Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Reunion Island on 80m SSB with 100 watts!!!

Ham radio, and DXing in particular, never ceases to throw up surprises. I've just worked Cyril FR4NT in Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean on 80 metres SSB with my severely dog-legged inverted v with its apex at just 25 feet high!! I had been listening on his frequency (3.792) for some time, and he never had more than a few European stations calling him at any time. But then he went quiet and I thought he was gone.
Reunion Island, worked tonight on 80 metres SSB.

All of a sudden I heard him again and an LA2 station was rag chewing with him. I was able to get my 80m inverted v tuned on the top end of the band (not on his QRG of course!), which is quite surprising because it is only resonant at the very bottom of the band.

So, with who knows how much of my rig's 100 watts actually radiating from the antenna, I called him just as the LA2 said good night to him. Immediately he came back and said "who is the kilo charlie?" I couldn't believe it. It wasn't easy to get into his log, because I was in his noise, but he persisted with the attempt which I was very glad about. After a number of times trying, I could eventually here "I think it's echo india two kilo charlie, is that right", to which I gave "roger roger roger, you are five and five, five and five, QSL".

He said "you are five and seven in my noise level, roger" and soon the QSO was complete. Cyril gave me country #144 worked on 80 metres. I never would have made it through with any sort of a pile-up, but it goes to show what a combination of good conditions and a lack of QRM can do when you have low power and a seriously compromised antenna!

I look forward to trying to get a few more new countries into the log on 80 metres over the winter time.