The DXer’s ethos, and why you shouldn’t fear the ‘big guns’

Its nice to have personal goals like getting to HR one day, or whatever, but its certainly not something I’d be comfortable talking about unless its in the context of encouraging others in their own pursuit.

Eg, I think it can be encouraging to others to talk about how you managed to work DXCC in a year with 100 watts and a vertical, but its certainly not encouraging to talk about how you worked a given DXPedition on all bands and all modes.

And if you’re the type of person who talks about working every DXPedition on every band and mode, and then whine when you miss one… well.. the rest of us start wondering what else you’re missing in your life.

Encourage others; re-assure them that DXing is possible no matter what their budget is, and pursue the challenges you enjoy for your own satisfaction.  That’s how I personally enjoy DX.

One thing I will say though is I find this whole notion that ‘big guns’ are stealing from ‘little guns’ is really toxic.  Anyone who has been around the block long enough should realize by now that the order of importance is this:

1) Perseverance
2) Condx
3) Station

Ham radio is such a wonderful hobby in that you can get a lot of individual satisfaction without it detracting from someone else’s enjoyment.  Lets not feed the trolls by spreading the notion that ‘big guns’ somehow prevent ‘little pistols’ from working new ones.  That attitude is likely to do more damage to the hobby and especially the individual – after all, it is little more than an excuse, and one that might easily lead a newbie to think that DXing requires no effort on their behalf.

Yes, there are idiots who dupe endlessly on the same band, with seemingly huge signals.  Experienced that as XU7AGA, but at the end of the day, they are few and far between, and I can promise you there are plenty of DXPedition ops who have trouble hearing certain calls, especially if they’re already in the log.

If you want to blame something for not being in the log, blame condx.  That way, you’re still likely to enjoy the company of your fellow hams, and they yours.

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Bhutan (A5A), ‘big guns’ and why missing a DXPedition is just fine by me.

I’m pretty sure I’ve got next to no chance of getting Bhutan (A5A) in the log this time round.  Now hopefully for the sake of irony I will be proven wrong, but the facts are as follows:

1) I work full time, and its the start of spring here.  The bands are often closed by the time I get home, leaving only the weekends.  That rules out the ‘bum in seat’ approach aka persistence which is so often all that it takes.

2) ConDX doesn’t seem to be there.  Today (saturday) I had the chance to indulge in my favorite hobby.  WAE SSB was on, and I could hear and work quite a few stations easily.  However, none of those stations were in the region surrounding Bhutan.  Jumping over to JT65, I found I could hear and work quite a few stations on 17M (which A5A has used a lot), but my station wasn’t getting heard around that region once more.  Lastly, I haven’t so much as heard a single beep out of A5A.

3) There is still work to be done on my station.  I have an Icom IC-7300 with a great scope, and an Ameritron AL-572 amplifier capable of well over our legal limit in VK, so it just loafs.  However, because of my current living arrangements I haven’t been able to invest in a tower until recently.  As such, using only basic antennas my reception is often noisy (no nulls), and I can’t push the power in the direction I’d like.

So it seems really likely I’ll miss Bhutan this time.  However, if you stop and think about it, its not the end of the world.

Imagine for a second we could all work DX whenever it showed up.  Here’s what would happen:

A) DXing would be about as exciting as a skype phone call.
B) We wouldn’t be motivated to improve our skills and stations; most importantly we wouldn’t learn and grow.
C) There would be less DXPeditions.

Now point C might seem a bit strange, but think about it in economic terms – supply and demand.  If everyone had every DXPedition in their log, there wouldn’t be any demand for further DXPeditions.  Of course, as new people enter the hobby places will need to be activated sporadically, but not anywhere nearly as frequently.

Just think about how many DXPeditions have aims these days – eg, ‘we’re concentrating on low bands’, ‘we’re CW only’, or even ‘we want to give ATNOs to NA’.  If propagation wasn’t a factor, everyone from every continent would work every band and mode on every DXPedition.

And that’s where the real rub comes in.  Imagine DXing where everyone reaches HR in ~10 years, and there are nowhere near as many DXPeditions – doesn’t sound like a very long lived hobby does it; sounds like a FAD to me.

On the other hand, we currently enjoy a hobby where one can always look to the future and say ‘I need Mongolia on CW’, or at worst ‘I’ve yet to work P5 on digital’.  There is always a bright future to hope for; always something to look forward to and dream of.

And that’s why I’m not going to get too upset when I miss Bhutan this time round… But hey, in the mean time, I’m going to improve my station in any way I can, so that condx willing, I’m one of the deserving when I get the next shot.

The golden days of DXing are ahead of us!  Always be a believer!  And don’t let ANYONE convince you that a ‘big gun’ stole your ATNO! For they are just men, not the gods of condx!

Translated Announcement from Turkish Regulator RTUK

I HAVE BEEN RELIABLY INFORMED THAT THIS DOES NOT AFFECT AMATEUR / HAM LICENCES.

“Radio and Television Supreme Council , 19.07.2016 date of his in the coup attempt in the extraordinary meeting feto / PCM organization with iltisakl , the associated and support are found to be in all the media service provider organizations ( radio and television organizations) unanimously canceled all publishing rights and licenses in the RTÜK before It has . It respectfully informs the public.”

It would seem all licences issued by the RTUK have officially been cancelled.  If you can offer a better translation / confirm the wording, please comment below.

Source: http://www.rtuk.org.tr, accessed 21/07/2016.

Original Text:

Radyo ve Televizyon Üst Kurulu, 19.07.2016 tarihinde yaptığı olağanüstü toplantıda darbe teşebbüsünde bulunan FETÖ/PDY örgütü ile iltisaklı, ilişkili ve destek içinde olduğu tespit edilen tüm medya hizmet sağlayıcı kuruluşların (radyo ve televizyon kuruluşları) RTÜK nezdindeki bütün yayın hak ve lisanslarını oybirliğiyle iptal etmiştir.

Kamuoyuna saygıyla duyurulur.

[HOAX] Turkey Revokes Ham Radio Licences

THIS STORY HAS BEEN EXPOSED AS A HOAX

Source: http://yaesuft817.com/wp/turkey-gouvernement-revokes-19201-ham-radio-licenses/

 

Turkey gouvernement revokes 3213 ham radio licenses
TRAC_logo
It has been confirmed by  Supreme Council of radio and television of Turkey (RTUK) the news that Mr. Erdogan – the president of Turkey has revoked 3213 national ham radio licenses. The HF radio in Turkey is now silent. No transmissions are allowed.

turkcagr

Following the coup d’etat – of July 5th – many things are changing in Turkey.  TV , Radio licenses have been cancelled and this involved also our colleagues : ham radio amateurs. The number of amateur radio operators in Turkey is not too much, but according to the site TRAC.org it looks like that around 3000 licenses have been revoked. Who’s transmitting outside turkey without licence should be considered a pirate – said Mr Erdogan.

The Supreme Council of radio and television of Turkey (RTUK) has cancelled the licenses of over 20 radio and television broadcasters as well ham radio operators.

The Telsiz ve Radyo Amatörleri Cemiyeti (TRAC)  is the national non-profit organization for amateur radio enthusiasts in turkey.  The TRAC was founded in 1962 as the Türkiye Radyo Amatörleri Cemiyeti, adopting its current name in 1980. It’s located in Istanbul, with branches in 44 locations across Turkey. TRAC is the national member society representing Turkey in the IARU. Now, it has been closed down.

We look forward to have news from Turkey ham radio league.

Turkey’s coup in numbers

21,000 private teachers have licences removed
15,000 suspended from education ministry
8,000 police officers detained or suspended
6,000 soldiers detained
1,500 staff at Ministry of Finance dismissed
3213 ham radio operators with license revoked.
2745 judges dismissed
1,577 deans – Education board demands resignation
492 sacked from Religious Affairs Directorate
399 from Ministry of Family and Social Policies stripped of responsibilities
257 fired from the prime minister’s office
100 intelligence officials sacked
47 district governors dismissed
30 provincial governors dismissed
20 news websites blocked

Icom IC-7300 Mini Review

So its a pretty exciting time over here – a new radio has been acquired for my main QTH here in Australia – the Icom IC-7300.

The plan is to setup a remote station in Cambodia so I can work digital modes etc from VK. My previous main radio, the IC-7200, was originally purchased to take to Cambodia on my previous expedition, and when I go back in November I plan to leave it there – hence I needed a new radio for my shack!

So far so good, it is an amazing radio, and I will post a full review soon.  So far, my favorite features are:

  • The Built in ATU.  It will match 3:1 loads at 100 watts, or if the special ’emergency’ mode is activated, it will match 10:1 loads at 50 watts.  This is perfect for digital modes such as JT65, where 50 watts is more than enough, and the 10:1 range is enough to match my 40/20M Fan Dipole on all bands above 40M!  Efficiency suffers, but what a cool feature in a low end radio!
  • The built in band scope.  Whilst a lot has been said about this, being the star feature and all, it is amazing how well it works.  Not only is it incredibly accurate with no noticeable ‘birdies’ (a common problem with RTL-SDR based panadapters), but it also provides a very useful view of bandwidth usage in both transmit and receive. The audio scope is also amazing – you can quickly and easily see what transmit bandwidth the other station is using.
  • The extended transmit bandwidth.  The IC-7300 can transmit from 100Hz to 2.9KHz. Whilst not the widest range, most radios in a similar price bracket only offer 2.3KHz of transmit bandwidth – not 2.8KHz.  Naturally, you can lower the bandwidth if your chasing DX or don’t want to be considered ‘wide’.
  • The ‘Antenna Analyzer’. The IC-7300 comes with a neat little feature that lets you graph your antenna’s SWR performance across a band.  Whilst it isn’t anywhere nearly as fully featured as a standalone Analyzer, its an interesting gimmick.
  • The Receiver.  Whilst not the best receiver available, the IC-7300 is ranked pretty highly up in the Sherwood Engineering transceiver rankings.  With IP+ off, it achieves a Narrow Spaced Dynamic Range (2KHz) of 81dB.  With IP+ on, that figure rises to 94dB.  Rob Sherwood recommends leaving IP+ off, unless needed.  Also worth noting, is that Rob has previously stated that 80dB of dynamic range is more than enough for SSB work in most cases.  In a nutshell, the IC-7300 is good enough for all but the most extreme contest enthusiasts.  See more info here: Sherwood Engineering Transceiver Rankings.

There are many more great features, and I will cover them soon in an expanded / proper review.  Let me know if there are any questions you’d like answered.

73,

Jarrad

VK3BL

Today came with a nice surprise – I was successful in a ballot for the 2×2 call sign VK3BL!

The paperwork is on the way to ACMA, and within a week or two I will be on the air with my lovely new short 2×2 call sign!

As our regulator only allocates the VK prefix, a 2×2 call is the shortest a VK amateur can hope for.  Unfortunately in VK3, they are all allocated, so there can be quite a wait to get one.

I’m very happy – whilst the suffix ‘BL’ does not mean much to me as such, it is nice and easy to say – Victor Kilo Three Bravo Lima!