Monday, January 25, 2016

How fast it can go downhill.

I went out to the Jeep today during lunch.  The parking lots are clear, but there is snow, snow everywhere! Big heaping mounds of it.

Anyway, I had my cell phone on, and lo and behold, both K5P and VP8STI were spotted all over the place.  A lot of good it did me. I couldn't hear either DXpedition well, on ANY band they were spotted. And sadly, that's the way it's been for me for the entirety of the K5P DXpedition.  Today on 15 Meters - the reports were "Booming In!" and "Loud", and I got all stoked - only to hear them at about 0.5,0.5,9.  They were so weak as to be unworkable. VP8STI?  I heard them decently well for the first time on 20 Meters yesterday afternoon at home. They were all of about 559 to me.  With the pileup wide, wild and wacky, I didn't even see the point of throwing my hat in the ring. I was too tired after all the snow shoveling anyway, so if that removes me from the ranks of avid DXers, so be it.

I decided to go to 20 Meters and call CQ near the QRP watering hole. I was answered by Will K9FO who was a solid 599. I got the same report in return. Just as I was ready to settle in for a nice lunchtime QSO, the Propagation Princess threw a hissy fit and destroyed what could have been a really nice 2X QRP conversation. On the next go round, I had QSB'ed so badly that Will had flipped on the afterburners (all the way to 100 Watts) so that I could hear him come back to me. And I did, but just barely. I had gone nil to him. And thus ended another potentially nice QSO.

Stupid Propagation Princess. What do I have to do, ply her with flowers and chocolates?

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


  1. I have also been puzzled by the comments on the DX spots. K5P has been weak in Minnesota. The few times I have heard K5P well enough to call were around 1800Z on 40 meters. Didn't get through the JA pileup (K5P was calling for NA?) but several others in my club did, so I will give it one more try tomorrow morning.

    Mark W0LM

  2. Good morning Larry, I too have been having some Propagation blues up this way as well. I was home yesterday and the CW sections of the bands were more or less dead. I have switched to JT-65 and JT-9 recently and yesterday I was able to make 4 state side QSO's.
    Have a great week Larry
    73, Mike

  3. Hello Larry, propagation seems to be very local at times. I see VP8STI spotted in EA every day with signals 59. But I was not able to hear them yet on any band. Tried 17m yesterday as they were spotted from the Netherlands, but here it was only noise. Then 30m RTTY, I saw their signal at times and my RTTY program decoded once VP8..., that was all. K5P cannot be heard by most European unless you got a very big antenna system and/or a lot of luck. 73, Bas