As blogged before I was planning to use my new HexBeam to hunt some new DXCC during the SSB CQ WW contest. With the station manager I had agreed upon two timeslots: Saturday late afternoon and evening and Sunday morning.
I went out to a deserted large parking lot near where I live, taking both my HexBeam and my 10m 4 element yagi (the converted CB antenna) and of course the alu mast - one that does not need guying.
Checking the conditions Saturday afternoon, I saw that most of the activity was on 10m. So I set up my 4 element yagi at about 10-12m high (33-36ft) and listened around.
|PH0NO - with 4 element yagi @ >10m (>33ft)|
At first (around 16:00 CET / 14:00 UTC) I mainly copied NA stations and I worked a couple without any problems. Then I spotted DP0 on the cluster. I turned the antenna southwards and worked my way through the pile-up, logging my first Antarctic contact. Cool!
Not much later I logged another new one: V2. Then I went on to work a number of NA and SA OMs (some new DXCCs on 10m). I maintained an e-mail contact with PD7YY who lives nearby and has a 2 element 10m beam at his QTH. He was also looking for interesting DX on 10m and helped me find some new ones. Although I have a cluster app on my phone it is not as handy as my PC apps, so the extra e-mail spotting was a welcome addition. It also increased the chasing atmosphere ("hey, did you already get V3? he is on 964 now").
The Caribbean and Central America were gaining strength and I worked a lot of new entities in that area. I stayed on 10m until around 19:00 CET. I took a short break, then I started to build my HexBeam. It took me quite some time to change antennas (taking down the yagi and setting up the Hex). I was back on the air around 20:30 CET checking 15m and 20m with the Hex. It was very lively everywhere. Looking for real DX I in the end only worked 9 stations in the next (and last) hour but amongst them 1 new one and 3 "new band ones".
I was thrilled with this experience - accustomed to working from home with a sloping wire (no chance on getting through a pile-up towards DP0 - or even copying him). With the beam I could always work a station if I could hear him. With a bit of patience (only using 90w) I could find my way through every pile-up.
|Another day, the same yagi...|
The next morning I went out again to the same spot. Again 10m was alive, so I set up the yagi once more. I started around 9:00 CET (8:00 UTC due to winter time) and heard lots of DX. PD7YY was online as before and we exchanged results and spots for the next three hours through e-mail.
It was amazing how easy I could work new ones with the beam, even exotic ones like North Mariana Islands (never heard of them before), Guam and Hawaii. Even VK was "no worries mate - too easy".
One thing I did not manage to do is to rigorously test the HexBeam. There was just no time (and no point) to put it up with 10m going berserk.
All in all I logged 95 calls in 27 zones during the two time slots (7 hours radio time in total). They represent a smashing 24 new DXCCs to me and another 14 new band DXCCs.
DX worked: 6Y, 7Z (HZ), 8P, 9V, 9Y, A7, AH0, AP, B, BM, C5, CN, DP0, DS, E2 (HS), EX, EY, HK, HQ, J3, JA, JT, KG6, KH7, KP2, LU, NH2, NP4, P4, PJ2, PJ4, PU, RW0, T6, TO, TR, UK, UN, V2, V3, VE1/2/3/5/7/9, VK, VP5, VR, VU, W0/1/2/3/4/7/9, XE, XV, YV, ZD, ZF, ZS
The most challenging pile-ups (at least the way I remember them) were towards 9V, V3 and AP.
|Stations worked - red = 10m, orange = 15m, yellow = 20m|
Thanks to PD7YY for the e-mail support!