Outside of contests, I have several goals I am trying to accomplish before I leave Guam, tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2013. I completed 9BWAS earlier this year. 9BDXCC will come with time, and should not be too difficult, however 9BWAZ would be the Holy Grail of awards to earn while here.
Below is a screen shot of the spreadsheet I use to track status. Red=confirmed on LOTW, blue=confirmed by paper QSL, and green=awaiting confirmation.
As you can see, there are two challenge areas: Zone 2 on all bands, and African zones on the low bands. Zone 2 is hard because of the Magnetic North Pole and the auroral zone which makes the NE path from here into northern NA more difficult than the NW path toward EU. Plus, there is very limited activity from this zone. VO2NS is regularly active and I follow him on skimmer (Reverse Beacon Network). To date, I’ve not heard him on 40m. I did hear him on 80 last winter but unfortunately we could not complete a QSO. VE2TKH is also active, and worked KH2L on 10m last weekend. I’ve spent a lot of time on 10m making a lot of QSOs, but we just have not synched up yet.
Africa on the low bands is difficult not because of the path, but because of what I call the “European Factor”. Most DXpeditions to Africa are led by Europeans, and they focus on working Europe. When they do listen for Japan, it is generally well after my sunrise. Sunrise in Japan can be 2 hours after my sunrise in Winter, when the nights are longer in the northern hemisphere. I’ve heard all of the African zones on 160m, and usually quite well, but I just have not been able to break through the European pileups. It is quite frustrating, but I understand it is part of the game. This winter, I may see if it would be possible to make some skeds to complete these zones. I’ve received some positive responses from many; now I just need conditions and local QRN levels on the far end to cooperate so I can cross some of these off the list.