Friday, April 5, 2013

Short /P activity with a lot of far east contacts

Unexpected DX visits

Wednesday morning is my morning off with the kids at school and usually no pressing work issues (if I plan well). This week Wednesday I did not plan to go out as it was supposed to be windy and as I already had a fair share of DX last weekend.

When I came home from doing the groceries however I saw interesting spots including E5 and FO5 on 20m. So I decided to pack all my stuff and see if I could catch one of those. Of course because of the lousy planning I forgot one item - a support pole that keeps the mast in place. Using some ropes I was able to steady the mast holding my hexbeam just enough (although it rocked heavily).

About an hour after deciding to go out I was listening to the FO5 station. The frequency turned out to be a complete zoo. I tried a few times to get through but it was just to frustrating with people not listening - even calling over the DX station...
So I gave up on this DXCC for today.

Then I tried to find the E5 station. I found it quite strong on 15m just finishing a QSO with a G* station only using 40 watts. So that meant I had a very reasonable chance to work the DX.
Unfortunately the DX station informed all listening that this was his last QSO and he was going QRT. A couple of stations kept on calling but to no avail...

Well. Not a very good outcome for all the hassle.

To cheer myself up I called a VK2 and had a short QSO with him. Then I started calling CQ on 20m with the antenna pointing to VK/ZL long path. Maurizio IZ0ARL came by while he was activating a WWFF location. Very kind of him to give me a call (usual procedure would be the other way around). I did not get any other replies so I went up to 15m and pointed the antenna towards JA - as I saw a couple of spots indicating the band was open to JA.

I stayed on my frequency for 45 minutes greeting 14 OMs from JA and 3 from UA9. To my surprise I was also visited by DS (new band) and.. FK8.
When I heard the FK8 call I knew it was a new DXCC and an island somewhere, but had no clue where. Even when the OM told me he was in New Caledonia I had only a vague notion of where he was. Google Maps helped to increase my topographical knowledge.

Quite cool. There are only a handful of Pacific Islands I have reached so far (HK0, KH0, KH2, KH6, ZL and now FK8).


  1. Hallo Lars,

    Onverwacht toch nog zeer leuke verbindingen gemaakt.
    Vooral die uit de Pacific, inderdaad cool man!

    72 de Hans, PE1BVQ

  2. Hallo Lars, mooie DX activiteit. Vind de kleine eilandjes in de pacific altijd het meest tot verbeelding sprekend. 73, Bas

  3. What brand of push up mast do you use with your folding hexbeam? I'm thinking of buying a folding hexbeam and trying to figure out what mast to use.

    thanks Tiana KE5ODX

  4. Hi Tiana,
    The mast is home made, using 7 aluminium tubes that are just 2mm apart in width plus strong (tube) clamps. Will write a short piece on how I constructed it one of these days.
    73, Lars.