All Things HF – August 2021

August 1, 2021

Where did they go? We had sunspots, lots of them until the 3RD week of July then they went ’south’ taking with it the good solar index numbers. Good DX didn’t go away but it was a lot more difficult to work. I did answer a CQ portable from a station in Lugano, Switzerland. Going back to my home town of San Luis Obispo, California, there is a connection with Lugano and the central coast. In the late 1800’s there was an exodus from Lugano to SLO of dozens of dairy farmers starting a new life in the US. The town of Lugano’s official language is Italian.

The Swiss/Italian community in SLO no longer farms but they still speak their native language and have become shakers and movers in their adopted community. I visited Lugano in 1982…it’s a charming and beautiful part of the world. Isn’t it amazing what we as radio operators can do to make this world a nicer place by friendly communication with other Ham radio operators around the world? 

Keep looking ahead as the band conditions improve and perhaps you will make a connection as nice as mine. Keep on keeping on and remember to sit down at your station to call CQ because someone, somewhere, is listening for your call–don’t disappoint them. So long from my station in Huntersville to your station wherever it may be.   

Best 73 es gud DX,

Bob WØZPE

All Things HF

 July 2021 

“Sunspot Cycle 25 Is Coming Alive” 

This catchy slogan bodes well for those of you who have plans to make Ham radio your window to worldwide communications and…go for DXCC credits with an opportunity to make the coveted DXCC Honor Roll. I’ve been working in that direction for the past 22 years with 315 countries worked and 315 countries confirmed. My DXCC credits are for both phone and for CW. 

Also in the news, there are some great DXpeditions coming along this year that will include Bouvet Island and Bangladesh along with several other rare countries. These past several weeks have produced great signals worldwide allowing for fantastic good old fashioned QSO’s and exchanges of information which this wonderful hobby is all about. 

The provocative tee shirt proclaiming FT 8 is Ham radio without the Jibber-Jabber was amusing to me so let me tell you about my tee shirt that proclaims all Hams are not alike, some know CW. I personally will not be operating any of the digital modes but as I’ve always said, there is room for all of the legal modes of communicating in this hobby. My CW operating has renewed and piqued my interest in HF over the past 2 years. Even though the bands produced little opportunity for phone, CW still got the job done. 

I’m approaching my 93rd year so you can imagine how wonderfully this station of mine keeps me entertained. So, off I go to call CQ for some good old down-to-earth conversation with whomever answers my call. No waterfalls or greasy kid stuff here… 

So long from Huntersville for now, and be sure to call CQ from your station wherever it may be as someone, somewhere is listening for your call. Don’t disappoint them. 

Best 73 es gud DX 

Bob WØZPE 

All Things HF

June 12, 2021

Band conditions have continued to improve almost on a daily basis with an increase in sunspot numbers along with an increase in the solar flux index. Good signals are worldwide on the HF bands. 

On the late afternoon of June 7th yours truly was on HF calling CQ with my 17 meter beam pointed to the west taking advantage of greyline propagation which I’ve been doing from the git-go…I enjoy rattling chains of California operators. 

An answer to my call came from VK4SX in Queensland, Australia with an S5+ signal and yes, I was surprised to say the least. Calling CQ is what I enjoy most when operating SSB HF. To my way of thinking, having an opportunity to engage another operator in real time with real conversation is the essence of this hobby. 

I don’t mean to exclude operating CW which is quickly becoming (almost) more fun than SSB. This is the very tradition of Ham Radio. Meanwhile, change is happening at ARRL headquarters as a digital transformation is in the making. All well and good but…not for me. I’ll still be pounding brass and calling on SSB rather than looking at waterfalls. 

That’s a wrap for now as I practice what I preach by sitting at my station calling CQ because someone somewhere in this world of traditional radio is listening for your call, don’t disappoint them. So long for now from my station in Huntersville to your radio station wherever it may be… 

Best 73 es gud DX de Bob WØZPE 

May 26, 2021 – All Things HF

The month of May produced a mediocre solar index that hovered in the mid-70’s as the sunspot numbers stayed in the mid-30’s, however, the quality of DX was ever-present through the entire month of May with something for everyone that included the digital modes, CW and phone for worldwide DX. 

Now that the covid-19 pandemic is on the wane, the long awaited DXpeditions are once again beginning to form with the Principality of Monaco (3A) leading the way, starting on the 27th of this month. Yours truly will be in the pileups to add this to my quest for honor roll…in my 20 years of DXing, this one has evaded me. 

For those of you who collect IOTA’s, there is going to be a rare one by the Russian Robinson group that will be QRV from Attu and Kiska in the Aleutians. Both of these Bering Sea Aleutian Islands were occupied By the Japanese during the early stages of WWll. The Islands have been dedicated as WWII monuments to the 550 American service personnel who gave their lives chasing the Japanese off both of the Islands. 

Most of the DX worked by this station over the past month has been on CW. Once again, the digital mode of FT8 has been the predominant mode but…CW is alive and kicking butt on the bands. That’s about all the news from this station for the month as far as DX goes. 

Don’t forget, no one can hear you listening, so get your station warmed up and call CQ because someone, somewhere in this world of Ham radio is listening for your call; don’t disappoint them. 

So long from my station in Huntersville to yours, wherever it may be… 

Best 73 es gud DX de Bob WØZPE