CQWW SSB looms, V55A make their debut....


v55a_logo_k2CQWW SSB is upon us this weekend and with the increased band activity now the higher bands are open, it promises to be an amazing weekend with lots of new DX.

One of the new Teams out this year are V55A in Namibia. It is their first outing this weekend and we all hope that all goes well for them. They will also have a logbook on-line courtesy of our favourite Clublog.

Also active with be Thomas and Fabio as PW2D and also Andre PY2MTV may make an appreance from home. Listen out for the guys and if you hear them please give them your support. GL guys!

(click the logo to the left for the V55A Log Search)

(Qsl for all above via M0OXO)

GB2HI Hilbre Island EU-120 ''The second coming''


By Kevin M0TNX (GB2HI);

''Wow!!
A massive “thanks!” to all the stations we worked this weekend, we decided to pull the plug an hour earlier than expected, we wanted to play radio with our own calls for a bit, and get some reports without the help of the GB2HI call. Here’s the story of GB2HI, October 2011.

As soon as we had finished operating in May, I knew I wanted to get back to Hilbre, not just because of the radio, but because of the sheer beauty of the place, it’s location both radio wise and ecologically. GB2HI was a green operation mart1this time, with the whole operation being run from a wind turbine on the Island. I had started preparing for Hilbre a couple of months ago, I knew from speaking with previous activators from 10 years ago that the Island had never had 160M activation, so being both a 160 and CW nut, I wanted to have a go! Preparations had gone really well, Martin and I had practised putting the 40 foot vertical section up, we had cut the antenna and tried it, all was good. The sunspots were going ballistic and we knew that we were going to have some success. Hilbre this time was determined to make us work for the contacts! Before I go any further, I would like to pass on a huge message of thanks to a few people who made a huge difference, without the help of these people, GB2HI was going to be a non-starter. Lee, G0DBE and his eldest lad, young Lee saved the day once again, more about this later, Ronnie G4DIY, for the loan of the radials and help and advice that is second to none, and last but not least, Keith, G3SZU, cucumber cool, knowledgable and always there when chips are down. Radio wise or not.

I had everything waiting at home, ready for Mart to pick me up when I received a call from Jo Hanick, the senior warden at Wirral Country Park explaining that there was no power available on Hilbre, could we use a generator.. This through me into a bit of an “ARRRRRGGGHHHH!!!” moment, as a) I had no generator, and B) the cost of the fuel along with other bits bought for Hilbre would push me over the edge financially.. For 10 minutes I had seriously thought of pulling the plug on the operation. First person I rang was Lee, G0DBE who kindly offered the loan of his 5KvA generator, and fuel can. I was sort of there, but how would we fit the genny, fuel cans and other bits in the car? Lee’s generosity came into play again when he offered to take the genny for us and pick it up. We got underway on time and arrived at the pick up point to find that Jo had managed to get an Electrician on to Hilbre to sort out the power problem, which took the pressure off, Green Hilbre was still go!
The Lee’s jumped in the Land Rover with us, as we were driven over with Matt, the Warden on duty to Hilbre. Matt is fantastic with his wildlife knowledge, and pointed out the various waders and wildfowl that we couldn’t pick up on. The Lee’s helped us get the mast started, and then had to leave as the tide was turning and they had to leave with Matt.
As the tide came in, it brought a weather front with it, blowing a hoolie, we struggled with the mast, Mart has got a picture on his phone of the mast bent at almost 90 degrees, I was struggling to hold the thing up. radialsWe worked under real pressure and managed after about an hour and a half to get the thing up straight! Changing winds however meant several re jigs of the 40 foot monster!

click here to read more...

Read more: GB2HI Hilbre Island EU-120 ''The second coming''

Comet Storm in a Nearby Star System


comet









NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected signs of icy bodies raining down in an alien solar system. The downpour resembles our own solar system several billion years ago during a period known as the "Late Heavy Bombardment," which may have brought water and other life-forming ingredients to Earth.


During the Late Heavy Bombardment, comets and other frosty objects from the outer solar system pummeled the inner planets. The barrage scarred our Moon and produced large amounts of dust.

Scientists have spotted a band of dust around Eta Corvi that strongly matches the contents of an obliterated giant comet, probably destroyed by a collision with a planet or some other large body. The dust is located close enough to Eta Corvi that Earth-like worlds could exist in the collision zone, suggesting that planets like our own might be involved. The Eta Corvi system is approximately one billion years old, which researchers think is about the right age for such a hailstorm.

A second, more massive ring of colder dust located at the far edge of the Eta Corvi system seems like the proper environment for a reservoir of cometary bodies. This bright ring, discovered in 2005, matches the size of a similar region in our own solar system, known as the Kuiper Belt, where icy and rocky leftovers from planet formation linger. The comets of Eta Corvi and the Almahata Sitta meteorite may have each originated in the Kuiper Belts of their respective star systems.

About 4 billion years ago, not long after our solar system formed, scientists think the Kuiper Belt was disturbed by a migration of Jupiter and Saturn. This jarring shift in the solar system's gravitational balance scattered the icy bodies in the Kuiper Belt, flinging the vast majority into interstellar space and producing cold dust in the belt. Some Kuiper Belt objects, however, were set on inward paths that crossed the orbits of Earth and other rocky planets.

Thailand Floods - HF Operators requested......


article-2047832-0E50777300000578-598_634x388QST, to all Radio Amateurs
15 October 2011


World-wide HF operators are kindly requested to QSY away from 7.060-7.063 at all times due to use by Thailand hams during the massive flood emergency affecting millions of people in North and Central Thailand.

Today, the emergency is on-going with huge areas flooded of from a half to two meters of water, some areas are deeper and a few spotty areas are mostly dry in the region.

News estimates say that the flooding will continue for four to six more days, at its height, and subsidence will be over a month. Clean-up and rebuilding may extend more than a year. The majority of flood radio traffic is being carried on the two meter band by scores of ham volunteers, some of which have had their own homes inundated. It is impossible to estimate how many ham radio operators'
shacks are now affected, but the significant flooding covers huge swaths of the region as seen on http://www.neighborhoodlink.com/Rural_Training_Center-Thailand/pages.

The Thai National Club Station, HS0AC, home of the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand, is threatened tomorrow and is under watch. Timely updates can be seen at http://www.qsl.net/rast in English.

Reported by HS0ZCW, Charly

More Qsl Cards out this week......


K800_IMGQsl cards processed and ready for Bureau:


GB1HI - 321
GB1TAN - 290
GR2HQ -
330

M0BZH - 8
PX2C - 32
PYMTV - 35
PW2D - 52
G3SZU - 27
M0OXO - 249
GB0WFF - 177

Rockall 2012 - Postponed....


rockallFrom Col MM0NDX;

Much has happened since the first press release was issued on August 27th. A few days later, we got word that the 2009 MM0RAI/p Rockall team were again going to attempt an activation of EU-189 at the end of September. To cut a long story short, IOTA chasers will be aware that the Belgian team did eventually activate the island, with the aide of a converted navy rescue vessel and large inflatables – we congratulate MM0RAI/p on their achievenment as we all know how heavy the seas can be out there in Autumn.

With careful consideration and much deliberation, we have decided to postpone our intended activation of the islet for at least one year. This decision was not taken easily considering our planning and organisational aspects were going extremely well. Suffice to say, we believe an activation so soon after the Belgian effort now makes Rockall a less attractive target – that is the crux of our decision.

It is not lost on us that the majority of the world, outwith a proportion of Europe, still require EU-189 for their IOTA scores. With that in mind, this planned activity will not be cancelled, only postponed.

All donations will be refunded. We thank sincerely those kind operators and groups who pledged financial support.

What we can say is that another excellent location/target is now being organised. This involves a rare DXCC and IOTA. However, unlike MS0INT 2012 plans, we prefer to keep silent on this, and only release news and website one week before departure, sometime in mid-2012.

icqpodcast - easy listening to Ham Radio topics...


A great way of listening to current Ham Radio news. It includes local and national topics in a formal 'chat' atmosphere and also provides a propagation report.

Its great to improve your knowledge of Ham Radio and gives you the info in basic terms and well explained topics. Give it a try whether in your Shack or on your Ipod/Mobile Fone.


Click the image for a link to the icqpodcast website and then select the 'Latest Podcast' on the left side.
ICQPodcast_WebBanner

T32C – Christmas Island DXpedition by FSDXA - Update....


T32C_logoHere is the latest news from the T32C eam via their Publicity Manager Don Field;

We have now been operating for four days and have passed the 50,000 QSO milestone. There is still almost 3 weeks to go, so those who are still needing us on various bands and modes have many opportunities still to come. This bulletin is by way of a summary of what has been done and what is planned.

Bear in mind that this has turned out to be something of an unplanned Field Day style operation, and we now have no expectations of our container of equipment arriving while we are here on Christmas Island. Instead, the team hand carried just over one metric tonne of equipment (poles, cables, radio gear, computers, etc) to the island. We are extremely grateful to all those who loaned equipment at short notice to help enable the expedition to take place and be successful. Inevitably we have had teething problems, as we have a variety of amplifiers, Microham routers, etc. where we would, ideally, like to have standard equipment and interfaces. Fortunately the transceivers are consistent as Yaesu came to our rescue with the loan of ten FT-450D radios at very short notice.

Antenna-wise, we have two-element vertical dipole arrays by the sea for 20 through 10, quarter-wave verticals with elevated radials for 30 and 40, a quarter wave vertical with ground radials for 80 and a 15m high T antenna with ground radials for 160. We also have two Beverage receive antennas for 160 and now have additional vertical dipoles for 10, 15 and 20 to allow us to retask the low band stations as second stations on those bands when LF is closed. We are continually refining our antenna systems within the limits of the wire, poles and coax that we have here, though the second tranche of operators who arrive in a week’s time will bring more.

click here to read more....

Read more: T32C – Christmas Island DXpedition by FSDXA - Update....

DX Code of Conduct Update - October 2011


19We have made encouraging progress on almost every front. Over 20,700 hams have visited our site and there is strong representation from hams in countries all around the world. One of our main objectives was to have this be a true international movement.

Take a look at the Flag Counter on our main page and click on it to see more statistics. You may be surprised to see how much support there has been from some countries where the number of supporters is well out of proportion to their population. This is due mostly to small number of hams in those countries who have dedicated themselves to spreading the word about the merits of improving behavior among their compatriots. You can do the same within your country too.

Another feature that shows this also is the rotating globe from Revolver Maps. This shows previous log-ins but will also highlight your QTH when you are at the page. Click on the globe for more detail. The support of DXpeditions has been very encouraging.

Of course, those operators are the major beneficiaries of ethical operating behavior. I have been listening to T32C and 3D2R and the pileups seem quite well-controlled compared with stories I heard about ST0R. That said, I would like someday to understand why, when the DX station asks, "M0?" someone whose call is K4XXX continues to call. There is no way the DX can hear him if he is listening to someone else!

Take a look at www.T32C.com where we are featured on the main page and on http://www.t32c.com/How_to_Work_T32C That kind of prominent notice does a great job in telling DXers that the DXpedition thinks the Code is important and that DXers need to adhere to the Code to better their chances for a contact. Almost every DXpedition is showing their support with a logo and a link. A major thrust for 2011 that you can help with is to get the support of your country's national society. The new page http://dx-code.org/national.html shows societies like RSGB and DARC that are pushing the project in their countries. There are others that are listed, although a few have supported us in the past but I cannot now find a link.

Please take a minute to think about how you can get your country's society to support the project, put the logo up at their website, tell their members about it, perhaps through an article in your society's magazine or newsletter. You can also help by putting the logo on your webpage and on your QSL card the next time you print some. We'd like our logo to be EVERYWHERE so that it will be impossible to miss and so every ham will learn about it.

On behalf of our Committee, I would like to thank you for the hundreds of e-mails I have received expressing the support of the Code project. You can feel good about the worldwide enthusiasm for a project with such high ethical goals. Keep spreading the word.

73, Randy W6SJ

3D2R in the log for M0OXO DXCC 300!!


Rotuma_from_space23D2R operators very loud on 20M CW this morning. I was pleased to make the 'trip' there for DXCC 300!

Rotuma
is a Fijian dependency consisting of Rotuma Island and nearby islets. The island group is home to a small but unique indigenous ethnic group which constitutes a recognizable minority within the population of Fiji, known as "Rotumans". Its population at the 2007 census was 2,002, although many Rotumans live on mainland Fijian islands, totaling 10,000.

These volcanic islands are located at 12°30′42″S 177°51′9″E, 646 kilometres (Suva to Ahau) north of Fiji. Rotuma Island itself is 13 kilometres long and 4 kilometres wide, with a land area of approximately 43 square kilometres. The island is bisected into a larger eastern part, and a western peninsula, by a low narrow isthmus only 230 meters wide, the location of Motusa village (Itu'ti'u district). North of the isthmus is Maka Bay, and in the south Hopmafau Bay. The bays are full of coral reefs, through which there are boat passages.
logo

The Strange Attraction of Gale Crater


Mars_CuriosityCuriosity is about to go to Mars. 

The car-sized rover, also known as the Mars Science Lab, is scheduled for launch in late November or early December 2011 from the Kennedy Space Center.  After an eight-month voyage to Mars, Curiosity will land at the foot of a 3 mile high mountain in a crater named "Gale."

It sounds a little odd—a mountain in the middle of an impact crater. Wouldn't the impact have smashed it flat? Some scientists believe the 96 mile wide crater filled in with sediments over time and relentless Martian winds carved a mountain in the center, where it now stands nearly three times higher than the Grand Canyon is deep.

Because of its history, this strangely sculpted mountain is the ideal place for Curiosity to conduct its mission of exploration into the Red Planet's past.
Today the Red Planet is a radiation-drenched, bitterly cold, bleak world. Enormous dust storms explode across the barren landscape and darken Martian skies for months at a time. But data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter suggest that Mars once hosted vast lakes and flowing rivers. As seasoned travelers know, however, the journey is just as important as the destination. Curiosity can travel up to 150 meters per Mars day, but will stop often to gather and analyze samples. A high-resolution camera on the rover's mast will take pictures and movies of the scenery, taking Earthlings on an extraterrestrial sightseeing tour.

The Secret Lives of Solar Flares


Secret_FlareNASA-supported researchers say that solar flares have been keeping a secret. The new finding, reported in the Astrophysical Journal, suggests that explosions on the sun could affect Earth even more than previously thought.

152 years ago, a man (in England) named Richard Carrington discovered solar flares. It happened at 11:18 AM on the cloudless morning of Thursday, September 1st, 1859. Just as usual on every sunny day, the 33-year-old solar astronomer was busy in his private observatory, projecting an image of the sun onto a screen and sketching what he saw. On that particular morning, he traced the outlines of an enormous group of sunspots. Suddenly, before his eyes, two brilliant beads of white light appeared over the sunspots; they were so bright he could barely stand to look at the screen. It would not be the last. Since then, astronomers have recorded thousands of strong flares using instruments ranging from the simplest telescopes in backyard observatories to the most complex spectrometers on advanced spacecraft.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), launched in February 2010, made the finding:  About 1 in 7 flares experience an “aftershock.”  About ninety minutes after the flare dies down, it springs to life again, producing an extra surge of extreme ultraviolet radiation.

“We call it the ‘late phase flare,’” say NASA “The energy in the late phase can exceed the energy of the primary flare by as much as a factor of four.”

What causes the late phase? Solar flares happen when the magnetic fields of sunspots erupt—a process called “magnetic reconnection.”  The late phase is thought to result when some of the sunspot’s magnetic loops re-form. A diagram prepared by team member Rachel Hock of the University of Colorado shows how it works.

The extra energy from the late phase can have a big effect on Earth. Extreme ultraviolet wavelengths are particularly good at heating and ionizing Earth’s upper atmosphere. When our planet’s atmosphere is heated by extreme UV radiation, it puffs up, accelerating the decay of low-orbiting satellites.  Furthermore, the ionizing action of extreme UV can bend radio signals and disrupt the normal operation of GPS.

M0OXO On-Line Qsl Request System (OQRS) goes 'live'.....


OQRS_launched

I am pleased to announce that the new OQRS (Online QSL Request System) has gone 'live' today (18th Sept. 2011).

This should simplify things a lot and make requesting bureau and direct cards very easy for anyone to use. You,(as the user) will be able to go into the system after the request and you will see the status of not only the current request, but all the cards you have previously requested since the service began.

If you decide that you want the card Direct, then the facility allows you to request the card, pay for it in a variety of ways (via Paypal) and then you send your card via the bureau as normal. The requested Direct card will be with you in a very short and timely manner. Bureau requests are of course at no cost but the card will reach you in half of the time the bureau usually takes.

As mentioned above, there is of course a small charge for the Direct card which has to be made due to cost of postage, envelope and media etc but this is kept to a very minimum to make it easier on you. I can accommodate up to 20 qso’s on one card but to do this it would completely obliterate all of the necessary information on the card you require for your awards etc etc. I would suggest that 8 qso’s on a card is enough and then the card design, image and information is still legible but that’s a matter for you????

Please take a look at the system and see how it works but PLEASE, if you have already sent a card via the bureau then please do not send another request, email me to discuss the options.

73 es GL (feedback always welcome!), Charles

Kepler Discovers a Planet with Two Suns


kepplerThe existence of a world with a double sunset, as portrayed in the film Star Wars more than 30 years ago, is now scientific fact. NASA's Kepler mission has made the first unambiguous detection of a circumbinary planet -- a planet orbiting two stars -- 200 light-years from Earth.

Unlike Star Wars’ Tatooine, the planet is cold, gaseous and not thought to harbor life, but its discovery demonstrates the diversity of planets in our galaxy. Previous research has hinted at the existence of circumbinary planets, but clear confirmation proved elusive. Kepler detected such a planet, known as Kepler-16b, by observing transits, where the brightness of a parent star dims from the planet crossing in front of it. Scientists detected the new planet in the Kepler-16 system, a pair of orbiting stars that eclipse each other from our vantage point on Earth. When the smaller star partially blocks the larger star, a primary eclipse occurs, and a secondary eclipse occurs when the smaller star is occulted, or completely blocked, by the larger star.


This discovery confirms that Kepler-16b is an inhospitable, cold world about the size of Saturn and thought to be made up of about half rock and half gas. The parent stars are smaller than our sun. One is 69 percent the mass of the sun and the other only 20 percent. Kepler-16b orbits around both stars every 229 days, similar to Venus’ 225-day orbit, but lies outside the system’s habitable zone, where liquid water could exist on the surface, because the stars are cooler than our sun.

http://kepler.nasa.gov/Mission/discoveries/kepler16b/

Strumblehead boys in 4W6A...(Day 16 Update / QRT)


4W6A-400x65



cid_11092011339Well finally, several of our StrumbleHead DX Group start their journeys to Timor Leste today for the 4W6A Dxpedition on Aturo Island. Here is the final press release from Tim M0URX as they left the UK. I will keep this blog updated as and when I hear from them so please call in again and find this entry as I add more to it throughout the next three weeks. Scroll to bottom for latest updates

GOOD LUCK to all the Team, lets hope all goes well and it's a tremendous success, have a safe journey to all!

DAY 1 REPORT
So what route will I be taking to get to Timor-Leste? After a two hour coach trip to London, Heathrow Airport, there is a seventeen hour flight to Darwin, NT, Australia Via Singapore. I will be traveling with Ant, MW0JZE. In Darwin we will meet up with VK8NSB, Stuie, (Team leader) VK8DX, Oliver & VK2IA Bernd, The following day we fly to Dili, Timor-Leste where we have some work to do gathering supplies, generators need to be picked up and checked, fuel, food, water all needs to be bought.

The bulk of the equipment, including the linear amplifiers, the Titanex V160E vertical, Hexbeam and other antennas, left Darwin, Australia, on 6 September. It has all arrived safely in Dili, Timor-Leste, and is now awaiting the arrival of the team next week.

9M6DXX and 9M6XRO leave Malaysia on 12 September for a transit stop in Bali, from where they plan to be active 'holiday style' as YB9/G4JVG and YB9/GM3OOK respectively. Unfortunately, due to a late change of airline timetable, they will not now arrive in Dili before the afternoon of Friday 16 September. The chartered boat taking the team and the equipment to Atauro Island has therefore been rescheduled to later that afternoon.4W6A-400x65

It is likely that only one or two stations will be on the air that day as the team will run out of daylight before all the antennas can be erected. The remainder of the antenna work will commence at first light the following morning (approximately 2115UTC on 16 September) and 4W6A should be fully operational by the morning (UTC) of 17 September.

4W6A will be QRV on all bands 10 to 160 metres, using CW, SSB and RTTY with up to four stations simultaneously. It is hoped that log search will be available, thanks to the Clublog facility (go to www.4w6a.com/qsl-information/log-search), but this is dependent on a reliable Internet connection being available on the island. Col, MM0NDX, is the pilot for 4W6A and is responsible for providing feedback to the team. He may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The QSL manager is M0URX, direct (SAE plus 1 IRC / $2), via the bureau, or LoTW. The entire log will be uploaded to LoTW as quickly as possible after the end of the operation or, if possible, also during the DXpedition. Direct or bureau QSLs may also be requested using the M0URX Online QSL Request Service (OQRS) at http://m0urx.com/oqrs (there is also a link from the 4W6A website at www.4w6a.com/qsl-information).


DAY 3 - REPORT

K800_13092011351Well after the heads up from the rest of the Strumblehead Team, Rob, Chris and I managed to worked both of the guys down in Darwin. Tim was signing VK8/M0URX and Ant VK8/MW0JZE. Sig around 1300UTC were poor with heavy Qsb but an hour later and after a frequency shift they peaked 5/8 with me which also gave Ants wife Laura the opportunity to get thro from her home station, great job!

Here is the latest report
from Tim 1400UTC 13th September);

After a long journey to Darwin Northern Territories Australia taking two days the plane finally touched down at 4.30am local time. Waiting for us at arrivals was Stuie, VK8NSB. We have spent most of the day acclimatising and making sure that we have no jet lag and have done this by staying awake all day and trying to keeping busy.

Stuie has shown us around Darwin today which we have really enjoyed.

This evening we met up with Oliver VK8DX we all had lunch together before retuning to the shack to finish off preparing the K3s and K2 for the RTTY and CW operators of the trip. Having had very little sleep in 40 hours, we are off to bed, catch you all tomorrow. Thanks also for all the guys that called in from the UK, EU and AS, great to have your support on the trip!
K800_14092011371

Weather is baking hot as you would expect and we have purchased our hats (see photo) for our trip to Aturo Island in a few days.

Thanks also for all the guys that called in from the UK, EU and AS, great to have your support on the trip!






73 from/OBO Team 4W6A (M0URX)


DAY 5 - REPORT

Bernd, VK2IA, arrived from Sydney on Wednesday afternoon in Darwin. With 5 members of the team now at Stuie's house we had a meal and talked about the work ahead of us over the next 12 days. It had to be an early night for all of us as we needed to be awake at 3am to leave Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia for a 0545 hrs local time flight with Air North to Dili, East Timor. It was in the departure lounge that the team met with the Timor-Leste, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao our team leader VK8NSB Stuie had the chance to inform the Prime Minister of our DXpedition to Atauro Island. The team had a group photograph with the Prime Minister before boarding our flight.

The team were met at the Dili International Airport by Kim & Tony our local support team and driven to the Dili Hotel where the team members had various pre DXpedition shopping and logistics matters to deal with. The final two K800_part_4W6Amembers of the team are still in Bali, Indonesia prior to leaving for Dili on Friday. We had a meeting with Kim & Tony to discuss all the duties that we would need them to assist us with in getting the fuel over to the Island daily for the generators along with supplies for the team. The Hexbeam was delivered to the hotel, and the generators have been checked over for collection later.



DAY 6 - REPORT

Well the guys a little too busy today to give us any feedback, understandably they need to crack on with things at their side. I the meantime just a little addition to say that all is well and team arrived safely on Aturo Island. They have been very busy setting up and managed to get one station on the air around 10.45 UTC when they appeared on 21295.00. Signals were very good and gave a full 4 1/2 hours where the signals were 57 to 58 with me in Yorkshire (on my Hexbeam (MW0JZE build!). Tim, Steve and Ant were operating and had a huge pile-up resulting in a 5-20kc split at times. Tim and Oliver are concentrating on getting the Hexbeams up and we expect another update later today when they have time.

Well done guys, keep it up, a good start!

4W6A-400x65

DAY 8 - REPORT


We have just received some news from Col, MM0NDX, the pilot station.

The team have lost one of the generators (possible breakdown) so they are limited with what they do at the minute. They are also hoping to get to the internet cafe to upload logs and get any news back to us here in the UK.


We will advise when more is forthcoming.

The first logs from 4W6A are now on line at http://www.4w6a.com/qsl-information/log-search.html

 

DAY 9 REPORT (.....troubles in Paradise Cry )


The guys had troubles with the 20M station yesterday evening with several reports of very bad audio. The Pilot tried to make contact but without initial success. We hope now the situation is sorted. Here are a few lines from yesterday which try to explain yesterdays events and dont forget to check the Logsearch (click here) although uploads may only be every few days due to local internet and access issues;

''The main reason why contacts have been a little slow is that we had a malfunction with a transceiver, particulary on RTTY & SSB. We are now running without back up.

Due to a power failure not all the logs synchronised all QSO's logged for the upload. They are all showing on the network but did not all download. This will be rectified on next download/upload
.
''

Currently the team are experiencing difficulties on the 75/80M band from a yet unknown source. They will be back on 80M tonight (19th),or earlier if the issue is resolved, looking to work North America. Also, the generator issues are still hampering the team, so limited stations are the order.

As mentioned above, even now at 1530UTC there is still an issue with uploads to the 4W6A DXpedition log, there are qso's missing, but this DOES NOT mean you are NOT in the log. Hopefully, the problem will be resolved soon, but if in any doubt, please work 4W6A again. The team are working hard to get these jobs sorted but those of you who have been on these trips will realise how difficult it can be when you are in a foreign place without the comforts of home, please be patient!


4W6A-400x65




DAY 10 - REPORT


The problems the team had with the audio on the 20M station rig was finally resolved yesterday. A chat with a team member said that it was in fact an issue with one of the K3's but after a full reset to 'factory defaults' it seemed to cure the problem. Up to yesterday evening (19th September) the team had logged just short of 15,000 qso's - Great job!!!

Further from the team (1030am UTC);

Next log upload in few hours. Partial log uploads only, due to generator issues. Feel free to work them again if you wish to confirm the band slots. The Internet is so unreliable, almost to the point of unuseable.

They will be QRV on 80 and 160 tonight for EU but still a very high noise level on 80, moreso than 160 which at this stage cannot be resolved.

Many thanks to everyone for their kind words and support in the last few days of problems.



DAY 11 - REPORT

From Atauro;
Conditions continue to be good, though perhaps not quite as spectacularly good as on 16 and 17 September. As of 1130UTC today, 20 September, 4W6A has made approximately 18.5k QSOs.

We are aware that approximately 1000 CW QSOs made on the morning of 18 September on 20m and 30m are missing from the online log on Clublog. We hope to include these QSOs in future log uploads, but to be absolutely certain of a 'good QSO' you are invited to make another contact if you cannot find your call in our online log.

Last night was the first night without any local noise on 160m, and over 250 QSOs were made on topband to North America, including some East Coast contacts, to Europe as far west as the British Isles, and to Japan.  We should be on 160m each night now until 25 September.

We have received some reports of poor modulation quality on one of our SSB stations. We appreciate the feedback: the problem has now been solved. It would seem that the audio settings of one of the K3 transceivers had mysteriously changed in transit and we have now reverted to the factory default settings


4W6A-400x65

DAY 14 - REPORT


IMPORTANT UPDATE.... PLEASE READ.

This message was recieved from the Team yesterday as major problems were still being made as more qso's were uploaded. Yesterday for example, the 12M qso's from the previous day were all OK in the Logsearch. After the next upload however later in the day, most of the 12m Qso's were overwritten and NONE showed in the log.
PLEASE be patient. They guys are aware of the problem and the Pilot has hundreds of emails complaining about missing qso's. We have problems even contacting the team so as you can imagine, ammending logs is not possible at all at the moment. We understand that the main log is fine and the fault is with the partial updating. The full logs will be updated as soon as they have a stable internet connection and then we expect all the issues to be resolved;



'''16:36 UTC 23/09/2011
IMPORTANT UPDATE.... PLEASE READ.


It would again appear a problem with uploading logs from the jungle has taken place. We are attempting to establish comms with the team to ascertain exactly what the problem is, but for the moment we suggest all ops with "missing QSO data" keep details of your contact(s). As soon as we clarify the issue, the 4W6A website will be updated. '''



DAY 15 - REPORT

Initial reports saying 4W6A QRT at 0200UTC today were incorrect. They have 40,200 QSO's logged at 1500z.
Most of the antennas are now done with just 12 and 15m dipoles remaining with one station.
Internet problems have plagued the team the past few days so next log upload will be completed when they arrive in Dili tomorrow.


DAY 16 - REPORT


LOG NOW FULLY UPLOADED.
The team of 4W6A have left Atauro, and are spending two days sampling the atmosphere and culture in the City of Dili. Two members are on their way home, John, 9M6XRO, and Steve, 9M6DXX.
The final log for 4W6A is online via this website, please be wary that until a stable connection is available, that some data may not be apparent.

The QSL requests are flooding in, and the comments received are wonderful, the dxpedition has been received amazingly well
especially some of the teams 160M operation. Hopefully soon, we will be able to post some pictures from Atauro, to give you a chance to see where the team operated from.



73 from/OBO Team 4W6A


4W6A-400x65







Sunspot Breakthrough


Sunspot_breakthrough

Imagine forecasting a hurricane in Miami weeks before the storm was even a swirl of clouds off the coast of Africa—or predicting a tornado in Kansas from the flutter of a butterfly's wing in Texas. These are the kind of forecasts meteorologists can only dream about.

Could the dream come true? A new study by Stanford researchers suggests that such forecasts may one day be possible—not on Earth, but on the sun.

"We have learned to detect sunspots before they are visible to the human eye," says Stathis Ilonidis, a PhD student at Stanford University. "This could lead to significant advances in space weather forecasting."

Sunspots are the "butterfly's wings" of solar storms. Visible to the human eye as dark blemishes on the solar disk, sunspots are the starting points of explosive flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that sometimes hit our planet 93 million miles away. Consequences range from Northern Lights to radio blackouts to power outages.

In the 19th August issue of Science, it was announced that they can see some sunspots while they are still submerged.

Submerged sunspots have a detectable effect on the sun's inner acoustics—namely, sound waves travel faster through a sunspot than through the surrounding plasma. A big sunspot can leapfrog an acoustic wave by 12 to 16 seconds. "By measuring these time differences, we can find the hidden sunspot."

The report says the technique seems to be most sensitive to sunspots located about 60,000 km beneath the sun’s surface. The team isn't sure why that is "the magic distance," but it's a good distance because it gives them as much as two days advance notice that a spot is about to reach the surface.

Propagation better or new Antenna working well?......


K800_SNV35058Well after around 10 days of testing the new antenna, there seems to have been some nice DX worked on the higher bands but is this due to an improvement in band conditions or is it the new antenna thats working better than the last?

The G3TXQ Hexbeam (by MW0JZE) was erected two weeks ago as a replacement for the 2 element SteppIR that  I have had for around 4 years.

The SteppIR was a first class antenna, no doubt about it but after months of pondering I decided to downsize to the Hexbeam. Of course I was worried about loss of performance as with a small garden and a small station, every 's' point was critical. (See below for the DX worked in the last few days with the Hex @ M0OXO).

The build quality of the Hex was amazing (thanks Ant!) and all high quality materials used, even the Wife liked it (well 'liked' may be a wrong choice of word hi) but she was happy! If you are interested in this antenna then click the foto for a link to the MW0JZE information page but in the mean time here's what you get for your money ;

What you Get

  • Heavy duty centre hub
  • Heavy duty fibreglass centre post
  • Heavy duty fibreglass spreader set with wire element fixings
  • Six wire elements for 20, 17, 15, 12, 10 and 6M

Here's a sample of the DX worked on 12, 15 & 17 metres, (20m pretty much similar with more JA and HL's)


12M
: VK6RO, XU7ACY, T6MB, T6MO, JA4FHE, P29CW, DU3/0QM, BU2AQ, 5R8UO, KH2/N2NL,
15M : KH2/WM1D, P29FR, BI7SI, 8J7HOPE, 8N1WHALE/1, XX9LT, XE2X, ZL4RUGBY, DT0DWAC, D9A
17M : PQ8XB, ZL1BYZ, WH6R, AH6V, 8N1WHALE/1, ZL6RWC, D9A

So, I know how they got in the logbook but as to why, well make up your own mind, Antenna and/or Propagation - You decide!
......(for what it's worth my money is on the Hex....Go Anthony ..Go Anthony lol)

Any Questions?....email either of us (click below) ;


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Improvement in band condx or a well performing antenna?...


K800_SNV35058Well the first 10 days with the new antenna have been great. Trying various bands and modes as seen a remarkable increase in the DX since the G3TXQ Hexbeam (by MW0JZE) was erected.

The antenna was installed as a replacement for the 2 element SteppIR. I was'nt sure how it would perform as the SteppIR was just amazing. Its difficult to compare unless they are tested ide by side but at this stage I have no complaints whatsoever about the Hexbeam (good job Ant!) and I am not missing the SteppIR at all which is a big surprise. Here is a selection of the DX worked over the last few days on 12 and 15m.

12M ; VK6RO, XU7ACY, T6MO, T6MB, JA4FHE, P29CW, DU3/N0QM, BU2AQ, 5R8UO, KH2/N2NL
15M ; KH2/WM1D, P29FR, BI7LSI, 8J7HOPE, 8N1WHALE/1, JAPAN (30+)  HL (15), ZL4RUGBY, XX9LT
(Many more worked on 17 and 20, these are just a selection)

Whatever the reason, the antenna or propagation, let's hope it continues or a little longer!





NASA Moon Mission in Final Preparations for September Launch


RAILNASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission to study the moon is in final launch preparations for a scheduled Sept. 8 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

GRAIL's twin spacecraft are tasked for a nine-month mission to explore Earth's nearest neighbor in unprecedented detail. They will determine the structure of the lunar interior from crust to core and advance our understanding of the thermal evolution of the moon.

The spacecraft twins, GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B, will fly aboard a Delta II rocket launched from Florida. The twins' circuitous route to lunar orbit will take 3.5 months and cover approximately 2.6 million miles (4.2 million kilometers) for GRAIL-A, and 2.7 million miles (4.3 million kilometers) for GRAIL-B.

In lunar orbit, the spacecraft will transmit radio signals precisely defining the distance between them. Regional gravitational differences on the moon are expected to expand and contract that distance.

GRAIL scientists will use these accurate measurements to define the moon's gravity field. The data will allow mission scientists to understand what goes on below the surface of our natural satellite.

The launch will also be streamed live, with a chat available, on http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2 .

MØOXO...Back on air with new Antenna....


K800_SNV35056Good to be back on air today after just short of 12 weeks semi-qrt.

I took a few months off to catch up with some important jobs at home and concentrated on Qsl Managing with no radio at all. I had the break at Holy Island of course and that was all, last qso before today being 21st May 2011.

I also managed to get the new antenna sorted last weekend. I erected the G3TXQ Hexbeam built and supplied by Anthony MW0JZE ( at http://www.g3txq-hexbeam.com/ ). I have no doubt the antenna will perform very well as I have used it many times before and this of course prompted my purchase.

K800_SNV35053The standard and quality of the antenna and parts was second to none and I have no doubt it will prove a wise decision to change to it.

For further info on the antenna see the link above or contact me if you need any further information or have further questions.



Solar Storm engulfs Earth......


stormFor the first time, a spacecraft far from Earth has turned and watched a solar storm engulf our planet.

The movie, released today during a NASA press conference, has galvanized solar physicists, who say it could lead to important advances in space weather forecasting.

CMEs are billion-ton clouds of solar plasma launched by the same explosions that spark solar flares.When they sweep past our planet, they can cause auroras, radiation storms, and in extreme cases power outages.  Tracking these clouds and predicting their arrival is an important part of space weather forecasting.

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