Yaesu System Fusion – first time user!

The HF bands have been pretty dire so I thought I’d fire up the old FT991 and see if I could get anywhere with Yaesu System Fusion, I’ve tried before with only limited sucess. The limitation was that whilst I could seem to work folks on the local repeater using CTFM I couldn’t manage to connect to the WIRES-X network. Apart from this my only other success on CTFM was a direct QSO with my old friend Dave G8LZE, who is new very sadly SK, Dave lived less than 1Km from my QTH.

Pulling my hair out with frustration unable to connect to WIRES-X I resorted to a google search. Very quikcly I found a helpful YouTube video by Jonathan Creaser, M0XXJ. According to Jonathan’s advice the Squelch (SQL) on the FT991 needs to be set at ’20’, don’t ask me why!

Still learning the ropes but good to have digital QSO with New Aealand and USA today.

I’ve loaded up a few node ID onto the 991 including: CQ-UK, Southern Fusion, NWFG and Z-AUCKLANDLINK.

Brazil on 6m … SpE is here!

Apart from the occassional FT8 QSO with European station I’ve been a bit slow off the mark this year with regards 6m and Sporadic E. This afternoon I noticed that Brazilian stations were being spotted by UK stations on 50.313. Neither the 5 ele YU7EF beam or the Moxon are up at the moment, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I had a go with my 80m EFHW (which I only put up last week to see how it compares with my G7FEK inverted L for 80m). Imagine my surprise when not only was I heard by at least 4 stations in the Sao Paulo area, I actually completed a QSO with one of them. Well, blow me down!

Maps from PSK Reporter

Fun in the UKEI CW Contest

287 QSO in the UK/EI DX CW contest, not bad for a CW rookie.

Most QSOs made on 40m and 20m with a smattering on the other bands. Not many G or EI stations worked (67, so just under 25%) which will mean low multipliers but I guess inter-G (and EI) conditions have been far from ideal. A couple of QSO including PV2K Brazil on 10m rounded things off Sunday lunchtime. The most frustrating thing was the Swiss contest running at the same time (with different exchanges!), a number (most) HB9 stations were not willing to work stations in the EU/EI contest.

QSO totals with DXCC in brackets:

80m: 38 (18)
40m: 128 (28)
20m: 91 (29)
15m: 20 (13)
10m: 9 (9)


Sporadic E season is back!

After the frankly terrible conditions on the lower HF bands over the last few days (with the Kp Index reaching 8 yesterday), it was good to see 6m (50MHz)open for Sporadic E propagation. Nothing spectucular worked but it is good to have the following in the log: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Andorra, France, Germany, Poland and Lithuanina – admitedly all with FT8 – nothing heard on USB. I did see some UK stations working South Africa, Brazil, Chile and Argentina, no such luck here on the Moxon at just 4m height but it’s still a good start to ‘the season’ 🙂

English Castles Activations and Two Tree Island

The second activation was conducted on the same day as the Canvey Rally which also presented an opportunity to activate Canvey Island (west and east – WAB TQ78 and TQ88) for the Worked all Britain group. I also managed to activate Two Tree Island (TQ88) for the WABers, that activation also included Parks on the Air (POTA) G-0090 (Leigh Nature Reserve).
Equipment used: Yaesu FT857D, Ampro whip antennas for 20m and 40m, Ultramax 18Ah LifePO4 battery.

Two Tree Island
The activation area

Find out more about ECA here: https://englishcastlesawards.uk/

Find out more about WAB here: http://wab.intermip.net/default.php

Fina out more about POTA here: https://parksontheair.com/

A few nice English Castles Awards

Find out more about the English Castle Award (ECA) programme here: https://englishcastlesawards.uk/
The ECA programme is part of the World Castle Award (WCA) here: http://wcagroup.org/
Google Earth KMZ layers showing the English Castle references and 1000m activation zones can be downloaded from this ECA page along with a Google Maps version also: https://englishcastlesawards.uk/reference-map/

Note how activation zones overlap so it is possible to activate multiple castle reference from a single operating site.

Thanks to Bob M0MJA for his management of the ECA programme.