Sunday, February 7, 2010

Three new African countries in one day - all on CW

Today turned out to be an interesting one on the bands. This morning there didn't seem to be much to whet the appetite so I thought it was going to be "one of those days". However, as the day progressed things got interesting.

I worked A60ISG, a special callsign, on 17 metres. He was weak but I worked him after a few attempts. That is only my second contact into United Arab Emirates, so I was happy to get him.

In the afternoon I worked HV0A, in The Vatican, on 20 metres. I had previously worked Francesco on 40m. I didn't have to try very hard either. I just tuned the frequency and shouted and he came back to me straight away.

The three Africa contacts started with ST2AR, Robert in Sudan, on 15 metres CW. This was one of the surprising factors of the day, the fact that 15 metres was open, and there seemed to be lots of activity in the CW portion of the band. Another interesting feature of the day was the fact that 20 metres stayed open until after 7.30pm, with darkness coming a whole hour or more earlier. 17 metres was open until about 7pm. It was great. Anyhow, ST2AR heard me after a few attempts and I was delighted.

The second new Africa country for me was Zambia. I worked 9J2BO (Brian) on 15 metres CW also. Late in the day, at nearly quarter past 6, I worked ZS6BQI on 17 metres, at a time I would have expected the band to be closed. There had been two Zulu Sierra stations on the SSB portion of 17 but neither heard me above their pile-ups. I was particularly delighted with South Africa because I have been pretty "deaf" to ZS from my QTH over the past couple of months. I see ZS spotted on the cluster regularly but usually cannot hear them. So a great day's work. I also made contact with W0VA on 15m CW so was pleased with that too.

The image shows ZS6BQI's QSL card image shown on his page.

Current stats:
CW: 43 countries worked
Phone: 81 countries worked
US States worked: 26 out of 50
AG eQSL: 38 countries confirmed
Total QSOs logged: 875

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