With the bands heating up like they are, several new “Firsts” for me have been flying into the logbook. Something I’ve never been able to accomplish was working a major DXpedition. I tried many, many times to work K5D from Desecheo Island back in 2009. I could hear them and so could all the other hams trying to bust the pile up. I guess this is a good problem to have for a successful DXpedition.
I first learned about what a DXpedition was all about soon after getting my ticket in 2007. At a club meeting they showed the DVD from the 3Y0X DXpedition to Peter I Island. I think I was just as fascinated with the logistical efforts of getting all the gear and the people onto the island as I was with the radio operations.
Anyway, I learned of the T32C DXpedition a few months ago and I put the dates in my calendar. The dates were 28 September through 26 October. While I didn’t intend to wait until almost the last moment, it is just how it ended up. The first part of the month I had family in town and this led to some long days in the office and other activities.
Last week I began to get serious about trying to work T32C. After trying and not finding success with K5D, I figured if I could work T32C just once I would be pleased. So I began what I recently blogged about called “The Thrill of the Hunt” to locate T32C. The bands have recently been performing really well and fingers crossed the hunt would go well.
I checked DX Cluster and saw a few US stations reporting T32C on 17 meters SSB. I went down to the shack, turned on the HF rig, the computer and tuned to where the cluster indicated I might find them. Low and behold, I could hear T32C and I could hear the pile up trying to work them. I gave my call sign a few times and within about 5 minutes I had been heard. The T32C operator confirmed my callsign and I logged them in my HRD logbook. I was excited….I had worked my first DXpedition.
The next morning I checked their online logbook and was disappointed to find when I entered my callsign it returned no results. I wasn’t 100% certain of just how long it should or would take for their logbook to get updated. However, I read on Tim Kirby’s, G4VXE blog that he had worked them the same day and he was able to confirm his QSO. While I knew I worked them, I also wanted the confirmation via their website and also I wanted their QSL card to document this special occasion. By the way, the T32C website indicated that if you didn’t see you callsign on their online logbook to try them again. This is exactly what I planned to do.
The next day was Wednesday and I routinely work from home on Wednesday and Fridays. Between the conference calls and a few other urgent tasks I needed to complete, I kept an eye on the DX Clusters and saw them being reported on several bands, but not on 17 meters. I took a short break in the afternoon and found them on 12 meters with very few takers. They heard me on the first call and once again T32C was in my log, but on 12 meters.
Later that evening I went back downstairs and quickly worked T32C on 15, 10 and 20 meters. I was excited and pleased to have worked this DXpedition four times on four different bands in one day. But one thing didn’t feel right..I wanted to get them on 17 meters. I still had several days and would just have to keep trying.
Friday afternoon between conference calls I managed to work Italy and a new DX entity of Netherlands on JT65. Then when spinning the dial on 17 meters, I heard T32C calling CQ. Once I worked out the split frequencies, I replied to their CQ and heard them answer me. I carefully listened to make sure he heard my callsign correctly. QSL….he had.
On Saturday morning I checked and YES….the 17m QSO was showing. As you can see below, I successfully worked T32C on 10, 12, 15, 17 and 20 meters. I’ll call this the T32C Sweep. I’ve gotta admit that I’m somewhat glad my first 17m QSO didn’t end up in their log. I’m afraid I might not have been as motivated to keep trying.
A long story short, I’m really delighted to have worked the T32C Sweep and I look forward to working more DXpeditions. My next goal is to work TX7M. Will you join me? Now I need to go so I can try to find TX7M on the bands.
Until next time,
73 de KD0BIK