V6Z  2016   -   Latest news


UPDATE :  1442z 21st November

Today I re-signed and re-uploaded the main DXpedition and RTTY logfiles to LoTW and ClubLog.   I have corrected a number of typos/ busted calls which were our fault.

We are still receiving e-mails about not being in the log - as I said below, if your QSO is not in ClubLog by now, you probably did not work V6Z 2016.

We are writing the story of this DXpedition - please check back here later for a link to a new webpage.

73     Chris    GM3WOJ


UPDATE :  1220z 9th November

Log checking is going to take longer than expected - probably until the end of next week, so please be patient.  Alex GD6IA is visiting us for a week so is helping with this checking process. We are going to re-upload all the QSOs to LoTW in the next day or two which may help replace some of the 'missing' LoTW QSOs.  If your QSO is OK on ClubLog, it will eventually be OK on LoTW. If your QSO is not on ClubLog by the end of next week, it is probably not in the V6Z log - sorry.

We have ordered new QSLs from the printers - if you need a paper card, please send your QSL to our QSL Manager Steve N3SL.

73    Chris


UPDATE :  1620z 5th November

Safely back home near Inverness, where there is snow on the mountains in the distance. A real contrast to Micronesia.

I have now uploaded our CQ WW SSB logfile to LoTW and ClubLog, which should answer most of the queries in your e-mails about missing contest QSOs. I am investigating a possible bug in the Trusted QSL software for LoTW where a QSO in the ADIF file does not appear in the .tq8 file - it may not be a bug but the QSO is missing from LoTW despite being properly signed (I think).

I am still wading through 240 e-mails about missing QSOs / busted calls / you should be on this band at this time, etc - this will take another few days to sort out.

I have also updated the 'Sponsors' webpage with the names and callsigns of everyone who has sponsored V6Z 2016 - your donations are much appreciated - thanks !       73   Chris


UPDATE :  2218z 2nd November

Greetings from Incheon Airport, Seoul!  We had time yesterday to correct most of the logging errors we had made, and to update LoTW and ClubLog.  We still have a few e-mails to look at.

17m RTTY - I apologise to U.S. stations for my bad choice of operating frequency (18112).  We had not intended to do any RTTY operation, so did not check in advance where to operate on 17m.  Neither Keith nor I operate RTTY (or 17m) from home and with poor internet I just guessed a frequency between CW and Phone. Anyway I got it wrong - sorry.

Once we recover from the long journey home to Scotland, we'll be writing the best-seller 'The Story of V6Z 2016' which you might find interesting.  Please check back here next week.

73     Chris


UPDATE :  0156z 2nd November

Greetings from Narita Airport, Tokyo!  Many thanks from Keith and I to everyone who worked V6Z.  We knew to expect poor conditions, but were disappointed when our expectations were proved correct !   The second week of the DXpedition was particularly poor, with long periods where when we could only work stations slowly or not at all.

One thing that I mentioned before, but is worth repeating, is that very few people tune around nowadays, rather preferring to let others on the DX Cluster do the work for them. Those that do tune around are often rewarded by being the first to work a DX station who has just started to CQ, avoiding the need to break a Cluster-driven pileup.

We have uploaded the main DXpedition logfile to LoTW and ClubLog, and will upload the 4450 QSOs we made in CQ WW SSB after the 5-day log submission deadline has passed.

After I get home on Friday morning, I'll post some photos from the DXpedition and start looking at busted calls/typos.     73       Chris


UPDATE :  0342z 31st October

We enjoyed CQ WW SSB - we had some great pileups but also some quiet spells where we struggled to make QSOs.  There seemed to be lots of interesting DX to work.

We are now taking down most of the antennas ready for our departure to KH2 tomorrow - we will be on some bands this evening and definitely on 160m and 80m for our last opportunity to work you - both this evening and tomorrow morning.

Our final QSO total for the DXpedition (incl CQ WW SSB) will be about 18000 QSOs, which we are quite pleased with given the poor propagation, especially in the second week.  Please spot V6Z on the DX Cluster if you hear us on 80m or 160m.

Pse QRX for another LoTW and ClubLog update - either this evening or tomorrow morning.

73      Chris


UPDATE :  0254z 28th October

One thing that is really noticeable on this DXpedition is that when we are on CW we are usually called fairly quickly after we start CQing on a frequency (good old Skimmers/RBN) but when we QSY to SSB, it can take many minutes of CQing before anyone calls us - if at all.  Hence the comment yesterday - please tune around instead of relying on DX Cluster spots.

Conditions on 80m were good yesterday evening and this morning, but a sudden wind storm damaged our 160m antenna (now fixed) so we could not be on 160m at our SR or SS. We will be on 160m CW again today and on SSB in the contest.

I made about 340 QSOs on RTTY - now using G3YYD's excellent 2-Tone software - it is much superior to FLdigi and MMTTY for decoding and does everything simply and fast.  We will be on RTTY later today again if poss.

LoTW and ClubLog will be updated this evening or tommorow morning before the contest starts.  When the bands were closed this morning we altered some of the antennas to improve them for WW SSB.                    73     Chris


UPDATE :  0150z 27th October

This is our quietest day so far - we have spent a lot of time CQing on different bands and modes, but made very few QSOs  :-(    PLEASE TURN THE VFO KNOB AND TUNE AROUND !!We don't know what the solar figures are, but will find out when we do this update.

160m was good last evening, but poor this morning - 80m has been fairly consistent, but both bands are noisy. Please don't call V6Z again if you are already in the log, cos that means someone else might not make a QSO with V6Z.

Thanks to everyone who has supported our DXpedition by making a donation via PayPal - the poor internet access makes it difficult for me to update the 'Sponsors' page (and to upload photos) but I will do this as soon as possible.  We are looking forward to the weekend CQ WW SSB contest.             73     Chris


UPDATE :  0940z 26th October

There are 5 days left of this DXpedition. However CQ WW SSB finishes here at 1000 local time on Monday morning, so realistically we will spend the rest of Monday taking down antennas and packing up our gear.

I made 98 QSOs on RTTY today, but both FLdigi and MMTTY were not making a very good job of decoding the European long path signals on 20m. I have David G3YYD's 2-tone software on this laptop, so will use it with N1MM+ for our next spell on RTTY.

Looking forward to the contest at the weekend - looks like there are lots of rare multipliers going to be active, so the contest should be great fun. 

I have updated ClubLog and uploaded our QSOs to LoTW again now.     73     Chris


UPDATE :  2000z 25th October

We are approaching 10000 QSOs in the log and continue to work pile-ups. Some bands are disappointing, but others quite good.

Some of you might be asking 'why is V6Z on 40m instead of 160m or 80m at their sunrise?' - well today the answer is simple - poor condx on 160m and 80m is full of radar QRM, so impossible to make QSOs this morning at our SR.

We are hoping that conditions improve for the CQ WW SSB contest this weekend. We have some photos to upload, so will try to do that later today.

LoTW and ClubLog have been updated again.     73     Chris


UPDATE :  1950z 24th October

Not much to report today.  160m condx were not very good this morning so we concentrated on 80m.  We are both very tired but enjoying the pile-ups.

With no internet in the shack, we do not know where other DXpeditions are transmitting, so please tell us if we need to move our TX frequency or pile-up.

Our target for this DXpedition is 15000 QSOs - last year we made 22500 QSOs approx, but conditions are not nearly so good this year.  Also the difference between October and April is noticeable.  We installed a new antenna for 30m to the USA yesterday.

ClubLog and LoTW have been updated again.  It is difficult for us to read e-mails, but we will sort any typos / busted call errors (that we have made) after the DXpedition. If you are not in the log, please call us again.   73   Chris

(Hi Pippa, Carrie, Gareth, Gillie, Jen, John and Ben !)


UPDATE :  2340z 23rd October

160m is working fairly well, but have not heard any NW Eu stations yet.  We now have Beverages to Europe and to the USA, which are helping us copy more stations.  160, 80, 40 and 30m are noisy here.

Despite the poor solar figures, we are still finding some good openings which seem fairly predictable each day e.g.  0500z onwards Eu 20m LP,  2000z onwards Eu + USA LP on 30m and 20m.

We don't have any internet in the shack, so have to close down one station and carry the laptop about 50m to get a Wifi signal.  We will try to read all the e-mails in the next day or two.

73     Chris


UPDATE :  2240z 22nd October

Conditions are not very good today. We will persevere for a day or two with the 160m/80m cycle, but it is frustrating to call for long periods with no QSOs.

Noise levels on the low bands are high (but our new RX antenna works fairly well) and there is local noise on 40m and 30m which makes copying stations difficult.  HF conditions are preventing us making any QSOs in the UK/EI DX SSB contest, but this may change later.

We have updated LoTW and ClubLog again.     73    Chris


UPDATE :  0030z 22nd October

Conditions have improved a bit, so that is good.  We installed another 2 antennas when things were quiet yesterday.

160m - it is difficult for us to stick to the plan to be on 160m every hour on the hour, so this evening Keith will be on 160m from 1200z to 1230z, then on 80m from 1230z to 1300z, then alternating bands for as long as possible. I will be on 160m from about 1700z onwards, alternating with 80m and 40m.

Our RX antenna is er... a dud - we are reconfiguring it as a Beverage today.  We now have 18 antennas - I don't think we need any more  :-)

Look for V6Z this weekend in the UK/EI DX SSB Contest which starts at 1200z Saturday. See www.ukeicc.com for more info.  Activity in the contest will be intermittent.

We have updated ClubLog and LoTW today.    73       Chris


UPDATE :  2330z 20th October

Conditions are not very good at the moment, although we had good openings :

0700z 20m LP to Eu,       1800z  40m to Eu,              2230z 20m LP to USA.

We call CQ regularly on 15m, 12m and 10m but these bands are poor today. Please tune the bands instead of relying on Skimmer or Cluster spots.   Internet access is poor, and is likely to be nil for a few days next week while they are repairing some cables, so we will just keep working stations. We have no internet access in the shack. For several reasons we have not been much on SSB this week, but will be on SSB more at the weekend and next week.

Our QSO total is disappointing so far, but hopefully will improve soon !  We are uploading to LoTW and ClubLog now.         

Despite all these negatives above, we are enjoying the pile-ups and we hope you are too.

Important - our QSO totals are slightly different on the 2 PCs, so a few QSOs may be missing from today's uploads - this will be fixed later. All our QSOs are safely backed up.    73    Chris


UPDATE : 0400z 20th October

We have not yet settled into an operating pattern, but from now on we will have at least 1 station active 24/7.

I worked 11 stations on 160m this morning, but the QRN is high, making copying difficult. We hope to install our RX antenna later today.

We now have 16 antennas (!) so will be concentrating on operating - setting them all up has taken a bit longer than expected.  Today we installed the European 2ele vertical yagi for 20m, an Eu 2ele for 10m and the 30m half-square which is pointing to the USA.

Internet access is still patchy - I have to disconnect my laptop and carry it about 50m to get a good enough wifi signal. Hoping to improve the wifi in the next day or two, then will do some ClubLog and LoTW uploads.       73    Chris


UPDATE :  0600z 19th October

We arrived safely on Weno Island (Chuuk district) on Monday morning after a tiring journey - 5 flights with no overnight rests.  We've spent the last 36 hours installing 13 antennas - mostly out over the salt water and hopefully working well for DX.

We will be on 80m and 160m this evening (19th October - local time) at our Sunset 0735z and tomorrow at our Sunrise 1939z.  We will start on 80m CW then every hour we will move to 160m CW on the hour i.e. 0800z, 0900z, etc and stay on 160m for at least 15 mins - if we are working stations we will stay on 160m.  Look for us in the range 1821.5 to 1824.5kHz.  We will install our RX antenna in the next day or two.

Internet access is poor, so we cannot receive or reply to any e-mails, but we will be QRV.

More news in a day or two.   73   Chris and Keith @  V6Z