Mariana Islands, 8th August 2021

I was pleased to get this card confirming two contacts with KH0/KC0W, Tom. These contacts confirm an ATNO for me (all time new one) on two bands 20 and 15 metres using FT8 mode. The Mariana Islands are a crescent shaped archipelago of volcanic island remnants in the Pacific Ocean south east of Japan and southwest of Hawaii.


Mining my QSL Archives, 27th April 2014, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.


On Friday 23rd April I received a QSL card from Andy Doffing, LX1DA. My contact with Andy was on the 15 metre band using data (FT8). I was really pleased to have this contact with Andy: I thought this would add another country/entity towards my DXCC score! Andy enclosed a note with the card indicating that he is active with a special call, LX40DA. He has this call until the end of the year and it is to celebrate being an amateur radio operator for 40 years. I will certainly try for a contact with this call.

LX1DA reverse

However, I have been mining my QSL archives and I found that I already had worked this country on the 13th April 1991, that is 30 years ago!

My QSL card from LX1CW is shown below front and reverse sides. I was surprised to see that our contact was on the ten metre band (28.486 Mhz) and I received a quality 5 signal report at strength three. My antenna, in suburban Adelaide, was a quarter wave length long wire cut for 160 metres. My report to Gilbert was 5 and 7. Our contact lasted about five minutes and his location was about 30 kilometres north of the Luxembourg City.The matching to my transceiver, a Uniden 2020, was achieved thought a home-brewed parallel tuned coupler using a circuit from the ARRL Handbook.

LX1CW reverse
Cows as art: Luxembourg city
Town Square: Luxembourg City
Another cow

In 2001, Jenny, my wife and I attended a conference in Maastricht in the Netherlands. It does not seem like 20 years ago. After the conference we were able to visit a number of European countries, including Luxembourg. We will never get back to Europe again sadly. There are other countries as well but also including Luxembourg that I would like to visit again. But that will remain a dream. However, in our wonderful activity of amateur radio we can take virtual tours to many countries!

DXCC ARRL 31st December 2020

I have been chasing some DX. It became a COVID 19 inspired activity. Any way, by late December 2020, I had over 100 countries/entities confirmed in Log Book of the World and so I sent off an application to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) for the DX Century Award. The certificate is reproduced above. It is difficult to say what was the most desirable or challenging country/entity in my list of 100. Chasing Grant Willis (VK5GR) in Niue, E6AG (September 2017), Vanuatu, YJ0AG (April 2018) and Tonga, A35TJ (September 2019) and, not forgetting Kangaroo Island, July 2020, (VK5KI), was fun as Grant is a South Australian. Most of my single sideband contacts (voice) were made with a power of 100 watts (peak envelope [pep] equal to 25 watts carrier) but in more recent times I was able to use 400 watts pep with a solid state amplifier and data contacts were made with 25 watts for JT65 and 30 watts for FT8. Thanks to all of the operators in these countries/entities who gave me contacts and it was great fun to be on the end of a ‘pile-up’ (many stations calling me at once). These pile-ups happened quite frequently.

I was pleased to have both LOTW and QSL card confirmation of my two contacts with AP2TN.

LOTW excerpt February 2021 -click to expand

One thing that chasing DX requires is patience! If you look at the screen shot of my contact with TX3T you will see that is was confirmed on LOTW in February 2021. However, you will notice that looking at the QSL card front and rear, reproduced above, the contact took place on the 3rd November 2011. I did not use paper cards in my application for the DXCC. I must say I was pleased to receive the confirmation on LOTW as it shows as a new contact in 2021. TX3T was a DXpedition station.