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SM2CEW's Blog

Deep Search needs “Assisted” category in the EME contest

CW is King! Posted on %PM, September 19 2012 21:38:27

Today I was looking at the scores from the 2011 ARRL EME Competition. Glad to see my score listed as #10 in the CW, all bands category.

However, reading the Soapbox comments by NZ5N made smile, but for another reason. This is what Bill is saying:

I decided to operate the contest by the rules, which means without
internet assistance. I was strongly opposed to the elimination of the
assisted category, and remain so, it just makes no sense, since those
who prefer unassisted are not competing against those who prefer

Many who share this view opted not to participate in this
contest, but I decided to give it a try. Found myself missing the
camaraderie of the chat room, and learning about the equipment used by
the stations I worked.

Perhaps more importantly, this contest format
appears to eliminate QRP stations almost completely. As mentioned,
well over half the stations I worked were speaker copy, and only one of
the 55 stations I worked was below -22. I could have worked stations
at -28 or -29 if I knew where to find them. The ARRL needs to find a
way to get smaller stations involved in this, the most important EME
contest of the year.

73, Bill NZ5N“

Look at this statement:

this contest format
appears to eliminate QRP stations almost completely


I strongly oppose to this false statement! It is not the contest format that has eliminated the QRP stations, it is just a mere fact that the “Deep Search module” in Joe Taylors software JT65 will not print unknown callsigns on the screen. The program needs to know the calls in advance, otherwise it will not be able to perform it’s cheating guesswork.

So, without the “camaraderie of the chat room” Bill can not present new calls to the software as he is unaware of them, and the Deep Search module can not perform it’s cheat routine.

Not working QRP stations has nothing to do with the contest rules, it has to do with the inability of JT65 to copy really weak signals. The bigges advantage of the logger chatting therefore is to enter unknown calls into the program so that they can be “worked”.

However, nothing is further from the truth, these stations are not worked.

Deep Search is fooling the operator into beleiving that a valid QSO is taking place when it is not!

So I can understand why Bill is upset, but in reality he should redirect his frustration to the man who fooled a large part of the EME community into beleiving that they actually transfer full EME messages via the moon at Deep Search S/N levels.

That man is Joe Taylor, K1JT.

Members of the the ARRL contest committee are not to be blamed for creating a fair radio contest, free of online chatting.

CW operators don’t have to cheat, we decode signals as we hear them, no matter what the callsign is.

CW is King! It really is!

73 de Peter SM2CEW

Meteorscatter operating procedures that stink..

CW is King! Posted on %AM, October 10 2010 11:31:35

Yet another attempt from K1JT to minimize RF transfer in a meteorscatter QSO:

Very difficult QSOs are significantly easier if you use single-tone reports, rogers, and 73s. With just a bit of practice/experience, it’s very easy to tell a real “R26” from the occasional false decode of same. In most contests, of course, everyone should use grid locators.

WSJT 9.0 is set up to make all these things easy.


On the main screen you can select (or not select) single-tone messages for Rx, Tx, both, or neither.
— 73, Joe, K1JT“

I can not see any reason for using a single tones as messages in meteorscatter communication. A single tone is not a message. It is only a carrier that holds no other information than “it’s presence”.

This is the usual K1JT “make QSO’s as easy as possible” crap.

Very difficult QSOs are significantly easier if you use single-tone reports, rogers, and 73s”

Of course they are, you just need to receive a fraction of a carrier, no information what so ever. Then again, we see these QSO’s end up in listings as initials, new squares, distances etc.

If we accept single tones as a substitute for a real message then we might as well accept a tone for both calls also. Oh… not far from hashed calls in WSJT 9..

The downward spiral of QSO integrity, that K1JT started when he introduced his “Deep Search” concept (which is nothing but a guessing routine), is also taking meteorscatter to a record low if we accept his suggestions.

No need for IARU Region 1 to define QSO standards when a required message can be substituted by a single carrier.

The bright colour of the WSJT software package started flaking many years ago. Now the only thing left is it’s totally black cover.

In CW we don’t substitute messages with carriers, we chop the carrier up in a smart way so we can communicate in a secure and intelligent way, sending and receiving ANY message we want.

CW is King!!

Peter SM2CEW

Yet another round… big EGO’s driving for a rule change

CW is King! Posted on %PM, February 07 2010 15:00:56

In 2009 the ARRL EME Competition rules were excellent. The VUAC wisely eliminated the so called Assisted Category.

For a couple of years the ARRL EME Competition “Assisted Category” proved to be unique due to the fact that live communications via the Internet was allowed during the contest. Real time chatting, selfspotting, liason and confirming QSO’s was considered as part of the contest challenge. How stupid!

But the ARRL VUAC took notice and during the 2009 contest real radio amateurs were again roaming the bands, looking for stations to work. And what a success it was! Hundreds of stations made random QSO’s on all bands from 50 MHz and up.

We are waiting for the results to be presented, but what we can see so far is that the bands from 432 MHz & up were highly populated. With 2300 MHz CW probably showing the biggest increase of activity.

So, are we home free, have we seen the last of the Internet fest EME contesting?

I hope so. But dark clouds are visible on the horizon.

Clouds in the form of big EGO’s that demand an “all allowed” contest again.

These big EGO’s claim that they’ve been robbed of their contest. They also claim that newcomers can not enter EME any more and we will loose them forever.

What a load of crap, excuse my language. But I have no other word for it.

It is a fact that 99% of these EGO’s intend to operate digital using the JT65 protocol. And they live to 90% on either 144 MHz Street or 50 MHz Lane.

The JT65 protocol is not hopeless for random operation, it can be done. But when you use the cheating Deep Search option (and most EGO’s do), you need to know who is calling to make the program work because full calls are never exchanged.

Let’s put it straight, the bottom line is that a contest is a contest. Finding stations to work is part of the contest. Telling them via the Internet in real time where to be and what to do is not!

On behalf of the French ham society REF Philippe F6ETI and Patrick F6HYE have written a proposal to the upcoming IARU Region 1 meeting in Vienna. Their proposal is clear as a bell:


To take account of technological developments and in order to stay within the spirit of amateur radio contest it would be useful to draw up general rules specifying what a competition and what are a valid QSO :

Definition of a contest:
A contest is a competition between amateur radio that takes place exclusively on the bands allocated to amateur, with amateur means.

Introduce contest general rules:

The active use (posting messages, arranging skeds, self spotting, calling, heading management, frequency management etc.) of the DX Cluster and other spotting networks (including non amateur means eg. telephone, internet facilities like VHF and Microwave chats) to assist an entry to a contest is not allowed in all IARU R1, or in IARU R1 national contests.

You may spot a DX station as long as your operating frequency is not given.
For a complet and valid QSO, all information must be copied off air at the time of the QSO and on the band in use.

Databases must not be used to fill in missing information.

The DX Cluster, talkback channels etc. must not be used for passing or confirming any contest related information.

In the event of use of a talk back frequency (144 MHz if permitted, or lower UHF/microwave band), any return to this talk frequency in the course of session cancels information previously exchanged, and thus the QSO in progress.

Use of self-spotting techniques are inconsistent with the spirit and intent of these rules.

Skeds taken outside contest timeframe are not allowed.“

Very good proposal to the IARU Region 1. Philippe and Patrick are spot on.

I am sure that the EME community of real radio amateurs are supporting them 100%.

– Real contesters take pride in copying everything via the radio channel!

– Real contesters take pride in evalutating their scores in the interest of improving equipment, tactics and operating skills!

– Real contesters appreciate contest rules that prohibit cheaters from using chats and clusters to build up their score.

CW is King!

73 de Peter SM2CEW

The forgetful scientist – or “Why tell the truth if it is counter productive to my marketing?”

CW is King! Posted on %PM, January 17 2010 18:38:24

Yes, it was about time.

Time to revise the “EME Communications” chapter in our ham bible, the ARRL Handbook, it’s been long overdue.

But the way it has been done certainly makes me and a lot of friends dissappointed.

The new text is totally in favour of digital EME (WSJT/JT65) and the author claims that digital is at least 10dB better than CW.

In essence, the bottom line is that newcomers should not try anything but digital EME in the form of JT65 and they should start by looking up Internet real time chatboards to get guidance during their first endeavours in EME. smiley

The Internet chatboards are even listed in the text so that digital moonbouncers don’t get lost and try random EME, for Heavens sake beware or random..!smiley

Really, this distorted way of inviting people to EME troubles me.

Who was chosen to rewrite the chapter?

– Of course, the editors of the ARRL Handbook asked Joe Taylor K1JT do to it.

Am I surprised? Not really. This is marketing of digital EME in the form of JT65, nothing less. After all, he invented the software, so why wouldn’t he say that EME shouldn’t be done without it..?

Now, the thing that really upsets me is the fact that K1JT refrain from telling the reader the truth about the extra 10dB his digital software is said to provide over CW.

The full chapter consists of thousands of words, but not once does he mention the Deep Search feature of his software! Not once. This part of the truth is totally left out of the context.

As we all know it:

– The truth is that Deep Search never communicates full callsigns.
– The truth is that Deep Search is incapable of communicating full callsigns.

– The truth is that the Deep Search routine is not a QSO!

Furthermore, the truth is that a said 10dB difference lies in the fact that JT65 Deep Search never does what a CW operator does, i e copies the full message as it is transmitted! smiley

Deep Search is cheating the operator into believing that the computer has received the full message from the station at the other end.

This is NEVER mentioned in the ARRL Handbook chapter – EME Communications!

It is hard to understand why the editor of the ARRL Handbook is unwilling to disclose the secret of this communication protocol to it’s readers. smiley

It is however easy to understand why the author Joe Taylor K1JT is unwilling to reveal the truth. To do so it is necessary to reveal that the Deep Search feature is incapable of making a QSO on the air! Deep Search can not communicate callsigns. It is a guessing excercise that relies on having all the information avaliable to the CPU in the computer. As the chapter is so full of scientific data, why not add this little bit to the text also??

Joe Taylor K1JT is again doing what he is best at – full fledged unreserved marketing of his cheating software – by omitting the truth when comparing it to the king of modes – CW!smiley

We CW operators have no need to hide the truth, we know what CW stands for and what it is capable of – real QSO’s in real time – no need to know the information before we decode it!

CW is King!

Oh, by the way, here is a link to The ARRL Handbook Chapter EME Communications

73 de Peter SM2CEW

The IARU Region 1 VHF Managers handbook

CW is King! Posted on %PM, July 28 2009 18:20:37

The updated 2009 version of the IARU publication “VHF Managers Handbook” is out.

Chapter 7 deals with operating procedures, and already in paragraph 7.1 we can read the following:

7.1 Minimum Requirement for a valid QSO (Vienna 2007)

A definition for a valid QSO on VHF and on higher bands is:

A valid contact is one where both operators during the contact have
(1) mutually identified each other
(2) received a report, and
(3) received a confirmation of the successful identification and the reception of the report.

It is emphasized that the responsibility always lies with the operator for the integrity of the contact.

Ok, so far we “sort of” understand the meaning, can it be clarified furter?

Yes, paragraph 7.2 deals with what we enjoy so much, weak signals on VHF/UHF.

The “Weak signal QSO procedure” says:

A valid contact is one where each operator has copied both call signs, the report and a confirmation that the other operator has done the same. This confirmation may either be an “R” preceding the report or a string of three consecutive “rogers” (RRR).”

Right! Now we understand that the IARU is interested in us making real QSO’s, not fake JT65 Deep Search transfer of virtually now information via the radio channel. As we know, Deep Search is instead heavily dependant on the information being present already in the computer.

So.. we continue reading, now paragraph 7.4.9:

A valid contact is one where both operators have copied both callsigns, the report and an unambiguous confirmation. However no recourse should be made during the contact to obtain the required information, change of frequency, antenna direction, etc. via other methods such as the DX Cluster, talk-back on another band, etc. Such secondary methods invalidate the meteor scatter contact.

In essence: if anything concerning the ongoing QSO attempt is agreed through other means than the QSO attempt frequency a new start is required.“

WOW! Couldn’t be better! The IARU VHF Managers wants us to use the radio channel rather than the internet chatboards to make valid contacts.

This so so far from the JT65 digital crowd who uses chatboards all the time to pass vital information before and during the so called “QSO”.

Hence, their QSO’s are all invalid.

For CW operation we really don’t need these clarifications. It is routine for us to complete our contacts via the radio channel, without telling the other end via the internet what is going on.

We are better, period!

CW is King!

73 de Peter SM2CEW

Show the world you log on the DX-cluster

CW is King! Posted on %PM, August 31 2008 19:36:43

The world wide DX-cluster is intended to be used to spot stations, so that others can find out where they are, and possibly work them.

EA6VQ (AO6VQ) is however using the cluster to spot his logbook, and we can only speculate about the reason for it.

Take a look at this extract of the cluster, on August 31 2008:

AO6VQ 144139.0 EB3DYS JM19MP<EME>JN11CK -16 dB 1628 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 W4RBO JM19MP<EME>EL99KF -23 dB 1622 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 N4BH JM19MP<EME>EM95OC -17 dB 1613 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 DL9MS JM19MP<EME>JO54WC -22 dB 1606 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 KE7NR/P JM19MP<EME>DM54AH -13 dB 1557 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 NG9Y JM19MP<EME>EM78JT -20 dB 1551 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 VA3TO JM19MP<EME>FN03CQ -16 dB 1453 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 OH7PI JM19MP<EME>KP42HF -14 dB 1431 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 K5QE JM19MP<EME>EM31CJ -7 dB 1406 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 ES6DO JM19MP<EME>KO27WX -22 dB 1356 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 W1IPL JM19MP<EME>FN54FC -20 dB 1322 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 KA8HOK JM19MP<EME>EM89 -23 dB 1312 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 NZ3M JM19MP<EME>FN10PD -25 dB 1224 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 K4SV JM19MP<EME>EM85WF -17 dB 1216 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 EA3BB JM19MP<EME>JN01VS -18 dB 1033 31 Aug
AO6VQ 144139.0 DK5SO JM19MP<EME>JN58AV -22 dB 1004 31 Aug

Not one of these spots is intended to help others to work the station spotted, because they are all on AO6VQ’s frequency. So he is kindly providing his log to the world, for everyone connected to the cluster..

But as always, there are also other reasons for this behaviour. AO6VQ is working JT65, and as no one is ever tuning the band to look for signals, selfspotting is mandatory. So, the above is of course also selfspotting, all in the interest of letting other JT65 users know what frequency to dial up to hear AO6VQ.

Why else would he spot OH7PI and DL9MS, who he has probably worked at least 25 times over the years..

Let’s take a look at what is happening on the internet chatboards at the same time.

First the ON4KST VHF chatboard:

16:40:03 EA6VQ Gabriel ((( AO6VQ CQ EME on 144.139, JT65B, 1st )))

aha… selfspotting there too… yes, to operate JT65 one needs to be everywhere..

Ok, let’s take a look at the N0UK EME chatboard:

08/31 16:50 ((( AO6VQ CQ on 144.139, JT65B, 1st )))

aaah yes… another selfspot, in yet another place.. making effective use of JT65..

Why am I showing you this?

Well, it has to do with the topic below, that deals with the ARRL EME Competition and the Assisted category.

This is how JT65 operators operate. They constantly selfspot to work stations, even operators like EA6VQ/AO6VQ, using very large EME arrays and high power.

And to enter the ARRL EME Competition, they want to be able to use the same behaviour to put contest “QSO’s” in the log.

Amazingly the ARRL accepted this, after pressure from the WSJT inventor K1JT and digital EME operators like W5UN and others. In fact, the ARRL now encourage this behaviour as it is (again!!) allowed in the 2008 ARRL EME Competition coming up this fall.

This is surely not bringing our hobby and the operating practices forward. And I see no skills being developed when operating like this.

CW operators don’t have time to sit on loggers and chat, they are instead focusing on digging out signals from the noise, coming from the radio..

CW operators are pro’s!

CW is King!

73 de Peter SM2CEW

The ARRL has done it.. again..

CW is King! Posted on %PM, August 30 2008 20:56:24

The ARRL EME Competition last year (2007) was a disaster.

The rules were re-written for the upteenth time, accomodating 144 categories, and the full use of internet loggers and chatboards was encouraged. Not even the ARRL Contest Committee could get the results right, and reports of clear violations of contest rules were left unnoticed.

The ARRL Web report following the contest contained these words from Ward Silver N0AX at ARRL:

[A note from the editor, Ward Silver NØAX] The EME competition covers a large number of bands and in several different modes of operation.

This means a lot of categories! 144 categories, to be exact. Only 28 categories had entries from a total of 184 entries, so perhaps this pie is being sliced a bit too narrowly?

As a counter-example, the DUBUS EME competition ( has six basic categories: QRP/QRO/PRO, SSB-CW/Digital, and Multi-Op.

You might offer your thoughts on the appropriate number of entry categories for this event to“

I can assure you, plenty of people sent suggestions to the ARRL, hoping for a change.
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Well, did the ARRL take noice??

In short… NO! Of course not. The rules for the 2008 contest are identical to the stupid rules from 2007!

“Assisted” is still a category that allows parallel liason via the internet, and selfspotting is allowed.

I must say, this puts the ARRL EME Competition in a class of it’s own, and we are NOT to be proud to be there.

Take a look at what other organizations say about parallel internet communications, and selfspotting.

CQ Contest Committee
“ANY use by an entrant of any non-amateur means including, but not limited to, telephones, telegrams, internet, Instant Messenger, chat rooms, VoIP, or the use of packet to SOLICIT, ARRANGE, or CONFIRM any contacts during the contest is unsportsmanlike and the entry is subject to disqualification. Action and decisions of the CQ WW Contest Committee are official and final.”


IARU Region 1

“The active use (posting messages, arranging skeds, self spotting etc) of the DX Cluster and other spotting networks (including internet facilities like VHF and Microwave chats) to assist an entry to a contest is banned in all IARU R1, or in IARU R1 national contests.

You may spot a DX station as long as your operating frequency is not given.
For a complet and valid QSO, all information must be copied off air at the time of the QSO and on the band in use. Databases must not be used to fill in missing information.

The DX Cluster, talkback channels etc. must not be used for passing or confirming any contest related information.

In the event of use of a talk back frequency (144 MHz if permitted, or lower UHF/microwave band), any return to this talk frequency in the course of session cancels information previously exchanged, and thus the QSO in progress.

Use of self-spotting techniques on packet or other mediums are inconsistent with the spirit and intent of these rules. Skeds taken outside contest timeframe are not allowed.”


And now compare the above with the ARRL EME Competition 2008 rules..

“3.5 Assisted operation (Assisted). Any active or passive use of amateur or non-amateur communication tools used during the contest period to solicit and/or coordinate a contact prior to the start of that contact. Once the process of making a contact started further coordination is prohibited until after the contact is completed in its entirety via the EME path. If, for some reason, the contact is not completed in its entirety via the EME path and another attempt is coordinated or arranged, the process of making the contact must be restarted from the beginning. Self spotting is allowed.”


Absolutely amazing…..!!

What the other big contest organizers consider as subject to disqualification, and inconsistent with the spritit and intent of the rules, is encouraged in the ARRL’s prestigious EME Competition!

Let me make it very clear, the demand for Assisted in this form is to 100% coming from the digital crowd using WSJT. They rarely, if ever, make a QSO without being connected to an internet chatboard at the same time, talking to the other party.

With this type of “Assisted”, how can one ever miss a contact, full confirmation is always achieved via the internet chat. There are no surprises, everyone who is following the chatboard is aware of where the new stations and multipliers are, and can notify them that they are now being “accessed” via the radio channel.

This has nothing to do with contesting, and the fact that the ARRL again chose to run the contest under the catastrophical rules compiled by K1JT in 2007 is a mystery.

Or is it.. ??!!

As a proud CW EME Contest operator, I am indeed in favour of the suggested total boycot of the ARRL EME Competition. This boycot should last until the rules are revised and a contest format is restored. This includes separating digital and analogue sections on different dates.

I am sure this would be in the interest of all CW/SSB operators, who have been robbed of the best annual EME contest, and an operating highlight exeeding everything else.

Isn’t it amazing how one person has been allowed to change the ARRL EME Competition because he launched a software that was hopelessly useless for contesting.

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Isn’t it equally amazing that the ARRL gave no thought what so ever to what this would mean to the respect for EME in general, and EME contesting in particular.

I think the words of CQ and IARU above speaks for themselves, and puts the ARRL in the shame corner.

Do we CW operators give up operating because of this?

– Of course NOT! We stay active on the bands, we are up for the challenge of completing EME QSO’s by using our skills and radiostations.

But we don’t send the log to the ARRL Contest Committee..

CW is King!

73 de Peter SM2CEW

The 13th International EME conference

CW is King! Posted on %PM, August 08 2008 19:25:29

It is time for the 13th International EME Conference, this time in Florence, Italy.
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Over the years the EME conference has always hosted a forum, with discussions on operating practices and other matters of concern, like frequency plans and how to encourage more activity.

This time I could not see that such a forum was planned. But a good friend of mine in Italy made a suggestion to the organizers, and now a discussion regarding operating practices will take place at the conference, as usual.

My Italian friend requested me to send some input to such a discussion, and together with some other moonbouncers we came up with the following.

There are 3 proposals, all in the interest of improving EME.

Topic A – Separation of digital vs analog modes with separate Contests and Awards-Diplomas by mode.

Proposal A to the 2008 EME Conference in Florence:

Since the introduction of digital EME, it is clear that there is an imbalance between achievements making analogue or digital QSO’s. As things have turned out, there is no way of comparing historical award achievements when reading recent lists. Due to the imbalance it is also impossible for moonbouncers to rate their station in comparison to others, unless mode of operation is clearly indicated.

– We propose that the 2008 EME Conference in Florence, on behalf of the moonbounce community, send a proposal to issuers of awards and diplomas to make clear distinctions between analogue and digital in their programs.

Topic B – Online QSO exchange information to be banned

Proposal B to the 2008 EME Conference in Florence:

Over the years, the forum at each international EME conference has been focusing on operation practices for EME traffic. The decisions of these discussions have been well documented, and are always available via the GM3SEK website.

The QSO integrity has always been seen as top priority during these discussions, hence specific guidelines of QSO exchanges and procedures in the GM3SEK document. In recent years, violations of these guidelines and procedures are often up for discussion in different forums. This is due to the fact that new tools are available today, namely internet chatboards that allow real time communication, parallell to the ongoing EME QSO.

– We propose that the 2008 EME Conference in Florence, on behalf of the EME community, clearly state that online and real time QSO information exchanged during the QSO renders the contact incomplete. We also propose that the EME procedure documents on the GM3SEK website are updated accordingly with this statement.

Topic C – How to revert to Random QSOs instead of Logger QSOs.

Proposal C to the 2008 EME Conference in Florence:

In the interest of making the radio link of an EME QSO worth more, focus should more be on random operation rather than chatboard arranged QSO’s. This is mainly a behaviour of the digital community, and this results in the fact that stations trying to make random contacts are seldom acknowledged.

This is especially true when expeditions are active, skedlists are all administered via the real time communication on internet chatboards. Therefore, stations unable or unwilling to use chatboards are to be considered lucky if they manage to break a string of skeds with their random call.

– We propose that the 2008 EME Conference in Florence, on behalf of the EME community, establish and present guidelines intended to improve random operation. This can be through suggestions of frequency windows for random operation, for example 144.120 – 144.125 for digital, and 144.045 – 144.050 for analogue CW, or via suggestions of channelized operations in some form.

– We also propose that the 2008 EME Conference in Florence, on behalf of the EME community, strongly encourage DX-expeditions to do more random operation. This is easily done if the DX-expedition is not logging on to chatboards while operating.

– Last but not least, we propose that the 2008 EME Conference in Florence, on behalf of the EME community, suggests that contest organizers penalize sked QSO’s in a way that leads to more random operation. As a contest is about making QSO’s via the airwaves, contacts without parallell liason should be of considerable higher value.

End of proposals.

In the proposals above there is a reference to “we” in many places. I think I can state, without being overly cautious, that the proposals above are supported by me, SV1BTR, DL5MAE, SV3AAF, LZ2US and many more active moonbouncers.

CW is King!

73 de Peter SM2CEW

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