to ZS1BCE/ZS8D?  If he chooses to learn or not learn CW, that is his prerogative! I choose not to work SSB, that is my prerogative and opinion! 

To each his own... it's only a hobby!!!

73 de Jim - KE8G

You are absolutely correct about it only being a hobby, however, the governments that regulate our hobby have decided CW is no longer required to obtain an amateur radio license and that requirement was always a major impetus in getting people to learn CW.

Now that a knowledge of CW is not required to get a ham license it will eventually go the way of Latin and other "dead languages."  Only the most serious DXers will bother learning something which is not required and DXers are only a small subset of the whole amateur radio community. I think we in this forum have estimated the total worldwide DX population at between 50 to 75 thousand OPs. In a generation we will be talking about a very small number of people who are still proficient with CW. I wouldn't be surprised if in 30 years there are more people who can speak fluent Latin than decipher Morse code at 10 to 15 wpm with no aid.

I have stated this opinion before, although I can't recall if it was in this forum, and I was labeled a doomsayer or a CW hater.   All I can say is I elected to learn Latin as my high school foreign language and I can assure you if one had told a Roman cititizen that their language would become a "dead language" they would've been laughed at. Times change, languages change, Morse code is just another language.

I am proficient with CW in a QSO up to about 25 wpm and I can recognize my call at 40 wpm or faster in a pileup. I still pull out my MFJ "Morse Tutor" frequently because I'd like to get my routine speed up to 35 wpm and I want to get more serious with CW contesting. I enjoy CW and find it relaxing but I also like human speech, so I use both Phone and CW. I have 222 countries confirmed via CW on LOTW as opposed to 219 using Phone to further indicate I will use either. I just want it clearly understood I am not a CW hater but I do consider myself a realist - first and foremost.

I am just happy that an operator is going to Marion Island and I could care less what mode I use to work him since I need it for an ATNO. I'll even connect my SignaLink and use RTTY or PSK if it means a QSO and I do not like the digital modes!

I am 53 and I would not be snubbing my nose at an opportunity to work a new one solely because the operator isn't using my preferred mode. There are no assurances an operator who uses CW will ever again operate from Marion Island so those who elect not to work this station because he isn't using CW should realize they maybe losing their last chance to work the island. There are too many DXCC entities which are too hard to activate, or may never again be activated, so I will not let this opportunity to work an ATNO pass me by.

I do appreciate those who stick to their ideals even if it means they are penalized as I have ideas I strongly believe in, and of late I have been on the losing side of things.


Veni, vidi, vici.  ;)

73,

Chris/NU1O



Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: NU1O on January 18, 2013, 11:44:26 PM

OK, Jonathan, I will answer your questions as best I can.

What his reaction might be? He would probably chuckle, or he might EVEN think about trying a little slow CW just to pacify those of us who REALLY dislike working SSB pileups.


Hi Gene,

I have no idea if this ham even knows the basic CW characters. Do you?  I can tell you this: if I was a new ham with no interest in CW and I got a lot of pressure to use CW I would not be happy.  If one does not even know the letter A from Z, you can't have a QSO with him at any speed and it's entirely possible this is the case with the ham going to Marion Island.

If you dont like CW, or dont want to ever learn it, that is your choice. I have been there. I understand, but I promise you, once you can work CW comfortably, you will not care a whole lot about fighting SSB pileups any longer. YOUR decision. GL either way.

73, Gene AF3Y

I am proficient with CW at at a good clip but I have not given up on SSB pileups, so I think you are speaking for yourself and not everybody who is adept at CW.  I could care less wheteher I work an ATNO in a CW pileup or a Phone pileup and although there are many dedicated CW operators, there are also many like me who will work a new one anyway we can.

I have also found some of the most recent CW pileups to be as bad as any phone pileup I have ever listened to. Many were constantly transmitting their calls even while the DX was transmitting and although we all know the bandwidth of a CW signal is much narrower than a SSB signal they had stations spread out over 15 to 20 Khz. That's as wide as most Phone pileups take up. Why would a CW pileup need as much bandwidth as a Phone pileup?  I often got fed up during those pileups and shutoff the rig, just as I imagine you have during unruly Phone pileups.

My K3 will decode CW on the screen on the face of the rig although it is imperfect like RTTY even with strong signals. I think there are now many people relying on either their rig or a PC to decode CW and many can not even recognize their own calls in a pileup when the DX station goes back to them. You must have noticed this.

25 years ago the technology to decode CW was not widespread and I think virtually every CW operator really knew CW. Many were OPs during WWll. Sadly, many of those great CW OPs have passed away. From the start of the hobby until perhaps the last five or ten years I would agree the best OPs tended to mainly, or entirely, work CW, but I see an awful lot of bad CW operators now and I don't think one can say the CW portion is full of mostly top notch operators as you could when I entered the hobby in 1988.

I got back on the air in 2010 after being QRT for about 9 years and I could readily see the CW bands are not what they used to be. A lot of change occurred while I was off the air.

I think you were licensed in the past 10 years, Gene. I wonder what those who have been on CW continuosly for the past quarter century or longer have to say. Are the CW bands as full of top notch operators as they once were, or has their been a decline in the skills of many operators?

73,

Chris/NU1O



Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: AF3Y on January 19, 2013, 04:44:01 AM
Hi Gene,

I have no idea if this ham even knows the basic CW characters. Do you?
73,

Chris/NU1O



Naw, I just use the "Look and Pound" system.  I look at them thar periods and dashes on that ol piece of paper,where someone scribbled em on a grocer bag with a pencil,  and then I show can pounds em out on my ol Junkers German Navy straight key. Thas the way ol Leroy who was a top notch ASA interceptor operator type person showed me how to do it. Ol Leroy could copy 75 wpm while smoking a cigarette, drinking a pot of hot coffee, picking his nose and talking to the trik cheef at the same time. Leroy was one of them thar good ol South Caroleena boys. He dont have much ed-u-cation, but he shour could burn up that ol straight key when he was about haff lit on the southern sour mash stuff.

Now................... Of course I know the basic cw characters. How else could I consider myself proficient at 15 wpm or so?

I think I have said enough. I have not had coffee yet.

73, Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: KE8G on January 19, 2013, 06:08:51 AM




Quote
Jim,

Your comments came off to me as derogatory towards the operator.  After all he's trying to do us a big favor by activating this rare country.  Perhaps this wasn't your intention.  This is just my perception.

Instead of shunning this operation you could have encouraged the operator to take on some CW lessons.  You could tell him that there are many operators looking for a CW contact as an ATNO regardless of how slow his speed is.  If you were able to influence the op then it would be a win-win for you and the operator.  This to me is what the ham radio spirit is all about.

Lastly, I have not met anyone who says they don't use SSB and sticks to their words.  At first I didn't belief that you would pass up an ANTO.  I got the answer I was looking for after I checked the logs from a few rare dxpeditions.  My hats off to you.  Just curious, what made you not want to use SSB despite an opportunity for ATNO?  I too find SSB pileups a PITA but I don't have a compelling reason for not wanting to use SSB especially for an ATNO.  I'm wondering what your compelling reason is?

73,
Jonathan W6GX

Jonathan,
By no means did I mean my comments to be derogatory and I am sorry that you viewed then in that light.  It was meant only as that I would have to wait to get Marion as a ATNO when it is activated with CW.  You may have seen in my bio on QRZ, my wife is also a amateur radio operator and she doesn't know CW.  I don't look down on her because of it.  BUT, on the other hand, if she shows an interest to learn it, I will do everything humanly possible to help her along, as I would for anyone else asking for help!  Currently, I am working with & encouraging a friend in his learning CW and his is making remarkable progress.  Why, because he WANTS to learn it!

As far as encouraging him to try CW, as I see it, it would be wasted words as his mind is already made up.  The press release said SSB only, so in my mind no matter how much encouragement (begging) I would put forward, it would not change the fact.  Had the press release said a possibility of CW, I would have been sending him emails pleading with him to dedicate some time for that mode!  I wouldn't care if it was 5 or 50 WPM, I would be happy with either.

I am happy you dug a little deeper into my operating preferences and see exactly how serious I am about operating CW.  In the past, I have forgone several ATNOs because they were not operating CW.  It's not that I've never tried SSB, I just don't like it.  Approximately 30 years ago, when I upgraded to General class, I just "had" to try SSB, so I bought a mic, worked some new DXCCs and found that SSB was really not for me.  I won't get into the details of why I have turned a deaf ear to SSB, but will simply say, "it's not for me!"

73 de Jim - KE8G


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: AF3Y on January 19, 2013, 06:12:20 AM
Hi Gene,

I have no idea if this ham even knows the basic CW characters. Do you?
73,

Chris/NU1O



Naw, I just use the "Look and Pound" system.  I look at them thar periods and dashes on that ol piece of paper,where someone scribbled em on a grocer bag with a pencil,  and then I show can pounds em out on my ol Junkers German Navy straight key. Thas the way ol Leroy who was a top notch ASA interceptor operator type person showed me how to do it. Ol Leroy could copy 75 wpm while smoking a cigarette, drinking a pot of hot coffee, picking his nose and talking to the trik cheef at the same time. Leroy was one of them thar good ol South Caroleena boys. He dont have much ed-u-cation, but he shour could burn up that ol straight key when he was about haff lit on the southern sour mash stuff.

Now................... Of course I know the basic cw characters. How else could I consider myself proficient at 15 wpm or so?

I think I have said enough. I have not had coffee yet.

73, Gene AF3Y

OH........ Now that I have had a couple cups... I understand.

DO I KNOW if HE KNOWS?  NOT do I know basic cw characters.

Its all in the interpretation, huh?. Oh well, we ALL need a little egg on our face every now and then.

No, I dont know if he has a basic knowledge of cw characters, but he might, as he is not a newbie
at radio operation, according to the announcement.

Let me shut up while I am ahead (I guess...) ???

73, Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: KE8G on January 19, 2013, 06:32:47 AM
I most certainly do have respect for someone who doesn't know CW or refuses to work CW, or works it faster or slower than me, just as I hope folks would have respect for me only wishing to work CW!  And how is my comment a slam to ZS1BCE/ZS8D?  If he chooses to learn or not learn CW, that is his prerogative! I choose not to work SSB, that is my prerogative and opinion! 

To each his own... it's only a hobby!!!

73 de Jim - KE8G

You are absolutely correct about it only being a hobby, however, the governments that regulate our hobby have decided CW is no longer required to obtain an amateur radio license and that requirement was always a major impetus in getting people to learn CW.

Now that a knowledge of CW is not required to get a ham license it will eventually go the way of Latin and other "dead languages."  Only the most serious DXers will bother learning something which is not required and DXers are only a small subset of the whole amateur radio community. I think we in this forum have estimated the total worldwide DX population at between 50 to 75 thousand OPs. In a generation we will be talking about a very small number of people who are still proficient with CW. I wouldn't be surprised if in 30 years there are more people who can speak fluent Latin than decipher Morse code at 10 to 15 wpm with no aid.

I have stated this opinion before, although I can't recall if it was in this forum, and I was labeled a doomsayer or a CW hater.   All I can say is I elected to learn Latin as my high school foreign language and I can assure you if one had told a Roman cititizen that their language would become a "dead language" they would've been laughed at. Times change, languages change, Morse code is just another language.

I am proficient with CW in a QSO up to about 25 wpm and I can recognize my call at 40 wpm or faster in a pileup. I still pull out my MFJ "Morse Tutor" frequently because I'd like to get my routine speed up to 35 wpm and I want to get more serious with CW contesting. I enjoy CW and find it relaxing but I also like human speech, so I use both Phone and CW. I have 222 countries confirmed via CW on LOTW as opposed to 219 using Phone to further indicate I will use either. I just want it clearly understood I am not a CW hater but I do consider myself a realist - first and foremost.

I am just happy that an operator is going to Marion Island and I could care less what mode I use to work him since I need it for an ATNO. I'll even connect my SignaLink and use RTTY or PSK if it means a QSO and I do not like the digital modes!

I am 53 and I would not be snubbing my nose at an opportunity to work a new one solely because the operator isn't using my preferred mode. There are no assurances an operator who uses CW will ever again operate from Marion Island so those who elect not to work this station because he isn't using CW should realize they maybe losing their last chance to work the island. There are too many DXCC entities which are too hard to activate, or may never again be activated, so I will not let this opportunity to work an ATNO pass me by.

I do appreciate those who stick to their ideals even if it means they are penalized as I have ideas I strongly believe in, and of late I have been on the losing side of things.


Veni, vidi, vici.  ;)

73,

Chris/NU1O



Hi Chris,
Yes, unfortunately the requirement of knowing CW has been dropped.  I consider that wrong, BUT do not snub my nose at those who do not know it.  It's the rules and those getting their tickets now have to go by those rules.  I equate it with earning a driver's license... in my day, a person had to know and demonstrate they could parallel park.  Nowadays, that requirement has been dropped and it's called maneuverability, where they have to know how to back up.  In the end, it's all the same, they get their license!

I, too, took 4 years of Latin in high school and agree that it's a dead language.  BUT, it was one of the most challenging and exciting classes I have ever taken.  It made me appreciate LEARNING and I still remember some of it!  So, I guess I have 2 strikes against me when it comes to knowing things that really don't matter! CW & Latin...Hi! HI!

There are folks that believe they must get all the DXCC entities, no matter the mode, and I take my hat off to them for setting that goal and sticking to it.  Then, there are folks that would rather do it their way and stick to it.  If I don't work em all, it's really not a problem, I won't feel any less secure about myself.  I have a few more years on you, I'm 61, so logically speaking my time is shorter to work DX, but I am not going to compromise my beliefs.  Yes, I may be cutting my nose off in spite, but it is my nose.

As far as the decoder on the K3, I have no idea if mine works, as I have never tried it out.  I have two K3s and one is set up for phone and digital.  My wife, KD8CMB, doesn't know CW, so this rig is ready for her operating time.  If she decides to learn CW, I will do what I can to help her along the way.

73 de Jim - KE8G



Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: NU1O on January 19, 2013, 09:15:32 AM
I, too, took 4 years of Latin in high school and agree that it's a dead language.  BUT, it was one of the most challenging and exciting classes I have ever taken.  It made me appreciate LEARNING and I still remember some of it!  So, I guess I have 2 strikes against me when it comes to knowing things that really don't matter! CW & Latin...Hi! HI!

Jim,

Yes, but we both knew it was a dead language when we took it. In most schools you had to be a top student to be allowed to take Latin.  I was actually put into the Latin class and had no choice, but I also enjoyed it and from time to time we did learn some Roman History and Culture. I do know even to this day I am able to deduce the meaning of a word - English or Romance - based on my Latin and I don't recall as much Latin as others. 

I also felt I had learned something very few others had when I finished up with Latin, which was exactly how I felt with CW when I passed the 20 wpm test on my first ham exam ever.

There are folks that believe they must get all the DXCC entities, no matter the mode, and I take my hat off to them for setting that goal and sticking to it.  Then, there are folks that would rather do it their way and stick to it.  If I don't work em all, it's really not a problem, I won't feel any less secure about myself.  I have a few more years on you, I'm 61, so logically speaking my time is shorter to work DX, but I am not going to compromise my beliefs.  Yes, I may be cutting my nose off in spite, but it is my nose. 

You have obviously thought this through and are prepared not to work Marion Island. As I previously wrote,  I have a lot of respect for those who think an ideal is worth getting penalized for.  For your sake I do hope a CW OP does go to Marion in the not too distant future.

LXXlll or 73,  ;)

Chris/NU1O



Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: AF3Y on January 19, 2013, 10:38:30 AM
I had to go back and check my first statement in this thread.  I said: Thats great!    BUT............... cant they send someone down there that can work a little CW?  I hate to have to get in the screaming matches.  Matter of fact, I Dont think I will.

I did not say that I would NOT work Marion Island on SSB.  I mean, IF I hear him calling CW, with a signal strength of 59+, NO QSB, NO QRN, and especially NO screamers, I MIGHT attempt to make the contact. Maybe :-\.

Do Did I work SSB as often as CW?  I did not think so, but including the years/QSOs before I got big enough balls to actually USE CW (without the usual upset stomach that came with being nervous.) ARRL shows me just about even CW/SSB.  Currently, 268 CW and 264 SSB, with 307 Mixed. I have 5 cards here that ARRL has not seen, so my mixed total is 312.

An interesting QSO count. And.... funny thing is, nowadays, the SSB contacts are the ones that give me the upset stomach, not the CW QSOs. The equal count does not mean that I enjoy SSB contacts like I enjoy CW QSOs. After all, its a hobby, right? You should enjoy your hobby, huh?

We all have our opinions, and usually some sort of reason for the opinions. Most opinions dont amount to a fart in a whirlwind to someone who thinks you are nuts. Regardless, my opinion, for what its worth is that SSB operators in a pileup are much ruder and more ill mannered than CW ops in the CW pileup. I guess one of the reasons is that there are probably more participants in a SSB pile than a CW pile. I guess there are not as many CW ops as SSB ops.

After all, ANYONE can talk into a microphone. (I just could NOT resist that >:() It takes an effort to learn CW.

73, Gene AF3Y



Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on March 06, 2013, 06:54:49 AM
Now that the operation is just two months away I'm looking for advice on propagation to ZS8.  Is it as simple as picking a time when South Africa has a good propagation to the U.S.?  Or is it more complicated than that?  I haven't worked too many ZS recently but I recall they usually could be found on 40m after our sunset.  I didn't have a good antenna on 40m when ZS8M was on.  Now I do.  Looking forward to add ZS8 to my log.

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: KY6R on March 06, 2013, 07:21:12 AM
Now that the operation is just two months away I'm looking for advice on propagation to ZS8.  Is it as simple as picking a time when South Africa has a good propagation to the U.S.?  Or is it more complicated than that?  I haven't worked too many ZS recently but I recall they usually could be found on 40m after our sunset.  I didn't have a good antenna on 40m when ZS8M was on.  Now I do.  Looking forward to add ZS8 to my log.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

When I worked Pierre, I had been trying to hear him from May until I finally heard him one night on 40M in Sep 2010. My QSO with him was after sundown, most likely a grey line AND autumnal equinox QSO.

The cycle still stunk at the time - so higher bands were not very good here. I did hear him once or twice on 20M - but didn't get through there.

Looking at DX Atlas, I have set it to 0300z on April 7, 2013, and it shows the night time greyline falls perfectly over Marion  Island and my area. That is a perfect time for SF Bay Area to try to work them.

Here was the trick with the greyline:

Since Pierre was not heard so well, I think most people just gave up. I knew that the fall has some really great 40M openings, so I listened one night and watched a penomenon that happens every now and then. I call it "The March". As the terminator passed over the US, I heard the East Coast, then Mid US, then Rocky Mountain states and finally West Coast work him. When his signal popped up for the 10 or 15 minutes that we could hear him - albeit weak - there were only 3 of us calling him. Another W6 and VE7 and I. It was amazing. I was praying that no one would spot him and cause a massive pileup - and sure enough - just after I worked him - someone spotted him.

I was using a 40M Bruce Array at the time - a wire array. Killer antenna.

I do think that the higher bands will be much better now - even 60 sunspots are better than the 17 - which is what we had when I worked him. However - sunspots weren't the big deal on 40M after sunset. On the higher bands - current conditions are MUCH better now than they were then.

I expect they will have very large pileups on 20M - because they will be heard a lot better this year.

I also expect LP on 20M to be a really great way to try to catch him. And 17M too.



Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on March 06, 2013, 07:36:36 AM
Now that the operation is just two months away I'm looking for advice on propagation to ZS8.  Is it as simple as picking a time when South Africa has a good propagation to the U.S.?  Or is it more complicated than that?  I haven't worked too many ZS recently but I recall they usually could be found on 40m after our sunset.  I didn't have a good antenna on 40m when ZS8M was on.  Now I do.  Looking forward to add ZS8 to my log.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

When I worked Pierre, I had been trying to hear him from May until I finally heard him one night on 40M in Sep 2010. My QSO with him was after sundown, most likely a grey line AND autumnal equinox QSO.

The cycle still stunk at the time - so higher bands were not very good here. I did hear him once or twice on 20M - but didn't get through there.

Looking at DX Atlas, I have set it to 0300z on April 7, 2013, and it shows the night time greyline falls perfectly over Marion  Island and my area. That is a perfect time for SF Bay Area to try to work them.

Here was the trick with the greyline:

Since Pierre was not heard so well, I think most people just gave up. I knew that the fall has some really great 40M openings, so I listened one night and watched a penomenon that happens every now and then. I call it "The March". As the terminator passed over the US, I heard the East Coast, then Mid US, then Rocky Mountain states and finally West Coast work him. When his signal popped up for the 10 or 15 minutes that we could hear him - albeit weak - there were only 3 of us calling him. Another W6 and VE7 and I. It was amazing. I was praying that no one would spot him and cause a massive pileup - and sure enough - just after I worked him - someone spotted him.

I was using a 40M Bruce Array at the time - a wire array. Killer antenna.

I do think that the higher bands will be much better now - even 60 sunspots are better than the 17 - which is what we had when I worked him. However - sunspots weren't the big deal on 40M after sunset. On the higher bands - current conditions are MUCH better now than they were then.

I expect they will have very large pileups on 20M - because they will be heard a lot better this year.

I also expect LP on 20M to be a really great way to try to catch him. And 17M too.

Thanks for the info Rich.  I just sent a question to Pierre to see if there's a way to operate high power from ZS8.  They only have 100w planned.

When the propagation 'marches' across the U.S. I assume it's just a sliver of opening and not a wide opening across the U.S.?

Did you use the same 40m antenna to work Monk Apollo?  If so then that's a killer antenna.

No doubt the pile ups will be huge.  So I need to find a time where there's selective propagation to CO ;D  Or if I'm lucky the operator will go by call areas or East/West.  I hope Pierre taught them well.  Pierre is a true DX'er and I wished another ham could become a true DX'er.  The good news is that they will be there for a year.  I hope these guys will be active.  If they are very active then I don't see any issue in working them in a year's time.

I never understood why ZS3D always put out a huge signal with just a 40m hex beam.  I wished ZS8 could be as loud as ZS3D.  I have no issues working ZS3D.

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: NU1O on March 06, 2013, 07:52:50 AM

I never understood why ZS3D always put out a huge signal with just a 40m hex beam.  I wished ZS8 could be as loud as ZS3D.  I have no issues working ZS3D.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

Anybody that has worked South Africa on 40 probably has ZS3D in their logbook.  He has good ears and puts out a decent signal. I don't know his station off the top of my head but he could be running a small amp (I think the limit is 400W in South Africa.)  

I heard Marion on 20 meters a few times but he was always very week so I think it's a combo of a poor antenna and a barefoot station.

I have propagation to S. Africa on 10 meters most everyday and they aren't that far away that condx should be vastly different.

I'm also looking to put that island in the log for an ATNO.

Good luck working him. You'll likely have a tougher time than I seeing as my path is all water.

73,

Chris/NU1O


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on March 06, 2013, 08:04:06 AM

I never understood why ZS3D always put out a huge signal with just a 40m hex beam.  I wished ZS8 could be as loud as ZS3D.  I have no issues working ZS3D.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

Anybody that has worked South Africa o 40 probably has ZS3D in their logbook.  He has good ears and puts out a decent signal. I don't know his station off the top of my head but he could be running a small amp (I think the limit is 400W in South Africa.) 

I heard Marion on 20 meters a few times but he was always very week so I think it's a combo of a poor antenna and a barefoot station.

I have propagation to S. Africa on 10 meters most everyday and they aren't that far away that condx should be vastly different.

I'm also looking to put that island in the log for an ATNO.

Good luck working him. You'll likely have a tougher time than I seeing as my path is all water.

73,

Chris/NU1O

You are correct that Danie was my first South Africa contact back in August 2010.  Back then I had thought ZS is a rare entity :D  The 40m QSO was made with my G5RV Jr.  Back then I would get through on the first call with a contest station and I had thought a G5RV was the best antenna in the world :D  I wasn't able to figure out why I can't hear ZS8M with my 'killer' antenna.

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on March 06, 2013, 08:08:11 AM

I never understood why ZS3D always put out a huge signal with just a 40m hex beam.  I wished ZS8 could be as loud as ZS3D.  I have no issues working ZS3D.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

Anybody that has worked South Africa o 40 probably has ZS3D in their logbook.  He has good ears and puts out a decent signal. I don't know his station off the top of my head but he could be running a small amp (I think the limit is 400W in South Africa.) 

I heard Marion on 20 meters a few times but he was always very week so I think it's a combo of a poor antenna and a barefoot station.

I have propagation to S. Africa on 10 meters most everyday and they aren't that far away that condx should be vastly different.

I'm also looking to put that island in the log for an ATNO.

Good luck working him. You'll likely have a tougher time than I seeing as my path is all water.

73,

Chris/NU1O

You are correct that Danie was my first South Africa contact back in August 2010.  Back then I had thought ZS is a rare entity :D  The 40m QSO was made with my G5RV Jr.  Back then I would get through on the first call with a contest station and I had thought a G5RV was the best antenna in the world :D  I wasn't able to figure out why I can't hear ZS8M with my 'killer' antenna.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

No offenses to those that still use a G5RV.  It was the best antenna given my QTH limitations.  I had a tuner and I was able to work six bands on one antenna.  And I achieved my DXCC with it.

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: N3OX on March 06, 2013, 08:14:33 AM
If i understand the antenna situation at ZS8M correctly, ihe was using one of those broadband dipoles with a resistor in it.

I made a contact on 40m SSB but the signal situation was the most fantastically asymmetric QSO I have had in a long time. When I could actually hear the tone of his voice he sounded surprised at how poorly I could hear him. He was giving me a good Q5 report, I could barely tell he was in there.

I'm sure the antenna situation wasn't the only issue, but I think a combination of high noise at my place compared to ZS8 and ZS8M's lower ERP from running barefoot into a less-efficient antenna and relatively poor propagation to the U.S. East Coast at the times Pierre would get on 40m all added up to a very, very difficult QSO.

They also added up to pretty much ZERO competition, so I had time and space to pull out one of the weakest signals I've worked in recent memory.


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on March 06, 2013, 08:23:31 AM
If i understand the antenna situation at ZS8M correctly, ihe was using one of those broadband dipoles with a resistor in it.

I made a contact on 40m SSB but the signal situation was the most fantastically asymmetric QSO I have had in a long time. When I could actually hear the tone of his voice he sounded surprised at how poorly I could hear him. He was giving me a good Q5 report, I could barely tell he was in there.

I'm sure the antenna situation wasn't the only issue, but I think a combination of high noise at my place compared to ZS8 and ZS8M's lower ERP from running barefoot into a less-efficient antenna and relatively poor propagation to the U.S. East Coast at the times Pierre would get on 40m all added up to a very, very difficult QSO.

They also added up to pretty much ZERO competition, so I had time and space to pull out one of the weakest signals I've worked in recent memory.


When I was listening to the pile ups of ZS8M I recall hearing other DX stations 'assisting' the one trying to make a contact.  The assist station will say 'W6 he's calling you'.  So I'm sure the hearing problem is widespread.

Does Pierre know and understand the issue?  Is there a better alternative to a dipole with a resistor/heater?

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: KF6ABU on March 06, 2013, 12:47:59 PM
Quote

You are correct that Danie was my first South Africa contact back in August 2010.  Back then I had thought ZS is a rare entity :D  The 40m QSO was made with my G5RV Jr.  Back then I would get through on the first call with a contest station and I had thought a G5RV was the best antenna in the world :D  I wasn't able to figure out why I can't hear ZS8M with my 'killer' antenna.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

I think Danie is all west coast ops first R.S.A. qso. I remember how allusive R.S.A. was!!! They were so far away.

Now I have them on 10/12/15/17/20/30/40 and 80 and I hear them all the time.

I did work ZS8M, with my vertical and 100w. I invested at least 200 hours of listening until I finally heard him on maybe 5 occasions. Every time I heard him I prayed the signal would come up just a little more before he was spotted. He would then be spotted and the swarm would arrive with comments like your 59+ 10 on the east coast Pierre - arm chair copy, Hi Pierre it’s nice to talk to you again, this is our 19th QSO on this band, Hi Pierre let me talk to you for 30 minutes about something dumb so Ben won't be able to hear you anymore when I am done.

I would curse those people! ZS8M was the first person to make me HATE amateur radio. It wasn't because of him (he's a cool dude, we chat all the time) but because everyone else could work him so easily, and brag about while at the same time subtracting from my chance to work him while they work him a 53rd time, or with extreme ease.

His antenna was really bad, very low, very lossy dipole and my vertical and 100w. I finally did work him after much trouble, and it’s one of my favorite QSL cards, and favorite ops. That was about 5 months into HF for me.


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: N5MOA on March 06, 2013, 02:25:52 PM
Is there a better alternative to a dipole with a resistor/heater?

73,
Jonathan W6GX

According to what Pierre wrote on dx-world, "There will be NO extra antennas! We may only use the existing commercial antenna."

He was hearing better that he was getting out.

I had one qso with ZS8M on 40m using an inverted L, but he wasn't very strong. One qso from the mobile on 40m, he was a lot weaker. Thankfully, there was almost zero pileup, as it took 3 or 4 minutes to get everything sorted out. He wasn't hearing me very well, either.

One qso on 20m was long path, he was 5/6-5/7.



Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: N4CR on March 06, 2013, 02:35:23 PM
Thats great! ;D   BUT............... cant they send someone down there that can work a little CW?  I hate to have to get in the screaming matches.  Matter of fact, I Dont think I will.

Maybe the next one can do something besides SSB ???.

73, Gene AF3Y

I have a preamp on my mic so I can just talk normally. Makes it so much nicer...


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: AF3Y on March 06, 2013, 03:11:27 PM
I never heard ZS8M well enough to try .......

Of course, his being SSB only, I did not bust my ass listening for him either.

73, Gene AF3Y


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on March 06, 2013, 04:17:15 PM
I invested at least 200 hours of listening

You did that barely 5 months into HF?  I'm sure you are very proud of that QSO.

ZS8M was the first person to make me HATE amateur radio.

Yes it is annoying when others could work him so easily.  I have heard the same thing as what you heard.  OTOH you might find yourself as the one hated one day.  I have ragchewed with DX stations and those who were waiting to work the DX might be cursing at me.  I did what I did not to show off but it could be perceived that way.  Ham radio is just like a lot of things in life.  There are bullies and there are those who are bullied.  Just remember it's only a hobby!

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on March 06, 2013, 04:25:46 PM
Is there a better alternative to a dipole with a resistor/heater?

73,
Jonathan W6GX

According to what Pierre wrote on dx-world, "There will be NO extra antennas! We may only use the existing commercial antenna."

He was hearing better that he was getting out.

I had one qso with ZS8M on 40m using an inverted L, but he wasn't very strong. One qso from the mobile on 40m, he was a lot weaker. Thankfully, there was almost zero pileup, as it took 3 or 4 minutes to get everything sorted out. He wasn't hearing me very well, either.

One qso on 20m was long path, he was 5/6-5/7.

I'm a little confused now.  Is the inverted V the commercial antenna he's referring to?  If not then what kind of antenna will these two operators use?  I think one antenna is enough provided it's high enough and works well.

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: KF6ABU on March 06, 2013, 04:29:29 PM
I invested at least 200 hours of listening

You did that barely 5 months into HF?  I'm sure you are very proud of that QSO.

ZS8M was the first person to make me HATE amateur radio.

Yes it is annoying when others could work him so easily.  I have heard the same thing as what you heard.  OTOH you might find yourself as the one hated one day.  I have ragchewed with DX stations and those who were waiting to work the DX might be cursing at me.  I did what I did not to show off but it could be perceived that way.  Ham radio is just like a lot of things in life.  There are bullies and there are those who are bullied.  Just remember it's only a hobby!

73,
Jonathan W6GX

Super proud of it, it was an accomplishment. None of the people I knew personally ever worked him.. only me…. They all said I was crazy staying up and sitting on my radio for hours – BUT I HAVE THE QSL CARD  I like winning and defeating challenges.

I am very much over getting mad at people now, I have not gotten through so many times I don’t get angry – But I will still sit and try for 5 hours for 1 QSO with a new one, no problem at all. I don’t have a wife or kids, and my GF likes me to do whatever I want if it makes me happy, so I’m free to play radio all day if I want. Go to work, go to practice, feed the dog, be nice to the woman is about all I need to do.  Another memorable one is working Zambia, one of my first CW QSO’s AND my 100th DX entity a few months prior. Brian’s simple blue and black QSL with the lion on it is a prized possession.


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: KF6ABU on March 06, 2013, 04:33:15 PM
Is there a better alternative to a dipole with a resistor/heater?

73,
Jonathan W6GX

According to what Pierre wrote on dx-world, "There will be NO extra antennas! We may only use the existing commercial antenna."

He was hearing better that he was getting out.

I had one qso with ZS8M on 40m using an inverted L, but he wasn't very strong. One qso from the mobile on 40m, he was a lot weaker. Thankfully, there was almost zero pileup, as it took 3 or 4 minutes to get everything sorted out. He wasn't hearing me very well, either.

One qso on 20m was long path, he was 5/6-5/7.

I'm a little confused now.  Is the inverted V the commercial antenna he's referring to?  If not then what kind of antenna will these two operators use?  I think one antenna is enough provided it's high enough and works well.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

He just used the resistor terminated dipole (garbage), it was an inverted V. He did bring some other antenna’s (a stepper vertical IIRC) but the bird’s may have rammed them and hurt their beaks, and I think they were too noisy.



Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on March 06, 2013, 04:42:05 PM
I see an antenna tower on Rich's DXCC sleuth.  I can't think of an HF antenna that is more harmful to birds than an antenna tower.  So I don't see the fuss over a yagi antenna for HF.

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: KF6ABU on March 06, 2013, 04:51:37 PM
I think it’s more about not introducing anything new to the equation.

Regardless, Marion Island has garbage antennae with no QRO, are very hard to work, but have very nice ops!


I hope to hear them again, and would really like to hear a "cq cq west coast only", while I can hear them.

And hopefully not to many "ZOMG THANKS FOR 5TH BAND FROM NY. USED 5W TO LOW DIPOLE HEHEHE" on the cluster.

Even the dummies saying stuff like that while working Clipperton looked dumb. The cluster looks stupid, often.


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on March 06, 2013, 07:01:08 PM
Pierre has responded to my question I posted on DX-World regarding the use of an amp.  This is good news.

Hi Jonathan,

David was appointed yesterday as the radio technician. The delay was caused due to a clerical error.
Carson and David might have access to an amp. Hold thumbs!
Take note: bands expected are 40 to 10m only. No 160 or 80m due to severe QRM from electrical system in the base.
They are both attending first aid, fire fighting, technical and cooking training now, so they are pretty busy.
They depart 10 April from Cape Town. We can expect them to operational from the middle of May, once the ship departs the island.
Once I have more info, I will publish it.
73
Pierre ZS1HF / ZS8M

73,
Jonathan W6GX


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: NU1O on March 06, 2013, 09:35:37 PM
I had a feeling there was heavy QRN from generators there. It's probably why I could copy them, albeit weakly, and they could never hear me.

Thanks for sharing that.

73,

Chris/NU1O


Title: RE: ZS8D – Marion Island
Post by: W6GX on March 07, 2013, 08:48:39 AM
And here's Pierre's last reply regarding the antenna.  I guess if I want to work ZS8 I'll have to perform any upgrades on my side :D

Hi Jonathan,
Sadly we are only allowed to use the existing HF antenna. Part of my tasking was to upgrade the entire commercial HF system on the island. This gave the opportunity to upgrade the base antenna as well.
Also take into consideration that I only had 100 watts compared to those who were working me with much higher power and beams.
This time I trust they will have an amp, but they will be limited to an omni-directional broadband military HF antenna.
We are just ‘visitors’ to the island, the birds have the right of way.
Hope this info help you.
73
Pierre

73,
Jonathan W6GX