Monday, March 14, 2011

Setting up for Andaman VU4, JT1 and UK8

Andaman is on the air! I just saw him spotted on 40M. My best shot is 40M at sundown. It's 16:30 eastern here and sundown is scheduled for 19:28 tonight so sundown is 3 hours away but I'm getting ready in the mean time. My noise level is down around -120dBm tonight with the noise blankers on, a good sign. No storm static to be heard.

That means I resonate the diversity antenna for 40M and set up diversity and I set up the split freq.

The everything is ready except he is 3 hours away from QSO time. I use the memory feature of DDUTIL to memorize the setup and enter vu4pb into the field so I know what is in this memory. I just hit save and he is in the memory. I double click the frequency box and a dialogue pops up so I can recall who this freq belongs to, and I enter VU4PB in the box and click OK

Here is the finished product Note the title bar

There is also JT1DA on the air so I decide to enter him in the memory as well.

He will be hitting my darkness just about the time I am hitting his sunrise so there is some chance of a QSO and it costs nothing to set this up in memory

and voila'

Wait UK8GH in Uzbekistan just came up on 7010.8

Into the memory he goes.

Now I can rapidly switch between these 3 frequencies checking if the station is there to be worked. If one is building while another is peaking I can rapidly switch between stations basically trying to work all three within seconds of each other. LP distance on JT1 and UK8 are both 17800 miles while the VU4 is only 15000 miles so both the UK8 and the JT1 should peak about the same instant as my darkness starts. The VU4 will be in the window for a while longer as his sunrise will be ah hour or more into my darkness. So we will see what we can hear and what we can work, if any of them are even still on the air. Any way you cut it we are loaded for bear.

I am just starting to see the European part of the VU4 pile up start to appear on the panadapter up near the yellow cross hairs. I can see several stations that come on in unison and go off in unison and they are spread out over several kHz. This is about the time I can usually start working EU on 40M. About 1800 EST I should start to hear the northeast USA start calling if my predictions are correct.

There is also a pretty good European pileup building on the UK8

I can't tell what the hell is going on with the JT1 as there is some wide band local noise covering up his freq

I immediately switch to a different probe antenna and use diversity to null the noise

This gives me an additional 15 dB of signal to noise and brings the noise floor down to -115 dBm. There is no pileup on the JT1 and he is spotted as "cq-ing alone"

What I can do with this radio is way too much fun!! I can actually watch pile ups build from 4000 miles away