Saturday, March 15, 2008

Clipperton Is. DXepedition - disappointment!

TX5C went QRT. This DXepedition was a total disappointment IMHO. No need to say that I didn't have the chance to work it. I cant see what I was doing wrong. My antennas are in top shape - I was able to work meanwhile many and more distant DX contacts. Finally I have the amplifier online - almost 900W out, etc. Due to my schedule I was only able to try to contact TX5C very late in the evening when only the lower bands were open. I blame the failure on the mixture of a bad luck, poor operation from TX5C and the many LIDs (especially on 80 meters), sabotaging the DX. Can't be done much about the luck - it is what it is! On other hand the operation of TX5C was very poor - I just can't list all of the things that were wrong with TX5C! Compared to the 3B7C DXepedition, TX5C left much to be desired!
Some of the french operators were among the worst - they were very slow, running the pileups, they were not announcing their listening frequency for hours, causing many operators to try them on simplex, activating the "frequency police". Sometimes after just a few minutes working NA, they will switch to EU and with almost no stations calling from EU, they will keep asking "Any EU stations?" for good 10-15 minutes, while hundreds in NA wait their turn, and then they'll go QRT with no announcement, leaving people hoping for their return . Sometimes they were spreading the receiving range over 20 kHz and were working only at the very edges of this range, causing everybody to pileup there. At one occasion the LIDs on 80 meters were QRM-ing the DX and instead of ignoring them or changing the frequency, the DX decided to argue with those guys, making the matter only worst and then went QRT for awhile. It goes on and on... Just didn't seem they were capable of controlling the pileup ...Oh well... Next time maybe the sponsors will try to ensure that their money are not wasted like this.
I've been trying to contact them for over a week, 2 hours every evening on 40 and 80 meters with no results. With such a poor operation there, the only thing I had to rely upon was the luck and this time I didn't have it. Maybe this rant is not fair - after all I didn't contribute to the DXepedition - at least I am glad I didn't.

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