DX101X Corrections and Additions
Except for manuals already shipped to Ham Stores, all of the below comments, additions, subtractions, errors are included in the manuals as shipped. We print on demand.
The ARRL DXCC Desk is pleased to announce the addition of St Barthelemy (FJ) to the DXCC List, making the island entity number 338 with an effective date of 14 December, 2007. Cards with contacts Dated December 14, 2007 or after will be accepted for DXCC credit. New card submissions for St Barthelemy will not be accepted until January 1, 2008 in order to allow time for administrative Adjustments.
Chapter 2, Paragraph 2-28 Cleaning aluminum tubing change to read:
aluminum tubing, an antenna guru recommends the use of #0 steel wool, along with
dishwashing detergent. First wet the aluminum tubing with water and wet the
steel wool. Add a small amount of dishwashing detergent to the steel wool and
then scrub the aluminum. Rinse out the steel wool periodically with water. Then
add more dishwashing detergent to the steel wool and clean again. Rinse off the
aluminum tubing periodically. Other methods are Scotch Bright, vinegar
and baking soda, wet and dry emery cloth - 600 grit, Cameo Aluminum Cleaner.
After cleaning a piece of aluminum tubing, rinse it thoroughly with clean water
and then dry it off with a clean rag. Unless you totally disassemble and clean
the traps, never attempt to clean the outer aluminum shells of antenna traps as
water and steel wool fragments can enter the traps causing shorts and excessive
trap moisture content. Another suggestion is to clear coat the assembled
antenna with clear spray paint. This also goes for the antenna connections as
well. Tape them well with scotch 88 electrical tape and then clear coat the
assembly. The paint seals the aluminum from the elements and seals any tiny
holes that may be in the wrapping job.
When assembling any aluminum antenna, put a thin layer of
based-based anti-seize compound on all aluminum-to-aluminum joints. These are
Penetrox-A from the Burndy Corporation or another is Noalox. Never varnish any
antenna - the varnish penetrates into the joints and causes continuity problems.
Painting antennas for stealth can be done. Disassemble the antenna, apply paint,
then scrape away any paint where the aluminum makes an electrical connection.
When restoring an old antenna, consider replacing all the hardware (nuts &
bolts) with stainless steel.
Change, Add, Or Delete The following Prefixes In Appendix A10 And A11 - The Prefix List and DXCC Checklist
ITU prefix for Montenegro
Thursday, 17 May 2007
Since 11. Mai 2007 official ITU-Call prefixes:
4OA-4OZ Montenegro (Republic of)
a.. YTA-YTZ Serbia (Republic of)
b.. YUA-YUZ Serbia (Republic of)
Following Prefixes given back to ITU:
(Source: ITU - Operational Bulletin #885)
ADD THE FOLLOWING NEW BAND PLANS
POWER LIMITATIONS USA
At all times, transmitter power must be the minimum necessary to carry out
the desired communications. Unless otherwise noted, the maximum power output
is 1500 watts PEP. All classes are limited to 200 watts PEP in the 80, 40, and
15 meter Novice/Technician Plus subbands. Geographical power restrictions
apply to the 70 cm, 33 cm and 23 cm bands; see The
FCC Rule Book for details.
5-1. HF Thru 6M Frequency Allocations For USA Amateurs (See FCC Part 97 for VHF and up) - Effective 15 Dec 2006
General, Advanced, Amateur Extra licensees:
1.800-2.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, RTTY/Data
Novice and Technician Plus classes:
3.525-3.600 MHz: CW Only
3.525-3.600 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
3.800-4.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
3.525-3.600 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
3.700-4.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
Amateur Extra class:
3.500-3.600 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
3.600-4.000 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
The FCC has granted hams
secondary access on USB only to five discrete 2.8-kHz-wide channels. Amateurs
can not cause inference to and must accept interference from the Primary
Government users. The NTIA says that hams planning to operate on 60 meters
"must assure that their signal is transmitted on the channel center
frequency." This means that amateurs should set their carrier frequency
1.5 kHz lower than the channel center frequency.
General, Advanced and
Amateur Extra classes:
Amateur Tuning Frequency
5405 kHz (common US/UK)
Amateurs may use USB *only*
with a maximum effective radiated power (ERP) of 50 W. Radiated power must not
exceed the equivalent of 50 W PEP transmitter output power into an antenna
with a gain of 0 dBd. UK
report of 200 watts (23dBW) PEP
Using Morse, Telephony, RTTY, Data, Fax and SSTV.
Novice and Technician Plus classes:
7.025-7.125 MHz: CW Only
7.025-7.125 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
7.175-7.300 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
7.025-7.125 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
7.125-7.300 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
Amateur Extra class:
7.000-7.125 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
7.125-7.300 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
Note: Phone and Image modes are permitted between 7.075 and 7.100 MHz for
FCC licensed stations in ITU Regions 1 and 3 and by FCC licensed stations in
ITU Region 2 West of 130 degrees West longitude or south of 20 degrees North
latitude. See Section 97.307(f)(11).
Novice and Technician Plus licensees outside ITU Region 2 may use CW only
between 7.050 and 7.075 MHz. See Section 97.301(e).
These exemptions do not apply to stations in the continental US.
Maximum power, 200 watts PEP. Amateurs must avoid interference to the fixed service outside the US.
General, Advanced, Amateur Extra classes:
10.100-10.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
14.025-14.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
14.225-14.350 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
14.025-14.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
14.175-14.350 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
Amateur Extra class:
14.000-14.150 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
14.150-14.350 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
General, Advanced, Amateur Extra classes:
18.068-18.110 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
18.110-18.168 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
Novice and Technician Plus classes:
21.025-21.200 MHz: CW Only
21.025-21.200 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
21.275-21.450 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
21.025-21.200 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
21.225-21.450 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
Amateur Extra class:
21.000-21.200 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
21.200-21.450 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
General, Advanced, Amateur Extra classes:
24.890-24.930 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
24.930-24.990 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
Novice and Technician Plus classes:
28.000-28.300 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data--Maximum power 200 watts PEP
28.300-28.500 MHz: CW, Phone--Maximum power 200 watts PEP
General, Advanced, Amateur Extra classes:
28.000-28.300 MHz: CW, RTTY/Data
28.300-29.700 MHz: CW, Phone, Image
All Amateurs except Novices:
50.0-50.1 MHz: CW Only
50.1-54.0 MHz: CW, Phone, Image, MCW, RTTY/Data
A nice graph chart of Amateur Frequencies can be
found at URL:
The new 60 Meter band has characteristics similar to the 80 and 40 Meter bands.
Typical winter time
1] daytime, 9:00 am through 3:00 pm ... up to 300 miles
2] sunrise/sunset up to daytime ... up to 1000 miles
3] night ... up to 3000 miles
All Manuals -- add 2 new
DXCC Countries in Prefix Appendix and Appendix for DXCC Country Checklist
Montenegro YU/YT/YZ/4O (New Prefix To Be Determined) ITU 28, CQ 15 Effective June 28, 2006
Swains Island KH8, ITU 62, CQ 32 - Effective July 22, 2006
All Manuals -- add new DXCC Country in Prefix Appendix and Appendix for DXCC Country Checklist -- VP6D Ducie Island CQ Zone 32 - effective June 1, 2002
Chapter 2, Paragraph 2-18. Add
Band Stackable Registers. The newer solid state rigs use storage registers to allow ham band selection at the push of a button or by up or down buttons. The up button will take you to the next higher ham band or lower band with the down button. In some rigs, the register remembers the last tuned frequency on that band and certain settings – see your operating manual. On some rigs the ham band switching can be changed to 1 MHz steps – handy for SWL listening.
Power Level Control – On solid-state rigs, adjusts the power output from the maximum rated power output down to minimum – 5 watts on my Kenwood. So I am a QRP station at minimum power. When driving a linear – initially REDUCE power so as not to overdrive the linear even though you use ALC around the exciter-linear loop. Tune the linear, then increase the exciter power for the desired linear output, retuning the linear as necessary. See linears below. ALC is Automatic Level Control used for feedback from a linear amplifier back to the exciter to prevent overdriving. Note that some DXers DO NOT use ALC in the exciter-linear loop as it may change somewhat band to band.
Chapter 4, Paragraph 4-2. Add text reference. (3) The New Shortwave Propagation Handbook by Jacobs W3ASK, Cohen N4XX, and Rose K6GKU available from CQ Communications.
Chapter 4, Paragraph 4-3. All of these propagation prediction programs are based on a correlation between smoothed sunspot number (SSN – a 12-month running average) and monthly median ionospheric parameters. As such, the outputs of propagation prediction programs (usually MUF and signal strength) are statistical in nature – they are not absolutes. The reported values are median values, meaning that the reported MUF or signal strength should occur on at least half the days of the month. Since the model of the ionosphere in these programs is based on SSN, it or the equivalent smoothed 10.7cm solar flux should be used for best accuracy. Using the daily 10.7cm solar flux reported by WWV compromises prediction accuracy, as the ionosphere really does not react on a one-to-one basis to the small daily variations of the sun.
4, Paragraph 20
For example, from San Diego, California to South Africa – the Short Path bearing is 103 degrees (9,908 miles); the long path is 283 degrees (14,972 miles).
Chapter 4, Paragraph 4-10. For example at 14.100 MHz at the start of the hour, the United Nations beacon 4U1UN in Switzerland transmits for 10 seconds,
Chapter 2, Paragraph 2-26. When assembling any aluminum antenna, put a thin layer of based-based anti-seize compound on all aluminum to aluminum joints. These are Penetrox-A from the Burndy Corporation or another is Noalox. Never varnish any antenna - the varnish penetrates into the joints and causes continuity problems. Painting antennas for stealth can be done. Disassemble the antenna, apply paint, then scrape away any paint where the aluminum makes an electrical connection.
Chapter 2. Paragraph 2-34.
Rotors. Rotors are rated as to wind load, turning power, brake power, brake type, and bearing type. Needless to say, if buying used, don’t rely on the previous owner to have selected the right model. Check the rotor specs in view of the antenna to be turned - favoring the heavy-duty models if you expect to do a lot of contesting or rapid fire DXing. Use a high quality thrust bearing above the rotator. Rotors can suffer greatly during a contest - they may do more work in one contest than in several months of normal operation. Rotors which cover more than 360 degrees by allowing the antenna to move past the normal end-stops can be a real time saver.
Chapter 2, Paragraph 2-40
Coaxal Cable. DX and contest stations usually use coax as opposed to open wire feeders which have very low loss. Open-wire feeders require an antenna tuning unit to match the 50-ohm unbalanced output of the transmitter to the 600 ohm balanced open-wire feeders. It is difficult to construct an antenna tuning unit which can handle the power levels used at contest and Dxer’s stations. Open-wire feeders are also mechanically tricky, and need to be separated from other feeders and metal objects to perform properly.
You should be concerned with coax cable losses. Use the best coax that you can afford paying attention to the dB loss per 100 feet at the frequencies of operation. It's easy to test for losses and it should be done periodically to keep your station in top operating condition. Keep a note of the results and you can quickly determine if water has seeped into the coax or it has increased losses. Use a power meter, 50W dummy load, and a low power transmitter – 30 MHz is frequently specified in cable charts. Connect the 50W dummy load to the antenna end of the coax. Then adjust the transmitter for a measured 10W into the coax at the transmitter side, then move the power meter to the antenna end near the dummy load and measure the power arriving there.
Typical results for good coax are:
RF Input power to coax cable = 10W at 30 MHz
RF Output power from Heliax 100 feet of LDF4-50 = 9W
RF Output power from coax cable 100 feet of RG213/U = 7W
RF Output power from coax cable 100 feet of RG58A/U = 5W
Well now - does that make a good case for using the best coax??? And Heliax offers a solid outer conductor instead of a percentage of “braid” like RG213 with 90 or 95% braid.
But heliax is hard to handle and install, nevertheless, it is popular with the big guns. Also be aware of the coax power ratings. RG58 cable is rated at 300 to 400 watts at 30 MHz. But also be aware that coax power handling capabilities should be de-rated as the SWR goes up.
Chapter 5. Paragraph 5-14. When you discover a rare DX or medium rare DX station ragchewing, don’t insert a break unless the DX is asking for specific information that you can offer. There are probably 100+ others who would like to break in. For breaking into a domestic QSO or into a “common DX” QSO, use common courtesy, if the QSO is between two old friends talking more or less about personal items, breaking in is usually not welcome. If the QSO is interesting to you and you have something to offer, breaking in is common enough, just break and when acknowledged, ask if you can join the QSO. Often a question is posed that neither have the answer for, and a “break info” would be in order.
Chapter 5. Change to read: Lass Too – or calling with only the last two letters of your call may be against the FCC rules, never the less some operations take on this characteristic. But it has been suggested that as long as you ID within the rule time limits, it doesn't matter how you call, even with two letters, so long as it is not deceptive, of course. The problem is where a station only ID’s with their suffix, never getting the opportunity to give the full call within the time limit. But why not give your full call, followed by calls of “lass two” until the 10 minute rule applies???
Chapter 2. Paragraph
TRANSCEIVER OPERATING CONTROLS
Change to read:
Following are discussions of a modern transceiver’s operating controls in the way they are used in DXing. These are oriented around Kenwood’s nomenclature, for others, check your op manual for corresponding control names. For example AIP is IPO on a Yaseu. RIT is a CLARIFIER on a Yaseu.
Chapter 2. Paragraph 2-18. Change to read: FULL OR SEMI CW Break-In . In FULL (QSK) the transceiver is returned to the receive mode as soon as the key contacts open. Thus it is possible to hear if another station wants to break-in or hear any interference. In SEMI, return to receive is similar to FULL except a delay is introduced as determined by the DELAY control. Note however when using linears, modification may be required for fast response; see linears paragraph below. Transceivers vary considerably in their full break-in characteristics. Ten-Tec has a well-deserved reputation for superb QSK operation.
Chapter 2. Paragraph 2-26.
Although the triband trapped Yagi’s are very popular, monoband Yagis are essential if you want to be a big gun. Add: With the advent of computer-designed antennas, the newer trapless designs can rival a monobander. See “Publications” at URL: http://www.championradio.com/
Chapter 2. Paragraph 2-39. Add: In contesting setups, it is typical to have toroids on virtually EVERY cable connected to the computer and audio isolation transformers on audio cables connecting the computer soundcard and the rig.
Chapter 3. Paragraph 3-2. Add "Logger" and "BV6 QSL Label Generation" also "DX Packet Telnet On The Web".
Chapter 2. Paragraph 2-18. DUAL RECEIVE. Some of the more expensive rigs have Dual Receive capability; this is especially useful for contesting. Dual receive for contesting allows you to tune the second receiver in between CQ’s and pop a new contact when you find another guy calling CQ. Also, for rigs that can receive another band (TS950 receive same band only, FT-1000D receives same or another band) you can either pop someone calling CQ on another band if you don't violate a 10 minute stay on one band or 6 multiplier per hour rule). Also, you could check propagation on one band while you're working another. Lastly, you could use the second receiver in a DX pileup when the DX is operating split and follow where the last person worked was at - instead of having to shift A/B VFOs on a single receive rig and not have to keep punching the T-F button on Kenwood rigs like the 940 and others.
Chapter 2, Paragraph 2-21. Add:
Follow the manufacturers directions for dipping and loading
an amplifier, then to achieve a cooler running amplifier with a cleaner output,
once you have tuned for maximum output by dip and load, reduce the grid current,
by increasing the loading. Loading is increased by reducing the load
capacitance, this properly couples the RF to the antenna. This will reduce the
grid current considerably with a small drop in RF output power -
about 10 percent. The drop in RF output is a small price to pay for lower
grid current, which will greatly increase the life of the tube(s), especially
metal/ceramic type tubes. The drop in grid current should be somewhere in the
area of 30-50%, (i.e., full drive grid current of 200ma, can be reduced to
150-100ma.). If you turn the load control one direction and the RF output peaks
and the grid current remains high, turn the load control in the other direction
until the RF output drops slowly and the grid current drops quickly.
Some use the duty cycle method of tuning an amplifier; using a commercial pulser or cricket (Centaur Electronics and MFJ makes them), or a CW keyer set for 40-50wpm, this reduces component stress and overheating and excessive power supply loading.
Chapter 6, page 6-18. Add Libya - two green stamps and registered mail.
Chapter 2, Page 2-39. Add -- A favorite with some operators is to wire the two phones out of phase or use a switch to select either in phase or out of phase headphone operation. For some this makes copying high speed and low signal strength CW much easier. For more see “Hearing CW in Noise by Chuck MacCluer, W8MQV”. – see URL: www.nitehawk.com/rasmit/br_cpy.html
Some operators use stereo phones with a variety of filters in each earpiece to create a pseudo stereo effect. This uses a low cut filter in one earphone and a high cut filter in the other without phase reversal. Use a low-pass filter to one ear and a high-pass response to the other with the corner frequency of both filters being equal, e.g. 1000Hz. Then 1000Hz signals seem to be in the middle of your head with higher frequencies on one side and lower frequencies on the other. Experimentation is in order!
Chapter 2, Paragraph 2-18
FULL OR SEMI CW Break-In . In FULL (QSK) the transceiver is returned to the receive mode as soon as the key contacts open. Thus it is possible to hear if another station wants to break-in or hear any interference. In SEMI, return to receive is similar to FULL except a delay is introduced as determined by the DELAY control. Note however when using linears, modification may be required for fast response; see linears paragraph below. Transceivers vary considerably in their full break-in characteristics. Ten-Tec has a well-deserved reputation for superb QSK operation. While Dxing, with QSK, you can follow a DX-station much more closely and you can stop transmitting the instant you hear the DX-station start to transmit.
QSK operation (full break-in) in CW allows you to hear in between Morse dits and dahs, which is great for Net operation, contesting, and allows the other station to instantly break-in to alert you to slow down or wait for a bit. QSK operation is usually accomplished with silent electronic switching and is essential to high-rate CW operating, since you waste less time. A tip off is if somebody is trying to send at the same time you are. If your contest exchange isn't being received for some reason, you can immediately respond, rather than waiting until you have sent the entire exchange. High-speed traffic handling uses QSK for the same reasons. You can probably do without QSK for general DXing; it's certainly nice to have, though. But it can be difficult to be competitive as a CW contester without it.
Chapter 6, QSLing. Direct QSLing into Russia -- all letters sealed with transparent tape are supposed now to be "suspicious", especially stateside ones. Most of them come opened. Dollar bills do not come through, IRCs are OK. Dennis, RZ1AK.
Chapter 6, Paragraph 6-21. second paragraph two -- change
to read: The coupons are redeemable for postage stamps in any country, which is
a Member of the Universal Postal Union. Here is a list of countries who do not
accept IRCs: Abu Dhabi, Anguilla, Antigua, Netherlands Antilles, Bahamas,
Bahrain, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brunei, Cayman, China, C.I.S., Czech Rep., Dominican
Rep., Dominica, Falkland, Gilbert, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Korea North, Korea
South, Lebanon, Lesotho, Nepal, New Hebrides, Montserrat, Oman, Peru, Qatar,
Saudi Arabia, St.Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Swaziland,
Taiwan, Tonga, Hungary, Vatican City, Vietnam, Virgin Island, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
However, IRCs are sometimes accepted by hams in these countries, because they
can use them as return postage for their own letters.
Chapter 2, Paragraph 2-2. Add -- For some favorite transceivers of contesters and DXers – see Contest Archives http://www.contesting.com/FAQ/.
from the author, you may want to read rig comparisons/enhancements on the
Elecraft pages at URL: http://www.elecraft.com/
And eHam Reviews at URL:
Also see Sherwood / Drake R-4C www.sherweng.com/ham.html
And INRAD at URL: http://www.qth.com/INRAD/
Appendix A1, Paragraph A1-2, Step 2: Change to read
Chapter 8, Contesting, Add
Note that during a contest, unfamiliar reports are given 594345 is a serial number, 5906 is a zone – see contest rules at URL: http://home.online.no/~janalme/hammain.html
Chapter 6, last checklist item. Add:
____ Print Asia, Europe, Africa, South Atlantic Ocean, South Pacific Ocean, Caribbean, etc. as the last line in the address on some of the more obscure islands/countries.
Note that some of the French Islands such as Reunion Isle go VIA FRANCE. . Pitcairn Island should be addressed Pitcairn Island, South Pacific, Via New Zealand.
Chapter 5, Paragraph 5-8. Operating split, change to read:
2) Determine the pattern that the DX station is using for working the pileup. The DX may be tuning up in 2 kHz increments, so you want to transmit up a bit from the last successful caller. Or tail end by being right on the responding stations frequency and throw in your call as a tail-ender. If the DX station is tuning at random, best pick a clear frequency and stay there. But – catch this: Some DX stations with a very large pileup say I’m listening “up 5” when he is really listening ”up 10”. This method divides the callers into two groups - the SMART ones who know how to LISTEN, and the other ones, who don't. Guess which group usually gets to work the DX?
Chapter 2, Paragraph 2-26. Under Yagi Antennas, add: For protection during high winds, when you can tell which direction the winds are coming from, or a storm is approaching, point the element ends into the direction of the approaching winds. Wind load on the boom is minimal compared to 3 or more elements facing the wind.
Chapter 5, Working DX, Paragraph 5-11, Working Contests, add: Contacts made during a contest do count for awards. Send QSLs the same as you would for a DX contact including contest info such as the serial number. Contesters are good QSLers and DXCC entities such as Western Sahara, ZC4, and others quite often appear during a contest but otherwise may be infrequently heard.
Chapter 2. Paragraph 2-27, Vertical Antennas. Add: One vertical guru has this
to recommend for installing radials. Use anywhere from #12- to #16 stranded and
double coated house wire to resist breakage and corrosion. Users report having
these type of radials in the ground for up to 14 years and still in like new
condition. For “on the ground surface“ installation, tack
them down every 10 feet. Over time, the grass will grow over the radials and the
lawn mower blades will be well above the wires. For on the ground installation,
schemes are aluminum stake pins available at hardware stores, or with U-shaped
wire fasteners made out of old metal coat hangers. For ‘buried radials”,
installations use a lawn edger, roto-tiller, or a chain saw to create the
Studies have shown that radial effectiveness diminishes as
the radials are buried. Experiments on 160 meters have shown that radials in the
form of a counterpoise 15 feet above ground produces the best far field
strength, followed by a counterpoise 5 feet above ground, then radials on the
surface and then radials installed in the ground. Your results may vary
depending on ground conductivity.
The "chicken wire" approach could potentially cause some problems over time, if you use inexpensive material, as it will corrode ... also, joints between sections should be bonded well electrically, not just overlapped. Professional installations use copper mesh -- not galvanized chicken wire.
Glossary -- add : WFWL -- DXing term used when the validity of a DX station is in doubt. "Work First Worry Later"
Chapter 4. Change Pagargraph 4-21 to 4-22. The add new paragraph 4-21.
4-21. 6 METERS PROPAGATION
The six-meter band is called the “Magic Band” with good
reason, as it can be very unpredictable. This band like 10M can be very
exciting, using low power and reasonable antenna heights and even ground mounted
verticals. Excellent results can be obtained using a vertical dipole of wire
about 9 feet long, center fed with 50-ohm coax. Of course, beams at 20+ feet and
power can give better results but it is primarily a propagation game. The magic
band is subject to just about every propagation mode, tropospheric, sporadic E,
meteor scatter, Aurora Borealis, trans equatorial, backscatter, and the biggie -
F2. For tropospheric propagation see Paragraph 4-8.
Sporadic E propagation can occur any time but especially in the months of May through August. Double hop Sporadic E is not unusual between the east coast of the US and Europe. Multi - hop Sporadic E, that is three or more hops, is less common but allows fairly long haul contacts.
Sometimes called short skip, sporadic E propagation has
little relation to the solar cycle and occurs regardless of F-layer conditions.
It can provide single hop communication from 190 to 1400 miles and multiple-hop
opportunities of 2800 miles and more.
Meteor scatter is the reflecting of signals off the brief
ionized trail left by a falling meteor. These can last for up to a minute or
more on rare occasions, but more usually for fractions of a second. The
operating practice, ranges achieved etc. are the same as for two meters. Hams
will tape-record high speed CW and play it back at a lower speed to copy.
Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights is capable of
reflecting signals from the HF bands up to 70 cm. Six meter aurora tends to
differ from 2M in that the distortion of the received signal is usually less,
making copy that much easier. Interestingly, if the aurora is strong enough
sporadic-E develops which is known as Auroral-Es.
Trans Equatorial Propagation or TEP, seems peculiar to six
and two meters only, and is common for stations located in a band around the
tropics. For higher latitudes, contacts can be made over paths several thousand
miles in length between stations on either side of the equator particularly
around the months of March and October.
Backscatter is caused by a small portion of the radiated
signal being reflected or scattered back in the direction of the originating
station from the F2 layer or a sporadic E cloud. Signals tend to be weak and
watery, but are usually quite readable.
F2 Layer Skip. This is the most common long distance
propagation mode at HF and can also result in some tremendous DX openings on six
meters. Over the years observations have shown that for us in the higher
latitudes, when we are getting high MUF’s, the best months for 6M centers
around December. In the last part of 2001 and early 2002, the east coast of the
USA was routinely working into Europe, while west coast USA stations were
working into the Caribbean and sometimes into the Pacific and Japan.
In addition to the favorable months, check for high solar
activity which can result in propagation above what might be expected from the
MUF. A good source for checking openings is the DX Packet Clusters or just set
your receiver for scan mode around 50.110 MHz. Also monitoring 28.885 MHz will
find stations with six meter reports and requests for possible contacts.
During periods of high solar activity, the Solar Flux will
typically be in the two to three hundred region, sometimes greater. Good 6M
conditions are generally, but not always, associated with a high solar flux and
a low A index. That is a flux above say 180 units and an A index below 8 units.
The K index tends to give an indication of the direction of propagation.
Incidentally a high A index, say 30 upwards, would indicate the possibility of
an aurora. The higher the figure, the more likely an aurora will take place. The
famous aurora of the 13 March 1988 had an A index which peaked 175 units.
Another method of predicting an opening, is to monitor the MUF as it moves higher in frequency. Tuning a TV set to channel 2, or listening to utility station frequencies can discover 6M openings. And of course, the packet clusters, someone is always listening for 6M openings.
15, 2002, From Lee R. Wical, KH6BZF ex-K8HQR
page 2-2 para 2-2 third paragraph: add to ICOM list: ICOM-781!
page 3-4 para 3-7 add: contesting logging: add TR log, Also add: CT
page 3-6 para 3-10 add DXMon (http://www.benlo.com/dxmon. html)
page 4-13 para 4-15 underline of bold: NO BIG GUNS OR CONTESTING HERE!
page 4-14 para 4-19 third paragraph: CONTEST ARE NOT Allowed on this band either! (a matter of consistently)
5-12 The "OPERATING SPLIT" GRAPH I would reverse the picture of the
VFO A and VFO B to read increase in frequency as English is read, from left to
right, i.e., Engineering/drafting convention the lower freq. on the right on
left side and the higher freq. on the right-hand side).
Ed Note: Many books represent it as I have it in the book. AND turning my Kenwood Main dial clockwise makes the tuned frequency go up. Mox Nix ???
page 5-30 para 5-31, Freq. Usage: 7.075-7.100 Subband assigned to Insular Areas: Hawai'i, American Samoa, US Pacific Territorial Islands, Alaska and Puerto Rico and US Caribbean Territorial Islands.
page 5-32, 40 Meters insert the same above 7.075-7.100 with data modes assigned, as a courtesy, either side of this Insular Areas Subband.
page 6-13 para: 6-15 Somehow address Euro Dollars, their sending by Eu stations and their receipt, thereof. (I've been getting them, I'll just recycle them!)
page 6-14 Same by adding Euro dollars
page 6-15 para 6-17 add: 5. Euro Dollars
page 6-19 para 6-26 add: Euro Dollars to check list.
page 7-2 "FINDING DX" under para 5. add the "DXMON" free software program that searches all packet clusters! AGAIN: http:www.benlo.com/dxmon.html (A freeware) an excellent program.
page A1-9 Add "Ham Exams" (A self study/computer grading of the FCC pool questions. When one starts hitting 95%, they are ready to move onto an exam testing period/ session and/or move onto the next higher license examination.
page A1-6 Add For straight keys – see URL: http://www.mtechnologies.com/misc/keyadj.htm
Oct 21, 2002
Chapter 2 Equipment Page 2-25, Regarding elevated radials. Add "Consider one pair of radials routed in opposite directions. The currents in those two radials are out of phase and thus the fields cancel at a distance. If you elevate those radials high enough, the fields cancel before they encounter the ground and thus avoid a lot of ground loss. With the radials laying on the ground, the fields can't cancel before encountering the ground and thus there is a considerable amount of ground loss, so you need lots of radials to try to mimic a perfect conducting plane.
27, 2002 Appendix A10 or Appendix A14. Add VP6D Ducie Island (OC-182) (ITU Zone
63 CQ Zone 32) Lat -24.67 Long -124.8 W officially added to DXCC
list on June 1, 2002.
October 28, 2002. By constantly adding information to the important parts of the book, e.g., DXing, propagation, equipment, SWR, etc, the book went well over 2 pounds and was costing to much to ship. So after this date the following Appendices have been deleted in an effort to save book weight and reduce shipping costs. Also they were of limited interest. But all of these can all be found at the indicated URL's:
A1-8. Passing the code test -- see URL: http://ac6v.com/morseaids.htm#CWPASS
A1-9. Ham Exam Study Guides -- see URL: http://ac6v.com/help.htm#EXAMS
A1-10. Learning The Morse Code -- see URL: http://ac6v.com/morseaids.htm#Learn
A6 beacons --- now incorporated into Appendix A3 (as this was repeated information)
A-8. DX Clubs --- See URL: http://ac6v.com/clubs.htm (The URL's for these change frequently -- always updated on the web)
A9 DX On The Internet. Over 600 links. See URL: http://ac6v.com/dx.htm
A12. Amateur Radio Books. Just too many to list. See ARRL web site and google.com
Nov 2, 2002. Chapter 2, Paragraph 2-40. Add: For feeding cables into the house, folks have used vent pipes thru the house roof, dryer vent tubes into an exterior wall, and some construct plastic or metal boxes as feed-throughs complete with coax connectors on the exterior and interior of the house wall. Seal the ends to prevent bugs and critters from gaining an access point. Radio Shack used to sell a plastic wall feedthru with seals on either end.
Nov 3, 2002. Chapter 2. End Of Paragraph 2-25. Add Antenna Placements. Often asked is what effect is exhibited when antennas are close to one another ?? One expert advises, measure the antenna impedance with no other antennas around it. Then measure its impedance with other antennas in the vicinity. Any change in impedance indicates mutual coupling. For multiband antennas – this means impedance measurements on each band.
Nov 4, 2002. Chapter 6 add:
MAKE YOUR OWN QSL CARDS
AC6V's InkJet Card. Select an image (I used
PowerPoint, you can use PrintShop and import graphics), visit a paper supplier and choose heavy stock with the preferred
color. Get samples and see if they will go thru your printer. Print image on one
side. On the reverse side print the QSL data -- call, time, RST, etc. Print
several images per sheet. Trim to size with a paper cutter. This is OK for a few
cards, but will take you broke as inkjet cards take a lot of ink. For economical
quantity, take an inkjet master, then Xerox several on a sheet, cut to size.
Really best to Xerox them as inkjet will smear and run when wet. See sample
AC6V's Photo QSL Card. Use your 35mm Camera -- take your favorite photo -- Shack, Mug Shot, Local Attraction, etc. Have photo finisher run off 100 copies or so (try drugstore coupons). For callsign - use an Avery transparent label. For QSL data, use an Avery stick-on label, on the back of the photo. Print with ink-jet or laser. For AC6V's homemade card see Oceanside Harbor and the Star Of India at the bottom of the brag page, Sample at URL --- http://ac6v.com/brag.htm#QSL
Chapter 2, Under Yagi Antennas, Paragraph 2-26, add:
For cleaning aluminum tubing, an antenna guru recommends the use of #0 steel wool, along with dishwashing detergent. First wet the aluminum tubing with water and wet the steel wool. Add a small amount of dishwashing detergent to the steel wool and then scrub the aluminum. Rinse out the steel wool periodically with water. Then add more dishwashing detergent to the steel wool and clean again. Rinse off the aluminum tubing periodically. After cleaning a piece of aluminum tubing, rinse it thoroughly with clean water and then dry it off with a clean rag. When assembling an antenna after cleaning the aluminum, apply a very thin film of Penetrox-A anti-oxidant to all of the aluminum-to-aluminum connections. Unless you totally disassemble and clean the traps, never attempt to clean the outer aluminum shells of antenna traps as water and steel wool fragments can enter the traps causing shorts and excessive trap moisture content.
Chapter 2, Paragraph 2-37. Add
Proper grounding of equipment may solve some RFI problems, see PolyPhaser document at http://www.polyphaser.com/
There are several manufacturers that make kilowatt band pass filters for the output of your transmitter to reduce harmonic radiation. These typically offer up to 60 dB of attenuation. Placing two low pass filters in series, will in theory, yield 120dB, but in practice, it is more like 90 or 100dB. At these levels of attenuation, signals tend to go around the filters.
Radio Shack and others offer input filters for TV and FM sets. RF Parts offer RFI kits including toroids and chokes. For stereo, a 0.01 uF cap across speaker leads will bypass speaker coils. Be sure neighbors have high quality coax -- both cable and outdoor antenna leads. Replace old twin-lead TV antenna lead-ins with coax and transformers. Clean up TV antenna connections.
Be proactive in solving the interference issue. (caution: don't open any neighbor's equipment!) Provide the filters free and show them how they are installed at YOUR location and recommend they contact a service technician. Having a neighbor actually see that your house is interference free is a strong indicator that their house can also be free of interference, but with some additional effort.
Chapter 7. Add new DX Secret -- If a station is calling for a geographical area only (e.g., QRZ Europe only), wait it out. If the op slips and just sez QRZ -- pounce on them (they goofed). She/he didn't say Europe in that call, so fair game. If they question you – just say sorry I heard you call just QRZ. Works more times than not.
Appendix A1. ADJUSTING PADDLES AND STRAIGHT KEYS
Change URL to : For straight keys – see URL: http://www.mtechnologies.com/misc/keyadj.htm
Appendix A1. Character Spacing and Calculating Morse Code Speed
ADD di di
1 1 1 (3) = 6 elements
7-1. CALLING DX (NON-PILEUP OPERATION) Add new neat trick.
Rich KY6R reports
"I read your story about snagging YI1BGD. I heard him reply to someone
elses CQ, so I decided to call CQ 3 KC's up from that QSO, and he replied to my
CQ. He must have been tired of the pileups and instead made a few QSO's by
answering CQ's. That was the second time this happened to me, but the first time
I got a rare new one this way! I had been chasing him for weeks on 40 and 30 CW
during the gray line in January, and he was always about 559 at best with heavy
pileups. Anyway, this confirms that the most important ham "gear" is
your ears (and mind). Chapter 2. Add Paragraph 2-7. SUPERHETRODYNE RECEIVERS
Chapter 2. Add Paragraph 2-7. SUPERHETRODYNE RECEIVERS
Superheterodyne receivers reduce the incoming signal frequency by mixing in a signal from a local oscillator to produce an intermediate frequency (IF). Superhets have better performance because the components can be optimized for a single intermediate frequency, and take advantage of selectivity designs. Along with front end selectivity, the choice of 1st IF frequency determines rejection for signals at the image frequency. For double conversion superhets, the 1st IF selectivity, along with the 2nd IF selectivity determines the adjacent channel selectivity. All of the above are significant in determining adjacent channel blocking. More gain towards the front end is worse, and more selectivity towards the front end is better, in both cases, costs are reduced.
Triple conversion is not necessarily the best for any of the above, but it does add design flexibility. It can allow more practical (in price or availability) choices for bandpass tuning, less complex transceive functionality with a matching transmitter, common modules for multiple equipment design implementations, and perhaps allow lower cost components. (e.g., LC circuits as opposed to more expensive channel filters.)
Chapter 5, Working DX. Paragraph 5-33. Add to this paragraph as necessary
5-1. SIX METER DXING
6 meters is generally considered a VHF band as 30 to 300 MHz is defined as such. Six meters is a lot like 10M - low power and small antennas will work well when one has F-Layer skip or sporadic E. F-layer skip only occurs during the peak of the sunspot cycle when the solar flux is up toward 300 and the A and K are agreeable. Otherwise Sporadic E is more common and here in California one can work the North West part of the USA - Wyoming, Washington, Ore, Utah, ND, Nevada and as far back as Kansas. But on occasion we get multi hop E skip all over the USA and North America. Other propagation modes are Ground Wave, Aurora, tropo, backscatter and meteor scatter. There are also hybrids of these propagation types such as Auroral E’s, Sporadic E tied to F layer skip, and then there are extended tunnels that are made up of all of these propagation types. See URL: http://ac6v.com/propagation.htm
The best way to work 6M DX is to put the DX windows in memory - 50.125 National SSB Calling Frequency; 50.06-50.09 USA Beacons, 50.090 CW Calling Freq, 50.7 RTTY Calling Frequency, 50.110 DX Calling Frequency, 50.115 DXpeditions. Put these in memory -- then scan them with the squelch just engaged. A lot of 6M DX activity will come thru on the DX Calling frequency - 50.110. and the National SSB Calling Frequency 50.125. Or scan the entire SSB DX window - 50.100 to 50.200+. Also listen for US Beacons 50.06-50.09 MHz and International Beacons from 50.00 to 50.06 MHz see URL: :http://ac6v.com/beacons.htm Also see 6M calling frequencies above.
Another way is to monitor the DX packet cluster – 6M enthusiasts will scan the band periodically and post any domestic or DX activity. If the band is open -- it will appear on the clusters. But one can tune for hours, days, weeks and hear nothing but locals. If the solar flux gets to 300 or so -- the band may open to Europe for a few minutes or for California - Asia --- but this solar cycle it has been disappointing. 6M is the usually the only band that the DX packet clusters will spot US States – since openings are so rare. Typically they report grid squares as folks like to work all grid squares as well as states and DX when there. Your grid square can be found at QRZ.com. Mine is DM13ie. Also see URL: http://www.icomamerica.com/ Click on AMATEUR, then U.S. Grid Square. Some hams watch TV (over the air) and when skip is in -- channel 2 local may be taken over by a signal from elsewhere – a sure sign of skip signals.
More on six meter activity at URL: http://ac6v.com/hambands.htm#50
Six meter beacons at URL: http://ac6v.com/beacons.htm
An international six meter club SMIRK is at url: http://www.smirk.org/
For 6M DX spots and openings – use the local packet cluster or you can also use telnet on the internet --- URL: http://www.cestro.com/pcluster/telnet.html
Propagation Prediction is black magic at best. But the prop charts at the ARRL may help for F layer openings http://www.arrl.org/qst/propcharts/
When you first make 6M contacts, be aware that propagation can change very suddenly, so best to get the essentials across with quick transmissions -- give Callsign, Grid Square (4-digit only City and State, and an RST signal report. Once these are out of the way an extended QSO can ensue, but remember the propagation can change quickly and some operators are trying to make as many contacts as possible before the band closes again.
Beginners on 6M may have a tendency to treat contacts like an HF QSO. As mentioned- keep the transmissions short and use “Over” to avoid repeating callsigns over and over again. And sooner or later you will want to have in the log, callsign, state, and the grid square as well as mode, time (UTC) date and RST. Why grid squares? This is because many awards (VUCC and six meter organizations) offer awards based on the number of grid squares worked. And of course Working All States on 6M is no easy task as it is on HF. Likewise DXCC entities are far and few in between, be sure to hang in the pileups to get them, you may not hear another like it for a long long time.
A mystery for the beginner is where the other station is located. You may only receive or hear their grid square, so have a grid square map or listing available. See URL: http://ac6v.com/opaids.htm#GRID But with some maps, it is difficult to determine the state borders.
A neat program for this is DX Atlas URL: http://www.dxatlas.com/ By VE3NEA. With a map displayed of the area desired, do a CNTRL G, then type in the grid square, a red 4-point locator will appear on the map so you can determine the state and location within the state. With this program, the state outlines are very clear. Where the grid square is close to state borders, using the zoom function will enlarge the grid square to help determine a more precise location. In the case where the grid encompasses 2 or more states, you can use the RAC, Buckmaster or QRZ callbooks to determine the callor’s state and city. (I have it at the ready in my computer along with DX Atlas and a Logging program). Other useful tools to coordinate QSO’s are the 50 MHz prop logger (http://dxworld.com/50prop.html) as well as the chat area at www.dxer.info.
Sometimes you only hear the callsign and want to know the city, state and grid square. Use the callbooks for this and hope the guy/gal didn’t move.
Some operators are using WSJT which is “Weak Signal communication, by K1JT.” URL: http://pulsar.princeton.edu/~joe/K1JT/ This was developed for EME but has branched into being used with weak signal operation on 6M and 2M especially. It has three formats: FSK441, JT44 and JT6M.
And don’t sit in front of the rig tuning or endlessly calling CQ. When the band has no propagation, you may raise a few locals if lucky. But if the band seems dead, call CQ periodically a few times on 50.125 MHz. Otherwise set the rig for 50.125 or 50.110 (DX) or scan the band and read a good book or surf the web. Long intervals of time (days, weeks) can pass with nothing more than locals stations being heard.
Some stations operate scatter when the band is dead and reach beyond the horizon, but usually these are stations with big antennas and power.
Does power and gain antennas matter? Well with good F skip or single hop sporadic E, a few watts and a dipole or vertical will work surprisingly well. With poor propagation and double hop, going QRO can get you above the noise level. And of course a directional high gain antenna will let you hear the weak ones. Hence “The Magic Band”
Chapter 7. Add DX tip. During a contest, try searching and calling CQ on the non-contest bands/modes, e.g., during a SSB contest, check the RTTY, CW, and digital modes on all bands, and the WARC bands for a rare one. Not all DX stations want to be in the contest with the howling mob.
January 9th, 2004
Bill wrote: I don't
think you spent much time in your book on the missing QSL card. Why
has'nt the guy responded to my card with his QSL? How long is one to wait
before the follow up? How to make the contact? Everyone must experience
this problem once in awhile so what to do. If the manager has an email
listing is that a good approach? Sure is cheap. I'm not looking for an
extensive answer to this problem.
So add to Chapter All About QSLing:
The Missing QSL Card
Not all QSL cards will come back in a reasonable period of
time. Reasons could be your envelope was ripped off by postal thieves or got
lost in the mail, or the postal clerk couldn’t read your handwriting – use a
printed address label. You included insufficient postage. Some managers take the
insufficient postage QSLs and eventually dump them into the bureau system –
could take a coupla years to get to you.
Another reason for the missing QSL card is that somehow the logs got lost and
all these contacts are unverifiable.
Another reason for the missing QSL card is that somehow the logs got lost and all these contacts are unverifiable.
The manager or DX station is way behind – managers are
essentially volunteers. The manager is waiting for a build up of cards before
tackling the job, or waiting to print a new batch of QSL cards. And
in a rare case, a poor manager who got in over their head, could take many
months for them to catch up. In one case, the QSL manager died and it was a year
before some one else obtained the logs. Could be a broken contact and you are
not in the log – but most managers or the DX will inform you of this – but
some don’t. Perhaps you sent a card via the bureau to a manager and expect a
reply via the bureau -- not all managers will honor this.
Some (but overall very few) DX stations just want the return postage money and don’t reply, these get to be known and a post to the rec.radio.amateur.dx news group will usually get an answer if certain stations are indeed QSLing and who received theirs and when.
DX stations on temporary assignment may wait until they
return home before QSLing, could be many months. Some DX stations have good
intentions – but alas just are very poor at QSLing. In the last case, work
another in the country and hope for the best. I have had many rare DX contacts
and never received a return and some QSLs came in six years later !!!
A friend just received a FT5 card in Jan 2004. The QSO was on July 7th 1998. The card was in the exact return envelope that he had supplied in 1998 !!!!
Well what do? After about six to twelve months I send
another card and adequate postage and make sure the envelope doesn’t exhibit
Ham radio content. I did this three times for a 3V Tunisia card via an Italian
QSL manager – but I finally got it. Write a postcard or look up the manager or
DX stations E-Mail on the web and ask – have them respond to your e-mail
address -- most find this preferable to a letter. This has worked several times
where I was informed that they never received my card. So I sent another.
Go back periodically and look at your logs, try again for those over six or twelve months old.
Chapter 2, Paragraph 2-19. Add:
PBT. Pass Band Tuning. Similar to IF Shift but passband tuning, as implemented on the some ICOMs, changes one edge of the passband. Some rigs have twin passband tuning. Check your operating manual for the range of narrowing or widening the pass band.
Chapter 6, Paragraph 6-4. Add
Another valuable source for grid squares is the Repeater Map Book By Artsci. It shows USA grid squares for each state in map form. Also they have the major highways, cities, and repeaters on the map. URL: http://www.artscipub.com/mapbook/
Except for manuals already shipped to Ham Stores, All of the above comments, additions, subtractions, errors are included in the manuals as shipped. We print on demand.
MORE AS COMMENTS COME IN.
UPDATED 10 January 2008