Tuesday, October 23, 2018
DXers Unlimited, weekend edition Sunday 21 October
Radio Havana Cuba
Hola amigos... this is Dxers Unlimited's weekend edition... I am your host Arnie Coro, Radio Amateur CO2KK, and here is item one.
# One - one of the amateur radio most important contests will take place next week, and it is going to happen under somewhat better HF bands propagation conditions.
Here are some of the stations that have already announced their participation in the CQ World Wide SSB contest.
From the Caribbean SAINT BARTHELEMY, prefix FJ. Thierry, F6CUK plans to be QRV as F6CUK/FJ from October 21 to November 1. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands using CW and SSB. This may also include being an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX SSB contest. QSL to home call.
From an Atlantic Ocean island that belongs to Brazil that goes by the name of FERNANDO DE NORONHA, using callsign PY0F. Members of the Noronha Contest Group will be QRV as PY0F from October 23 to 29. Activity will be on 160 to 10 meters using SSB and FT8. This includes being an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX SSB contest. QSL direct to PY7RP.
Another South American station is going to be active during the upcoming CQ World Wide SSB Contest SURINAME, call prefix PZ. A group of operators will be QRV as PZ5K from October 23 to 30. Activity is on the HF bands using CW and RTTY. This includes being an entry in the upcoming CQ World Wide DX SSB contest. QSL via G3NKC.
Si amigos, thousands of amateur radio stations from all around the world are expected to be active during the CQ Worldwide SSB Contest, including several well experienced teams of operators from Cuba, that will be using the T4, tango four prefix, preserved here for special events stations.
Due to the expected bands conditions my forecast is that activity will be concentrated on the 20, 40 and 80 meters bands, with less contacts possible on 15 and 10 meters. For those stations capable of operating on 160 meters from nice low radio ambient noise locations, where the large size antennas required for that band can be installed.
The propagation conditions are expected to be better than during last year's contest. Stations located inside the areas covered by TEP, Trans Equatorial Propagation events will be able to add many points and multipliers.
For example, Cuban contests stations will be scanning 10 meters to pick up signals from Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile. Contest operators that use the 10 meters band have learned how to monitor the many automatic beacons operating on the segment from 28 point two to 28 point three MHz.
This is Dxers Unlimited's weekend edition, coming to you via shortwave transmitters, the Hispasat one D satellite, and our streaming audio feed to the Internet, here is now our next radio hobby related topic.
The popular ASK ARNIE section of the show is now on the air, and today, I will answer a question sent by listener Carol from the US state of California. Carol owns a small portable shortwave receiver, and she wants to know if adding an external antenna to the telescopic whip will improve reception of our 6100 kHz transmissions beamed to the West Coast of the USA and Canada.
Amiga Carol, my advice is to try to buy a commercial version of a magnetic loop antenna, that can be connected to your small portable. The magnetic loop requires continuous tuning every time you change frequencies, but it also provides a very useful additional filtering action that removes unwanted noise from the input of the radio.
A one meter diameter magnetic loop built using coaxial cable can be supported with a light weight PVC pipe assembly that can be taken apart when not in use. Placing the magnetic loop near a window or with a length of coaxial cable it can be deployed at a sun deck or a garden.
The typical low cost magnetic loop used as a receive only antenna is tuned by hand, while higher cost ones are provided with a remote control feature. As a matter of fact, you can build your own magnetic loop for receiving, by running an Internet search using the words Magnetic Loop Antennas.
Our next radio hobby related information. For those of us that live north of the Equator, one of the most interesting effects of winter propagation is a consequence of the contraction of the ionosphere, that causes a decrease at night of the maximum usable frequency for any given path after local sunset.
One can witness the maximum usable frequency nose diving below even the seven MHz or 40 meters amateur band, and on some occasions the ionograms will show that the lower layer of the ionosphere will not support communications on frequencies above 6 MHz.
Yes, let me warn you that at times during solar minimum years, during the winter season, the maximum usable frequency at night may drop even below the six MHz band amigos !!!
And talking about shortwave radio propagation conditions, let me tell you that I continue to enjoy very much the use of the very original application that runs on practically any computer and makes possible to see the results of the REVERSE BEACON NETWORK.
This is certainly an amazing achievement accomplished by volunteer amateur radio operators from many countries around the world. I would not attempt to describe here how the receiving stations that are known as “skimmers,” that automatically pick up amateur CW morse code radiotelegraphy signals that are calling CQ, and then also by means of an automated computer program subrutine measure the CW transmission speed and the signal to noise ratio.
If it sounds to you like science fiction, but it is certainly not, and the now very reliable Reverse Beacon Network is adding yet another tool to learn more about the extremely complex phenomena that make possible ionospheric shortwave propagation.
Yes amigos, I continue to run my QRP very low power amateur radio station within the power range of one to five watts, with my favorite setting at the three watts level.
Again, I want to repeat this valuable information for those of you interested in knowing more about short wave propagation. You may want to visit the home page of the Reverse Beacon Network after calling CQ on CW if you already are an amateur radio station operator, and just learn, for example, what is happening when your friend Arnie Coro called CQ on the ham bands the last time he was on the air.
Just type the following URL on your Internet browser search line:
http://www.reversebeacon.net/srch.php Then when the site opens and asks for whom you are looking for, type COKK, and you will see the latest spots on each of the ham bands where I called CQ.
See you all at the middle of the week edition of Dxers Unlimited, that will be on the air just after the half hour news service. Send your signal reports and comments about this and other Radio Havana Cuba programs to firstname.lastname@example.org or postal airmail at: Arnie Coro, Radio Havana Cuba, Havana Cuba.
(Arnie Coco/R Havana Cuba)