7QNL is travelling for a few days and back on monday.

On monday he will setup antenna’s for 30, 17 and 12 meters so look for some activity there after the weekend.

7QNL had a power blackout this morning while running RTTY on 20m. Het apologizes to the pile-up

7Q(Ø)NL in the CQ WPX CW contest

Remco writes:

At 0000z I started running on 40m but nobody came back After 38 mins I worked my first station with S&P (K3WW) with big problems.

Not because of the signal strenghts but the QSO took around 2 minutes to complete.

I remember a well known contest director stating: “Log what you hear in the air”.

After ~1.5 hours I had 12 stations in the log and was fed up with the ‘??’ and went to sleep.

Nowadays contesting is not logging what you hear in the air, but what logging software or databases ‘tell you’ what you are supposed to hear in the air! (?)

I applied for a ‘normal’ 7Q-callsign, but after several attempts 7QNL is what MACRA issued to me.

In the morning I tried to work a top station from Luxemburg and again the QSO lasted around 4 minutes to complete. When you hear back the recordings… it’s a shame!
Very skilled (WRTC capable) operators are not able to log four letters: 7QNL

It appeared they had ‘logging’ issues , they used Win-Test
(apparently not the latest version)

What happened before this operation:

  • 7QNL (also 7QAA) was added to MASTER.DTA
  • Win-Test was patched to accomodate 7QNL (and 7QAA) and the prefix defaults to ‘7QØ’ (despite that the CQ WPX rules state something different)
  • Mails were sent to the CQ WPX contest committee
  • The DXcluster (DXspider) unfortunately was not able to grant ‘7QNL’ access (‘illegal callsign’ (??)

What should I do… keep calling with a valid callsign but no QSO, or use a callsign ‘databases allow’?

Just before our trip I informed MACRA concerning inserting a number after the country
identifier (7Q) to serve as ‘plan B’. I decided to sign 7QØNL.
That went relatively smooth (lots of 599001 contacts ;- )
When we are in Blantyre next week I am invited to collect the permission/license there as
no time was left to send the permission to The Netherlands by mail.

After the WPX contest, the callsign will be 7QNL of course.

7QNL setup until now

After our arrival (May 21st) in Malawi Remco put of the station as soon as possible and made  a 1/4wl vertical with two elevated radials for 15m in the dark, just to be on the air as soon as possible.

The next two days were spent looking for material to build antennas.

Fortunately ~1000m galvanized iron wire was arranged. Although not optimal, it’s at least something! (velocity factor of this wire was calculated to be 0.99 …)

In two days (yes, this is Africa) four modelled antennas were erected:

For 10, 15, and 20m VDA’s pointing ~335 degrees. These VDA’s perform surprisingly well,despite likely ground conditions (take off angle).

Calculated take off angle is ~18 degrees.

As time was limited, and also daylight, it becomes (very) dark in Malawi ar around 1600 UTC, only 40m was ready for the 24/25 May weekend. The 40m antenna is a deltaloop modelled to 200 Ohms and fed 1/4wl from the apex. Matching is done with a 4:1-balun.

After it was erected the first SSB (!) QSO’s were made into Europe with good signals.

There is heavy QRN on 40m and the four Beverages help siginficantly to pull stations out of the noise.

Remco made a solid state HP amplifier especially for this trip. It has a 2nd generation LDMOS FET, and generates ~700W max with the power supply used with ~70% efficiency.

Unfortunately 80m was not ready for the contest weekend, but the 40m deltaloop pole is 16.5m long, thus when time allows a T-antenna for 80m may be an option.

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