Saturday, December 31, 2005

F6IRF: And the QSL's ?

With over 30,000 QSO's per year, QSL'ing becomes a big problem. Sending 1QSL /QSO would be both expensive and useless (a majority of contest QSO's are done with the same stations... who furthermore are not QSL's hunters...). As it is impossible to guess who is interested by your card, the best remains to wait for the cards to come, and to try to answer them in an efficient way...

Step1: the received bureau cards are sorted by bureau.
Step2: Each received card is captured in BV7 software. Each small window corresponds to a different callsign I used in the pass. Entering the callsign, I can immediately see which band/mode for which of my call still needs to be confirmed.

Step3: when all the cards for a given bureau, have been queud, the calls are printed. The software takes care of the alphabetical order sorting. I do not use anymore labels, but rather directly print on the cards (it saves the annoying sticker gluing step!)

step4: each card printed is verified and signed

Here are the main bureau customers: from left to right K, SP, I, JA and DL... To be noted, the K stations are by far the most present in my logs... ahh if the rest of the world could also use LOTW!

Step5: Finaly the cards are packed and sent to the REF !
This represents only 4 monthes, the same volume is sent 3 times/year

Following are the statistics provided by BV7 (started to use it in 2004)
F6IRF: QSOs printed: 7855
FG/F6IRF: QSOs printed: 1961
F6IRF/P: QSOs printed: 195
IS0/F6IRF: QSOs printed: 105
UT/F6IRF/P: QSOs printed: 25
So from the nearly 10,000 QSO's have been confirmed via the bureau since 2004... (by the way, not all bureaux are slow ! UT/F6IRF/P operation is only 5 monthes old !)

In short: QSL'ing represents time money and energy that I would prefer to use on the air, on station improvments and on travelling; so please:
- Refrain sending 1 card per QSO (only new band/mode) This may be easier for you, but it is a nightmare for me ! (once again I am not interested by cards, they all endup to the trash !).
- Be friendly with the environment and the trees: try to use LOTW or E-QSL...

Friday, December 30, 2005

F6IRF - 1 year of contesting

Above the antennas used for the SPDX-TTY contest, done from west-France (IN87)

2005 has been a very "active year" with over 29000 QSO's done in 37 contests. Below are the details by reverse chronological order, with a link to the related 3830 post (except for casual participations). In red the mode and the raw number of QSO's.
[3830] CQWW CW CN2WW(F6IRF) SOSB/20 LP CW 2500
[3830] WAE RTTY F6IRF Single Op HP TY 1278
3830] JARTS F6IRF Single Op HP TY 1611
[3830] Makrothen RTTY F6IRF SO/Single Xcvr HP TY 777
[3830] CQ WW RTTY F6IRF SOAB(A) HP TY 1512
[3830] SAC CW F6IRF SOAB LP CW 315
[3830] Rus RTTY F6IRF SOAB HP TY 500
[3830] WAE CW F6IRF Single Op HP CW 310
[3830] DL-DX RTTY F6IRF SOAB-24 HP TY 784
[3830] WPX CW TM6A(F6IRF) SO(A)AB LP CW 1827
[3830] Volta RTTY F6IRF SOAB HP TY 556
[3830] ARI F6IRF SO RTTY HP TY 466
[3830] BARTG F6IRF SO Expert HP TY 923
[3830] Ukraine RTTY F6IRF SOSB/20 HP TY 84
[3830] UBA CW F6IRF SOAB HP CW 800
[3830] XE RTTY F6IRF SO2R HP TY 743
[3830] REF CW F6IRF SOAB LP CW 572
[3830] UKDX RTTY F6IRF Single Op HP TY 575
[3830] BARTG Sprint F6IRF SO Expert HP TY 660
[3830] RTTY Roundup F6IRF Single Op HP TY 849

As shown by this graph, during 2005, I have focused on RTTY contesting, not missing any of the organized contest in this mode... (this chart includes EM5F multi-op expedition for the IOTA contest, thus the high number of SSB qso's in July !)

Results: Of course only a few results have been published, but among the good surprises is the 4th World and first EU-place in the Makrothen TTY contest (together with a 1st world place on the 80m band). More to follow...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

CN2WW operation is over ;-(

Over 6000 QSO's in 7days (all already uploaded to LOTW)
2500 QSO's in CQWW on 20m LP - In theory a new World all times record, but most probably a new continental (once UBN's decounted)
Photos, comments and stats soon on
3830 report on

Qsl-project by HB9DTM ;-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Just received the good news...
will be CN2WW in CQWW-CW (normaly SOSB20... or 15 depending on condx)
Callsign is valid 19/11 through 28/11 for peri-contest activity (will be active mostly in CW, maybe RTTY on WARC if there is some demand)

QSL only via EA7FTR (or LOTW)
See you on the bands !

WAEDC RTTY contest

My antennae - the picture is 2 years old, when I was using a triband trap dipole. The traps have gone, but the 380kV noise-generator is still here...

WAE DX Contest, RTTY
Call: F6IRF
Operator(s): F6IRF
Station: F6IRF
Class: Single Op HP
Operating Time (hrs): 36
Radios: SO2R

Band QSOs Pts QTCs Mults
80: 256 256 0 4*50
40: 290 360 70 3*65
20: 335 595 260 2*75
15: 337 717 380 2*76
10: 60 60 0 2*29
Total: 1278 1988 710 755 Total Score = 1,500,940

Station: My usual small domestic station

The weekend conditions: better on saturday than on sunday, the 6 hours SSNe dropped to 0 for a couple hours...

Good weekend despite poor conditions.
To be honnest my primary objective was to consolidate my leader place for the DJ3NG's "top-ten trophy", nothing more...
( )
So I focused first on QSO's, forgetting abt QTC's on saturday. When I passed the 1000-Qmark sunday at 08:35z with 24h of airtime, it was clear that my primary objective was met... So I started to hunt the QTC'ers.
Once again noticed that as a EU-stn I would make very few QTC-points, if I did not actively/agresively search for the QTC'ers...very few spontaneous offers - except a few ones from Ukrainian stations, which I had to decline ;-)
But finaly the "non-strategy" payed; Far better score than last year, despite smaller antennas (was at F6HYE stn) with much more QSO's and mults,
and almost the same nr of QTC's at the end ! Once again the SO2R-bonus is obvious here, and QTC'ing only on sunday when the rate is getting low, may not be that crazy...
10 and 15m have been the good surprises of the weekend, especialy 15m better than 20 with this low SSN... 20m closed very early, especialy on sunday, and central and west-US signals strongly affected by auroral flutter.
I suffered from noisy condx (high statics level on 80, local-line QRN on high
bands), making QTC-sending my preferred choice (thanks to all who accepted to grab my QTC's).
Eqt-wise, some troubles with 2 N1MM serious crashes but fortunately without major damages, except 10QTC's and a few minutes lost (next time will put a recorder on a separate PC to recover lost QTC's).
Must also say that a few N1MM features need to be improved for this contest: QTC's on main radio only, no QSO/QTC distinction, no "section summary", saving of QTC's sometimes capricious, received NR's turned to 0, etc... Anyway, it did not work that bad for me, I shouldn't complain...
Thanks to the DARC for organizing, to all for the QSO's and see you from CN in CQWW-CW.

Full contest stats at

This chart clearly shows the important role played by QTC's in the final score... I focused on QSO's on saturday and on QTC's on sunday.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

F6IRF News and agenda

- October 23-30 : I have been active from IN87 during a week hollidays on the Atlantic coast (abt 500 QSO's)... Taking advantage of the exceptional weather and temperature , I did an excursion with 3 hours "on the beach" operation from EU-048 (Houat).
Equipment used: IC706, laptop, microkeyer, AT130 tuner, and "spiderbeam" 12m fiberglass pole mounted vertical.
- October 29/30 : A bit more that 100 Q's in the CQWW-SSB... more than enough ! (For me SSB remains the most unadequate mode for contesting !)
- November 5/6 : Took part in the "Ukrainian DX contest" - see
- November 12/13: Will be active in WAE-RTTY contest...
- November 19: Departure to CN. I have been allocated CN2PD callsign, which I am currently trying to get changed (this callsign has already been used in 2003 and I cannot access data)
QSL manager for this operation will be EA7FTR
- November 26/27: CQWW-CW, SOSB20
- November 28 back to France...

My current CN-license.
Hope I can get another one for the new dates, with another callsign...
Inshallah !!!

F6IRF number one!

At the end of 2004 I decided to give first priority to RTTY contesting for the 2005 season, taking part in all posssible contests (22 so far)... So far, some 17,000 RTTY QSO's have been logged since January...

F6IRF number-one on DJ3NG "world contesting RTTY contesting scene" top-list....
Also currently "temporary" number one on DJ3NG's 2005 challenge (remains 2 counted contests)
Only the number of RTTY QSO's is taken into account for DJ3NG's palmares.

Below ,
Also number one on DK3VN's "world ranking list"(official points and places in contests are taken into account) .

Monday, October 17, 2005

Jarts-RTTY contest

Call: F6IRF
Operator(s): F6IRF
Station: F6IRF
Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 35
Summary: Band QSOs Pts Mults
80: 276 596 55
40: 344 860 75
20: 443 1131 81
15: 470 1251 83
10: 78 189 31
Total: 1611 4027 325 Total Score = 1,308,775
Rig: my usual small domestic SO2R station - see

Part-time effort (was my birthday!), but...Logged: 927 OM's, 4 YL's, quite a few for the first time.
Younger: 14 (KC2NMZ) Older: 91 (G2DAN)
67 stations on 4 bands, 20 on 5 bands - 80 DXCC all bands
1000 QSO mark after 18h30 of tfc (new personnal record)
Solar flux below 80, but 28 countries on 10m !
Last year score increased by 86%
DXCC and mult stats at
(sorry for the cat. mistake on 3830 - sent a correction request immediately but it was not taken into account)

Who could guess that condx would be that good with such a quiet sun, and that 10m would open... even the most advanced prediction software do fail to predict such unpredictable phenomenae.
The contest story
Based on last year and expected conditions, and the fact that it was my birthday, my objective was modest...
Thought it would be nice to reach 1000QSO's. Started very well on 40m with good transatlantic conditions, and the first good surprise came after only 20mn with FR1HZ. However, and as usual at this season, 40m conditions declined before sunrise. 80m was very noisy, and the activity quite low, so I started to fall asleep... I usually don't need any break during the first 24 hours, but I had obviously started the contest already tired. Anyway 268 QSO's was not to bad for 4 hours and a half of traffic on low bands.Came back at 0620 and the first 2 QSO's were ZL2AMI on 40m and NL7V on 20, but did not stay much on 20 when I saw that 15 had already opened to JA. Great JA session which allowed to pass the 500 mark before lunch time... Was again falling asleep after lunch so took another hour nap before the opening of the15m W-window, was keeping an hear on 10m, but FR1HZ was the only station heard and QSO for this first day... 15m declined quickly after sunset, so I moved to 20m for another great 75Q in the 17th hour.
One of the problems of contesting from home is that you cannot dedicate full time to the contest, and you have to make the sacrifice of a minimum of airtime to social and family life... took another full hour break for dinner !
Came back directly on 40m. expecting a few JA's, but only logged JA1OVD in the first hour... was a bit too early; JA opening started 1 hour later. QSO #1000was logged at 22h29 after 18h30 on-air time... Then the rate started to slowdown, and again the bed appeal got stronger, so closed the stations at 00:00z with 1054 QSO's in the log. I came back at 0335, and this time 80 was in better shape, which allowed to log a few NA stations and multipliers, and again the bed appeal got stronger ! Went back for 40mn short sleep around sunrise...When I came back, I could not re-open my windows session... "you forgot youpassword?" damned ! Finally managed after 2 or 3 reboots... then the PC crashed several times before Norton detected a "spyboot.worm" virus attack !
Lost another 40mn there and gained a lot of stress !
At 0800, while CQ'ing on 15m I moved the 706 from 20 to 10m... great choice, I logged 50 QSO's and quite a few mults on 10m... all countries coming with antenna the antenna to east - apparently some multi-hop strong E's, with associated backscatter... until I had to stop, for my birthday celebration - had 1267QSO's in the log !Guess what I received as birthday present: An expresso machine ! ( I am readyfor the full time in the next one!)
The rest of the contest would have been a usual "boring second day" without 10m opening to states... W3MR was the first one on 10m with antenna toward west, quickly followed by a few others in K1 to 4 areas... K4GMH was the stronger and stabler signal for the whole duration of the opening, which I assume is a E's multi-hop, very similar to 6m transatlantic openings... same as last year in CQWW SSB, so it seems to be a speciality of the "indian summer" season... But never heard any VE, though VE1OP had been spotted by a few EU's, which seems to confirm my E's hypothesis: pathes are very localized, and even 100 kms on the ground can make the big difference between S9 and nothing.
I came back for a couple of hours after dinner, focusing on 80m... as usual the 80m activity gets better as the end of the contest approaches... had the pleasure to be called by VK6HD with a strong and clear signal.I finally gave up at 2245z... had to take some sleep to respond to the office appeal on Monday morning !Finally 1600 QSO's for 35 hours of traffic is not that bad... But contacted Nick UX0FF operating UY6F who told me they had passed the 2M points and the2000QSO's...
Wish I could be in better shape for this one and do over 40hours, but it's life, sometimes your body needs a rest, and it is not getting better with years... Has been a nice birthday though!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Makrothen RTTY contest

Band QSOs Pts Pts/Q
3.5 124 656178 5292
7 153 1027714 6717
14 322 1547310 4805
21 178 866176 4866
Total 777 4097378 5273
DK3VN web-engine score: 4,101,726 (dupes removed)

My small domestic simplified SO1R station: IC756pro2 - HB 2x4cx250=500w - 2el TB-yagi@40' - LB dipoles @63 and 66' N1MM 5.9.7 - DX-cluster
Seen from my location Makro-contest strategy can be summarized as: work as many W's as possible!
Nice contest, but somewhere a bit too much "brute force". Must say that I personnaly missed the mult-hunting part and the SO2R fun... what makes RTTYcontesting a bit more than just F-key push. Of course I could have entered the Mult-trx category, but this category really lacks the competitors to make it fun... (and why SO2R if no mult to hunt?)
Anyway congrats to Mike K4GMH for his great score... (I know that I am missing real antennas to compete...). Conditions have been better that expected, but the low bands strongly affected by statics. Once again VOACAP based simulations were far too pessimistic: 15m has been far better than predicted (no JA no W according to pre-test simulations;-). Suffered from local power-line QRN especialy on 15m with antenna to NA...Thanks to VK6HD for the QSY to 80m; I usualy refrain from "moving" stations but this is the best point/QSO in my log... deserved an exception !
My weekend "dummy award" goes to UY8IF who refused to work me on 20, though Iwas claiming loud and clear "YOU ARE NOT IN MY LOG !" (once again: there is no penalty for dupes just work'em all and basta! why this endless/repeated ridiculous behavior ?)
My apologizes to 7X0RY for calling twice, but a remaining bug in N1MM does make callsigns starting with a figure to ever appear as dupe ! (however, except this small marginal bug N1MM worked well...).Thanks "Waldemar & friends" for organizing; Good time-format, but still missing a few participants (indicators: vy large % of 4bands stations + low hour rates despite short exchange).
cty stats on:

Monday, September 26, 2005

CQ Worldwide DX Contest, RTTY

The weekend condx: Even the NWRA SSNe based on Ionosondes did not reflect how good the condx have been...

CQ Worldwide DX Contest, RTTY
Call: F6IRF
Operator(s): F6IRF
Station: F6IRF
Class: SOAB(A) HP
Operating Time (hrs): 40
Radios: SO2R
Band QSOs Pts State/Prov DX Zones
80: 272 573 13 55 14
40: 379 900 34 68 22
20: 470 1205 48 82 31
15: 382 1038 41 67 28
10: 9 22 0 6 5
Total: 1512 3738 136 278 100 Total Score = 1,921,332

Rig: my "small" domestic stn (2elts@12m / dip80@20m / dip40@19m)
and F legal-limit power (500W)
Only change is: I separated the 40 and 80 dipoles...

New low bands dipole setup: only 1m separation but simultaneous 40/80 SO2R op is possible...

Great weekend !
I had 2 objectives 2M-points and the "weekend DXCC". Missed just a few Q's for the 1st one (bloody thunderstorm !!!), and wkd 103 counties, my first ever
"weekend DXCC" in RTTY. Conditions have been far better than expected; I had run many VOACAP simulations based on various sources "expected" data, but 28zones on 15m was kind of "impossible" according to the most optimistic projections...
OK, 10m remained marginal, but we are at y-1 of solar min !
Following is an "hour by hour" contest story in a pure AA5AU style and as a tribute to him !

Started 80/40 - 20m was still open, but dying...
First surprise at 00:53 : Don AA5AU called on 40- despite Katrina and Rita! this guy deserves a special award for giving out LA despite such adversity!
Found HC8N on 80 a 03:08 and they came back first call; kind of "routine" in this contest, but still "magic" with a simple inv-V. Remained calling on 80 after sunrise and wkd CN8KD, GU0SUP and PJ7/K7ZUM amongst latest q's of the 80m first session.
On 40 at sunrise ZL2AMI was there "easy to work, as usual". I heard KL7CQ , with a strong signal but he was S&Ping. Wkd HC8N on 20 at 06:37, just before working them on 40 a few mns later... incredible signal any time any band ! As I was calling on 40, S&P'ing of 20 was difficult (due to H2) so I moved quickly the S&P to 15m... Surprise! JA's were there already with good signs!
At 07:48 FK8HN called me on 21096... first FK on TTY (merci Didier !).
Took the first 30mn break at 10:20 just after working A61AJ on 28 for the 5th time (well done guys !) and VQ9LA, FR1HZ and VU3DXY on 15 ...
Back to op after lunch - first W on 15 was KA4RRU at 1151z quickly followed by many others! Not being sure that 15 would open agn on sunday, I put all efforts there (just keeping an hear on 10m with the 2nd radio on scan). KG4OX, HC8N (agn!), VP9/K9JY, FR5GS, HI3TEJ, 9M2CNC on 15, while on 10 only wkd F6KAR... 15m died quite early, so it was time for the 1st serious 20m session until 1750z for the 2nd 30mn break!
Back to work, managed to find a place around 7050, while S&P'ing on 14 had turned the 40m dipole for JA, but band was too hard with heavy EU-QRM including SAC SSB contest !). In fact the first AS-DX was 9M2CNC at 1956z, quickly followed by JH4UYB both for the "double mult". Kept the second radio on 20 until 2030z after working D44AC and quite a few W6/7...
The skip getting longer, 40m improved (tnx VR2BG for calling) but 80 remained "only EU" (no VK6HD this time!)... went to bed at 22z: had 950Q's for 21h of tfc. Not bad, but I knew that D2 was going to be harder ! Came back around 2z focusing on 80, tnx HI3TEJ and TF3HP for call and double mult. Finished the 80 session with VP9/K9JY PJ2B and KP2D, while working KH6ND
on 40m (great !). Started CQ'ing on 20 at 5:40z and on top of a few JA friends,
I got called by KH6ZM shortly followed by VK3KE. Moved to 21 around 650z and the band was again good to JA - Was keeping an hear on 28, and found UA9AYA Cq'ing... He had a good S3-S5 signal but for some reason he could not copy me (I must be too QRP!)
Finaly managed to get him around 0816z - he was 579 by then... did not hear any other UA9. In the afternoon wkd 4X6UU, LU1HF, LT2H and 4Z5AV with considerably lower signal, but all on first attempt... Could not hear any of the other spotted stations probably due to my poor south sector...
Bueno, pues... at 1000z was at 1200Q and took a 2hours lunch+nap break.
Everything started again slowly. Started having troubles to get a run going at decent rate, but insiting I managed to work quite a few new states, and DX's, so everything seemed to be OK for more than 2M-pts.
Everything except that around 1800z, having a look outside I started to see lightning toward south... It did not take more than 30mn before the thunderstorm was on us... I disconnected everything and started to turn like a rat in a cage... Tried a book, a magazine... nothing!

As usual, a good percentage of QSO's and mults were achieved with W-stations, including on 15 which was a kind of surprise !

Outside, it was hell, tropical rain, wind and lightning (the bigger T-storm we have seen this year)... was afraid of a long power cut (we already had 2 this year), but this time it did not happen, and finaly around 2030, I could connect a station and start again on 20m...
Things getting quieter I reconnected the second one and despite remaining QRN, I managed to work 100Q's more during the last 3.5 hours... 40m was heavily loaded from 025 to 60, and it was difficult to find a place. Thanks A45WD last mult on 40 and to UN3M last one on 80.
N1MM 5.9 worked great... just a bit of slowlyness when changing TX focus while "available mults" window is open. Also noted a few inacurate "color status", but in general the "double mult" green indication is a nice feature, and don't think WL users know what they are missing with all those new nice features... (just a joke for my friends at F6KAR !)
At the end did not manage much more Q's than last year (Was SO1R unassisted)...
Just a lot more mults (517 versus 457)... The gain in mults is, I think, mostly due to SO2R... On top of the rest and as Don, pointed out, operating 1 radio is too boring when you are used to operating 2... it really keeps active all the time!
IMHO, in RTTY the cluster does not provide a fantastic bonus (too many AFSK spotters who spot their TRX frequency !). I think I'll be back to "unassisted" next year !
Just 1 more about cluster: why so many stations on DX's within 1mn when a DX is spotted, and so few participants entering assisted ??? (strange isn't it?).
Anyway, thanks to all for the QSO's... And see you on the bands for the Makrothen (yes a strange name, but a vy nice contest!).

WAZ Missed ZN12 (as usual) ZN26 (hrd HS, but could not work) 29 (no VK6) and the
usual AF zones (Most AF-PU's unbreakable due to my poor South take-off).
WAS : just missed ND, WY and ID
DXCC: 2005, great millesime ! thanks to all DX'peditioners...

Detailled stats at

QSO and mults by hour - you may click to enlarge

Monday, September 19, 2005

Scandinavian Activity Contest CW

The summer is over !
Very cold and windy weekend, Bob appreciates the temperature of the schack...

Activity Contest, CW
Class: SOAB
Operating Time (hrs): 16

Band QSOs Mults
80: 74 27
40: 97 30
20: 120 32
15: 20 13
10: 4 4
Total: 315 106
Total Score = 33,390

Boring exercise: half the QSO in the first 4 hours... then ZZZZ. Did not even manage to beat my 2002 QRP score (397Q)...
Did most of my 10 and 15m QSO in the first hour, only moment when those bands were acceptable, but at that time everybody was on 20m. So congrats to the rare 5banders...Too poor condx and too few participants to make this contest really attractive from the non-scandinavian side (best hour rate rate 45 - last 8h below 12).
Contest stats at

Friday, September 16, 2005

IS0/F6IRF: Sea, Six and Sun

Short summary of my 2003 casual activity from Sardinia Island.
Main purpose of the 2 weeks trip was family holidays, but I also took the oportunity for a bit of 6m...
- Managed to activate the 4 island locators and the 4 provinces as follows: 12/13Aug JN41OE (SS) , 14/15 JN40VM (NU), 16/17 JM49UU (NU), 19/20 JM48FX (CA - San-Antioco island EU165) , 20/21 JM49EK (CA) , 23/24 JN40GE (OR) - Only a couple of hours each time at the bivouac whenever practical.
- 348 qso's all together; mostly E's during the first week. MS activity remained low even during the perseids maximum, tropo-activity almost inexistant despite tremendous conditions(*), no trace of TEP.
For a change, I really enjoyed operating from very quiet radio-electrical locations. A pity that the condx remained poor while in JM48 and that I did not manage to find a good location from this square (most of the terrestrial part of the square is occupied by the army - the rest is very mountaneous, and would have required a 4WD vehicle). Special thanks to G0CHE for relaying infos - Direct or Bureau QSL via home-call. 73's Patrick
(*) Fantastic maritime tropo with EA and F on Sunday 24 - EH3JA thought I was in his garden, but only 3 QSO's in 3 hours CQ... a bit disapointing...

From top to bottom: JN40GE, JM49EK and JN40VM.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Russian RTTY WW Contest

The condx during the contest (ionoprobe)

Call: F6IRF
Operator(s): F6IRF
Station: F6IRF
Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 20
Radios: SO2R

Band QSOs Pts Mults
80: 81 465 41
40: 156 990 67
20: 246 1690 88
15: 17 110 14
10: 0 0 0
Total: 500 3255 210
Total Score = 683,550Club:

Very poor condx, low participation... a big change compaired to last week SCC, and a final score only 50% of last year.
Started very slowly - Only 34 Q's the first hour. 40m almost closed in the second part of the night (almost except for UU7J only visible station on the 756 spectrum display !).
The rate dropped below 10 in the 3rd hour, and only took over slowly with the sun and the opening of 40m and 20m.
After a long mid-day break, things started to improve a bit at the end of the afternoon...Curiously 80m remained very quiet (only 5 DL's, but a lot of statics!) the only satisfaction is to have been able to pass the 200 mults with such adverse condx.
Anyway tnx to contest sponsors for organizing, and to all for the QSO's - See you in CQWW... with better condx, we all hope !

Contest stats at

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

F6IRF - Where am I located?

Google-earth 3D-view of my QTH.

Marcellaz-Albanais is located about 40kms south from Geneva and the Swiss border. Toward east are the Alps, and toward west, the Jura. Altitude of my QTH is 563m, overhanging the "Fier valley". On the right bottom corner of the above picture is the "Semnoz", culminating at 1700m.
Terrain profile to JA (Az=36), my best direction. The lower point is the "Fier river".
Below is the minimum take-off angle function of the azimuth. The dotted line is for USA (not too bad); the worst directions are South America and Western Africa. (profiles done with radio-mobile, freeware by VE2DBE - Elevation data is from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission - Nasa).

Though far form being ideal, I have a good take-off to contest most active areas. You can see both my bonus (the take-off to North sector), and my main handicap (the 380kV power line) on my 1991 EME system pictures (F6IRF - The EME years).

My north sector, with the "Saleve" in the far (the Saleve is the mountain which overhangs Geneva)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

F6IRF - SCC RTTY Championship

SCC RTTY Championship
Call: F6IRF Operator(s): F6IRF
Station: F6IRF Class: SOAB(A) HP
QTH: JN35AU Operating Time (hrs): 21
Radios: SO2R

Summary: Band QSOs Pts Mults
80: 106 216 43
40: 215 477 56
20: 357 812 58
15: 207 457 56
10: 67 135 34
Total: 952 2097 247 Total Score = 517,959

Thanks to condx and activity, I think I never did that many Q's in a 24h TTY contest. I may have been able to pass 1000 without a break, but the motivation was kind of unsufficient... Conditions have been mainly "short skip" and allowed many 5bands but onlywith EU stations. Some Surprising signal levels with JA and ZL on 7Mhz at short-path in the evening. Low activity on 3.5 with poor transatlantic condx.Anyway the rules do not really encourage DX (Strategy is kind of "work'em all") so condx were perfect for this game, though I must say that personaly missed "real mults" to hunt. I did not want to have to worry for band changes, so I selected the "unlimited" category, but the cluster is kind of useless with such a rules.All "milesimes" from 1949 to 2005 are represented in my log, but only 3 before 49 (35, 37, 47). The most represented "classes" are 76 (19stns) closely followed by 78 and 82 (18 stns). In general the younger blood comes from Eastern EU...Many thanks to SCC and Slovenian stations for the activity, to all for the QSO's, and see you soon on the bands. Patrick
contest stats may be seen at

Friday, August 26, 2005

EM5F (EU-182) IOTA-contest 2005

It's at the invitation of Alex UR5FAV, that I decided to join the Ukrainian team for the IOTA contest. As mentioned, by Alex in his invitation, I would be the first "non-Ukrainian ham" to operate from Ankudinov island. This, together with the curiosity of discovering a new country, was a sufficient motivation. The fact that Ukraine recently removed the visa requirement for the EU-citizens had also made traveling to Ukraine easier than ever. Alex, also took care of obtaining my license, which I believe could have been a long process on my own...

the EM5F team: UT0FT, UR5FAV , F6IRF, UX0FF

I left home Friday at 7:00AM local time. After Geneva airport and a 5 hours air trip through Budapest, I arrived in Odessa airport... Alex was there waiting for me, and after another 4 hours by car we arrived in Sylkove around 18:30 local time. The island owner was waiting for us with his motorboat. This black-sea island is located in the Danube's delta, just across the Romanian border. The island is wild and covered by swamps and the only permanent inhabitants are mosquitoes, boars, and birds. However, a small part of the island has been equipped with a few bungalows, mainly for fishers and boar-hunters and from time to time for radio-amateurs !

The larger part of Ankudinov island is covered by swamps: a Mosquito paradise!

On the island Nick UX0FF and Vlad UT0FT had already started warming up the pile-up... but bands conditions were obviously not in a very good shape. I did a few RTTY QSO's, but I also had to get familiar with the software; fortunately the PC keyboards were QWERTY's so I did need to learn the Cyrillic alphabet to make QSO's (I am only familiar with QWERTY, though the french standard is AZERTY). Communication between us, did not turn out to be a problem... I could even realize when Nick was unhappy about something (shouting is the same whatever language you use...). The main problems have been the temperature inside the schack, and the constant mosquito attacks.

the food? nothing simpler

the 15m delta-loop and Nick hunting mults.

At one point we suffered from a complete ionospheric blackout, and for a couple of hours after we could only contact "local stations". Fortunately conditions improved a bit during the contest, especially on day2 which allowed us to work a few DX's. We ended up the contest with 2227 QSO's for a total score of some 4.6M claimed Points. All together some 4000 QSO's were done over the weekend. After dismantling the station, the trip back, on Monday allowed a short visit of Nick's and Alex's city Izmail, as well as a quick visit of Nick's station. But we had to be in Odessa before 3PM... so we could no spend much time for tourism. I finally arrived home around 23h local time after a safe trip through the crowded Budapest airport (this weekend was also the F1 Budapest grand-prix).
Obviously Ukraine is not the best place for winning a IOTA contest, especially when the condx are poor (this contest participation mainly remains UK, and they are the stations to contact for the points). However this has been an instructive and pleasant trip. Again thanks to Alex UR5FAV who made it possible.

the QSL


After the family holidays, the second objective of my trip to FG was the ARRL DX CW. After my first contact with George's station at h-24, the 7 years old HH2AW (9A3A) SOSB80 world record definitely became my objective... Too many problems were to be solved to reasonably think about a SOAB participation. Thanks to Georges's efforts, electricity was restablished in the schack at h-5, and the Alpha76 PA finaly operational at h-30mn... George's station is located on the East coast of the volcanic Basse-Terre, the best take-off is to Europe, Africa and middle-east, but is finaly not too bad to states. The 100' tower supports a half-wave sloper that I turned to NW and tuned for the CW part of the band. Due to low mains (abt 200V), it was not reasonably possible to get more than 500W from the 2 brand new 8874 brought in my luggages. After a rather slow first hour, the rate jumped over 110 for the next 3 hours, but unfortunately the second part of the night was not that successfull, and I ended-up the first night with 802 Q's for about 10 hours of traffic. No need to say that the second night turned out quite boring, with only 420 QSO's and 3 new multipliers for 13 hours of traffic and I went to bed very disapointed missing 27 QSO's... HH2AW record was finaly beated at 2330z and about 20 more qso's added in the last half hour. Final claimed score 225,144 (1272/59) only 3Kpts ahead from the previous record, but 32K behind C6AKQ (N4BP). Congratulations to Bob and the FCG team for their new SOSB 80 and 160 world records... A very good and enjoyable experience anyway, will keep in mind George and family's warm welcome, and the very good time we had in Guadeloupe in general and in Capesterre in particular. Another 3000 QSO's were done from Guadeloupe outside the contest (FG/F6IRF), using Georges's station in Capesterre, or FG5VIJ simple antennas in Deshaies.