DX’ing on the HF bands. Still enjoy getting on-air with some local hams, however that quickly can get you into a rut. In addition, my retirement (semi) is working out to my advantage. I find myself staying up late night, or getting up in the wee hours of the morning, just to fire the station up, and see who I can hear, and contact across the world.
When WZ4C and I setup my current antenna system in 2001, we set it up for HF DX’ing. 115ft tower with a Force12 C19XR Yagi. It performs very well, especially on 10,15, and 2o meters. Bradley also installed a couple of pulleys around the 100ft height, and that’s how I raise my dipole antennas. My main dipole is a open wire fed 135ft doublet with the apex at approx 100ft, with the ends about 50ft from ground level. This simple doublet has proven to work both local and DX amazingly well. If I can hear you, more than likely you will hear me.
As for the station, my FTDX101MP is the center piece, and the Palstar LA-1K, and HF-AUTO transmatch are my go to amp and antenna matching components. I use these much more often than my OM Power OM2500HF amplifier and Palstar AT4K transmatch. Both of those are manually tuned, while the LA-1K and HF-AUTO are fully automatic. Switching bands, antennas, and trasnmitting with a KW is easier than ever now.
The mics are all Heil. PR40, PR77D, GOLD ELITE, and even the low cost HM-12. However, my main DX’ing setup is a Heil PRO 7 headset. This hands down is the most comfortable, highly effective headset I’ve ever used. I do not run a compressor/processor (even while DX’ing) and I keep the ALC level (mic gain) about 75% of full deflection. I am constantly receiving UNSOLICITED comments about the audio quality I’m transmitting.
For logging I’ve been using N3FJP’s software for decades. Scott has the best logging software I’ve ever used. I’m running ACLog in LINUX Mint. Even though there are quite a few logging and spotting programs exclusively for LINUX, ACLog (IMO) is superior to all. With some expert help from N4FWD it’s running great in LINUX using WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator). I’m going to keep a log for DX contacts only, and re-establish my LOTW account. Have no plans to have any QSL cards printed. It’s just way more convenient and cost effective to use LOTW, rather than spending money on printed cards today. However printed cards still have their place!
Anyhow, that’s it for this post. Time to see what DX stations are lurking on the HF bands.