Sunday, October 17, 2010

DXpedition Day 2 - good conditions to Europe and JA on 20m and 15m SSB

Day 2 went to plan where I focussed on JA for 15m SSB to maximise the non-working day for people in Asia. 15m was open most of the day and there was a nice steady stream of contacts. Some Europeans started to make their way into the 15m SSB log but I wasn’t really expecting too many as I knew the band would be full of QRM with the Worked All Germany contest. But I happily continued making JA contacts and every now and then there would be a nice little run to Europe until contest activity would have swamped my little signal in Europe.

Once the contest activity on 15m SSB slowed my rate to zero, I jumped on 15m PSK from 1030 – 1130 UTC until the band closed. At 1130 UTC I jumped on 20m SSB, with the WAG contest not finishing until 1500 UTC I was expecting to work mainly Asia and then a little run to Europe after the contest. I was very very surprised to be heard in Europe and the majority of the QSOs were with the Europeans. The rate was significantly slowed because it was hard to work split and there was lots of QRM for everyone. After 1500 UTC when WAG finished the rate picked up nicely until the band closed at 1630 UTC, it closed so fast I almost thought someone had tampered with my antenna! So in that 1130 – 1630 UTC period there were 460 QSO’s and around 85% were with Europe.

Only 3 North Americans in that lot during the evening, so I’m very aware of the lack of this part of the world in the log so far. If anyone in USA is hearing me during the EU pile ups, send me an email at letting me know when I'm being heard, I'll start listening for 'North America only' at these times for the rest of the week. After going to bed at 1630 UTC (2:30am) I made sure to somehow wake up by 2030 UTC (6:30am) to look for long path America’s on 20m. There was nothing on SSB so I spent a couple of hours on the 14070 kHz PSK31 waterfall. I announced on the cluster where I’d be and called cq for a while, but no USA could hear me and only a sparse handful of QSO’s with JA and UA0 resulted. So I hunted for Americans on the waterfall. I couldn't see any traces of W/VE at all. I had fairly good ‘cq dx’ signals from CO4SM, HK6DOS, CE4RWS, PT2ZXR and KP4RY but they could not hear me calling them. I did manage to contact HI8MU and YV6BFE after many many tries though. So it’s fair to say that 20m long path in the 2000-2300 UTC period isn’t going to be very successful. There was nothing later on 15m either.

So I’m hoping that the DX nets will be a chance for me to get into the America’s log today. This time of year, the best bet for me is 40m PSK31 in the 0900-1200 UTC period. So today I’m really hoping to make some QSO’s with you guys from that part of the world. I didn’t bother with 40m PSK during the past 2 evenings because of the JARTS RTTY QRM on the 40m PSK segment. So I hope to work you guys on the nets today, whether it be ANZA DX on 14183 at 0515-0630 UTC, HHH on 7190 at 0700-0830 or the 7130 DX Net at 0930-1030. In between these nets and after the 7130 DX Net I’ll visit 40m PSK31. If there is no luck with North America after 1200 UTC I’ll head to 20m SSB for Europe.

As of 0000 UTC on Monday, after 2 days there are now 1542 QSO’s in the log, the majority are with Europe on 20m and 15m SSB and JA on 15m and 20m SSB.

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