A while back, I saw a posting on the D64K - DX expedition to Comoros Islands web site. It was obvious that they were very well equipped for 6m. They had a serious antenna; low loss feed lines and some power to boot. The plan was to operate EME at their moon rise and moon set, some TEP/F2 work and possibly MS work into Africa.
I determined that the distance was 2,247 km from my QTH. After speaking to some of the local VHF doyens my initial excitement was a bit dampened. They thought that it was just a bit too far and my expectations were unrealistic.
Yesterday I saw on the reflector that they were beaming towards Africa using FSK441. Due to some confusion it turned out we were all transmitting in the same period. After 30 minutes, I stopped transmission and decoded a ping from them. Only after the sked did I realize that the 140 ms long ping contained the full call and grid locator. See screen shot below. I immediately arranged for a further sked.
We have just completed another marathon session of 1 hour and 20 minutes. I received absolutely nothing from them this morning. After we quit, I received a message from them stating that they decoded 4 pings from me, the longest being 2 seconds long. This was incredibly good news!
I believe we have a real chance at completing a MS QSO, we just need patience and a few rocks from the Perseids meteor shower……
After looking at the South African VHF records, I now understand why the doyens were skeptical. The record distance via meteor scatter is only 1,929 km
Good thing I did not see this before……
|ZS6A - D64K 6m MS 2,247 km|