April 8, 2023

700 DXCC Challenge Contacts Confirmed on LoTW

A big THANK YOU To Lee, VE4DXR, in Winnepeg Canada for being my 700th confirmed DX contact on LoTW.  I need to confirm just 300 more DX contacts to earn the DXCC Challenge award.  

Even though Canada is relatively close, I hadn't previously managed to confirm a contact with a Canadian station on 12m since becoming a ham.  This is explained by the fact that my present home brew 80m Sky Loop antenna doesn't tune up on 12m and my previous last contacts on the band were in 2015.  12m was the final HF band that I needed with Canada which makes my contact with Lee, VE4DXR extra special.

The Winter of 2022 produced a barrage of 31 Atmospheric Rivers that inundated the Central Coast of California and brought 80 mile-per-hour winds.  The high winds shredded many limbs on our majestic cypress tree.  I have been using this particular tree as the primary support for my horizontal 80m sky loop antenna.  Innumerable broken limbs piled up on top of each other in several large tangles out-of-reach up in the tree and on top of my antenna.  Once things have settled down for tree specialists, I plan to hire a professional tree climber to remove the debris so I can put my 80m sky loop antenna back on the air.

Fortunately, I recently ordered a monoband 12m half wave end-fed antenna (EFH12) from Radio Wavz to take advantage of high band propagation conditions and to operate once again on the band after a long hiatus.  A vertical half-wave antenna is excellent for DX due to low take-off angle RF radiation pattern.

Once the storms passed, it only took a few minutes to improvise a temporary antenna setup using a bit of 550 cord and a telescopic 15-foot painters' pole.  I used the painters' pole as a support and the rope to provide distance between the antenna and the conductive pole.  I then leaned the pole upright against a tree near the shack to create a 55-degree sloper antenna configuration.  I also added a 24-inch wire terminated with alligator clips to ground the antenna's PL259 connector to the copper water entry point to my shack.  The grounding helped eliminate reflected RF coming into the shack due to using only a short length of coax.

I was impressed with the initial results obtained from this improvised setup when I quickly logged a good number of DX contacts on the 12m band.

  • PU2GHZ - Iuri - Brazil - 6008 miles
  • LU2NI - Carlos - Argentina - 5835 miles
  • HL2IFR - Ryu - Republic of Korea - 5693 miles
  • JF1NZW - Hiro - Japan - 5133 miles
  • E6CI - Leszek - Niue - 4980 miles
  • 5W1SA - Atsuo - Samoa - 4788 miles
  • J68HZ - William - Saint Lucia - 4046 miles
  • HI8VJS - Victor - Dominican Republic - 3382 miles
  • VE4DXR - Lee - Canada - 1517 miles
I am delighted with the results from my initial test of the Radio Wavz EFH12 antenna.  I plan on setting up the antenna in a permanent configuration in a vertical orientation with a longer run of coax.  I expect these improvements will yield even better results.  I look forward to working you on 12 meters soon.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

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