The dipole at 341AT/DX for the final 2 days of the activation.
Some stattistics: stations worked: 170, countries worked: 33, AT members: 51, SD: 37, DX: 13, 43 div. 48, 1 div. 19, 14 div. 16, 26 div. 10, 172 div 7, 41 div 5
My 30′ fibreglass poles just arrived to day so I will have one with me for the next one. The inverted V at 30′ works very well and no need to turn it. Conditions in 341 were not very good but 170 contacts made with the dipole as you see it. Unfortunately I was unable to get the antenna very high for the final 2 days and that affected the receive signal. The static noise in Dili was very high at the hotel I had booked into and prevented any signals under a 5 getting through the noise to the speaker. Despite that many stations were worked but mainly close in and especially 43 division; which was in most of the time from one part or another. Consequently I estimate 70% of all stations worked were from 43 division. I had the dipole on the second floor roof and 25ft or so on the 2 pieces of pvc so we had good height so was getting out very well but receiving low signals was a problem.
This was a rather hurried activation as I only had one night to prepare and had to wait in Dili for a few days before being able to start work. Once work was out of the way we moved out of town a little but the choices for getting the antenna up were limited (no roof access!) and no internet. It looks like I will be going back there sometime so I will be ready for it this time.
While it is accepted that any sort of beam will out perform a single element dipole in any configuration I will stick with the simple dipole and attempt to make up for its lack of gain by getting it up higher. Sorry about that for the gain aficionados but they will have to do the work with their beams and I will keep the signals firing everywhere so not to miss what ever is out there. If the propagation is in it doesn’t take much to make a contact on 11m. It was frustrating to hear of stations working Darwin about 450km to the south east of me with 30 over signals and I was unable to hear a peep from Europe that night. The big guns of Europe were conspicuous by their absence for the first few days.
First night that Eu was in I was on the cree and the vertical from another location and I could not work out how to work split with the cre. My bad. I was stressed enough trying to write down callsigns without trying to mess with the radio!
I would like to apologize to those stations that tried to call but I didn’t hear them or had no time to get back to, or was idly chatting, abusing stations that got my gander up and otherwise wasting valuable time on air that would have been better used making contacts. I hope I can improve for the next one. I told myself it would not be easy and I was ready for a hassle and did my best to remain cool calm and collected as best I could. Having 14AT140 in the log 5 times on one page was a little excessive…and then the station with GT callsign that was saying Guatamala Tokyo instead of Golf Tango which took me a while to decipher. I just could not work out what he was saying!!! And there was a woman in france who was a little off frequency and had a terrible compressed signal…I would get the 14AT perfectly but the rest just ran into a blob of noise!!! I tried and tried but it was no good so had to ignore her but it did not stop her calling repeatedly for the whole time the skip was in..and it never got any better for her. Would have loved to put her out of her misery but it just did not happen. (if I could have got my hands on her I probably would have put her out of her misery!)
I won’t post a list of callsigns on the blogg due to the interest some sections of authority are taking in out of band activities. Needless to say all contacts were made on CB channels. So my arse is covered!!
Gear. I took 2 radios, an Optima Mk1A from Yeticomnz and a cre 8900. The cre did not perform well with the noise. The noise really knocked it about. The Optima handled the noise far better and the filter and the NB were really effective. Next time I will just take the Optima. Will look around for a higher pitch mic to use with it. I also took a little 4 transistor mosfet (ERF7530) amp with me that I must say performed admirably. Fan ran all the time and it consistently put out 200-250 watts PEP the whole time. I powered it from a small 30A switch mode brick and both seemed happy. I was a little scathing of them when I tested them on my home base but it did not display any increase in swr as the power was increased. Not many small amps can handle the 45w from the Optima without breaking down. I usually use a texas Star DX500 with the optima but the amp is bigger, heavier and needs a 75A PSU which would put me way over weight. I took two antennas, a screw together 1/2 wave vertical and the home made 1/2 wave dipole. The dipole proved superior most of the time and definitely lower noise and much easier to erect as well being far more versatile in how it is erected. a lot more options with a piece of wire. It will follow me to the next one. I bought 2 pieces of PVC in Dili for about US$15.00 to use as the mast. worked well guyed only with the legs of the dipole. The trick is not to have too much of the smaller diameter in the air. I cut the small one in half and taped one half on the top of the larger pipe and then slid the other length into the bottom of the outer tube and telescoped it up another meter and a half once the pipe was upright. Once again insulating tape holds them together fine for a few days. I now have 30′ of telescoping fibreglass…yippeee!!!
Photos in no order other than last first!