Here's today's posting from the island:
We had a rough ride into the island this morning with gusts up to 60knots, but alas when we arrived to relieve the 4:30am shift, the bands were dead. That is why we deviated from the plans I sent you yesterday...no point operating on dead bands...so we went to 80 ssb. We had an awful day, but around 8pm local time they began to come back to life again. Hopefully, if everything picks up we should hit the 50K mark sometime around 0600Z Jan 15. We are now at 45k, and averaging about 6500 QSO's per day. We were rather annoyed that this wx storm did not hit 8 hours earlier, because it would have been a goldmine! Oh well....
We expect this massive auroral event which shut us down today to clear up in the next few hours. 20 and 40 are already picking up nicely.
Myself and Trey are taking turns at "The Monster" - that is the European pile on 20m from 0330-1000Z, and we are having a great time (I set a personal record last night with 700Qs' in 3 hours 30 min!). The conditions from this place are astounding - and we are amazed at the bands - especially the low ones. 80m sounds like 10m here - just like on Heard. We will spend tons of time on 80 next week...see below.
Here are some operational notes for the public:
1. The main pileups to Europe on 40, 20 & 15 CW are still huge, and we are continuting our push on these bands. Both myself and Trey will not back down from our 20 CW runs until things cool off. We have read Rob's comments (and others), and we realize that this main mode and band still needs work.
2. I understand that many stateside guys are desperate for us to get on 40 & 80 SSB - mostly because that would give them a "clean sweep", or they because are not CW ops. For the record, we WILL get on these modes, and we WILL have our best ops on for this, but not for next few days. I expect at least 4 more days before we hit SSB on the low bands. We will also resume 80 CW in a big way too. 160 also.
There should be a good chance to nab us on these bands, and I will announce at least one day in advance of any full-blown scheduled 80m & 160m operation (but no advance warning if we get a "bad weather" overnight).
3. 10, 12, 15 and 17M are good to Europe when conditions pick up, and we will maintain our evening presence (0630-1000z) there daily on both modes until things cool off. LP has been best.
4. RTTY operation has commenced on an almost daily basis on or about 0330-0530UTC daily on 20m. As the other bands thin out, and we have more time to dedicate an operator to this mode, these short hours will increase. I expect a big RTTY push this coming weekend so we can move on to other things during this time period. This time period was chosen first as it gives a good overall opening while not crippling us of one op and one station during the peak period (after 0630z and before 2100z).
5. On suggestion from the public, our SSB ops will be listening above 14225 for US General class ops from now on, and more frequently as the pileups thin out. Keep watch and listen out over the next 2 weeks, as it should be no problem.
6. As 0630-1000 is our evening twilight, and our best HF openings occur here, 6m usually has nobody to listen out for callers. We are sorry about this, but we have such limited time that something must give for a while until we've worked out the regular stuff. Once things cool off, we will try to have 6m within earshot for all 18 hours.
All in all, we are really putting the "pedal-to-the-metal" in our attempt to please everyone and work as many as possible. So far, I think the formula I have chosen is working, and people seem to be happy. We have detailed statistics every day at our disposal, and we are well aware of whats needed, and where the holes are, so people should not worry. We have about 2 weeks left - plenty of time.
73 James 9V1YC
p.s Tell George, K5TR that was me that worked him on CW with his not-so-weak signal!
Well I think that sums it up. Let's hope for bad wx and good propagation.
ZL9CI East Coast Pilot, Webmaster
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Last updated 14 January 1999