During the first day on the island I was also able to use the WiFi internet access of the lobby, but already the next day problems occurred with the WiFi router which left us without internet for the rest of the stay.

After operating for about half a day I discovered that the vertical antenna probably did not radiate well and decided to relocate it further from the housing block and more closer to the sea. I first rolled out the coax to mark the maximum distance I could cover with the coax. Next I erected the vertical again, fixing it with guy wires to whatever I could find (piece of concrete, old tree trunk, etc.). After some operating I had the impression that the antenna was much better performing. The same day I also hung the G5RV dipole in a tree next to my room. I was unable to get it at a good height but it was more for the case that something would happen to the other antenna and could switch directly to the dipole. This switching was done by loosening the coax from the vertical and connecting it to the dipole.

One of my concerns was the coax to the vertical, which was running over a small concrete road. This road was used by the military personnel to go from the base to the quay where a big navy vessel was anchored. They crossed this road sometimes with small but heavy lorries that could easily crush my small coax cable. Fortunately, the coax remained in good shape till the end of the operation.

In general, the conditions during the day were poor and tried to use those times for leisure, going out on a boat trip with divers or making photos of the island. Food was served 4 times a day which was good, but I made sure I had something to eat and to drink also during the evening and night hours. I maintained a bit odd schedule and this was also recognized by some of the other guests. I did not even join them for diving, so what was I actually doing on the island. Most of you may have come across people asking this question and it always nice to see the reactions when you try to explain about this strange hobby, although diving for far  from home will help a little bit to understand.

One of the problems I encountered during this operation was the interference with other DX stations. Because of my weak signal the started their CQ close or on top of me. This was sometimes quite troublesome and confusing for the other end. In other cases I had to use the 2nd VFO intensively and tuning the pile-up, which is a practice I use rarely. Normally I prefer to work split but do not tune the VFO a lot and stick to one or few frequencies instead.

Call: 9M2/PG5M
Start: 19-04-2007
End: 23-04-2007
Island: Spratly -
Pulau Layang Layang

by acls us
Go to top