Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Great 10m Opening to South Pacific - 3D2AG, FO5QB, VK4MA

W4LSG 10m DX


I always like to find opportunities to work something unusual.  I like to try to work all bands and modes.  As such, I look for opportunities to make contacts on 10m and 6m whenever they happen to be open.  I've noticed a few openings on these bands lately.  I recently caught a 10m opening with great conditions into South America.  I worked Brazil, Argentina, and Chile several times before the band closed and went back to silence.  A few years ago I made a couple 10m contacts in Europe which stunned be given the lack of sunspot activity.  Given that I have not been an active ham during a peak sunspot time, I think I've made some good contacts on the 6m and 10m.

I was messing around in the shack when I saw a spot for 3D2AG in Fiji spotted on 10m FT8.  I thought surely it was either a mistake or it must have been spotted by someone somewhat close to Fiji.  To my surprise, when I turned the yagi to that direction I could hear the station!  I gave a call or two before getting an answer and logging it!  I was a little in shock and disbelief of the 7,300+ mile contact I had just made on 10m which is notoriously "dead" other than the few openings I've caught here and there.  About 15 mintues later, yagi still on the same heading, I saw FO5QB in French Polynesia coming in.  I quickly gave some calls and was able to work him too!  Another great contact for 10m.  I was just blown away by the good conditions, luck, skill or some combination of all that had just occurred in my shack.  I walked away from the radio desk, puffed out my chest, and told my XYL what had happened.

When I came back in the shack, I had forgotten that I had left the rig on the 10m band.  Still decoding several signals, I almost shrugged it off when I saw VK4MA in Australia.  I glanced over and thought to myself that something was odd because I've worked Australia before so it shouldn't have been showing up that color in WSJTX.  Then it occurred to me, I was still on 10m!  I gave a few calls to the Australian station and we worked each other with ease.  At over 10,000 miles away VK4MA is my best contact on 10m. 

I feel like these were very rare conditions to allow these great contacts during the Solar minimum.  Yes using a yagi, but with only 50watts of output power...I think I could just retire now.  Getting the other 112 DX entities that I need seems so insignificant now. I can just tell this story until I'm a grey OM and hang my Ham Radio hat on this day!

73 and good DX de W4LSG sk

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