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eHam Forums => DXing => Topic started by: WB9LUR on January 09, 2019, 01:57:35 PM



Title: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on January 09, 2019, 01:57:35 PM
Not super rare but this would still be an ATNO for me... Be glad to get #250 in the log as it seems I've hit a wall in the last month!

See you in the pileups...

Randy / WB9LUR


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KJ4Z on January 09, 2019, 02:43:59 PM
9L1YXJ has also been pretty active lately.  Easy to work on 20 meters the other day.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on January 09, 2019, 03:11:14 PM
9L1YXJ has also been pretty active lately.  Easy to work on 20 meters the other day.

Congrats! I will keep an ear out for 'em. I also heard another West African station, Ghana 9G2HO, (should be another easy one but...) last night on 40 CW. No luck. It happens.

I remember, just a few short years ago, 20 being open almost around the clock - but with my work/family schedule it's been tough to be at the rig when 20 is open lately. Like everyone else - I'm gonna blame the sun and it's lack of spots! Having fun on 40 and 80 though.

Randy / WB9LUR


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: K9MRD on January 10, 2019, 05:59:34 PM
Not super rare but this would still be an ATNO for me... Be glad to get #250 in the log as it seems I've hit a wall in the last month!

See you in the pileups...

Randy / WB9LUR

Randy,
9LY1JM is on 3503 now (7:50 CST) and very strong in Eastern Nebraska.
GL
Wayne


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on January 10, 2019, 07:10:39 PM
Not super rare but this would still be an ATNO for me... Be glad to get #250 in the log as it seems I've hit a wall in the last month!

See you in the pileups...

Randy / WB9LUR

Randy,
9LY1JM is on 3503 now (7:50 CST) and very strong in Eastern Nebraska.
GL
Wayne

Thanks for the head's up! No luck yet but I will be patient...

Randy / WB9LUR


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N3QE on January 10, 2019, 07:14:23 PM
Wow, great signals on 80 and 30 tonight, and great ops!



Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: NI0C on January 10, 2019, 08:39:45 PM
Heard your QSO on 80m tonight, Randy-- congrats!


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on January 10, 2019, 08:47:45 PM
Heard your QSO on 80m tonight, Randy-- congrats!

Thanks! Was super glad to get them on 80. Still have solid copy on 'em here.

Randy/WB9LUR


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KF0QS on January 10, 2019, 08:54:44 PM
Worked them on 3503 at 4:19 UTC just a little while ago.  It's an ATNO for me, and it was cool to do it on 80.

I'm a happy man.   ;D


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N9KX on January 10, 2019, 09:20:52 PM
just worked them on 3.503 (up around 3 kHz) as well for an ATNO! (05:14z) w/  100 watts and a ZK6BKW (modified G5RV) inverted vee up 45 ft
needless to say i am quite happy ;)

(https://memegenerator.net/img/instances/49101544/happy-dance.jpg)


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: ZL1BBW on January 11, 2019, 12:37:32 AM
They were a good signal here in ZL on 80, but just couldnt break the Eu Wall, maybe tomorrow.
Gavin ZL1BBW


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: K5PS on January 11, 2019, 05:35:53 AM
Worked them on 80m CW and 30m RTTY last night for a new band and a new mode respectively. Decent signals on my vertical here in NTX.

A little later picked up another new one for 80m - S79AA.

A great evening to be on the air.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on January 11, 2019, 06:18:50 AM
Worked them on 80m CW and 30m RTTY last night for a new band and a new mode respectively. Decent signals on my vertical here in NTX.

A little later picked up another new one for 80m - S79AA.

A great evening to be on the air.


You had a good night!

I have the Seychelles on 10M (remember 10M?) but no lower bands at all - great catch on 80 - congrats!

Randy / WB9LUR 


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: K5PS on January 11, 2019, 06:48:35 AM
You had a good night!

I have the Seychelles on 10M (remember 10M?) but no lower bands at all - great catch on 80 - congrats!

Randy / WB9LUR 

Thanks! It was indeed fun - I'd been expecting/looking for the 9L but for the S7 it was just luck being there when they showed up.

I wish I could've heard the VU station that was on 60m FT8 last night, saw some stations in upper Midwest apparently working them, but hey that's possible excitement for another day.  ;D


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KB3LIX on January 11, 2019, 11:43:01 AM
I lucked out this afternoon.
Saw SL spotted on 20m, so I fingered, What the heck, I'll give em a try.
Called for about 5 minutes and got thru.
Right after my contact, they went QRT.

That was luck.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N5VYS on January 11, 2019, 11:59:38 AM
I never heard them on 80M last night in STX. They did have a good signal 30M.

Obie N5VYS


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N5MOA on January 11, 2019, 08:07:09 PM
Still a bit of QSB, but signal coming up nicely on 160m.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N3QE on January 11, 2019, 08:15:31 PM
Heard them peak up a couple times on 160M CW tonight. Very loud on 75M phone.

And HUGE kudos for them spending so much time on RTTY on so many bands. With very good operators and huge rate too. I want to sharply contrast with a couple DXpeditions last year that had great signals on RTTY but didn't make any effort at all before switching entirely to FT8.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on January 12, 2019, 09:14:57 PM
Check your QSO with 9LY1JM on Clublog:

https://secure.clublog.org/charts/?c=9ly1jm



Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: LA7DFA on January 12, 2019, 10:15:27 PM
The FT8 problem is due to their weird callsign.
If you enter 9LY1JM, then WSJT-X cannot work properly in DXmode.
If you try 9L1YJM, then all is ok...  But ofcourse wrong callsign.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: DK7OB on January 13, 2019, 06:15:41 AM
The FT8 problem is due to their weird callsign.
If you enter 9LY1JM, then WSJT-X cannot work properly in DXmode.
If you try 9L1YJM, then all is ok...  But ofcourse wrong callsign.
I was able to work around this by entering the call sign in the DX Call field manually.
Looks like a software bug.



Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KJ4Z on January 13, 2019, 09:09:17 AM
The FT8 problem is due to their weird callsign.
If you enter 9LY1JM, then WSJT-X cannot work properly in DXmode.
If you try 9L1YJM, then all is ok...  But ofcourse wrong callsign.
I was able to work around this by entering the call sign in the DX Call field manually.
Looks like a software bug.

Thanks for the tip.  I needed it to work them on 15 this morning.  The usual double-clicking didn't work.  They were sending weird reports out.  Some people got no report at all, e.g. "W1XYZ 9LY1JM".  My report was literally "-".  Weird.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: MM0NDX on January 13, 2019, 09:17:01 AM
Operations at 9LY1JM. Picture by F1ULQ for DX-World readers, without copyright..

(https://dx-world.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/9ly1jm_shack.jpg)



Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB8VLC on January 13, 2019, 12:37:27 PM
They had a Nice signal into Oregon on 18.140 ssb for 2 hours this morning.

It was very easy breaking thru the east coast with only a simple 24 foot high moxon and 300 watts.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N5CM on January 13, 2019, 12:54:44 PM
I tried them on 80m several times to no avail.  Huge pileups.  Then, I got them on 30.  I tried again last night, taking a break from hunting states during the North American QSO Party (NE, WY, OR, and AK) on 80m, and got them ;D  I'm guessing the contest may have decreased the magnitude of the pileup to some extent such that my signal could be heard (100W + wire).  Just prior to lunch today, they had a great signal on 20m CW, and I was able to get through after a couple of calls.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WO7R on January 13, 2019, 12:57:43 PM
Just worked them (I think) on 17m F&H.  I suspect this is all about the "funny" call sign and the limitations of encoding a 77 bit message.

My messages were "clipped".  I got a signal report of "-" and an RR73 that just read "R".  And, I have a 2x1 call.  If you have a 1x3 or 2x3, you are not going to see much, I think.

Good luck everyone.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: VK3HJ on January 13, 2019, 01:58:39 PM
I've not heard them yet.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: VK3HJ on January 14, 2019, 04:29:54 AM
Worked on 40 m CW this afternoon, despite the best efforts of a German station to QRM me. Thanks to the op for sticking with me until the QSO completed.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N2SR on January 14, 2019, 05:38:52 AM
They were on 40 ssb last night.   7.120 QSX 7125.   

I did not call them, as 7.125 would put any USA station out of the band.   



Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WA2VUY on January 14, 2019, 06:35:26 AM
They switched to listening on 7135 after this.
Quote from: N2SR l Smiley :)ink=topic=123545.msg1109375#msg1109375 date=1547473132
They were on 40 ssb last night.   7.120 QSX 7125.   

I did not call them, as 7.125 would put any USA station out of the band.   




Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WA2VUY on January 14, 2019, 06:42:24 AM
I'm not on FT8 but I know that HH70A,  a special call sign the Haitian ARC is using to celebrate their 70th anniversary, and RI50ANO on South Shetland could not use FT8 with those prefixes last year.

The FT8 problem is due to their weird callsign.
If you enter 9LY1JM, then WSJT-X cannot work properly in DXmode.
If you try 9L1YJM, then all is ok...  But ofcourse wrong callsign.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: W9IQ on January 14, 2019, 07:07:18 AM
Most of this was address in Version 2.0 of WSJT-X. It uses a technique of creating a hash of non-standard call signs and using that for subsequent references to the non-standard call. The catch is that you need to have recently received the non-standard call at least once "in the clear" via message format 4. If you have not done this then the call cannot be displayed. So if you have not been on frequency for a while or the DX station has not CQed recently, you may not have loaded the call so it can be decoded.

Note that two non-standard calls cannot have an exchange.

- Glenn W9IQ


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KB2FCV on January 14, 2019, 07:10:45 AM
I see I need this one on a couple of bands... especially 80.. will definitely start listening for them.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: W9IQ on January 14, 2019, 09:53:29 AM
Most of this was addressed in Version 2.0 of WSJT-X. It uses a technique of creating a hash of non-standard call signs and using that for subsequent references to the non-standard call. The catch is that you need to have recently received the non-standard call at least once "in the clear" via message format 4. If you have not done this then the call cannot be displayed. So if you have not been on frequency for a while or the DX station has not CQed recently, you may not have loaded the call so it can be decoded.

Note that two non-standard calls cannot have an exchange.

- Glenn W9IQ

I should add that the DX station should enclose their non-standard call sign in angled brackets < > in order for the above described feature to work.

Also, if you receive a < . . . > in the decode instead of the station's call, then you did not yet receive the call in the clear so that it can translate the hash to the full call.

- Glenn W9IQ


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KJ4Z on January 14, 2019, 10:26:42 AM
Most of this was address in Version 2.0 of WSJT-X. It uses a technique of creating a hash of non-standard call signs and using that for subsequent references to the non-standard call. The catch is that you need to have recently received the non-standard call at least once "in the clear" via message format 4. If you have not done this then the call cannot be displayed. So if you have not been on frequency for a while or the DX station has not CQed recently, you may not have loaded the call so it can be decoded.

Note that two non-standard calls cannot have an exchange.

- Glenn W9IQ

Thanks for the interesting info.  Does this mean that in normal operation (i.e. when not having received a transmission in "format 4"), WSJT-X relies at least partially on pre-established rules of what constitutes a "valid" callsign?  If so, is that via some sort of database, or a regular expression, or... ?  I'm a bit surprised that the protocol needs to care what the contents of the message are, particularly making assessments as to the callsigns, other than applying some sort of checksum.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WO7R on January 14, 2019, 01:13:04 PM
Well, remember, we are dealing with a 77 bit message.  That's a bigger restriction than it may sound at first glance.

Rendered in conventional 7 bit ASCII, that is only 11 characters.  Most of the messages in FT8/JT65/et al require two callsigns.

An ordinary 2x3 callsign, common throughout the world, would require 42 bits, uncompressed and unhashed.  Two of them are 84 bits.

So clearly, just to exchange callsigns, you are at risk to exceeding the allocation.  And, further lengthening the message will impact performance.  You really don't want any added bits (the previous FT8 was less than 77).

Of course, computers are good at encoding schemes, but 26 English Latin letters plus 10 numbers is 36, which essentially takes 6 bits to deal with unless you use tricks such as having rules for where things are in the message dictating the encoding.  I haven't read the manual on how they do it, but it is not a small thing to compress this stuff.  Since call signs (the bulk of the content) are essentially random, getting below 6 bits a character requires doing things like assuming call signs follow particular rules so you can have a bit or two to declare "which rule" and then follow with a tight string of bits to encode it.

Anyway, 6 bits per call sign "element" and two 2x3 calls gets you to 72 bits without encoding RRR R-17, -17, or, critically, the grid, which would be optimally encoded in around 14 bits itself.   A couple of prefix bits to give the six "standard" messages plus a seventh or eighth for "pure" text would easily eat up the rest.  The prefix bits would mean that RRR or RR73 would not be sent "as such" but be encoded in a few bits.  The report could be done in 9 bits or perhaps with a bit of cleverness, as few as 7 or 8.

None of this even accounts, fully, for the KP4/WO7R type of call sign either.  That takes some similar magic and you see it in the message restrictions (e.g. no grid square for compound call signs in TX1).

Again, look up in the manual to see how they actually do it.  But yeah, there are significant constraints to hold the message to 77 bits for fundamental performance.  You move the message up to 84 bits or so and no doubt some of these restrictions disappear.  But if you can encode 95, 97, 99 per cent of actual ham exchanges in 77 bits, then you betcha, that's what you design and ship.

Let us hope the plague of 3XY0AB and 9LY1MBC kind of calls do not proliferate.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KJ4Z on January 14, 2019, 03:05:42 PM
Let us hope the plague of 3XY0AB and 9LY1MBC kind of calls do not proliferate.

Well, I guess this new knowledge would also imply that if you *do* have a weird callsign, you should frequently "waste" a slot calling CQ, even into a howling pileup.  It sounds like a "format 4" message would clear up a lot of the confusion.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: W9IQ on January 14, 2019, 03:32:25 PM
Thanks for the interesting info.  Does this mean that in normal operation (i.e. when not having received a transmission in "format 4"), WSJT-X relies at least partially on pre-established rules of what constitutes a "valid" callsign?  If so, is that via some sort of database, or a regular expression, or... ?  I'm a bit surprised that the protocol needs to care what the contents of the message are, particularly making assessments as to the callsigns, other than applying some sort of checksum.

There is nothing that establishes a valid call sign - that is one of the key restrictions that was removed in 2.0. There is quite a bit of logic to the call sign encoding in WSJT-X. It is not a simple matter of considering the 77 bits and how many call sign characters will fit in a message. The technique is rather clever in that the software will transmit the full, non-standard call sign periodically but most of the time it will use a shorter hash to point to (represent) the full call sign. This saves a great deal of message space to accommodate the other QSO elements that must be exchanged. Since these messages comprise most of the QSO, not continually sending the long call sign is very efficient. The disadvantage is you must at some point copy the long call in full so that the full call sign can be substituted for the hash when you see the exchange.

Also note that the old type 1 and type 2 compound call signs from pre version 2.0 are no longer an issue  - this distinction is removed in favor of simply nonstandard. You either have a standard (with or without /P or /R) or a nonstandard call sign.

Quoting from the manual:

Compound callsigns like xx/K1ABC or K1ABC/x and nonstandard callsigns like YW18FIFA are supported for normal QSOs but not for the special contest-style messages. If the message includes a grid locator or numerical signal report, the brackets must enclose the compound or nonstandard callsign; otherwise the brackets may be around either call.

Angle brackets imply that the enclosed callsign is not transmitted in full, but rather as a hash code using a smaller number of bits. Receiving stations will display the full nonstandard callsign if it has been received in full in the recent past. Otherwise it will be displayed as < . . . >. These restrictions are honored automatically by the algorithm that generates default messages for minimal QSOs. Except for the special cases involving /P or /R used in VHF contesting, WSJT-X 2.0 offers no support for two nonstandard callsigns to work each other.



- Glenn W9IQ


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WO7R on January 14, 2019, 04:17:58 PM
Well, I guess I really do need to read the manual, in detail.

But, a QSO I just had gives powerful clues to how it works.

CQ P4/S50M     no <> characters means it was transmitted in full.  But note, no Grid.  Presumably, not room.
<P4/S50M> WO7R -15    was what I transmitted.  So, my version of the code immediately hashed the P4/S50M call.
WO7R <P4/S50M> R-05   The P4 hashed his own call, sent mine in the clear.
P4/S50M <WO7R> RR73   I hashed my own call
<WO7R> P4/S50M 73     He hashed my call.

It seems exceedingly likely that the hash is unique to the call and the call alone and not time sensitive or has any other factors in it.  It relies on collisions in the hash being sufficiently rare and in having the hashed call sign having been sent reasonably recently, which further disambiguates the hashing.  There are still probably cases where it goes south (e.g. P4/S50M contacted someone else with the same hash just before they contact me) but these probably work out as too rare to cause many problems in practice.

This still doesn't account for the clipping in the F&H messages, unless hashing just doesn't happen there.  Note that before any hashing on "either side" took place, each party (me, P4/S50M) transmitted the entire call at least once before it was hashed regardless of which call we hashed at a given moment.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on January 15, 2019, 12:25:01 PM
Question for you FT8 guys (nothing against digital modes - just not my thing) ... question:

I have read several of your posts in the forum - is there something that digital ops need to do differently (because of the non-standard call) to work them on FT8 successfully? Or am I reading too much into some of your posts?


Randy / WB9LUR


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WO7R on January 15, 2019, 02:12:10 PM
It's hard to say.  I did nothing out of the ordinary except interpret some clipped messages.

The QSO was otherwise normal and I see my QSO was uploaded to Clublog, so the ops on the other side figured out how to manage it.

I have friends reporting their QSO wasn't uploaded.  So, it seems to be specific to the individual.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: VK3HJ on January 15, 2019, 09:56:03 PM
Check out the statistics of this operation so far, and how it reflects the current state of propagation.

EU and NA make up 95.5% of the log. The rest of the world accounts for only 4.5%!


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N3QE on January 16, 2019, 07:04:25 AM
Let us hope the plague of 3XY0AB and 9LY1MBC kind of calls do not proliferate.

That's nothing like what you're gonna hear on every WPX weekend!

Fortunately no WPX contests allow FT8. (Although I believe the WPX award allows FT8).



Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WO7R on January 16, 2019, 10:12:47 AM
Oh, I love the WPX contests.  I just don't like the calls that don't fit the 2x2, 2x3 kind of traditional pattern.

Sooner or later, it plays games with all kinds of software.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KJ4Z on January 16, 2019, 10:45:10 AM
Sooner or later, it plays games with all kinds of software.

Including the wetware.  I'm still slightly confused by working 9L1YXJ and 9LY1JM in the same week.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: W6OU on January 17, 2019, 09:31:02 AM
I'm confused on how to work 9LY1JM on FT8.  Since I couldn't enter their unusual call sign by double clicking, I had to type their call sign manually in the Std Msgs.  After calling above 1000 Hz in the hound mode, I get a reply but my software does not automatically respond with the R report and does not switch my frequency down below 1000 Hz.  What am I missing?


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB8VLC on January 17, 2019, 10:21:37 AM
I don't see why anyone would need to use FT8 and this FT8 formatting nonsense to work them when they are very readable on cw and ssb on most bands.

They were just on 28.024 CW into Oregon an hour ago with a fair signal and  other lower frequency bands they are almost as strong as the past VP6 dx-pedition was.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KJ4Z on January 17, 2019, 10:37:29 AM
I don't see why anyone would need to use this SSB nonsense to work them when they are very readable on RTTY on most bands.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on January 17, 2019, 11:36:51 AM
I don't see why anyone would need to use FT8 and this FT8 formatting nonsense to work them when they are very readable on cw and ssb on most bands.

They were just on 28.024 CW into Oregon an hour ago with a fair signal and  other lower frequency bands they are almost as strong as the past VP6 dx-pedition was.

I don't use FT8 but I understand that many folks do ... yes, it's not the same as CW or SSB or EME or QRP or RTTY or AM or packet or any other mode, variant or power level - but it is ham radio and anything that promotes more activity or interest in ham radio is a good thing IMHO.

I hope the FT8 guys make all the QSO's they want - I'm happy hunting on CW. To each his own I guess.

Randy / WB9LUR


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KB2FCV on January 17, 2019, 11:55:29 AM
I've got them on 17,80 and 160 so far. Don't need 40-20 & 15. If 12/10 happen.. great. If not... I'm not losing any sleep over it.

I'm really pleased about 160 using my crappy way-too-short antenna. Lots of QSB for that one.. not an easy QSO by any means.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on January 17, 2019, 12:04:37 PM
I've got them on 17,80 and 160 so far. Don't need 40-20 & 15. If 12/10 happen.. great. If not... I'm not losing any sleep over it.

I'm really pleased about 160 using my crappy way-too-short antenna. Lots of QSB for that one.. not an easy QSO by any means.

Congratulations on the 160m QSO! I feel the same about 80M - I have a very compromised antenna but got lucky and busted through the pileup on the very first night. Wasn't gonna chase them after that but they were so strong on 40, 30 and 20m CW that I had to jump in!

Randy / WB9LUR


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WO7R on January 17, 2019, 02:40:09 PM
I don't see why anyone would need to use FT8 and this FT8 formatting nonsense to work them when they are very readable on cw and ssb on most bands.

They were just on 28.024 CW into Oregon an hour ago with a fair signal and  other lower frequency bands they are almost as strong as the past VP6 dx-pedition was.

I don't use FT8 but I understand that many folks do ... yes, it's not the same as CW or SSB or EME or QRP or RTTY or AM or packet or any other mode, variant or power level - but it is ham radio and anything that promotes more activity or interest in ham radio is a good thing IMHO.

I hope the FT8 guys make all the QSO's they want - I'm happy hunting on CW. To each his own I guess.

Randy / WB9LUR

Randy shows great wisdom here.

There is a strange tendency among us to assume that the DXing we do is the one true way.

But, in truth, it was never true,  going all the way back to CW taking over from spark.

FT8 is good news if you like CW.  Fierce pileups still happen, but with FT8 so popular,  they are surely somewhat smaller.  Ditto SSB.  Since half the QSOs are FT8 now, and it has not yet doubled our operator numbers,  it simply has to be so.

Some medium rare stuff may be a little too much on FT8, but major Dxpeds have shown that they will hit CW and SSB as hard as ever.    All FT8 does there is increase the total Q count.

Younger hams are almost certain to adopt it in large numbers.   The "button pushing " aspect that some traditionalists hate will be quite attractive.

Bonus:  some newcomers we hook with FT8 are going to hang around for the CW, sooner or later.  Many would never get on HF without the gateway drug of FT8.

I really don't see the problem.   Don't like if, don't work it.  But, the advantages even if you dislike it are kind of hard to ignore.  Less congestion elsewhere,  more DX ops, seems like a winner to me.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: AE5X on January 17, 2019, 02:54:59 PM
Randy shows great wisdom here.



(http://www.social-experts.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/guru.jpg)


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on January 17, 2019, 03:17:42 PM
Randy shows great wisdom here.



(http://www.social-experts.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/guru.jpg)



Thanks John - I will now meditate and seek to be one with the ionosphere on the journey to divine propagation .... ohhhhhmmmmm ... resistance is futile.

Ha!

Randy / WB9LUR



Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: AE5X on January 17, 2019, 03:26:04 PM
I should have PShopped a tower/Yagi onto yon distant mountains...Ommmm


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: DK7OB on January 18, 2019, 12:07:58 AM
I'm confused on how to work 9LY1JM on FT8.  Since I couldn't enter their unusual call sign by double clicking, I had to type their call sign manually in the Std Msgs.  After calling above 1000 Hz in the hound mode, I get a reply but my software does not automatically respond with the R report and does not switch my frequency down below 1000 Hz.  What am I missing?
I entered the call in the "DX Call" field and pressed "Generate Std Msgs" to populate the message fields, so you can enable TX and call them.

If you are lucky, you get your response in a combined message where 2 callers are processed at the same time. Here their call is in <> (hashed), and the message is correct and QSO continues normally.

If you are unlucky, you get the response in a standard message where their call is not hashed and the received message is incorrect with missing or corrupted report. Here you have to click on "TX3" to continue the QSO manually and hope you get the report and RR73 in a combined message (that was the case with my 3 FT8 QSOs and all made it into their log).

I would like to know if it is a message format problem/limitation or a software bug. 9LY1JM is only 6 characters, but the 9LY prefix is unusual and may be treated as a special case, maybe unnecessarily but at least inconsistently.




Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N2SR on January 18, 2019, 07:08:45 AM
Easily worked with 1 call on 80 cw and 40 ssb last night, in a span of about 4 minutes.   

Even with my 40m beam at 60 degrees, and running 50 watts, waiting for the amp to warm up.   



Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: W6OU on January 18, 2019, 08:19:07 AM
DK7OB

Thanks for the info.  I didn't realize the "DX Call" field was an input as well as an output.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: W1VT on January 18, 2019, 09:34:35 AM
Yes, I think pileups are smaller.  I worked them on 80 with 100W and a 40' top loaded vertical, as expected.  
But then I worked them on 40 SSB with 100W to a 43' dipole up 30 feet with 140' of feedline.  Good op, otherwise
I wouldn't have bothered trying to do SSB.

Zak W1VT


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on January 18, 2019, 10:04:37 AM
Yes, I think pileups are smaller.  I worked them on 80 with 100W and a 40' top loaded vertical, as expected.  
But then I worked them on 40 SSB with 100W to a 43' dipole up 30 feet with 140' of feedline.  Good op, otherwise
I wouldn't have bothered trying to do SSB.

Zak W1VT

I was pleased to break thru the first night pileups on 80 with an inverted L that is only 20 feet above ground at it's highest point - got lucky! Probably won't try any SSB at all unless I catch 'em booming in. BTW on 80 this morning the JA's were very strong.

What do you use for receive on 80?

Randy / WB9LUR


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: K0UA on January 18, 2019, 10:09:41 AM
Yes, I think pileups are smaller.  I worked them on 80 with 100W and a 40' top loaded vertical, as expected.  
But then I worked them on 40 SSB with 100W to a 43' dipole up 30 feet with 140' of feedline.  Good op, otherwise
I wouldn't have bothered trying to do SSB.

Zak W1VT

I was pleased to break thru the first night pileups on 80 with an inverted L that is only 20 feet above ground at it's highest point - got lucky! Probably won't try any SSB at all unless I catch 'em booming in. BTW on 80 this morning the JA's were very strong.

What do you use for receive on 80?

Randy / WB9LUR

They don't have to be booming to work them on SSB.  I worked them on SSB when I could barely hear him and got him on the first call with my 100 watts.  They HAVE some ears. If you hear them well enough to understand the operator, go ahead and call them..


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: W1VT on January 18, 2019, 10:30:54 AM
I have an array of eight flag antennas feeding a null cancelling box with RG-6 coax. They are strung between trees to cover every 45 degrees.  Cheap but effective. 

Zak W1VT


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: VK3HJ on January 18, 2019, 03:49:46 PM

They don't have to be booming to work them on SSB.  I worked them on SSB when I could barely hear him and got him on the first call with my 100 watts.  They HAVE some ears. If you hear them well enough to understand the operator, go ahead and call them..

I have not heard them on SSB at all!


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N2SR on January 19, 2019, 05:15:30 AM
Worked easily on my POS 160 antenna last night.   

Only bands I needed them was 160 and 80 (and 40 ssb).   Need on 12, but that's not going to happen.   



Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KJ3N on January 19, 2019, 06:37:17 AM
Two bands for SSB: 20m and 40m.
Three bands for RTTY: 20m, 30m, and 80m.
Three bands for FT8: 30m, 80m, and 160m.

Every time they've been on 80m SSB, I haven't been around. Nothing heard from them on any band higher than 20m.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: AE5X on January 19, 2019, 09:59:55 AM
Worked easily on my POS 160 antenna last night.   

Only bands I needed them was 160 and 80 (and 40 ssb).   Need on 12, but that's not going to happen.   



Easy copy right now on both 12 and 15m CW.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: W0BKR on January 19, 2019, 04:42:39 PM
Worked them barefoot on 40 SSB/CW and 75 CW with my old hybrid radio.  Real DX.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on January 20, 2019, 03:23:30 AM
9LY1JM is now QRT. Great ops.


Randy / WB9LUR


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: W1BR on January 20, 2019, 07:30:35 AM
160, 80, 40, 30, 20, 17 and 15 Meter CW. Usually a few calls and in the log.  Love CW.  :D :D They busted up my call in their log on 20 meter SSB.    Hate SSB.  >:(

Pete


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N4UFO on January 20, 2019, 09:02:40 AM
Yes, this one had my eyes popping almost every QSO... I only have 100 watts yet I managed to work them mostly on RTTY and without a lot of tries, sometimes just one or two calls! The one band I worked them on CW was the one that a guy might save to work them digital. Got them 160m RTTY, 80m SSB, 40, 15 & 12m RTTY and 17m CW. Only band I still needed them on was 10m, but unbelievably I heard them several times... just not quite enough prop to get back. (Also worked them 30m RTTY, but don't need that band.)

If there were an award for the DXpedition with the best ears, these guys would win it hands down! Thanks & congrats on a job well done! Safe travels home...


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KF0QS on January 20, 2019, 10:46:27 PM
They were good ops, at least as far as I could tell.

I do know that they busted my call on 40 CW.  Does anyone know if they're available to check and see if they've got me in the log on that band (I did get them on 80 and 20 CW)?  I know they had KF0Q but never did hear that last letter clearly, if they sent one at all.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N3QE on January 21, 2019, 05:32:25 AM
Did anyone else work them on Jan-10 in 22:00 hour, 30M RTTY, and is also not showing up in the online log?


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on January 21, 2019, 06:04:15 AM
They were good ops, at least as far as I could tell.

I do know that they busted my call on 40 CW.  Does anyone know if they're available to check and see if they've got me in the log on that band (I did get them on 80 and 20 CW)?  I know they had KF0Q but never did hear that last letter clearly, if they sent one at all.

You can check your call here:

https://secure.clublog.org/charts/?c=9ly1jm

Your 80/20 QSO is good  and if you search for the call KF0Q (without the last letter "S") a 40M QSO shows up - most likely your call busted. They did say that after the DXpedition was over they would deal with busted calls. More info is on their website at:

https://9l2019dx.wordpress.com/


I hope this helps.

Randy / WB9LUR


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: W0BKR on January 21, 2019, 07:43:42 AM
Great ops all around..enjoyed catching them on the lower bands barefoot on my old hybrid....


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KF0QS on January 21, 2019, 09:26:44 PM
Quote
Your 80/20 QSO is good  and if you search for the call KF0Q (without the last letter "S") a 40M QSO shows up - most likely your call busted. They did say that after the DXpedition was over they would deal with busted calls. More info is on their website at:

https://9l2019dx.wordpress.com/


I hope this helps.

Randy / WB9LUR

Yes it does.  I'll bet the KF0Q QSO on 40 coincides with the time in my log.

Thanks, Randy.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KD0PO on February 01, 2019, 08:37:41 AM
any idea when OQRS might be turned on??

Ray


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on February 01, 2019, 08:59:54 AM
any idea when OQRS might be turned on??

Ray

As I understood it - they planned on turning OQRS on after they finished checking/fixing log issues. I did ask one of the pilots earlier today if that was still the plan - and when I hear back - I will update.

Randy / WB9LUR


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KD0PO on February 01, 2019, 01:38:10 PM
any idea when OQRS might be turned on??

Ray

As I understood it - they planned on turning OQRS on after they finished checking/fixing log issues. I did ask one of the pilots earlier today if that was still the plan - and when I hear back - I will update.

Randy / WB9LUR

thanks Randy

73, Ray


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: K3NRX on February 01, 2019, 04:45:54 PM
Nothing on LOTW yet either....

V
K3NRX



Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N4UFO on February 01, 2019, 07:22:05 PM
Nothing on LOTW yet either....

"LoTW upload will be done after log corrections within 3 month after coming back."

The OQRS will be turned on after a "log checK" and it sounds like the LoTW will wait until after everyone has written in for busted call fixes, etc.

My question is will they do uploads sooner for those submitting for OQRS.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: AC4GW on February 02, 2019, 01:49:32 PM
My 9LY1JM qso's just posted on LOTW!


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N5CM on February 02, 2019, 02:04:51 PM
My 9LY1JM qso's just posted on LOTW!

Same here  ;D ;D


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on February 02, 2019, 02:52:24 PM
Yes - they are posted on LOTW (all five band fills that I made are now confirmed) but the OQRS (for paper cards) does not appear to have been activated? They hadn't planned on uploading to LOTW for three months - I wonder what changed their mind?


Randy / WB9LUR


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: ZL1BBW on February 02, 2019, 03:48:18 PM
Just got this on LOTW


Next
    Call sign   Worked   Date/Time   Band   Mode   Freq   QSL
Details   ZL1BBW   9LY1JM   2019-01-15 08:15:10   40M   CW      SIERRA LEONE

Extra happy a ATNO and another one closer to the 100 on 40.

Cheers   Gavin


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WO7R on February 02, 2019, 04:17:47 PM
Quote
I wonder what changed their mind?

I don't know, you'd have to ask them.

What I do know, from my own minor DXpeditioning, is that if you do LOTW reasonably promptly at the end or during the expedition, it cuts the card volume down by half.

I have read reports from larger DXpeditions that when they do their uploads in six months or a year or whatever their cut-off is, that is the day incoming QSL cards essentially cease.

So, it's a trade-off between whatever you think you are going to get for QSL money / post Expedition contributions and reducing the QSLing burden.  How and why they made the trade-off they did is their decision.

And, my experience, at least, is that most of the cards come in the first 30 to 60 days whatever scheme you use.

But nobody expects QSL money to come remotely close to paying for the expedition anyway.  It's welcome income and (as I recall) it was enough for FT5ZM to make up for a funding shortfall when they left port.  But it will not fund the expedition however it is done, that's for sure.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WB9LUR on February 02, 2019, 04:35:59 PM
Quote
I wonder what changed their mind?

I don't know, you'd have to ask them.


It was a well run DXpedition and even though I have the LOTW, I'm still going to donate some $ for the paper card.


BTW Mr. WO7R - congratulations on the 5B WAZ!


Randy / WB9LUR


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: N4UFO on February 02, 2019, 07:59:43 PM
[ it sounds like the LoTW will wait until after everyone has written in for busted call fixes, etc.

SO glad I got this one wrong!!!  :D


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WO7R on February 02, 2019, 08:53:13 PM
Quote
BTW Mr. WO7R - congratulations on the 5B WAZ!

Thanks!!


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KD0PO on February 04, 2019, 09:11:14 AM
Clublog OQRS is now turned on

Ray


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KF0QS on February 04, 2019, 09:13:22 AM
My busted call QSO showed up in LOTW even though they hadn't responded to my email requesting a busted call fix (I got them on 80 and 20, but my 40 meter QSO was only listed under KF0Q).  

This was an ATNO for me, so I'm happy.

I am still going to donate money to get a paper card, and I always like to reward a well-run Dxpedition.  In any event, I (as someone licensed since 1968) still love getting the cards, particularly the ones from exotic locations.  It's one of the many things that makes ham radio so much fun!


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KJ4Z on February 04, 2019, 12:02:35 PM
In any event, I (as someone licensed since 1968) still love getting the cards, particularly the ones from exotic locations.  It's one of the many things that makes ham radio so much fun!

Have you noticed "QSL escalation" over the years?  I recently went back through my QSLs and it struck me how, back in the 90s, the QSLs were typically very basic and a photo card was the exception.  Now it seems like even Joe Schmoe has a full-color photo card of his station, but not me.  I've still got approximately 900 of my 2-color cards from 2000 waiting to go out.  I thought they were pretty nice at the time, but they look almost antique now.

(https://i.imgur.com/Wr50gbWl.jpg)

This was entirely typical of the period.  And this one came through the diplomatic mail bag.  Kinda cool.  I'm pretty sure 9LY1JM's will be a lot fancier.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: KF0QS on February 04, 2019, 10:07:29 PM
Yeah, the big DXpeditions typically have cards with about four sides and a lot of neat photos.  I enjoy them in all shapes and sizes, but I confess to really enjoying those multiple sided cards from the DXpeditions.


Title: RE: 9LY1JM Sierra Leone DXpedition
Post by: WO7R on February 05, 2019, 06:49:14 AM
Simply put, the trend (if there is one) towards full color, double-sided cards exists primarily on the DX side of it.

I have ample evidence from my minor DXpeditioning that simple cards of the sort shown above dominate from sources like US stations and the Japanese, to name but two.  This is especially true of "buro" mailings.  It's even true of my stateside buro incoming cards.

We must not let what we receive confuse us about what is actually going on out there.

Speaking as a sometimes (minor) DXpeditioner, I would rather receive a simple legible card of the sort shown above than some fancy, full color card with a cramped QSO area.  My in-basket has long suggested many if not most hams understand this.

Now, on that rare days I do DXpedition, I do prefer to hand out pretty cards when I am the DX.  I order from the professional card makers.  But, my stateside cards, which have high return rates, are much simpler and (above all) lighter weight.  I make them myself.  I use what the US calls "67 pound vellum" which is about 145 grams per square meter.  This gives me about 15 cards to the ounce.  Conventional, full color cards are only about 10 to the ounce.  Given Newington's outgoing fee structure, the typical professional cards are expensive to mail.