LA0BY Activity Highlights 2018

Subregional Contest 5./6. May 2018

Horrible condx, I was QRV for a few hours but it was no fun.

LA0BY in JO59IX wkd via Tropo on 144 MHz:
2018/05/06	4:45	DF0TEC	JO73CE	785 km
2018/05/06	5:18	DL1SUZ	JO53UN	716 km
2018/05/06	5:30	SP1JNY	JO73GL	759 km
2018/05/06	5:38	DM3ZF	JO64ND	665 km
2018/05/06	5:43	DJ8MS	JO54VC	657 km

RIG : IC-821H + PA 180 W, 2 x 9-ele-yagi at 520 m asl

Nordic Activity Contest 3. July 2018

There was a nice tropo duct to the South, reaching not very far but 
good for some unusual contacts.

LA0BY in JO59IX wkd via Tropo on 144 MHz:
2018/07/03	17:00	PA2RU	JO32LT	829 km
2018/07/03	17:30	DL6YBF	JO31OX	915 km
2018/07/03	17:33	DL6BF	JO32QI	872 km
2018/07/03	17:55	SN1I	JO84CE	724 km
2018/07/03	18:01	DB6NT	JO50VJ	1068 km
2018/07/03	18:05	DL9BDM	JO33RL	749 km
2018/07/03	18:12	DH8BAT	JO43KQ	708 km
2018/07/03	18:50	DL1BME/P	JO42JW	792 km
2018/07/03	18:53	DB3BS	JO42EU	805 km
2018/07/03	18:59	DL2OM	JO30SN	1066 km
2018/07/03	19:01	DL6AM	JO42QH	856 km
2018/07/03	19:23	DF0WD	JO42FD	882 km
2018/07/03	19:24	DM7N	JO42AH	868 km
2018/07/03	19:51	PA4VHF	JO32JE	899 km
2018/07/03	19:52	DL1YAW	JO41DX	902 km
2018/07/03	19:53	DP9X	JO41PU	908 km
2018/07/03	19:53	DL4OAT	JO42OG	862 km
2018/07/03	19:55	DK1UF	JO43KC	773 km
2018/07/03	19:56	DL9OBD	JO42QN	829 km
2018/07/03	20:01	DL8YE	JO32TC	896 km
2018/07/03	20:04	PA3BIY	JO22EB	963 km
2018/07/03	20:18	DL1OBF	JO42NG	863 km
2018/07/03	20:29	SP1MVG	JO74JA	707 km
2018/07/03	20:41	DH8BQA	JO73CE	785 km

RIG : K3 + XVTR + PA 180 W, 2 x 9-ele-yagi at 520 m asl

Subregional Contest 7./8. July 2018

This time both weather and propagation was favourable, and quite a number of 
good DX contact were possible. Nice tropo to western part of Germany on Sunday 
morning, which allowed me to work some of the friends near my home area. I was 
also very happy to work YU7ON for an unusal distance and ODX, probably via MS 
burst which lasted long enough to exchange all details in CW.

LA0BY in JO59IX wkd via Tropo on 144 MHz:
2018/07/08	4:12	DK5DQ	JO31QH	986 km
2018/07/08	4:25	DF4T	JN39NR	1162 km
2018/07/08	4:32	DF0DA	JO30JF	1112 km
2018/07/08	4:41	DA0FF	JO40XL	1057 km
2018/07/08	4:46	DH8BQA	JO73CE	785 km
2018/07/08	4:55	DL0AC	JO30EJ	1100 km
2018/07/08	5:15	DL1SUZ	JO53UN	716 km
2018/07/08	5:30	DL0LN	JO31QX	913 km
2018/07/08	5:41	YU7ON	KN05FG	1759 km
2018/07/08	5:45	RW2F	JO94XV	790 km
2018/07/08	5:46	DF0MU	JO32PC	901 km
2018/07/08	6:11	DK3WG	JO72GI	880 km
2018/07/08	6:36	DF9WB	JO30JF	1112 km
2018/07/08	6:47	DL6YBF	JO31OX	915 km
2018/07/08	7:43	G4SWX	JO02RF	1033 km

RIG : IC-821H + PA 180 W, 2 x 9-ele-yagi at 520 m asl

Nordic Activity Contest 7. August 2018

No particularly condx, so only the usual suspects made it into the log.
Lost DL6YBF and G4CDN in noise.

LA0BY in JO59IX wkd via Tropo on 144 MHz:
2018/08/07	18:57	DF0MU	JO32PC	901 km
2018/08/07	19:25	ES5PC	KO38HJ	921 km
2018/08/07	19:39	YL2AJ	KO16OX	798 km
2018/08/07	19:44	SN1I	JO84CE	724 km
2018/08/07	20:09	SP1MVG	JO74JA	707 km

RIG : K3 + XVTR + PA 180 W, 2 x 9-ele-yagi at 520 m asl

Perseids Meteor Shower

My goal was to work some new squares and to participate in the MS SPRINT Contest. 
Sunday from afternoon to late night I was in my hilltop location in JO59IX, mainly
working to east. All contacts were made in digimode FSK441 with WSJT.

LA0BY in JO59IX/FW wkd via MS on 144 MHz:
2018/08/12	06:54	07:00	OE3FVU	JN78VE	27	26	1351 km *
2018/08/12	12:36	12:54	R3PAC	KO93CQ	27	37	1797 km
2018/08/12	12:54	13:02	RW3TJ	LO16XG	46	26	1973 km
2018/08/12	13:12	13:26	RV3IG	LO17FJ	27	26	1839 km
2018/08/12	14:02	14:30	UA3IDQ	KO66JF	27	27	1355 km
2018/08/12	16:35	16:45	RK1AS	KP40UE	27	27	1050 km
2018/08/12	18:06	18:16	HB9FAP	JN47PH	27	27	1411 km
2018/08/12	18:22	18:46	RZ3RZ	LO02RR	26	38	2035 km
2018/08/12	18:50	19:20	UT8AL	KO61WP	27	39	1705 km
2018/08/12	19:28	19:50	GI0OTC	IO65QE	28	26	1158 km
2018/08/12	20:00	20:12	LZ2FO	KN13KX	27	26	1957 km
2018/08/12	20:34	20:45	RW3PX	KO83WR	27	27	1776 km
2018/08/12	21:28	21:48	OY4TN	IP62NB	38	38	972 km
2018/08/12	21:50	22:25	GM4GUF/p	IO68TB	26	26	998 km
2018/08/12	22:28	22:34	E72U	JN94JU	27	26	1766 km
2018/08/12	22:45	23:07	R3PA	KO93JV	27	26	1816 km
2018/08/12	23:18	23:57	UT2EM	KN67QV	27	26	1983 km
2018/08/13	00:00	00:12	UT2UB	KO40UO	27	26	1582 km
2018/08/13	08:42	08:58	G4DCV	IO91OF	27	26	1196 km *
2018/08/13	09:17	09:26	G7RAU	IN79JX	27	26	1485 km *
2018/08/13	09:29	09:48	PA3BIY	JO22HB	27	26	947 km *
2018/08/13	09:50	10:14	IV3NDC	JN65RV	38	26	1574 km *
2018/08/13	10:17	10:37	G1KAW/p	JO00EW	28	29	1183 km *
2018/08/13	10:40	10:49	DL9LBH	JN59ID	27	26	1200 km *
2018/08/13	10:54	11:02	HA6VV/p	JN97WV	38	26	1471 km *
2018/08/13	11:15	11:21	DG1VB	JO61RC	37	26	1000 km *
2018/08/13	11:35	11:40	IW2BNA	JN45ON	27	26	1601 km *
2018/08/13	11:46	11:52	HB9AHD	JN47IM	27	26	1385 km *
2018/08/13	11:55	12:11	UT9UR	KO40XD	39	27	1641 km *
2018/08/13	12:24	12:30	OE1ILW/3	JN77XX	27	26	1376 km *
2018/08/13	12:36	14:48	PA2CHR	JO32DB	27	37	913 km *
2018/08/13	18:30	19:14	UT3UX	KO50HJ	39	26	1652 km *


RIG: 180W into 2 x 9-ele from JO59IX (* 600 W into 9-ele from JO59FW)

I was very happy to work 4 new squares (IO65, IO68, KO66, LO02). UA3IDQ was using only
40W into 11-ele-yagi, UT8AL only 20W into 21-ele-yagi and GM4GUF/p only 80W into 3-ele 
wire-Quad. I cannot really tell how this shower compared to earlier years, but I guess 
it was not bad, since I succedded with low power stations.

It found it again confusing that many stations used MSK144 as another digimode with a 
separate calling frequency. Unfortunately I could only receive on MSK144, so I may have
missed some stations. I do not see a distinct advantage of MSK144 vs FSK441 to justify 
the distraction. I will probably make MSK144 work for the next shower, but hope that the 
MS activity one day goes back to one standard mode (or even to SSB in good showers!). 

IARU Region 1 VHF Contest 1./2. September 2018

Guided by the Hepburn tropo ducting forecast I chose again Sunday morning for some
activity, and it seems it was a good decision. A little lift over the North and Baltic
Seas was enough to cross the 1000 km mark a few times. I heard also DF0WF, DM5D, DM7A, 
OL1R (no ears), OL7C, ON8CF/p and SN1I.

LA0BY in JO59IX wkd via Tropo on 144 MHz:
2018/09/02	4:03	DA0FF	JO40XL	1057 km
2018/09/02	4:10	SN7L	JO70UR	1075 km
2018/09/02	4:18	DF0TEC	JO73CE	785 km
2018/09/02	4:46	G0VHF/P	JO01PU	1075 km
2018/09/02	4:50	G3XDY	JO02OB	1058 km
2018/09/02	4:54	DL1SUZ	JO53UN	716 km
2018/09/02	5:16	DL0GTH	JO50JP	1038 km
2018/09/02	6:09	DH5BS	JO64RB	678 km
2018/09/02	6:19	DL0HTW	JO60QU	1028 km
2018/09/02	6:28	DF0MU	JO32PC	901 km
2018/09/02	6:34	SP2FRY	JO83WR	819 km
2018/09/02	8:07	OL4N	JO60VR	1047 km
2018/09/02	8:23	SP1JNY	JO73GL	759 km
2018/09/02	9:02	DM4EE	JO64KE	657 km
2018/09/02	9:27	DL3SWS	JO53WH	745 km
2018/09/02	9:50	DL7AFB	JO62JA	894 km

RIG : K3 + XVTR + PA 180 W, 2 x 9-ele-yagi at 520 m asl

Nordic Activity Contest 4. September 2018

There were slightly enhanced tropo condx to OH, but DL was difficult. 
PA3BIY at the end was a big surprise! Hrd also DL3TW, OH6NG, SN1I and YL2AJ.

LA0BY in JO59IX wkd via Tropo on 144 MHz:
2018/09/04	17:53	DH5BS	JO64RB	678 km
2018/09/04	18:18	OG60F	KP01TK	615 km
2018/09/04	18:26	OH1AU	KP10CM	637 km
2018/09/04	18:32	OH1TP	KP01SU	621 km
2018/09/04	19:37	OH1ND	KP00XL	623 km
2018/09/04	19:38	OH1OP	KP10CR	637 km
2018/09/04	19:53	OH6KTL	KP02OJ	623 km
2018/09/04	20:23	OH0AZX	KP00IF	554 km
2018/09/04	20:34	ES0FX	KO08XL	660 km
2018/09/04	20:41	ES5PC	KO38HJ	921 km
2018/09/04	20:57	DF0MU	JO32PC	901 km
2018/09/04	20:59	PA3BIY	JO22HB	957 km

RIG : K3 + XVTR + PA 180 W, 2 x 9-ele-yagi at 520 m asl

Enhanced Tropo propagation 10 October 2018

Nice tropo conditions appeared for the first time for this autumn, 
as predicted by Hepburn. I started off with antennas for 2m and 70cm
but changed to 70cm and 23cm after ca 3 hours when condx appeared to be
better on 70cm than 2m. Activity seemed very low given such good propagation. 
Perhaps more stations were using FT8?

LA0BY in JO59IX wkd on 144 MHz via Tropo:
2018/10/10	17:55	SP2MSM	JO83XC	883 km
2018/10/10	17:56	SP2DDV	JO83VE	870 km
2018/10/10	18:38	LY3A	KO25DB	975 km
2018/10/10	18:42	SQ2SAT	JO83XG	867 km
2018/10/10	20:12	SP5HD	KO02NI	1063 km
2018/10/10	20:15	EW3AA	KO12TC	1184 km
2018/10/10	20:18	LY2HM	KO15CX	809 km
RIG: IC-821H, PA 180W, 9-ele-yagi				

LA0BY in JO59IX wkd on 432 MHz via Tropo:				
2018/10/10	18:44	SQ2SAT	JO83XG	867 km
2018/10/10	18:47	SP2CNW	JO93AI	861 km
2018/10/10	18:51	RA2FX	KO05XB	864 km
2018/10/10	18:55	LY3A	KO25DB	975 km
2018/10/10	18:58	SP1N	JO73GL	759 km
2018/10/10	19:00	SP1NQN	JO84ML	720 km
2018/10/10	19:15	SQ2EEQ	JO94WC	855 km
2018/10/10	19:23	DJ4TC	JO63PN	731 km
2018/10/10	19:47	SP2FAV	JO94MA	832 km
2018/10/10	23:11	EU4AX	KO13VP	1060 km
RIG: IC-821H, PA 120W, 17-ele-yagi
hrd also SQ8NGX				
				
LA0BY in JO59IX wkd on 1296 MHz via Tropo:			
2018/10/10	21:23	SP4MPB	KO03HT	911 km
2018/10/10	21:30	SQ2SAT	JO83XG	867 km
2018/10/10	21:37	LY2HM	KO15CX	809 km
2018/10/10	21:40	SP2DDV	JO83VE	870 km
2018/10/10	22:40	LY3A	KO25DB	975 km
2018/10/10	22:45	EU4AX	KO13VP	1060 km
RIG: FT-817D, XVTR 15 W, 23-ele-yagi
hrd also SP5XMU and SP2CNW				

The maximum distances were almost the same on all three bands. 
The QSO with EU4AX on 23 cm was actually the first contact between LA and 
EW on that band! I am looking forward to work more 23cm in future.

Marconi Memorial Contest with some tropo condx

The Hepburn propagation forecast indicated a slight chance of some tropo
enhancement. When starting operation early on Sunday morning, the band was
flat. However, after 2-3 hours signals from distant stations in DL became
audible. DR9A came in constantly for more than 5 hours with good signal, and
was in fact the strongest station on band in my location. Later even HB9FAP
got through on tropo, and got quite strong after I worked him. For most paths
the tropo was weak and unstable, which made it challenging to complete QSO.

LA0BY in JO59IX wkd via Tropo on 144 MHz:				
2018/11/04	5:50	DF0MU	JO32PC	901 km
2018/11/04	7:04	DM3W	JO62XE	889 km
2018/11/04	7:21	OL7C	JO60JJ	1074 km
2018/11/04	7:36	DM3D	JO62LI	859 km
2018/11/04	8:20	DL6BF	JO32QI	872 km
2018/11/04	8:29	DR9A	JN48EQ	1264 km
2018/11/04	9:47	DA0FF	JO40XL	1057 km
2018/11/04	11:29	HB9FAP	JN47PH	1411 km
2018/11/04	11:45	DL0XS	JO42RG	861 km
2018/11/04	12:15	DL6IAK	JN48IX	1230 km
2018/11/04	12:22	DL2OM	JO30SN	1066 km
2018/11/04	12:41	DL0LN	JO31QX	913 km
RIG: IC-821H, PA 180W, 2 x 9-ele yagi								

I could hear several other stations, like DF4XG, DJ7R, DL4LBK, DL7ULM, DL8QS, 
DL8UI, DL0GTH/p, DL0HTW, DL0STO, DL0WAE, DM5D, OK1KKD, OK2A, OL1C, OL4N, PA2CHR 
and SN1I. I guess the QRM level in the South made it difficult for those to hear
me, since most probably used 4-10 dB more power than me.

Exceptional tropo condx on November 22


The Hepburn tropo forecast looked promising for the evening, so I decided to go
to my hilltop location at 500 m asl despite the grim temperatures (-5 deg C). 
Upon arrival, I set up 2m and 70cm antennas first, but I also took along my 23cm 
equipment (you never know ...). 

Immediately after switching on, my most optimistic expectations were exceeded: 
Stations from the Baltics and Ukraine had good signals on 2m, but even better on 
70 cm. But I could not trust my ears when I heard UA6AQN calling CQ on 70 cm, and
he even replied on my call - this was really incredible! So I favoured 70 cm and
the log was soon filling up with lots of DX, some in squares that I still have not 
worked on 2m. RZ6DD and R6AM from LN04 became my new ODX on 70 cm, both > 2600 km
in distance. Over the evening I had a rather stable duct to UA6 but only on 70 cm.

After two hours of operation it felt I should try also on 23 cm, so I reconfigured
my setup to have only 23 cm and 70 cm antennas up. And it appeared the condx were
good also on 23 cm, but of course much fewer stations were QRV. LY, EW and SP were
worked easily. I knew that UA6 was calling on 23cm but could not hear anything. 
Unfortunately stations in Ukraine are not allowed to operate on 23 cm, I am sure it
would have been possible to make a QSO. 

Late in the evening I changed my configuration back to 2 m and 70 cm antennas. Then
RZ6DD and UA6AQN came in on 70 cm even stronger than before and asked for 23 cm ...
I was QRV until about 24 UTC, but did not work anything new in the last hour, while
UA6AQN was still rolling in. The only station I heard but could not complete with 
was UY5HF on 70cm. Can it get any better?

LA0BY in JO59IX wkd via Tropo on 144 MHz:			
2018/11/22	17:11	EW2BZ	KO34OD	1185 km
2018/11/22	17:14	UR5LX	KO70WK	1899 km
2018/11/22	18:00	EU1AI	KO33SV	1219 km
2018/11/22	18:04	UR3VKC	KN68NO	1911 km
2018/11/22	18:07	UT9UR	KO40XD	1632 km
2018/11/22	18:09	EU1AI	KO33SV	1219 km
2018/11/22	18:11	LY3DE	KO25SJ	1015 km
2018/11/22	18:19	US8AR	KO60AR	1683 km
2018/11/22	18:24	UR8GZ	KN66RT	2082 km
2018/11/22	18:25	UT8AL	KO61WP	1705 km
2018/11/22	18:28	EU3AI	KO22CE	1201 km
2018/11/22	22:43	UY5HF	KN66HP	2059 km
RIG: IC-821H + PA 180W + 9-ele-yagi				
				
LA0BY in JO59IX wkd via Tropo on 432 MHz:				
2018/11/22	17:17	UR5LX	KO70WK	1899 km
2018/11/22	17:18	EW2BZ	KO34OD	1185 km
2018/11/22	17:26	UT4LA	KN89CW	1954 km
2018/11/22	17:30	UT8AL	KO61WP	1705 km
2018/11/22	17:33	EW6X	KO45IM	1173 km
2018/11/22	17:41	UA6AQN	KN96VC	2448 km
2018/11/22	17:42	EW6FS	KO35LB	1110 km
2018/11/22	17:44	LY3DE	KO25SJ	1015 km
2018/11/22	17:49	LY1FX	KO25TL	1014 km
2018/11/22	18:30	EU3AI	KO22CE	1201 km
2018/11/22	18:32	UR8GZ	KN66RT	2082 km
2018/11/22	18:35	LY2CH	KO15OV	864 km
2018/11/22	18:47	EU2AA	KO34KI	1153 km
2018/11/22	18:49	RZ6DD	LN04MX	2606 km
2018/11/22	18:51	R6AM	LN04NX	2611 km
2018/11/22	18:54	UT8LE	KN79WW	1937 km
2018/11/22	19:27	R6AM	LN04NX	2611 km
2018/11/22	19:38	LY2R	KO15VS	902 km
2018/11/22	20:18	UT6UG	KO50EI	1634 km
2018/11/22	20:38	UT3UCP	KO50GM	1628 km
2018/11/22	20:42	UT8AL	KO61WP	1705 km
2018/11/22	20:43	UT5VD	KN68MT	1889 km
2018/11/22	21:46	US5WU	KO20DI	1369 km
2018/11/22	21:53	RZ6DD	LN04MX	2606 km
2018/11/22	22:09	EU2AA	KO34KI	1153 km
2018/11/22	22:12	UA6AQN	KN96VC	2448 km
2018/11/22	22:26	SQ5TF	KO02WT	1050 km
2018/11/22	22:33	LY2BBF	KO24PR	1048 km
2018/11/22	22:36	UR8GZ	KN66RT	2082 km
RIG:IC-821H + PA 120W + 17-ele-yagi								
				
LA0BY in JO59IX wkd via Tropo on 1296 MHz:			
2018/11/22	19:44	LY2R	KO15VS	902 km
2018/11/22	19:49	EU4AX	KO13VP	1060 km
2018/11/22	19:57	LY2HM	KO15CX	809 km
2018/11/22	19:59	EW6FS	KO35LB	1110 km
2018/11/22	20:02	SP4MPB	KO03HT	911 km
RIG: FT-817ND + XVTR + 23-ele-yagi				


About 80 % of my contacts were made in CW, the others in SSB, and none in FT8.
UT6UG wanted to try in FT8 but I could convince him to give SSB a chance and it
worked easily. Signal reports were mostly in the high end (559-599) so what do
you need FT8 for then?

In hindsight, it seems I should perhaps have operated more on 2 m. RA6A claimed 
on DXC a contact with me on 2 m, but unfortunately was not in my log. I remember 
hearing another station calling me during my QSO with UT8AL - probably RA6A. 
Working UA6 on Tropo on 2 m would have been nice. However, in the heat of the 
moment I decided to focus on higher bands, after having received better signals 
on 70 cm than on 2 m.

Next time we have such fine tropo ducting, I will try to assemble antennas for 
three bands on the same mast. Then it will be easier to test and monitor on all 
simultaneously, and not lose precious time for changing antenna configurations.


RZ6DD kindly provided a soundfile of our 70cm contact (tnx Alexander!). Back home I did a litlle path analysis for the longest distance contacts with RZ6DD and R6AM. The path profile shows there were no mountains between both ends.

The surface pressure map from British MetOffice shows there wass a huge high pressure area over Lithuania, approximately at midpoint of the path.