Past Feature Stories (Newest to Oldest)


Veritium HFClock Review by NE6I
April 2020
Veritium HF Clock Contesters and DXers alike are well aware that propagation is often enhanced considerably to and from an area in the world where it is sunrise or sunset, something we call gray line. Way back in the days before computers, a company named Xantek manufactured a product called "The DX Edge." This wonderful tool consisted of a series of plastic slides, one for each month, that slid back and forth through a "carrier," or flat Mercator map of the world. This simulated the earth's rotation, and allowed us to see which parts of the world were in daylight, which were in darkness, and most importantly, which were in the gray line. It was an ingenious creation and was quite popular in its time. See picture below.

Fast forward to today, and we have computers and software to do this for us. There is even a small version of this included in the popular N1MM+ contesting software.

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The Other Side of the World by N6VI
January 2020
CQWW at 3B8M CQWW DX CW From 3B8 by Marty Woll, N6VI

Many of us have had the chance to operate DX contests from outside the Lower 48, but how far from home can you get, really? The answer, of course, is about 12,000 miles – yes, the other side of the globe! I had the chance to do just that last month (November).

The adventure began when Olof G0CKV started assembling a team to operate the CQ Worldwide CW contest from the island of Mauritius, which lies east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Dick N6AA got an invitation for himself and Art W6XD from Olof, but the team size was limited by the expected number of operating positions and the number of people the location could house. As some of the original participants dropped out, room opened up for another, and I was pleased to fill that spot. The final team consisted of Olof, Dick, Art, me, Denny KX7M from Northern California and past ARRL CEO Dave K1ZZ.

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N6NB - Contesting For 61 Years
November 2018
N6NB Rover Wayne Overbeck is no stranger to SCCCers. He has been contesting for 61 years! That's longer than some of us have been alive! His tower trailers have also been used for SCCC contesting (think XE2SI in the 1980s for example.) His web site is chalk full of contest and other good stuff. I asked Wayne to tell us a little about his VHF and up roving activities and was honored to get his story below.

I've been on the air for 61 years now. I've been operating VHF contests for almost that long, but I didn't manage to win a VHF contest nationally for a lot of years. It's never been easy to be competitive in VHF contests in the west. I finally reached #1 in the single operator category in June, 1973. Then I was #1 in five June contests in a row (1973-1977). After a year with almost no sporadic E here but excellent E skip in the east in 1978, I took a van and tower trailer to the northeast in 1979. I ended up winning 12 VHF contests nationally as a single operator before ARRL section multipliers were replaced by grid square multipliers in 1984.
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I Wanna Take You Higher by N6VI
May 2018
N6VI on 10 GHz I Wanna Take You Higher (Boom Shaka Laka Laka)

So, ten meters isn't open to anywhere. What to do? HF'ers will say, "Go lower", but I did the opposite. I went higher - much higher - to 10 gigahertz, a.k.a. the 3 cm band.

The first weekend in May is the 2 GHz & Up contest, sponsored by the San Bernardino Microwave Society, so I took a 24" dish with a 2-Watt transverter up to Frazier Peak and spent the day. Like its HF counterpart, conditions on 10 GHz were not very good this weekend, but I managed over two dozen contacts with distances up to nearly 600 km. Just as on HF, when conditions are not good enough for SSB, I went to CW for several of the more distant contacts, and that did the trick.

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HH2AA Remote Operation in ARRL DX Phone by W2GD
March 2018
W2GD at HH2AA Even after five decades of contesting, there is always something new to try. My first attempt at remote operation turned out to be an amazing and unique adventure. My tale below is rather long - there were so many twists and turns.

First a few words about HH2AA, a station that has been on the Remote Ham Radio (RHR) network for a few years. This is a proof of concept project supported by RHR in cooperation with the Radio Club of Haiti. All proceeds from station rentals are returned to the people of Haiti through donations to the Haiti Air Ambulance Service organization - https://www.haitiairambulance.org. The station is a test platform used to try out off shore construction and operation techniques. It is located on a mountain at 6,300 feet ASL near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, solar powered, and remotely controlled using proprietary RHR software.

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