The ZL9A IOTA dxpedition to OC-286, Antipodes Islands (DX entity ZL9 Auckland & Campbell), was a short-lived affair, and it was certainly one of those activations that I thought I would miss. I had a very poor copy on them on Friday morning on both long and short paths and they faded out quickly. On Saturday morning I was unable to work them due to work commitments. So it came to Sunday, and they were going QRT on Sunday night!
Why do I regularly seem to cut these things very fine?
On Sunday, despite the fact that many Europeans were commenting on the cluster that ZL9A was strong on the long path, I found that their short path signal was much stronger on 20 metres SSB. At first, around 9am, they were very weak, But by 10am they were romping in. And all the time they were very poor on the long path. A number of UK stations worked them on the short path, so I knew the pipeline to our part of the world was opening.
The pile-up was substantial, but mostly confined to 5kHz up and 10kHz up, and although there were stations calling in between, the ZL9A op seemed to be only listening exactly on 5 and 10 up. So I stuck with 5 up and shortly I heard "who is the echo india?". So I gave my call several times and I was in the log.
It was nice to get IOTA OC-286 in the log.
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