Friday, November 8, 2013

Banaba T33A in the log - on a skew path

I am absolutely delighted to reveal that I just worked T33A on Banaba Island a short time ago. I had no hope of even hearing them tonight because they seemed to have QSY'd off 20 cw and I would have little hope of hearing them on 30m or 40m CW on my dipoles. But then I could see spots for them on 14 Mhz on the Reverse Beacon Network. I tried listening on the short path (north). Nothing. I tried listening on the long path (south). Nothing. Disappointed, I figured I would have no luck tonight. But something told me to beam back to the north path again after they QSY'd from 14.030 to 14.035. I thought perhaps they had moved frequency for a reason - maybe the new QRG was clearer? Perhaps I would hear them on the new frequency?

This is the exact beam heading I worked Banaba on. I took
this shot immediately after the QSO.
I set the VFO to 14.035, and started turning the hexbeam from south towards north with the G-450C rotator. It was sloooow. But, just as I passed southwest, I heard some CW. I stopped the beam at 250 degrees (west-southwest) and could hear - quite weakly - what sounded like "T33A UP". I put on the split and heard him working a US station exactly one up. I pressed the operate button on the Acom 1000 linear and gave him my call. He worked a K1 station. I listened on the split. 14.036.1. When he finished that QSO, I called him.

And then the magic came wafting through the air! I heard a weak and fluttery signal that sounded like "2KC 5NN". Unsure it was me, I waited. Then I heard it again "2KC 5NN". So I went back with "EI2KC EI2KC ? 5NN BK" and heard a more distinct "EI2KC 5NN TU".

A photo of the Icom with the exact split I worked T33A on.
I'm surprised, elated, and relieved. This is a tough one for a station with small antennas. Have no doubt about it. The three and four element SteppIR stations are hearing them 559 and even 599 on the evening paths, but the lowly hexbeamers are not so lucky!!

I shouted a huge "YESSS" and punched the air several times. DXCC #298 is in the log, and another of those rare ones. It's #25 on the Clublog most wanted list. And it puts me within a whisker of 300 DXCC worked.

Now I can do what I like to do on a Friday night. I'm hoping to order a Chinese takeaway and sit down and watch a movie with my XYL and maybe I'll crack open a bottle of chardonnay too!

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated - so spam will not get through.