[OhQP-mail] OQP fun from paradise

Stephen Morton swmorton50 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 19 17:55:28 CDT 2016

Hi again folks.  I thought maybe some of you good folks would enjoy hearing of the trials and tribulations from Costa Rica.  Propagation to the US from this location can be a little different.  I sit on top of the first mountain back from the Pacific Ocean about 65 miles from the border with Panama.  In a recent contest I worked about 50 JA’s in just about one hour because it’s a straight shot to Japan from here.  To borrow a catch phrase from Sarah Palin, I can see Japan from my back yard (well, not really).

Working into the US, I have to punch over a range of mountains to the north that rise 13,000 feet.  I’m using an 8 band vertical with a very low angle of radiation, so I believe that has some bearing on my signals to the US and more specifically, Ohio.

To compound issues, I have to use my US callsign with a TI8 prefix.  You can’t imagine how confusing this can be for most folks.  It’s especially difficult on CW.  The Ministry of Communications hasn’t issued any new TI calls for about 5 or 6 years now.

All of the bands act like one lower than they actually are.  For example, 10 meters acts like 15, 15 acts like 20. Etc.  Unfortunately 80 acts like 160 so all of those juicy Ohio multipliers on 80 are really difficult.  Last year I only heard a couple of Ohio stations on 80.

Back in March, I decided that I needed more guts to my signal for the OQP, so I ordered an AL-811 amplifier from DX Engineering.  They promptly shipped it to the freight forwarding company that I use in Florida.  By mid April, it was on the boat and headed for Costa Rica.  It arrived here in late April, three days after Costa Rica Customs decided to crack down on all of the Freight Forwarders.  My amp was sitting on a pallet along with a bunch of other folks shipments.  Unfortunately, one person decided to ship some forbidden stuff, which caused everything on the pallet to get impounded.  To date, my amplifier has been inspected five times, but it has still not been released.  They keep telling the Freight Forwarder that it should be released any day now.  Living in Costa Rica one soon learns that manana does not mean tomorrow, it only means not today.

As you can imagine, my Freight Forwarder and I have engaged in some colorful dialog and said things we both regret.

Sooooo… unless we have a Miracle on 34th street in the next few days, it looks like I’m going to have to operate barefoot again this year.  But, you know what?  It will still be a blast and I’m going to give it all I have here from TI8/AA8HH!

We’re hoping for good propagation and none of our infamous inconvenient power outages!

73 - Steve

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail.ohqp.org/pipermail/ohqp-mail_ohqp.org/attachments/20160819/dd7de1a5/attachment.html>

More information about the OhQP-mail mailing list