T32C Christmas Island DXpedition (Update 2)

T32C Christmas Island DXpedition (Update 2)

This update was sent by Don, G3XTT earlier today.

With two weeks still to go, T32C now has over 100k QSOs in the log, including 22k with Europe (and 23k with Asia), our target area.
As the JA and US pile-ups continue to diminish, we hope the percentage of EU will increase. However, the decline in solar activity since we first started has not helped. That said, we are on track to set at least a few new records.

We have been increasingly active on RTTY, with 6.5k QSOs now on that mode and increasing rapidly. The demand for RTTY, as all DXpeditions have discovered in recent years, seems to be never ending.

We continue to cover as many band/mode openings as we can, with the equipment we carried here – we are well aware that the situation would have been better had our container of equipment arrived, as we would have had the opportunity to install a greater variety of antennas, and would have had linears at all operating positions. Nevertheless, we feel justified in pressing ahead with the expedition – 100k QSOs in 9 days, Field Day style, can’t be bad! That said, it has been a constant battle to keep everything working – an antenna party a week into our operation found lots of saltwater corrosion in connections and coax and guys that were badly abraded, just as one example.

We are currently able to operate two stations simultaneously on 10, 15 and 20 and are looking at being able to do the same on 12 and 17 to make the most of the main band openings, but with limited coaxial cable (it’s heavy to hand carry!) we are having trouble achieving the antenna separation we ideally need.

There is a team changeover tomorrow (Wednesday our time), when 11 operators leave and another 11 arrive, with 16 remaining for the whole period. The incoming team are bringing a couple more FT-450D radios and one more amplifier, as well as some other useful items. We stopped operations for a couple of hours yesterday evening our time for a party to wish the outgoing operators well.

It’s not all work, work, work here on Christmas. Apart from last night’s “Christmas Party” (which was, naturally, attended by Santa himself), a couple of groups have been deep-sea fishing when not on operating duty, with great success. The local people that we have met in our travels have been, without exception, friendly and helpful. It’s a fascinating location, with some equally fascinating history (some of which appears on our website)

T32C Publicity Officer