Monday, November 4, 2013

Winter is a good time for contacts on 80 metres

It is well known that the early bird catches the worm. It is also well known that I am fond of my bed. However, in the past year or so I have made a special effort to get up early when known DX is to be found on the 80 metre band, which is a challenging band for a ham with small antennas. Of course, 80 metres is a winter time band, and DX contacts are rare during the summer. Last winter, I finally got 100 countries confirmed on this band after taking part in CQWW CW on 80m only in late November 2012.

This morning, I got the call from Declan EI6FR at 6:38am to say that the 5J0R San Andres dxpedition was on 80m CW with a good signal. I went immediately to the shack and sure enough, he was a 599 on my inverted v dipole. So I switched on the Acom 1000 and while it was warming up I started listening for the split.

Within a short time I was calling with 400 watts. He was working plenty of Europeans. But I knew as time went on and the rest of the EU went into daylight I would have a good chance. Sure enough, at around 06.56UTC, I heard him coming back with the magic "EI2KC 5NN". And I gave him "RR DE EI2KC 5NN 5NN TU". Another new one on 80 metres, and slot #10 with this dxpedition.

But it didn't end there. A short time later I could hear them on 40 metres SSB, on 7.165, working 5 to 15 up. So I sat on 10Khz up and called for a while. After about ten minutes, he came back very clearly with "Echo India Two Kilo Charlie Five Nine". And I gave him a 59 and entered slot #11 into my log. I now have San Andres HK0-S on every band from 80m through 10m. Last Friday night, I didn't have this DXCC at all!

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