Day 6

Nearly 11000 qso’s in the log. Propagation is not with us, some rare openings towards EU and JA this afternoon, NA and SA still difficult. FT8 expedition mode is helping us out. EME on 2m on the other hand is a big success , nearly 200 contacts so far, the vast majority ATNO! By tomorrow morning, the 300 mark will be made.

Day 5 full update

Yesterday we had a good start.

In the early morning we had all our eyes to the lowbands. 160 & 80m are weak open, but with the good working ears of our CW-ops we could make a unexpected number of Q’s on those bands.

After the grey-line we started well on the other HF-bands,… till…….. ALL power down at 8:00hr local time. The City of Bilene without electricity. With the help of the owner of our lodge, we had in short time a solution with a rented power generator(at12:00hr loc time),….but we could only work without the amplifiers.

At 13:00hr we saw the lights blink, so we had power again….

Not much later we had on the bands 12-20m a good rating of Q’s. But like we saw since the start of the dxpedition, the propagation goes as fast as she came. A even more higher noice-level as normal was noticed on all bands, especially on the lowbands. We switched during the night to FT8, because even the CW-ops couldn’t get any callsign out the noise

During the overview of our scores we concluded that especially USA is difficult to work, even we get all the times our antennas to the VOACAP-direction. Our lodge is at the South-side of a hill. We contacted the owner of that property and have the permission to use his property for 1 antenna. So, tomorrow morning we will replace our 5-band Spiderbeam to the top of that hill (120m further and 50m higher). To do this, we do the most possible effort to work USA(NA + SA) and EU.

Also our EME-system works fine,.. Marc is almost living on the beach, and he have taken the interest for EME-Q’s from a few other op’s from the team.

CU hopefully tomorrow for a new update….


Day 4 Update

On the air now, a bit later than expected due to power problems. But hey, this is Africa… Watch the cluster, the bands will be activated in the coming hours. Happy hunting!

Day 4

C8T is off the air since 6am. After massive pile-ups on 80 and 40m (to NA and SA – finally…) and 60m cw, main power in the village went down. Hope to be back soon. Time for scenery pics: a view on a four square.

Day3 update

We are well arrived at our dxpedition-location.

The first moments told us, it would be a great location if the huge mountain to direction North wasn’t there. We have nice take-of to all directions, except between 320° and 45°. The first evening we discussing the different antenna-locations and start to build the EME-system near the shack where we had some light, also we started to install the radio’s in the shack.

The next morning the problems started………

We found also we don’t have the promised power we need for our full equipment. Only 1 x 10Amps is not enough. The owner of the lodge told us it will be fixed, and after 1 day more it was. The electricity company came over with 3 x 80Amps .  Also the internet-access wasn’t stable enough to use our pre-programmed software to upload each minute.

When we connected our systems to the power, ALL our power supplies of our laptops, one of our laptops, and a K3 died because high voltage. So this isn’t the best start. We lost 1 station before the first CQ… and need to find a solution for our laptops…..

We had also a few issues with our RTTY-software but we should be normally stay on our frequency now.

Now, all our 4 HF-stations are in the air. 1 SSB + 1 CW + 1 RTTY + 1 mixed. All the antenna’s are up from 160m – 6m and the BEV to the North.

We moved the EME-system from the first location to the BEACH, where we have possibility to follow the moon from Horizon-Horizon !!! We have already 70 Q’s in the log on 2m EME, from all over the world. The EME-system works well.

The propagation is not with us. It’s very difficult to work NA, but ASIA came in very well. We have higher noise level on low bands, but it’s doable. Only we have complete NO propagation during a few hours a day. The bands opening in a few seconds, but after a short pile-up is close even fast!

We do the best we can,….