Beam South!

Alex_van_Eijk_at_DPKO-UNAVEM at Alex_van_Eijk_at_DPKO-UNAVEM at
Wed Nov 27 20:15:08 EST 1996

     Frustration in contesting from Africa, hmmmm?
     The answer is: BE LOUD. Be LOUDER in the US than the Europeans. Be SO 
     LOUD that the Europeans can still hear you from Africa while beaming 
     North, West or East.
     Truth (and reality) is that no-one is trying to "run" Africa, although 
     everyone wants all the mults!
     I've done a few contest operations from Africa, with mixed results. 
     CQWWCW 94 at 9X5EE was a very nice logper antenna setup, good for a 
     new Low-Power AB worldrecord although I basically worked only 10, 15 
     and 20m. This was LOUD.
     Exercises in other contests (ARRL DX, WAE, CQWWSSB 95) as 9Q2L and 
     9R1A were at times frustrating. No-one listening South, my R7 vertical 
     signal (with or without amp) not being LOUD enough to get anyone's 
     attention when propagation is a bit down. Propagation has to be 
     challenged. If it's not there, you should still be heard! In these 
     cases I elected to work 15M SB, because on that band my signal is 
     LOUDER than the "internal" QRM in Europe or US. Equal results could 
     not be achieved doing 20 SB with the same setup.
     At D25L WW SSB 96, I used a nice 10 ele logper @ 60 ft, overlooking 
     the Atlantic Ocean, and a TL922 for some extra punch. You guess it, 
     this was LOUD (very much so, in fact) and I could hold on to my run 
     freq for hours. Anyone coming close was quickly discouraged. 
     Unfortunately during the WW CW this same setup let me down after only 
     a few hours of contest.... (3DA0NX was lucky enough to make it as the 
     LAST entry in my log!).
     Contesting from Central/Southern Africa can be fun but there is a lot 
     of (extra) effort required to be heard among the stations from EU and 
     NA. It wouldn't hurt if the northern hemisphere listens for 
     "down-under" once in a while. In particular I'd like to send this 
     advice to OA4EI, on whom I spent so much time, in vain, during WW SSB 
     95 AND SSB 96. I missed the OA multiplier on both ocassions because he 
     just beams North. Now I know that I won't have to waste time on 
     calling him in the future because he isn't listening, anyway!
     73, Alex D25L (PA3DZN)

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