|Above: CTARC members gather for the meeting|
|Above: Hans / ZS1HA, back in Cape Town from his extended trip to Europe|
Our chairman Rob / ZS1SA opened the meeting and mentioned forthcoming events, such as the Field Day and End-of-Year function. Details of these will appear on this blog and in the CTARC Sunday morning bulletins. New members and visitors were also welcomed and given the opportunity to introduce themselves.
|Above: Rob / ZS1SA opens the meeting|
|Above: Rob in QSO with Paul / ZD9ZS, while Hylton / ZR1HPC looks on.|
|Above: Owing to the improved solar figures, comms on 20m with ZD9ZS were good.|
There are the basic requirements - having a good transceiver and antenna, as well as hearing sufficiently good to copy weak DX accurately through the noise floor. Then, while much propogation information is available through the Internet, knowledge of when and to where the bands open (specific to YOUR location) is something that can only be discovered with lots of experience. In addition to following the HF beacons as indicators of band openings, Dennis encouraged hams to join regular international HF nets (and to hear which DX stations calling into these nets can be copied locally). Getting involved in international HF contests is also useful to build up the necessary operating skills and to learn how to cope with the unexpected!
The current solar cycle, times of day and seasons of year, the prospects for propogation in the future and the choice of working Long- or Short-Path DX arond the Great Circle route were also covered. Dennis also showed us his collections of QSL cards and told us some hair-raising tales of entire collections that get lost in the post en route to the ARRL. (The lesson here - scan in copies of your precious QSL cards as a backup...).
All in all, another great meeting and well worth the effort to attend. We look forward to the next meeting on 25 October 2014.
|Above, left to right: Dennis / ZS1AU is introduced by Rob / ZS1SA|
|Above: Dennis' talk was most interesting and informative|
|Above: The Herculean effort Dennis had to make to collect the QSL's from|
over 300 stations - and the fact that they were almost lost in the US postal system -
is a very emotional subject for him!
|Above: Dennis shows off one of his vast albums of QSL cards|
|Above: Pick a card - any card! Here Dennis dared the audience to ask him to show off a card|
from any DX entity. He has the lot (plus a few extra to spare) !
|Above: Unfortunately Dennis was unable to show us a|
QSL card from Outer Wogga-Wogga. But he does have
all of the rest!
|Above: Dennis shows his Alt-Azimuth map based on Cape Town.|
It shows the bearings and distances of all the continents and countries in the world.
Essential for knowing where to point the beam antenna.
|Above: Fred / ZS1FK, who travelled all the way down from St Helena Bay to attend the meeting.|
Note the interesting homebrew container behind the seat of his Honda!