Friday, August 23, 2013

Day 4 Sunday August 18 – gale force wind warning finishes – able to put up 15m vertical dipole. 20m keeps producing endless pile-ups while the band is open.

The winds were still strong but I knew the 20m vertical dipole could survive the rest of the DXpedition. So in strong winds I erected the 15m vertical dipole. There was a slow and unspectacular run of JA stations on the Sunday morning from 2230 UTC-0230 UTC. I couldn’t understand this as it wasn’t a working day. As I mentioned previously, 15m in South Australia in August is..... now what’s the technical term?....... absolutely crap!!!!

Before starting the business end of the day on 20m I walked along the beach to check on the HF9V and the previous evening’s storm surge had confirmed my fears and now the antenna was a right off. I wasn’t too concerned because I was getting all of the European and North American QSO’s on 20m with big signals and long openings. The HF9V will go into surgery after I return home.

I started operating on 20m as per the regular routine but as it was a Sunday and there was so much QRM and the band was crazy being full of light house operators too. I had to work simplex as 14260 +/- 30kHz was bedlam. Despite this people were pretty well behaved and the rate was actually much faster than when I have been operating split over the previous few days. When you operate split, people just call and call non-stop. At least when I was operating simplex, people would give a burst of calls for 5 seconds and sort of listen. Mind you this wouldn’t have worked in the first couple of days of operating and whenever I got out of rhythm in the simplex pile-up, chaos broke loose and order had to be restored again. 

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