Saturday, November 16, 2013

How to Get on top of the DX pile-up !!!

1. If you come upon a pileup, find the exact DX frequency and slowly tune up your KW right on his frequency. Take your time doing this as it has maximum effect this way. The longer you take, the better. It lets others know that YOU are going to call the DX.

2. If you cannot wait to find out the DX call sign, ask, "What is the DX call sign?" On CW send “DX?” Call?" Do NOT listen, this takes time. DO this repeatedly until someone gives you the DX call. This will show all others on frequency that you are serious about wanting to work this DX. This is called sharing.

3. When you find out the DX call, repeat your call over and over again on the DX frequency. Even if he is working split there is a chance he may be listening on his transmit frequency.

4. When the DX says "ABC only"- Don't believe him. If he says "Europe only" - Don't believe him. If he says, "2's only" - Don't believe him. Keep giving your call "XYZ” !!.XYZ !! .XYZ !! How Copy MARIO?" Make sure you use his name when you call him, he may think you are someone he knows. It must work as we hear it on bands all the time so it has to be effective. Don't pay attention to directional calls. When did any DX know what they wanted ? What matters most is what YOU want.

5. To get the DX to work other modes tell him you want to set up a schedule later which is convenient to you. You should wait until the pileup has built up to several hundred and just before the band is about to go out, then ask him to meet you on CW, PSK31, RTTY or SSB at a set time and frequency. Above all, make sure you tell him that YOU need him on these modes. This will endear you in the hearts of all on frequency, it shows that you can work more than one mode and are a well-rounded amateur.

6. If you have worked the DX previously make sure you call him and tell him that he is stronger than the last 6 times you worked him this week. The DX station will want to know this. Others on frequency will respect you more, you will be recognized as a Big Gun DXer.

7. When you find a DX pileup, to bring your operating skills to a higher level and impress all those on frequency - Zero beat the DX send "QRL? Is this frequency in use?" This shows character and that you are truly a caring person.

8. When finally making the DX contact, give the DX some background about yourself, TX, RX, ANT, WX, how many children and grandchildren you have, where they went to college, what size bedroom slipper you wear, or any other items of interest to the DX. This shows that you are not just a 59 kind of guy. This is most effective when the band is just about to fold.

9. After you have worked the DX you will need the QSL route. Although this will be listed on the DX packet cluster, in ARRL & DX News Letters, and on the Internet, there is no reason for you to go to all the bother of reading these sources. You can just keep calling on the DX frequency."What is the QSL Information?" If you don't get a reply with the information after 8 or 10 calls, keep it up, your persistence will payoff. There are plenty of other stations on frequency who are waiting to work the DX who have read these publications and they willing and ready to help you.

Courtesy of 3Z9DX ( Dom )

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

ARRL Field Day 2013

N4LA at ARRL Field Day 2013
"CQ Field Day"

Here is my ARRL field day site for 2013
Location ... South bound rest area off Hwy 220 
South of Asheboro NC ( near the Seagrove Exit )
Yes we operated from the rest area ... 
with permission of course.

Station # 1 .... a nice hill top location
Op : N4LA / Todd
We had 2 stations set up (operating independently)
Both were in the 1B class
One station was qrp (5 watts) and mainly CW
While the other was SSB (100 watts)

Antenna mount ... charcoal grill w/ 31 ft Jack kite mast
Secured with ... bungee straps
Antenna ... LNR Precision 20/40 Par End Fed

Power / Class .... 1B 
( One Transmitter w/ Solar & Battery Power )
Solar .... Goal Zero (27 watt) portable solar panel
Battery ... Buddipole A123 Lithium
Charge Control .... From Buddipole

Operating Position # 1 ....
Rig ... Yaesu FT-857D @ 100 watts
Tuner .... LDG Z11w/ internal batteries
Computer ... Lenovo S10-3 ideapad netbook
Batteries ... Buddipole A123  ( 4S3P & 4S2P )

Station # 2 .... QRP & CW
Another nice hill top location

Operating  Position # 2
Rig ... Elecraft KX3 @ 5 watts
Computer ... Cell Phone
Keys ... Straight key and paddle
Battery .... Lithium
Antenna .... Beta testing unit on 31 ft Jack Kite pole
( Possibly something new from LNR Precision ??? )

Ops at station # 2...
AE4LD / Larry (left) & KB4QQJ / Randy (right)
These guys are the R&D team from LNR Precision
( Larry is the company owner )

Wrapping up another field day................
(As we head back to our vehicles ... 
Notice how we are looking down on them ...
from our operating position.)
We set up from 4 pm to 7 pm (local time)
with just over 2:30 actual operating time.
I ended up with 74 contacts in the field day log...
I 'm not sure about Larry and Randy's totals...
But I do know they were having no problems putting
contacts in the log !!


Thanks Larry and Randy  for another year
of field day memories.
I can't wait till next year !!

73 de N4LA

"Get Radio-Active"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

SOTA Shack Sloth Award

I would like to thank Dennis (WA2USA) and Rich (N4EX) for their SOTA activation
efforts today ... As well as all the activators I've worked in the past few
This morning 5/28/2013... I worked Dennis (WA2USA)at 15:23 UTC (7.033 cw)... on
(W4G/NG-023)Big Cedar Mountain in Georgia.
This contact allowed me to surpass the 1000 pt chaser milestone and qualify for
the SOTA Shack Sloth award !!!
Not only did Dennis become a Mountain Goat a few days ago ... he also helped
transform me into a Shack Sloth this morning........
Guess I'm now a official " SOTA-HOLIC "
Thanks again to all who helped me reach this milestone ... SOTA Rocks !!!!!!!
72 de N4LA / Todd

Sunday, April 7, 2013

CQ SOTA >>>>> Summits On The Air !!

N4 .... LIVE ACTION !!!!
From Buffalo Mountain, Virginia

Hello this is Todd (N4LA) in Denton, NC. 
Radio-wise, Saturday was a blast. 
At mid-morning, my buddy Jack, W4TJE and I drove up to Buffalo Mtn with our backpacks 
and portable radio gear, in Floyd County, VA. Jack and I are the same 
age (49), from the same town originally in NC (Siler City), grew up together, 
both learned radio together, and even have common relatives by marriage. After 
school, he joined the Marines, while I joined the Navy, so it did my heart 
proud today to show the Marine how a Navy guy humps to the top of a mountain 
So a full hour after I (USN) had made it to the top carrying all of the gear, 
Jack (USMC) finally arrived, and we were ready to get on air. We set up at the 
summit at 3970 feet, with me (USN) doing all the work, while Jack (USMC) 
drinking coffee and telling Iraq war stories (LIES) about How he had trained Navy Seals
and physically beat the Taliban into submission !! (This guy can lie with the best of them )
It was then that I  introduced him to the world of the Summits On The 
Air (SOTA). IT WAS AWESOME.!! We operated both phone and cw and put that peak 
on the air for only the second time. We had stns calling us from Europe to the 
West Coast, and put over 70 of them in the log before shutting down and 
climbing down the mountain ( I had to carry Jack, he had ran out of both coffee 
and war stories ((LIES)) by then). Of course Jack will deny this day till the day he dies !!
I can't wait until the next summit ... but I hope jack lays off the doughnuts until then !!
By the way this was my very first SOTA activation .... it was also Jacks first activation.
So Thank you Jack for still hanging out with me, and the great friendship over all these years.
Also thanks to all the stations that showed up to work... without you guys it wouldn't have been possible!

Please Note: This story is not true !!  ( Hi Hi )  .... but I wish it was !!

73 de Todd / N4LA

Jack (W4TJE) at the trail head

W4TJE at the start of the climb

A view from the top into VA !!

Looking the opposite Direction

View into NC from operating position

Jack operating CW on 20 meters

Todd operation 40 meter SSB

W4TJE on the Summit ... CQ SOTA !!

Radio Equipment list

Rig:  Yaesu FT 857D @ 25W
Antenna::  LNR Precision EF-40/20
Battery:  Buddipole 4S3P A123 Battery Pack
Antenna Mast:  31ft Jackite Fiberglass Pole
CW Key:  Palm Mini Paddle

73 de N4LA
Get Radio-Active

Monday, January 21, 2013

LA7GNA Moose Pics

My buddy John (LA7GNA) sent me a couple of pictures he took of moose that 
he spotted from his drive going into his home.

John is located in Norway , and is a very good friend of mine.
We chat almost every weekend on 21.217

Thanks for the pics John !!