The ham HF bands can be very interesting after dark and always have a different feel to any listening done in the day, so having conveniently slipped onto a night cycle (again!), it seemed like a great idea to spend the time wisely messing about with radio.
Don’t usually log ham operators, but thought I’d make a special effort this time to get at least some marked down. If every operator heard got stuffed into the log it’d be big and more than a little boring, so I’ve limited it to the stations I consider good distance DX (at least from my UK location).
A good starting point is 14mhz around late afternoons into early evening because this can bring in some good distance contacts. It’s a real mixed bag sometimes but can throw the odd curve ball if the conditions are spot on. Another favorite is the amateur HF allocation at 3.5mhz where although there’s a fair amount of local ‘stuff’ at night, now and then it serves up signals from unexpected places.
10 meters has always been a sort of no go band for me which doesn’t take up much of my time (and not much use after dark anyway), even more so after trying in vain for some time now to pluck usable SSTV images from what seems to be a mostly empty ham band (disagree if you like!).
Night Time Ham Radio Log 20-21 August 2016
Things went well until about 2am when a lack of readable signals along with having a hard time finding stations not already logged saw me retreat to 14Mhz for the chance of an expectational contact or two while waiting for sun up.
|Time (Gmt)||Frequency (Khz)||Call Sign/Country||Comments|
|19.06||14247||ZS6AW (South Africa)|
|20.19||14254||TC1LHW (Turkey)||Lighthouse Station|
|21.55||14186||V51WW (Namibia, South Africa)||New Country for Me 🙂|
|22.09||14210||CX6DZ (Uruguay)||1KW through 8 element beam|
|23.54||7132||VE9EZ (Canada)||Lighthouse Station|
|00.02||7181||W1WMU (USA)||Location Maine|
|00.13||7168||KW1C (USA)||Great Signal|
|00.27||14270||WA7NB (USA)||Arizona (Down in the Noise)|
|00.52||7160||KP3RE (Puerto Rico)||Lighthouse Station|
|00.56||7129||KI4YY (USA)||750 Watts|
|01.18||5371||CY9C (St Paul Island)||Dxpedition Station|
|01.24||3791||KE1Y (USA)||1KW into Dipole|
|01.30||14254||W5MX (USA)||Calling CQ|
|01.39||7127||WP4U (Puerto Rico)|
|02.52||14256||N4CV (USA)||Susan in Texas|
|04.23||7160||NP4Z (Puerto Rico)||Consistent Signal|
|04.39||7138||KP2XX (Virgin Islands)|
With a combination of a short ‘old man’ afternoon sleep, a few strong coffees and a midnight walk, I managed to stay up until just after 5am to catch some of the best DX times for the HF ham bands.
All in all a great nights listening and the proof needed to show that not only do I have a much lower RFI problem since moving house, but the extra care taken rebuilding my antennas was worth it.
Rekindling an Old Passion
Although its never been a serious thing, I’ve always dabbled with computer programming since being a boy and there was once a good stab at writing a Visual Basic ham call sign logging package. Spending so much time listening to Amateurs again has made me realized its about time this project was finished!
As luck would have it the half finished attempt was saved in one of my (some would say obsessive) backing up to DVD days. There might be a total redesign as not only has the VB language moved on a bit, but I now also have a much better understanding of programming in general (which is no small thanks to creating these websites).