The DXpedition 2001 to
Swaziland in the deep south of the African continent was an uncertain new
challenge. How would six metres be? Experience and advice on conditions were
either rare or very negative - 7P8AA couldnít get any QSOs on 50MHz.
The Mountain Inn in Mbane was
at approximately 1300 m. The other mountains in the surrounding were no more
than 300 or 400 m high. After the station was set up, the first disappointment
set in; neither beacons nor other signals could be received. It was very
difficult to determine the right direction for Europe, because the compass had a
hard time revealing a definite North direction.
the 6-element yagi by the rooms at the
highest point of the Mountain Inn.
Tireless CQ calls eventually
earned the first entry in the log with the call from SV1JG on 1st October at
16.10 GMT; there were then daily contacts until the last day, 12th October. The
highlights were the excellent openings on 3rd October and 6th October, with 123
and 125 QSOs respectively, though the local conditions on 6th October with fog
and continuous rain were more than bad.
Wolf, DL4WK listening hard for signals on six
Stations from 28 countries
(3DA, 4X, 5B, 9A, 9H, DL, EA, EA6, EY, F, HB9, I, IS, JY, LZ, OD, OE, OK, ON,
OZ, S5, SM, SP, SV, UR, YO, YU, ZC4) were worked. The conditions and the IC 706
didnít allow more. It turned out only later that the IC 706 had a damaged
filter-unit, which severely reduced the sensitivity.
Our worst fears did not
materialise, 334 QSOs were entered into the log. Our experience was that
Southern Africa had conditions that were similar to those of the Northern
Hemisphere, very changeable and extremely varied.
some of the team with members of the
Swazi Radio Society (left to right): sigi DL7DF, Frank DL7UFR, Willy
3DA0BD, Andy 3DA1BD, Reiner DL7KL.
UKSMG Six News issue