Because I had some time on my hands and I had not been on the radio for weeks, I went for the "full monty" - taking a hexbeam for the higher bands and a delta loop for 40m. I was not going to let the conditions ruin my day.
When I arrived at a lake in the nature reserve I was suprised to find a nice sturdy gate - placed by a local fishing organisation to corner off a piece of the lake. This made setting up the hexbeam a bit easier.
|Alu mast nicely supported by a fence|
There was some old metal pole a bit further away that was helpful for keeping my Spiderbeam 18m mast up. This mast was holding the full size delta loop for 40m. I had not used that in the field apart from some initial testing.
When the antennas were up I first collected J5 on two bands (atno for me) and TO2 on a new band. Then it was time to wake up the WWFF chasers.
|Hexbeam at about 10m/30ft|
I started on 40m as the higher bands were still rather quiet. QRM was manageable and the flow of chasers was quite constant - logging 116 calls in the first hour.
Then it was time to try 20m with the hexbeam pointing east. The first contact was a nice surprise: a VU2 who commented on my signal level - being 9+10dB at his end. I worked VU only a couple of times before so I was thrilled that he came to say hello and even more so that signals were that good. He was followed by a number of EU chasers. As the earth kept turning North America woke up. K1RO was the first one to make it across. It was time to turn the hex that way. Signals were never very strong but QRM was low on 20m, allowing me to work 23 stations from 15 US states and 4 VE provinces. Not bad at all.
In the meantime I was visited by a member of the local fishing club who wanted to know what I was doing. He made a minor point about me using their gate as a support but was satisfied after a short explanation of my intentions.
After a while I did not get any response on my CQs anymore and dusk was setting in. So I decided to take down the hex while I could still see what I was doing and continue on 40m until I had to leave. Before doing that, I called TI2 and logged him on a new band (17m).
|Taking down the hex at dusk|
Sadly 40m had turned into a very noisy band. It was hard to copy anyone at signal levels under s9. I did seem to put out a nice signal though as I saw a spot on the cluster from W3 and an OM from A7 (Qatar) came by to ask me what the heck my setup was, as I was that strong. The delta loop has made it into my favourite set of antennas. I logged another 60 chasers through the QRM.
In just under 4h radio time I logged 254 calls from 44 DXCC, 15 US states and 4 VE provinces. ODX was TI2 at 9100km.
Tnx to all the chasers that came by.