Congratulations to the Museum of Science and Technology in Syracuse NY

Shortly after being on the RF side of things for a successful ARISS contact in May of 2016, I decided to volunteer to become a technical mentor for ARISS.  After shadowing Dave Jordan AA4KN (a mentor’s mentor) for an ARISS event on Long Island, I was assigned to support the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) in Syracuse NY, which had partnered with Danforth Middle School, Ed Smith Middle School, and the Central Village Boys & Girls Club of Syracuse.

Within seconds of the predicted AOS at 9:09 AM local time (14:09 UTC, Feb 23, 2018) the voice of Astronaut Mark Vande Hei could be heard over the live stream (and copied locally at S9+ using my eggbeater antenna).  All 17 questions were asked by the young students at the museum and answered by a very engaging Vande Hei.

Congratulations to the staff of MOST and all the volunteers that made this event a success, and especially the ARISS organization for making this possible.

View of the crowd at MOST during their AIRSS Contact on Feb 23, 2018

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Unthinkable happens — Logs lost in LotW

A server error in LotW has caused the loss of submitted log data.  In my memory, this is the first time it has happened.  Users were advised by TQSL and the Logging programs that their logs had been submitted for processing.  However, the data withing the logs was rejected without user warning.  Users can tell if their logs were lost by going to the LotW website, selecting the “Your Account” near the top right of the screen, then selecting “Your Activity” from the actions on the left side of the screen.  A list of log submissions will then be listed.

While your experience might be different, my logs submitted after 16:50 UTC on Feb 20 and before 18:00 UTC on Feb 21 were all lost.  Simply re-upload your logs to correct the issue.

If you are expecting a confirmation from me, all of my contacts through 02:00 UTC on Feb 22 have been uploaded.  Please check to be sure that your own log entries have made it into LotW

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And 20 RTTY


16:53:57z> WB4SON WB4SON WB4SON


16:54:14z> DE WB4SON 5NN 73


16:54:31z> DE WB4SON 5NN 73



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Wow, that was fast!

And just like that, a confirmation from Z60A showed up in LotW:

That brings my count up to 264.  With no Bouvet, it might be a challenge to meet the goal of 265 by year’s end.

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Finally got Z60A Kosovo

I thought I had worked them on 40 meter CW several days ago.  The operator had my call wrong but patiently listened for a correction and came back with the correct call.  However it never made it into their ClubLog page.

Today the conditions were pretty good from 3 PM local to 5:30 local — good strong 40 meter RTTY signal on 7.044.4 (tones up 1500 Hz).  After almost 2 hours of calling I finally got a response!


22:29:51z> WB4SON WB4SON WB4SON


22:30:01z> WB4SON WB4SON WB4SON


22:30:17z> DE WB4SON 5NN 73 


The pileup was about 15 KHz wide.  At the time it was running about 8 JA stations to 2 US stations (with EU asked to standby).

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Unsure How the IGC User Interface is Working for Feb

I suspect the ARRL IGC website is very much a work in progress.  Some “By the end of January” changes were announced, but the leader board is still showing January results.  You can click on “February”, but it no longer allows you to sort by state, and the position it gives seems to be wrong.  I found myself about six pages before (it seems to leave the page on your position from January, but since it’s early my February results are a tad better):

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Goal Update January 2018

So the first month is under our belt for 2018.  DX results were pretty good, already knocking off a couple of my 2018 goals.  DXCC Challenge stands at 1281, and 160-meter DXCC is at 48.  So lets set new goals of DXCC Challenge of 1290 and 160-meter DXCC of 50.  WAS on 160-meters stands at 47 (Need AK, HI, ND), so lets set a new goal of 48.

  • 1,275 Challenge Band-Points — Revised to 1290
  • 160-meter 40 DXCC AND 45 WAS — Revised to DXCC 50 and WAS 48

The International Grid Chase wasn’t part of my 2018 goal, but I’m having fun, and frankly that is responsible for most of the DX improvement listed above.  I made a total of 661 contacts in January (8 on CW and the rest on FT-8).  While LotW records can continue coming in up until Feb 10, the top 10 in the state of RI are listed below:

One thing that has been fun, is seeing 10-meters open for a couple of hours in January, along with brief 15-meter activity pretty much every day.  On the other hand, it is sad to see 20-meters collapse shortly after dark.  30-meters has been fantastic globally (as has 17-meters).

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Contact #8000 Uploaded to LotW

Back on Oct 3, 120 days ago, I noted that I had uploaded my 7,000th contact into LotW.  Today I am happy to note that contact 8,000 has been uploaded.  Many of those QSOs (654 of them) are a result of chasing grids starting on January 1st.

The QSO was with WH6S, Richard, in Kekaha Hawaii.  Thanks, Richard, for being number 8,000!!

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Happy 5000th Confirmed LotW QSO

Confirmation #5000 just came into LotW sometime in the last hour.  It was for a contact with Rich WD4JJI, who lives in a antenna restricted community in FLA.  By stealth and magic, he has found his way onto the air, and wound up being a special contact for me.  So thanks, Rich, for persevering and proving that hams always find a way.


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An 80-Meter Surprise DP1POL

Like many folks chasing grid squares, I’m spending time on the digital modes.  Yesterday was a fairly unusual day for me in that I was able to make contact with places that I usually don’t hear, most likely on  the gray-line.  Alaska and Hawaii were easy shots.  I heard China and several Asiatic countries.  The conditions continued at night as I was attempting to help a ham complete his 80-meter WAS.  While that didn’t work out (we were successful on 30 and 40 meters), I was amazed to see DP1POL on, as well as RI1ANO, both in Antartica.  I watched K1RI work RI1ANO (congrats Bob!), and I was lucky enough to work DP1POL.  While propagation was great, conditions were brutal.  The band was chock-full of well over S9 signals.  Here’s what my waterfall looked like:

It was like that from 0100-0300 when I called it a night.  Here was my exchange with DP1POL:

You can see a few retries were required to finally copy the signal.  And the reward this morning was a LotW confirmation:

Every contact helps, including rare-ones like DP1POL.  Russ KA1ERL and I keep trading places in the hunt.

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