IV3PRK Pierluigi "Luis" Mansutti (ex HC1PF)

  160 meters Band: DXing on the Edge


T32C – Christmas Is. DXpedition (East Kiribati) – October 2011     ß Back ß

This is a monitoring page of this DXpedition based on the on-line logs and statistical data taken from their website http://www.t32c.com/T32C_Log_Search updated daily. Now the DXpedition is over.

I try to find as many European callsigns as I can and fill, as usual, a DX Atlas map with the grid squares worked. The blue marked grids are for morning (in Europe) QSO’s – via a South West path – while the black marked are evening QSO’s –via North path.

This is a summary graph matching with the T32C statistical data, less 4 busted calls (in EA, LA, HA and OK), i.e. n. 126 QSO’s with Europe, of which 62 around Europe sunrise and 64 around Europe sunset:

This graph with the daily number of QSO’s shows the different propagation conditions from one day to another, despite the T32C operator always keeping CQ EU until sunrise! This is one of the toughest path from Europe and the few short openings with very selective spotlight propagation have been blessed by two weeks of almost quiet geomagnetic field, as shown by the Ap index line.

The last QSO with Europe was on October 23 with G3PQA, the only one that day !

How could it be? John is one of the best Topband operators of the World and he sent me his MP3 record file . ..\..\..\T32C 1823r9 kHz 0630z 23Oct11.mp3  with the following very enlighting comments:

Dear Luis,

Sorry that you were not lucky with skip for T32C. You must be very disappointed as the path was open to other parts of Italy many days. I heard many Italians and DLs calling, particularly early in the DXpedition. However I note from your map that you are on the far east side of the "magic zone" for west eu qsos, and with the SW path there is a little more land between you and the other Italian stations to the sea which maybe made rx more difficult.

I noticed in UK that stations as little as 100KM apart had different condx for T32C. Real spotlight, I guess similar to G-ZL condx.. On the day that G3SED was hearing him, NIL here.   G3RPB heard him on 11/10, NIL here.
The only days I heard them were:

-  15, 16th Oct at 0500z, to the South East (big skew !!), but only Q2 because of QRN in Slough (big town to east) in that direction. On 15,16th, NIL from SW or NW when other EU called or QSOed.
-  23rd Oct 0615-20z when I QSOed. I heard them CQing in the SP contest!
This was the only day I heard them SW direction, and other UK stations in east, west and north said they could not copy. Propagation appeared to be a narrow band north from CT up through the centre of England.

In summary, most QSOs were in SW direction and for my QTH this path was only open 1 day in 24 days. I think the SE path opening was very strange, perhaps a "once per year" event.
I think the NW GC path to T32 was quite rare, only happening to the GM and far west G stations perhaps on one or two days.
I spent about 60 hours total listening for T32C, mostly to noise and filter ringing - hi. We must be crazy.

The GM stations seem to work everything up there. Better propagation and perhaps "big-ears" with quiet noise levels like Marko OH3XR! I am in crowded SE UK, 30KM west of London with towns all around. (Slough 8KM, Windsor 10KM, Maidenhead 5KM, Reading 15KM, Marlow 8KM). However because there are fields all around the QTH it is reasonably quiet most of the time (s3/4 from Beverages with 20dB preamp) unless there is a specific noise source, but am sure the general background noise must be at least a little higher than open land to sea or in the hills of Scotland.

The best G locations are G4AMT and G3XRJ, who are on the cliffs close to Lands End Cornwall and the sea on 3 sides within a few miles. I know that area well, because I was 2.5 years at the Cable and Wireless Engineering College at Porthcurno, close to Lands End, in 1967 and 1971.

Wishing you better luck with TX7M and good DX160 this season!
John G3PQA