The HF9V finally arrived in good shape and was put together in the scorching sun. Well worth the effort as it out performs my wire jumble on all bands. On those bands where the jumble is a good match to the coax it’s around 6dB up and where I rely upon the ATU to flatten the feed-line it’s up as much as 10dB in some cases. This would appear consistent with performance claims for vertical antennas at sea edge.
New challenges arise every day and power cuts are among them. It’s just like in Cyprus where without notice all power can be lost. Fortunately there is a generator back-up so I can usually be on air again in about 5 minutes.
Lest the thought may have been entertained in anyone’s mind, I can attest to the existence of Dili belly. Good runs are currently punctuated with barely adequate notice, by bad.
Looking through spots on DX summit I see I have taken a few bullets from the deserving for going QRT without explanation. Ah well. If anyone can explain how I might advise the pile of an unscheduled power cut before it happens, I will be most appreciative. Dili belly presents a similar challenge providing as it does absolutely no time for chit chat before urgent evacuation takes place. So far I have managed to evacuate the tent before any other evacuation gets underway. A situation I am concentrating hard to maintain. It is difficult to convey the subtleties of my situation to the baying hoards. Many of them are anyway too busy endlessly sending their own call to notice.
A bigger problem I face is a completely screwed up sleep pattern. Usually on trips to the Pacific I manage to keep my body clock on home time. This would be perfect as here you need to be up all night and sleep in the middle of the day when the bands are useless. This hasn’t worked out this time due to available flights requiring an overnight layover i n Doha and another in Singapore. By the time I got here my body was on Timor time and try as I will I have been unable to reset. I have fallen into a cat napping routine which is very inefficient as it has me crashing out during the night when the bands are open.
Revellers now long gone my new neighbours have an 8 month old baby. What a screamer. Children are little darlings but other people’s can be hell.
40/30m present some challenges due to local use of SSB on both bands. 40 is particularly awful. It appears to be operated on a 5kHz channel basis for some kind of CB use. The channels start below 7000kHz and go all the way up the band towards 7200. Signals are typically 20dB over 9 and most are filthy dirty. Some are anyway DSB. My only chance on 40 is when I manage to find a channel not in use. Even then someone is prone to start up while I am in mid run, completely cobbling everything. Most channels are busy all through the night.
30m also suffers from use by SSB folks but transmissions are not on 5kHz boundaries as they are for 40. I suspect the activity here is ad hoc among those who can’t find space on 40m.
So far I haven’t done much on 80m but the HF9V is clearly working. I had a qso with K4CIA which increased his 80m DXCC tally to 340. Timor to North Carolina is a difficult path. I think Bill is still partying. There seems to be a lot of activity at the bottom of 80m with various DX-peditions active in the Pacific. Rather crowded with splits involved. Does it make sense for me to hang out around say 3515 QSX up? I realise there are probably some who would like 4W on 80. Thoughts?
I occasionally make NA calls when I have propagation to the East coast. It is disappointing the EU pile will not accommodate these. I wonder is this a problem with folks using code readers not unders tanding my intention or is it just that some DXers are totally selfish. The path to the US from here isn’t too good. Europe is extremely easy by comparison. A quick look at my Clublog statistics reveals 65% EU and <10% NA but it doesn’t seem like the EU hoards are going to give the US guys a break anytime soon.
The life of a DX-peditioner can be tough but despite all I am having piles of fun. 73 Bob 4W/G3ZEM