Tag Archives: dx


This site has crossed my radar a few times recently, and I finally got back to it with some time to look at what all is available there. The first thing I had been looking for was propagation information for VHF, particularly 6 meters. Looking deeper, I find real-time DX contact spotting on auto-refreshing maps.

QSO map by DX Sherlock, click for bigger

Multi-band composite QSO map example

This really is a lot of information on one map ..!.. Looking at each band individually helps understand what frequencies are working and to where. I also found real-time MUF maps that show Sporadic E-skip ‘hot-spots’. WoW !
Go check out the North America 6m map on http://www.vhfdx.info – I registered with the site so that I can submit contacts and contribute to the data collection. Makes another good example of crowd-sourced science. I’ll be using this more . . .
Try it, you might like it …

Thanks Gabriel (EA6VQ)this is a wonderful site. Well done sir .!.

VHF propagation

More than high-power, more than big antennas, more than tall towers – what I likes is some good VHF propagation… I’ve been hearing some distant repeaters during the morning drive this last week, and had hopes to catch me some decent signals during a good band opening. This weekend the propagation indicator map (you can see the current image below, on the right) had some good red paint over the south eastern US. I don’t know if the big HF contest event had folks distracted, or as Craig – K4XR suggested – a microwave conference in Texas; but there sure weren’t many folks on 144.200 this weekend…

I did catch one good contact Sunday evening tho; about 0150Z I worked Clayton – W4KVW in EM80, just west of Jacksonville, Florida. That distance is ~406 miles. I always like to point out that I’m only running 30 watts, with an omni-directional antenna in the attic. Shortly after that I heard Jimmy – W4ZRZ working Drew – KO4MA (also in Florida), but I couldn’t hear Drew… Maybe we’ll have some more good conditions like this before the winter cold settles in. These big cold fronts really spice up the bands.

Good VHF conditions for southeast US this weekend.

Good VHF conditions for southeast US this weekend.

This is a piece of the map I grabbed showing where the conditions were enhanced at the time we made that contact. Thanks NG0E (his system makes these maps http://www.mountainlake.k12.mn.us/ham/aprs/path.cgi?map=na – and we watch em !)

Good DX and 73 for now /;^)

September VHF contesting

We all know that the only radio contesting I ever participate in is the VHF contests… and even then it is only to see if I can beat my previous score. It certainly is not to impress my wife. With ‘in-attic‘ antennas I’m about the only one I can beat. I’m actually pretty pleased with these antennas tho, because I don’t have to twist a rotator back and forth, and I can work just about anyone that I can hear. Sometimes I hear things the other guys don’t, cause they are pointed off to the side or something. Often omni-directional antennas get a bad rap, but they do have their advantages. I had some preamps on there last year, but then I could hear folks that can’t hear me. I do rely on other folks that have big antennas on tall towers with serious power for my DX. Still tho I really enjoy having so many stations on for a good weekend of VHF. Again this contest, we had a local ARES Simplex Exercise Saturday afternoon, to bring out a few more operators, and introduce them to the world of VHF without repeaters. Pretty good participation !

I don’t have a lot of space in my shack, and share the desk with my computer stuff.

the Radio side of my desk

the Radio side of my desk

Several years back I built these desk-boxes to hold the radio gear, thinking they would be Continue reading

Autumn VHF Propogation

Looks like some good VHF propogation for the eastern US coast this morning. Wish I was at home listening for some on 6 meters. This time of year is known for enhanced propogation at VHF frequencies. You can check this map for an overview of conditions based upon analysis of beacons heard via the APRS-IS network on 144.390 MHz. Here is the link : http://www.mountainlake.k12.mn.us/ham/aprs/path.cgi?map=na

VHF propogation indicator

VHF propogation indicator