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FT4TA Tromelin Island DXpedition Drawing a Crowd


Pileups on the HF band are “still big and wide,” according to the FT4TA DXpedition team on Tromelin Island in the Indian Ocean. Operators say they’re doing their best to find “the best balance between rate and bandwidth usage;” the sprawling and, many would say, unruly pileups are a result of the “thousands still calling.” Over the November 1-2 weekend, DXers and ARRL November Sweepstakes CW participants competed for elbow room on the bands.


“We know many of you still need Tromelin for an all time new one. So narrowing pileups too much would not be good for you,” a team update said this week. “Also, there is no band open where we can stay ‘all day long.’” Operators have conceded that working the US or Oceania is not easy unless European stations stand by — “and this is something quite difficult to achieve.”

The FT4TA DXpedition has said its operation is a chance to get Tromelin Island off the Top 10 most-wanted lists. Right now, it’s number 8 (mixed) on the ClubLog DXCC Most Wanted List. Operators at FT4TA report a lot of “unique” call signs in their log. “Keep your fingers crossed — you’ll make it !” they added.

The DXpedition reports excellent propagation with several bands open at the same time for Japan, Europe, and North America. “We are trying to give the same chances to everyone,” the team said, urging those attempting to snag FT4TA to respect their on-air instructions regarding which areas of the world they’re focusing on. “Operators at FT4TA won’t get you if they are not calling your area,” they said.

“We have been able to enjoy some short openings with the West Coast on [long path],” they said. “We will keep our efforts on low bands and try again to be on 160, 80, and 40 at our sunset,” although 75 meter SSB operation was not in the team’s plan “and we are not sure to try again as conditions on this band are not the best for SSB.”

The six-station operation has “found a good rhythm, working radio until falling asleep on the keyboard, eat, sleep, radio, repeat. Everyone is tired but over-motivated to satisfy the entire community.”

The FT4TA DXpedition will be uploading its logs to Logbook of The World (LoTW). FT4TA operation will continue until November 10 (UTC). The DXpedition is the recipient of an ARRL Colvin Award grant.





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