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Re: [dxatlas] What have I gotten myself into?

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  • Bruce Tanner
    Welcome, Spenser. You are right on time with your career development in amateur radio! I recall as a newly licensed General Class Ham back in 1960 or so that
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 13, 2008
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      Welcome, Spenser. You are right on time with your career development in
      amateur radio! I recall as a newly licensed General Class Ham back in
      1960 or so that I was also in search of the illusive DX and those were
      pretty good sun spot years as I recall. The advice I received was to
      "listen deep"! I will pass that on to you as well as to continue using
      the new aides such as DX Atlas and Ionoprobe.

      I use the latter all the time as well as Band Master. I often use DX
      Alas to see where and when the 'Gray Line' propagation is occurring. It
      is amazing how much better you will hear the DX sigs during that 30 to
      45 minute period when it is passing over your QTH location.

      I also check in with Band Master just to see where the DX is being
      reported from. Often times that data will let you know if others in your
      general locale are receiving DX signals...and from where, and then you
      listen deep! By that I mean into the noise level. It will take a while
      but as you 'tune your ear', as well as your receiver, you will be
      amazed at what you can dig out of what might appear to be just noise to
      you at this point. Learn how to use your filters etc. well also.

      I have Ionoprobe up on my screen most of the time and occasionally obey
      its prophesies by getting up early in the morning when it tells me the
      signals will be best in my location from diverse areas of the Earth. If
      you don't do that occasionally you will miss some of the juicy stuff
      that just will not find propagation paths to your door at any other
      time... well maybe in a few years as Cycle 24 warms up. If it is good
      you will hear stories about the bands being 'open' all day long to most
      anywhere!

      Stay with it and stay with us.. I think you are at one of the right
      places for support and education though you are also apt to locate
      others as time goes on.

      73,

      Bruce, K2BET
      ----------------

      wapiti_sur_slayer wrote:
      >
      > Greetings Everyone: I have just joined this group to try to learn more
      > about using Hamcap and dxatlas,and any other things that will help me
      > work my radio better.
      >
      > I have been a ham for about 3-1/2 years, and I am working my way
      > through the hobby, trying to learn new areas of operating bliss.
      >
      > I have mostly just listened to other hams on SSB, trying to learn how
      > to operate correctly, and improve my knowledge of what it takes to
      > become profidient at DX and working other stations.
      >
      > Today I tried for the first time to use hamcap to learn what it will
      > do, and how to use it to make contacts on bands other than 40 and 80
      > Meters. I had some success (?) hearing DX stations on bands that I
      > had ,up until now, thought were dead because of the solar cycle.
      >
      > I guess my main question is: Am I in the wrong group? I read through
      > the postings for the last few months, and they seem to just be talking
      > about new improvements to the program. Where is the best place to
      > learn how to use the programs and increase my learning curve? 73 Spencer
      >
      >
      >
      > __________ NOD32 2788 (20080113) Information __________
      >
      > This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system.
      > http://www.eset.com
    • Bruce Tanner
      Sorry! I meant to say I use Ham CAP to get those prophecies ! It is a great program.
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 13, 2008
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        Sorry! I meant to say I use Ham CAP to get those 'prophecies'! It is a
        great program.

        Bruce Tanner wrote:
        >
        > Welcome, Spenser. You are right on time with your career development in
        > amateur radio! I recall as a newly licensed General Class Ham back in
        > 1960 or so that I was also in search of the illusive DX and those were
        > pretty good sun spot years as I recall. The advice I received was to
        > "listen deep"! I will pass that on to you as well as to continue using
        > the new aides such as DX Atlas and Ionoprobe.
        >
        > I use the latter all the time as well as Band Master. I often use DX
        > Alas to see where and when the 'Gray Line' propagation is occurring. It
        > is amazing how much better you will hear the DX sigs during that 30 to
        > 45 minute period when it is passing over your QTH location.
        >
        > I also check in with Band Master just to see where the DX is being
        > reported from. Often times that data will let you know if others in your
        > general locale are receiving DX signals...and from where, and then you
        > listen deep! By that I mean into the noise level. It will take a while
        > but as you 'tune your ear', as well as your receiver, you will be
        > amazed at what you can dig out of what might appear to be just noise to
        > you at this point. Learn how to use your filters etc. well also.
        >
        > I have Ionoprobe up on my screen most of the time and occasionally obey
        > its prophesies by getting up early in the morning when it tells me the
        > signals will be best in my location from diverse areas of the Earth. If
        > you don't do that occasionally you will miss some of the juicy stuff
        > that just will not find propagation paths to your door at any other
        > time... well maybe in a few years as Cycle 24 warms up. If it is good
        > you will hear stories about the bands being 'open' all day long to most
        > anywhere!
        >
        > Stay with it and stay with us.. I think you are at one of the right
        > places for support and education though you are also apt to locate
        > others as time goes on.
        >
        > 73,
        >
        > Bruce, K2BET
        > ----------------
        >
        > wapiti_sur_slayer wrote:
        > >
        > > Greetings Everyone: I have just joined this group to try to learn more
        > > about using Hamcap and dxatlas,and any other things that will help me
        > > work my radio better.
        > >
        > > I have been a ham for about 3-1/2 years, and I am working my way
        > > through the hobby, trying to learn new areas of operating bliss.
        > >
        > > I have mostly just listened to other hams on SSB, trying to learn how
        > > to operate correctly, and improve my knowledge of what it takes to
        > > become profidient at DX and working other stations.
        > >
        > > Today I tried for the first time to use hamcap to learn what it will
        > > do, and how to use it to make contacts on bands other than 40 and 80
        > > Meters. I had some success (?) hearing DX stations on bands that I
        > > had ,up until now, thought were dead because of the solar cycle.
        > >
        > > I guess my main question is: Am I in the wrong group? I read through
        > > the postings for the last few months, and they seem to just be talking
        > > about new improvements to the program. Where is the best place to
        > > learn how to use the programs and increase my learning curve? 73 Spencer
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > __________ NOD32 2788 (20080113) Information __________
        > >
        > > This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system.
        > > http://www.eset.com <http://www.eset.com>
        >
        >
        >
        > __________ NOD32 2788 (20080113) Information __________
        >
        > This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system.
        > http://www.eset.com
      • Spencer Shields
        Thanks Dan! I have decided to get more aggressive in learning how to use my radio. My XYL just scratched her head when she heard that I wanted to get into Ham
        Message 3 of 8 , Jan 13, 2008
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          Thanks Dan!
          I have decided to get more aggressive in learning how to use my radio. My XYL just scratched her head when she heard that I wanted to get into Ham radio. I am not a very 'chatty' person, and am more prone to just sit back and listen to others, but once engaged in a good conversation, I come out of my shell and enjoy voicing my opinion.
          Anyway, I hope to make good use of the expertise here in this group. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't in over my head by joining this group.....I always feel like I need to be lead by the hand until I get a good grasp of the concepts involved in a new program.
          There are not many other hams in my immediate area. I live about 100 miles south of Salt Lake City,Utah. And therefore, don't have an Elmer to consult with, and learn how to get started in some new mode of operation.
          I found someone willing to help me get started into the digital modes, and finally learned how to use PSK31 well enough that I finally tried the PSKFest this last weekend. Now I want to learn how to become a good DX contact, and use all the features on my rig, that I paid my good money to be able to have.
          I have a TS 2000 radio, MFJ 993-B tuner, Cushcraft beam antennas (2 Mtr,6 Mtr,and 10-15-20 Mtr), and a dipole for 40 and 80 Mtr. This is probably all the equipment I dare buy to get me into retirement, and keep my wife of 36 years from leaving me. Hi Hi
          Thanks Again for coming back to my post so soon. 73 Spencer Shields W7SUR K


          To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.comFrom: dan-schaaf@...: Sun, 13 Jan 2008 20:45:01 -0500Subject: Re: [dxatlas] What have I gotten myself into?




          Spencer, I think you will receive lots of help here in this group.Just to mention, I use Hamcap plots of time vs. frequency and I will tell you that it is very accurate. I can save lots of time by not even listening for the DX until HAMCAP indicates the best times to listen. It is NOT perfect however, since there have been some times when the DX is audible and teh HAMCAP says that the S/N is very low or 0 or negative numbers. But, I still find it pretty darn accurate. When it says that the Best Time is, for example, 1130 UTC, the DX station will peak at that time.I use the Ionoprobe to increase the accuracy. Also, set in your antenna types for best accuracy. For teh DX Station antennas, I use the same as my antennas. If it is not correct, no problem, it just means that the DX Station may have better antennas than I have and so their signal will be stronger than I am expecting.Best RegardsDan SchaafK3ZXL www.k3zxl.com "In the Beginning, there was Spark Gap"----- Original Message ----- From: wapiti_sur_slayer To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2008 8:29 PMSubject: [dxatlas] What have I gotten myself into?Greetings Everyone: I have just joined this group to try to learn more about using Hamcap and dxatlas,and any other things that will help me work my radio better.I have been a ham for about 3-1/2 years, and I am working my way through the hobby, trying to learn new areas of operating bliss.I have mostly just listened to other hams on SSB, trying to learn how to operate correctly, and improve my knowledge of what it takes to become profidient at DX and working other stations.Today I tried for the first time to use hamcap to learn what it will do, and how to use it to make contacts on bands other than 40 and 80 Meters. I had some success (?) hearing DX stations on bands that I had ,up until now, thought were dead because of the solar cycle.I guess my main question is: Am I in the wrong group? I read through the postings for the last few months, and they seem to just be talking about new improvements to the program. Where is the best place to learn how to use the programs and increase my learning curve? 73 Spencer[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






          _________________________________________________________________
          Put your friends on the big screen with Windows Vista� + Windows Live�.
          http://www.microsoft.com/windows/shop/specialoffers.mspx?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_CPC_MediaCtr_bigscreen_012008

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Dan Schaaf
          Spencer, I agree with Bruce s reply also. Listen Deep. At the bottom of the sunspot cycle, the Good Stuff: might be weak. But don t let the Sun Spot pundits
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 13, 2008
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            Spencer,

            I agree with Bruce's reply also. Listen Deep. At the bottom of the sunspot
            cycle, the "Good Stuff:" might be weak. But don't let the Sun Spot pundits
            scare you off. Sunspots are for sissies HiHi. I have worked a lot and lot of
            DX at the bottom of the cycle. If you can hear it, you can work it.
            Operating skills are important in pileups. And don't let pileups scare you
            off. Learn how to operate split frequency (transmitting up band and
            listening to the DXer frequency ( VFO A andVFO B). You have to listen deep,
            not just through noise but also thru QRM, and there are people who will
            intentionally and not-intentionally QRM on the DX guy.

            If you plan to work CW, and I hope that you choose to do it, at the very
            minimum, learn to hear your own callsign at 30 to 40 WPM so that when the
            DXer calls you, you can reply quickly. A good DX op will work the pileup
            fast. But it is fun .

            Bandmaster on a live internet connection will pop up DX spots fast and if
            you are watching Bandmaster, you can locate a good DX contact early on
            before the pileup gets too big.

            I also have to appease my wife. She understands what I am doing, but
            basically could care less and watches my expenses carefully. I stopped
            bragging to her of my DX conquests. She just nods and walks away.

            Best Regards
            Dan Schaaf
            K3ZXL www.k3zxl.com "In the Beginning, there was Spark Gap"
            ===============================
            NOBSKA
            www.nobska.net
            ===============================
            Cape Cod Instruments
            www.oceanbiz.net
            ===============================
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Spencer Shields" <spensur@...>
            To: <dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2008 9:22 PM
            Subject: [dxatlas] Learning curve started!



            Thanks Dan!
            I have decided to get more aggressive in learning how to use my radio. My
            XYL just scratched her head when she heard that I wanted to get into Ham
            radio. I am not a very 'chatty' person, and am more prone to just sit back
            and listen to others, but once engaged in a good conversation, I come out of
            my shell and enjoy voicing my opinion.
            Anyway, I hope to make good use of the expertise here in this group. I
            just wanted to make sure that I wasn't in over my head by joining this
            group.....I always feel like I need to be lead by the hand until I get a
            good grasp of the concepts involved in a new program.
            There are not many other hams in my immediate area. I live about 100
            miles south of Salt Lake City,Utah. And therefore, don't have an Elmer to
            consult with, and learn how to get started in some new mode of operation.
            I found someone willing to help me get started into the digital modes, and
            finally learned how to use PSK31 well enough that I finally tried the
            PSKFest this last weekend. Now I want to learn how to become a good DX
            contact, and use all the features on my rig, that I paid my good money to be
            able to have.
            I have a TS 2000 radio, MFJ 993-B tuner, Cushcraft beam antennas (2 Mtr,6
            Mtr,and 10-15-20 Mtr), and a dipole for 40 and 80 Mtr. This is probably all
            the equipment I dare buy to get me into retirement, and keep my wife of 36
            years from leaving me. Hi Hi
            Thanks Again for coming back to my post so soon. 73 Spencer
            Shields W7SUR K


            To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.comFrom: dan-schaaf@...: Sun, 13 Jan
            2008 20:45:01 -0500Subject: Re: [dxatlas] What have I gotten myself into?




            Spencer, I think you will receive lots of help here in this group.Just to
            mention, I use Hamcap plots of time vs. frequency and I will tell you that
            it is very accurate. I can save lots of time by not even listening for the
            DX until HAMCAP indicates the best times to listen. It is NOT perfect
            however, since there have been some times when the DX is audible and teh
            HAMCAP says that the S/N is very low or 0 or negative numbers. But, I still
            find it pretty darn accurate. When it says that the Best Time is, for
            example, 1130 UTC, the DX station will peak at that time.I use the Ionoprobe
            to increase the accuracy. Also, set in your antenna types for best accuracy.
            For teh DX Station antennas, I use the same as my antennas. If it is not
            correct, no problem, it just means that the DX Station may have better
            antennas than I have and so their signal will be stronger than I am
            expecting.Best RegardsDan SchaafK3ZXL www.k3zxl.com "In the Beginning, there
            was Spark Gap"----- Original Message ----- From: wapiti_sur_slayer To:
            dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2008 8:29 PMSubject:
            [dxatlas] What have I gotten myself into?Greetings Everyone: I have just
            joined this group to try to learn more about using Hamcap and dxatlas,and
            any other things that will help me work my radio better.I have been a ham
            for about 3-1/2 years, and I am working my way through the hobby, trying to
            learn new areas of operating bliss.I have mostly just listened to other hams
            on SSB, trying to learn how to operate correctly, and improve my knowledge
            of what it takes to become profidient at DX and working other stations.Today
            I tried for the first time to use hamcap to learn what it will do, and how
            to use it to make contacts on bands other than 40 and 80 Meters. I had some
            success (?) hearing DX stations on bands that I had ,up until now, thought
            were dead because of the solar cycle.I guess my main question is: Am I in
            the wrong group? I read through the postings for the last few months, and
            they seem to just be talking about new improvements to the program. Where is
            the best place to learn how to use the programs and increase my learning
            curve? 73 Spencer[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






            _________________________________________________________________
            Put your friends on the big screen with Windows Vista® + Windows LiveT.
            http://www.microsoft.com/windows/shop/specialoffers.mspx?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_CPC_MediaCtr_bigscreen_012008

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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          • Dan Schaaf
            By the way, If you are using AALog 2.47 integrated with bandmaster, the DX that you need will be displayed in RED and a new DX Spot will have a green bar on
            Message 5 of 8 , Jan 13, 2008
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              By the way, If you are using AALog 2.47 integrated with bandmaster, the DX
              that you need will be displayed in RED and a new DX Spot will have a green
              bar on it. Nice to have so that you don't waste time working countries
              already worked before. And it does this highlighting for each band. So, if
              you worked VQ9LA on 40 meters, he will show up on 40 m as black, and if you
              didnt work him yet on 20 meters, it will show in red. Same for modes,
              Digital, SSB, CW etc in red if not worked yet in that mode and band. Neat
              stuff.
              And, if you are in the living room watching TV and a new DX comes on
              Bandmaster, the computer will send DX in morse code thru the PC speaker, so
              you can jump off the couch, work the DX and go back to teh couch and TV
              again. I crank up the volume so I can hear it in the patio.

              Best Regards
              Dan Schaaf
              K3ZXL www.k3zxl.com "In the Beginning, there was Spark Gap"
              ===============================
              NOBSKA
              www.nobska.net
              ===============================
              Cape Cod Instruments
              www.oceanbiz.net
              ===============================
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Spencer Shields" <spensur@...>
              To: <dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2008 9:22 PM
              Subject: [dxatlas] Learning curve started!



              Thanks Dan!
              I have decided to get more aggressive in learning how to use my radio. My
              XYL just scratched her head when she heard that I wanted to get into Ham
              radio. I am not a very 'chatty' person, and am more prone to just sit back
              and listen to others, but once engaged in a good conversation, I come out of
              my shell and enjoy voicing my opinion.
              Anyway, I hope to make good use of the expertise here in this group. I
              just wanted to make sure that I wasn't in over my head by joining this
              group.....I always feel like I need to be lead by the hand until I get a
              good grasp of the concepts involved in a new program.
              There are not many other hams in my immediate area. I live about 100
              miles south of Salt Lake City,Utah. And therefore, don't have an Elmer to
              consult with, and learn how to get started in some new mode of operation.
              I found someone willing to help me get started into the digital modes, and
              finally learned how to use PSK31 well enough that I finally tried the
              PSKFest this last weekend. Now I want to learn how to become a good DX
              contact, and use all the features on my rig, that I paid my good money to be
              able to have.
              I have a TS 2000 radio, MFJ 993-B tuner, Cushcraft beam antennas (2 Mtr,6
              Mtr,and 10-15-20 Mtr), and a dipole for 40 and 80 Mtr. This is probably all
              the equipment I dare buy to get me into retirement, and keep my wife of 36
              years from leaving me. Hi Hi
              Thanks Again for coming back to my post so soon. 73 Spencer
              Shields W7SUR K


              To: dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.comFrom: dan-schaaf@...: Sun, 13 Jan
              2008 20:45:01 -0500Subject: Re: [dxatlas] What have I gotten myself into?




              Spencer, I think you will receive lots of help here in this group.Just to
              mention, I use Hamcap plots of time vs. frequency and I will tell you that
              it is very accurate. I can save lots of time by not even listening for the
              DX until HAMCAP indicates the best times to listen. It is NOT perfect
              however, since there have been some times when the DX is audible and teh
              HAMCAP says that the S/N is very low or 0 or negative numbers. But, I still
              find it pretty darn accurate. When it says that the Best Time is, for
              example, 1130 UTC, the DX station will peak at that time.I use the Ionoprobe
              to increase the accuracy. Also, set in your antenna types for best accuracy.
              For teh DX Station antennas, I use the same as my antennas. If it is not
              correct, no problem, it just means that the DX Station may have better
              antennas than I have and so their signal will be stronger than I am
              expecting.Best RegardsDan SchaafK3ZXL www.k3zxl.com "In the Beginning, there
              was Spark Gap"----- Original Message ----- From: wapiti_sur_slayer To:
              dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2008 8:29 PMSubject:
              [dxatlas] What have I gotten myself into?Greetings Everyone: I have just
              joined this group to try to learn more about using Hamcap and dxatlas,and
              any other things that will help me work my radio better.I have been a ham
              for about 3-1/2 years, and I am working my way through the hobby, trying to
              learn new areas of operating bliss.I have mostly just listened to other hams
              on SSB, trying to learn how to operate correctly, and improve my knowledge
              of what it takes to become profidient at DX and working other stations.Today
              I tried for the first time to use hamcap to learn what it will do, and how
              to use it to make contacts on bands other than 40 and 80 Meters. I had some
              success (?) hearing DX stations on bands that I had ,up until now, thought
              were dead because of the solar cycle.I guess my main question is: Am I in
              the wrong group? I read through the postings for the last few months, and
              they seem to just be talking about new improvements to the program. Where is
              the best place to learn how to use the programs and increase my learning
              curve? 73 Spencer[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






              _________________________________________________________________
              Put your friends on the big screen with Windows Vista® + Windows LiveT.
              http://www.microsoft.com/windows/shop/specialoffers.mspx?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_CPC_MediaCtr_bigscreen_012008

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




              Yahoo! Groups Links
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