Sunday, September 21, 2014

E30FB Eritrea in the log a second time

It might be the 17th most wanted DXCC, and the last bastion of the "needed list" on the African Continent, but I managed my second QSO with Eritrea today. A mixture of luck and persistence paid off in the end. I was not in the shack when the cluster reports said Zorro E30FB was working UK and EI on 28 Mhz. I was at my usual Sunday morning band rehearsal. I play solo euphonium with Drogheda Brass Band. We are practicing for the North of Ireland Band Championships on October 18th. Loads of EI stations were working Eritrea on simplex. There was no propagation to the rest of Europe apparently. Should I make some feeble excuse and leave band rehearsal to go to the shack and work Eritrea? Sometimes, this is the dilemma faced by the serious DXer. It's not possible to be in the shack at all times, when there are rare openings to rare countries!!

I waited, knowing I would not be home until around 1.30pm. At that stage, he was still on ten metres, but was working Spain and Italy among others, and was now split. I tried for a short while, but had to do "dad's taxi" for my sons, who were going to a birthday party. I dropped them off and scurried home again. Back at 2.05pm. Zorro was still there, but slow QSB meant I could only hear him some of the time. I decided to try him on the Antron-99 vertical antenna. It's done fantastically well for me in 10m pile-up situations before. And it didn't let me down this time. Within a few minutes, I was in his log, for the second time. What a thrill !

Also in the log this evening is VK9AN, on 17m CW. They had a nice clear signal (only an s3 on my needle, but sounded more like a 579). It only took me two calls to get into the log. They were working up about 1.4 Khz. The video below shows the signal from Christmas Island just after I worked them:

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