2013 – A retrospective

2013 was all about chasing DX on QRP. The aim was to complete and apply for a QRP DXCC by the end of the year. Work pressures ensured that I would find very little time to get on the band – especially because of my extended work day that spans India and the US.

I was predominantly on JT65 and JT9 and found a few good openings to NA and SA in the mornings on 20M. There were some good long openings late in the night into NA on 15M too.

The CQWW CW contest was a great opportunity to work a number of good ones on QRP. I completed my QRP DXCC after the contest. I applied for and received my QRP DXCC dated December, 2013.

Raj/VU2ZAP is the only other VU who has received a QRP DXCC way back in 2002. Nice feeling to have joined him on the list. Looking back, it was a fun two year hunt. It took a lot of patience, many agonizing hours chasing rare ones and a large dose of luck to achieve it. All this with a yagi stuck pointing to Europe!

India on 6M?

An amendment to the rules allows VU hams to operate on 6m – the “Magic Band”. However, before all of us had a chance to settle down after the initial euphoria, we realized that the licensing authority in India, in their own wisdom, have allowed 6m operation on FM only! The skewed logic that we later heard was that 6m was considered VHF and hams would have to use FM only.

However, this restriction to operate on other modes on 6m has not affected an individual from blatantly operating on CW on 6m. Needless to say, this operation has been evoking a lot of interest from DXers worldwide and I suspect a lot of them are working this VU in a “work first, worry later” mode. A discussion was initiated on the VUHams Yahoo group about this “illegal” operation on 6m and a lot of folks were pretty vocal that this was an abuse of the privileges we have. The ham in question actually responded to the group with an apology and feigned ignorance of what the rules allow. And, this is an experienced ham known to the DX community! Unfortunately, the same ham is being spotted on 6m on CW even now.

Anyway, the Amateur Radio Society of India has taken up the issue of 6m operation on other modes with the regulatory authority. Initial feedback that we hear is that the request will be considered and we VU’s will be given privileges to operate on CW and SSB on 6m soon. A few of us are getting down to home-brewing our antennas for the “Magic Band”

Till then , I suggest that Dxers do not waste their time and money (yes, quite a bit of it is being demanded for a QSL card for those illegal QSO’s).