Press Release # 12 January 15
Suppose somebody offered you a job which required you to work 14 hour days, with a lunch break of 20 minutes, to work in a building that is old, cold and drafty and has an outside climate which changes every 15 minutes. Suppose you had to arrive at work in the middle of the night over rough seas and then risked attack from a sea lion with the temperment of an average junk yard dog. And suppose the job required listening to noises all day the most people would buy Grade 4 ear muffs to protect themselves from. And to top it off there is no union to protect your rights. Dirty job but somebody has to do it!
Thanks James (9V1YC)... we accept! DXing is not about working conditions. It's about putting QSOs in the log. We passed 50,000 today, after a poor day yesterday when we got hit with Aurora Australis (or sunspots). It doesn't really matter what it was. The bands were dead for about 12 hours. Nothing. Not even the broadcast stations were heard. Total wipeout. And a much needed rest for the ops. Conditions came back with a vengeance today and our runs continued. We all thought that after this time the pil eups would diminish. They show no sign of shrinking. Tests operations are being run on 80M SSB on 3790 kHz around 0800 UTC and 14 mHz RTTY around 0300 UTC.
73 from the ZL9CI Team
Lee ZL2AL - Planning and Logistics
AND NOW.....THIS OPERATING NEWS:
Bands have been very slow in our mornings (1530z-2300z), but extremely big in the evenings (0500z-1000z). We have put pretty much the whole gang on operational duties now every evening to handle the load, and a much smaller crowd in the mornings. Its a madhouse here after 0630Z! 6 stations running full blast with huge pileups.
We are on either 160 or 80 *every* day at our sunrise and sunset, but we are not capable of doing both bands concurrently. We have about 350 EU, 350 USA, and 350 Asia on 80 CW so far.
A few issues:
1. We know Europe is hungry for 10 amd 12m. Not only through e-mail, but also becuase they are hounding us on the other bands. We keep getting comments like "its open to ZL right now - great signals!" and " its open etc..." But we check and check, and its not. Or very weakly. So we go back to 17, 20, 40 etc.. They must understand that we are quite a ways from ZL in terms of propagation. Just becuase they can hear a ZL1 (which is 1500 miles from us!) may not be an accurate indication of propagation to Europe.
Therefore, we are going to put a beacon on 10m tonight. 28.024. CW. This will be 100 Watts to a 5 element monobander pointed Short path to Europe.
If they hear us, they can call us there, or on any other band and let us know. Or, they can send e-mail to you with the exact times and the peak, so we can attack it the next day or two later at the same time. We will leave it within earshot of at least one person.
Sound good? It the best idea I can come up with.
2. 6m. BIG opening to Japan yesterday. WOW! Almost 70 guys! We will keep at this at the same times throughout the weekend.
3. 75m SSB has commenced! We are on 3790 nightly from 0800Z. We will do our best to get everyone in the log. This may alternate with CW once that starts (see below).
4. 160m will not get serious again for another few days at least - or until we have our next overnight storm (which statistically is inevitable, so no need to worry). There is still too much need everywhere else, and we will only start hitting 160 hard next week - midweek or late week. When we get an overnight, 160 WILL get priority.
I think everyone understands the limited time at our sunset, when just about every band is open everywhere. This clash from 0730-1000z is a time when everyone wants us on somehwere - so we have to make choices. Eventually, we will get around to all of them. We are only halfway through yet. Plenty of time.
5. "The Monster" (20m CW) is being tamed, so is "The Dragon" (40m CW). As Euorpeans in our log outnumber both USA and JA on both of these bands by two or three times, we will be putting more focus to North America and especially Japan over the next few days on these bands. But it doesn't mean we won't answer Europeans, just that we will keep more ears out for the other guys. Everyone still gets answered.
Thinner pilups here also means we can have more time now for 80 (both modes) and 40 SSB.
6. 80 SSB will take priority over 80 CW for a little while until the pileups get a little smaller. Since its a little hard to do both 80 CW and SSB at the same time, we may stop one or the other periodically, depending on who has a better run. Again, don't worry - we will still make sure both modes get equal attention before we depart.
7. RTTY is active daily 0330-0630z on 20m. This will increase as other pileups decrease - so they don't need to keep hounding us on the bands about RTTY. We will eventually be there at all the right times for everyone.
Basically, the policy remains to work down the main needs first, and then tackle the fringe stuff (RTTY, 160, 80, etc..) with more focus after that. That seems to be working so far, and with half our time ahead of us, I think we will be able to make everyone happy.
That's it guys....
ZL9CI East Coast Pilot, Webmaster
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Last updated 10 January 1999