|St. Brandon is a remote archipelago in the Indian Ocean.|
There were some major 3B7 activations in 2007, but that was before I got my licence, so I missed out. I've never worked this entity before.
And so, when Pat appeared on 15 metres PSK63 yesterday (Wednesday), there was chaos. He was on simplex and they kept calling and calling and calling him, with no time for listening. How was anyone going to make a QSO? I could occasionally decode Pat's reports in the gaps, but most of the time it was impossible to know who was being called or worked.
And when he appeared on the same band and mode again today, I didn't expect much, except QRM. And so it went, for a while, until he started calling "UP". So I tried split and called him one kHz or so up from his own TX QRG. This didn't appear to be working. Then I noticed his own TX frequency was moving about, and so a game of cat and mouse ensued.
This went on for ages, until I finally figured it out. He wasn't listening on a split. What he was trying to do was to get people to spread out so that he could pick out individual streams on the waterfall. A clever ploy! I picked him up a few times, moving around, but couldn't get that magic QSO.
Then I saw Erik EI4KF calling him and I saw the following (I didn't get a 100% decode, but close enough):
EI4KF EI4KF EI4KF EI4KF EI4KF
EI4KF TU 599tg99 EI4KF pse c rt--
So I called immediately where Erik had worked him. Here is the somewhat imperfect print of the QSO:
3B7FA de EI2KC EI2KC kIt initially looked like EI2NU but the second call is handy because if there is QSB you get two chances of seeing what he is actually sending.
EI2NU 5599 EI2KCapse K
3B7FA de EI2KC 599 599 EI2KC TNX K
QSL TU 73!!
I honestly didn't think I had a chance of getting Pat into the log, given the QRM, but I am chuffed and delighted to say that DXCC #315 is in my log. It's a great relief and delight for me.