10m QRM from zone 24

Sorry for not updating this page in some time – I have been busy now that I have

returned to work.

I wanted to share what 10m sounds like in this part of the world. This QRM is present at all times when the band is open to zone 24. Presumably it is noise from inexpensive two-way radio devices in China and elsewhere in SE Asia. The noise is sometimes S9, and completely covers weak stations.

When the band is open to NA, we usually have no problems because BY is still in darkness and there is no propagation. Also, the noise is nulled when beaming NA. The problem is trying to work Europe. Anyone weaker than S-5 is completely inaudible. In the recording below, I first start by listening to HA1AG in QSO with a JA station. Zoli is a solid S9 here, but copy is difficult through the noise. I then tune up and down the band, before switching to CW. There are two instances where you can even hear Chinese language in either FM or AM – not sure.

This noise is getting worse, and has also spread to the 12m SSB band. It covers the entire band, from 28.0 to well above 29.0 Mhz.

 QRM across the 10m band:

The noise is actually visible on the band scope, only S3 but this is in CW mode.
The noise is a solid S-7 on the meter, peaking S-9, while in SSB.


Bad weather and busy times

I have not been good about updating my blog – I hope to get caught up in the next few days.

One reason for being busy were a number of storm systems which passed through Guam in October. On three occasions, one week apart, we had a forming tropical cyclone pass near Guam, resulting in heavy rain and winds.

The first such storm caught me by surprise. It was passing just to the South of Guam, and we were only expecting 25MPH winds. Before I went to bed, I was outside and the winds seemed a little higher than normal. I sensed something was not right, but there was nothing I could do. After all, the forecast was for winds less than 30MPH, well within the limits of my Spiderbeam and mast.

I woke the next morning to heavy, heavy wind gusts. When I looked outside, this is what I saw:

Mast folded over in the wind

The winds had folded over my mast – but I was lucky as there was no damage to the antenna at all. In fact, I worked TM2MS on 30m with the antenna in this configuration! I am guessing the winds exceeded 60MPH that morning – ripping up the side of the hill. The mast acted as a fuse of sorts, which kept something else from breaking. It was really pretty easy to fix, with a new section of pipe.

The storm passed to our south and then took a sharp turn to the north again, passing just to the west of the island.

During this period I left the antenna on the ground, to keep it from getting damaged. Amazingly, I was able to work TN2MS on 15m through a large pileup with the antenna sitting on the ground, as well as XZ1Z on a few bands.

I was able to work TN2MS with the antenna sitting in this position. This shows how good this QTH is, also how good the ears of the TN operator was!

We had two other storms pass during October, and I had good practice taking down the antennas and then putting them back up. The Beverage receive antennas also suffered damage, due to falling trees. Fortunately I was able to get everything repaired before the CQWW DX SSB contest.

SU9VB on 160

Here is SU9VB on 160m, as copied here on Guam with a 900ft Beverage. Vlad started calling CQ at 2000Z and was very weak – 449 peaks every couple minutes, ESP copy the rest of the time.

At 2035Z he started to peak, and was so much louder than before that I was worried he was a pirate.

Unfortunately there was QRM from UY5AR and others in Europe. When I was sending my report, it was right at my sunrise (2041z).

Zone 34 is the last zone for 160m Worked all Zones from Guam.


Great low band conditions

Now that the fall contest season is over, I can enjoy DXing on the low bands throuigh the holiday season. The low SFI number may worry some, but for me, it means great conditions on 80 and 160m. I recently have broken 2,000 unique calls worked on both 80 and 160m, and would love to push that number up quite a bit higher this winter season.

The past few days have been excellent into Europe on 160m and North America on 80m. For some reason, I am not seeing reciprocally good conditions into NA on Top Band. Not sure what aspect is keeping this from happening. I am imagining some high MUF bubble in the mid Pacific that is causing absorption, not unlike a Bermuda High Pressure system, but this is just a guess on my part. Either way, the good conditions I am getting on 160 into Europe are just not happening in the other direction.

Here is a 11mb MP3 I made on December 8th, while running Europe on 160m. Signals are excellent. On this day, propagation was best into Southeast Europe.

This morning I worked about 40 more EU on 160, with conditions extending all the way into the UK, with GI3OQR the best DX worked (a new one for me!)

PT0S signal on the low bands

On the last day of the DXpedition, I was able to get my computer set up to make a couple quick recordings of PT0S on the low bands. Both are long path (near my sunset), nearly a 12,000 mile path from Guam. Long path bearing is 157 degrees and I was listening on my new 160 degree Beverage.

On 80m, I do some VFO A/B switching so you can hear the pileup on the split frequency. The JA’s are several S-units down from normal since I am hearing them off the back of the Beverage.

On 40m, there was a lot of QRMing and “frequency cops” going on. Everyone says how well behaved the Japanese operators are in pileups. This proves that wrong. Still, almost all Japanese hams show very good courtesy on the radio, but the numbers of lids in Japan is increasing. During PT0S where was a lot of intentional QRM, even out of JA. I suspect this was due to the rarity of this entity in this region. As a side note, I think someone else was using JF3SUL’s call.

Even though the path is longer, signals were better via long path than short path every time. Short path is over Japan and Europe, and is about 9,800 miles in length. In comparison, the 80m signal was at times 579 on LP but at most 559 SP.

I did copy PT0S well on 160m on two occasions, via short path. Signal was Q5 copy both times but very weak – not workable strength with my antenna. I regret that I did not have everything connected to make a recording, and they did not appear on TB the last day until just after my sunrise. I wonder if a long path 160m QSO would have been possible, but there was no mutual darkness on this path. My sunset missed their sunrise by about 10 minutes. This probably was just enough to kill any chance because my experience from here is that 160 propagation dies within a couple minutes following sunrise. That said, I have a very solid path into PY2 on 160 and LP signals were much better here than SP, even though I have better “ears” (longer Beverage) into Europe.

7O6T on 160m

7O6T in Yemen has been copyable here on Guam just about every morning. They have been louder since moving the low band station to a new location closer to the sea. This morning we finally had success with a QSO! I was calling as KH2/N2NL, but I know the operator and he always works me as N2NL/KH2 even from his home station. Either way, it counts! There were many JA calling also so I know they still are suffering from QRN from local noise. The operator seems to hear part of a call in the noise then stays with it, waiting for a QSB peak to complete the contact. I was listening on a 600ft long Beverage RX antenna pointed at Africa.

QSO with 7O6T on 160m:


Great 160m conditions!

This morning (07DEC UTC) I had the best Topband conditions of this winter season. After my 1st CQ and a loud PE5T called in, I knew it would be a good morning!

I started the recorder after my 2nd QSO and let it run for an hour until my sunrise and the band faded away. During this time, I worked more than 70 Europeans. Paul, 9H1SP called in for a new one (VFB copy with 100w) along with CT1EEB and three G stations – really tough to work from here.

I hope this is a good sign that conditions will be good this winter!

The attached MP3 is large, so I broke it into four pieces, each about 15 minutes long:





If you listen, you may notice a few things. First of all, there was a fish beacon exactly one up where I was listening. It did not cause me any trouble but you can hear it often in the recording. What you can also hear are (1) many stations who call non stop, no matter who I am trying to work and (2) many stations who are calling but obviously do not hear me well. We all understand the challenges of 160m and the effects of QSB, but you can clearly tell the stations who really can’t hear me, QSB or not. These guys accomplish nothing but keep others from getting a QSO and making themselves look like fools.

C50C – zone #36 on 160!

Today is a holiday (Thanksgiving) and I should have slept in to rest for CQWW, however I was awake at my normal time listening on 160. After two days of poor propagation, conditions seemed to have improved. I worked a number of Europeans, including HB9AZZ who was a new country for me.

As soon as I got on, I heard C50C CQing, with very good copy here. They could not hear me, so I went up the band to CQ for a while and wait for a time closer to my sunrise.

One of my QSOs was with E74AW. Dado recorded the QSO from his end:

 KH2/N2NL from E74AW:

I also was recording, and here is how he sounded on my end –  E74AW from KH2/N2NL:

I worked a number of stations, then C50C asked EU to QRX and listened for DX – It was not easy – he had a difficult time copying me and there was some rapid QSB – but we completed a QSO for my 36th zone on 160m!

It is very difficult to hear my side tone when transmitting – sorry – I had turned it down this morning as one of my SO2R preparations for WWCW, so I can listen better on the 2nd radio while CQing.

They really have a strong signal here – the loudest zone 35 station I’ve ever heard from here on 160 (I’ve heard quite a few). This is a 9,000 mile path from KH2.

After my sunrise, they QSYed to SSB – they were still good copy, 10 minutes after my sunrise:

Good 160m conditions continue

I made sure to get on early this morning, about 50 minutes before my sunrise. Dave, A92IO had a good signal but unfortunately I was not able to raise him. Dave has high QRN levels in Bahrain.

After CQing, a weak OG2M calls in. I am not thinking the band is in good shape until I am told on KST chat that he was running 10w. Next, OH3XR calls in. Not to be out done, XR is running 5W, which is as low as his radio will go.

I turn on my recording software to record the opening. The recording is more than 40 minutes in length, so here are some clips I edited:

 LA3ANA calls in so he can hear himself recorded (no problem!):

 UA4CR calls in:

 S52AAM calls in, running only 10 watts:

Near my sunrise, I had the QSO of the morning – Ron, GW3YDX calls in, a new one for me. Ron lives in the most difficult part of Europe to work from here, aside from OY and perhaps TF (TF4M makes Iceland easy however).

 GW3YDX on 160m:

After our QSO, Vlad UA4WHX spotted himself (as SU9VB from Egypt). I believe Vlad runs only 30w into a dipole, but I was able to copy him somewhat. Unfortunately, I could not work him, for this would have been a new zone for me. Vlad worked a few stations then QSYed to 40m with some Eastern EU still calling, so I doubt he could have heard me even without a pileup.

 SU9VB working HA8BT:

By now, it was after my sunrise. Ron, GW3YDX QSYed to 80m for me, where he was also a new one for me.

 GW3YDX on 80m, QRMed by an IV3:

Finally, Jo DKJ2PH asked for a 40m QSO. You can hear the Chinese OTH radar very well.

 DK2PH on 40m, with BY OTH radar:

In all cases, I am listening on my European Beverage RX antenna. The antenna is just over 900ft long, and located in the jungle behind my home. I am fortunate to have no QRN sources near me in this direction – nothing but jungle and then the ocean – which allows me to hear *very* well in this direction.