5BWAS & 5BDXCC Plaques

Ever since I got my ham radio license, just over 6 years ago, I have been interesting in DXing, contesting, and awards. I started out at the bottom of a solar cycle, which helped me learn how to make contacts under less than ideal conditions. I’m not as much into the competition with other hams, but it’s satisfying to set and achieve my own personal goals. Now that band conditions are starting to become more favorable, I was recently able to achieve two longtime goals, which are the 5 Band Works All States (WAS) and 5 Band DXCC awards.

The last band I needed for both WAS and DXCC was 10 meters. The band conditions improved enough over the past few months to make that possible. I was also able to add endorsements for 30 meters, 17 meters and 12 meters. I still need Alaska and Hawaii for WAS on 6 meters, and Hawaii for WAS on 160 meters. Maybe someday!

I was able to complete the Triple Play WAS award a few years ago.

10M WAS and DXCC, Finally!

The conditions on 10 meters have finally become favorable for me to get enough confirmations to complete WAS and DXCC on that band, and those were also what I needed to complete 5BWAS and 5BDXCC. I received the 5BWAS certificate, and applied for the 5BDXCC certificate. I also have WAS and DXCC on 30M, 17M and 12M. All of these were completed using 100 watts and omnidirectional antennas. The key has been persistence, and some luck to be on the radio when the bands are open.

It’s time for me to get going on 160M and 6M.

New antenna for 10 meters

This afternoon I installed a new antenna for 10 meters. The antenna is a HF-28 Rectangle from PAR Electronics. It’s light (2.5 lbs.) and compact (approximately 8′ X 4′). It was very easy to build and took me about a half hour following the included instructions. I have the antenna mounted on a Max-Gain Systems MK-6 fiberglass push-up mast. The SWR was near perfect right away, but there are instructions included to tune the antenna if necessary. According to the manufacturer, the antenna is not perfectly omni-directional, but it has a pattern that does not require a rotator.

The antenna seems to work very well. The conditions on 10 meters were not great today, but right away I was able to work several FT8 stations on the west coast and in South America. I can’t wait to see how it performs in good band conditions. Hopefully this antenna will help me finally work Alaska on 10 meters to finally complete a 5BWAS and get closer 10 DXCC for 10 meters!

The antenna is mounted on the mast I had previously used for a 6 meter Ringo vertical, which you can see leaning up against the fence.
I still need to do some work on the guy ropes, but the antenna and mast are very sturdy.
I only need 9 more countries for DXCC on 10 meters!

10M and 12M are coming alive!

This weekend the higher frequency bands have really come to life. I have had a blast working stations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. I hope this is just a glimpse of things to come!

My 12m contacts on October 9th
12m and 10m contacts on October 10th
12m and 10m contacts on October 11th
Map of stations that were receiving N4MI FT8 signals on 12m on October 11th
Map of stations that were receiving N4MI FT8 signals on 10m on October 11th
Logbook of the World confirmations as of October 11th

In three days, I logged 40 QSOs on 12m, in 29 different countries. I also logged 19 QSOs on 10m, in 17 different countries. I could have worked many more stations, but I was hunting specifically for new countries. I managed to work enough new countries for a DXCC Award for 12m. I still have some work to do on 10m, but I picked up a few more.

I am sure that many hams in the U.S. with better stations worked more countries, but I am happy with these results using less than 100 watts into an end-fed wire antenna.