Focus on 30m

Well, that went pretty well — about two weeks of after-work operation on  17m FT8 with a low-hanging end-fed dipole and 25W, and I pushed my DXCC count on 17m over 100. Thanks to 9G5AR from Ghana for putting it over the top.

Until early evening yesterday, 17m was dead silent, but I kept pecking away because I was working from home. Out of the blue (not just a turn of phrase, but the setting of my waterfall), the signal from Ghana came in strong. A couple hours later, we had both logged the contact.

I’m sure I’ve worked a lot more DXCC entities than are reflected on LOTW — I worked a few from Hawaii in the last couple of days, but oddly none of them showed up online. Either they are not using LOTW, or more likely, they are just batching their uploads. I expect that the number of entities will slowly rise over the next few months as people catch up on their logging.

Meanwhile, this afternoon I will be swapping in a 30m element. Propagation forecasting suggests that signals will be generally weaker on 30m, but should be reasonable to the Middle East, South Asia, and Oceania; I am not expecting a  lot of contacts in Americas.  Operation on this band will line up better with work, because it should be best in late afternoon to night.

My main purpose in operating from Madagascar has been more to give out contacts than to get them, but given a couple weeks left, I’m curious to see what I can get into the log book. I have never had a really effective antenna on 30m, so to this point, I only have 54 DXCC on that band. I don’t think that reaching DXCC is a reasonable goal, but I’d like to see what I can manage.

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