Day 6 (Nov 20) – QRV!
After a very shaky start since Tuesday, all good news to report today. Our last suitcase arrived yesterday at 5 PM so we are now operating in full force. We reconfigured our station with the last amplifier and the missing computers and now have 3 fully operational stations on the air.
At this moment we are putting up our last antenna (#10), which are 2 phased verticals for 80m. Sunrise is the best time to put up antennas, before it gets too hot in the sun. We have not been on 80m yet, instead we’ve focused on 160m at night. We put up the inverted-L the day before yesterday just before sunset. It is on the edge of our property and with permission, extended the radials into the adjacent property, as well as the horizontal leg on a fiberglass pole. It’s just over the crest of a bluff into the Caribbean and looks very impressive. We also put up a 100m beverage to Europe which works well. The first night we made over 700 QSO’s on 160m (mostly Europe) with fantastic propagation into Russia. It was really exciting!! As the terminator moved into central Europe, the band closed early, with not many western Europeans. There was essentially no propagation to the US either, just a few stations. Last night it was the opposite, with a good European sunrise opening but no Russians. And of course, at 08-09Z, all the bands are virtually dead as we anxiously await local sunrise. This morning 20m opened to Europe at 1000Z and within 2 minutes we went from a dead band to a huge pileup.
We’ve made some QSO’s on RTTY and tried FT8 on 6m with no success yet, using a 3el VDA. All the antennas seem to be working very well. We were careful in how we located the antennas and there is no interstation inteference, a pleasant surprise. We also put up a short beverage to the US/JA since the EU beverage is quite directive. The pileups have been very big at times. The most exciting ones are the JA pileups on 20 and 40 at local sunset, with a wall of JA’s to pick out calls. We operate mostly split, since our antennas are quite modest and we’re only running 500-800W (depending on the amplifier).
We’ll be hitting 80m very hard tonight (CW and SSB). We have no QSO’s yet on that band. We will also try 12m and 10m around local noon and later, but our focus now is to bring up our QSO total from a slow start.
Do you want to see the picture of which operator you worked? Please check Club Log which we update a few times daily. Unfortunately QSO Director does not work as it should, we’ll try to fix it. Please do not request corrections to the log via e-mail. We don’t have enough time to deal with this now. It might be easier to just work us again 😉
Our Elecraft-sponsored KPA500 has been working well and is a perfect DXpedition amplifier with it’s small size and weight. We would like to thank Elecraft for their support of our DXpedition, as well as all the other other sponsors.