After two months in which I had no time at all for any radio-activity (imagine that...), I managed to free up a couple of hours on Wednesday afternoon. With about 4 hours I had just enough time to go out with the hexbeam and look for some DX.
Conditions had been OK in the preceding days, with openings on the higher bands (10-12m), so it looked like a good investment of my time. Taking the hexbeam out does limit the time left for actually being on the air as I have to bring more stuff and need more time to get it all set up (and broken down again). All in all I think I need about 1,5 hours to get all stuff in the car, drive to my favourite location, set up the station, pack everything in again and drive home. This left me with 2,5 hours to be on the air.
|Looking through the glass roof of my car at the Hexbeam
DX with a couple of new ones
When I had my station ready I saw Dervin PD9DX was working from YB0 on 15m. I know Dervin from the PAFF program and he put in a very good signal. Enough reason to give him a shout and have a short chat. After that first contact I was scanning the bands and the cluster for DX activities, logging a total of only 12 contacts but interesting ones.
It turned out to be a nice DX afternoon, even though conditions weren't especially good. I worked a couple of new ones: C8, H7, FR and TN (Dutch DXpedition), two OD stations on two new bands (15 and 20), and a new prefix from Canada: CK1.
Noteworthy but not new were TO2 on 10m (already worked that one during WPX earlier this year), VK4 and YI1 on 15m.
One very peculiar thing: I worked TN on 12m long path... I still do not understand it. The signal was S0 sometimes peaking S1 on short path. When I turned the antenna around while looking at the S-meter I saw it peaked S3-4 when the antenna pointed north. I tried turning the antenna around a few more times, with the same result. Go figure.. TN is 6000km due south from here.
There were two stations I tried but did not reach:
- VP2, he was not very strong and there was quite a considerable pile-up. He did hear me once, asking for "the NO/P" station to come back but he consecutively answered a French station that called over me. I do not understand operators that do not manage their pile-up. It promotes selfish behaviour of chasers.
- V6, was very weak (S0-1) and had a large pile-up. No chance there.
There was also a VK5 station working from an IOTA location. He however had a zoo from "5 to 10 up".. so I skipped that one.
This was a nice exercise in preparation of CQWW - my next radio opportunity. I already booked time off family duties well ahead and have so far still managed to keep the claim on Saturday afternoon and evening and a part of the Sunday morning. So I will have some serious time to go out with the hex and I will probably bring my 4 element yagi for 10m as well.
Looking forward to more DX!