Rare DX stations recorded in TF land

Rare QSOs recorded on 20m:  Tahiti, India, Philippine islands, Australia and Japan.

HF antennas and the Icelandic winter.

This power pole split like a toothpick during a February 2012 storm.

The weather in Iceland can be notoriously variable.  Average wind speeds in the lowlands may reach from 18 m/s (40 mph) on 10-20 days per year but upwards of 50 days per year at places in the highlands.  However, wind speeds may reach a much higher number during severe weather conditions or up to 70.60 m/s (over 160 mph).






This Hex beam antenna never stood a change against the forces of a recent Icelandic February 2017  winter storm.                                                               

This Hex beam never stood a change against the forces of a recent February 2017 winter storm. 










Rugged fiberglass whip element and stainless steel mounting for harsh marine environment. Frequency 2 to 30 MHz.  ATU: RF power 1.5 kilowatt P.E.P., 1.0 kilowatt average, continuous duty.

With this in mind, choosing the right durable HF antenna in a city environment is a must.  Here is a recommend set-up consisting of a 43 foot marine antenna with a 1.5 KW antenna tuner.  Yes, it is a compromise antenna with its pros and cons but when it comes to strength and endurance it will outperform any mass produced amateur radio antennas.   The antenna counterpoise is achieved by  a terminal to the roof metal sheets, the most common roofing material used in Iceland. 






LZAV-5B Five Band Vertical

Another desirable option is a non-compromise antenna resonating as a ¼ wave on 5 bands (20-10m).  This antenna, the LZAV-5B, made in Bulgaria in high grade aluminum with stainless steel hardware without any traps or delicate electronic components sensitive against long lasting wind vibrations, snow, ice, rain, humidity or other environmental elements.   Radials are not necessary if the antenna is mounted on a large metal surface (roof).  With proper guying, this antenna should last for a long period and requires minimum maintenance work.  See the manufacture website.





Ciro Mazzoni Magnetic HF Loop Antenna.

Last but not least is the Ciro Mazzoni Magnetic HF Loop Antenna.  An ideal antenna for limited space and made to withstand inclement weather.  See this link for further info.



Waiting For The Next Sunspot Cycle: 2019-2030

Waiting For The Next Sunspot Cycle: 2019-2030.
Article by:  Dr. Sten Odenwald  Astronomer, NASA Heliophysics Education Consortium

Forecasters are already starting to make predictions for what might be in store as our sun winds down its current sunspot cycle in a few years. Are we in for a very intense cycle of solar activity, or the beginning of a century-long absence of sunspots and a rise in colder climates?”  See the entire article via this link.

Radio Room Face Lift

My radio room renovations are almost completed.  All audio cables have been replaced with Starquad cables and Neutrik connectors.  All coaxial patches were also replaced with RG213 Belden MILSPEC cables, Silver-Plated Brass PL-259 antenna connectors and high quality toroid cores.  A grounding copper plate was installed using a star point scheme to a main grounding source.  I also rearranged my station with improved ergonomic operating positions in mind.  All transceivers and the wide-band scanner are now connected to a PC based audio spectrum analyzer and one audio recording source. 

Overall a successful day with the exception my base station VHF/UHF antenna is down after 12 years of faithful service.  Fortunately my SWR/Watt meter gave me an early warning sign of high SWR and loss of reflected power in time and thus preventing any damages to the transceivers.