Saturday, October 27, 2007

My First DX Contacts

In the world of amateur radio, a DX contact is a contact made with a station located in a different country. I have had privileges for the HF bands--the bands usually necessary for the long distance contacts--for about seven months. Today, I made my first three DX contacts. For the first one, I'm not totally sure that the other operator got my callsign correctly, but on the next two, I'm pretty confident.

All of these contacts were on the 15-meter band which for me lately has been pretty quiet. However, this is the weekend of the CQ Worldwide DX SSB Contest. My first contact was with 6F75A with the Federacion Mexicana de Radio Experimentadores Amateur Club. The club appears to be located in Juarez, Mexico, just across the border from El Paso, Texas. I did not record the details on this contact. Juarez is 1400 miles from me.

The next contact was with VP9I located on the island of Bermuda. VP9I is the station of the VP9I DX Club. The contact was at 2100Z on 27 October 2007 on a frequency of 21220.66 kHz. I was running 50 watts at the time. His information was "59 05" meaning that his copy on me was great, hence the "59", and that he was located in CQ Zone 05. The "59" is a little misleading. Many contesters simply provide a "59" report because it is the easiest. In fact this contester had to ask me to repeat my information a couple of times. Bermuda, by the way, is 1100 miles from me.

The third DX contact was with V26B at 2118Z on 27 October 2007 on a frequency of 21211.75 kHz. His report was "59 08". I was running 75 watts this time. V26B is the station of Team Antigua and is located in the Carribean. Antigua is part of the Leeward Islands and is 2000 miles from me.

I also heard and tried to work AO8A on the Canary Islands. He was quite loud here at my location. The Canary Islands are 3800 miles from me.

For my station, I was using a Yaesu FT-897D and feeding a Buddipole antenna. I was using a Heil ProSet Plus boomset and had the DX microphone element activated. I was using the Heil HS-2 push button for quick push-to-talk action.

I had fun making these contacts and will try to make some more this weekend.