Class: Multi-Op HP
Operating Time (hrs): 24
Total: QSOs = 2666 State/Prov = 41 Countries = 15 Total Score = 149,296
ABOVE: Sunset at ZL6QH, looking towards the short path to Asia/Europe (over the Tasman sea) and the 40 metre tall mast supporting the 160M antennas.
Over New Year the ZL6QH site was visted by 200 km/hr breezes. As a result, the 10M and 20M yagis were retired from active service, along with newly installed 160M and 80M sloping dipoles. With team leader Brian ZL1AZE in the climbing harness, a support crew (safely on the ground) of ZL2BCW, ZL2AOV and ZL2BSJ managed to get the antenna farm semi-operational again.
One of our 80m field day dipoles was re-incarnated as a 160M sloping dipole. In order to minimise receiver blocking from the Wellington GPS correction transmitter on 1818 kHz, the sloper was carefully rotated and fixed on North America.
That gave us a choice of 3 antennas to transmit on: an EU/JA sloping dipole, a VE/USA sloping dipole and the Tee, a top-loaded GP. Vee beams were used on a 2nd receiver for RX-only.
The newly rigged slopers were found to be good for dodging ZL digi QRM. Only 1815 through to 1821 kHz was completely wiped out. The choice of antennas paid off: more unworkable 160 m stations heard than ever before :-)
Condx had to be better than ARRL-160 and Stew Perry, and so it was. However, no long path to the British Isles at ZL sunset both evenings. The short path to Eastern and Central EU was also poor on both mornings although Monday morning produced better signals. The QRM must have been significant in Europe as not much of it was workable. Time was passed by pouncing on the dozens of EU stations and spotting those that couldn't hear us (most of them). The short path briefly extended as far west as DL as the band faded 40 minutes after sunrise. No Scandinavia heard.
North America was far easier both nights, with K9DX the first QSO in the log. At times good S9 signals from OR,CA, CO stations such as K7RAT AA0RS etc.
Most of NA seemed workable with a bit of perseverance, even the elusive Far Side. The occasional USA op could not be convinced to repeat their State more than once,or grudgingly, twice. Deleted as incomplete QSOs, those ops later refused to work us: 'QSO b4'
Good activity out of JA and UA9 (JH4UYB strong for hours) despite digi QRM covering most of the JA window. Not much action out of the remainder of Asia. No SA or Africa heard.
Last year's spectacular propagation (according to ZL6QH contest lore) clearly didn't eventuate this year. Summer static was a problem at times, and our score is down 50% of last year's. Nevertheless, the band was as good as can be expected from here. We worked stations and enjoyed being on 160M.
Thanks for working ZL6QH. QSL via bureau or direct via ZL2AOH. We're brooding on plans to somehow wring more 160M dBs out of the site.
for ZL6QH ops ZL1AZE ZL2BSJ
MA NH NY DE MD GA KY NC FL SC TN VA AR NM TX CA AZ ID MT NV OR UT WA MI OH WV IL IN WI CO IA KS MO SD NS PE NF ON SK AB BC
HS JA JT KH0 KH2 KH6 KL KP2 UA UA2 UA9 VK XE YB ZL