By Arnie Coro
radio amateur CO2KK
Si amigos , I am Arnie Coro in beautiful La Habana Cuba , and it is my pleasure to present this edition of Dxers Unlimited…. When I began to write the script of this show, early this week, the main headline that was seen at several Internet sites devoted to the radio hobby , Monday morning, highlighted the fact : thirty two days in a row… without sunspots !
There is no doubt that we are now well into a period of very low solar activity that resembles what happened during the end of solar cycle 23 in 2008. Despite solar flux figures that have hovered near 70 units and even lower values, the propagation conditions on the HF bands show a slight improvement that can be attributed to the Earth now entering into the equinoctial period, when both northern and southern hemispheres receive the same illumination for a few weeks…
Then on Tuesday , the fifth day of March , very interesting news started to reach headlines… A new small active sunspots region was born on the solar Northern Hemisphere, and it showed a different magnetic polarity than the one that has characterized the sunspots of the now ending solar cycle 24….. the magnetic signature of solar active region 2734 is telling us that it should belong to the new solar cycle 25 now overlapping with the tail end of solar cycle 24.
You are listening to Dxers Unlimited, our station’s long lasting contribution to the development and enjoyment of the wonderful hobby we all know as RADIO… I am your host Arnie Coro, radio amateur CO2KK and here is now item two of today’s middle of the week program.
QSL on the air to listener Alex Daugherty who sent an unusual report from Missouri, USA… It is related to our 6000 kiloHertz English language program as received Monday March 4 at 0431 UTC. I now read his reception report as seen on the e-mail —
Date – Time 03/04/2019 – 0400 (UTC) Frequency (kHz) 6000 Language English
Program Details Cuban trust in the electoral process. Later, broadcast included listener news from India and Massachusetts .
Receiver/ Antenna Tecsun PL-880 with random wire ant.
Then listener Alex added the following Comments
Listened from 0400-0415 until fading out mostly. Regained signal at 0425 (UTC). Surprised at how well I received the transmission considering I was in a basement in Missouri!
Yes, it is quite unusual to receive reports from receivers located below the ground level…. Yes amigo Alex from Missouri , here is your QSL on the air , and the QSL card will be sent as soon as we receive your postal mailing address !
Now another QSL on the air to listener Randall who lives in Utah and enjoys both short wave listening and operating his amateur radio station, that includes using several of his homebrew regenerative receivers. Randall is also using the now very popular FT8 digital communications software, but he agrees with me that FT8 contacts lack the warmth of a real human , not a robot, at the other end of the two way QSO !
Yes you have just heard CUBAN CONGA DRUMS, that are played by hand hitting different areas of the tight goat skin membrane to extract the most amazing sounds.
QSL on the air to Italy Michele Amico callsign firstname.lastname@example.org Asunto: Reception report from Milan, Italy For: Radio Habana Cuba <email@example.com>
Dear Friends, Radio Habana Cuba,
Here I am back to you again, with a reception report relative to a transmission heard on the *26th of February 2019,* from *06:00 to 06:40 UTC* on the frequency of *6000 kHz*, with a broadcast in *English*; the receiving conditions where good, with a *SINPO 44444.* The alternative frequencies: 6060 kHz was weaker and 6165 kHz was as strong but with heavy interference from another station on the same frequency .
Then he adds a detailed list of the program contents and continues. It is always a pleasure to tune into your station, and I try and listen regularly, especially in our morning, before going to work… for me, it’s more convenient than in the evening, when you have a broadcast directed to Europe. As usual, may I ask for your QSL card, if it is not a problem ?
I shall stop here. Please receive the best wishes of good work. Yours Truly,
Michele D’Amico (IZ2EAS) Milano, Italy
Yes this is Radio Havana Cuba broadcasting to the world from sunny , beautiful Cuban archipelago with its two main islands and more than three thousand islets and keys — We are using the following international short wave broadcast bands… 49, 31, 25, 22, and 19 meters plus our 60 meters Tropical Band transmitter operating on 5040 kiloHertz. In a few days we will be starting to use the A19 period spanning from the end of March to the end of October…
By the way we continue to receive excellent signal reports from Northern Mexico, the Pacific Coast US states and Northwestern Canada picking up our 6100 kiloHertz frequency on the air during our local mid night to two o’clock in the morning English language broadcast beaming at 315 degrees azimuth , using a four by four curtain array of dipoles, ITU antenna type HR 4, 4 dash 0,8 .
Here is now our popular technical topics section of Dxers Unlimited…TODAY I will again be telling you about end fed wire antennas for shortwave reception and transmission, focusing on an antenna type best described as a asymmetric almost end fed dipole…. Now let me clarify… YES it is a dipole because it has two legs, but one is much shorter than the other, and almost end fed because the feed point it located at the antenna insulator that separates the long leg from the short leg that is used as the feed point of the antenna… But, I have not finished yet… the asymmetric almost end fed dipole is connected to the coaxial cable downlead using a balun transformer. Or in some cases best results are achieved using a matching device known as a U N U N.
A popular version of this type of asymmetrical antenna is known as the Carolina Windom, that is now in use by several Cuban radio amateurs Dxing enthusiasts with good results… The Carolina Windom requires experimenting looking for the optimum matching system as Izquierdo CO2QU told me recently during a local two meters band FM contact… If a half wave center fed dipole antenna places the feed point too far away from your transmitter’s location, then any version of the Carolina Windom will be a good choice…
Jesus CO2DC , our 40 meters band Dxing guru used an asymmetrical fed dipole with the short leg of a quarter wavelength cut for seven thousand one hundred, and the long leg made using three or five quarter wave length , with the long leg aiming at the area where you want your signal to provide a maximum. In the case of CO2DC antenna , he had it aiming at Europe, a azimuth of 45 degrees from Havana , making possible for him to work many European CW and even SSB signals while running just five watts to a Russian compact transceiver known as the ALMAZ…..
Si amigos , experimenting with antennas is one of the more than 93 ways of enjoying our radio hobby…. and I can assure you that it brings many nice rewards when you are operating the ham radio station using a home brew antenna system. It happened to me way back in 2009 when after finishing installing a one third of a wavelength vertical antenna with four quarter wave radials, a quick CQ DX call on 28.495 kiloHertz brought back a five by nine signal from a station in Antarctica !
By the way the antenna system is an excellent low take off angle system ideal for working F2 layer DX on the 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 meters bands where its overall size makes it a practical antenna to be installed at any rooftop , garden or backyard !