IK0WRB Radio Site

My DXCC Award

HF Mixed #35685 (162 Entities on March 2003)
HF Phone #23430 (152 Entities on March 2003)

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DXCC, what is it?

DX Century Club Award is given by American Radio Relay League to every radio amateur showing evidence of having contacted at least 100 different countries of the world.
To be more precise, the radio contacts must be two-way and the DXCC countries does not necessarily correspond to political countries, because also geographical data is considered.
There is a general (or mixed) DXCC certificate, for contacts made on the nine HF bands, in whatever mode (SSB, AM, FM, CW, RTTY), and a series of band-specific and mode-specific certificates. Also, there are certificates for VHF bands.

Proud of it

I am particularly proud of my DXCC certificates, because I used only the output power of my rig, a Kenwood TS-450S-AT, that is about 100 Watt. I upgraded my initial DXCC score on March 2003, to 162 entities for mixed and to 152 entities for phone mode.
The other important thing to me is that I have been using only homebrew wire antennas. I did not buy any HF antennas, I built myself all of them.

My antennas

First antenna I used was a 80/40 m trapped dipole, whose traps were done by printed circuit board pieces (to built capacitors) and copper wire for the coils. Tuning were done modifying the total length of the coils and a but also the length of wires, checking on the radio the effects (this for fine tuning, by the way). I had amazing results on all HF bands, I had main resonances on 80 and 40 and several others around. Tuning a bit, with Kenwood internal tuner, you could work everything! It's worth noting that at the time sunspot number was far higher than now.

I also built other wire antennas, such as 160m loaded dipoles (with huge coils!), G5RV with an homebrew balanced line ending in a 4:1 balun, multi-dipole configurations and a 60m length wire loop, that performed surprisingly well on LF listening (I will try something similar to work on 137 kHz, perhaps this winter). At the moment I have on my roof two multi-dipole antennas, a 80m dipole resonating on 3750 kHz coupled on the same 1:1 balun with a 40m dipole resonating around 7030 kHz (the resonances apply to the two antennas system). The other antenna is a trapped wire dipole for 10/15/20 m bands.
To switch between the two double-dipoles I use an Ameritron remote switch (but when possibile I will try to get rid of it, because I think it's better to have as few things as possible between tx and antenna...).

Recently I have built an horrible two element yagi for 6 meters band, for now attached to a third Ameritron plug (yes, I know, I should not do this way) and without rotor (it steadily beams NW). The 28 MHz output of the Kenwood is fed to an Italian made 6m transverter and then to a 6m PA (a tube 27 MHz PA I bought for a few bucks at an hamfest and modified to 50 MHz, simply changing input and output pi filters).
From the year 2000 I also use a second rig, an Icom 706 MKIIG, used for VHF/UHF bands and also for HF operations when I am not home. It is very handy to carry this small rig with me when traveling!

Getting the QSL cards

Well, after doing a lot of QSO the difficult part is how to get the QSL answered. ARI bureau works well, but you have sometimes to wait years to receive a card back, so, as all DXers do, I began writing directly, looking for managers and addresses on every possibile CD-ROM, callbook, Internet sites, etc. And sending green stamps around, HI.
I wish to thank the 425 DXNEWS folks, because their newsletter is a real DXer bible!
What you see decorating this page are in fact some of the QSL I received. As you can see I like almost all aspects of ham radio, SSB HF DX, some CW as well as some RTTY activity, then also some SSTV and satellite contacts. I tried also to leave a message to the Mir space station. The task was fairly simple, but the traffic over Europe was huge and it was very difficult to pass through. But after some weeks I did it! And now the MIR QSL card is among the preferred ones in my colletion.
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