Sunday, December 26, 2010

addendum to contest season

When I did my contest season summary; I completely forgot to mention the following.
I placed 3rd in the Hawaii QSO party from 5 land.
As a kama'aina from  Kihei, Maui; I always enjoy working the guys in the islands.
So, I am really pleased with this accomplishment.

Mahalo nui loa to all the Hawaiian hams that allowed me the opportunity to work them during the contest.

As always, I look forward to the next opportunity to visit with you all.

73 and Good DX
Leslie, ad5wb
Galveston Island, Texas


Friday, December 24, 2010

contest season

The contest season for me is, for all practical purposes, over. 
I normally participate, in a major way, in three contests:  The IOTA contest, the Texas QSO Party and the W/VE Island qso party.  So far it has been a good season for me.  My best yet, in fact.  Much of this is due to the current antenna installation and the amplifier I ran, until it broke.  (See amplifiers woes).
In the IOTA contest, I came in 11th overall in my class: high power, single op, unassisted, 12 hour, phone.  This is much better than I did previously when I was in the middle of the pack.  I think this result is as much install, as mentioned above, and strategy.  I chose my working hours carefully.  Still there is great room for improvement in this contest.
In the Texas Qso Party, I came in 3rd in my class:  single op, high power, phone, fixed, in state.  This is by far my best showing in this contest.  I knew, or felt that I did good, but I was still surprised to see the results.
In the w/ve qso party, we are still waiting on the results.  I can only say it was a good time.  And, I did much better than last year.  The pile up on 20 meters, on Saturday (I think), was pretty good at times.
If you read this blog, you will know that I also made a half effort at the ARRL ten meter contest this month (December, 2010).  I do not know when the results from this contest will be released.  I can only say that propagation to Galveston Island was not that grand!
Well there we go.
The contest season in a nutshell.  I am sure you have noticed that the major contests are not listed.  This is because I do not really participate in them.  I will call people to give them contacts/points but these contests require more of a commitment than I can give.  So for now the contests listed above are my major contests.
Wishing you all:  73 ya'll and good propagation
Hope to meet you on the bands
Leslie ad5wb
Galveston Island, Texas

Monday, December 20, 2010

screenshot of error in ham radio deluxe

This screen shot is posted here only to allow the help people at HRD access to the photo.  I have difficulties in getting the screen shot to upload to the HRD forums.  It may well be my computer, it is old, and/or  user error on my part; I am older than the computer; HIHI.
Here is the problem:

I am using HRD version 5.0 build 2777.
Operating system windows xp, I have office 2010 on the computer.

When I enter a contact into the log entry window it shows the distance between my station and the one I am contacting.  I have everything set up in miles.  However, when I actually send the entry to my log it shows up as a different distance. 
The screen shot below, shows the log entry window with a contact I made yesterday.  It shows the distance as 945 miles.  Look at the log entry behind the entry window and you will see the contact distance listed a 7665.  This figure is too large for it to be in kilometers. 
In examining my log I see all of the my recent contacts in the continental US are listed with the same distance of 7665.  This has happened to all us contacts made since 12/17/10 when I upgraded to the current beta.
Any suggestions?  You can click on the image to enlarge it.

HRD really is a fantastic program.  I don;t use all of it's capabilities but hope to in the future.

wishing you good DX and 73
Leslie, ad5wb
Galveston Island, Texas

Sunday, December 12, 2010

updates to ham radio life

It has been a while since I made any entries in the blog of my ham radio life.  Work has been busy and life has been busy.  There has even been one weekend without (gasp) any radio at all!
But there have been highlights in my little world of ham radio.

The ZL8X dxpedition to to Raoul Island/Kermadec Islands occurred, it is over now.  I was fortunate to have been able to work them on four bands.  With 100 watts and vertical I can only say that they had some real good ears!

I am trying again to make contact with Masa, JO3AXC.  We have had an on again, off again sked for some time now.  We have never been successful in establishing two way contact.  He had heard me at least once fairly well but so far we have not spoken to each other.  But, conditions are improving and there is hope for the future.

As I write this the ARRL  10 meter contest is ongoing.  I have worked about 85 or 90 stations but the pickings are slim!  Lots of qsb, maybe poor participation, and I must admit that I am not the serious about this contest.  It is hard to be enthusiastic when you call for 10 or 15 minutes with no responses.  It truly is enough to make you wonder if the antenna is still there.  It is, thankfully, HI!

I am still getting some qsl cards in from the summer contest season and the N5I special event station.  I am a month behind in sending out qsl requests of my own.

Through work I had an interview with the Houston Chronicle regarding ham radio.  They got some things wrong but none the less it was an honor to represent ham radio.  If anyone is interested the article should be at the following URL:

Well 10 meters is starting to open up.  So I am going to see if I can pick up a few more contacts for the contest.

73 and good dx
Hope to meet you on the air
Leslie, ad5wb
Galveston Island, Texas

Monday, November 15, 2010

amplifer woes

Well it happened.  My amplifier decided to quit working.  Or to be more accurate it quit working at full capacity..  My transceiver still works appropriately but the amp does not.
For a long time as the band conditions went down hill I resisted the idea of an amp.  I bought the amp a couple of years ago, in desperation I suppose.  I bought a used ALS-600 with switching power supply.  It has done me very well.
It has run all day and night long in contests without a whimper. 
With my present antenna set up:  BigIr vertical sitting on top of 335 square feet of overlapping strips of hardware cloth that are tied together with 700 foot of wire, my station talks well.  I have used a Pro II with the the amp and it has been a fantastic experience.
But, it may well be a while before I get the amp fixed.  Conditions are getting better and I have other expenses, related to Hurricane Ike to take care of.  So.............
Amplifier woes!

73 and good propagation
I look forward to meeting you on the air!
Leslie ad5wb
Galveston Island, Texas

Thursday, November 11, 2010

band conditions

What interesting band conditions yesterday.
I worked the Philippines on 15 meters at 6:30 PM local time.  It was fully dark and had been so for about an hour.
Roughly, four hours later I worked Corsica on 40 meters.
If it keeps going this way what fun we are in for.

73 and good propagation
Look forward to meeting you on the air.
Leslie, ad5wb
Galveston Island, Texas

Sunday, November 7, 2010

log updates

All logs are updated as of Saturday 11/7/10 at 12:00 noon local time.

Best regards to you and yours.

Hope to meet you on the air.
Leslie ad5wb
Galveston Island, Texas

Sunday, October 31, 2010

old computers and logging programs

Last weekend, October 23 and 24, I participated in the US/VE Island QSO party.  I usually do this contest every year.  It is fun to put the island on the air.  Some of the pileups were pretty good, especially on 20 meters on Sunday morning.  As, usual I could not operate all the hours of the contest, but it was a lot of fun, none the less.
As I looked at my records and reconciled my log, I realized that my primary online logs had been searched by people I had worked in the contest before I had a chance to upload my logs.
If it is an ongoing or recent (1 or 2 days after) contest and you search my log and do not find your contact with me, be patient.
My computer is real old and it does not run my primary/everyday logger well in a contest setting.  It can run it, it just does not do so fast enough.
I usually use n1mm logger for contests.  This year for the US IOTA contest I used Genlogger.  Both of these programs present a small load to my computer and this is important in a contest type setting.
I hope I had a chance to work you.  EQSL is updated as is my hrdlog.  I still need to upload to club log and lotw.  Keep in mind that four letter work still gets in the way of life!
I hope to meet you on the air.
Leslie ad5wb
Galveston Island, Texas

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

why so many logs?

When I looked at my last post, I said to myself, I bet people wonder why I have so many logs.  So, I thought I would answer that question even before someone asks me.

Log Book of the World is absolutely great for awards issued by the ARRL.  The down side is it is not searchable by anyone other than ARRL staff members and the person that generates the log.  I do have to generate a file and upload to the LOTW website for it to be entered into the program.

EQSL is very workable and easier to use with my primary logging program than LOTW.  As I enter qso's in my logger they are automatically uploaded to EQSL.  EQSL does work for some awards from CQ.  People often criticize EQSL saying that there is no security.  They get qsl's from people they never made contact with.  Well, this happens via the US postal system too.  When it does, you send it back, not in my log.  Simple. 

Clublog provides a means from me to track my contacts by zone, band, dxcc, and more.  It is searchable so someone can search and make sure they are in the log before they send their card.  Saves money and time for all.

Hrdlog allows access to my complete log.  This means that anyone can look at any contact I made under my regular callsign. 

I state that because I operate a special event station once a year with a 1 x 1 callsign.  The database for that callsign is on clublog.

I upload my log to qrz just because.  Because it is there.  Maybe in time I will get more involved with that log book but for right now I upload it because.

One thing i will say is that I am grateful to have the opportunity to have my log in multiple places.  One never knows when the next computer crash will occur and where.

Until next time.
I hope to meet you on the air.
Leslie ad5wb
Galveston Island, Texas
Look for me on the air this weekend with the US Islands QSO party.

qrz; lotw, clublog, eqsl and

Monday, October 18, 2010


I have updated all logs through 10/17/10.
This includes: qrz; lotw, clublog, eqsl and
Eqsl and are realtime.  When I enter the qso in my log it gets uploaded.
You can view my hrdlog at:  AD5WB log at ham radio deluxe log on line

until next time.
hope to meet you ont he air soon.
leslie, ad5wb
Galveston Island, Texas

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I uploaded my logs through 10-10-10 to LOTW and club log this morning 10/12/10.  They should be posted soon.

Received preliminary report from IOTA contest.  Overall I am real pleased at how I did.  The Adjudication report was quite interesting to examine.  I saw where my dyslexia cost me several qsos.   And where being tired also cost me some points.  Overall there were 13 qso's that were disallowed.  I knew that I had mistakes on two from doing my log reconciliation.
I am really glad I got to see the report.  It helps me to understand how the scoring is done and where I need to improve.  The preliminary report shows; if all my qsos had been allowed I would have been 6th in my category.  Instead, I am 11th.  But  overall, I am really happy with how I did.
With my present station and set up, I will never be a real serious "contender" but I can be a half way big player.  I am happy to have the opportunity to do so.
I wish to thank the RSBG IOTA contest committee for the opportunity to participate in this contest.

Uploaded my log and summary sheet to the TXQSO party people.  The contest was fun.  I am glad I worked it even if I did not get to operate all hours.

Hope to meet you on the air
Leslie ad5wb
Galveston, Island, Texas

Saturday, October 9, 2010

propagation and dx

This morning 15 meters was wide open.  And there not many people on.  I was fortunate and made contact with TK7KA in Turkey on SSB.  This was my first contact with Turkey.  Wow.  Low sunspot numbers.  Everyone complaining about no dx and boom I make contact with Turkey.
I will admit that I had my little ALS 600 screwed up as high as I could.  But, I don't have a beam.  I made contact using a vertical, A BigIr by Steppir.  Yes, I had the antenna in 3/4 wave mode, but.....
As I thought about this contact this afternoon it prompted me to scan my log and see what other dx I have worked in the last couple of weeks.  So....... here is the list.  It is not here to brag but to say that there is dx if we work it. Keep in mind I work so I don't have all day and all weekend to sit and play radio.  Though I will say my wife is kind and lets me work some of the contests if I ask nicely HI HI.  Sometimes the contacts are not pretty; this morning the station in Turkey was not moving the needle and there was deep QSB that would totally take him out.  But we made contact and exchanged reports.
The list, all contacts by phone
date                utc             band                          dx                                  call
9/22             0404             7 mhz                   French Polynesia             FO8RZ     
9/25             1742           21 mhz                   Slovak Republic              OM3DX
9/25             1745           21 mhz                   South Africa                    ZS1ZY
9/25             1927           21 mhz                   Zimbabwe                       Z21BB
9/25             2025           14 mhz                   Poland                             SP5BR
9/25             1307           21 mhz                   Italy                                 IZ6BVX
9/25             1355           21 mhz                   Qatar                               A71CT
9/25             1627           21 mhz                   Wales                              MW0ZZK
9/25             1637           21 mhz                   Costa Rica                       TI3/W7RI
9/26             1917           14 mhz                   Bulgaria                            LZ5R
9/26             1952           14 mhz                   Fed. Rep. of Germany      DL7OK
9/26             2051           21 mhz                   Falkland Islands               VP8LP
9/26             2315           14 mhz                   Antartica                          VP8DMH
10/2             0340              7 mhz                  South Africa                     ZS3D
10/2             1339            14 mhz                  Ukraine                            US0LW
10/2             1648            21 mhz                  Corsica                            TK5EP
10/2             1919            21 mhz                  New Zealand                   ZM4T
10/2             2052            14 mhz                  Australia                          VK7ZE
10/2             2123             21 mhz                 Australia                          VK4KW
10/3             1656             18 mhz                 Lithuania                          LY5A
10/3             2041             18 mhz                 French Guiana                 FY1FL
10/3             2048             21 mhz                 St. Helena                       ZD7FT
10/7             1254             14 mhz                 European Russia              RA3QPY
10/9             1308             21 mhz                 Turkey                             TA7KA
10/9             1309             21 mhz                 France                             F8KHF
 Not bad for casual operations. Part of the contacts on the 25th and 26th were made during the Texas QSO Party, so I did have some extended operating time there.  There are some contacts in my log that are not in this list.
I don't have hundreds of feet of radials for my vertical, I live in a suburb with a small back yard and the antenna is installed in a garden bed next to wood privacy fence.
As stated earlier, the purpose of this list is to show that you can work dx even in less than optimum conditions.  Note how many of the contacts were made on 15 meters.  Supposedly the upper bands should not be providing much dx with the solar cycle as it is but as you can see it is alive and doing quite well.  I would be foolish if I did not admit that much of my success is due to the other operators antenna.  With my vertical there is little help for my signal.  So......... to everyone who pulled me out; my heartfelt thanks
until next time
73 and good dx
Leslie AD5WB
Galveston Island, Texas

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

TX QSO Party and blog updates

As I noted the other day the Texas QSO Party was held a couple of weekends ago.
I finished my summary sheet last evening and here are my results:
I made 617 contacts, not counting dupes. The contacts were distributed in the following ways:
7 mhz = 193
14 mhz = 374
21 mhz = 46
28 mhz = 2
50 mhz = 2
All contacts were on phone.
I contacted 77 counties in Texas, 44 states and 24 dxcc entities.  I contacted one mobile station in six counties.  I contacted a maritime mobile station on 5 different bands.
If all holds and my scoring is correct I should have 179,430 points for my efforts.  As I stated the other day, I did not operate all of the contest hours.  But, it was fun.  At times the pile ups were good.  At times propagation was very good.
Well there you have it my experience this year in the TXQSO Party or TQP as some refer to it.


You may have noticed that I have installed a flag counter on the blog.  I figure that we talk around the world so why not have the ability to see who comes to visit my little electronic corner of the world.  I also installed a link to my logbook.  This gives the ability for someone to search my log by call sign to see if they are in my log.  I hope to have the logbook for special event station N5I online soon.

Until next time:

Very 73 and good dx
Leslie AD5WB
Galveston Island, Texas

Monday, October 4, 2010

texas qso party

Well, the TX qso party was held the weekend after I set up this blog.  I did not operate all the hours of the contest but had a lot of fun none the less.  I operated as a single operator - phone station.  The bands were not great but at least this year I did feel like I should go see if someone stole my antenna while I was operating.  There were some very nice sporadic dx openings during the contest and I must admit I took advantage of them, including one contact to Zimbabwe.
I am currently working on the summary sheet for my log.  I hope to finish it this week.
When I do i will update the blog on my information.
I hope soon to have my logs on line as I mentioned in my first post.
Until then, I hope to meet you on the air.
very 73
leslie ad5wb

Monday, September 20, 2010


Thanks for stopping by.  I hope as time goes on to chronicle some of my amateur radio activities on this blog.
In the very near future you should be able to search my log to see if we have made contact on the air.  I will have logs for my home call AD5WB and for the 2010 operation of special event station N5I.

If I can figure out how to do it I will also have separate logs from my home call, AD5WB, arranged by contest.
I only enter three contests a year:  IOTA, Texas State QSO Party and the US Islands QSO Party.  All of the contacts from these contests do eventually wind up in my main log.  So there is not really a big need to have separate search-able logs but I think it would be nice.

I enjoy contesting, putting the island (Galveston Island, Texas; US Island # TX001s, IOTA # NA143) on the air, chasing dx and just meeting new people and old friends on the air.

I look forward to meeting you on the air.


 Leslie AD5WB
Galveston Island, Texas