Hi all just a quick update from the beautiful island of Bonaire SA006
The first few days have been mainly for familiarising ourselves with the area with a few hours of radio in the morning and evening. Our unofficial host Steve PJ4DX and wife Eva are living right next door to us and have been fantastic, picked us up from the airport, taken us out for food plus Steve has been most generous in lending me his antennas and Acom 1500 Amp. If it was not for his generosity I would not have been on air so soon.
Saturday the 16th
Started using my PJ4/MW0JZE for the first time on FT8. I admit this mode is very new to me plus I am not usually a big data op but FT8 has sparked an interest so I took the opportunity to be very first FT8 statin to operate from PJ4. With FT8 being such a new mode there seems to be many different opinions of how to end a QSO or even begin a QSO. There is no hard or fast rule I guess but RRR is fine for me, the station returns 73 and I continue with CQ PJ4/MW0JZE. What is the need to send another 73 from me???
20m is an absolute zoo, I have been getting 13 to 15 spots on my window and any one time, this is crazy and no matter how I try to work a station it sometimes takes me 5 or 6 attempts so I have set a limit of 4 replies, if in this time you fail (sorry) then I will scrub your call and continue to call CQ once more.
Sunday the 17th
Nice opening to EU our morning time, worked quite a lot of friends (always nice to work your friends when in another DXCC) Again 20m was a zoo, gave up after a few hours. Steve and I discussed where to place the Hexbeam, there is not a lot of room for antennas here as Steve has used up all the space with his antennas hi hi A site was agreed on and cleared with Steve’s landlord so we began to assemble the portable Hexbeam. Due to circumstances beyond our control I am not able to get the hex as high or in the clear as possible, while will not affect my operating it will effect an experiment I was hoping to carry out which was a A/B test between the Spider Beam Vs the Hexbeam unless both antennas are same height and both in the clear then it will not be a fair comparison.
Monday the 18th
Gave up on 20m so tried 15m, what a breeze, not so many stations so able to work stations with ease, most of them after one over so the Q rate has been a little higher. Best statins worked so far on this band VK9VKL 😉
I will be trying 17 tomorrow and maybe some of the higher bands, keep checking the cluster guys!!
More updates later in the trip… 73 de Ant PJ4/MW0JZE