Mission half accomplished

Not really believing it myself, I sit here in the shack at 4:42 AM (0942 UTC), coffee-less and typing into this computer.  My plan of getting up early and losing very precious moments of sleep did pan out.  I now have K1N in the log!

Knowing I was going to be up super early, I decided to leave the shack computer running, after last night's failed attempt on 40 Meters. We must have had a power failure during the night, because when I got down here, the computer was off.  So I re-booted and while waiting for the microprocessor to do it's thing, I turned on the KX3. Lo and behold, K1N had not budged from the frequency that they were on when I left them last night.


On a hunch, I decided to activate the KX3's dual watch, sub receiver. This time, after listening for a bit, I was able to determine the split was a manageable "up 5" (not like last night, where the split was something like "up 10-15 and everywhere in between") and I started sending my call. Within 12 minutes at 0912 UTC, I was in the log. As an aside, let me state outright - my fist at 4:00 AM without coffee was NOT a thing of beauty. Not at all - it was almost like I couldn't get my hand to work right. I was actually staring at it for a few moments wondering "What's going on here? You know how to do this!"

After a few seconds of happy dancing, the shock wore off. "What do I do now? Go back to bed?" I really hadn't expected to be successful so soon. Better judgement was telling me to go back and get a few more Z's before beginning the work day, but Ham judgement took over. "No, since I'm up this early, let's try 80 Meters." You'd do the same thing, right?

K1N's signal was a tad weaker on 80 Meters as compared to 40 meters, but I decided to give it a go, anyway. After listening with the KX3's sub receiver, I was able to determine that again, the split was manageable, and not all over creation. Even better, the K1N op's movements were steady and predictable. At 0938 UTC, I was in the log on 80 Meters!  Holy cow!  Two bands, within a half an hour of each other!  The rest of my day is either going to go extremely well, or it's all downhill from here. The KX3, KXPA100 and my W3EDP did their job for me - thanks Elecraft, and mucho thanks to the K1N ops for digging me out of the pileup.

Enjoying a well deserved "Cuppa Joe" after some early morning success!

And yes, as per this blog post title, the mission is only half accomplished. With the remaining time that they are there on Navassa, W2LJ will make another attempt, on another band, to get into their log once again - this time with QRP power. Since K1N probably won't be activated for another 25 years or so, the first goal was just to get them in the log with my new DX Rule - WFWQL (Work First Worry About QRP Later). With that monkey off my back, I can relax somewhat and now try to beat the pileups with 5 Watts.

Hopefully, that will be another interesting story that I will be able to write about.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

5 Responses to “Mission half accomplished”

  • Joe KB3PHL:

    According to what I read Navassa Island will be activated again in 10 years.

  • Joe KB3PHL:

    Of course there probably won’t be anymore DXpeditions in the near future, judging by the rude & absolute moron behavior of the LID Hams who don’t seem to understand how to work split frequencies & who don’t know how to listen to the operators instructions. Then the LID’s have the audacity to get mad at other Ham’s who are trying to tell them that the operator is working split. If this is the poor caliber of Ham radio operators that are coming into our hobby then I think Ham Radio is doomed to become as bad as CB radio!

  • David:

    Joe, it was predicted what was going to happen to Amateur Radio when the requirements were lowered. The Government did not listen and some people were looking for increased numbers with regard to licenses. Unfortunately, the quality of candidates was of no factor, and ….. here we are today.

    Joe , you are correct.

  • Joe KB3PHL:

    Well Dave I’ve only been licensed since 2007 so according to the old timer Hams I would be considered to be one of the dreaded no-coders that they don’t like. They probably think I’m one of those poor quality operators. But I’ve always been a believer in what the hobby of Ham Radio is all about so I’m not about to ever behave like a LID operator.

  • Dave K1THP:

    Joe, Don’t let the old timers get you down. I have been a ham for 54 years and back around 2007 was asked to Elmer a new ham wantabe. He now has his Extra and is working to build a decent station with several towers ect. He already has a K3 and an amp at home and hf mobile in his car. He is working to build his code speed and do everything we oldtimers do. His enthusiasm as resparked my interest in some of the aspects of the hobby that I had previously tried and let go. So I am still a QRPer but am now messing with SDR, APRS and WSpR. I am building Mag Loops and working SOTA. Lets hear it for the new guys!

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