Thursday, October 15, 2020

JX2US Jan Mayen Island logged for my 200th country on 80 metres!

I just worked my 200th country on the 80 metre band. JX2US Erik is on Jan Mayen Island in the Arctic Circle, almost 2,000 kilometres north of Ireland. He is there until March 2021 and will be operating on the HF bands, primarily the low bands, during his spare time.

He was on 3.501 Mhz (CW/morse code) at 9.46pm local time and working a hefty (mostly EU) pile-up that was spread out between 1 and 4.5 Khz up from his transmit QRG.

Declan EI6FR and Don EI6IL had both logged him a short time before. Declan told me his operating pattern was to slowly move up in frequency from QSO to QSO, and then at a certain point he would sweep gradually back down. 

I got lucky.

I found the QRG of the previous QSO quickly, and turned the VFO to decrement or lower the frequency very slightly and called him with 400 watts through my homebrew inverted V dipole.

He came back quickly (through QRM on his TX QRG) with "EI2KC 5NN" and I replied with "RR DE EI2KC UR 5NN 5NN TU". He came back with the familiar "TU" (thank you) and that was the job done! I was in the log!

Jan Mayen Island is 1,919 kilometres (1,193 miles) north of Ireland.

I didn't know it until after I had logged him and used the 'recalculate statistics' feature of my logging software, Logger32, but he was my 200th country worked on 80 metres.

That is a very pleasurable number for me, because I have a small garden with extremely limited space for antennas. In fact, the 80m dipole is dog-legged and only 9m (about 30ft) at the apex. 

But it works, and is resonant. It might not radiate ideally, but it has done a sterling job here.