A good day on the radio.

Towards the end of 2020, I set myself an interesting challenge:

  • On each band I can transmit on with the FT-891:
  • Make at least one international contact on FT8
  • Within the 12 hour period from 9am.

I used the DX Commander for QSOs on 80m, 40m, and 30m. I used the Hexbeam for QSOs on 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m, 10m, and 6m. My in-progress longwave MagLoop was then used for 60m and 160m.

Interesting QSOs from the day? 6m was open to Iberia and I made a few contacts to Spain and Portugal. My only 10m contact was in the US (KC8THC) and I was glad to make that contact as the band appeared dead otherwise.. My 12m contacts were USA and South Africa. 15m was busy and far-reaching up to 12,000km (LU3VA Argentina) to West Malaysia with Mauritius and St Helena in between. 17m contacts from Liechtenstein and Bulgaria we made. 20m contacts were made local in the EU – wrong time of the day chosen for that band. 30m QSOs were from north-central Europe. 40m stations were contacted from the US and Canada via the UK to Germany. 60m signals were copied from the Netherlands to Estonia. 80m was Ireland and Germany, and 160m signals from the Isle of Man and Germany.

I’m a bit chuffed that I did in fact manage 160m through 6m contacts via FT8 digital mode, towards the bottom of the sunspot cycle, with portable antennas, and sticking to the legal limits for transmission.

So far, the only band that has not had the confirmed QSL on QRZ is the contact on 10m, I’m awaiting his upload to get actual confirmation of that QSO.

I do have hardware that can do 2m and 70cms, but I didn’t include that in the challenge for the day. Maybe another time!

Equipment used:

  • Yaesu FT-891 transceiver
  • DX Commander All Band Vertical, with 80m element.
  • Folding Antennas Hexbeam, 20-10 with additional 6m element.
  • Messi & Paolini Ultraflex-7 and Hyperflex-10 coax cables
  • SPE Linear Amplifiers 1.3K-FA.
  • My R9-3900X 48Gb monster of a desktop PC.

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