Thursday, April 7, 2016

5V7D Togo

There is so much interesting DX on the low bands these days.  I've been stalking 5V7D in Kpeme Togo for the better part of 2 weeks but never really heard them.  They are a 4 man DX pedition.  Tonight they popped up on my spot list on 40M but I was still 4 hours into my daylight.  Togo is about 5500 miles away on the east coast of Africa and I figured I didn't have much of a chance, but listening for DX beats reading the Drudge Report so what the heck.  At first I heard nothing, but I could see a lot of very weak trails on skimmer about 1-4 khz above his transmit freq, too much activity to be random, but too weak to copy.  

This is typical of how a pileup looks outside of my skip zone, when viewed on a quiet band.  Europe was in total darkness and the 5V7D cluster spot was by a DD5 (DL) station so I was sure I was seeing the EU pileup on 5V7D.  Up the band was a monster pileup on VK0EK who was experiencing his grayline and I could see Europe galore calling him so I knew 5V7D would soon be coming into the picture.  I parked it on 7003 and went back to reading the Drudge report (actually I was reading an article on the Raspberry Pi 3) with the headphones on my ears. I started to hear a beep once in a while so switched back to the radio and I could see him and occasionally hear him.  FL, though on the East coast is actually pretty far west when it comes to grayline propagation especially close to the equinox.  A couple weeks ago the night time hump viewed below had near vertical sides. Pensacola is actually far enough west to be in the central time zone.  I could see/hear some of East coast boys farther east than me start working 5V7D.  K1's and K3's were getting through 

Here you can see the grayline just touching Maine, this is about when I started hearing him. 

This is the pileup, looks small but I'm sure there was a ton of EU calling that was below my noise.  Eventually I heard him calling many EU stations as he bobbed in and out of the slow QSB, but the band was nice and quiet, so.... wait and plan.  I figured out his pattern and it took a while because I was competing with EU but soon enough we exchanged reports.  He wasn't very strong  

But strong enough.   TNX QSO 5V7D!

73 W9OY