Tuesday, March 27, 2018

YNOMY goes HB0 (WWFF expedition)

After a pleasant experience in LX last year - as LX44FF logging 2100+ QSOs - we have decided to do another weekend dxpedition. This time we have chosen Liechtenstein HB0 as our destination and May 12 & 13 as the expedition weekend.

We (PD7YY, PG8M & PH0NO) will be primarily visiting WWFF nature reserves that have not been activated before. Depending on local conditions and propagations we expect to at least activate 6 and max. 8 different HBFF nature reserves over the weekend.

We will be travelling on Friday May 11 and back on Monday May 14. Depending on travel time we might start our first activity on Friday evening. We will definitely be active on Saturday May 12 and Sunday May 13 until late in the evening UTC using at least two radios simultaneously on all usable bands from 80m up (including 60m and VHF - 2m & 6m - if there is any propagation) in SSB and CW.

During this expedition we will be using both the calls HB0/PG8M and HB0/PH0NO.

Our gear this expedition:
  • 3x mobile radio's (FT-857 / IC-910)
  • 1x Ameritron ALS-500m
  • Folding Hexbeam
  • End fed wire antenna's
  • Inverted V wire antenna's
  • Triband yagi 2-4-6m
Chaser awards
As we did during our last expedition, we will make available a special award for chasers of our expedition. There will be three levels for chasers: bronze, silver & gold - depending on how many times you worked our expedition with multipliers for different parks.
We are counting on a minimum of 7 different locations we will activate. Based on that plan the awards will be available as follows:

  • Bronze: 3 parks confirmed
  • Silver: 5 parks confirmed
  • Gold: top 5 score per continent

The top score per continent will be calculated as follows: 4 points for every park confirmed and 2 additional points for different mode and/or band per park. The awards will be made available for download in the week after the expedition.

PG55G experiences PACC 2018

Our 5th PACC went reasonably smoothly. We had a bit of a rough start when our main CW operator - PG8M - had to leave us for the first hours of the contest to attend the funeral of an OM that died unexpectedly that week (some things are more important than contesting).

We were lucky to find Albert PA3GWC able and willing to help us out these first hours of the mixed mode contest (see previous post). The first hour however was a struggle as Albert was not used to the setup and software we use in the contest. This meant our rates were a lot lower than last year. We slowly approached last year's #QSO as we got going during the following hours however.

PG8M working CW while PD7YY is taking a power potion for the next shift 

The setup was the same as the previous years. We set up our station on a campground using only wire antennas for 160-80-40m and a wire beam (hex) for 20-15-10m. The weather was fine - no snow or heavy rains this time. We did get some storm which meant we had to lower the hexbeam during the night. Luckily by the time we needed it again in the morning the wind had died down.

Weather improved Sunday morning - hex was up again
As always we had made an operating plan based on the results of last year and QSO data we collected of the weeks preceding the contest. During the contest we used this as a guideline, checking the band conditions and band activity against it.

"Control room" - using data to guide us

The high bands were a disaster. We did not expect a lot but hoped for some opening on 15m. In the end we only worked 2 stations on 15m - like we did on 10m last year. We did not even try 10m this time.

In the end we are pleased with the results though. One band less means less multipliers but the QSO rate was good. We managed to log even a few more QSOs than in 2017 - a volume we were very pleased with then. This is even more remarkable considering our slow start.

Let's see what our error rate is and how the competitors fared. Results will be published in June...

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Starting PACC 2018 as PG55G

The Dutch contest PACC has started and runs until tomorrow 12h CET. 

We have our wire antennas set up at a campsite in Gelderland (GD) and are active as PG55G. We are starting on 20m CW with guest operator PA3GWC - replacing PG8M for the first hours on CW.

Hexbeam and inverted V's for 40-80-160m
Guest operator PA3GWC with PD7YY

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Try to catch PG55G

This year YNOMY will participate in the PACC contest once more. 

We will be using the callsign PG55G again from our favourite campsite in Gelderland (GD). 

We will be using all sorts of wire antennas in our field day set-up and hope to make it into the top 3 of the MOST category again - perhaps we will be able to make it to the top position for the third time.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

LX44FF experiences

After careful planning and with the support of the LXFF coordinator - LX1CC we had selected a number of nature reserves and possible operating spots. Our ambition was to activate at least 6 parks and we hoped to reach the amount of QSOs we reached in our best PACC contest: around 1600.  We had two challenges to face according to the predictions: Kp values of up to 6 (due to a coronal hole earlier in the week) and possibly thunder storms on Saturday.  

TL;DR: 7 parks, 2156 QSOs, 1190 unique calls, 57 DXCC, 6 continents, 25 P2P. Good weather and good spirits. The thunder storms did not materialise but we did experience poor dx conditions. 

Saturday - 4 parks - great start - disappointing end

We left PA early on Saturday morning and headed to the northern part of LX to LXFF-0049. We quickly found a good operating spot from one of the candidates. We set up the hexbeam - focusing on 20m - inverted v for 40m and 80m and a VHF 2/4/6m beam.

It turned out there were strong Sporadic E conditions. On 20m this resulted in a lot of short skip contacts and an endless pileup. Even 6m was open but the skip zone was almost directly over us, so we only managed to make 2 QSOs on this band. We stayed longer than planned as it stayed busy and logged 600 QSOs in 3 hours. This was far more than we anticipated and a very promising start. 

PG8M working CW on the low bands
PH0NO working SSB using the hexbeam on 20m
At one point we decided it was time to move to the next park. It was only about 10 minutes drive away. So we took down all antennas and drove to LXFF-0050. This is a small area with only limited space for antennas. We only used end fed wires on this location but still logged 300 QSOs in 1.5 hours. 

Wire antennas at LXFF-0050
PD7YY on 40m SSB

We then made two choices that did not turn out well. First we decided to drive to a park that was 1h off our main route (LXFF-0059). We had added it as an optional location for Saturday. We were eager to work as many places as we could, so we went over there but struggled to find a good operating spot. We could only find a spot in the woods with suboptimal antenna's... To make matters worse I damaged the mobile amp we used on the higher bands so we were back to 100w on all bands. 

LXFF-0059 operating in between the trees
PG8M inspecting the amp
We logged 147 QSOs in just over an hour and then decided to move out. Signals were poor and we were hungry. We had some pizza on our way to our late night location: LXFF-0045

YNOMY crew about to dive into pizza

Our second bad choice was to set up two stations in the dark in LXFF-0045. We hoped to work NA in a late night opening on 20m. The openings had been there in the preceding week. It took us quite some time to build things up in the dark. Especially the hexbeam was a challenge. On the low bands we logged about 130 QSOs but on the hex I logged only 2. Investing one hour setting up and breaking down an antenna for 2 contacts is not really inspiring.

Compact mobile antenna @LXFF-0045

Sunday - 3 parks - sunny - busy activations
We went to bed in the early morning - later than planned - and skipped the first park we had planned for the Sunday. We went to LXFF-0022 instead and found a nice operating location next to an open field. Conditions were not as good as on Saturday but we still logged more than 300 QSOs in 2 hours. The weather had improved and it was getting really warm outside - time to bring out the parasol.
We moved to the next park (LXFF-0052) some 10 minutes drive away and found that the conditions stayed the same with again 300 QSOs in 2 hours. We had some NA (up into TN and AL) and PY calling in.

We wanted to visit one more park before going home, so with pain in our hearts we had to go QRT while there were still ppl calling on 40m. We left the comfortable location and drove to LXFF-0029. In the preparation - using Google StreetView - we found a spot on a hill and that is where we set up our antennas for the last time. The area was too steep to set up the hexbeam so we relied on wire antennas again (inverted v for 40m and 80m and end fed vertical for 20m). 
We were on the air for almost 2 hours and logged 349 QSOs. 

Two poles set up on a hill in LXFF-0029
We had fun - we hope you did too
With a goal of 1600 QSOs, dreaming of perhaps 2000, we are very pleased with the results. 

   Total     2156  

Choosing different bands and modes we feel we have given chasers a fair chance to work one or more LXFF references. The only disappointment for us was the very small amount of DX due to the poor F-propagation (and the repair costs of the amp..).

We would like to thank Mill LX1CC for his support of our operation. We also like to thank the chasers for working us. If you have collected enough points you can download our special YNOMY LX44FF award here (144 chasers managed to get an award). 
We are organising our QSLs and hope to send out the first batch for direct QSL in about 2 weeks.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

LX44FF plan, award and QSL

The LX44FF operating plan as executed:
  • Saturday: LXFF-0049 - LXFF-0050 - LXFF-0059 - LXFF-0045
  • Sunday: LXFF-0022 - LXFF-0052 - LXFF-0029

Special LX44FF Awards are only valid for the activity by YNOMY on May 20 & 21, 2017 and can be requested by entering your callsign here (download prompt for award will open automatically):

Info about the awards: click here

Special LX44FF QSLs can be requested through ClubLog OQRS. Logs have been uploaded. To check if you are in the log and to request a QSL card, enter your call here:

If you have any questions, contact us via ynomy.dx@gmail.com

Saturday, April 29, 2017

We did it again

The final results of the PACC 2017 contest came in today.

We participated as PC55C in the multi operator single TX category and as we already expected from the preliminary results we won by a wide margin - almost 1.5x the score of our next competitor. 

With conditions clearly worse than last year we managed to set a score that is only 10k lower than our highscore of 2016.

The YNOMY sheep are impressed..