TX on 520 or 530 and RX up 10/15/20 khz. Omni antenna and 100w. QSL Manager 1AT070
Statistics after the 2nd day with the weekend yet to run: 487 contacts
AT’s 171, SD’s 107, 1 div 70, 14 div 140, 13 div 24, 26 div 35, 161 div 35, 108 div 10, 47 div 12, 43 div 18, 29 div 12, 38 div worked in total
Statistics after Saturday.
AT’s 262, SD’s 149, DX’s 29, RC’s 22
Divisions: 14 245, 1 127, 161 44, 26 39,
Divisions worked to date 51,
Total log entries 758 but there are doubles in there.
One more day to go….
Calls worked including doubles: 921
AT calls: 322
SD calls: 182
DX calls: 30
RC calls: 23
ET calls: 21
HF calls: 17
LR calls: 16
1 : 171
14 : 311
13 : 43
26 : 43
30 : 38
43 : 28
202AT/0 working conditions:
Yeticomnz Optima Transceiver.
BHI NES10-2MK3 DSP speaker
Palomar 450 FET Amplifier 200-300w PEP
Inverted V Dipole antenna
30′ Fibreglass telescopic push up pole
2ea 30A meanwell Switch mode PSU’s
Kenwood HS-6 Headphones. (Wear them all day!)
25m run of RG8X solid core cable.
Comments. Speaker worked well reducing noise, but fed back into the headphones so did not use with the headphones on. Used the filter on the Optima most of the time with the headphones as definitely improved the S/N ratio letting me work the weak ones. Did not need the noise blanker most of the time. Suffered intermittent power failures throughout Saturday afternoon. Food in the hotel was fine.
The flight into Paro is rather interesting especially the landing. There will be videos on utube. Watch them! I was in the cockpit for the journey into Paro and it was quite un nerving.
We walked up to this old monastery on the side of a cliff:
In Summation: Bhutan is a unique country with a unique heritage and they are doing their best to maintain this exclusivity thru restricting tourism. It costs a lot of money to visit Bhutan but you will be looked after well. The place is clean and well maintained. The mobile phone system works well but you will need to buy a local SIM card and make sure data is enabled. Most of the hotels had WIFI available. Nobody seemed put out by the antenna or the radio. One hotel even had 2 ham radios set up in a room!! Unfortunately the antenna left a lot to be desired. We travelled from West to East accross the country and it changed from Semi arid pine forrest in the West to a more tropical type broadleaf forrest in the East with much steeper valleys. We got no rain at all but several days of snowfall above 2500m. Some of the passes were over 3,000m and they had snow and ice but the roads remained open. Constant work was being done on the roads which were on the whole quite good. New smooth bitumen on a descent for a bicycle is a godsend and we had several most enjoyable down hill rides. It was winter and quite cold, but all hotels had sufficient heating, hot water and bedding. A lot of Bhutanese study abroad either India or the USA so it is surprising no locals have ever been heard on CB radio.
Radio conditions were quite good and Bhutan seems quite well located for DX. I worked 53 countries and almost 1,000 contacts in the 5 days I was operating with 200w and a simple inverted V antenna. Atmospheric noise, OTHR, and Asian FM were the only problems. Noise levels were low so was able to work anything I could hear quite easily. heard several 4 division stations but was not able to make contact. Would have been nice to have them in the log as well. Also 173 division was not heard. Highlights for me were 167, 351, 307, 306 and 12 as new ones for me. Unfortunately no 2,9, 33 or 10 division were worked. 302 was heard but unable to get back. 203 was on but he could just hear me but I had nothing from him. 153 division was in almost 24 hours a day! Thanks for the help from 153AT063 in keeping me informed and amused and reminding me to call and correcting the various mistakes I would make while calling. Hope you will join me in 237 division.
Confirming contacts…I used a couple of methods of deciding whether a station had really heard me or was blind calling. If I let go the PTT and he was talking then I would push for a repeat the signal I had given them before entering in the log. If they came back smartly and seemed to be following the gist of the conversation by giving me my report then. If I requested them to repeat the report I gave them and they did not then I scratched them off the log. Especially if they did not seem to be following the general lines of the ‘on air’ conversation. One has to draw a line in the sand somewhere. Apologies to those that this was unfairly applied to. Because of the cost in staying in Bhutan to operate (in excess of US$250 per day) I may not be back for a while!!! Their is talk in bhutan politics of reducing the tarrif for tourists but the word is that it will increase not decrease.
Bottom line is ; if you can stomach the cost you will have a great holiday in Bhutan. It is truly a unique and wonderful country to visit. An oasis nestled between the two largest populations in the world.
And that’s it from Captain Haddock in Calcutta…heading back to the tropics and home!!!
Yes that is the Paro Airport in Bhutan below…
Remember Tin Tin in Tibet…? Airport Secuirity. Everybody wears the traditional Goh in BhutanA Selfie By Captain Haddock from the main street of Paro!!!