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Author Topic: When to Listen for the Indian Ocean  (Read 1853 times)

Posts: 19

« on: March 14, 2012, 06:26:12 PM »

I worked about 280 countries while in Alaska but I was only able to work into the Indian Ocean one night for a couple hours and only worked a FR and 3B8. Now that I am in NC I have picked up 5R which I never heard in Alaska but was always showing up in the DX newsletters back in the mid-90s. I still need some fairly common entities like S7, 8Q, and 3B9. I never seem to hear them even though there seems to be small periodic activity.

I have really only been active here for several months so I am wondering if openings from the east coast to the Indian Ocean are more seasonal or if I need to be listening at a different time or band. I have just put up a TH3 at 20 feet so I am hoping that the height will not pose a serious restriction on my ability to work into that part of the world.

Richard NC4EF

Posts: 3664


« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2012, 07:11:00 PM »

20 feet is a little low for 20m, but you should do OK on 10 and probably 15 as well. You need to be about a quarter wavelength above terrain for optimal performance (and for the most part, the higher the better for all that good long-haul work).

Looking at my log, most of my 5Rs have been in either April or Oct/November, usually 00z to 04z or mornings or 16z to 20z (although I've worked into 5R in the summer and winter as well.

S7 has been mostly March-May, 21z to 03z, as well as surrounding CQWW-SSB and in mid-November, 16-19z.
8Q was mostly November through April (though that may have to do more with the fact that people going to that island paradise do so in the heart of winter).  My 8Qs have been at all times of the day/night. 18-23z more than any other time but also 12-18z
3B8/3B9, mostly has been Jacky 3B8CF, usually around 0200z to 0400z on 20 and down. On the higher bands it's been all over the map in terms of months, but usually after the two equinoxes and 16-21z. If you have anything for 30 and 40m, you'll probably get 3B8CF on those bands fairly easily, especially if you can get an antenna over 50' up.
Night gathers and now my watch begins. It shall not end until I reach Top of the Honor Roll.

Posts: 1000

« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 01:58:15 AM »

The path to that area of the world is probably my toughest from Colorado.  Being on the east coast should make it a bit easier for you.  I tend to disagree with Peter, I think an antenna only 20' high will be a pretty severe impediment.  Since stations operating from that general area tend to be fairly rare, you will be at a double disadvantage because you'll not only need favorable propagation, but you'll probably be dealing with a fairly significant pileup too.

To figure out times, use DX Summit's search feature.  Pick the call of some stations you know are active from that area and see what times they have been posted by others in your general area.  3B8CF is a veritable propagation beacon, he would be a good one to start with.  There's also regular activity from can search by DXCC prefix as well as full call.  Europeans go to 8Q pretty often for holiday.  If you see them spotted, search to see if anybody from the US is getting thru.

Back before the days of internet spotting I used a local DX packet cluster in a similar way.  I need 9N on CW back then and I knew G3SXW was going there.  Now Roger's as good as it gets, but it was the bottom of the sunspot cycle and he was only taking a barefoot rig and a vertical.  Knowing that Nepal is virtually the same path as India, I did a search to see when our local guys were getting thru to VU.  Well, there was about a 20 minute window on 20 meters.  Roger had announced his transmit frequency, so I just listened during that time period on his frequency.  Lo and  behold, I was rewarded with a weak but solid QSO with 9N1SXW.  He was calling CQ NA and I was first in line!  He only worked a few NA that day, but quite a few QSOs were with Colorado!
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 02:00:04 AM by K0RS » Logged

Posts: 713

« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 01:54:57 PM »

I worked a few of those entities (3B8, 3B9, VQ9, etc.) last November when the Solar Flux was hitting around 175. Since then I've worked a few Indian Ocean stations but not like it was back in November. I wish those conditions would return again soon Smiley

John K7KB
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