Friday, August 20, 2010

A decent night makes up for the ones that got away

It was shaping up to be one of those days. There was some decent DX to be had, some new countries. And some very distant stations. The problem was that I just couldn't get them in the log. Their pile-ups were too big and my station was too small. Many hams would have just switched the radio off. I came close. But I persevered, to my eventual reward.

I had taken a note of the stations I wanted but couldn't get. The list depresses me when I look at it now because it includes what would have been three brand new countries for me if I'd been able to get them. Here's the list as I took it in my notebook:

9V1SV 17m SSB
5H3ME 15m CW
V85TX 17m SSB
9M6JC 20m SSB
T6MB 20m CW
9L1BTB 20m CW

9V, 5H3 and T6 would all be new countries for me. I heard 9V1SV at the beginning of his CQ and was probably the first to call but he never heard me. For 5H3 I went mobile up onto a hill to try get him but sadly it didn't happen. T6MB was weak and had a huge pile-up. He seemed to prefer working North America. I am lucky to have 9L1BTB in my log already so I was not too despondent about that.

Just like the good old Irish weather, the wind suddenly changed. I stayed up late and was rewarded. While I didn't get those new countries, I worked a lot of decent DX and was pleased, so it made up for the loss to an extent. Here are the interesting stations that I worked:

OH0/YL7A - Aland Island 20m SSB
BP100 - Taiwan - 20m CW
CO6LP - Cuba - 20m CW
VA3GA - Canada - 20m SSB
HC2SL - Ecuador - 20m CW
LU5FC - Argentina - 40m SSB
ZB2FK - Gibraltar - 40m CW
V31BD - Belize - 20m CW
ZP6SAL - Paraguay - 40m SSB
PY3UA - Brazil - 40m CW
OX3KQ - Greenland - 40m SSB
CW1A - Uruguay - 40m CW
4K6FO - Azerbaijan - 40m CW

Some notes: VA3GA worked me as his last contact of the day and went QRT afterwards; LU5FC has a good antenna height - that's his antenna system in the photo above; OX3KQ - I heard his first CQ and was his first contact - I told him that I had only just received his QSL card via the bureau today! A nice coincidence. BP100 was my first contact into Taiwan!! It is a special call - a CTARL Commemoration Station celebrating the centenary of the founding of the Republic of China.

Addendum: As if to further make up for missing the DX, I worked both Japan and South Africa today - both from the car, and both on 17 metres CW. The Japan station, JA1KIH, was responding to a CQ I was giving from the car while stationary outside the shops here in Drogheda! And the ZS was worked mobile coming in to Drogheda from Clogherhead. Nice.


  1. Hi Anthony, great catch there I have to say, I have been trying to break the pile up's not easy, was trying for 2 seperate stations from Borneo yesterday afternoon to no avail, along with VK on 20m in the morning, your not so little list gives me great inspiration.

    Best 73, Paul.

  2. I have found that this is the way things happen with small stations like mine - swings and roundabouts, wins and loses. When you're battling with big European stations of 2kw and more with huge beams with only a puny 100w and a vertical it can be tough. I caught some lucky breaks - ZS6X in the car for instance, getting JA coming back to my CQ, again in the car, and hearing OX3KQ's first CQ too meant I was the first one he picked up. Perseverance is definitely the key!! Keep on trying, that's what I say. I have built up an impressive list of DX countries with my humble setup! 73 for now de EI2KC

  3. You are sooo right! My feelings about DX QRP. I forget the one's that got away after a nice one was completed.
    73 Dick


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