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How to Operate on the Amateur HF Bands Gary Wilson, K2GW Delaware Valley Radio Association.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Operate on the Amateur HF Bands Gary Wilson, K2GW Delaware Valley Radio Association."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Operate on the Amateur HF Bands Gary Wilson, K2GW Delaware Valley Radio Association

2 Choosing a Band 80 Meters – Best at night 80 Meters – Best at night 40 Meters – Best near Dawn/Dusk 40 Meters – Best near Dawn/Dusk 20 Meters – Best during the day 20 Meters – Best during the day 15 Meters – Best during the day during higher part of sunspot cycle 15 Meters – Best during the day during higher part of sunspot cycle 10 Meters – Best during the day during higher part of sunspot cycle 10 Meters – Best during the day during higher part of sunspot cycle

3 Sub bands License class restrictions License class restrictions Extras get it allExtras get it all Generals only some.Generals only some. Some of the best DX is in the Extra sub bands; a good reason to upgrade.Some of the best DX is in the Extra sub bands; a good reason to upgrade. Stay 3KHz away from Band EdgesStay 3KHz away from Band Edges Mode Restrictions Mode Restrictions Cant operate phone or SSTV in a CW subband.Cant operate phone or SSTV in a CW subband. Cant operate digital (PSK31, RTTY, et.) in a phone subband.Cant operate digital (PSK31, RTTY, et.) in a phone subband.

4 Equipment Transceiver Transceiver Borrow one to start. Borrow one to start. Go with knobs instead of layers of menus to start. Go with knobs instead of layers of menus to start. Antenna Antenna Multiband Dipole (Alpha Delta, etc) easiest to start with as its a close 50 ohm match to transceiver.Multiband Dipole (Alpha Delta, etc) easiest to start with as its a close 50 ohm match to transceiver. Antenna tuner Antenna tuner Autotuners - ones by LDG are easiest to start with.Autotuners - ones by LDG are easiest to start with.

5 Logging Not required, but youll want to do it. Not required, but youll want to do it. Youll need it to apply for awards. Youll need it to apply for awards. Paper log is OK to start. Paper log is OK to start. Computer logging Computer logging Helps keep track of progress towards Awards.Helps keep track of progress towards Awards. Logger32 and other free ones are fine.Logger32 and other free ones are fine. Can integrate with Internet DX Cluster spots to find rare countries on the air.Can integrate with Internet DX Cluster spots to find rare countries on the air.

6 Signal Reports RST – Readability, Strength, Tone RST – Readability, Strength, Tone 599 on CW & Digital is best599 on CW & Digital is best 59 on Phone is best (Tone doesnt apply)59 on Phone is best (Tone doesnt apply) QSB – fading QSB – fading QRM – adjacent station interference QRM – adjacent station interference QRN – atmospheric or local noise QRN – atmospheric or local noise Never tell anyone theyre full quieting unless youre working FM Never tell anyone theyre full quieting unless youre working FM In a contest, everyone is 59 or 599! In a contest, everyone is 59 or 599!

7 Major Amateur HF Activities (other than just rag chewing) DXing – Collecting Countries DXing – Collecting Countries About 337 radio countries are possibleAbout 337 radio countries are possible Awards Awards Worked All Continents (WAC)Worked All Continents (WAC) Worked All States (WAS)Worked All States (WAS) DX Century Club (DXCC) – 100 countriesDX Century Club (DXCC) – 100 countries Islands on the Air (IOTA) – 100 islandsIslands on the Air (IOTA) – 100 islands County Hunters – try to work all 3000 US countiesCounty Hunters – try to work all 3000 US counties

8 Major Amateur HF Activities (other than just rag chewing) Traffic Handling – NJ Phone Net 3950 LSB every night at 6PM. Traffic Handling – NJ Phone Net 3950 LSB every night at 6PM. Special Events – Offer special QSL cards or certificates for working someone at a fair or public gathering Special Events – Offer special QSL cards or certificates for working someone at a fair or public gathering

9 Major Amateur HF Activities (other than just rag chewing Contesting – Rapid fire contacts Contesting – Rapid fire contacts Even if you arent into competition, contest weekends are a great way to work rare countries or states for awards.Even if you arent into competition, contest weekends are a great way to work rare countries or states for awards. Rules are online and vary.Rules are online and vary. Learn the exchange, which may be your state, section (SNJ) or a contest contact serial number (start with 001).Learn the exchange, which may be your state, section (SNJ) or a contest contact serial number (start with 001).

10 Answering a Contact Listen for someone calling CQ. Listen for someone calling CQ. When he stops, say your call – K2GW When he stops, say your call – K2GW Record your signal report and his name Record your signal report and his name When he says Over or back to you, give him his signal report, your name and location and Over. When he says Over or back to you, give him his signal report, your name and location and Over. Have a conversation if he continues, but dont be surprised if non-English speakers politely end the conversation with best wishes to you and your family at that point. The little English they know is probably more than the Croatian you speak. Have a conversation if he continues, but dont be surprised if non-English speakers politely end the conversation with best wishes to you and your family at that point. The little English they know is probably more than the Croatian you speak. End your contact by giving your call sign. End your contact by giving your call sign.

11 Initiating a contact Look for a open frequency that youre allowed to transmit on. Avoid Band and sub-band edges. Look for a open frequency that youre allowed to transmit on. Avoid Band and sub-band edges. Listen! Listen! Ask Is the frequency in use? Ask Is the frequency in use? Listen! Listen! Say CQ six times and your callsign three times. Say CQ six times and your callsign three times. CQ CQ CQ, CQ CQ CQ, This K2GW, Kilo Two Golf Whiskey, K2GW calling CQ and standing byCQ CQ CQ, CQ CQ CQ, This K2GW, Kilo Two Golf Whiskey, K2GW calling CQ and standing by Listen! Listen!

12 Working Split A DX station in a pile-up may be working split; listening on one frequency and transmitting on another. A DX station in a pile-up may be working split; listening on one frequency and transmitting on another. Listen first. If you dont hear anyone calling him but hes answering folks thats a clue Listen first. If you dont hear anyone calling him but hes answering folks thats a clue Things like Up 5-10 or Listening are clues. Things like Up 5-10 or Listening are clues. Make sure the transmit frequency is one you can use and that your tuner is tuned for that. Make sure the transmit frequency is one you can use and that your tuner is tuned for that.

13 Idiots and abuse Real simple – Just QSY (change frequency) and dont respond. Real simple – Just QSY (change frequency) and dont respond. Dont be a band cop. Dont be a band cop. Its a hobby. Its a hobby. Have fun! Have fun!

14 QSLing Needed for many awards Needed for many awards Use free QSL Maker software to print yours on card stock to start before buying lots of printed cards. Use free QSL Maker software to print yours on card stock to start before buying lots of printed cards. Use Pathfinder on the web to find where to send them. Sometimes they go to a QSL manager, not the station itself. Use Pathfinder on the web to find where to send them. Sometimes they go to a QSL manager, not the station itself. Direct - enclose SASE or $2 if overseas. Direct - enclose SASE or $2 if overseas. Buro – send ten dollars to the second area incoming buro to get cards for you from overseas. Buro – send ten dollars to the second area incoming buro to get cards for you from overseas.

15 Electronic QSLing Easy if you use a computer logbook. Easy if you use a computer logbook. ARRL Logbook of the World (LOTW) acceptable for DXCC and WAS. ARRL Logbook of the World (LOTW) acceptable for DXCC and WAS. eQSL is somewhat meaningless as it doesnt count for most awards. eQSL is somewhat meaningless as it doesnt count for most awards.

16 Summary Its magic talking around the world! Its magic talking around the world! Buy a copy of the ARRL Operating Manual. It will answer most of your questions. Buy a copy of the ARRL Operating Manual. It will answer most of your questions. Try different things when you get bored or frustrated. Try different things when you get bored or frustrated. Have fun! Have fun!


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