I am really enjoying chasing DX, and this spring has been a good window for me to indulge in some heavy radio and ham time. And even though there are not any DXpeditions going on, there are more hams on the radio during the Stay Home, Stay Safe campaigns, especially on the digital frequencies!
Overall conditions too have been favorable for contacts. Last week six and ten meters seems to cool a bit with all the weather changes. There was one day, maybe Wed. the 20th, when it was favorable for those sister bands throughout the day. They have continued to be active off and on through the weekend.
Leading up to the weekend, I successfully worked Grenada, Fiji Islands, and Asiatic Russia (UA9, a new zone for me–#17 Western Siberia).
Wednesday and Thursday nights late, I heard FR1 (Reunion Island, past Madagascar). He appeared suddenly, and there was enough time to make contact within 3-4 exchanges and he was gone. Propagation is so serendipitous sometimes, and I expected to see him again Friday or Saturday night, but it was not to be.
Friday afternoon before supper time, I checked on FT4 on 20m. Morocco was calling with a strong signal. I wasn’t ready, and by the time I figured out I didn’t have the power button on the SignaLink ON to TX, he had time to come back to me but not complete the call before his signal completely faded.
Friday and Saturday were otherwise busy for me with house projects and the family. It was unproductive radio wise.
Sunday afternoon’s highlight was picking up Turkey (TA) which I had been after for months. He was working on FT4 on 20m around local supper time again, and the FT4 exchange was super-quick but not any less exciting. Signals and variety of stations were good into the evening, and I decided to stay up after midnight, if it seemed worth it. About 11:00 p.m. (local), it was looking like I might be able to pick up UA0 in the eastern Siberian region for a new zone. Nope. But I worked Georgia on FT8, which I needed. So Turkey, Georgia and the Western Russia regions were good.
After midnight, I started paying attention to the Pacific. I still need Western and Northern Territories of Australia and most of the outer islands. A lot of Indonesia stations along the gray line were available but not what I needed, and they soon started to fade as night fell on them. There was no sign China, Vietnam, Taiwan or the Philippines were going to come on strong. In fact, they remained silent.
Then he appeared, like he had just turned on the radio set and I was the first to hear him (more funny propagation stuff!). I called to P2, and he answered and confirmed. Papa New Guinea in the log! I was stoked, but my body said it was a good time to quit. I stopped the waterfall monitor, erased the call signs in the band activity and RX windows, so as not to be further tempted, and shut down the laptop and radio. Sigh.
That was the DX highlight of the weekend for me. But I also had a lot of fun Monday morning, making two CW contacts, a ham in SE Kansas and one working a POTA activation near Lee’s Summit, MO. Great contacts for me, and they count towards my Triple Play.
In the quiet times when nothing much was happening this week at the radio desk, as I listened for something rarer to popup, I studied my Extra Class material. I can tell I made real progress, and the last two practice exams I scored 47/50! Love the HamStudy.Org app!
Stations I heard but missed making contact with this weekend were: JD1 (Ogasawara Island in Japan) and 9J (Zambia). I’ll catch them another time, hihi.
Get thee on the bands,