Friday, November 20, 2015

VK9WA Willis Islets

I decided to give the VK9WA DX pedition a swing out on the middle islet of the 3 islet chain east of Australia.  I listened this morning (Friday) on 80 CW and could barely hear them because of QRN.  It was just at dusk this evening and I was in my office and I decided to check the EHAM  cluster link and Willis was on CW on 15M.  I went into the shack without much hope since my set up on 15 is pretty dismal, a W5GI antenna at 25 ft and a full size 80M vertical were my antenna choices.  I checked which antenna had the best copy and it was the W5GI so I elected this antenna for both receive and transmit.  Here is a shot of the S meter on this antenna

Pretty damn quiet!  VK9WA was solid Q5 but only 5 dB above the noise with a dab of QSB so this could be a tough circuit, given the size of the pileup.  I fired up the amp and tuned up to about 800W and started to analyze the pileup

I had 2 skimmers running and the pile was spread over about 16khz

He was starting to get weaker as sundown had occurred and I knew I better get on the stick.  He was flipping around the pile but he would stop at a spot and work a few before moving on somewhere else.  I grabbed him in 3 calls up 14 or so.

In the few minutes required to write this post he had faded into oblivion at my QTH.  There was still some skimmer activity coming through from the west coast but nada from the Atlantic coast.  Fun times!!  

73  W9OY

Update got them on 17CW in one call using my 80M vert and about 1KW

Nice sized pileup

Really good OP.

73  W9OY