Friday, February 24, 2006

The "LID-price" is awarded to UW8M

UW8M alias UR5MID
A nice QSL, but a dirty "on the air" behavior...

This is an obvious example of unfair behavior in a contest. Take a frequency randomly, put your auto-CQ for 5minutes, go for a coffee and you have good chances for the frequency to be yours when back...


As shown, by the log, I was on the frequency for some time, and it was working fine....

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


(click to enlarge)
40m has been by far the best band with 500 QSO's logged in only 6 hours - hald of them during the 2 last hours

Call: TM6A
Operator(s): F6IRF
Station: F6IRF
Class: SOAB(A) HP
Operating Time (hrs): 15

Band QSOs Mults
40: 501 51
20: 334 57
15: 91 26
Total: 926 134 Total Score = 372,252
rig: IC756pro2 +homebrew 4CX250 PA 500W
ant : 2elts wire-yagi / Optibeam OB6-3M

Part-time/casual effort; Started the contest on saturday evening, after a verybusy and tiring saturday. The main objective was to test the addition of a passive reflector on my 40m dipole (see below), but I quickly gave up due to high local noise (rain on 380kV power line) and ended-up in bed earlier than planned... In fact the real fun started sunday evening, when the rain finaly stopped: 230 QSO's logged on 40m during the 2 last hours (best 30mn @150 ), confirmed that the antenna was working fine... a 2 hours great pile-up which I'll keep in mind(probably the best ever, from my modest domestic station !)
Finaly 40m has been by far the best band with 500 QSO's logged in only 6hours... (for sure that's promising for future contests...)
Superb conditions also on 20m late sunday evening; but was to impatient to test the 40m antenna (same for 80m !) ... Finaly and in spite of the limited time spent on the air all US-states have been worked except SD. A pity the weather did not help, but to be honnest I had been too lucky for many weekends in 2005 !

Monday, February 20, 2006

A low-cost 2 elements for 40m

Objectives: - Improve reception toward NA, by attenuating EU-signals
- Provide some substantial gain over my usual dipole (3.5~4dB)
- easy to erect/remove

Playing with MMANA and NEC2 I discovered that placing a passive reflector some 8m (0.2 wl) behind my standard inverted V-dipole, I could get near to 4dB gain, while maintaining an acceptable SWR in the 50 ohms line (typ 1.7).
I also discovered that the passive reflector could be noticeably lower than the dipole, just sacrifying a few tenth's of DB.

Above: the concept, and the simulated performances (in red) compaired to a dipole at the same height (in blue) and to a 4 radials GP at 10m (black)

Below: the practical realisation with the dipole at 19m (7m above the tribander), and the passive reflector with the appex at 15m. The reflector can easily be folded along the fiberglass mast to restore the bidirectional pattern of the dipole... In the background, the 380kV power-line !

Monday, February 13, 2006


Call: TM6A
Operator(s): F6IRF
Station: F6IRF
Class: SOAB LP
Operating Time (hrs): 30
Radios: SO2R

Band QSOs Pts
80: 432 1806
40: 487 2184
20: 430 1097
15: 70 183
Total: 1419 5270 Prefixes = 528 Total Score = 2,782,560

Station: my usual SO2R minima-setup @150W
A fantastic contest despite poor conditions. Tremendous participation,
I had never seen the 20/40/80 digital segments extending that far away
from the theoretical limits...
This year the local WX was perfect and allowed me to put my last year
"low bands" strategy in practice...
The only disapointment comes from the limited number of prefixes,
(only +4 compaired to last year - congrats to UT9FJ for the 575!), but with
a 30% improv
ement over my last year score the claimed is above the current
EU-record for the category

(click to enlarge)- those 2 graphs show the top-ten qso and prefixes providers.
( )

N1MM-LOGGER is getting better and better, and performed near to the
perfection - once again thanks/congrats to the programmers team.

Country stats can be seen at

Thanks to all for the QSO's - E-confirmations soon on LOTW
Pat (not Serge!)
WPX RTTY - 2006-02-11 0000Z to 2006-02-13 0000Z - 1429 QSOs
TM6A - Off Times >= 60 Minutes
Total Time Off 18.03 hours
Total Time On 29.97 hours

As shown on those graphs, I took most of my off-time during the day. I also spent quite some time on 40 during the day, and limited 15m mostly to the JA window.
About the strategy: It may not be obvious for everybody, but the WPX is one of the most interesting contest on a strategic point of view. What make it so interesting is the fact that SO may only operate 30 of 48 hours, that QSO-points are multiplied by 2 on 40 and 80, and mults only counted once.

As shown on the various graphs above, my strategy was deliberatly "priority to low bands", with the majority of off-time taken during daytime. The consequence of this strategy is a relatively low number of multipliers per QSO's versus a high number of points/qso.

This graph shows that various strategies may provide close results. Obviously the situation is quite different seen from Israel or USA...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Will be TM6A in WPX-tty and ARRL-DX-CW

Received TM6A callsign for period 10/02/06 to 23/02/06.

At h-36 from WPX start the conditions do not seem very promising...
Only 2 small sunspots are visible on the solar dish (SSN 12) while the Ionosonde NWRA SSNe indicate a value of 20
Anyway... not much to expect from 15 and 10m...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

CN2WW in the ham magazines

CN2WW dans radio-REF CN2WW dans le Radio-Ref de Janvier 06
CN2WW dans ondes magazine CN2WW dans Ondes Magazine nr 24
Sorry the articles are only in French, but you may look at my other blog for the expedition story

F6IRF a few details about my SO2R-setup

This show the SO2R setup used during the REF contest. The SO2R audio- switching is achieved at the soundcard level by N1MM-software, so no external hardware is required - the headphone is just connected to the PC soundcard audio output.
It is not necessary either to switch the CW keying line, as N1MM logger allow the configuration of several CW-ports (LPT, COM or "Winkey" through the microkeyer). I use the microkeyer with the 735, as unlike the 756, it does not have an electronic keyer built-in, and 2 CW inputs (one for the paddle one for the PC)
I don't use any RF or antenna switching - the filters mounted with BNC adaptors are just exchanged when required, the 2 RF ports of the 756 allow a third band to be immediately available by simple VFO swap.
Les images montrent la configuration SO2R utilisée pendant la coupe du REF. La commutation audio est gérée au niveau de la carte son par N1MM-logger, aussi aucune communation externe n'est requise; le casque est juste connecté à la sortie audio de la carte son.
Il n'est pas non plus nécéssaire de switcher la commande CW puisque le soft autorise la configuration de plusieurs ports CW (LPT , COM ou "winkey" via le microkeyer). J'utilise le microkeyer avec le 735, puiqu'à la difference du 756 il n'a pas de manip electronique ïnterne et pas non plus 2 entrées CW (1 pour le PC, 1 pour la clé).
Je n'utilise pas non plus de commutation de filtres et/ou d'antennes automatiques. Les filtres sont montés avec des adapteurs BNC, et echangés quand nécessaire. Les deux ports antenne du 756 autorisent l'acces immédiat à une 3eme bande par simple changement de VFO.