Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rotator up, ZL9 worked twice again, and HV0A

It was a good day in the shack here today. I could hear ZL9HR, the Campbell Island dxpedition, on 17m SSB on the long path. They were light enough, not moving the needle much. Within a couple of minutes I was in the log. It really was an easy QSO. That was 9.58am. A half an hour later - having tried for a short time on 40m CW without success - I tried on 15m CW. Again, they were better on the long path. I was calling 3 Khz up, where others seemed to be calling them, but then I heard ZL9HR working EI6FR, Declan, who is based in Dublin.

The ZL9HR Campebell Island dxpedition team
So I messaged Declan on Facebook assking for the split and he said he worked them 7 Khz up. So I went up to 21.042, and could indeed hear him working one or two Europeans. So I went down slightly, to 21.041.2 and within a couple of minutes I could hear "EI2KC 5NN" coming back through the ether! It was my sixth slot with ZL9, which was more than I could have anticipated. Thanks for the help Declan EI6FR! The ZL9HR dxpedition has since gone QRT, so six slots is my total. I am a happy man.

At shortly before 11am Tony EI4DIB and Pat EI2HX arrived at my QTH to help me put up the Yaesu G-450C rotator. Thankfully we had done a lot of work on Wednesday, including the wiring, and we were all ready to get it on the pole and under the hexbeam. It only took about an hour, but thankfully the hexbeam is so light that I could manage lifting it off the pole, and back onto the rotator, on my own.

Within a short time I was turning the beam from inside the shack and watching the signal meter as the various signals came up while the beam was turning towards them. First into the log was 3B8CF on 15m CW, followed shortly thereafter by J28NC (Djibouti). I was absolutely chuffed, upon turning southeast for HV0A, Francesco in the Vatican City, to work him on my FIRST CALL on 17 metres SSB through a simplex pile-up. He was a signal strength of 30dB over 9 here, as you can see in this short video, which I made immediately after working him:

Others to make it into the log before the bands closed this evening were SU9VB, Vlad in Egypt, on 17m CW with just one call using only 100 watts. I also nabbed 5X1NH, Nick in Uganda, on 20m CW. He has been very active, and has given me five bands so far. 

I did not participate in the ARRL 10 metres contest, and I'm so glad about that because propagation on 10m  is awful. I could only hear a few signals on the band today. It wouldn't have been much fun to be trying to ratch up a decent QSO rate in that contest . . .

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