During the first night we were operating on 160m one of the top-loading wires was broken. We had to wait for the next day to do a repair during daylight. Once we replaced both top-loading wires the 18m spiderpole could be erected again and 160m was operational again.
Since we had quite some trouble with interworking of the antennas and amplifiers (going in protection mode), we were exploring some alternatives. Finally we installed a sloping dipole far away from our operating room. Behind the swimming pool there was a rather steep slope. We have fixed the top part of the dipole to a structure near the swimming pool and the lower end to a tree 15 meters lower. A 110 meter long coax was running to the patch panel near the operating room. Resonance was on 7.055 kHz with a SWR 1.11. With this new 40m antenna we could much better combine some bands which made us more productive.
Funny thing was that in the evening the Christmas-like decoration lights at the pool area of the hotel were flashing and you could clearly see that is was CW! The owner of the hotel did not recognize it came from our operation.
Johannes 5R8PA also installed the DX pedition QO-100 station (provided by other PA’s) and made already some 200 QSO’s!
Generally we have a noise level of S5 on the lower bands which is not ideal.
On our arrival on 22 November we were able to setup a 30m vertical with elevated radials and that allowed us to work during the evening and night with one station. The antenna was just in front of our house.
We were advised to keep our antennas within the fenced area of the hotel. What you put outside the fence may be gone the next day! We brought a lot of coax to place the antennas at a good distance of each other, but now we had to manage to place the antennas at much closer distance on the compound of the hotel, which is quite a challenge.
The next day we setup the Hexbeam and 6 element 6m yagi, both using a concrete construction on the compound. We also installed the DX Commander. We relocated the 30m vertical. Quite some time was spend on the 80m vertical. Again we made use of a concrete structure and obviously a set of guy-wires. For both the Hexbeam and the 80m vertical we made a special wooden construction to fixate the base.
It was challenge to spread the radials of the 80m vertical in the limited space we had. However, Johannes managed to get the help of to local boys that were at the other side of the fence. So we pushed some radials through the fence and the boys pulled it further.
We spend most of the day on building the antennas. We have encountered several issues with RFI and amplifiers going in protection due to strong RFI interworking. This is what we have been working on this morning and will continue to improve during the rest of the day.
Yesterday evening we had a real heavy thunderstorm and lots of rain. You may have noticed that our stations all of a sudden did not respond. That was caused by the several power cuts we experienced.
Temperature is very hot all day but sometimes we take a dive in the swimming pool to cool down.
The team is in good spirit! See you on the bands.
Ron 5R8WP, Günter 5R8WG, Erno 5R8MM, Johannes 5R8PA and Gerben 5R8CG.
The team will be active from Nosy Be (IOTA AF057), Madagascar. The team members are:
5R8WP – Ron PA3EWP
5R8WG – Geunter DL2AWG
5R8MM – Erno DK2AMM
5R8CG – Gerben PG5M
5R8PA – Johannes PA5X
We are running two stations simultaneously are operating CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8.
Each station consists of an Elecraft K3 with SPE Expert 1.3K-FA amplifier. We have an IC-7300 as spare radio, monitoring 50 MHz.
Antennas are: 6 element 50 MHz Yagi, Hexbeam for 6-20m, DX Commander for 10-40m, 30m vertical with elevated radials, 40m wire dipole sloping from the hill, 80m vertical and 160m vertical.
In addition we are also active on QO-100 Satellite and activated a new grid LH46cr.
Depending on internet availability, we will update our logs on Clublog on a daily basis.
5R8WP, 5R8WG and 5R8MM via DL2AWG (Clublog and later LoTW)
5R8CG via PG5M (Clublog and later LoTW)
5R8PA via PA5X (Clublog and later LoTW)