Thursday, March 2, 2017

DXCC #223: VP6EU Pitcairn Island

I've been watching the VP6EU DXpedition since it began operations a couple of weeks ago, but I could barely hear them with the indoor wire so I had pretty much lost hope. Then yesterday happened. I decided to put my ass in gear and at least get the window feedthrough panel in place so I could throw the Ultimax end-fed up as a temporary solution. I took some doing finding someone was a saw to cut the panel to the proper length; I had to put a PL-259 on a short coax run using some angel-hair thin solder; and finally I needed to move my desk (with everything on it) away from the window. All done without too much trouble.

With the 31' Jackite pole I bought last year zip-tied to the front deck, the antenna zip-tied to that, and coax attached, I was in business. I'm still getting a lot more noise than I did at the last QTH, but the signals are noticeably stronger when they don't have to pass through a steel roof. It seems like the K3's ATU is getting a better match, too. Still can't run the amp, so 100 watts is what I have to work with for now.

Right off the bat I easily worked VE3VSM/HR9 Honduras (Roatan Is.) on 20m, PJ7AA  Sint Maarten on 17m, and ON4UN Belgium on 40m. Okay, all working. The hunt for VP6EU was on.

I kept my eye on the cluster until I saw VP6EU spotted on 17m just after local noon. He wasn't terribly strong but above the noise level by an S-unit or so. Dropped my call once and got him. No. 223 in the log!

Among the other current DXpeditions that I've been able to check off the list today is TX5T Austral Island on 15m. I had Austral on all bands 80-10 from the TX6G operation a few years back while I was in TX, but this is another new one for my Cedar Key QTH. Also worked 5K0N on San Andres Island on 17m this morning.

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