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by Jon Jones, N0JK

I operated from the 8P9Z station at Warleigh Plantation in Barbados from Dec 8th to Dec 13th 1999 along with my dad Bill, WFN and my mom WGAW.

Our six-metre gear was an MFJ-9406, a three-element yagi at 15 ft and a 100w amp.

Jon and his M2 three-element yagi at 8P9JO.Jon and his M2 three-element yagi at 8P9JO.

Bill, WFN helped me put the six metres yagi on a short mast on top of the generator shed. The antenna was not very high, but had a direct shot at the United States sloping down a hill towards the ocean.

TEP (trans-equatorial propagation) occurred every evening on six metres like clockwork from Barbados to South America at 2230 to 0300 UTC. I worked 45 CXs, LUs, and PYs including CX1CCC running 5 watts to a vertical. The TEP was often very loud and the flutter is unique to hear. The ZP5AA/b in Paraguay was often loud but I made no ZP QSOs. I tried two metres with PY5CC on December 8th during an extremely strong six-metre TEP opening but nothing heard. Bill, WFN worked several of the South Americans on six metres .

Around 0100 UTC daily seemed to be F2 or Es to Ecuador. I worked HC1MD on Dec 8th - Rick said it was his first six metre contact in 20 some years! He runs 10 watts to a dipole in the jungle. Rick was very active as HC8VHF in the early 80s, and told me he made over 2,000 six-metre QSOs from the Galapagos running 10 watts and a 2 element quad. HC5K was worked on Dec 10th.

We had two six-metre openings to the United States and Canada. On Dec 10th there was a spotty opening around 1500 UTC. I Worked KA9CFD EN40, N0EOQ EN24, AA5XE EM00, W3XO/5 EM00, and W5UWB EL17. K0FF and I suspect this was double hop Es rather than F2, based on arriving wave angle, the limited footprint and weak signals. Dean, 8P6SH was visiting the shack during the opening and watched me work W5UWB in Texas. Maybe I recruited a new six metre op from Barbados?

Jon, NJK/8P9JO at the MFJ-9406 during the great F2 opening to the US and Canada on December 13thJon, NJK/8P9JO at the MFJ-9406 during the great F2 opening to the US and Canada on December 13th

On December 13th we had a major six metre F2 opening to the United States and Canada. The solar flux was 150 but the K index was 6. VE1ZZ in FN89 started things off at 1316 UTC, and despite the six-metre amp failing, I worked 240 stations in the US and Canada over the next couple of hours. Signals were extremely loud. Going to 8 watts didnt seem to hurt - stations said I was still 59++. The F2 favoured the eastern half of North America from 13 - 15z, with very loud signals from Canada and 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, and 8s.

I had numerous mobile contacts; some were ops like AC4TO in Florida who was at work and went out to his car to work me. I had Internet access while in Barbados and it was interesting to post comments and receive feedback via the net in real time while the opening was in progress.

Signals faded out at 1455z then returned at 1530z with the Midwest booming in. 5s, 8s, 9s and zeros were worked up to 1633 when W9XT was the last station logged. K5LLL/M in Texas was worked driving home after visiting Bill Tyan, W3XO/5

The best six-metre F2 DX were N5JHV DM62 3,266 miles, NKQY DM98 3,107 miles, and W7XU/NQJM EN13 at 3,066 miles. It was really a thrill to work a major six metre F2 opening from the DX side, glad I decided to stay one extra day.


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