7QNL – Malawi

    Remco, 7QNL / PA3FYM updates exclusively for DX-World readers.

    As I type this, I am in Majete Wildlife Reserve Park (Malawi) with an elephant at approx 20m distance from my ‘tent’ (in fact it’s a house, but with a ‘tent roof’ on it). I admit..it’s a bit scary!

    Firstly, Alex PA1AW is doing an outstanding job. Although asked for QSL-management, he helps me in getting the data and information across. We have limited internet access and with SMS (text messaging) he acts as pilot station. Thanks Alex!

    The station in Thondwe (near Zomba) runs well and no (unforeseen) difficulties were encountered, despite the remarks/questions concerning the callsign(s) used. To make a long story short: Yes..I am licensed to use both 7QNL and 7Q0NL. 7Q0NL was a prepared/disappointing (not believing the inflexibility of the HAM community) ‘plan B’ for the WPX contest.

    The dedicated/home brew 7QNL amp works flawlessly and pushes max 1 BHP into the antennas on the higher bands, resulting (calculated) in around 2.5 kW EIRP using VDAs on 10, 15, and 20m. 40m uses a deltaloop, fed 1/4wl from the apex. Club Log stated that 40m SSB resides in the Top 10 most wanted, so I gave some people this one. Propagation to JA was very good on 40m. Worked loads of JA’s. The RX-Beverages helped tremendously.

    Pile ups: although they are big, no problems managing them. Perhaps the spread in SSB may be increased somewhat (e.g. 15 kHz) but after almost every QSO I am/was able to pick someone out quickly. If it took longer, I listened to weak(er) stations to give them a chance too. Btw, the whole operation is recorded. RTTY pile ups are easy: just tune, press F2, then F3, tune (repeat N times 😉

    Power outages are a bit frustrating. Although forecasted, I apologize to the pile up(s). Bear in mind… this is Africa.

    Next week will be dedicated to the WARC bands (12, 17 & 30m), and perhaps 6 & 80m.

    Regards, Remco 7QNL / 7Q0NL / malawihf.org / PA3FYM.