Friday, 17 October 2014

Africa DX'ing - Reality check

Chasing DX from Africa

Have a careful look at the great circle map below, centered on Lord Howe Island - VK9DLX note the beam heading towards Africa, compare that to the beam headings to the beam headings to NA, EU and AS

The directional antennas used by many expeditions will work against African DX'ers most of the time.The signal off the side of a typical directional antenna can be >20 dB down compared to the forward lobe.

The same logic applies to many rare countries.......

The statistics below from the recent Western Kiribati DX expedition - T30D after some 69,000 QSOs

The activity from Africa is miniscule, it is therefore understandable that the expedition will be beaming to where the greatest demand is: North America, Europe and Asia.

Why would any DX expedition beam towards Africa, let alone make directional calls to Africa only?

Chasing DX from Africa is not easy. The odds are stacked against us most of the time. 

Please consider this issue when you next hear an African DX'er calling out of turn :-)

Great Circle map based on Lord Howe Island - VK9DLX

Saturday, 4 October 2014

VK9AN Christmas Island

The team consisting of Rob/N7QT and Melanie/AB1UH were on a small, suitcase mini-DXpedition to Christmas Island for a period of about 2 weeks.

The propagation between South Africa and that part of the world is normally very challenging due to the near polar path with all its associated problems.

I was very pleased to have worked them on 6 band slots with my mediocre station. This is no doubt due to the patience and superior skills of the operators.

I was equally pleased to see that they diligently used ClubLog throughout the expedition and the cherry on the top is that all my QSOs are already confirmed on LoTW.

This is the type of DX expedition I would gladly support with a small donation. Oddly enough I see no request for such and no provision was made for that either.

IMHO This is Ham spirit at its best.