VC2X Zone 2 DX-pedition
One more DX-pedition to Zone 2 (Northern Quebec), to one of the rarest Ham Radio zones in the world behind…
1700 km uphill and downhill driving through North Quebec mountains…
Thanks to my friend John, a professional motorbike racer, who gave me an excellent training in night-time mountain`s driving a while ago.
Beauty of Northern Quebec`s mountains...
On the second day of my long driving I came to a small French speaking fishing village called Riviere-Au-Tonnerre scenically situated on the Atlantic coast. I arrived a week early to prepare for the CQ WW DX Contest. During this week I installed and tested my phasing verticals on 80 and 40 meters, Spider Beam on 14-21-28 MHz, Inverted L on 160, receiving arrays, etc….
One can’t expect a good weather in Northern Quebec at the end of October. It kept changing from strong winds to rain, and then back again.
Installation of phased verticals and a Spider Beam on a push-up tower was challenging. I had to call all my experience in radio operating from North of Canada within 10 years to put my antennas in place by myself only.
Finally contest began… I am pleased to admit great condition during CQ WW, especially Long Path on 40 and 20 meters….QSOs on 40 with KH6MB, ZM4T, KH7CW was made after the first call. My favorite homemade phased verticals works perfectly!
I had perfect multi-hours pile-ups on 20 and 15 meters with the 3 elements Spider Beam. I was surprised to see my speed of operation at 250-300 QSOs per hour sometimes on a computer screen indicated by N1MM software. Unfortunately on first day of CQ WW the driven element on 10 meters was damaged by a strong gusting wind, and SWR got too high.
Putting down the tower in a storm seemed impossible. I practically lost the antenna on 10 meters, what affected my final score. Luckily another bands were unaffected.
The last hour of CQ WW also was good – 9M8YY, BA7CK, YE2R, BD4GNV break through North American`s pile-up… My “CQ contest” on the very last minute gave me a new one – JW7QIA…
CQ WW SSB 2012 was over…
Next morning I was still under impression of the past CQ WW. However, I did not know that my challenges were not even remotely over. Hurricane Sandy hit Quebec on Monday…. For the entire Monday, I had no chance to put down any antennas.
Gusting wind heavily shake the cottage. I felt like I am going to fly up in the sky with the cabin.
I couldn’t expect that the second day was going to be better. But from my previous DX-peditions to Northern Canada I knew, that wind is down before sunrise for 20-30 minutes. 20 minutes were enough to put down the Spider and all verticals.
I took me a few hours to pack and load my equipment to Toyota Camry.
It’s mystery even for me how this car accommodates 2 big YAESU transceivers, 1 kW PA, 1200 feet (!) of the coax, 360 feet (!) of aluminum pipes, rolls with radial, a few hundred feet of rope, and other various things such as a big hammer and grounding rods for a receiving array..
I had wonderful vacation operating in a CQ World-Wide Contest. This make me always happy.
Now I see my weak points and ways of improvement. I’m pretty sure that I will be back to Zone 2 to CQ WW next year.
Thank you to all who called me during contest, also my big thanks to Jack VA3ATT, Max VE3CCN, Raco VA3YP, Igor VE3KAO and Serge UT5IA for their great help in the DX-pedition preparation.
I hope to come back to Rivierre-Au-Tonnere to CQ WW again soon.