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Making Contacts / On the Air - Have a question about getting on the air or how to make a contact? Just want to brag about your latest DX contact or contest score? This is the forum for you.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-29-2016, 7:23 AM
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Default VK0EK - Heard Island

Number five on the most wanted list, this has been one of the most difficult dxpeditions I've attempted to work. A number of factors have come into play that make it so; propagation has been lousy and the excessive jammers and mentally deficient have made it a most difficult task.

I gave it my best shot on 40 a couple of nights ago (CW portion of the band). Their signal was strong and I could easily copy them. Unfortunately, in the hour I listened, I was only able to get a clean copy for about 12 minutes of that hour due to the incessant overzealous cops and intentional QRM. I've heard some terrible behavior in the past, but the other night on 40 was unbelievable.

I keep a close eye on DXA3 Real Time Logging for VK0EK | Online Log, which reports close to real time band activity. As soon as I noticed they were on 30 CW, I abandoned 40 and turned the dial. Within five minutes I was in the log.

If you're interested in making this rare contact, if you don't already have one, throw up a dipole cut for 30. I believe your chances increase immeasurably. Their total contacts for North America account for roughly 24%, a small slice of the pie considering. Even with a beam I have not heard them on 20 or 17, two bands they have worked phone. If not for 30 meters, I don't think I would have scored.

Good luck!
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Old 03-29-2016, 8:05 AM
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I too worked very hard to try and get VK0EK in the books on 40 the past few nights and what I heard is very disappointing to me and didn't fare well for the amateur community. Even with a beverage, the jammers were just too much. I did the same as you and went to 30 meters which also had its share of jammers but managed to break through and finally made contact for my ATNO. I just don't understand the mentality of these people!!

Mike
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Old 03-29-2016, 8:21 AM
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I too was on 40 CW the other night and they were the strongest that I had heard them. Unfortunately, my rotatable dipole and 800 watts wasn't enough to break the pileup. I gave up when the QRM was too much for me to handle.

But, I was able to log them on 17SSB on March 26 at 13:18Z. Their signal was right at the noise level and most of the East Coast had given up on them. I listened to their last QSO and moved my VFO just above this frequency for my call. They initially answered, but I couldn't hear them well. When I called again, their response was "KG2S you are in the log"! Great ops at VK0EK. ATNO!!!

Last edited by R0am3r; 03-29-2016 at 8:28 AM..
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Old 03-29-2016, 5:30 PM
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I'm very happy both of you. It's a good catch indeed. Let's hope that Juan de Nova doesn't present as many problems. Thankfully, I'm off for spring break the rest of the week and should have time to work them.

As an aside, I would be so interested in a psychological study delving into what compels a jammer to do what they do. What happened in their adolescence or as an adult to twist them so. I'm certain their sickness plagues other elements of society other than ham radio. If I were a billionaire and happened to be an amateur radio op, I would create an ultra crack team to find the culprits and make an example of a few of them. This would involve baseball bats and lead pipes, pliers, and a blow torch.
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Old 03-29-2016, 8:43 PM
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Nice catch guys!! I couldn't even hear them tonight. I heard Australia but couldn't break through. As far as the jammers go,well let me just say there ought be a law but the pipe and bat thing sounds good!
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Old 03-30-2016, 7:11 AM
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Worked them on 80cw last night at around 9pm. The Jammers were out in full force but I wasn't going to let them get to me. Hung in there and when most of the east coast gave up, I got them. They were barely audible, but sure enough I heard the N3OUC 599. when it counted.
Just have fun with it and don't let them get to you.

Mike
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Old 03-30-2016, 7:47 AM
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Are these jammers intentionally trying to wash out the dxpedition (and why?), or is this spillover from something else? I never tried to work a dxpedition before.
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Old 03-30-2016, 8:11 AM
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They are 90% intentional and the other 10% is because they are using weird frequencies that normally have packet or other digital on them. Like on 40 meters ssb, Heard has been using 7090 as their stationary frequency and that is the international packet frequency. They listen up at around 7180 or so for callers, but that doesn't do us any good in hearing them over the digital stuff. All the cw frequencies are intentionally being jammed and I have no clue why they do this. Maybe for the attention.?? Not sure.

Mike
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Old 03-30-2016, 3:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eorange View Post
Are these jammers intentionally trying to wash out the dxpedition (and why?), or is this spillover from something else? I never tried to work a dxpedition before.
I don't think it's possible to explain why they do it. It's clearly a sickness of some type, as we know that normal and rational people don't do that type of thing. It ranges from intentional tuning up on the DX frequency to playing music. Anything to intentionally interfere with the exchange. Then there's the self appointed "cops," the guys that think they are doing the community a favor by informing someone who calls on the DX frequency that the DX is in fact listening up the band a bit (split - or should I say spleeeet). If it was only one guy keying or saying "up," it might not be an issue, but these guys all have to get in on the action so that ultimately it's a cacophony of noise.

I spent 10 minutes listening to Juan de Nova on 20 CW and turned the radio off. It was that bad.

Frankly, if you haven't caught the bug for this level of DX, stay away. It can be rewarding, but often leaves you frustrated and disenchanted with the hobby. Consider that your success or failure can often depend on the behavior of others which you have no control over.
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Old 03-30-2016, 5:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n3ouc View Post
Worked them on 80cw last night at around 9pm. The Jammers were out in full force but I wasn't going to let them get to me. Hung in there and when most of the east coast gave up, I got them. They were barely audible, but sure enough I heard the N3OUC 599. when it counted.
Just have fun with it and don't let them get to you.

Mike
Congrats Mike! Time to chase the FT4?
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Old 04-01-2016, 7:26 PM
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If getting this one is going to depend on my using CW, then this one will get away.

The best I've been able to copy was on 40m phone, and that was more ESP that anything else.

I am not happy. The fact that the solar numbers are also in the tank isn't helping.
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Old 04-01-2016, 8:03 PM
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Originally Posted by kj3n View Post
If getting this one is going to depend on my using CW, then this one will get away.

The best I've been able to copy was on 40m phone, and that was more ESP that anything else.

I am not happy. The fact that the solar numbers are also in the tank isn't helping.
CW or phone, it was tough. Between the jammers and the conditions, I am content with a single contact, and that was more luck than anything else. Though judging from some of the first rate contacts you have made in the past, I feel confident you'll get this one.

Juan de Nova is my new nemesis. I've had difficulty picking them up on any band. Today however, they were strong on 17 CW and 20 phone. However, their split was 25 to 30 wide. My max output is 600 watts safely. I have only a modest two element beam and some wire in the air. I'm also ashamed to admit this as it contradicts my personal philosophy regarding time wasted, but I spent about 5 hours total trying to work them today. I broke my past record by four hours. I just can't complete. Too many strong stations and too wide a split. And yes, conditions have been absolutely atrocious.
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:17 PM
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A rare event where they had a signal I could hear, happened last night. Took about 30 minutes to get thru the pile-up on 30m RTTY, but Club Log says I'm confirmed for an ATNO.
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Old 04-07-2016, 1:02 PM
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I too was finally able to break through and get my ATNO for Juan De Nova. I tried every band and every mode over the past week and spent countless hours to no avail. Yesterday after trying them on 30 meters for five minutes, I made it!! I don't have power and only have 100Watts with a ZS6BKW antenna, but I usually can get through on all the other DXPeditions. This one was the toughest I can remember between the intentional QRM and the lousy band conditions.
I really wouldn't have minded working so hard to get a contact if the intentional QRM wasn't there. It just makes everything miserable no matter how hard you try to not let it bother you.
73 Mike
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Old 04-07-2016, 5:50 PM
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Great score for the two of you! After being extremely distraught over not being able to work them after a full day attempting, I grabbed FT4JA three times in about 30 minutes last week. Twice CW and one phone. I suppose it was the payoff for the disappointment the previous day. I am, however, disgusted with myself for spending that much time on the air. So many better things to do. Juan de Nova was a new one for me. I can't bring myself to try for any other bands/modes.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:39 PM
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Congratulations guys that's great.😊
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