|Zorro JH1AJT is in Eritrea as E30FB.|
Zorro is in Eritrea as part of a Japanese delegation and has something like 30 meetings scheduled for his short stay, which is to last less than a week. He is squeezing in his ham radio operations between this hectic schedule. He had been on 15 metres SSB on Wednesday afternoon and 20m SSB on Wednesday evening, working, respectively, EU and then NA. The same pattern was evident yesterday, Thursday, when he had worked a huge EU pile on 15 in the afternoon before calling for NA on 20m in the evening.
And so it was that I found myself sitting at the radio, listening to this rare DX working Stateside station after Stateside station. In a way, it was pleasurable. It was great to hear this very rare DXCC being activated. But it was frustrating having to sit by and watch, knowing that a QSO would be possible if only he was working Europe too. Unfortunately, he was being QRMed by music for a short time, as you can see in this video, which was shot about 15 minutes before I made my QSO:
Having heard him work a HB9 station, I felt that it was worthwhile giving it a shot. When he said "North America", I would not call. When he said just "QRZ?", I would call. And that was my pattern. It was easy to hear the split because the American operators are far more disciplined than many of their European counterparts. There was still plenty of indiscipline, but it was much less predominant than in an EU pile-up.
I followed his QSX up and down. He would spend a few minutes on one QRG before it got too hectic and then move to another "quiet spot". Before too long, I heard him say just "QRZ?" and called him on the split where he had worked his last US contact. Then, the magic words came through:
"Kilo charlie, kilo charlie?"
"Echo India Two Kilo Charlie."
"Echo India Two Kilo Charlie, you are five nine."
"Thank you Zorro. You are also five nine in Ireland. Thank you so much for taking me in! 73!"
And he thanked me and I was in his log and suddenly, at 00:56 local time, I was in the log of E30FB and the last country I needed on the African continent was in my log. This all-time new one is DXCC #307 worked from this station. To say that I went to bed with a big smile on my face is an understatement! My fellow DX friend Mark EI6JK got a QSO immediately afterwards, and as soon as was he logged, Zorro started calling for North America only !!!
As they say, that's the way the cookie crumbles! This time, it crumbled in my favour . . .