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Author Topic: How to work Marion Island  (Read 5238 times)
W6GX
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Posts: 2638




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« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2013, 09:04:11 PM »

Without using a sked or a net Grin  Suggestions are welcomed.  The XYL says no more antennas.  I need it for an ATNO!

73,
Jonathan W6GX

1. Learn the propagation openings on the bands for which you do have antennas; pay particular attention to long-path openings.

2. Study the habits of the operators (after they are QRV) so you know when and where they are most likely to appear; combine this with your propagation knowledge to stake-out frequencies on which the Marion ops are likely to appear when you have propagation.

       73,

                Dave, AA6YQ

Thanks Dave.  I have found Voacap to be useful for #1.  I expect 20m and 40m to be the money bands.  I just hope they will be QRV when there's propagation to CO.  It's all systems go on my end Grin

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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W2IRT
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Posts: 2663


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« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2013, 09:25:01 PM »

Yup, 20 and 40 were the money bands for Pierre on this end.
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Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.
AA6YQ
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Posts: 1646


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« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2013, 11:05:13 PM »

Thanks Dave.  I have found Voacap to be useful for #1.  I expect 20m and 40m to be the money bands.  I just hope they will be QRV when there's propagation to CO.  It's all systems go on my end Grin

There are three sources of propagation info:

1. Propagation prediction engines like VOACAP and ICEPAC

2. Propagation beacons (e.g. the NCDXF HF beacon network)

3. DX spots

My advice is to exploit all three, which is why I designed DXLab to do just that.

      73,

             Dave, AA6YQ
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KA1J
Member

Posts: 173




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« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2013, 05:54:01 AM »

Jonathan Sez:

> Just curious, am I the only one here needing ZS8?
>
> 73,
> Jonathan W6GX

Oh no, I need that. I've never been able to get through the pileups.

Gary
KA1J
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AF3Y
Member

Posts: 3763




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« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2013, 07:11:55 AM »

Still sitting on my ass, waiting for a CW op to man the station at ZS8. Roll Eyes

 No, I dont have it.
73, Gene AF3Y
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KY6R
Member

Posts: 3191


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« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2013, 07:23:51 AM »

With my first wife (who hated my antennas) - when she left to go on week long business trips, I would literally be crouched down the hill next to the house ready to put up new antennas. As soon as I couldn't see the rear lights on the car - that was it.

She usually didn't even notice for days or even weeks. By that time it was too late - the antennas done got stuck up dere.

One time, after she left, I had arranged for a guy with a tractor to come and prepare the ground for a 4 square (this is when I lived on 5 acres towards the top of the ridge).

She never found out about the 64 buried radials at that house.

I don't recommend this approach - but it sure was fun and funny.

My new wife says my antennas are "invisible". Big upgrade for me!

Rich,

When you eventually move (to Bend as I recall) are you going to erect a real tower fully dressed with your dream antenna?

73,
Jonathan W6GX

No - I bought the AB-952 Mast System because it is a 55' tower that fits in the back of my X3. At this point there is even less reason to go for a big tower and antenna farm than before. That's what I will use in Bend.

I can get enough height and build enough lightweight antennas with at least 4 dB gain - which is all you really need for the really rare ones and nasty pileups. I like the "less is more approach" - its an affliction that I picked up when I used to build QRP rigs - but wasn't a DX-er back then.

If you have more - then you guys beat me in the pileups. It may take me an extra day with my little pistol (max 500 watts), but I still get the Q - usually on multiple bands.

I am going to add a 30' Rohn telescoping steel pushup mast to my 160M antenna - so the vertical section will now go up to 70'. I will also turn it into an inverted L. I modeled it in EZnec and it drops the TOA down to 20 degrees and gives me 2 dB gain (goes from a -2 dB loss to unity). I will be able to use this antenna on 160 - 30M, and it looks really great on all of these bands. The 64 buried radials are very, very important.
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W6GX
Member

Posts: 2638




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« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2013, 08:27:56 AM »

With my first wife (who hated my antennas) - when she left to go on week long business trips, I would literally be crouched down the hill next to the house ready to put up new antennas. As soon as I couldn't see the rear lights on the car - that was it.

She usually didn't even notice for days or even weeks. By that time it was too late - the antennas done got stuck up dere.

One time, after she left, I had arranged for a guy with a tractor to come and prepare the ground for a 4 square (this is when I lived on 5 acres towards the top of the ridge).

She never found out about the 64 buried radials at that house.

I don't recommend this approach - but it sure was fun and funny.

My new wife says my antennas are "invisible". Big upgrade for me!

Rich,

When you eventually move (to Bend as I recall) are you going to erect a real tower fully dressed with your dream antenna?

73,
Jonathan W6GX

No - I bought the AB-952 Mast System because it is a 55' tower that fits in the back of my X3. At this point there is even less reason to go for a big tower and antenna farm than before. That's what I will use in Bend.

I can get enough height and build enough lightweight antennas with at least 4 dB gain - which is all you really need for the really rare ones and nasty pileups. I like the "less is more approach" - its an affliction that I picked up when I used to build QRP rigs - but wasn't a DX-er back then.

If you have more - then you guys beat me in the pileups. It may take me an extra day with my little pistol (max 500 watts), but I still get the Q - usually on multiple bands.

I am going to add a 30' Rohn telescoping steel pushup mast to my 160M antenna - so the vertical section will now go up to 70'. I will also turn it into an inverted L. I modeled it in EZnec and it drops the TOA down to 20 degrees and gives me 2 dB gain (goes from a -2 dB loss to unity). I will be able to use this antenna on 160 - 30M, and it looks really great on all of these bands. The 64 buried radials are very, very important.

FB Rich.  Looking forward to see your next antenna project.

Here in the Colorado Front Range it takes a lot of steel and concrete to play ham radio.  My tower (when retracted) is rated at 122 mph 3-second gust.  My neighbor told me don't worry about the tower falling over.  At 90mph the antennas will self-destruct first thus saving the tower Cheesy

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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W6GX
Member

Posts: 2638




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« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2013, 08:32:40 AM »

Still sitting on my ass, waiting for a CW op to man the station at ZS8. Roll Eyes

 No, I dont have it.
73, Gene AF3Y

As I recall you have a Q with the Monk on SSB.  When ZS8 is 20db over it would be tempting to get that mic out, especially if it's an ATNO Cheesy

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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W6GX
Member

Posts: 2638




Ignore
« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2013, 08:36:59 AM »

Still sitting on my ass, waiting for a CW op to man the station at ZS8. Roll Eyes

 No, I dont have it.
73, Gene AF3Y

From Pierre posted yesteday.

You can expect SSB and digitals. If we are lucky, some CW as well.
I will keep you all updated once I have more info.
73
Pierre ZS1HF / ZS8M

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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AF3Y
Member

Posts: 3763




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« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2013, 09:03:47 AM »

Still sitting on my ass, waiting for a CW op to man the station at ZS8. Roll Eyes

 No, I dont have it.
73, Gene AF3Y

From Pierre posted yesteday.

You can expect SSB and digitals. If we are lucky, some CW as well.
I will keep you all updated once I have more info.
73
Pierre ZS1HF / ZS8M

73,
Jonathan W6GX

Yeah, I might see of I can yell my way into an ATNO if its loud enough for me to hear. Roll Eyes

When is anticipated QRV?

73, Gene AF3Y
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NU1O
Member

Posts: 2670




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« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2013, 09:15:02 AM »

Still sitting on my ass, waiting for a CW op to man the station at ZS8. Roll Eyes

 No, I dont have it.
73, Gene AF3Y

From Pierre posted yesteday.

You can expect SSB and digitals. If we are lucky, some CW as well.
I will keep you all updated once I have more info.
73
Pierre ZS1HF / ZS8M

73,
Jonathan W6GX

The most interesting bit of info on his QRZ page is he has a Blacklist!  I think it is a great idea.  I was just working V85XD on 15 SSB for my first SSB contact with V8 on 15 and a European talked over him while he was giving me my report.  I asked him to repeat it and the Europeans started whistling and throwing carriers.  Nice group of guys!  I really came close to calling their mother's a bunch of obscenities but thankfully I restrained myself.

I see the 24/7 10-10 operator KC4TVZ has made the Hall of Shame.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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W6GX
Member

Posts: 2638




Ignore
« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2013, 09:15:50 AM »

Still sitting on my ass, waiting for a CW op to man the station at ZS8. Roll Eyes

 No, I dont have it.
73, Gene AF3Y

From Pierre posted yesteday.

You can expect SSB and digitals. If we are lucky, some CW as well.
I will keep you all updated once I have more info.
73
Pierre ZS1HF / ZS8M

73,
Jonathan W6GX

Yeah, I might see of I can yell my way into an ATNO if its loud enough for me to hear. Roll Eyes

When is anticipated QRV?

73, Gene AF3Y

From DX-World.

Carson ZS8C and David ZS8Z are departing Cape Town on 10 April 2013 at 14.00 SAST for Marion Island. Expect them to be QRV around mid-May once the ship departs with the old team back to Cape Town.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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W6UV
Member

Posts: 538




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« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2013, 01:58:52 PM »

Mid-May? Excellent. Should give me plenty of time to get a 240v line to the shack and get an amp.
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W6GX
Member

Posts: 2638




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« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2013, 11:49:13 AM »

ZS8Z was spotted at 1830z today.  Since I can't hear him I can't confirm whether it's real or fake.  The EU is reporting a strong signal.  Their ship just departed Cape Town on April 10th.  It's possible that it's real but somewhat unlikely...

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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KY6R
Member

Posts: 3191


WWW

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« Reply #44 on: April 16, 2013, 12:24:01 PM »

Here in the Colorado Front Range it takes a lot of steel and concrete to play ham radio.  My tower (when retracted) is rated at 122 mph 3-second gust.  My neighbor told me don't worry about the tower falling over.  At 90mph the antennas will self-destruct first thus saving the tower Cheesy

I'm very lucky. I lived in Rochester for a year (Kodak right out of college) and grew up in Joisey - so I know the difference between there are here. At this QTH:

No lightning.
No snow, ice or sleet. Coldest daytime temps 50 degrees. Hottest in the 90's. Fog comes up to the hills nearby but it stays sunny at my house.
No humidity.
No high winds. Just pleasant ocean breezes.
No rain between May - October (inclusive).
No HOA's, CC&R's or town ordinances.
No "grid" neighborhood - the lots here are very odd shape which makes it seem like the houses are far apart - and with all the trees around, very private. A couple "quirky" neighbors - but that means I'm one of them and fit it. The neighborhood was "settled" in the 1950's by UC Berkeley Professors and such.

My wife likes my ham radio hobby and supports it fully. The squirrels love my antenna rope and now have cottony fluff in their nests.

So - while I might be at the bottom of a valley and canyon, things could be a whole lot worse. . . . I count my blessings. All of this makes for year round' antenna work - and I'm always goofing around with something antenna wise.

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