Never say never. The band is never dead. It just may not be open to
where you want it to be.
Monday morning march 25th in Arizona I called CQ on CW for almost an
hour with no takers. (1200-1300 UTC) Nothing, Nada, Zip. I moved over to
"The Dark Side" and called one CQ crossband to JA and immediately had a
uncontrolled pileup. The screen was all Red and scrolling. JA after JA.
Not being a Dark Side officionado, I tried Fox hound mode split but
found that it forced my TX to bottom of band where frequency response is
rolled off with little power output. I went back to standard mode and
worked what I could until after sun rise band fade. Whoa, some things
just are not right.
Moving forward one day. Tuesday morning March 26th. I called CQ
(12:30-13:30 UTC). What a difference a day makes. Nothing exotic
but...........10 JA, 2 HL, 1 VK6 and R0LER/MM. My peanut whistle
station was spotted In JA, BG, ZL and VK all at the same time. For those
of interest I get a maximum of 150W at the center antenna feed point
1000ft away from station. For JA and VK I have 3 elements end-fire made
of 43ft telescopic masts much like Dxpedition style verticals with
extensive ground system installed. These yield approx 700W ERP. Kudos to
Tosy San (JE1TSD) who worked me twice once high power and 20 minutes
later QRP 5W! Tosy a nice QSL is on the way!
XR0ZRC is another story and extremely disappointing. I've spent hours
calling and listening. Most of the heavy metal guys on the west coast
with high power and big arrays have not made it through. Too me it's a
total shame as I used to work Alan, CE1/K7CA with 5W on most nights just
1500miles away. Guessing tonight is last chance but not sure.
Bouvet is going to be a real challenge for NA. The pileup is going to be
massive and the station location is not optimum for North America.
Instead they will have a good path to EU and Asia. Go Rebel DX! For me
it's a direct beam heading. Just hoping for a repeat of the station
performance like the VP8 Trifecta two years ago. I wish them luck, safe
travels and good QSO rates to one of the most inhospitable locations in
Best of luck and DX.
73, Bob W7RH
"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our
humanity." - Albert Einstein
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