Conway Reefby M0TTB - Andy on 09/28/12
This was always going to be a tough one to crack...and the first few days have proved that. They have been loud enough on most bands, but the pile-up have been deep and extremely wide! I can't think of too many recent dxpeds that have been so hard to crack, possibly T31A to Central Kiribati was similar... and I think it was that one that prompted me to move to a hexbeam.
Anyway, I did get 3D2C today, on 12m ssb... tough going, and was never confident. I had spent time in pile-ups for them on 10,12,17 over the last few days with nothing to show for it, I was fairly confident with a brief foray onto 20m ssb last night but the heavy dqrm was the killer...often I can get around that, but it was crippling here last night. Even on 17m ssb earlier today, there was persistent dqrm, but 3D2C was audible through it, with a nice signal.
When they closed down their 17 ssb activity (whilst very strong to EU) and moved to 12m, my heart sank, as they were far weaker there and 12m isn't the hexbeam's forte.
On 12m, as usual, their listening spread was very wide, in fact far wider than their stated 5-20, I work them up 25, and they were working up 30 at times. However, on 17m earlier they were definitely working those who were tx'ing above the band edge... I know it can be easy to drift up in all the excitement, even I ended up on 18.1675, which is too close on usb even with my narrow ssb bandwidth. Fortunately my IC-7700 doesn't tx out of band, so I cannot commit the greatest sin for a radio amateur, operating out of band.
Conway Reef took me to 250 dxcc in the year, but more importantly boosted my year count on 12m, which is now 161 in my implausible goal to get 200 in the year.
Yesterday was successful in one aspect, in that I worked Antarctic on 10m for the first time...and that was a struggle as well.
More cheer last week on 10m, with new ones for the band in the shape of H44RK and FO4BM.... H44RK was going by numbers, and FO4BM was caught early in his activity, and got him first call simplex.