Saturday, January 16, 2016

K5P Palmyra

I haven't been too active lately especially on DX.  I've been involved int the Alpha testing program with Flex radio and a new SSDR version was just released and working out the kinks is both interesting and time consuming.  After 1.6.17 was released I was on 40M CW and Craig K9CT gave me a call.  Craig is a well known DXer, contester and also a Alpha group member.  In the course of conversation he mentioned he was heading to Palmyra for a DXpedition.  Palmyra KH5-P is a top ten most wanted DX need.  It's an atoll about 1000 miles south of Hawaii close to the equator, and is protected as a natural environment by the US government.  I needed me some KH5-P so I decided to stay tuned.  I figured it would be easy... Man was I wrong.  Between being equatorial and the band conditions lately, I've had virtually NO PEEPS out of KH5 

I listened the morning they fired up and they were readable on 40M but I needed to go pass the gas (anesthesiologists joke) and the pile up was BIG so I didn't make the trip.  I figured noproblemo.  I spent the next 3 days trying to get a contact.  Things went from bad to worse as far as conditions were concerned, and I resorted to getting up in the wee hours to try my luck on 40M.  I listened dutifully on the other bands but 40 was my best shot.  


I set up my desktop for DXing and here is a shot of the pileup

Not too bad.  The op was ND2T.

You can read Tom's bio by clicking the pic.

His pattern was to work on the same freq moving occasionally, so the trick was to figure out where he was listening.  I tried various techniques but wound up resorting to using a freq suggested in a spot comment in Spot Collector.  Hey any port in the storm!  He was totally weak

VFO A is the RX VFO he is literally 2 dB out of the noise, dipping below the noise with QSB.  VFO B is the pileup

Tom is an excellent op and he managed to get my callsign and persevere until I was safely in the log!

I published a video of the DXpedition and conditions at my QTH the morning I worked them.  You definitely need headphones to listen to this one

good time  

73  W9OY