Cracking the system….
I suppose the facts that I have time to commit these thoughts are a clear indication that the bands are not open.
I am no expert, but it seems to me as if the 6m TEP season is late. One thing is for sure it takes lots of patience to work new ones on the magic band. The openings thus far have been very few and very weak at best.
Due to the short openings I have always resisted using the WSJT modes during TEP due to the time it takes to complete a QSO. However, I must say that the old JT6M and the newer ISCAT modes work extremely well even during ETEP with the multipath distortion and rapid fading.
Getting back to my title line.
The chase is on to get NH8S Swains Island worked. I ran the online VOACAP predictions for both short and long path and the results were not very promising. The prediction showed that I had a fair opportunity to work them on 15m and possibly as high as 10m. 20m and below was not an option.
Well, wrong again! On both days 1 and 2 of the expedition the signals on 20m was fair and workable, but the pile-up is still way too big. Hopefully when the QRM diminishes I will get my much needed contact.
I am still puzzled as to the best system to use to increase the chances of success.
I understand that many top DX’ers feel that it is most effective to find the frequency of the last station worked and to call exactly (zerobeat) on that frequency. Such a system will ensure that your call will be where the DX expedition operator was listening last. The only problem with this system is that many of the other clever chasers will be doing the same, resulting in a pile-up of note.
The alternative is to use the system above, but call say 200 Hz higher or lower?
Find a clear spot close to the pile-up, but within the working split?
I suspect for a big gun station Plan A is the way to go, but for the little pistols maybe Plan B or plan C might be more effective?
I welcome your thoughts…..
Good Luck and have Fun !
Added after writing the original text:
I see John AE5X has written about this very same topic in his blog: