Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A New One....

My DXCC totals have inched up over the years and usually take bigger lurches forward whenever I make a substantial change to the station (i.e. New Amplifier, better / higher antennas, more time to operate, etc..).  As such, I'm at the point now where the "All Time New Ones" -- we'll call it ATNO now just to invent a new acronym -- are few and far between.  Long gone are the days where I might add 3 or 4 new ones over a weekend -- now its more like a new one over months, maybe years of effort!  I know a few DXers that are down to the last one -- say North Korea for example -- and can't wait for the day to join that epic sized pileup.

So -- its really exciting when I am able to snag the proverbial ATNO, especially when it is pretty much unanticipated.  This happened to me last night after coming home late from a business trip and turning on the rig to listen to 30m while I wound down.  The band was solid into Europe and I quickly worked a string of stations.  I copied a 9X0 prefix on 10.105 -- couldn't believe it -- and rotated the antenna a bit farther to the east to peak the signal...solid 579.  Nick, 9X0NH, was on simplex for the first few contacts, and I snagged him early with a quick exchange; the pileup instantly went ballistic, and he then switched to split.   Awesome to get him in the log!   I'll get a direct card in the mail to him at his home base in the UK as he's leaving Rwanda very soon.

Although Rwanda is not considered super-rare -- it's just never been one that has been active when I was also active.  It also helps to have entities active on a band like 30m, where the competition is just not nearly as fierce as on a band like 20 or 40.  A little luck, patience, and decent antennas come together in a nice way every now and then!

Rush, W4QA


  1. Hey Rush!

    Great to find your blog. Congratulations on the new one.
    I also attended the hamfest. Sorry to miss you. Did see see K4MQG, K4ZA, and KI4TZ.

    I still remember our CW QSO back in '76 or '77 when I lived in Charlotte.

    K4ATX (ex WA4VKW)
    Fort Mill

    1. made my day Kim! Great hearing from you -- and know that you hold a special place in my amateur radio career for being the very FIRST QSO for me back in December 1976 from Ken's (WA4OBO) station. I was one nervous kid on that straight key -- but you were so very patient with me! I'll never forget made a huge impression on me.

      That same day, Ken had me call CQ and when he heard a KH6 return my call, he was floored. Apparently it was the very last one he was looking for to get his WAS! Never seen him move so fast to get that key from me :)

      I did see Gary at the hamfest and a few other folks from many years was a fun day for sure.

      73, Rush