P29 team good to go!

 

As you know by now my favoured daily direction for the antenna is the Far East and Pacific so when I heard of some UK participation in a forth coming operation to various Islands around Papua New Guinea, then I needed to know more. The main party will start their trip to P29 on the 22nd October and the group includes as mentioned above Gordon G3USR, Derek G3KHZ, David M0VTG, Hans SM6CVX & Louis CT1AGF, several of them being CDXC Members. The intended Islands for activation are Tanga (OC-102), Green (OC-231) and Woodlark (OC-205) Islands and the DXpedition call signs: P29VCX, P29VLR and P29NI. Most of the operators are seasoned Amateurs with previous experience on trips such as St. Brandon, Montserrat, Ascension, Trobriand, Witu, Tauu, Nukumanu Islands and also The Shiant Isles. WoodlarkbeachIt’s also great to hear that a less experienced amateur is also on the trip in an opportunity to gain valuable experience for future endeavours as well as helping out on air when and where needed.

Woodlark Island, known to its inhabitants simply as Woodlark or Muyuw, is an island in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. It is called Murua by the inhabitants of some other islands in the province. Muyuw language, one of the Kilivila-Louisiades languages and therefore part of the Austronesian language family, is spoken on the island. The wider Woodlark Islands group also consists of Madau and Nusam to the west, Nubara to the east, and the Marshall Bennett group to the southwest.

The Green Islands are a small group of islands in Papua New Guinea. They are located about 200 km (124 mi) east of Rabal on New Britain and about 200 km (124 mi) northwest of Bougainville. Politically, the Green islands are part of Bougainville Province (also known as North Solomon’s Province).Nissan is the largest island of the group. Other islands include: Pinipel, Sau, Barahun and Sirot.

The Tanga Islands Green_islandsare an island group in Papua New Guinea, located northeast of New Ireland and part of the Bismarck Archipelago. The islands are the remnants of a stratovolcano which collapsed to form a caldera. Lif (283 m), Tefa (155 m), and Malendok (472 m) islands are on the caldera rim, while Bitlik and Bitbok islands are lava domes constructed near the center of the caldera.

The overall aim of this trip is to give as many stations as possible a 'new one' by a contact with P29. However, depending how propagation favours them, geographic priorities will be the UK, Western Europe and Central & East Coast North America. West Coast USA and Japan will be asked to stand-by as and when time, propagation and other circumstances dictate. The overall QSO target is 15,000 QSOs............

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International Reply Coupons - a reminder!

 

IRC_newThe current International Reply Coupons expire at the end of 2009. This isn’t new news but a reminder is always helpful. Postage can be costly and despite expecting ‘ham spirit’ in the hobby, you can guarantee some of the unscrupulous ‘colleagues’ will try and offload any expired coupons they have, on the unsuspecting Manager to whom they send them. For those of you who have not been involved with using these ‘IRC’s’ in the past, let me try and describe a little more about them.

The IRC is a postal product which is exchangeable for one or more postage stamps. The stamps would be to the value of the minimum postage for an ordinary priority letter for most post-mail items or, for an ordinary air-mail letter sent abroad. IRC’s were first issued in 1907 and 2.2 million coupons are used each year for various aspects.beijing2 The main users seem to be of course us, the  Radio Amateurs who exchange Qsl cards and also Students. Students use them for exchanging correspondence with regards to their academic studies between the Universities and other teaching/learning institutions.

The current issue (called the ‘Beijing 2’ - Photo: Right) can be exchanged up to the 31st December 2009 but will cease to be sold from the 31st August 2009. The new IRC (called the ‘Nairobi’ model - Photo top left) went on sale on the 1st July 2009 and is valid for exchange until 31ST December 2013.

So, to summarise - take steps and try to get rid of all your 'Beijing 2' International Reply Coupons asap and in any event certainly before the end of the year. If you don't, then you could end up seriously out of pocket!

73 de Charles

Good views of International Space Station...

 

Discovery_take_offIn the air again, the Space Shuttle Discovery took off last week for a mission to re-supply the International Space Station (ISS).

The Space Shuttle Discovery docked with the International Space Station at 7:54 p.m. 30th august 2009 delivering more than seven tons of cargo and a new crew member to the International Space Station and its Expedition 20 crew.

Both were clearly visible from the UK and almost now in completion, the ISS looked brighter than ever with the Space Shuttle Discovery a little further behind as it approached for docking. The passes on Saturday night were also good although the second not lasting too long here in Northern England.

At 2.26pm Tuesday 8th and after delivering 7.5 tons of scientific equipment, food and other supplies for use by the station crew, the shuttle was returning home with 2.5 tons of specimens, K800_ISS_High_Resused equipment and trash. The Leonardo multi-purpose logistics module contains 2,412 pounds of return cargo, and the used ammonia tank assembly and European Technology Exposure Facility account for another 1,950 pounds in the unpressurized cargo bay. Discovery’s middeck also is carrying 861 pounds of cargo home to Earth. Space shuttle Discovery and its crew of seven astronauts ended a 14-day journey of more than 5.7 million miles with an 5:53 p.m. PDT landing Friday at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The mission, designated STS-128, delivered two refrigerator-sized science racks to the International Space Station. One rack will be used to conduct experiments on materials such as metals, glasses and ceramics. The results from these experiments could lead to the development of better materials on Earth. The other rack will be used for fluid physics research. Understanding how fluids react in microgravity could lead to improved designs for fuel tanks, water systems and other fluid-based systems.

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First GFF Awards issued...

 

I am please to announce that the first GFF Awards have now been dispatched. Along with several thousand Qsl Cards, the IMAG1457Awards arrived from the Printer yesterday. Late last night the first 8 of the certificates were completed, (2 x level III Bronze, 2 x level II Silver and 4 x level I  Gold Awards). The first applicant for all 3 levels was Gino - ON3SSB, (Photo left) well done!!

News • WFF Award Committee announced this week that it’s 600th award in WFF series had been issued. More than 50% of these awards were a direct result of being applied for via the EW4DX LogSearch system. More than 20 DXCC Countries had also applied for the various WFF 100 HR Plaques and 100% of these had applied via the LogSearch system.

WFF LogSearch service (http://ew4dx.org/WFFsearch.html) started on April 1st 2009 by Igor EW4DX. Now, through the LogSearch system it is possible to create an Award Certificate request (GCR list & email) within 1-2 minutes without difficulty. As well as being able to apply for the WFF awards or WFF HR Plaques, you can now also claim ‘domestic’ FF Awards this way including CTFF, IFF, RFF and of course us in GFF! (more to be added with available time).

What the system does is to continually upload logs from WFF Dxpedition areas and teststores them. All you have to do is to enter your (or any) callsign into the system and within seconds it will tell you how many areas you have worked (and/or are verified). It produces them in the form of an excel sheet which is seen in the example here to the right. GCR2The smaller table (to the right of them both) actually informs you of which Award you have currently achieved and is displayed in ‘red’. If you wish to claim the Award then all you have to do is to click on the ‘red’ coloured text and it will produce the standard ‘GCR List’ leaving you nothing to do. If that wasn’t good enough, at the same time it sends a copy of the GCR list to the appropriate Award Manager which informs him of the pending application. All you have to do is to make the appropriate payment. ‘Where do I find out how much they cost?’ you are asking! Well, at the same time as the Award Manager GFF_Logois sent a GCR List, you yourself will receive the same GCR list in your email box and in the message, all the details of cost and who/how you need to make your payment to – ‘simples’ as the ‘Meerkats’ say!

At present time the EW4DX service has more than 500 WFF eLogs from all continents of the world, and the total number of contacts are in excess of 800.000 QSO's. Well done Igor, keep up the FB work!

Try your callsign in the LogSearch just click here, you may be surprised! For further information on WFF, see the side bar Menu for 'World Flora Fauna' and if its the UK you're after (GFF) then again, see the sidebar Menu. Any questions contact me using the above information.


73 de Charles.....

An Ulsterman on the air in Chile

 

Though I now live in Chile I was born and grew up in Northern Ireland.  What follows is how an Ulsterman comes to be living K800_DSCN0061in Chile and operating as CE2WZ (Photo left of home QTH & TET antenna).

My interest in radio began in the 1960’s when I discovered the switch on my parents’ Murphy radio which changed the band from MW to SW and heard Radio Switzerland with the news in English.  Shortly afterwards I acquired a communications receiver and began to DX broadcast stations.  I built up a collection of QSL cards which I still have from such exotic locations as Iraq, Indonesia and Vietnam.  I listened avidly to such programmes as the Happy Station on Radio Nederland (see image directlt below).  Each week I purchased the Irish Press for its weekly DX column and scanned the pages of Practical Wireless for its shortwave DX tips.  I was never much of a radio constructor but when Iwas about 16 my parents bought me a Phillips electronics kit from which it was possible to make small radios, amplifiers and other electronic gadgets using the components which were held on the board by spring clips.  My experiences with the soldering iron have not been so successful. In 1969 on completing my degree Scan0003at Cardiff I went out on a three year tour to Zambia.  I was posted to a bush school 100 miles from the nearest tarred road.  Here the radio became essential as a means of keeping in touch with Britain and the world.  I bought an Eddystone radio in Lusaka and listened to the BBC World Service as well as Radio RSA, the Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation and of course LM Radio – the Radio Luxemburg of Southern Africa.  In 1973 I moved to Northern Nigeria and spent the next six years working in education in Sokoto State.  That’s where I fell through a roof rigging a television aerial so that we could receive television from North Africa when the local Scan0004television transmitter went off the air.  A month in hospital with a broken pelvis taught me to avoid going up on roofs to erect antennas. So far I had only been a radio listener.  However in 1980 I changed continents and went off to Santiago to head up the language department in a British school in the Chilean capital.  Here was a new world of radio with Bolivian, Peruvian and Colombian stations on the tropical bands.  I also picked up QSL cards from them.  Soon after my arrival in Chile I got married to Linda, a Chilean girl (Photo below left), and persuaded her that she would enjoy becoming a radio amateur.  Love is a wonderful thing and together we went off to the Radio Club de Chile where we attended the courses and both passed our novice and general class licences.  I became CE3EYN and she was CE3EYO.....

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Sunspots (or lack of!) ...& DX

Whats unusual about the current Sunspot Cycle is that we have now seen more than 750 days where there have been no Sunspots at all. Some suggested this lack of Sunspots could even go to someway in explaining Global Warming. Solar_FlareThey also suggested that the strength in the Magnetic Field of the Sunspots was decreasing with time and that they may even completely vanish by 2015! The research into the gathered data and experiments made the scientists ask what was different between this Solar Cycle and previous ones. The results and information gathered is truly fascinating and for detailed account of this, check out this article featured in ‘EOS’. It will either please you – or not as the case may be!

Click here for the full Sunspot article

As you are aware like many others out there, I am very active on HF and most days I am qrv in one mode or another. I like to dabble on SSB, CW and RTTY. Conditions are generally poor but despite all the stories you hear, equinoxprom_eitthe DX is still out there, you just need patience to find it. DX Cluster is a good tool in seeing how busy the Bands are but lack of activity on there does not necessarily mean that the bands are closed. Conditions can also be strange and which part of the UK you are in can also play a big factor in what you can hear and/or work.

Take today for example. 17M sounded very busy on SSB and because of that i decided to try RTTY and put a call out on 17M ‘’CQ JA & Far East’’ (my favourite beam heading!). After working one guy in Italy and one hour later, that was it not a cracker. Not being deterred I switched to 20M and again chose RTTY as my mode of operation.......

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Welcome to my new Site!


Hi to all and thanks for viewing my new and improved website. It’s taken a lot of work to prepare this and having been nagged over the last few years to produce a 'proper website' then I hope this meets your requirements! I must say a big thanks to the guys for the help: Oliver MW0JRX, Tim M0URX and Anthony MW0JZE who have worked tirelessly to make this event a reality.m0oxo_2009

For those of you visiting my site for the first time, please check out the Menu to the left and also the sub-menu's within the main categories for loads of stuff mainly Amateur Radio orientated but not always! About me personally - well i am approaching the 'big 50' pretty soon and i am already retired, somewhat earlier than anticipated. I served 22 years as a South Yorkshire Police Officer before finishing through a serious back injury. I spend my time at home now enjoying this hobby to the max (and more according to my Wife!) and loving every minute. Within the hobby I am very active on the HF Bands and within my intrests are various programmes i enjoy. I am a representative for WFF World Flora Fauna and the founder member of the 'UK & Ireland Flora Fauna' Group. K800_wfflogoThis is very interesting to me and allows me to become portable now and again from Nature Reserves and National Parks within the UK as an 'activator'. I also enjoy the 'chase' too and seem to be doing OK with several of the Awards available claimed, the UK & Ireland Flora Fauna (GFF) Award being the latest.I also enjoy the activities of the DCI (Italian Castles Award), Lighthouse chasing and also IOTA which is my main passion. I enjoy the odd Contest too working under various groups such as the SCC (Strictly Contest Club), SRT (Strange Radio Team), the OCC (OXO Contest Club) and of course as M0OXO_2mentioned above MC0SHL (Strumble Head Contest & DX Group). I find that being a Member of several teams allows diversity and when one group doesn't offer the interests of one particular goal then another more than likely will! A lot more information about these items can be find if you have a browse through the new site which i hope you find of interest.

Also keeping me busy at home these days is being the UK (anywhere really!) representative for Gennady at 'UX5UO Qsl Card Printing'. Again this is another topic that you will find on the sidebar Menu of the new website. If you are looking for competitive Qsl Card prices feel free to contact me for samples without any obligation whatsoever.

This new site will offer many of the old pages in a newer format plus a lot of new stuff such as a 'Log Search' facility (for any of the Call signs I have used) and also a 'QSL Request Form' which should simplify matters rather than receiving an odd email usually without all relevant details. Also included will the DXpedition pages showing my Island activities around the UK with Ramsey Island, Wales being the most recent trip undertakenK800_OXO_Sign

The ‘Log Search’ facility that I touched on earlier will also be an added bonus on this site. Eventually I will have a full list of the call signs I use (or have used in the past) from various events and activities and all will be uploaded to Log Search. Once a call sign is entered it will search each and every Log within the system and give an immediate readout of all the stations you have worked with all the relevant band and mode data, a very useful tool for you for sure. It will also include logs for all the stations I manage too. This however will only be as up to date as the frequency that the logs have been sent to me by the managed stations.

Anyway there we go, nothing more to be said except again a big thanks to the lads at MC0SHL for their efforts and of course you, for taking the time to call in and view the new site. Many of the features listed may not immediately show much as it will take several months to get up to date so please be patient and allow a bit extra time for me to work on the site.

I hope everything will meet your approval so please don’t be shy and remember, sign the Guestbook, your comments are very much appreciated and welcome!

Thanks and kindest regards,

Charles MØOXO

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