Topband: A fine evening on 160 from HC8

Tree tree at
Wed Nov 29 14:56:51 EST 2006

Well - the contest was over - and the multi-multi station at HC8N was 
mostly ripped apart - but I asked Trey, N5KO, if I could keep the 160
station running during the night.  He said sure.  Since I had shifted
my sleeping schedule around to be awake for my duties on 40 meters, it
didn't seem like it would be hard to stay up another night.

K6AW brought me a bottle of wine, and I got on the air around 0300 after
our feast after the WW CW contest (I operated mostly on 40).

After working a quick few USA stations, I was called by UA4LCH - indicating
the band had some life.  OZ7YY followed quickly with a signal similar to 
many of the USA stations I had worked.  After running off a quick bunch of
USA guys, RA4LW snuck into the log - FB DX for sure - nearly 13,000 KM.

Around 0400Z, I went into full EU mode - and worked a total 74 Europeans,
many with callsigns I did not recognize.  There were signs of enhancement
at sunrise as the terminator swept across Europe.  Although, the band seemed
to start falling apart about the time it hit the UK, as I did not have many
of them call in near 0700 UTC as I would have expected.  Instead, SM7DLK was
my last European QSO at 0718 UTC.  EA8BYL called in at 0723 and that would be
it for any DX to the east.  It didn't take long for ZL2AZ to show up at 
0807, and JH1GNU at 0826.  

Around 1100Z, a big AM signal showed up on 1820.3.  I am thinking it was
the local AM station coming on the air, but I almost think I remember 
hearing something like this from home once.  I had to shift my QSX
frequency for JA down to 1814.  My last QSO was at 1113 UTC when Trey 
showed up in the shack and the sun was stating to come up.

One of the more surprising QSOs was a solid QSO with WA6CDR/mobile on the
I405 freeway.  I got Robin's call on one take.  He should post what he is
using on topband from the car.

The JA path is about 14500 KM.  This would be an excellent place to operate
the Stew from.  Even the guys in Texas are > 3000 KM.  I made a total of 
43 JA QSOs - which is more than we had during the CQ WW Contest.

KL7RA waited until 0939 to call in - I was wondering what took him so long.

BTW - HC8N made about 180 European QSOs during the contest and another 100 
or so before the contest.  I know we are challenged by the QRN levels, but 
hopefully we made a few people happy with a new country.

QSL via W5UE.

The antenna used most of the time was a half wave sloper going towards the 
west coast of the USA.  We have one on Europe, but the noise on that 
antenna is worse (probably from lightning over YV).  Beverages have not
proved to be too useful yet and a lot of work was done with them before the

The shot to Europe is just off a bit to the right of this picture - so you
can see it is a great QTH:

The JA signals seemed to have pretty big QSB on them.  They seemed to be 
hearing me worse than I was hearing them.  I think the opposite was true
in Europe - again due to the QRN.  

When the other operators woke up around sunrise, they were all surprised
that I had stayed up all night.  They have forgotten about the Top Band

Sorry to hear the 5A is now QRT.  I only had one shot at them before 
leaving on my trip.  :-(  Guess zone 34 will have to wait until 
another time.

Tree N6TR/7

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