Saturday, April 04, 2009

Saturday Surprise

I got a nice surprise this afternoon while tuning around the bands. There are a couple of contests going on, but nothing I was participating in, and the only interesting DX that I was looking for was VK9GWM, the guys out on the rather rare Mellish Reef for a DXpedition. I hadn’t heard them today and was just starting to think that they’d might be showing up on 30m or 40m at around 2100Z or so. Meanwhile, I saw a spot for Chris, TL0A in the Central African Republic.  Although I have worked many of the countries on the African continent, that’s one of the few that I haven’t worked, so I tuned to the 17m frequency from the spot but heard nothing. I left the radio on that frequency while I was doing some other work in my shack/office. A few minutes later, someone spotted that TL0A had moved to 20m on 14.200Mhz. I tuned there quickly, hoping to beat the crowds, and I got there just in time to hear a French-accented voice says “…210”. I didn’t know if he was working split (listening on 14210) or moving there, so I did what I always recommend: I listened.

It turned out that Chris had move to 14.210 and was working simplex there. I heard him complete a contact, and I called, but he pulled out another station. Still, nobody had spotted that he’d moved there, so I thought I still might have a chance to work him before the pileups began. He finished a brief contact, and I called him again. This time, he heard me and I was able to have a brief chat with him. Within a couple of minutes, he’d changed to working split and started getting spotted on the cluster. Listening to the pileups that followed, it was obvious that if I hadn’t gotten to him before he was spotted on his new frequency, there is no way that I would have made the contact.

The lesson here is that you have to be persistant and you have to listen.

On a totally unrelated note, thanks to Scot, KA3DRR for assigning me shackadelic number 007 … and he didn’t even know that I’m a James Bond fan!

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