The Condo DXCC 100

Outgoing QSLs at VA7DXC

Outgoing QSLs at VA7DXC

Ok, so we’re getting close. I’ve worked 84 DXCC, 49 confirmed with about a dozen or so outstanding QSL requests. There will be two milestones I guess, one once 100 are worked and obviously much later, when 100 are confirmed. 100 verified is something I’m not even thinking about at this stage. Last weekend’s CQ WW DX CW test was a boon to my totals even for a puny station like mine. New ones included 6Y, CX, HP, J7, PJ4, TG, VP2M, and VP2V. My CW is improving but I still need ‘assistance’ hi hi.

I don’t think I’ll ever be a true CW op though. I’ve grown up with computers all of my life and a mode like CW, that for most can be sent and decoded much more easily by computer is just another digital mode to me. The fact that it can be sent by hand and heard by ear is to me beside the point. If it were physically possible to send RTTY or PSK by hand does it mean we should do it that way all of the time too? Just because it is physically possible to do something doesn’t mean it is the best way to do it though, why make it harder for ourselves?

However I truly appreciate the personal enjoyment factor in sending by hand and decoding by ear, it is a pure hobbyist pursuit, much in the same way people restore old automobiles etc. There are obviously more efficient ways to restore the automobile but the enjoyment is garnered in the act of doing it by hand. However in situations where accurate communications is paramount i.e. contests, then sending and decoding by computer is the future. CW is the ultimate ‘digital’ mode, with extremely narrow bandwidth and a concise shorthand all of its own that allows a quick exchange of information. If CW was promoted more as a digital mode to new hams then you might actually eventually coax some into being ‘true’ CW ops. Automobile hobbyists don’t start with the most complex of restorations, they start with their love of automobiles. Lets just love CW, regardless of what way we send or receive it.


I’ve just finished sending out my first batch of direct cards for PJ2/EI8GNB. There were only a dozen direct cards so far one month after operating, however I’m already up to a 42% confirmation rate if I include LotW and eQSL stats. One way or another the art of QSLing be it for personal or award gain is not diminishing, just the form of the QSL is changing.

I didn’t do a professional print run for the PJ2 call. I just created ‘homebrew’ cards by designing one in photoshop. I design the 3.5×5.5″ card and put it in a 6×4″ document, leaving a white border around. I then take the file as a JPEG on an SD card to my local drugstore photobooth to print out glossy 6×4 photoprints. I cut the prints back down to QSL size (a rotary paper cutter is great for this) and stick a large label on the back with QSO and station details et voila! For small card runs like this, this process is great because it is completely customizable.

Here are the cards, I have two designs (I couldn’t decide), if you like a particular one let me know in your request:-

November musings.

I’m back in the saddle as far a radio is concerned. I’ve just recently returned from PJ2T in Curacao. Thanks to Geoff W0CG and the rest of the team there, lots of fun was had. Outside of the contest I got the chance to operate for about 3 hours as PJ2/EI8GNB, and put 340 Qs in the logbook on 10m and 15m. I’m already receiving direct QSL cards and return cards will be sent once I complete the design in the coming days.

The openings on 10m have been fantastic for little pistol stations like mine. To get my DXCC totals up I’ve been trying to stick to my two-a-day-DX-diet. I’ve been getting good signal reports on 10m though receive on my end is slightly weaker because of my compromise antenna. I’m currently researching receive-only or receive pre-amp configurations that might improve this slightly.

I’m doing doing my PJ2 cards at home myself but I’m also planning to get a professional printed set for my VA7DXC call. I have quite a few worked but unconfirmed DX outstanding, so I need to begin QSLing to complete my ‘condo’ DXCC!


I’m part of the PJ2T team in Curacao for this year’s CQ WW DX SSB Contest. I’ll be working stations before and after the contest with my Irish call as PJ2/EI8GNB. See you on the bands.

One of the patios at PJ2T

One of the patio PJ2T

I’m still here…

Radio has taken a back seat for the last six months or so but I’ll be back on the air soon enough.

Here’s what I’ve been working on with the day job…