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21AT/EU177 Aspöja Island statistics:

Top 3 divisions worked:
14 - France (326)
1 - Taly (259)
30 - Spain (120)

Top 3 DX (not EU) worked
2 - USA NA (21)
34 - Canary Isl. AF (9)
9 - Canada NA (6)


21AT/EU177 The Story



Friday, October 27

The team got up early in the morning, about 02:00 UTC and met at 21AT116 Chris´ QTH to load his car full with everything from radios and antennas to ravioli and beer. At 3:45 UTC we were on the road towards Arkösund, from where we would take the boat.
We reached Arkösund at about 6:40 UTC, and immediatly starting to put all the equipment in the fishingboat from Aspöja island. Some 50 minutes later we sat our feet on the wet Aspöja-soil. Once again it was time to re-load all the equipment. This time onto a tractor-wagon. As we reached the little house we rented, we started unpacking and starting to mount the antennas. At about 9:40 UTC we were ready to transmit with a temporary vertical antenna. Loïc 21AT140 got the honour of opening the station. The first QSO was made to 14AT675 while the rest of the team apllauded the fast-building pile-up. Overcoming the excitement, we worked hard on the real installation; a telescopic mast onto which we put up our 3 el yagi, with a vertical above it. This installation proved quite good, and we managed 370 contacts before the band closed. Last contact this day was to 45BR011, on a very short opening at 20:36 UTC.

Saturday, October 28

The band seemed quite dead during the night, but the radio was left on 27.555 just in case. At about 3:30 UTC 21AT110 Erik got up to start the very tireful morning-job of calling CQ CQ CQ. About an hour later the band slowly opened, but just a few QSO´s were made until the propagation to Europe opened up. First to call us today was 308TRC101. The propagation into Europe became strong, with alot of QRM. Some station liked very much to play music for us, and we had to go split several times to escape QRM. In the background of all noise we managed to pick up a few DX like div 2, 3, 122, 172. Also we managed quite a few backscatter-QSO´s.
We planned a nice dinner in the evening. But our plans seemed to change when 21AT139 Patrik went out to turn the antenna towards South America... He noticed that the very strong wind was almost destroying our beautiful installation. The whole team (except for Loïc #140 who had to take care of the food) was sent out in the stormy and rainy darkness. Eventually the antenna was saved, and the team could enjoy a nice dinner listening to music from Atlantic 252 on Long Wave. On 11m we heard many stations from South America but no-one replied to our CQ-calls. During the night we had some occasional openings to the north of Sweden, and later some aurora. We also heard some stations from USA but no-one came back to our CQ-calls... Last QSO this evening was to 21AT333 at 23:08 UTC.

Sunday, October 29

Because of the auroral activity during the night the band was not in a very good shape. Erik 110 had an even harder time this morning calling CQ before any stations started to enter the log. (Obviously the band was open - one station occassionally came back with rude words about our diligent CQ´s.) First station into the log this morning was 1AT722, who got prog #790 at 06:50 UTC. Despite numerous tries to turn the antenna in different directions and calling outside Europe only, we could not get many DX into the log. Anyhow we managed to work quite some back-scatter contacts.
As this was the last day we had to take down all antennas again. This was not very funny because it was raining pretty much. At arround 13:45 we took down the yagi and vertical, while #110 Erik tried some more calls on a temporary loop-antenna. However the results were not very good, and only one more station entered the log, 1AC579 at 13:40 UTC. The last CQ-call was made at exactly 14:00 UTC, before all the team had to pack their luggage and clean the house (which seemed more like panic on a sinking ship...).
Just as the tractor, with all our equipment behind, set out towards the boat the sun broke through the clouds. As the team waved good-bye to Aspöja, we could see the island bathing in the sunset. At about 18:00 UTC the team was back in Stockholm - already planning the next IOTA-expedition.