The next day I constructed a 40m vertical for which I brought a 15m tall DX-wire fiber pole. I ran a wire from the top down and connected it to a current balun. This was about 5 meters above ground level. At the balun I connected two elevated radials. With the miniVNA I did some measurements and made the necessary adjustments. I had a good SWR and there was no need for an additional tuner. Although it is difficult to make a good comparison with the R7+, I'm convinced that this 40m vertical improved my signal due to its physical length and its lower radiation angle.

Conditions were quite different day by day and it was a bit frustrating to have fantastic pileups and propagation one day and many hours of dead bands the next day. Nevertheless, there were several fantastic pileups and I was even able to work good pileups on 15m and 12m.

One day I started on 15m that looked dead but within minutes I had a huge pileup for a couple of hours. The most useful bands were 40m, 20m and 17m.

Wireless internet access was provided in the restaurant so my tablemate was my laptop.

The connection was very slow so the first thing was to start downloading my e-mail and then order my food. This way I was able to get some feedback from the e-mails and the DX-cluster and also to answer the mail and update my web site while awaiting my food. The last day I started early to take down the 40m vertical after which I worked a good pileup on 20m until 10AM when I had to close down the station. I needed to take down the R7+ vertical and pack my equipment because the plane would leave Tarawa at 04:15PM.

Checking in at the airport was again an activity in a small room with extreme high temperature and humidity. All passengers were like sardines in a tin and queuing for the inspection of the suitcases. After this the luggage was placed on a scale but the guy did not read the weight so this time I did not pay for excess luggage. After a while, a mini-van drove over the runway for inspection and to remove possible obstacles or debris. Later a police officer on a motorbike with siren drove along the runway to alarm the local people that the plane was near and they should leave the runway. Sometime later, the plane arrived, exchanged passengers quickly and headed back to Fiji again. During take-off several people were waiting alongside the runway to wave us goodbye, including the police officer on his bike.

Call: T30GM
Start: 08-09-2013
End: 14-09-2013
IOTA: OC017
Island: Tarawa


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