Update November 29, 2023: The remaining team worked hard to dismantle most of the antennas ahead of their departure from Timor Leste. Three operators will still stay until next midweek and operate with the 160m vertical, 60m inverted Vee, according beverage antennas and dipoles for the higher bands placed within the palm trees. Thus, get on the air soon if you still need 4W8X on some bands!
Update November 27, 2023: Club Log information not yet complete. Still missing contacts. We are working on the problem. Do not send E-Mail to us about missing contacts. Please just wait! Thanks for your understanding! After the contest at 0000z we start taking down the second location.
Update November 25, 2023: Club Log information is not yet complete due to massive network / Internet problems. Still missing contacts. We’re writing some software to collect and upload those contacts as well. Do not send E-Mail to us about missing contacts. Please just wait! Thanks for your understanding! Now running M/M in CQWW DX CW Contest! Please call us (again)!
Update November 24, 2023, regarding the EME operation: because of the internet problem in Timor-Leste 4W8X, Sebastian DG5CST as EME operator of 144 - 1296 MHz bands asked me to clarify the schedule. Due to the high interest in 144 MHz operation, the situation changes as follows:
24.11.2023 -144 MHz
25-26.11.2023 - ARRL contests 1296 MHz
27.11.2023 - 144 MHz
28.11.2023 - 144 MHz in the window to the USA QRT after that
Therefore, it follows that operation in the 432 MHz band is terminated and will not be repeated.
Zdenek - OK1DFC
Update November 22, 2023, regarding the 160m band: Propagation was not good. No US on CW but terrible crashes from thunderstorms between Singapore and Tarawa.
The complete north was a thunderstorm.
Took my free time what actually was adicted to sleep to improve US beverage. It was extended in length and converted into a two wire beverage also to cover backside to Indian Ocean.
Had to pay the price for extra sunshine and had to take some sleep in the evening, so missed the US time.
As soon as I was away the station was hijacked by the FT-lovers to play their computer games.
Spots show that computer cannot work US better as humans during thunderstorm crashes, so most contacts were loud JAs and US stations we already worked in CW.
I feel like the last person on earth fighting for the CW mode on topband. However FT lovers were not seen when it came to put out the beverages, look for the noise source near the property or to reconstruct the beverages far away during hours and hours of hard labour.
Originally it was planned to have another 160m antenna on second location but nobody wanted to do the work - is is so much easier to take over a good working CW station when the lonely after many nights tired person is away for a while.
Band was closed most parts of the night but a few loud JAs (mostly dupes) called in. At sunrise we had a short opening starting with G4AMT followed by I3, ON, EI, DL, HB9 and then the sun was up and the band was dead again. These are the moments I like so much to do the real top band DX what you can hear and feel - and good to know lot of the person behind the call.
Artificial intelligence just clicks the contact and goes ahead - obviously our future :-)
OK - lets bring this DXpedition to an end and this will be my last entry in this group or in any other group mostly addicted to the FT modes.
73 Dietmar DL3DXX/4W8X
Update November 20, 2023: Club Log information should be OK now. From now on please regard the "Livestream" as EXPERIMENTAL. Do not rely 100% on what is displayed there. We are implenting new network infrastructure tomorrow. Once LAN and WAN connections are working reliably and we have synchronous logs locally, we shall regularly send updates to Club Log (manually) several times per day. Please be patient. Only when you don't see a contact online after 24 hours, please report over the contact form on our website. Many thanks for your understanding, and sorry for the hazzle. It was hard work here to fix those log problems.
Regarding the 160m operation: Last night I thought it was the most worst night of the DXped but this night topped it.
Made only about 30 CW QSOs and OE2VEL worked a few in FT8 but mostly stations we already had worked in CW.
Actually the night started good with two times VE7 and W6 just after sunset, sorry was few minutes late to work KP4AA because dinner came too late. Worked N4WW with good signal but later signals dropped down.
I see it when VE6WZ skimmer signal strength falls below 10dB it is pretty hard to hear anybody here in the tropic noise.
Complete night we had terrible QRN from nearby thunderstorm causing s9 crashes all the time. There was almost no sunrise peak so all the callers remained in the noise.
It only can become better. Still some time to continue
Regarding the EME operation: Seb, DG5CST, announced that he will be on 2m EME on 22nd and 23rd
Update November 17, 2023: We were in trouble deep as - until a few hours ago - we didn't have a network connection between our two sites. The 500m Fiber Optics cable which we brought was obviously damaged while it was laid out. Only today we got a 5 GHz WiFi bridge link up and running. Many contacts of the last days were not correctly uploaded to Club Log, but - by now - we have made a full upload of our log. If you still don't see your contact(s) on Club Log RIGHT NOW, please use the web form on our homepage and let us know. For the coming days full operation of up to 12 signals at the same time (plus EME) can be expected.
160m band news:
Another interesting night is over. Band opened late. I had been there before sunset already and heard AA7JV/mm with weak CQ. Skimmers did not pick me up long time. Night started slow.
Yesterday we again had rain showers coming over the mountains from the south. Rain brings QRN and crashes. Very difficult copy so most of the weak W4s and 5s were call sign guessing.
Sometimes I only missed one letter but the crash always happened at the wrong moment - again and again.
VE6WZ skimmer picked me up before WA7LNW. After W4s some W5s followed, nothing heard from 8,9 area.
After 13z again the band seemed to close but shortly extreme loud W7s called and I worked some of the VE5, 6, 7 and VY0SS. Missed KL7 heard pfx but unable to get the suffix.
After west coast had closed worked our Lagunaria team leader DL1MGB from DK6WL station at his sunset.
Later the band closed completely - not a single signal heard anymore.
Read complains about bad RX in cluster, so checked the beverages. I even took a light and made the 500 meters through the bushes during night to visit the EU beverage.
I think (hope) there are no bad animals out there in the bush. If they exist they did not expect me running through in the night. Could not find anything wrong with beverage but 80m also complained that the band is totally empty. Turned the radio down to a radio station at 1611. I checked all beverages, changed the pre-amplifier and proved the wiring - all OK so far.
Slowly the band got back into life. Started with OH, went over the north to OZ, GM and back through ON to Northern DL. Moved down south to East Germany, short detected by DF2CK skimmer and then westward to Frankfurt area. Worked a bigger number of DLs. It was not bad habit only to work DLs the propagation was just there. Finally propagation switched to ON, later to F and ended up in EA3.
15 minutes after sunset the band faded here. Heard stations still calling but deep in the noise.
When it comes to the RX capabilities, dont forget that we are here at 8 degrees south in the center of the thunderstorm area. You are up in the north in clear winter time with mostly excellent receiving (if you are not QRMd by city/village). Its much easier to listen to my signal for you than listening for you where dozen of stations calling without stop in the noise all together on one QRG.
You increase your chances if you move away from crowded frequencies.
Thats for now, hope more such productive night will follow. There is still a lot of folks without 160m QSO
73 Dietmar DL3DXX/4W8X
Update November 16, 2023: Almost 80,000 QSO in the log. They are fully operative now with simultaneous signals on several bands.
Update November 15, 2023: Some 4W8X team members were unhappy with topband results and with continuous bad propagation the pressure to me to accept working FT8 has been getting immense. We had a serious discussion about so I gave up finally and let the daemon out of the box of Pandora.
FT mode in equatorial noise seems not to be the big game changer. Some new stations came into the log, even some US we did not have before but I would say most of the stations showed up in that mode we had already worked in CW. Lot of Japan.
Our different point of view concerning resulted in a stop of 160m operation around 12z.
The violent discussion ended with the decission to continue in CW but to allow FT8 if no CW contacts are possible for a while. Sorry that we missed some US that way.
Well, we now have data we can analyze later to see what FT mode can and what not.
Propagation to US have been even better as the day before. THe evening started with a heavy 30min rain shower setting the property under water. Short after sunset the band was open to all over US with the exception of the North East.
After 13z the band faded and again we were able to see it in reversebeacon.net checking wa7lnw. new spotter ka7oei and once w6yx added to the list.
Almost no US west coast although I believed in advance that would be the easier path to US. If you west coast ops stand up at your sunrise you will miss that country.
During night wind brought huge waves from the ocean. The 160m matchbox got under water and started arcing, so operation had to be stopped. Fortunately the Titanex vertical itself resisted the waves so operation was continued.
I felt, that the big man ruling the propagation must have been unhappy about FT operation :-)
However Europe propagation is the big problem of the last few days. Almost no skimmer spots from Europe, just some deserving callers continued to call us night after night.
Hope for the big improvement of propagation.
73 more later, DL3DXX/4W8X
Update November 14, 2023: Lauhata beach is about 20 miles west of Dili, village with several thousand people, no industry, no agriculture, some fishing and living on what the tourists spend at the beach. QTH for ham radio is more or less OK, but not enough space for the 80m 4-square.
The 27m high Titanex vertical directly at the beach, today at spring tide the water reached the feed-point but not the feeding box so was close enough to sea to work. 48 ground radials attached, SWR 1:1.2 at 1826. 250m low loss cable to reach the shack.
4 beverages about 180m long hidden by domestic helpers with machetes into the jungle. 4 days hard labour, with heat up to 48C, wild bees, aggressive ants and all the dangerous stuff, you find in the jungle.
NE to EU – almost clear, noise level 160m abt S5 SE reverse direction to EU – some noise level at S6 NE direct path tu US – some line-noise around S6 SW reverse direction to US beverage, clear but not much heard so far (2 x VK6 S9 loud).
On the vertical the noise is s9+10 with 300Hz filter in CW. Tried first night without RX antennas because beverages were not ready but it was hopeless.
We are running about double output what is allowed in US and most parts of the world. We brought own bigh diesel generator to feed up to ten stations with amplifiers. That’s why you may hear us much better as we hear you.
How to work 4W8 on low bands: We are aware that from this location we are crocodiles with no ears. The last 3 nights rain showers came over from the south and the mountains in the background south are full of clouds and rain. The rain here covers lot of electricity, even without lightning electrical discharge makes it almost impossible to hear weak signals.
There is not much we can do else:
– switching off ?
– changing to FT8 ?
FT this is not my world, but maybe someone will try when I cannot do anymore QSOs. I like the difficulties and challenges, that’s why I am here. I like sitting all night at the radio listening into the noise. Will not miss it at all!
I know you girls and guys want a contact and you are trying for hours, as well, as I do every night. Signals must jump over a decent point that I can hear you. If I am weak you can stop calling. I never will hear you. If my signal comes up try again. QSB is incredible. Signals comes up out of the noise for seconds and are back in the noise seconds later. If I don’t get the call in the first try seldom there is a second chance to complete call.
Propagation is unpredictable; yesterday the band opened suddenly into US W4 and 5 and then it closes. You have to watch all night long to make sure you are there at the right moment.
I cannot assure we can make the QSO with you. All I can do is to assure that I am there when the propagagion is there. In case you make it it will be a hard deserved contact made after nights of pain and difficulties, but it will be one of the contacts MADE IN A LIFETIME you will remember for years!
That’s why I still believe in traditional CW operation with all its pain but also highlights. FT stuff is just switching on the software on and looking the next morning if the robot have make the magic contact. You may agree or not – but this is my view.
In my understandig we will leave 160m station as the last station to operate from and remove it at the last ever moment.
This was an emotional night, I will not forget for long time. Maybe FT robot would have contacted more, but robots have zero emotions, they only contact and they dont care about dupes or what stations they contact. They have no relations to the person behind the call, just a lifeless piece of silicon and software!
Thats for now, more to come later.
Update November 13, 2023: Seb, DG5CST, reports: 4w8x will be qrv tomorrow 2m EME. Assembly nearly ready. Now Heavy rain and 36deg. Everything takes longer in this massive heat.
Update November 12, 2023: Today (Sunday 12th) the rest of the team will arrive on site. We still have antennas to set up, but we can afford more hours of operation right now. Internet is very bad, and the Fiber Optics link between our two locations doesn’t work, though the 500m cable was tested OK before shipping. Thus, we have problems with Club Log. Hope to see you all in the log soon!
Update November 11, 2023: 4W8X is running full on 160m
TX antenna is titanex with 50 radials very close to sea which sems to performing very well
All bev are up, unfortunately they have some noise on them ... searching for the source in moment.
DL3DXX who is doing mostly 160m CW is aware that he had good signal and some RX issues, NA Bev (S6-7 noise level) In moment they have as well many callers from JA´s and now twith JA bev he think they can be worked much faster.
There will be later easier to work other week signals
Also condx every they are different, he said....still trying to figure some patterns.
They will be there every night trying to focus on NA and EU also SA as much as possible!
Also of he calls 3UP or Dwn feel free to call a bit of freq he is permanently tunning around.
Calling zero beat doesn´t help much
73s. De E77DX Braco
Update November 10, 2023: Our second QTH along the beach is nearly finished. We will start operating from there very soon. Please also look out for 4W8X in the WAE RTTY contest. Further, the entire team will operate 24/7 over the weekend and man as many stations as possible simultaneously. More antenna work will resume afterwards.
Update November 8, 2023: More antennas have been set up today. Look for 4W8X on various bands during the next hours. More antenna and station work tomorrow, early morning local time.
Update November 7, 2023: They are already partially QRV while building the rest of antennas.
Update November 7, 2023: They don’t have the 4W8X license in hand yet, so they were not QRV last night. Today they will continue assembling antennas and hope to become active after 0900z.
Update November 6, 2023: The first 8 operators safely arrived on site. All material is fine, too. Sea container which was shipped months ago and stored away is unpacked with all items inside. Team also started to assemble antennas. QRV with first stations soon.
Update November 4, 2023: Today, Friday, 03-Nov-2023, the first group of 8 4W8X team members has started travelling from Europe in the morning. After stopovers in Bahrein and Singapore, our arrival in Timor-Leste is scheduled for Sunday, 05-Nov-2023, 07:30 local time.
Focus of the first days, of course, is building up the station. After local sunsets we'll do some limited operation, however all team members need sleep to be fresh for the next morning. By Sunday, 12-Nov-2023, all other team members will have arrived on-site. We will finish the setup and start operating 24/7 in shifts.
Update November 1, 2023: Highlighting today: 4W8X in Contest operations
18 out of the 20 4W8X team members are active members of the Bavarian Contest Club. We love “Contest” as much as we love “DX”. While on site, we plan to actively take part in the following contests:
11-12 November: WAEDC RTTY Contest, (Multi/Single)
25-26 November: CQ Worldwide DX Contest CW, (Multi/Multi)
(A separate news update will follow for this contest)
25-26 November: ARRL International EME Contest (VHF/UHF/SHF)
While we are active there is a number of other contests as well, but we do not plan to take part actively. However, when you call in, you can send us your exchange/numbers, but we will only reply with a report. We will also not send a log to the respective contest managers. We hope you will still get credit for those contacts.
Update October 10, 2023: Highlighting today: 4W8X in Digital Modes (RTTY, FT4, FT8) Most of the 4W8X operators are focused on the classic modes CW and SSB, with RTTY ranking #3. In RTTY you will find us on typical frequencies. We'll also take part in the WAEDC RTTY Contest on November 11-12, 2023. When the RTTY pile-up grows too big, we'll operate SPLIT (!).
Regarding FT4 and FT8 we are in a somewhat difficult situation. However we want to deliver a good show in those modes, too. We'll use MSHV software with multiple streams a few kHz up from the regular FT4/FT8 frequencies. Please follow DX Cluster to find out where we transmit. You can use your normal FT4/FT8 software and settings. Just QSY your transceiver to our announced base frequency.
Please bear with us! Our team has the combined experience of several millions of classic CW/SSB/RTTY QSOs, but we still have to get accustomed to Digimode operating from the DX side. We've understood about the menus and filters within MSHV, and we'll give special attention to weak signals and distant/difficult areas like Africa, South America and the US/Canada East Coast, but it may require a learning curve...
Update October 7, 2023: There will be a good number of interesting DXpeditions on the air. Other teams have published lists of their “proposed operating frequencies” on their websites. We strongly feel that this will not work out with so many activities at the same time – at least in the classic modes CW and SSB, and on the classic bands. (And in the age of DX Cluster it truly sounds outdated, too.)
4W8X does not announce (try to block) frequencies.
When we QSY to a new band, we will live with the actual situation which we find on the new band. It means: we will respect ongoing pile-ups, and we expect the same from our fellow DX colleagues.
- We encourage every DX TEAM to actively manage the bandwidth of their pileups to be as narrow as possible, even though it may be more challenging for the respective DX operator.
- We encourage all CALLERS, especially in SSB, not only to call exactly “5up” – and exactly “10up” – and exactly “15up”. Please also use the space in between! This also helps to narrow down the bandwidth of each pile-up!
- Read more about 4W8X operating considerations here
[REMINDER]: 100% QSL !! – Club Log OQRS will bring you a printed QSL card and immediate LotW uploads right after our activity. Free LotW uploads for everybody else within 1 year. If you want to support 4W8X with a donation, please use this Donate link on Club Log (same as 4W1A).
Update September 26, 2023: Highlighting today: EME operation on the VHF bands. 4W8X also wants to make the VHF moon guys happy: We have a 3.0m foldable dish in the container which can be used on 432 MHz and 1296 MHz, two long Yagis for 144 MHz, and a 7-ele OWA Yagi for 50 MHz, plus the necessary amps and preamps. Our moon OP is Sebastian, DG5CST.
The coastline at our location (PI21QK) doesn't quite cooperate in the beginning. In the first days, we can see the moon only after a while when it comes up (and goes down) over the in-land hills. But in the second half of the operation we should have a clear shot over the ocean right in the directions of moonrise and moonset. For comments or questions about 4W8X and EME, please use the contact form on our website.
Update September 1, 2023: Seb, DG5CST, will be the VHF/EME operator and he will focus on 2m, 70cm, and 23cm, maybe some 6m too.
Equipment will be nearly the same as used as OJ0EME.
- 2m 2x12 I0JXX ( 2x7el as backup ) 750w.
- 70cm 3m Dish Loopfeed 750w
- 23cm 3m Dish Septum 400w
Update August 31, 2023: Working North America and South America During our 4W1A scouting trip in April we experienced how easy it is to work into Europe and Asia, but how difficult it is to reach North America and South America. Signals from/to to the Northern US/Canada East Coast and a large part of South America must pass through the respective polar regions. It is very challenging to reach W1, W2, VE1, VE2, VE9, VO1, VO2, VY2, other countries in the Arctic and a large part of South America. South America is even more challenging: the terrain is rising in that direction, with mountains as high as almost 3000m.
4W8X will have the right antennas and operating concept to be heard well in the Americas – on all bands and at the right times. We'll pay special attention to "difficult areas" and – rest assured – we'll work hard to get as many NA and SA stations in our log as possible.
We have one request: At 4W1A in April, we only had Vertical Dipoles => not any directional antennas. It was difficult to say, from which direction signals were really coming in... Short Path, Long Path or Skewed Path? If you are an active DX guy and you can remember for the month of November, on what bands and and what times to expect Long Path propagation between 4W and W/VE (at best compared with YB/Indonesia or VK8), please send us your hints through the contact form on our website.
Update August 19, 2023: Cables and Electricity at 4W8X
Amateur Radio is a wireless hobby” – but for 4W8X we’ll have to roll out several kilometers of Coax, Rotor and Control cable. Big Thanks go to Messi & Paoloni for sponsoring their Airborne-10 coax cable. To improve reliable log synchronization over the exciting Club Log Livestream feature, all Computers in the 4W8X DXLog Logging Network will be hard wired to network switches, and the two operating sites are connected with a >500m long Fiber Optics cable, sponsored by Lemka GmbH. WiFi is only available for personal use in the leisure areas – in a different VLAN, keeping the WiFi traffic away from the Logging Network.
During our 4W1A scouting trip in April we experienced unstable electricity mains, jumping from 150V to 300V during working hours on weekdays. So we better bring our own Diesel Generators – to protect our OM Power amplifiers and other sensitive devices: “Peace of mind” for a reliable 24/7 operation.
Update August 7, 2023: The 4W8X High Band Antennas:
10/15/20m will have two antennas each: One 3-ele resp. 4-ele Monoband Yagi (sponsored by Momobeam, many thanks) – and one Spiderbeam (monoband versions). The Momobeam Yagis are on robust 12m high plug-in masts (75mm / 3" diameter) which can be rotated from the shack. The lightweight Spiderbeams are on regular 14m HD telescopic masts and can be rotated by hand. For each band 10/15/20m, Momobeam and Spiderbeam are connected to a StackMatch, controllable from the shack. This allows us to cover one or two directions at the same time – with antenna gain.
12m/17m will use Spiderbeams or WILMA VDAs or a combination of both.
Momobeam has also provided two Penta10 Yagis, which have two active elements on 5 bands: 10/12/15/17/20m. We plan to use them together with Triplexers and High Power Band Pass Filters from VA6AM and 4O3A.
[REMINDER]: 4W8X, Timor-Leste will be activated in November 2023 by a team of 20+ skillful and highly experienced DXers and Contesters from Germany, Austria, Poland and Hungary under leadership of Lagunaria DX Group.
100% QSL !! – Club Log OQRS will bring you a printed QSL card and immediate LotW uploads right after our activity. Free LotW uploads for everybody else within 1 year. If you want to support 4W8X with a donation, please use this Donate link on Club Log (same as 4W1A).
73 de DL6FBL for the team
Update July 29, 2023: The 4W8X Low Band Antennas 4W8X will have a 80m 4-Square (controller and cables sponsored by DXEngineering, many thanks). 160m will use a well-proven Titanex V160 Vertical with extensive Radials. Both antennas as close to the ocean as possible.
For Receiving, we’ll have two Beverages (~250m long) plus filtering/switching network to listen in four directions, independently on 160m and 80m:
• Europe (short path)
• North America (short path)
• Africa, same as North America (long path)
• South America, same as Europe (long path)
4W8X will also have two 40m 4-Squares and two 30m 4-Squares, TNX to DXEngineering.
We'll not only have the equipment, we'll also have the right operators to make the best out of it. Low Band captain is Dietmar, DL3DXX. And we have quite some other Low Band freaks in the team.
73 de DL6FBL for the 4W8X team
Update July 24, 2023: They will also be QRV on 6m EME with a 7el. yagi, preamp and kw. QTH will be by the ocean, but not all moonrises/moonsets will be out over the ocean.
Update July 22, 2023: 4W8X will have two operating sites which are 500m apart. The main location, which we have also used for our 4W1A scouting trip in April, will serve all eleven bands from 160m thru 6m. The second location will serve seven bands from 40m thru 10m. The physical separation will enable us to provide two signals on the same band at the same time – one CW and one SSB. Please note that CW and SSB are our preferred modes, followed by RTTY. We’ll give FT8 a chance, but – again – we definitely prefer the man-made operating modes.
Why all this? We want to offer the strongest possible signals to the worldwide DX community as well as exceptional receiving capabilities, paired with our highly motivated operators willing to give their best to have a personal contact with you and put your callsign in our log.
100% QSL !! – Club Log OQRS will bring you a printed QSL card and immediate LotW uploads right after our activity – and free LotW uploads for everybody else within 1 year. If you want to support 4W8X with a donation, please use this Donate link on Club Log (same as for 4W1A).
P.S.: Please expect more news to come on a regular basis (every week), highlighting different aspects of our activity.
73 de DL6FBL for the team