We went from heaven back down to earth today. When I left my house this morning, the RBN Hole was spotting regularly. It looks like the last SOTA spot was at 05/1720Z. I started my activation at 1752Z - and since I believed the RBN Hole was working, I decided to begin on 18.093-cw, per my alert.
I called CQ into the void for about 10 minutes, and never made a contact on 17M. When I got home I saw 5 spots on 17M, so it seems that the RBN Hole went down right before my activation. Of course I suspected this on the mountain, which was a lovely first activation.
I went down to 7.033 and started calling CQ again, per my alert. One of my sharp chasers, W0MNA, found me and spotted me - thanks Gary! There were 6 spots on the RBN for 7.033, but nothing made it to the RBN Hole. Gary’s spot started the ball rolling.
The chasers took it from there - when I QSY’d to 10.113, I announced the new frequency before I signed off on 40M, and K6HPX spotted my new frequency - thanks Ken! Once the chasers knew I was on, they listened on my posted frequencies and found me when I went to 30M and then 20M CW. At the end of the activation I had 30 contacts!
It doesn’t look like the RBN Hole is working now, but the RBN is and was OK today.
I’m not complaining! When the RBN Hole is on, it’s a wonderful tool. Thanks to the “professional chasers” who were on today, I had a really fun activation!
My real message here is this:
When we have the RBN Hole, let’s use it to the max. It helps both chasers and activators to connect with each other. Then it’s down, we often can realize that quickly, and then we can use our spots and alert info to help each other.
A good alert with specific information really helps your chasers find you - so it helps your activation as well. Connect the dots…