Jim's GAZETTE #119
5 April 2002
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LONG NOTES: Remote . . . It happens! A note from
Joe G3ZCZ describes his operation from a remote
station in Virginia as W4/G3ZCZ making 15 contacts
during the last Phone Sweepstakes. But, surprise, he
was operating from Adelaide, Australia. Now this is
getting interesting! Next RTTY test, maybe we'll
have AA5AU in a duck blind running his rig at home
and Joe operating a W4 for a ZK location, or vice
versa. What fun.
We all know DX takes careful planning. For example,
on 24 March about 1908Z, I turned on the rig and
fired up 15M PSK. The cursor came up about a quarter
of an inch away from a solid trace on the waterfall.
From force of habit I look at the closest trace
first so I jumped to it and the screen printed '#OX
qrz.' Curious, I stayed right there. Then came the
next line 'GYYYY de XROX 599' and I quickly double
clicked the callsign to get it in the right box in
DigiPan and clicked 'Call3' at the very next
opportunity. I had to wait a few minutes, made the
call and scored for my 106th country on PSK. After
my contact, there were two or three others, then
XR0X started calling CQ. I counted seven repeats of
the call before the next station showed up.
So much for careful planning. A pirate, I thought
and said so to several Email friends. Then word came
that the XR0X complete logs were posted at
www.cordell.org/SFX. Still doubting that such a big
operation would stoop to PSK, I typed in my call.
Bang! I made it on 15M along with 224 other contacts
by the PSK gang. Now, that doesn't seem a very big
slice out of the 68,910 Q's made by that operation,
but it obviously reflects a small but growing
interest in DX chasing in this newest mode. RTTY
accounted for 3053 contacts, so combined digital
accounted for something less than five per cent of
the total. And we wonder (see below) why RTTY is not
too high on the DXpedition's list of priorities.
Oh, the QSL manager is John N7QQQ. Send a
contribution and a card/SASE to John Kennon, PO Box
31553, Laughlin, NV 89028.
Dayton---the dates are sneaking up on us. You do
need reservations so get busy. Get to
www.rttyjournal.com and click Dayton 2002. Then
follow the instructions. It should be interesting.
Frank N2FF is going to lead the Saturday morning
RTTY Forum again and I have a hunch the discussion
will soon lead to a favorite subject. Oh, you can
vote for or against SO2R at www.contesting.com
(Scroll down to 'survey.') but that's not nearly as
much fun as debating it in a big crowd. Join in!
Someone suggested that I had changed Phil's callsign
in NL#118 from GU0SUP to GU0SOP. While it was the
first mistake I've ever made, I rather liked the SOP
suffix and am surprised that Phil didn't follow
through with the appropriate authorities and make
the change. Maybe next year.
There appears to be a bit of a scramble over who's
in charge of the Anatolian RTTY contest. I surely
will not judge the case, but TA9J clams that the May
17-18 contest web site is at
www.qsl.net.ta7j/anatolian.htm and that he, Ismail,
is manager of the effort. Time will tell.
Nice note from LZ2MP. Unfortunately my answer to him
bounced. (If you receive this edition of the
Newsletter, Milen, please give me a better address.)
He's active in the LZ2K contest club but hasn't been
on the air otherwise. He promises to be back soon. I
A futile hope perhaps, but will there be digital
modes from Cham Island in Vietnam soon? Check
www3.ocn.ne.jp/~iota/newpage25.htm for information.
Steve K4CJX, after discussions with Steve Ford (QST
Editor) and Paul Rinaldo W4RI about where the wide
band modes should go, sent out a summary of his
findings to all the PMBO's of the world (that's
Pactor Mail Boxes). As I read the document, and I'm
no lawyer, the news boils down to this: 1) the FCC
in the US considers digitized voice just another
form of SSB and assigns its use to the SSB space on
the bands and 2) Paul thinks that Pactor III should
use the space below the phone bands as 'we see fit,'
and operate above 14060 as a semi-automatic mode,
calling this space essentially 'unused.'
Paul plans on presenting a 'more dynamic' approach
to allocation at the next TAPR conference in August.
Subsequently, he will present this new idea to the
ARRL Directors for the second time. I cannot judge
his proposal in advance but hope and trust that his
concept will be built around the philosophy
propounded by Peter G3PLX. If not, we are clearly
headed for another one of those pointless,
destructive battles over who owns what frequency.
Steve's last paragraph states that the Winlink
Development Team will study Pactor III's role on the
bands and find a solution that 'will do the least
harm and the most good.' We can only applaud that
But there are too much left unsaid here. 'Below the
phone bands as we see fit,' is not exactly a precise
definition of a solution. Perhaps we can be a bit
more precise. If Pactor III is placed below 14.101,
those big signals will do more damage than a
lightning strike. We can only hope that Vic Poor
W5SMM's endorsement of Peter's long-range, logical
view will prevail.
In the meantime, there has been some fun visible on
the reflectors . . . for a change. The Parody Island
DXpedition, a figment of an active imagination blew
into a major comedy. Don AA5AU is the sponsor, guru,
team leader and grand marshal of the large group
migrating to Parody. This island is midway between
Texas and Mexico in the Gulf and, since it was only
recently discovered, falls into the 'new country'
category of the ARRL. All of the gory details are
available on Don's website at www.aa5au.com. Click
Parody Island in the lower right hand corner of the
first screen and discover the magic of this tropical
After reading all the details, you might get the
idea that this operation is aiming a great deal of
venom at those DXpeditions who seemingly favor the
SSB and CW modes at the expense of the more glorious
and deserving digital modes. While I can't imagine
where this idea might have come from, nothing could
be further from the truth. It is quite clear that
Parody will strive to balance their efforts in a
most equitable fashion. In fact, it's so equitable,
if you succeed in working them on SSB you will have
achieved something roughly equal to climbing Mount
The selfless volunteers accompanying Don on this
hazardous journey desire to share their talents with
those who deserve a contact with this latest
addition to the DXCC country list. Just ask folks
like W2UP, GU0SUP, JA1BHK, W1MAG, etc, how strongly
they feel about this effort. Why they won't even
accept contributions to defray their expenses!
What else can we say but GOOD LUCK, BON VOYAGE, GOOD
73 de Jim N2HOS