Start: 24-11-2014 End: 29-11-2014, IOTA: SA001, Island Rapa Nui
This time I went on holiday with my son and therefore radio operation was on second place. I have tried to find a location that was most suitable for the antenna, but that was difficult. In the first place there was no accommodation located directly at the sea side as Rapa Nui has only rocky and steep shores consisting of volcanic stone. There is only one small sandy beach in the norther part of the island, but no accommodation available. There are also a few mountains on the island but it is difficult to take that into account as the only suitable accommodation for me was in the village.
I finally had selected Cabañas Te Pito Kura which is located at the north side of the Hanga Roa vollage (the only village on the island). There was suitable space around the accommodation for antennas but still it had to be seen after arrival what I could do. I had checked with the two German operators that operated from CE0Y in the previous month and they indicated that they had good contacts with Europe and their accommodation was also north of the village.The down side of the location was that is was rather far from the village center. I had pre-arranged for permission to place the antenna and to have a specific cabañas.
We travelled from Amsterdam to Santiago de Chile via Buenos Aires and arrived there 18 hours later. The next day we had a 5 hour flight from Santiago to Rapa Nui. After arrival at the accommodation I reliazed that I had not good visibility on the elevation of the landscape as it turned out that the accommodation was on a sloping area which went up in the direction of Europe. But changes could be made anymore and started to install my vertical antenna which was a vertical wire of 12.85m attached to a 13m tall fiber pole. The wired was connected to a magic balun 1:4:9 and 6 radials. This gave a reasonable SWR on all bands from 10-40m.
Normally I bring a R7+ vertical antenna in a carton box which is rather bulky. This time I could put all the wires in the suitecase but only had to protect the fibre pole during transport. For this I took a 60mm PVC pipe with detachable end caps and a carrying band.
The station consisted of my standard DXpediton radio Elecraft K3 and a MicroKeyer. This time I also made a new “DXpedition paddle” which was very light and was reasonable in use. I intended to put a can of drinks on top of it to prevent the paddle to move during operation. However, the table allowed me to use a single tie-wrap to fix it to the table.
I recognize that my signal was most of the time very weak wich made it somethimes really difficult to get QSO’s confirmed. Besides that I understand there was also enough QRM made by individuals. I managed to make 2,302 QSO’s in 5 days with 1,770 unique call signs. As mentioned, this was a holiday style operation. Just at the end of my stay I was able to work for 30 minutes in the CQWW contest after which I quickly packed the station and moved to the airport for the return flight. After about 35 hours of flying, waiting and driving my car, I arrived home and managed to operate again for 30 minutes in the CQWW contest as PG5M.
Thank you all for your patience as I know that my signal was oftern very weak. On top of that the frequency was not always very clear as well.
Special thanks go to the Radio Club de Chile for their assistance in obtaining the license.