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 

All Things HF

 April 28, 2021 

All Things HF 

First things first…HFDX is alive and well and there’s plenty of it to go around on the HF bands including the digital modes. FT8 in particular is by far the most popular digital mode on the bands today. 

Radio in a Box is not something that’s new as it’s been in use for many years for HF mobile communications from Field Day to major disasters. What is new however is Radio in a Box set up and operated remote for major DXpeditions in sensitive environmental locations. 

Modern day DXpeditions are expensive, very expensive. The process of obtaining permits and licenses to operate in locations like Peter 1 and Scarborough Reef is laborious and its expensive as well as the DXpedition itself tickling the half million-dollar mark. Bouvet Is. even though both attempts failed for one reason or other each approached the $500K mark. 

Radio in a Box operated remotely from the Motor Ship Braveheart to Bouvet, would have had no requirement for an expensive environmental permit and…would not require a very expensive portable housing installation along with its tear down and removal from the Island. 

The funding for the research and development of the project is the Northern California DX Foundation along with the Flex Radio Company. Good neighbors to the DX community indeed! 

That’s all for now but…sit down at your station and call CQ because someone somewhere is listening for you call, don’t disappoint them. 

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

Best 73 es gud DX de Bob WØZPE 

March 2021
All Things HF

It’s been well over a year since my last post of All Things HF mostly due to the diminishing sunspot cycle 24 and the arrival of the new sunspot cycle 25. During this time period we were in what is referred to as a ‘minimum’ as related to HF radio signals.
The high bands, with the exception of 20-meters, were almost unusable for the purpose of DX operations. Within the past several weeks there has been increased activity allowing for some interesting DX into Europe, Central and South America and Mexico on 15, 17 and 20-meters.
Sunspot numbers continue to be low as is the solar flux index (low 70’s) but promising for near future good DX conditions.
During this past year I’ve spent most of my operating DX on the 40-meter band. Several weeks ago, in the wee hours after calling CQ for several minutes, I was rewarded with a weak but workable signal from the Island of Guadalupe (FG). Once again, calling CQ has proven that you cannot be heard while listening.
In the meantime, I’ve been honing my CW skills in preparation for the good times ahead on the HF bands. Whatever the
mode you use on the bands, call CQ because someone somewhere is listening for your call…don’t disappoint them.
So long for now from my station in Huntersville to yours,
Best 73 es gud DX