I would say that "ending" a QSO by sending and receiving a QSL card is half the QSO. But today many prefer not to use QSL cards and instead confirming QSO´s on-line. For receiving many types of diplomas QSL cards are still needed. I like the paper format. Some cards are master pieces in design and other just contain necessary information. I think it is rather common for me and others that the cards are archived in shoe boxes etc. and then forgotten. Maybe a better way is to have them on display on a PC screen or in a digital photo frame.
This super small scanner is well suited for scanning QSL cards. It takes less than five seconds to scan one card. The files are saved on an ordinary memory card that can be put into a digital photo frame or into a PC for saving and possible editing or a slide show.
From the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) I got a permit to use the 60 m band for ham radio during January 23 to June 30 in 2013. See previous post here. Above is my log for this period showing my few QSOs and Skimmer stations reports. I never heard any North American station and no Skimmer station there reported my sigs. I was using an Elecraft KX3 transceiver (5-10 W) and a very low hanging G5RV antenna. My QTH is in northern Sweden (KP05vs) not so far from the Arctic Circle.
Note: The LA1... station above is LA1IC QRP. Distance is in km.
One week ago I bought a ca. 10 years old ICOM IC-746 100 W transceiver. It can transmit on the 60 m band, but the in-built automatic antenna tuner cannot be used on that band. Instead it is possible to use a separate manual antenna tuner. I first checked, with a 50 Ohm resistive load, that an output power of 100 W could be achieved.
I have now got a new fixed station permit from the PTS, October 17 to March 31, at my KP05vs QTH.
So on October 18 I checked my new rig connected to the G5RV antenna and with an output power set to ca. 50 W. No QSOs but Skimmer reports as below. I heard LA, G and OZ stations, but they were on frequencies not allowed for me to use.
I will soon hang up an end-loaded 1/4 wl wire for 60 m and with a 9:1 balun for a 50 Ohm coaxial feeder. It will be higher above ground than the G5RV and hopefully this will work better.
Outside my kitchen window I have a small discone antenna. It is a Diamond Super Discone Antenna Type D130J. The height of the top element incl. the loading coil is ca. 0.7 m. The receiving range is 25 to 1,300 MHz and transmit range, also according to the spec, is from 50 MHz and up. I have found that I also can use it for transmit/receive from 14 MHz and up. I have even worked QSO´s with low power on the the 40 m band.
When back home after one month in northern Sweden I noticed that part of a green plant on a nearby wall, ca. 1.5 m away, somehow had found its way to the antenna. It started to grow on one lower element and it is now above the top element.
I was curious about how the antenna would perform now, although bad summer conditions. My Elecraft KX3 with 10 W output autotuned to a low SWR on 14 MHz. Running CW CQ´s gained no answers, but CW Skimmer receiving stations received my signals. I was astonished that see on the Reverse Beacon Network that the skimmer station of VE2WU near Montreal could copy my CQ. It must have been GREEN POWER! :-)
On March 17 Northern Lights exploded in the sky at my SM2 QTH in northern Sweden (KP05vs). For many photos click on the photo collage above. I used a handheld Sony NEX-6 camera with a Samyang Fish-Eye lens, 8 mm 1:3.5.
This photo shows my low hanging 31 m G5RV wire antenna at my SM0FOB/2 QTH in northern Sweden. Gubben, my Second operator is a young Svensk lapphund (Swedish Laphound), only 4 1/2 months old.
This is the antenna I use on the 5 MHz band. Although its low height it is possible to have "DX" contacts with it. Recently, with 5 W output from my Elecraft KX3 transceiver, my CW CQ signals was heard by a skimmer station on Iceland (TF4M, Distance 2,030 km, 13 dB s/n) and another one in Germany (DL1EMY, Distance 1,838 km, 8 dB s/n). Later with only 1 W output the skimmer station DL1EMY received my CQ with 2 dB s/n.