Last updated: 2003-02-09 (Caution: Links not being maintainted!)
Notice: © 1994 to 2003, Chris R. Burger. This document may be reproduced as required for personal use, and may be freely referenced from other Web sites. However, publication elsewhere requires express written permission from the author.
This listing shows the number of current DXCC countries (or "entities") worked on each frequency band by southern African stations. To level the playing field to the greatest extent possible, the listed scores do not include deleted countries. The total number of possible countries for this list is 335.
Apart from single band totals, we also list a five band total and a ten band total. The five band totals are for 28, 21, 14, 7 and 3,5 MHz. These are the bands that are valid for the major five-band awards like 5BWAC, 5BDXCC, 5BWAZ and 5BWAS. From the tables, it's obvious that the level of competition is much higher on these bands than on the remaining five.
The ten band totals also include 50, 25, 18, 10 and 1,8 MHz.
This Survey has been published regularly since 1994. I decided during 2000, after the SARL started restricting access to the List to members only, that it was time to remove the List from their clutches and publish it independently. Through the kindness of Bernie van der Walt ZS4TX and his partner Frank de Beer at CMS in Bloemfontein, the List found a new home. I then started updating the List as regularly as contributions are received, and added a section describing ongoing activity. I intend to keep this pattern going, provided that inputs are received. Apart from a current version that contains freshly-updated lists and a summary of ongoing activity, I will also publish an annual summary. This document is the second such annual summary.
For this summary, the lists have been extended to a Top Ten (rather than a Top Six) in every category, to give an indication of other activity below the Top Six. Unfortunately, the response to my request for information from those who don't quite make the Top Six was disappointing. As it takes a huge amount of time and effort just to nag those already on the list to keep their scores current, I have not individually approached these individuals. The result is that their information is several years old in some cases.
You can also see a current version of the Top Six on this Site. That document also provides links to previous versions, including a summary for previous years and a comparable survey in Britain, published during 2001.
Chris R. Burger ZS6EZ
0001 South Africa
Movers and shakersThe following individuals have improved their rankings, or entered the tables for the first time:
ZS1EL: 10 MHz.
ZS2NJ: 25 MHz (new), 18 MHz (new).
ZS4TX: 28 MHz (+2).
ZR6DXB: 50 MHz (new).
ZS6AJD: 28 MHz (new), 25 MHz (+5), 21 MHz (new), 18 MHz (+6), 5 Band, 10 Band.
ZS6AJS: 18 MHz (new).
ZS6KR: 28 MHz (+2), 14 MHz, 7 MHz (+2), 3,5 MHz, 5 Band (+2).
ZS6NB: 28 MHz (+3), 25 MHz (new), 5 Band (new).
ZS6NK: 50 MHz.
ZS6P: 28 MHz, 21 MHz (new).
ZS6WB: 7 MHz.
Those marked "new" are new entries to the list, and those marked "+2", "+5" or "+6" moved up by the relevant number of slots. Unmarked entries moved up by a single slot in their respective rankings.
Activity during 2002: The short version
Note: This section is an abbreviated version of the full diary. The original version is available at the end of this document.
Unfortunately, 2002 was not a good year for amateur radio at ZS6EZ. I was retrenched during February, and have had to work very hard to eke out a living. Amateur radio has had to take a back seat. Accordingly, the diary is not as comprehensive as it was in previous years.
January: ZS6NK is the new callsign for Paul Smit, previously ZS6PJS. Several JD1 stations are active from Haha Island, counting as Ogasawara. OH3JR was active as A35VK, although apparently not worked in southern Africa. ZD9IR was ZS6RI, active mainly on the high bands. VP8THU from South Sandwich and VP8GEO from South Georgia showed up, using modest equipment. They were worked on most bands from here. Other activity included V6, YA and S9. Chile showed up on 10 MHz at last. P5/4L4FN appeared again after a holiday back home, with activity on RTTY and SSB.
The sun produced some fireworks, producing a secondary peak of activity as Cycle 23 was winding down. The northern half saw amazing 50 MHz propagation, but in the Lower Half there was nothing. K1JT's DSP software, WSJT, came into use locally, when ZS6WB and ZR1TEE made the first 144 MHz contact using this mode.
February: VP8GEO closed down, after having been worked on at least 8 bands and 3 modes from here. YN4RBO was a Swede, who was regularly active on CW. ZS6UT was working 1,8 MHz most mornings. 4L4FN/P5 was worked on 15 m from here, giving some South Africans their last country. Several Italians were active from 5U. YA5T continued to be active, mainly on CW. H40T was a group of Germans. Despite lots of activity, they were hard to work from here. After a while, a few ZS stations worked them on 7 MHz.
The CW part of the ARRL DX Contest produced good conditions. ZS4TX produced over 200 QSOs on 3,5 MHz. No other ZS stations were competing, but ZS1NF, ZS5RON, ZS6AJS, ZS6DDX, ZS6EGB and ZS6EZ were all active for a while.
PW0T showed up from Trinidade. DL7CF and friend were active from Nicaragua as H7DX. Other activity, partially generated by the ARRL DX Contest, included 9G, 9L, C3, KG4, KP2, OH0, OY, PJ8, VP2V, VP9, YA. ZS4TX showed up from Lesotho as 7P8Z, giving several locals a new country on 50 MHz. A VU was also worked on that band.
TI9M was initially very hard to work, but with lots of stations going into the log, hope waxed eternal. Even PW0T proved frustrating initially, although the contacts started rolling after a few days. TI9M eventually became workable when they started listening for Africa occasionally.
DJ6SI and friends were in RASD as S07X and S07V. ZS6NK worked JX7DFA on 50 MHz, for the first ever Zone 38 to Zone 40 QSO on that band.
March: TI9M continued to thrill locals. In the end, there were 14 ZS contacts in the log, representing eight callsigns, six bands and two modes. H40T, H7DX, PW0T and YA5T were also still around. ZY0SAT appeared unannounced. P5/YT1AD was worked on 21 MHz CW from here, but proved to be bogus. Hrane was in North Korea, but could not get on the air.
VP6DI put Ducie Island on the air for the first time. Several locals made it, mainly on 21 MHz. XR0X was a German group from San Felix. 4L5O, VR2XMT and VU2TO were worked on 50 MHz. H40 and KG4 were active on HF. ZS6IR and ZD9IR were active in the WPX Phone contest.
April: P5/4L4FN was accepted for DXCC credit, making many DXers very happy. No CW activity was forthcoming, though.
ZS4TX was second on 28 MHz in the 2001 WPX CW results.
Activity included a German group from YJ0ABR, Australians and Japanese from VK9LT and VK9ML, SV2ASP/A and P5/4L4FN, as well as JW, 9L, C5, 5W and JD1.
50 MHz was open to Japan and Taiwan. ZS6WB worked W7GJ by EME, using JT44 DSP to complete Africa's first EME contact on this band.
September: 50 MHz produced some TEP, with YI9OM being the most exciting find. ZS6NK worked a ZL on 50 MHz EME. At the end of the month, A7 and ZD7 were worked from Gauteng. ZS6BTE worked his 100th country on the band.
October: The CQ World Wide DX Contest produced reasonable high band conditions. ZS6WPX was very active on 28 MHz. ZS6Z was active on 14 MHz with a tribander. ZS0M, ZS1/UA3HK, ZS1ADD, ZS1B, ZS1M, ZS1MAL, ZS1SR, ZS4TX, ZS6DX, ZS6P, ZS6RAE, ZS6RI/M and ZS6WLC were also heard.
ZD9IR closed down, and returned to Cape Town on the supply ship.
November: It was announced that P5/4L4FN had disappeared from the air. Ed will be sorely missed, especially as no other North Korean activity is in sight. Most of the South Africans got a crack at it, though.
The CQ World Wide CW contest produced reasonable conditions. ZS4TX was on 28 MHz, producing a new world record in the Assisted category.December: ZS6WPX produced a strongly-worded statement on his Web site, complaining about the criticism his QSL policy has attracted. However, he explicitly reiterated that he will not honour bureau requests for any of his callsigns. He cites the expenses and the fact that he has to fund his own operations as the cause, although he has in the past turned down offers of a manager who will do all the work and cover all the expenses...
Rating your progress
I've written a short piece, describing how one can assess DX achievement a little more accurately than just comparing the numbers. For example, how much better is 280 than 240? How much effort is required to get onto the DXCC Honour Roll once you've passed the 300 mark? How much effort does it take to catch the remaining 9 countries once you're on the Honour Roll? How does your score on a specific band really stack up? The answers may astound you.
An offshore comparison
In these pages, I've often mentioned that I felt that ZS DXers were under-achieving. To impart a notion of why I feel this way, I've included results from a comparable survey in Britain, published in 2001, on this Site. Look at them, and see what you think!
Those callsigns listed in the tables
The tables can be very impersonal. I've therefore written a short profile on each of the operators. The intention is not only to put some "faces" to the callsigns, but also to give the reader an indication of how active each of these operators is. Clearly, while a few are retired and have enough time to play radio, the majority hold down jobs, raise families and generally spend time pursuing other interests. The odd spell of DXing certainly doesn't preclude balance!
Activity during 2002: The original diary
Note: This section is being written as a diary, and updated continuously. The present continuous tense is not a product of poor style as much as as byproduct of the fact that each paragraph was written as a blow-by-blow description of the action. Incidentally, if you feel that certain callsigns are over-represented, or that certain bands or modes are under-represented, feel guilty. I publish all the news I receive, and will continue to do so, except perhaps if something blatantly parochial is received.
01-02: ZS6NK appeared on the bands, relegating ZS6PJS to the scrap heap. Paul is likely to enjoy the shorter callsign, but the new-found anonimity is a mixed blessing! Several JD1 stations are active from Haha Island, counting as Ogasawara.
01-14: The sun has continued its intense activity, with a very real prospect of a secondary peak in Cycle 23. The northern hemisphere continues to experience exceptional propagation, with daily intercontinental openings between their three continents. Down here, zip. The VHF guys, though, have found other ways to amuse themselves. ZS6WB and ZR1TEE made a WSJT contact on 144 MHz, with ZR6DXB joining a few minutes later. WSJT provides several modulation modes, to capitalise on MS and tropo opportunities. Under some circumstances, processing gain of as much as 28 dB can be achieved. When listening to one's own echos via EME, this amount of processing gain is equivalent to an upgrade from 100 W and a single Yagi, to a kW with eight similar Yagis!
OH3JR is now active as A35VK. No reports have been seen of QSOs with southern Africa. Several callsigns have been active from KH4 recently. The JD1 stations have gone home. ZD9IR had a busy weekend, with numerous DX Summit spots, all above 10 MHz.
01-21: VP8THU showed up from South Sandwich this weekend. The crew includes several top-notch operators, but the logistics are limited by their permit to basic portable equipment. Despite the modest signals, they've generated monster pileups on most bands. Despite these pileups, they have been workable in ZS on all bands from 7 to 21 MHz. They were also active on 25 and 28 MHz, but no South Africans are known to have made the grade. No low band activity has been reported. This activity is scheduled to last three to four days, after which the crew will proceed to South Georgia for the main event. The crew has reverted to time-proven DXpedition techniques; there is no Web site, on-line log, announced schedule or pilot station. In the words of the announcement: The onus for working them is being moved back home.
Last night, 10 MHz was very busy. Within one hour, V63DC, 9M2TO, 5H3RK, V51/DJ4SO and VP8THU were all running pileups, filling the band up to 10,130!
01-22: VP8THU closed down this morning. If the sideshow at South Sandwich is anything to go by, the main show at South Georgia should be a cinch. They did not appear below 7 MHz, but were worked on at least five bands from ZS regardless. The trip is something over 500 NM, suggesting that they might travel for two days. Look for them with a new callsign around Friday. Yours truly will definitely be in there; barring any major catastrophes, they should provide number 336 on CW for me, with just four more to go!
01-29: VP8GEO opened up yesterday, with intense activity on all bands. As expected, putting them in the log on CW was just a formality, and they have been worked on at least three bands from ZS in the first 24 hours. They have been loud on other bands too, but the pileups remain fierce. The high bands continue to be difficult; the pileups are very much in evidence, but their signals are inaudible. Remember that they are barefoot; their signals may be weaker than the average super-DXpedition these days.
A CE station (using an XR1 prefix) was heard this morning on 10 MHz. It was a surprise, as Chile did not have access to the band until recently. It is likely that zone 12 will lose its status as the hardest zone to work on 10 MHz. YA0USA (K4YT), YU8/9X0A and S92JHF have also been generating pileups. P5/4L4FN has reappeared, apparently back from his holiday. No word on documentation, though. No CW spots have been seen as yet.
02-05: VP8GEO has closed down. After more than a week of concentrated effort, they have certainly put a dent in the demand for South Georgia. Despite their simple antennas and low power, they were worked in ZS on at least eight bands, from 3,5 to 28 MHz, and on all three modes. The crew included some of the world's best operators.
YN4RBO is a Swede (SM0RBO?), who continues to be very active on CW. ZS6UT has fun almost every morning at sunrise on 1,8 MHz, working the US East Coast on CW.
4L4FN/P5 has been active on 21,225 MHz around 11:00 UTC. I raced home on Friday when I saw him on the DX Summit at the office. When I turned on my radio after more than half an hour on the road, the first words I heard him saying were "Thanks for my first ZS; nice to work Africa!". I'm not sure who the first ZS was, but I managed to nail him down a few minutes later. The excitement of working my last country is somewhat tempered by the fact that there is still no news on a written licence. WFWL! The rumour mill says that YT1AD will be active from there in February, so we might yet all get it one day. There is also a TI9 operation planned within the next few weeks.
02-13: The Italians in 5U are producing lots of action, and have been worked on at least seven bands (7 to 28 MHz) and three modes from ZS. YA5T continues to be very active, mainly on CW. They've been worked on at least six bands. H40T is a German crowd. They've been very active according to the DX Summit, but no contacts have been reported locally.
02-18: The TI9M operation is delayed, and should start on Wednesday. Operators were in Costa Rica on Sunday. Just to prove that certain phenomena are universal, their Radio League tried to interfere, and published a statement casting aspersions on the legality of the operation. The operators have produced the necessary documents, though. I'm looking forward to this one, as it will produce one of the four missing countries for my CW DXCC.
The ARRL DX Contest's CW leg was this weekend. Conditions were good, both on the high and the low bands. ZS4TX was active mainly on 3,5 MHz, with something like 150 QSOs on Saturday and 70 on Sunday. I tried my customary QRP effort, with the customary few hours, but the lack of availability of monobanders made a big impact. I used a tribander, and only managed about 140 QSOs on 21 MHz, in about two hours of operating. It's always a fun contest, with little QRM and with snappy operators. No ZS stations were known to have worked at it seriously, but ZS1NF, ZS5RON, ZS6AJS, ZS6DDX and ZS6EGB did show up for a while.
The Italians in 5U and the Japanese in S0 are still moderately active, while H40T remains elusive around here.
02-19: H40T finally made good. Responding to a Web Summit spot, ZS6P worked them on 7 MHz last night, with loud signals.
02-20: The 5U operation seems to have closed down yesterday, on schedule. However, there is a lot of other excitement to make up for it. A big multi-multi expedition is active as PW0T. The crew includes several famous contesters and DXers, and should produce fireworks. The CW operator that I heard was excellent, but some of the SSB operators have received less flattering treatment on the DX Summit. No contacts are known to have resulted from ZS, but they should be workable on at least 9 bands.
DL7CF and friend are active from Nicaragua as H7DX. They've been heard on 10 MHz, but no contacts so far.
TI9M fired up this morning our time. Initial spots were on 7 and 10 MHz CW. Let the games begin!
Tom Curry ZS6AJD reports hearing an amazing assortment of DX this week, mainly on the WARC bands. Apart from the stations already mentioned, examples include KG4ZK, KP2/N2NI, OY1CT, PJ7/ND5S, PJ8AA, VP2V/N2EIN, VP9/W6PH and YA5T. A lot of the activity is presumably attributable to the ARRL DX Contest.
7P8Z showed up on 50 MHz yesterday, using WSJT software. The operator was ZS4TX, who provided several locals with a new country. ZS6NK, ZS6AVP and ZR6DXB are known to be in the log. 50 MHz has been propagating to Europe each night for the past week or more, boding well for DX opportunities in March and April. This season might be the cycle's swan song, so it's worth keeping a finger on the pulse.
02-21: TI9M spent most of yesterday on the high bands on CW. Lots of Phone operators are getting excited, although perhaps they forget the previous TI9 operations that operated no CW at all. For the moment, the signals are too weak and the pileups too big for us. They're working down impressive numbers of stations, so our turn will come.
Last night, H40T was on 7 MHz again around 18:00 UTC, making ZS6AJD happy with a new country. ZS6WB found the signals too weak to work barefoot. They were workable on 14 and 18 MHz around 06:00 UTC, over the Atlantic. PW0T was workable around 01:00 on 7 MHz SSB. There's a bewildering array of stuff active, as witnessed by simultaneous spots for OH0, 9G, TI9, C3, 9L and H7 (YN) on DX Summit as this is being written.
02-22: Surprisingly, TI9M is elusive. They continue to work the masses, but down here they are weak and impossible to work. It'll get better later in the operation, though. Last night, ZS6AXT and ZS6NK worked VU2LO for the first ZS-VU on 50 MHz.
02-23: The abundant DX continues to be a source of delight--and frustration. TI9M and PW0T have both been extremely difficult to work. ZS6P had a nice surprise when he caught TI9M this morning, on 28 MHz over Australia. I could not hear the signal with my tribander. Hal ZS6WB worked two all-time needed countries (H40 and P5) within five minutes this morning, both on 21 MHz. Hopefully, we'll have more luck with the TI9 and PW0 when the pileups start waning. The signals are loud enough to work in the absence of competition.
02-24: This weekend produced some success with PW0T, with easy contacts on most bands. They are now known to have been worked from ZS on most bands, including 28 and 1,8 MHz. P5/4L4FN has worked at least four ZS stations by now, including two this weekend. Still no sign of a licence, though. TI9M remains elusive. Although they are often audible, the signals are not up to the level required to break those massive pileups. The pileups should subside during the week, when the weekend warriors pack it in, allowing us to get a shot at them.
02-26: The TI9 has finally started becoming workable, mainly because they take time out to listen for Africa and other out-of-the-way places. I got lucky on 21 MHz SSB on Sunday night, but still could not make it on CW. This morning, Bernie ZS4TX alerted me that they were on 14 MHz CW, off their advertised frequency. On checking, I discovered that I could barely hear them, but that they were barely readable. I called for a while, but the pileup is still too big to allow our weak signals in. After taking a bath, I came back on frequency to find that the operator was listening for Africa only! I called a few times, and although he clearly had trouble hearing me, he finally came back with my callsign. It was a tremendous relief, as working them on CW proved far more difficult than I'd envisaged! After many hours of effort, my total tally is a measly one new band and one new mode. Ironically, the reason is probably that they are using good antennas, with us always off the back.
02-27: TI9M is still difficult. The pileups are definitely thinning, but at our end of the world the competition is still impossible. They are aware of our plight, though. There's an announcement on their Web site this morning, saying specifically that they are paying attention to ZS. Apparently the main CW station is completely shielded to the south, and they're operating CW from the other station occasionally to accommodate us. I've definitely heard them several times, calling for Africa only, and there was a spot on the DX Summit yesterday, saying "ZS only" in the remarks column!
As if the TI9, PW0, H7 and H40 weren't enough, another major DXpedition has fired up! DJ6SI and friends are in RASD, signing S07X and S07V. They've been spotted on most bands. The overlapping pileups are causing a lot of confusion.
02-28: Paydirt! We've finally started getting some joy with the TI9, as the pileups start thinning down. Both Bernie and I worked them on 21 MHz CW in the first few minutes of today, and I worked them a few minutes later on 18 MHz CW. Things should get even better over the next few days. As of 02-26, they had 55 000 QSOs in the log, and claimed several hundred African contacts, with more than 90 on 15 m! Presumably, these totals include the likes of EA8 and EA9.
Rumour has it that ZS6NK worked JX7DFA a few days ago, for the first ever known Zone 38 to Zone 40 QSO on 50 MHz.
03-01: Success with TI9M continues. ZS4TX worked them on 28 MHz SSB yesterday, and at least two ZS stations worked them on 7 MHz SSB this morning. One day to go! H40T, H7DX, PW0T and YA5T continue to be active, while the S0 seems to have disappeared around mid-day yesterday. ZY0SAT has appeared unannounced. Yesterday's activity was on the high bands, on SSB only. PW0T is now easily workable on all bands, 1,8 to 28 MHz, with relatively tame pileups, and expect to depart the island on Saturday. They have worked 77 countries on 50 MHz!
03-06: P5/YT1AD has popped up, and appears to be legitimate. He was worked on 21 MHz CW from here, giving me my third last country.
03-25: Or so I thought. In fact, Hrane returned from Pyonyang a week or so later, frustrated and unsuccessful. They had obtained permission from the relevant authorities, but were prevented from operating by the military.
VP6DI showed up from the brand-new country of Ducie Island on schedule, and were worked locally after a few days. As expected, they have produced fierce pileups. They initially stuck to the advertised intention of operating on 21020 and 21295 continuously, but abandoned this game plan after a few days. Fortunately, the pileups started abating while they were still at it, and several locals made the grade with little effort. They have been extremely difficult to work on the other bands, though. Some ZS1 stations worked them on 14 MHz, but that's about the extent of it. ZS6KR reported hearing them on 3,5 MHz, but could not crack the pileup.
A German group showed up from San Felix as XR0X, just a few days after Ducie started. They have been worked locally on several bands, including at least 3,8 and 28 MHz. A sprinkling of semi-rare stations continues to provide lots of DXcitement. Both G3TBK and PA3GIO have been island-hopping in the Caribbean. 50 MHz is showing signs of life, with VU2TO and 4L5O providing lots of excitement locally.
03-28: The bands are quiet again, with VP6DI and XR0X having gone home. Locals had mixed success with VP6DI; ZS1AU, ZS4TX, ZS6EZ, ZS6KR, ZS6WB and ZS6YQ are known to have made it, but only on one band each. No-one is known to have caught more than one band, and several others are known to have missed the boat entirely.
03-29: VR2XMT appeared on 50 MHz just after sunset last night, making ZS6WB and ZS6BTE extremely happy. H40XX sports a VK manager, and has been very active on all bands. KG4MO has also been relatively easy to work on several bands.
04-02: The weekend's WPX contest presented good high band conditions, with little on the low bands. ZS6IR and ZD9IR were both active, with around 800 contacts each. Yesterday saw the customary crop of simpleton humour on the DX Summit, with all the most desirable countries spotted. The H40XX crew showed up as H44DX on their way home, with a major emphasis on RTTY.
04-03: P5/4L4FN has been accepted for DXCC credit! In a press release on the ARRL Web site, dated 04-02, N7NG announces that they deem the submitted evidence satisfactory, and that all SSB QSOs will be accepted retroactively to November. Clearly, this is good news indeed for a number of local DXers! ZS1FJ, ZS4TX, ZS6EZ, ZS6P and ZS6WB are known to have made contacts with Ed, mainly on 21 MHz SSB.
04-04: The latest news on the P5/4L4FN site states that Ed will start operating RTTY again. This announcement appears to be in conflict with the ARRL's assertion that only SSB is allowed, although the announcement states that Ed will identify on SSB before transmitting on RTTY. Us CW types keep holding our breath...
04-06: A check of the TI9M log shows a total of 14 contacts from ZS. Eight stations made those contacts. One made five on different band-modes, one made three and the others all made one each. In total, six bands and two modes are represented.
04-09: The final results for the 2001 WPX CW contest are out. ZS4TX was second on 28 MHz, 2% behind the winner with a new African record. Bernie's score is in the top five single-band WPX CW scores of all time. Although he lost relatively little in the checking process and narrowed the gap to the winning station considerably, he still got beaten by CX5BW. He's obviously bitterly disappointed.
YJ0ABR continues to be very active, as the German group keeps all the bands warm. Monk Apollo and P5/4L4FN show up occasionally, making lots of SSB operators happy.
04-18: There's a variety of semi-rare stuff floating around, including VK9ML, VK9LT, YA0MO, JW5RIA, 9L1BTB. The first two are big DXpeditions, apparently with Australian and Japanese operators.
04-24: The VP6DI log checker is finally complete and operational. There are "over 50 000" QSOs in the log. There is no facility to do wildcard checks, but a spot check of ZS stations revealed the following: ZS1AU 20SSB; ZS1FJ 15CW 15SSB 15SSB (dupe!); ZS4TX 15CW 15SSB; ZS5NK 15SSB; ZS6EZ 15CW 15SSB; ZS6KR 15 CW; ZS6YQ 15 SSB. At least three local DXCC Honor Roll members missed them. No-one made contacts on more than one band, and only three stations made it on two modes. If our score is representative of the world-wide situation, there is a lot of justification for another DXpedition!
This past weekend produced some action on 50 MHz. There was a huge opening from Gauteng to Japan, and a Taiwanese station was worked. ZS6WB made the first 50 MHz EME contact from Africa with W7GJ in Montana. They used JT44, with signals inaudible most of the time. There was some audible carrier at the end of the sked.
VK9ML continues to be extremely active. They have been worked locally on several bands, including most of the WARC bands. PA9JJ is active as C56JJ. 4W/CU3FT and 4W6MM are regularly on. P5/4L4FN is sometimes on 21225. Several JD1 stations are active from Minami Torishima.
09-24: There has been fairly regular TE propagation on 50 MHz this month. The most exciting actity has been by YI9OM, who has been giving most of the locals a crack at this new country. Many of the locals are also playing with various weak-signal DSP modes, mostly with WSJT, producing a string of contacts with the USA and at least one between ZS6NK and ZL3TY.
10-28: The CQ World Wide DX Contest's Phone leg provided reasonable high band conditions and poor low band conditions. JM1CAX operated ZS6Z on 14 MHz. Unfortunately, I could not get the big beam ready in time, but the tribander was good for just over a million points and a new Zone 38 record. ZS6WPX was very active on 28 MHz, apparently producing just over 3000 QSOs. Other local stations known to have been active include ZS0M, ZS1/UA3HK, ZS1ADD, ZS1B, ZS1M, ZS1MAL, ZS1SR, ZS4TX, ZS6DX, ZS6P, ZS6RAE, ZS6RI/M and ZS6WLC.
10-29: It's been a while since 50 MHz produced two new countries in one day! Two A7 stations showed up today, with ZS6NK apparently the first to make the grade. Late at night, ZD7MY made a few locals happy, with watery scatter signals from the north. A 9H1 station, trying to be helpful, turned it into a farce by allowing some locals to make pseudo-QSOs in DX-net fashion.
ZS6BTE cashed into the two new arrivals to complete his 100th country. He becomes the fifth ZS to do so (after ZS6WB, ZS6AXT, ZS6NK and ZS6EZ). Let's hope he can complete the necessary paperwork and get that coveted DXCC!
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