T30RH on Tarawa, West Kiribati by Jacek SP5DRH – March 2011 ß Back ß
As expected, this has been an outstanding Topband operation by SP5DRH, with priority to Europe, but propagation conditions have been not good enough for such an extremely tough path ! These are Jacek’s comments on Topband Reflector:
“As in 2009 on Fiji, we put a lot of attention to 160m band. First results: total number of QSOs made was close to 13k, while on 160m 960 QSOs. Among those 960 QSOs we noticed more than 60 QSO with Europe (excluding Ukraine and European part of Russia). Due to very bad propagation on low bands (especially on 160m) the number of QSOs on 160m was much lower than we expected. Propagation wasn't our supporter as it was in case of Fiji project; Aurora on level 10, solar wind over 600, made kind of horror on 160m, furthermore, passat wind blowing 24/7 was making it very difficult for any antenna to work. Same wind destroyed several times our TB antenna.
Sometimes it was blowing with 7 in Beaufort scale (SP5EAQ is also yacht captain, so he knows when he says "its seven" ).
But these were not the only troubles; two of places booked on Tarawa did not suit our needs, so since we had come to Tarawa we started to look for better place. Finally, we landed in the same place where N1MEC and OK guys as T30R were transmitting from, on small island called Abatao.
So with USA was 450 QSO (including KV4FZ, KH6, KH2, KP4), with JA-250 QSO, Asiatic Russia 35-QSO, European Russia 67 QSO, Ukraine 22-QSO, OH-14 QSO, DL 5-QSO, OZ-5 QSO, SM-5 QSO, YL-4 QSO, SP-4 QSO, HA-4 QSO, LA-3 QSO, LZ-3
QSO, GM-3 QSO, OM-2 QSO, IT9-2 QSO, 4X4-2 QSO and one QSO with OE, ON, G3, A4 . No QSO with PA, E7, S5 where, we know, are a few powerful stations.
The most fascinating was morning when logged within few minutes GM3YTS, GM3POI, GMOGAV and G3PQA.
As equipment I was using 18 tall top loaded vertical with CWS adapter with two resonated radials along to the lagoon shore, K3 with HK 1,1KFX and micro HAM USBIII interface. All QSOs were received using transmitting antenna, there was no space for any RX antenna. Level of noise was fantastic low as S=0, S=1 but atmospheric crashes noise was from S=7 to S=9 plus 10dB!
Without 100HZ filter I was not able to read any station, well maybe only the strongest ones. The noise level did not allow to speed up rate and pushed me to keep my speed on level 16-18 WPM. As I said on web page, I don't like "tail ending", not many operators know how properly use this tool. In most cases they make QRM only. Other problem was with all these "fast guys", sending to me calls with speed of 30 WPM. What's more each of those "speedy Gonzales" was dropping his call one time only. They made me sick, they were
causing additional QRM only. I do understand, when station is calling with , say, 16 WPM, is trying to say "same speed to me, please" I don't fill like a CW best operator, but can read faster than 16 WPM but in this situation, when collecting calls was taking minutes, higher speed just destroyed your attention and your rhythm. All QSO's are already load on LoTW.
I am not fully satisfy with results of this dx-pedition, but still have hope that made few Guys happy with new ones.
So, if you don't mind hear you form another strange place.
Jacek SP5DRH/T30RH ”
I extracted from T30RH logs all the 160m European QSO’s and built the following DX Atlas map which can be compared with the same ones for 3D2KJ and ZL8X previous DXpeditions in that area.
These are all the QSO’s detailed day by day, trying to see how the spotlight propagation moved across Europe:
March 3: 20 QSO’s with LA (13.200km, 19degr), SM,OH (12.700km, 32degr), UA, UR (13.000km, 53degr) and OE3GCU (14.200km, 28degr.)
March 5: 11 QSO’s with UA3, UR, SP5EWY (13.600 km, 32 degr), OM5RW and OM3PC (14.000 km, 32 degr)
March 6: 13 QSO’s with UA3, UR, OH, YL (12.900 km, 36 degr) and SV3RF (14.800 km, 40 degr.)
March 8: 9 QSO’s with LA,OH,OZ,YL,SP, DL8QS (13,800 km, 24 degr), DL5RBW (14.300 km, 24 degr), HA9RE (13.900 km, 33degr)
March 9: 19 QSO’s with UA3, UR, OH, SP, UA2 (13.400 km, 32 degr), OZ (13.500 km, 19 degr) and DL8WN (14.300 km, 18 degr)
March 10: 10 QSO’s with UA3, UR (13.400 km, 51 degr), OH, LY (13.300 km, 35 degr), GM3POI, GM0GAV, GM3YTS (13.700 km, 3 degr) and G3PQA (14.200 km, 7 degr)
March 11: 3 QSO’s with ES1QD (12.800 km, 34 degr) RA1AOB (12.600 km, 40 degr) RV3LO (12.900 km, 44 degr)
March 12: 4 QSO’s with UR (13.400 km, 52 degr) and HA8JV (14.100 km, 34 degr)
March 13: 7 QSO’s with UR (13.400 km, 44 degr) LZ (3 stns 14.300 km, 41 degr), IT9FGA and IT9FCP (15.300 km, 29 degr., on the southern coast of Sicily without any Rx antenna – just a sloper Tx ant. 13 m. high !)
March 15: 15 QSO’s with UA3, OH, YL, ON4UN (14.000 km, 13 degr), DK2PH and DL8YHR (14.000 km, 18 degr), HA0DU (14.000 km, 33 degr).
Left: G.C. path from GM3YTS to T30 across aurora oval: skewed ? - Right: G.C. path from IT9FGA to T30 bordering aurora oval
I have been listening on Jacek’s frequency every day from my sunset until West Kiribati sunrise and I never heard a whisper, but I was not concerned too much, as even my better equipped neighbours with long Beverages and 4-square arrays were unable to work him.
The path from S50U (my same grid square) is 14.400 km at 26 degr., from S51V at 29 degr., from I4EAT 14.600 km, at 25 degr. and from E74AW 14.500 km at 30 degrees: they appear to be not tougher than several of the above mentioned ones. Operators are experienced Topbanders with above average stations and locations, but this time we all have seemed to be covered by a big black cloud and no spotlight managed to pierce it.
This is the mystery and the challenge of 160 meters !