2001 Highlights on 50MHz

On Feb. 24, 2001 after almost 2 months of no DX, I was listening to my new FT847 and out of the noise popped TR8XX!!  I almost fell out of my chair worked him 55 in both directions.  He was country #54.

Two weeks of nothing much and then Kapow! 3G0Y in Easter Island comes through strong for my 55th country on SIX. 

Wow, on March 11 I was hearing K2RTH strong on backscatter and EH7KW asked me to qsy to 50.102 and call CQ.  After about 10 min. of CQ's I heard him come back to me with my antenna pointing 120 degrees.  EH7KW worked on BACKSCATTER!!!

After much anticipation 3G0Z became active on Mar. 28 with a strong signal.  Worked him for number 57.  

Amazing propagation these days,  6Y5WJ worked on April 2, 2001 for country 58.  

The countries just seem to keep coming through, on Apr. 9, I worked AH8A for country 59.  This is amazing, On Apr. 10, I worked CT3 for country number 60!!!!!!!  

Wowee!  Apr. 11, It seems to be getting better, worked I0JX and ZD7K for numbers 61&62.  

After some pretty quiet conditions on Apr. 22 the Pacific started to come in and I worked FO5RA for country number 63.  

Finally on June 8th got country number 64, was working E-skip to the eastern Caribbean and FM5WD popped in at about the noise level but we made the contact.

OH BOY! Wowee!  I worked into mainland Europe for the first time on multi hop E in many, many years on July 6, 2001. The band opened at around 2300Z with very strong EA and CT video. Unfortunately I had an appointment at the happy hour bar, so was only able to work a few stations including EH3AR and EH3ADW.  So figuring that I had missed my opportunity I had quite a few drinks and on July 7 I woke up late and hung-over and turned on the radio. I heard a K4 calling cq so figured I was in for just another 1 hop day.  This was when I went to WA3SIX's prop page and found out that the East Coast U.S. stations as well as KP4's were into EU in the early morning.  Damn! I thought I missed it again.  Checked the video frequencies and CT/EA/DL video were all in 53-55. Called CQ and was immediately answered by ON4ANT at 1653Z. What a wonderful surprise. The band stayed open to Europe until 2225Z.  During that time I worked 7 new countries: 9A, CT, DL, F, GW, PA, ON.  I heard YT0A but he could not hear me.  Needless to say my enthusiasm for 50Mhz has only increased.  The amazing part is that my rotor is broken so the big beam is useless as it swings between 40 and 90 degrees.  So I worked into Europe using only 100w SSB and a vertical antenna!!!  I also heard 11 different video signals, that's right 11, all at the same time ranging from ZL at 45.238 MHz to UA/DL at 49.759 MHz including 2 on both 48239 and 48250.  Man if the beam was working I probably could have made many more contacts. Country total now at 71!

Well after 2 months of static broken up by some weak E-skip to the US the band has come alive again in September with the arrival of TEP.  The only countries I need that I can work on TEP do not have activity so I am waiting for DXpeditions to activate something new. In the mean time I try and work new stations in South America so as to help with their DXCC total. I have to do my part.

AMAZING!!!! On Oct. 17, 2001 I heard 49.750 video weak via LP over Brazil. Also heard was PY9MP calling CQ. Then much to my surprise I heard a JR2 calling CQ SSB. I did not believe it but the accent did sound like a JA! I mean I had been reading the reports of JA's LP into YV, HP, TI, etc over the past few days but I just thought it was the ZF black hole missing all the good DX again. First my heart started to race and then I put on the headphones. It was JR2HCB calling CQ and very strong 57 even though I gave him a 59 for country #72. I worked him for the first ever ZF-JA contact on 6M at 1406Z. The pile up was immediate and very , very large with very strong signals. I moved to .115 to free up .110.  When the pile was at its peak I heard hello David!!! I knew who that was. It had to be Hat, JA1VOK as I had met him in Texas at the W6JKV BBQ at the end of September and had discussed the possibility of JA-ZF LP openings. I had told Hat that I only worked SSB with 100w and he had told me that was no problem it would just be a little more difficult. This had been a nice change from the 'No CW and no KW, then its almost impossible' responses that I had become accustomed to from the "experts"!  So I went back to him he was a true 59 on the meter, the strongest signal in the opening. JA1BK also had a nice signal, he was also 59 but did not seem to be as strong for whatever reason. The opening lasted until 1500Z when the last contact was made with JO6EDD. In all I worked 31 stations in JA. I also called my father ZF1RC who came rushing home and worked about 4 contacts before having to rush back to work. I do know that a KW amp would have made it a lot easier to control the pile up but unfortunately I don't have one. Well I thought I was excited after the big EU opening in July. This is just slightly more exciting for me because I always knew I would work EU but JA I thought I would never work! Well it has been a very good year so far for me.. Here's to 6M prop with 100w and SSB, Amazing.

The complete list of JA's worked on Oct 17, 2001: JR2HCB, JR2HOG, JF2MBF, JR2AUE, JA1BK, JA1VOK, JE1BMJ, JN1GTG, JA1XQC, JE1VOW, JF2GWS, JF2TAR, JG2BRI, JA2POK, JE2XBY, JF3QJR, JA2XW, JA2AJS, JA2BZY, JE2PUC, JR3DVL, JH2TQH, JA3JTG, JS6CDB, JF6TAC, JA5AIE, JH6NKZ, JA6RJK, JH7IPR, JH5FIS, JA5FDJ, JO6EDD. Some of these calls will be incorrect as there were a lot of partial calls and full calls received to which there was no response after I responded. It seems from the email that I have received that the QRM in JA was real bad making it difficult for the JA's to hear me. They QRM'ed themselves? Next time I stick to split operation and that's that!

Again, wow! On Oct 23 we had a short opening to EA and CT with a few contacts made. I missed EH9IB! That would have been a nice one. 

Then on Oct 24  worked 2 I stations and then after calling cq forever on 50.150 I figured I had better check .110 to see if I am missing something and lo and behold ZC4FL is calling CQ loud! Worked him real quick for country #73 and heard UT5JCW a few minutes later on CW on .095 but only for a second and then that was it. I am hoping the remaining days of October are as exciting as the ones we have had lately.

October is great at the peak of the cycle. I just wish it was always this exciting.  Well I was sleeping in on Oct 27 and received a phone call from ZF2MU and he told me I should get out of bed because he just worked Russia. So I jumped up and rushed into the shack. Called CQ and LZ2CC for country #74 came back to me. I worked about 4 other LZ's and then UT5JCW came back to me with a big signal for country #75. When the opening was finished I went to switch antennas to the vertical and realized I WAS on the vertical!

On Oct 28 I got up earlier to see what was on and the band was open already, I worked IT9RZR and then worked 9H1BT for country #76. The signals today were very strong again. The band then moved to SA and I heard PP8KWA, FY5THF/b, TI5KD (on bs). The back scatter then moved to the US. The propagation changed to direct with the US and while working them I heard CT1FOH. Also worked a few CT's, EH's and F's. I made sure and used the beam today, hihi.

Oct. 29th I got up extra early (12Z) to see if I could be ready when the band opened. There is a storm that is stalled over us in the Caribbean and is causing a lot (S7+ at times) of noise on the band. The EA video started at 1315Z but the noise was S7. At 1345 OA5/N6XQ broke through the noise. At 1348 I heard some activity on .110 but because the noise was so loud I figured it would be better to post to the cluster that I would be on .150 but the noise was high so please to bear with me. On the first CQ on .150 G4CBW came booming in. Following him was SV1DH with a big signal for country #77!  Worked a few more SV's a PA and another G when I heard S57A calling. I worked him for #78! The band then bounced around between G, GW, SV, F and I for a while and the noise was subsiding. The pile-up was getting tough at this point so I figured I would see if 5B4FL was in there. He was for country #79 thanks Nick!!!! Well I continued to work the pile and added DL and ON to the countries worked today. Next I heard HB9JAW and worked him for #80! The band started to shift a little more east and I worked 4N1NB for country #81! Got my final new country at 1523z when YO7VS broke through the pile for #82! What an exciting day!!! Overall I worked 5B4, 9A, F, G, GW, HB, I, LZ, ON, PA, S5, SV, YO, YU and 6 new ones. I think I heard an OZ and a JY but could not pull them through the noise caused by the storm here, apologies to those ops. Overall 124 contacts in just about 2 hours. I thank those with the patients to wait on .150 for a few minutes while I waited for the noise to drop a little here. Could have worked many more if not for the WX condx here.

Still raining here Oct. 30th. I got up at 1230Z expecting nothing but S7 noise. The band was open already with EA video peaking S9+40db! Amazing the S7 noise was there but the stations were so strong that they were head and shoulders above it. Worked a few I and S5 stations when I thought I heard IS0. So QRZ IS0? IS0GQX came back strong for country #83. The band then jumped around EU for a while and finally I said please QRX. I then called QRZ only OE, OK, OM which would be new countries for me please call now. I thought I heard something but it was underneath all of the I calls. Then a nice Italian said there is an OE6 calling. QRZ OE6....OE6FGG in the log for country #84! At 1338 I had to QRT for a while to do some work (some of us still have to so we can afford 6M equip, hihi). At 1530 the band was still open to I-land and I figured I would work a few more. At 1544 GI6ATZ came back to my QRZ for country #85. The band had shifted and not many stations were heard here. At 1603 I heard QRZ EI.... on .110 so I called him, it was EI3IX for country #86! Awesome day again. Worked 9A, 9H, CT, EA, EI, F, GI, GW, HB, I, IS0, OE, S5, VO1, YU  which included 4 new ones. Also heard OX3VHF beacon peaking S5 at around 1615 for 15 minutes but no operators, then the band closed for good.

Oct 30 (Cont.) Heard 9G5AN starting about 2150Z until 2347Z. He peaked at about 529 in cw and 51 in ssb but unfortunately no copy on me. I even heard him ask everyone to stand by so he could listen for Caribbean stations only. Think one KP4 worked him and that was it. At the time was hearing 48250 video probably 3C or 5Z.

Oct. 31 no rain and no noise. Unfortunately very few signals also. Managed to work only two stations ZC4FL and SP8NCJ for a new one # 87.  Heard a few others but could not make contact.

Nov. 14, finally had time to spend in front of the radio again. It has been one thing after another here. The storm that we had for the last week of October turned into a hurricane and inflicted some damage to our island on the 3rd and 4th. Fortunately no deaths.  Then my brother got married on the 10th so the prior week was spent helping in any way I could.  Anyway on Nov. 14 I got in front of the radio and the EU video was in quite strong but no signals. At 1335 SM3RNY responded to my CQ for country #88. At 1336 I worked OH1XT for country #89. Who in turn was followed at 1337 by OZ3K for country #90. After working some more stations  I worked LA6HL at 1354 for country #91. Overall I worked stations in LA, SM, SP, OZ, OH, PA, DL.

Nov. 15, turned on radio at 1330 and 48MHz EU videos were in 59+ but no signals in band. Finally at about 1415 49750 started in, still no signals in band. Then at 1430 49750 was 59+ which is the strongest I have heard it. Then OH's started popping in. Worked a few, then tuned up the band and heard ES2CM calling CQ. Worked him for country #92. Also heard GM0EWX calling for US stations in 8,9,0 call areas over and over. Called a couple of times but no luck. Oh well would have been a new one for me (and probably him). Also heard TF4 but again only working US stations. Another new one missed. Also I heard VE8BY/b after band closed to EU. I mention this because this beacon has to be very close to magnetic N. Pole.

Amazing!!!! Nov. 16, Turned on the radio at 1350Z and the signals from EU were 59+40dB. Very widespread opening also. This was definitely the strongest most widespread opening to EU I have ever heard. At 1410 I worked GM0EFT for country #93. Then at 1412 I worked OK1FFD work country #94. At 1439 though the EU pile VO1NE called. I am getting used to VO1's in the middle of EU piles. It seems that from here to EU would be 2 hop F2 and the first hop lands in VO1. Later I worked a VE2 and a few W7's in amongst the EU pileup. Worked DL, GM, G, LA, OK, OZ, PA, SP, SM, VO1, VE2, W7.

Nov. 17, I talked my dad ZF1RC into getting up early today. He got up at 1130Z and the band was dead. At 1330Z I came in the shack to see if anything was going on. I called CQ and was answered by VO1NE which was a good sign. At 1345 I worked GW4VEQ then handed the mike back to ZF1RC. He worked many in EU including 11 new ones. In all he worked 9A, DL, GW, I, OK, OZ, PA, S5, SP, SV, UR, VE, YU. He was very happy to be catching up to my country count after I overtook him about a month back. His country total is now at 87.

Nov. 18 WOW, WOW, WOW!!! BEST DAY ON 6 EVER!!!  I slept in after watching the Leonids shower.  Again ZF1RC got on early to see if he could pick up a few new countries. At 1334 the band opened to EU. He reported that the band began to jump back and forth between the E. coast of the US and EU. With signals being loud S9 and then fading out before shifting back and forth.  Then later the band was open to W7's and EU at the same time with strong signals, before it settled on W7's. He worked DL, ES, G, LA, OE, OH, OK, OM, ON, SP, VE, VP5. Which included 3 new ones. Later at 2324 the band opened direct to JA's with me at the mike. I heard also most of Central and South America, some Caribbean and W5's coming in. Also I was reported in KL7 (which would have been a new one and WAS #50) but they could not break the JA pileup. Signals from JA were strong a true S9 on the meter for about fifteen minutes and the opening lasted about a half hour.  The first 2 JA contacts were made using a vertical here with true S9 signals!!!!

Here is the complete list of JA's worked on Nov 18: JJ1NLR, JG1TLY, JE1PNX, JL1BLW, JA1VOK, JH1IIT, JK1AFU, JM1IGJ, JA1BRK, JA1AUD, JA1DDH, JF1USD, JA9SSB, JH1MCX, JH7MSB, JR3IIR, JA6IMJ, JH0INP, JH6VXP, JA6WW, JA1YW, JF2WXS, JH4IUO, JH4UYB, JA4LKB, JI4EUM, JA4DLP, JA4ZA, JI6QKM, JA5MHD. Should have been more but the QRM from K5's and PY's calling me and the JA's right after they worked me slowed me down a lot. I should have QSY'ed but I did not. Next time.

Nov. 19 was just like Nov. 18th, the band was open all day here. The only difference was that signals were not as strong and the EU opening did not last as long. It did stay open to the W-US for longer. At 1508 I worked OM5KM for #95. Also got into JA again around 00Z but worked only 4 JA's stations. Very good day overall.

Here is the complete list of JA's worked on Nov 19: JJ3AZA/1, JA1UIU, JF1IRW, JF1CZQ.

Nov. 20, The band was trying to open to EU but just did not make it. I heard OH1XT but did not work him. The band opened to the NW US at 1530Z and closed finally at 2000Z. I worked many in VE4,5,6 and picked up some new grids while giving many a new country. The band just does not want to extend north into KL7 for me though. One of these days it will.

Nov. 21, EU video up to 49750 video was 59+20dB but no signals in band. At about 1530Z I heard the OX3VHF beacon so was hoping that an OX operator was around and watching the cluster. Well at 1555Z OX3OX popped in and was working W4's. I called him and he came back to me right away for country #96. I then heard the VE8BY beacon so the band was open way to the north. Ok I thought now shift to the West and KL7 is mine. No such luck. The hunt continues, hihi.  The band also opened to the NW US again but only for a short time.

Nov. 23, The band has been dead for a few days absent the normal TEP to LU, PY, and CX. Listened to many bad operators calling all over each other in a quest to own .110. All they end up doing is causing no one to be able to work anyone on .110. I know this as a fact because I can go back to any one of them and they say QRZ lots of QRM here. Well Duh!!!!

Nov. 24, The band opened to EU again today at 1650 and ZF1RC worked a bunch of stations CT, EH, F, G,  GW, I. He gave the mike to me at 1720. I worked many of the same countries and then people stopped calling me (I must have worked everyone in those countries, hihi). The band stayed for about another 30 minutes.

Dec. 5, Finally after a week and a half of being teased by EU video and hearing lots of static, I worked DL9USA at 1503. Judging from the clusters the band had opened earlier but work called and I did not have the radio on.

Dec. 6, Band opened at 1358Z today to EU. Worked DL, LA, OH, OK, OZ, SM and the band closed at 1538Z. The condx were not real strong but the noise was low and the signals were readable. The band opened first to OZ and the final signal heard was also an OZ. What will tomorrow bring?

Dec. 12, 6M opened to EU again after 5 days of static. Worked DL, G, PA, OZ and heard SM. Spent most of the opening searching for GU or GJ stations. The opening was short lived and the signals were not very strong. This surprised me as the EU videos were all over S9. Still looking for an opening to the Middle East. Also at 1530Z heard OX3VHF/b which lasted for about 1 hour with signals peaking 559. Was hoping to maybe also hear TF if only the beacon but no condx.

Dec. 17, After 5 long days of static, I heard a signal for a second when beaming to the Pacific. Many stations all over the US were working into Hawaii so it probably was a KH6. Anyway at 2341Z I heard a bunch of KP4's on .110 and they were trying to get a station to hear one of the weaker KP4's. So I swung the beam around to see who it was and heard ZD7MY calling CQ  while the KP4's chatted over him. One actually called me after I gave my call for ZD7.  Not a new one for me but it was for ZF1RC who worked him also. Actually at the time I also heard a PY weak I think he was trying to get a KP4?

Dec. 26, After 9 days with nothing special to report other than the OX beacon daily, the band was in terrific shape today. It started with W1,2's and also W4's on scatter path we were all beaming to Eu and working each other with no signals direct, also a KP4 popped in for a minute. Then the prop moved north into VE1 and VO1 on F2. At 15Z I worked VO2AC for my first Zone 2 contact. Very pleased with that after hearing VE8 and OX beacons almost daily but not many operators on. The band then made its way across southern Canada to the PNW. It then moved to the south eastern US then onto the Eastern Caribbean on E-skip. I did manage to work FG5FR for a new one. Then worked FG5BG also. It is funny how that happens I have been stalking them for months then I work two in one day. Thanks guys! The band then changed to include Central America. Finally after sundown the band moved north into the southwest of the US and Mexico on E-skip and PY, LU and CE on TEP. Amazing the band stayed open for 14 hours today with only minor closures of 20mins at a time. In all the band was open for at least 13 hours today. I managed to work CE, FG, FM, KP4, P4, PY, PZ, TG, TI, VE1,2,3,4,5,6,7,(heard VE8),9, VO1,2, W1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0, XE, and YV. Also heard LU and PY0FF beacon. Still no KL7 though :-( Amazing day! To top it off saw on the clusters that I was heard in EU this morning!

Dec. 27, Another good opening on 6m today. I turned the radio on and heard a couple of GI stations really strong so I went to .110 and called 'CQ CQ CQ ZF1DC ZF1DC calling CQ and standing by'. The response I got was an MM0 station coming back saying get off the international DX calling freq! I responded with 'did you get my call'? I suggest he get the wool out of his ears pick up a DXCC listing and see where ZF is! I think that I qualify in Europe as DX! Europe is certainly DX to me and to everyone in the Caribbean! Needless to say once I make a few contacts with Eu on .110 I QSY up the band to a clear freq as others can attest to.  Anyway to hell with him! I worked many EI, G, GM, GI, stations as well as LA, and SM. The signals were super strong today peaking over 59 at times. Then the backscatter started into the US. I heard C6 on CW running a pileup but as I do not operate CW I did not call him. He would have been a new one for me.

Dec. 29, Woke up this morning and the band was open to Europe. Unfortunately I had made arrangements to go fishing (there is life outside of the shack, hihi) so was unable to work DX. My father made a quick contact with GW and that is all.

Dec. 30, I had made arrangements to go on the boat again today but got up at 1330Z to check the band first. My father, ZF1RC, was up already working a massive pileup from the eastern part of Europe. He worked for over 2 hours into Europe and had contacts with the following: DL, EI, ES, G, GM, LY, OH, OM, OL, OZ, PA, SP, SM, UR, and YL. He picked up a few new ones and is quickly catching back up to me in terms of country count. He was nice enough to let me work a YL which was a new one for me #98. I also need LY. Oh well until next opening.

What a way to close out the year!!! Dec. 31, ZF1RC got up to see what time the band actually opened here. After listening for an hour the band opened at 1228Z to FY. At 13Z the band opened to EU. Signals were very strong. He worked 9A, DL, GM, LA, OE, OL, OM, OZ, SM, SP, YO, and YU before handing the mike to me for a turn. At 1337Z I took the mike took over a massive pileup with many signals 59+40dB!! It stayed open to EU until 1430Z when the propagation shifted to the NE US. I worked LY2BAW at 1408Z for #99! At 1442 OY9JD broke a tremendous W1 pileup for country #100!!!!!! He was soon followed by TF8ITT at 1500Z for #101. I am very glad to have worked my 100th and 101st country before the end of the year as this was my goal for 2001 on 6m. Thanks to all of the operators who have made this possible and thanks to the sun "god" who has given us all a terrific year on 6m. The band closed to Eu at 1530Z and the W's hung in until 1630Z. I added EI, ES, G, LY, OH, ON, OY, PA, TF and UR to the list of EU countries worked today from ZF.