This visit to the north shore of Río de la Plata started over a month ago with a trip to downtown Montevideo, to the central offices of the “Regulatory Unit of Communication Services” (URSEC), to renew the radio-amateur license as CX7RT.
Operating QRP with the mini-W3EDP (https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/the-mini-w3edp-in-the-vagaries-of-the-southern-sun/) and given current propagation conditions, not much was hoped in terms of new QSO’s. So much that before departure I had debated whether to add to the carrying luggage the additional weight of the Sygnalink and its cables, particularly since I had not yet used the new FT8 digital mode.
After an initial couple of CW contacts (ZP and a surprising ZD7) in 15M and 17M, I started using the FT8 mode and was able to quickly log contacts in 17M, 15M, 12M and even 10M. On the weekend of the 25-26, 33 CW contacts were logged in the “CQWW DX CW” (https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/mini-contesting-from-rio-de-la-plata-qrp-p-in-the-cqww-dx-cw-with-the-mini-w3edp/). In the weeks that followed I returned to FT8, almost exclusively in 17M. Several new DXCC’s were logged, which included two big surprises: JF8EVE and UA0CA. Overall, 79 new QSO’s were logged, half of which have been confirmed already in LoTW.
The position of the Sun seemed paramount to facilitate DX contacts in NA and more particularly in Asia (at sunset), but European stations proved very difficult to reach even during morning hours. Contacts in the US spanned 13 states and three contacts were made with VE stations.
FT8 proved to be able to get through when all other signals were absent from the bands.
Overall, the total number of QSOs logged as CX7RT after seven visits to the country was increased to 387 in 51 DXCC’s, 34 of which have already confirmed via LoTW.
Hope to be again QRV as CX7RT sometime in 2018.