On Tuesday we did setup the 60m vertical on a 18m Spider pole with two elevated radials. It was located in the front of the compound. Later that night we discovered that it produced a lot of QRM so it was impossible to make contacts.
Johannes was able to use all features on his FT-5000 to get the noise and QRM somewhat reduced and we decided to give it a try on CW that evening. We got reports (on the packet cluster and via mail) that our signal was good in Europe. However, finalizing QSO’s was a struggle. Finally, we were able to get 43 CW QSO’s on 60m in our log (all firsts on 60m).
We did experience technical difficulties that had an impact on our simultaneous operation and thus impacting the QSO rate. With some combinations of bands, we had trouble on the receiving side or HF feedback impacting the SWR protection on the Expert 1.3K FA amplifier. Since we had quite a number of band pass filters of different brands, we experimented if we could solve the problems, but without better results. As a consequence, we had to reduce power in some band combinations and in other combinations we could work with only one station. Especially for the 17-20m combination this was a pity as conditions on these bands were sometimes excellent at the same time.
During our stay, there were no other visitors at the lodge and therefore we had all freedom to place our antennas. Obviously with other guests around, they can’t allow you to do that, so we were really lucky. However, this situation was also used to do maintenance on the bungalows and the open kitchen. Since there was previously leakage during heavy rain, we were asked if it was OK to do some maintenance on the roof of our bungalow as there was rain expected. As we did not want to see water leaking inside our bungalow, we agreed to carry on with the construction works. However, the workers made so much noise that it was impossible for Johannes to make SSB QSO’s and had to stop his operation. We expected the works would perhaps take an hour or so, but it lasted several hours. On the positive side, there was heavy rain during the night and we did not have any leakage.
I went up very early because I got awake from the heavy rain. This allowed me to start operating on 40m and later continued on 20 meters. Some hours later I moved to 17m but soon we got a terrible QRM (like the old woodpecker) which made it impossible to work any longer. So I returned to 20m for some time and checked when 17m was quite again to continue on 17m again.