28 November 2016

The Red Pitaya, CW Skimmer and the CQ WW DX Contest

The contest is over and my goals were fullfilled. I wanted to see if the ionograms are consistent with actual propagation compared to the collection of spots done with the Red Pitaya and the CW Skimmer Server. (See the basics in my article Red Pitaya als Funkwetterstation). Here is the hourly presentation of the second day.

Produced with ViewProp
(See the other collections in my blog below.)

Produced with DX-Tools

The accordance is evident, although I can not explain the bad shape of the 20m band between 11.00 and 14.00 Z. Perhaps there were local disturbances. The CW Skimmer Server produced during the nearly 48 hours about 124 800 contacts. 

That averages to 2600 calls in an hour. It will still need some time to analyze the data.


Conditions were not so good but these guys with their Kilowatt and 16 Element Beams brought light into the darkness. For me and my bad antenna (EndFed about 6m high betwenn two houses) and going only QRP with 5 Watt times were not so good. Although I managed to get two additional DXCCs most of the DX-signals were just 1-7 dB over the noise level. I could hear them clearly but had nearly no chance to get them. Most of the time I was pushed away. Only when the band came up and I was the first on the block or the band went down and most hams went downstairs, I was lucky. 

What else to learn:

As always the geographical position is dominating the directions from where I could hear stations. 
Here is a snippet:

And when sitting a long time before the radio you will notice that stations reappear from time to time.



I will in future not randomly wander through the bands. I will let the Red Pitaya and Skimmer have a look at my antenna and tell me what band will be my favorite for the next minutes.

Stay tuned!