Trying to work stations on 160 meters from Baker Island during the KH1/KH7Z DXpedition was fraught with challenges, and the WSJT-X FT8 digital protocol proved to be one answer to making contacts from the rare DXCC entity under tough, summertime conditions. DXpedition team member George Wallner, AA7JV, recently offered some observations about the experience that may be helpful to North American Top Banders. Wallner said the team was expecting easy conditions for Japan, which was closer, and difficult conditions for North America.
“We got the opposite. The band would open to North America soon after our sunset — around 1800 local time — with very little noise. North American callers were initially weak but easy copy. Noise would start rising about 2 hours after sunset,” Wallner said in a July 12 post on the Topband reflector. “Fortunately, that was about the time the gray line was reaching the east coast, which brought up the signals well above the noise. Some east coast signals were quite loud.”