The DXpedition has started. I have the Butternut HF9V located close to the water’s edge on the beach which has a water path to Asia, Europe s/path and North America l/path.
Unfortunately in my beach cabin room I can’t access the internet, but I can take my laptop down the path on the way to the resort and get reception. So I can’t announce myself on the cluster in real time. But I will check the internet for emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and comments on the blog during quiet times, such as 0000-0400 UTC. At times I will go on the internet and announce where I may be in say 5-10 minutes as I rush back to the cabin with my laptop under my arm!!! That depends on the monsoon rains of course :)
I started yesterday on 15m SSB around 0600z yesterday and had a great opening into JA and then later on in Europe. This lasted until 0800z when we went for dinner – remember it’s a holiday style DXpedition. At home the HF9V on 15m is a waste of space but on the beach it was like my 3 element monobander – the funny thing is, my last QSO before dinner was with Steve 9M6DXX and he had the same experience on OC-295 with the same antenna where it was a champion on the salt water. In those 2 hours I made just over 200 QSO’s, about a quarter Europe and the rest JA.
After dinner at 1000 UTC I jumped on 20m and spent the next 7 hours working into JA and Europe, around 550 QSOs were made, with about 80% of them being into Europe which was great. I had visions of being QRT at 1500 UTC due to QRM at the start of the Worked All Germany contest. There was bad QRM and my rate slowed considerably, but the band held out until 1700 UTC – 3am local!!! Thanks to a few Europeans on the other end who helped to keep my frequency clear in the busy contest environment.
So I passed out into bed just after 3am local. I did manage to stagger out of bed to check the band around 2200 UTC but there wasn’t much around on 20m and I’ve just been scratching around on 20m SSB/PSK31 and 15m PSK31 picking up a few QSOs. As of 0000 UTC which is 10am Sunday morning local time, there are 802 QSOs in the log, 75% 20m SSB, 25% 15m SSB with a handful of 15m and 20m PSK31. The good thing is that I’d say well over 50% are with Europe. I’ll be looking to put up a dipole on 40m towards North America because I don’t think 20m or 15m is going to be very good from here, although the EU pile up I did work VY0PW at 1449, W7VS at 1507, VE5UA at 1523. So it’s time to recover and get ready for 15m later on today for JA/Europe again and then 20m for JA/Europe. On Monday UTC I’ll be on the 14183 kHz ANZA net at 0515. Then I will look to be on the HHH net and then the 7130 DX net at 0930 UTC to try and get North America in the log.