|A photo of my old Butternut HF-6V|
In the space of about an hour, after midnight, I managed to nab FOUR new DXCCs on the 80 metre band. They were, as follows: VP2V/AA7V, British Virgin Islands; P4/R5GA, Aruba; PJ2/DF9LJ, Curacao; HT9H, Nicaragua (regular prefix YN). Because the Butternut is only a 26-foot tall vertical, ground mounted in the middle of a housing estate, it does not hear half as well as an elevated dipole cut for that band. Hence it is difficult for me to work new DXCCs on it. So it turned out to be a really great night, bringing my total DXCC worked on 80 metres to 118. It's a band I would dearly love to do more on, and to enjoy more regularly, but it is a big challenge for me. Last winter was very rewarding because I got over the 100 DXCC mark for the first time. This winter I will just try to nab more new ones, and try to bring my LoTW confirmations on 80m from 89 up over 100 hopefully.
I have one issue with the Butternut that is troubling me though. After a while, the SWR suddenly jumps from 1.5:1 to about 3:1, and I have to adjust the linear. Then it will, after some time, come back to 1.5:1 again. At least 3:1 is manageable with the Acom 1000 but it's annoying me that the SWR is changing during the course of the night. If there's anybody with any suggestions as to why that might be happening, or indeed with any experience of Butternut SWR issues, I'd be glad to hear from you.
In the meantime, I got some nice contacts this morning, including Lord Howe Island again, this time on 17m CW. VK9/OH3JR was just in the back of the box, and working simplex, so there was considerable QRM. But I heard him calling "EI2?" and got him logged after a minute. PJ7I on 12m SSB was a new band slot and C6AUM in the Bahamas on 10m CW just a short time ago gave me DXCC #210 on that band. Here's my band stats now:
160m: 64 / 47