The sun came out this morning and so, I was seduced into doing a quick activation of my local summit, G/SP-013 Gun. The higher HF frequencies have caused heartache for a lot of SOTA activators for the last week.
I’d alerted for 10m but had stated on my alert, that the band may be a lost cause and therefore, I offered 15m as an alternative. As I suspected, the 10m band was pretty much garbage and so 15m it was.
My self spot brought an immediate reponse from CT1HIX, followed by Marc WA2FON, Walter NE4TN and of course Dow W4DOW. The path to Japan was in good shape with 9 JA’s entering my log in pretty short order. A combination of EU and North America were being worked until Rick 5Z4/M0LEP, gave me a call a call from Kenya…Thanks for the call, Rick.
Rick was followed by a s2s call fom Pat KP4/KI4SVM activating KP4/CC-001 in Puerto Rico, for what I suspect may be the first G/KP4 s2s. The North Americans kept calling, the best DX being Arizona and Idaho.
Just before I packed up, I did sneak up to 10m briefly, making just 8 contacts, including Brazil and Chile.
31 North Americans out of the 90 chasers logged on 15m was a great result on a band that was suffering from deadful QSB.
Once again, the Antron-99 performed its sorcery…
Thanks to all the chasers.
[quote=“2E0YYY, post:1, topic:10652”]5Z4/M0LEP, gave me a call from Kenya…Thanks for the call, Rick.[/quote]Thanks for the contact. My radio time’s been limited, and it was one of only two I managed to complete yesterday.
The bands were being quite variable here. 15 metres wasn’t too bad, with only a few S-points worth of QSB, but 17 was suffering lots of QSB (HB9IIO/P vanished mid-contact), and 10, 12 and 20 were pretty much dead. 20 did, predictably, get a little less bad as night fell, and now, at about 04:30 local, 17 and 20 are almost usable…
73, Rick 5Z4/M0LEP
A complex of sunspot groups has rotated into view and it looks like there are more to come, in response the SFI has climbed into the 140’s and may well go higher, so it will probably be worthwhile keeping an eye on the higher bands.
Fingers crossed… At the moment the higher bands as heard here in Kenya are almost lifeless, and RBN hasn’t shown 5Z4B since 20 metres close down around 0500z. Even 15 is not showing much life now.
Edit 13:36z – Showing a bit more life now.
My activation of GW/NW-076 Mynydd y Cwmm this afternoon, just goes to show just how fickle the HF bands are right now.
The summit is located in dense woodlands, not ideal for radio. Tuning up the Antron-99 for 40m, I worked a very difficult s2s with Andrew G4AFI/P activating G/CE-001 and a much easier s2s with Barry M0IML/P and Allan G4VPX up on G/NP-010, The10m band was unworkable, the 15m band was virtually unworkable with just four contacts, the best of it being Serge RV9DC in Asiatic Russia.
How I cursed myself for leaving the VHF antenna in the car, compelling me to use the A-99. The SWR was high, but acceptable, however, only three contacts were logged. Tuning up the A-99 for 20m found just seven EU contacts.
Sadly, the wonderful DX of Tuesdays Gun activation, had totally evaporated
Good luck if you’re planning any HF over the weekend. Having said this,we all know how quickly conditions can change…
Yeah, Wednesday and Thursday were pretty flat for HF in Kenya, with just the occasional surprise. Last contact of my holiday was with YE0PO on 10 metres, at 11:40z on Thursday. After that, though I heard a geographically fairly well scattered selection of callers from JA via VU and A61 to LX IZ SM, and a bunch of Ws, it seemed that nobody could hear me…
Hope the sunspots improve things for next weekend…
73, Rick M0LEP
I decided to try something different today. I dragged my FT817 up Great Whernside along with a higher bands linked dipole. 17m and 15m were my target bands. I turned the rig on and worked SK90WARD, a World Amateur Radio Day station on SSB as it just happened that my rig was on the right 17m frequency.
A switch to CW on 17m brought YO2BP, shortly followed by K1JD in New Mexico! N4EX (NC) was next in the log, Rich had called earlier but I had a issue with my key and my CW had been awful! Following on was K4MF (FL), AC1Z (NH) and finally Phil G4OBK. Calling on SSB produced no QSO’s.
Moving to 15m CW, Fred KT5X (NM) picked me up straight away and was followed straight after by W4DOW (VA), EA5AER, N1EU (NY), KX0R (CO) and finally N4EX again with a much stronger signal than on 17m.
John K1JD’s spot is cool -
I certainly enjoyed myself on the higher bands today!
73, Colin M1BUU