Sergio, IK0FTA - Antonio, I0JX - Stefano, I0WTD - Andrea, N5KME
(we thank Trev, G3ZYY and the UKSMG for the assistance in the English version)
Waiting for the forthcoming "2005/6 SixItalia Most Wanted Country on 6m" poll we have prepared a little survey hoping it will be useful for those enthusiastic operators organizing DXpeditions to the Caribbean area.
We haven't considered all the possible countries but if you have any plans to organize a DXpedition in a country not listed in our work, you are welcome to send us an email and we'll prepare an amendment for you.
You can write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are considering organising a DXpedition to the Caribbean area, with the intention of working a lot of hams not only from the eastern USA and Caribbean area but also from other zones (Europe, West Coast USA, South America) you need to consider that the right time of year - from now until 2009 when solar activity will hopefully increase again - is the sporadic-E multi-hop season from June 15th to July 15th, with the best opportunity normally noted during the 'window' from June 20th to July 5th.
When the sun is very active again (2009 - 2013) and F2 propagation mode is available again on the 'Magic Band', the best periods for a six metre-oriented DXpedition will be mid-October to mid-November and again during the month of February - but this is another story!
Such six metre friends of ours as (in alphabetic order) K5AND, N0KE, N4VHF, NN9K, N6XU, W3CMP, W6JKV, W7XU and WZ8D (we are sorry for all those we may have omitted) have done a great job on the six metre band over the years, allowing a large number of hams fellows (particularly in Europe) to contact some rare countries on the six metre band.
When a station is on the air, usually it is spotted in the cluster. We believe that analysis of that information may lead to important knowledge about any country activity, and we started comparing DX spots with the actual number of QSOs.
First we gathered some information about spots of six metre activity from rare NA and Caribbean. Three tables have been created, which are described below.
This was created using data from the OH2AQ web cluster search engine. We know that not all the spots sent into the world wide cluster system appear on this specific node, but this unique source was retained as it is a good reference for Europe and the single sourcing provides a coherent set of data for all the DXpeditions considered. From our experience, we estimate that missing spots are in the order of the 10% and this can be retained as the leading error source for the confidence interval. The fact that some stations are not spotting or that some others are spot-o-holic does not make any difference as we will be relating the observation to the actual number of contacts made.
Calculating the number of spots, within the limit of what is achievable, we have tried to exclude those making reference to beacons or just carrying messages like "no signal here", "PSE beam to …" and "QSL arrived…". Raw data can be always extracted from the OH2AQ cluster or requested from me (ik0fta) for verification.
Going through the columns:
These tables provide an indication of the probability of EU, non-EU and worldwide six metre DXers, based on the spot recurrence over the seven-year observation period. In the first table there is the inferred 'most wanted' list for Europe, in the second the same is done for the 'rest of the world' and in the last the global numbers are provided. The EU list also shows the average range of the DX country to Europe (average range approximately falling in Germany).
This last table provides an indication of the feasibility of the listed DX countries of EU interest, this time computed for several different European country capitals. Combining the average distance and the interest of the country, an evaluation of 'how fun could be a DX-pedition here' has been attempted, giving stars to each entry. The way stars have been computed depends on interest, related to number of EU spots (left side of bottom table 3) minus a "criticality" figure, provided by the range of the country (i.e. the further, the more critical).
If it's practically impossible to define exactly how many QSOs were made per single spot on the cluster, we can certainly try to use statistics based upon some recent DXpeditions (only EU and K and VE spots were considered). For our purposes we have considered PJ7M, J79KV, J3/K5AND and V31IV.
PJ7M 2004 - (source PJ7M QSL)
J79KV 2004 - (source J79KV QSL)
J3/K5AND 2005 - (source: expedition web site)
V31IV 2005 - (source V31IV QSL)
Using this comparative list we can say that, consistently, one spot corresponds to between three and four QSOs; the only big anomaly was V31IV for EU, where we found one QSO for each non-dupe spot.
Now we shall interpret the tables and draw some conclusions.
If you are in the process of deciding which will be the 'best place' to go next summer for a happy six metre summer-DX holiday, we do not have a unique answer because there are many variables.
It is 100% sure that the 'most wanted' countries are
KP1 and KP5 but they are just a dream for most
of us. After the 'impossible two' we find HK0,
YV0, HH, 4U1UN, CY0, V4,
YN, V2, KG4.
Going into more detail, and focusing on what would be preferred for EU, using the QRB-EU table we can find that the best choices (for European hams) would exclude YN, HR, V3 and HK0 because they are so far away from the old continent that they would offer only few opportunities to realise a reasonable number of QSO in the Es period.
Consequently, following the assigned number of stars, we can eventually compile the 'Top Ten', North American and Caribbean most wanted countries on 50MHz from EU as (in descending order): CY0, CY9, 4U1UN, V2, V4, YV0, KP5, HH, KP1 and KG4. For these countries the average distance from EU is quite good and the activations, during the past years, have achieved a medium or low number of contacts.
Our recommendation would be: "please go there". Good DX on Six!
Sixitalia Team - IK0FTA, I0JX, I0WTD, N5KME