Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year 2011 - or, as we say in morse - HNY !!

Happy New Year to all radio amateurs, radio experimenters, short wave listeners and Ham Radio Ireland blog fans. It's been an interesting few days, as much for the DX that I either could not hear or could not work as for the DX that ended up in the log.

One of the final contacts of 2010 was a major bolt from the blue. Frustrated at not being able to work some of the DX stations (including V5 Namibia) I hit 12 metres in the hope that there was an opening and gave a prolonged CQ call. What came back astonished me, especially as it was 559 and reasonably strong.

Dah dah dit dit dit, dah dah dit dah, dah dah dit dit dit, dah dit dit dit, dit dah dah dit.

Roughly translated, that is seven quebec seven bravo papa -7Q7BP.

Where in the world is 7Q? Well, it's a good distance towards the southern part of Africa. 7Q is Malawi. A new country for me, not only on 12 metres, but anywhere. He was the first 7Q in the log. Not content to just give him the old 599 GL, I had a good QSO with Joe and he told me he was using a Kenwood and I think a spider beam perhaps - I didn't copy all he said. I'm still a novice after all.  I told him it was 9 degrees and cloudy here in old Ireland. It was a great contact to get, and so unexpected. It made my day, and closed 2010 nicely.

A few more bits and pieces to report - I am up to 95 countries worked on 30 metres. The new V is working well. (Thanks Tony, sticky buns ordered!)

I worked A45XR on 17 metres CW - a new country on that band. EA6NZ was a new country on 30m for me and Karl went QRT immediately after working me so that was good timing! SV9COL Dimis on Crete gave me a new country on 40m, while CT3AS gave me a new band slot on 12m (CW) and then later the same day a brand new country on 30m. 9M2CNC, Richard in West Malaysia, gave me a new country on 15m in CW mode - thanks Richard for previous QSL card - now I will have to send another HI HI!! And then today CU2DX, Frank in the Azores, gave me a new country when he answered my call on 15m SSB where he was putting out a great signal and working half the world. Thanks Frank.

Some of the DX that didn't make it into the log:

H40FN - Solomon Islands - working Europe on 30m but I couldn't hear him.
UK/JA0VSH - Uzbekistan - again on 30m but nada here.
JD1BMH - Ogasawara Island - working EU on 30m (and other bands) but niente on this side.
VK6IR Steve in Western Australia was bombing in on 15m SSB and I shouted for a while but the EU pile-up was too big. Steve said he hadn't heard such great conditions in years. Next day he was on 12m SSB, where I could hear him, albeit faintly.

I am listening closely for two VKs who have been on 30m working EU in the evenings. No luck so far but I will nab one of them sooner or later - that would be a new country on 30m.

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