Plenty of new DX entities coming
Because of the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles as single political entity effective 10/10/10 (one of those dates that you don’t have to worry about whether that is in “American” or “rest of the world” format), the status of some existing DXCC entities will change. The details of this have been discussed elsewhere and the ARRL has said that there will be new entities formed for DXCC award purposes. All of those locations are in the Caribbean, and all are easy to work from the US, particularly from the east coast where I’m located. Because of the way that the DXCC program works, anyone who wants to keep their DXCC totals up will need to work all the “new” entities in order for them to count for award credit. To help out all those who will be interested in contacting these new entities (and there will be a lot of us), DXpeditions have been planned to activate all of those islands starting on the 10/10/10 date. I hope that everyone keeps in mind the DX Code of Conduct that I wrote about last week. It’s going to be tempting for everyone to try to force their way into the pileups, but it’s important to realize that: A) The operators working the DXpeditions are experienced and in all likelyhood they will work you and B) Even if you aren’t able to work those DXpeditions, all the islands have regular activity and they’ll be on the air again soon.
The different DXpedtions agreed on a bandplan to minimize the interference between themselves. My recommendation is that you print out a copy of this document (PDF file) and keep it at your operating location. By following the bandplan, you’ll have a much better chance of working the station that you think you’re working.
Be patient, you’ll work them, these are not difficult islands to get to and it’s not worth getting into an on-air fight in an attempt to work them. Be courteous and you should have a good shot. Good luck.
Keith, if you are replacing your 2m beam, why not build youserlf a small Moxon beam? If you google moxon beam you will find a program to give you the measurements for your frequency of choice. Very easy to build with a couple of lengths of wire and some plastic pipe.