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Zone 2 History was made last week

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    Zone 2 History was made last week

    08 Nov 2019

    Hi Gang
    Jeff and I just got back from a one week "mini dx'pedition" to ZONE 2. Three ferries and about a 2400km roundtrip drive to 50.112 North from PEI was made with the express purpose of giving ZONE 2 to our JA 160m friends.
    Prior to our trip, only one single JA station had ever managed a qso with ZONE 2 on Topband and that was JA7HMZ about 35 years ago - so this zone was much needed by most 160m JA dx'ers. Quite of few of our 160m JA friends have been stuck at 39 zones on 160m for many years - so this was our chance to help them get ZONE 2 for #40.
    So without too much bandwidth - here is our report:
    QRV 31 October to 04 November 2019
    Roughly 350 stations worked on Topband - in 42 DXCC countries (we could have worked more but we took lots of time off in order to sleep and then get up for the JA window from about 0715z - 1110z.) We tried some CW but signals were very very weak and FT8 proved the only possible way to complete contacts to JA.
    It was pretty exciting to work these (6) JA friends:
    We decoded no other JA signals on our side- but we know we were decoded by these other JA stations:
    JH7PFD (two decodes)
    JE6KYA (one decode)
    JA1EOD (several decodes).
    We think that each JA qso that was made completed WAZ 40 on Topband for these JA friends. (meaning ZONE 2 was most likely their last one needed).
    Steve VK6IR called us on ON4KST chat saying he had been chasing ZONE 2 on 80m for 5BWAZ for 45 years and asked if we could work him on 80m. We did not know about 80m since the antenna had not been tested for that band but, after checking it with my analyst, I found it resonated at about 3778kHz. Steve said he could not do SSB there - so I asked him if he could do digital. YES! was his reply and we managed a qso on FT8 a few minutes later.
    After we uploaded our LOG FILE to LOTW (completed on 06 November) - within minutes there were 37 DXCC entities instantly confirmed via LOTW - including VK6IR and all (6) lucky JA friends we had worked.
    So we are happy we helped some of our JA friends with WAZ 40 - and, at the same time, we are a bit disappointed that we could not do more. The A/K were lousy on nights one and two - things got better on night 3 when we worked the first 4 JA's - nights 5 and 6 produced one JA qso each - meaning JA8WKE and JA3FYC.
    One amusing final fact - it was roughly a 2400km trip to there and back - so this works out to about 400km per JA qso.
    KOWABUNGA! but we had a great time trying this - and are pleased we had some limited success in doing so.
    We wish to mention our special thanks to Don Toman (K2KQ) and to Frank Donovan (W3LPL) for their kind assistance with our antenna planning. Their input and suggestions were invaluable in making this happen!
    73/88 de Miriam (VY2NA) and Jeff VY2ZM
    73 Al 4L5A