Operating Notes: Africa, four new countries, JT65

Operating notes from the last couple of days:

I finally worked the 5X8C DXpedition┬áin Uganda Thursday night on 40m. They must have worked nearly everyone that’s wanted to work them because they were actually calling CQ. I got them on the second or third call.

On Friday night, after the DX contest had started, I worked 9U4U DXpedition in Burundi on 30m. I thought this a bit odd because I would have thought they would be operating the contest, but apparently not. That made it much easier for me to work them. They were actually calling CQ, and I was able to get them on the second call.

Three new countries for WA2HOM
Yesterday, I went down to WA2HOM. I hadn’t really intended to participate in the ARRL CW DX contest, but after making a couple of phone contacts, I couldn’t resist tuning around to see how conditions were. As it turned out, conditions were pretty good on 10m and 15m. Ii was able to add four new countries (errrrrr, DXCC entities) to the WA2HOM log:

  • New Zealand: ZL3IO, 15m.
  • Peru: OA4SS, 15m
  • Senegal: 6V7S, 10m

I’m @kb6nu on Twitter and enjoy tweeting about my operating activities there. Several of my followers have said that they enjoy reading my reports. One night last week, after complaining about not getting any replies to my CQs, @VA5LF saw that tweet, fired up his rig, and came back to me. We were having a nice chat until his QRN level jumped.

A lot of the guys on Twitter seem to enjoy working JT65. I’m going to have to look into that.


  1. Interesting, i haven’t worked a new entity in JT65 in some time now, I would really love to get any of those. With my antenna I only get North America, Japan and Europe here at night in 40m, only during the day in 20m and 15m I get the good stuff. Africa seems prety hard to get from my QTH at this moment, especially as they are not really present in JT65.

    Happy to find people blogging about JT65 or WSPR, i’ve added you to my blogroll and reading list.

  2. Dave, N8SBE says:

    I think I worked Senegal on four bands during the contest – 10, 15, 20, and 40. I was quite surprised to find 40 open with S5-S9 signals to essentially everyplace except the US. I ended up making almost as many contacts on 40 as I did on 20. Some DX stations were actually asking US stations to QSY to 80 or even 160 during the contest, the conditions were so good.

    Considering my poor code speed (improving, of course, by getting in contests like this) it took me several contact’s worth a piece to figure out what the station’s call sign and power level was, then I could drop my call and exchange into the fray using N1MM’s function key memories. At least I can usualy recognize my call sign coming back from the DX station at 35-40 WPM, and I think I have ‘TU’ down cold. :-). That all meant that my QSO rate was often 10-15 an hour, sometimes peaking to 30. After about 12 hours total, I amassed 200 contacts (a new high for me I believe in any CW contest) and with the multiplier, my score would have placed me 4th or 5th in Michigan in single operator unassisted, low power, according to last year’s scores. There’s a WIDE gap, though, between 3rd or 4th place, and the 1st and 2nd place leaders.

    I find it amusing (and exhilirating) to be shown in the WRTC 2014 rankings. Last I looked I was #157 in the W8 call area. Again, there is a WIDE gap between the great unwashed masses and the one or two leaders, but it’s still kind of fun to see how the WRTC folks gather up the scores from a bunch of contests over the last four years, and calculate merit scores in this great spreadsheet. Even if I never make good enough to be considered for a team spot in a WRTC, it certainly increases my interest in following it.

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